Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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Finally got to play this monster of a game the other day. Yes there are many much more monster games out there but with the resurgent popularity of the series and the release of the second edition, this truly had the makings of an epic game. Throw in 6 individuals who were fairly familiar with the series but new to the game, a decent mix of genders (2 female, 4 males), and the full sleuth of 6 players and we were set.

I played Stark and what I quickly discovered was despite being relatively unmolested the whole game (through smart use of choke points) was that the I would never be able to muster armies as quickly as those down in the south given my relative lack of resources in the area.

Those who start their strongholds on islands though: Baratheon and Greyjoy would enjoy impenetrable fortresses given the natural defense the seas gave. However Baratheon's easy access to nearby resources and castles around King's Landing would allow her to slowly build up an army that would take the combined might of 4 houses to take down. Greyjoy got into some early skirmishes with Stark and Lannister and was set back by a couple of close losses. She spent the rest of the game trying to get back into it, culminating with an uneasy alliance with Stark to start a push southwards.

Martell and Tyrell were much too far to be a factor for Stark. Martell opted to build up forces ala Baratheon but did not really attempt to aggressively wage war on his Baratheon and Tyrell neighbors. Tyrell on the other hand deftly engaged battles with Lannister and Baratheon to get some key castles that eventually resulted in a massive army of knights that had the 5 houses twisting in their seats.

Lannister was the star of the night though. He chose his battles smartly and they were plenty. He expertly maneuvered retreats from losses into positional advantages that could net him castles on his next turn. By turn 5, he and Baratheon were sitting on 5 castles each. A pivotal moment in the game was Lannister engaging the massive Tyrell knight army in the middle of the map. He then appeals for an alliance with Baratheon citing that they could pretty much be the only contenders left if they take out the Tyrell army. Baratheon reluctantly agrees and Lannister proceeds to drop a 3 sword card that wipes out all 3 of Tyrell's knights. KA---------BOOM.

The 6 houses would agree to end the game prematurely though as we reached the 12mn mark. At this point, offensives on multiple fronts had already neutralized the Baratheon-Lannister alliance. Stark was sitting on 5 castles and Greyjoy, its uneasy ally, was not in a position at that point to take a castle away from Stark.

Before Stark took the crown though, Lannister would live up to his reputation and attempt one last deft maneuver. Sitting last on the initiative track, he readied his troops to betray his staunch ally for a chance at 4 castles and second place... BUT.. Baratheon already knew never to fully trust a Lannister.. and moved back all her forces to her castles with a smug smile.

"Oh no you don't."
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Tom Hancock
United States
Charleston
West Virginia
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Sounds like a great game. A passive Martell can make things a little too easy for Baratheon, especially if no one else is fighting the stag.

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Seli L
Czech Republic
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dyeyk2000 wrote:

Martell and Tyrell were much too far to be a factor for Stark.


Everybody is a factor in the game for everybody. While Tyrell and Martell are usually too far for Stark to fight them, this game is not only about fighting. Martell is the other neighbour of Baratheon, for example, so you might make a combined sea attack to take out those "impenetrable" fortresses.

dyeyk2000 wrote:
Before Stark took the crown though, Lannister would live up to his reputation and attempt one last deft maneuver. Sitting last on the initiative track, he readied his troops to betray his staunch ally for a chance at 4 castles and second place...


There's no second place. You know what is said about playing the game of thrones, right ?
 
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David Laine
United States
Whittier
California
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Seli_L wrote:
There's no second place. You know what is said about playing the game of thrones, right ?


What are you talking about? Last night, I (Martell) came in first-runner-up to Baratheon. Yay, second place! That means FIRST head on a spike!
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Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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Tis was a great game indeed! I was the only serious boardgamer in the group so I thought everybody played superbly given their relative "inexperience".

And I also agree on all points regarding Martell aggression, and how everybody can be a factor to someone, (and second place lol) etc. As with the case with any game you play for the first time, it's only in hindsight that you appreciate all the opportunities that you missed. Can't wait to apply those learnings in the next game!
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