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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Adding Alliances rss

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Robert Rodger
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I just read through the rules to FFG's Rex, and wonder if the alliance rules could be imported to my favorite game, A Game of Thrones. The two questions are how many strongholds would be needed to win, and when could alliances be formed. Rex limits when you can ally, so I would probably link it to the influence bidding step of GoT... after the bidding is over players can formally declare new alliances. But I don't have a good sense of how many fortresses need to be controlled for joint wins.
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Robert Rodger
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Thinking about it myself, I came up with something I think could come close to working. Alliances between players is the one thing I’ve always felt was missing from the game, and this could be cool:

Alliance Cards
Each House begins with three Alliance cards: Treaty, Strategic Marriage, and Oath of Fealty. No house may have more than two Alliances active at a time.

Playing Alliance Cards/Forging Alliances
Alliances can only be made or broken when A Clash of Kings is revealed during the Westeros phase. (With two exceptions, see specific cards below.) After the Westeros phase and the planning phase for that turn players may negotiate, extend and cancel Alliances. If two players agree upon an Alliance they exchange their copies of one of their Alliance card with the other play. They must exchange the same type of card (Treaty, Marriage, or Oath). A player may never have more than two active Alliances, but may cancel one Alliance and then proffer another. If either player involved in an Alliance wishes to end it they may, simply taking their original cards back (save for Marriage cards, see below).

General Benefits of Alliance Cards

Allies Cannot Attack One Another. They still cannot occupy the same space on the board, but they cannot initiate an attack.
Alliance Cannot Provide Support Against an Ally. No indirect attacking your own ally.

Allies May Share Influence. At the start of a turn, before the Westeros phase, a play may give any amount of influence he possesses to his ally. Return that players influence to the pool, and the receiving player takes the same amount from the pool.

Allies Can Share a Win. The game still ends when one player has 7 castles, or when an Alliance has reached a certain number (based on whether there are 2 or 3 Houses in the alliance, and how many players there are).

If the game reaches the end of turn 8 without anyone winning, an Alliance may win if they combined have more castles than any other player or alliance.

Benefits of Specific Alliance Cards
Treaty. A treaty has no special rules.

Strategic Marriage. A marriage is an unbreakable alliance (at least in the game). It cannot be canceled through the normal means. When a Marriage is played, each house gains one influence from the pool.

Oath of Fealty. The Oath has two sides, one for the liege lord and one for the sworn lord. The players must agree on who is swearing fealty to whom. When an Oath is made the liege lord immediately gives the sworn lord one influence from his hand, if he’s able. He then gives control of one of his controlled castles to the sworn lord—replace any influence marker with one of the sworn lord’s (from the pool), and replace any units in that space with units from the sworn lord’s hand. If the sworn lord doesn’t have enough pieces to convert, or if it would bring him past supply limits, the excess is lost.
If a player ever loses his last castle he may immediately offer to swear loyalty to any other house, even cancelling a Treaty to do so.
Units from an Oath Alliance may enter (or even retreat) into territory controlled by an Ally without changing the control of that territory.
If an Oath Alliance wins the game, only the liege lord (or the liege lord and a third allied party) actually wins. But the sworn lord is at least on the winning side. SO that’s something, right?

The Red Wedding (Optional?)
After any combat in which House Lannister reveals Tywin Lannister, that player may, after the combat ends, permanently remove Tywin from the game to force another player to permanently remove his Strategic Marriage card. If that card has already been exchanged with another player, the second player takes his alliance card back and may offer it to another player after the next Clash of Kings. This immediately severs the alliance and all benefits thereof.

CAMPAIGN PLAY
I’ve long wanted to figure out how to run this as a campaign, and this may do it…

At the end of each game the winner scores campaign points based on the nature of his win:
Solitary Win 3 pts.
Alliance Win 2 pts. each
Liege/Sworn Win 3pts/1 pt.

Set a certain number of games, and whoever has the most points at the end wins. (Or set a limit, such as 13 and the first player to 13 wins.)
If players can regularly play the same house, I think that would be best, but if the number of players varies week to week players choose houses starting with whomever has the most votes and working down (randomly breaking ties). This does favor the winners, which I think is suitable for the game, but if you want a more even experience do it in reverse order.

Or, to keep in with the theme of the game, record the order the players fell on the Iron Throne track when the game ended. At the next game chose houses in order of that track, remembering that the previous occupant of the Iron Throne breaks ties for any players who didn’t participate last time.

(If playing with the same number of players, playing in the same houses, I think it would be interesting to record the positions of all three tracks and use that for the next start game, but suspect that might end up too unbalanced.)
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Christopher M
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Wow, just wow. You really have thought a lot about this! I must say that I never had any interest in the alliance variants I've seen until now. This is very intriguing and I love the theme of it all: Red Wedding, Oath of Fealty, Weddings... Just awesome!
 
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E M
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Looks fun! I'll see if I can get my group to try this out.
 
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Sdric
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Marriage option have been also proposed here :
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/744638/sworn-enemy-hostages
 
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Robert Rodger
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Eerly wrote:
Looks fun! I'll see if I can get my group to try this out.


Let me know how it goes if you do. Getting my group to pull out Game of Thrones is tricky at best for some reason. I may have to recruit some new players to specifically try this.
 
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