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Conclusion:

I like a game that can play two players, as I play a lot of games with my wife (or one other friend). I have the AGOT LCG starter set, but I rarely have four people to play a card game (if we have four we usually would play something different and/or with a board).

This game was very appealing as I am a fan of the TV Show on HBO (not a huge fan, but a fan) and I like two player games. This game is designed for two players and only two players. The speculation is this is a game designed for fans of the show and not gamers, so there may not be expansions and other houses added (I have no inside information to confirm this). I would like to see an expansion to include more houses, but I'm fine with a small card game that I don't "have" to buy monthly expansions to.

As for a conclusion on this game, I like it so far. As you don't use all the plots each game, there is some variability and re-playability, but it might not hold up for ever. In addition, the game has some complexity but it is an easier game with just a few rules tacked on (for good reason) that adds another layer of complexity.

Overall, I do like this game and I like the art work from the TV show. I like seeing the actors that I know (I have only started the first book). The game is fun to play and the components are of medium quality. I like the game and I plan on having a lot of fun playing it more in the future.



Components:

You get a couple of cardboard flags, some gold cardboard tokens, some power cardboard tokens and some cards. One set of cards for the Stark house and one for Lannister and some plot cards.

The cards are of good quality (not great) and should hold up fine. With a card game, I wouldn't blame you for buying sleeves for them either. As this is a simple card game, nothing really to write home about here.



Rule Book:

The rules do a good job of explaining the rules of the game. The back page has a summary and it does a fine job. I wish there was a player aid for each player. In addition, an explanation of some of the cards would have been great. As I suspect there may not be as much support for this game as I hope there will be, a few cards may be open to interpretation. With that said, nothing cannot be figured out or written too poorly (I don't want to make a big deal out of it because nothing really stands out so far).

Overall, the rules are simple and not too complex.



Flow of the Game:

Each players chooses a house to play as. Each player gets some plot cards. The plots cards are chosen first as they tell you how much money you will have for the turn to spend, who gets initiative, and your claim points (i.e how many will die in battle if you lose). Each player picks one and plays it for effect (some have other things you do when played).

Then, you spend money to play cards (each card has a cost).

After you are finished spending money, you can attack in one of the three ways (military, intrigue, power). Some characters can attack in different ways and with different strength. The characters may have other "powers" that can be used. The opponent can then defend (or not) and if the attacking player has a higher number he can do X (depends on which of the three attack modes you chose) up to the claim point from the plot card.

Ex: If you attack and your attackers have a combined score of 5 and the defender can only defend 3, you can kill X characters where is X is the claim point number on the plot card (easier than I can write it, I promise).

So why not defend? If you don't defend at least something, the player gets a power point (15 power points and they win).

A special note is that characters can die and if they do they are out of game for good. So you get a discard pile and a dead pile. You do not want your players in the dead pile.



Should I buy this?


You can find this game for around 20 bucks and I find that a pretty good deal for what you get. This might be an introductory card game, but I think it is fun. The game is not ground breaking, but I do like the art work and the game is fun. I wish there were more houses and more cards, but hopefully we will get an expansion in the future.

This game will survive the purge and it might rely on its theme for that also. If the theme was Bugs Bunny, I might not feel the same way (maybe). Even so, it is a good quick card game that fits well with the theme. I like this game and I'd recommend it (at the current price).
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Aside from the graphical differences and limited card sets, how does gameplay differ from the LCG?
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GamerAtom wrote:
Aside from the graphical differences and limited card sets, how does gameplay differ from the LCG?


It is much simpler (to me). You also don't need four people. I don't want to lead you wrong, but I don't feel they are the same game with different artwork. To me, this is a lighter game.
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william4192 wrote:
GamerAtom wrote:
Aside from the graphical differences and limited card sets, how does gameplay differ from the LCG?


It is much simpler (to me). You also don't need four people. I don't want to lead you wrong, but I don't feel they are the same game with different artwork. To me, this is a lighter game.


You don't need 4 people for the LCG either. It works perfectly well with 2. I think most of the competitive play is actually with only 2 players.

How is it much simpler? What has been removed to make it simpler?
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Is there a card breakdown somewhere? Would like to know if these decks can be reconstructed from one (or more) LCG cores, or if there are cards unique to this HBO version.
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lajaro wrote:
Is there a card breakdown somewhere? Would like to know if these decks can be reconstructed from one (or more) LCG cores, or if there are cards unique to this HBO version.


I don't think you'll able to.

See here and compare Tywin:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1412755/game-of-thrones

Against these versions from the LCG:
http://www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/GoT/gotcardsearch.html?f...&
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To be honest, I haven't played the LCG enough to comment on it. I thought the LCG had to be 4 players, that shows how little experience I have with it



GamerAtom wrote:
william4192 wrote:
GamerAtom wrote:
Aside from the graphical differences and limited card sets, how does gameplay differ from the LCG?


It is much simpler (to me). You also don't need four people. I don't want to lead you wrong, but I don't feel they are the same game with different artwork. To me, this is a lighter game.


You don't need 4 people for the LCG either. It works perfectly well with 2. I think most of the competitive play is actually with only 2 players.

How is it much simpler? What has been removed to make it simpler?
 
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GamerAtom wrote:
lajaro wrote:
Is there a card breakdown somewhere? Would like to know if these decks can be reconstructed from one (or more) LCG cores, or if there are cards unique to this HBO version.


I don't think you'll able to.

See here and compare Tywin:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1412755/game-of-thrones

Against these versions from the LCG:
http://www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/GoT/gotcardsearch.html?f...&


Looks like there might be some differences in a few cases, but probably mostly subtle (i.e. the STR or text). The card for Tyrion appears to be identical in both versions, BTW.

I'm also curious about is the card count - are all the cards unique in the HBO version (like they are in the core)?

What I'm getting at is that the HBO version appeals to me more as a fan of the show, vs a fan of LCGs. However, if I already have the same (if not more) from a few of the LCG cores, then there is little benefit to reinvest (so to speak).
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While many of the cards are similar to the LCG version, many of them have been changed. For example: the deadly keyword isn't in this version anywhere; Robert Baratheon is neutral, and has the King trait; Tywin is now gives a flat +2 income bonus, as opposed to his core set counterpart where the gold goes on him and you are allowed to spend the gold off of him; Tyrion no longer requires you to pay a gold to draw a card after winning challenges with him. Many of the plots have had their effects and/or stats tweaked, and most of the non-unique weenies have no lcg counterpart.

While you might be able to almost recreate the black box from various lcg cards, I don't think it would be close enough to preserve the balance they achieved.
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Tywin from this game is a 3-power version of the Tywin from the core set, but it has renown
 
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You really have to think of these as two separate games. AGoT is a very complex game with a lot of--If this is that then that is this--in it. In addition you really have to go beyond the core set to really experience what it has to offer.

GoT is a much simpler card game. It's target at the non-, or light, gamer who is a fan of the show. It's made to fly out the door at places like Target and B&N. The cards do not mix with the LCG. Again they are two separate games.
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The Old Man wrote:
You really have to think of these as two separate games. AGoT is a very complex game with a lot of--If this is that then that is this--in it. In addition you really have to go beyond the core set to really experience what it has to offer.

GoT is a much simpler card game. It's target at the non-, or light, gamer who is a fan of the show. It's made to fly out the door at places like Target and B&N. The cards do not mix with the LCG. Again they are two separate games.



Yes, I agree with this. While this might be sold at Target (etc.), this is not a simple party game or Monopoly clone. This is a card game, simple perhaps, but not "mainstream simple" if you will.
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william4192 wrote:
The Old Man wrote:
You really have to think of these as two separate games. AGoT is a very complex game with a lot of--If this is that then that is this--in it. In addition you really have to go beyond the core set to really experience what it has to offer.

GoT is a much simpler card game. It's target at the non-, or light, gamer who is a fan of the show. It's made to fly out the door at places like Target and B&N. The cards do not mix with the LCG. Again they are two separate games.



Yes, I agree with this. While this might be sold at Target (etc.), this is not a simple party game or Monopoly clone. This is a card game, simple perhaps, but not "mainstream simple" if you will.

You're right not "mainstream simple." But when HBO fans see it in Target, and for less than $30, I think they'll sell. The good news for us is more boardgamers will be created (like Frankenstein), and that's good for the hobby.
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I hope this game sells. It is based off a good license and is a good game. I'd like more of this and less of the Big Bang Theory game (although I'd like a good BBT game!).



The Old Man wrote:
william4192 wrote:
The Old Man wrote:
You really have to think of these as two separate games. AGoT is a very complex game with a lot of--If this is that then that is this--in it. In addition you really have to go beyond the core set to really experience what it has to offer.

GoT is a much simpler card game. It's target at the non-, or light, gamer who is a fan of the show. It's made to fly out the door at places like Target and B&N. The cards do not mix with the LCG. Again they are two separate games.



Yes, I agree with this. While this might be sold at Target (etc.), this is not a simple party game or Monopoly clone. This is a card game, simple perhaps, but not "mainstream simple" if you will.

You're right not "mainstream simple." But when HBO fans see it in Target, and for less than $30, I think they'll sell. The good news for us is more boardgamers will be created (like Frankenstein), and that's good for the hobby.
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GamerAtom wrote:
I think most of the competitive play is actually with only 2 players.


I read in an article on Card Game DB the other day that most competitive players dislike melee/multiplayer.

Edit:

Make of that what you want, casually I like both formats. There are some deck types that shine in melee that I would never use in joust.
 
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locusshifter wrote:
GamerAtom wrote:
I think most of the competitive play is actually with only 2 players.


I read in an article on Card Game DB the other day that most competitive players dislike melee/multiplayer.

Edit:

Make of that what you want, casually I like both formats. There are some deck types that shine in melee that I would never use in joust.


That's generally the case, from what I can tell. Competitive players don't like having stuff outside of their decks affect the game, and melee is very much about the personalities at the table.

Personally, I can't imagine playing 2 player (I've tried - it's not nearly as good of a game imo), but I can see how if you're competitive, it would suck if one player at the table has a vendetta against you and tanks your shot at winning.
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I hated 2-player games of the original Core Set, so badly I traded it twice...the second time I got a core set as a kicker in a trade, thought I'd been too harsh on it, and had the same reaction to two-player. It's just not good.

I'd love to see a balanced 2-player game where you don't get runaway leader. Like a fool, I'll probably pick this up cheap...and end up trading it away again, lol.
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Pretty good review man. I found it after seeing the game (ironically at Target) and ponder if we should try and get a copy. Sadly we are still on the fence, but thanks for giving us more info. One thing though, starting a review with the word 'conclusion' kinda wierded me out. I kept looking to see if I had somehow missed something before it. Traditionaly conclusions go at the end, or the end of a point. But its a minor thing, was happy to thumb this

p.s. since I believe turnabout is fair play, my reviews can be found here.
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SomewhatDamaged wrote:
Pretty good review man. I found it after seeing the game (ironically at Target) and ponder if we should try and get a copy. Sadly we are still on the fence, but thanks for giving us more info. One thing though, starting a review with the word 'conclusion' kinda wierded me out. I kept looking to see if I had somehow missed something before it. Traditionaly conclusions go at the end, or the end of a point. But its a minor thing, was happy to thumb this

p.s. since I believe turnabout is fair play, my reviews can be found here.


IN my first few reviews I explained the conclusion first: in many reviews that is what I like to read first and then I read more details if I want. Sorry to throw you off and I do read your reviews a lot also
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william4192 wrote:
SomewhatDamaged wrote:
One thing though, starting a review with the word 'conclusion' kinda wierded me out. I kept looking to see if I had somehow missed something before it. Traditionaly conclusions go at the end, or the end of a point. But its a minor thing, was happy to thumb this

IN my first few reviews I explained the conclusion first: in many reviews that is what I like to read first and then I read more details if I want. Sorry to throw you off ..

Don't apologise - its a good approach - much better than the whole TL;DR meme/thing. At work we are advised to write reports like this as well!
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My girlfriend snagged this for me for Christmas. She knew I was interested in the LCG, but couldn't bring myself to invest at gen con. I think this will be good way to see if the LCG will be a good investment. She's not a gamer, but I got her to play quarriors with me and has fun doing so. I'm hoping this game is simple enough for her to grasp turn structures and other mechanics such as gaining currency and victory points, rather than "UNO" or "I rolled doubles". If so, I foresee happiness in my future.
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jibbyjackjoe wrote:
My girlfriend snagged this for me for Christmas. She knew I was interested in the LCG, but couldn't bring myself to invest at gen con. I think this will be good way to see if the LCG will be a good investment. She's not a gamer, but I got her to play quarriors with me and has fun doing so. I'm hoping this game is simple enough for her to grasp turn structures and other mechanics such as gaining currency and victory points, rather than "UNO" or "I rolled doubles". If so, I foresee happiness in my future.


My opinion is this is a great game to start her on. It is pretty easy after a couple of rounds.
 
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Quote:
I'd love to see a balanced 2-player game where you don't get runaway leader. Like a fool, I'll probably pick this up cheap...and end up trading it away again, lol.


I would like this game if was balanced. The Starks have won 9 out of 10 games I've played because they're so strong at Military Challenges. I know it's an asymmetrical game but how can the Lannisters beat them at Intrigue/Power if they're dead? One strategy seems to be to let the Starks get their characters down, take damage and then drop Valor Morghulis on them.....problems = if the Starks have copies down or a Direwolf/Not today then they save very powerful characters who then kill any Lannister played. Not fun if you're a Lannister.

I've written to the designer and I have the rules right and he claims people think it's unbalance in favor of the Lannisters. HOW? I must be missing something as I've come to handicapping Stark to make it playable.
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Jimzik wrote:
Quote:
I'd love to see a balanced 2-player game where you don't get runaway leader. Like a fool, I'll probably pick this up cheap...and end up trading it away again, lol.


I would like this game if was balanced. The Starks have won 9 out of 10 games I've played because they're so strong at Military Challenges. I know it's an asymmetrical game but how can the Lannisters beat them at Intrigue/Power if they're dead? One strategy seems to be to let the Starks get their characters down, take damage and then drop Valor Morghulis on them.....problems = if the Starks have copies down or a Direwolf/Not today then they save very powerful characters who then kill any Lannister played. Not fun if you're a Lannister.

I've written to the designer and I have the rules right and he claims people think it's unbalance in favor of the Lannisters. HOW? I must be missing something as I've come to handicapping Stark to make it playable.


I played a friend's copy for the first time last night. He was Lannister and completely steamrolled me. From the beginning, he had an obvious marshalling advantage with several cards featuring bonus income while I had none. (I did have one discount card, though.) His cards seemed a little cheaper on average as well. After his first marshalling, he had a field of ~5 characters while I had 2. It went downhill from there as he had effects (like Cersei's) that allowed him to kneel (and discard, sometimes) 2-3 of my characters each turn to the point where I was crippled from an effective 10 to 4 character deficit on the field. That leads to my hand being destroyed from intrigue challenges so that I have to rely on my 2 card draw at the beginning. It seemed like a giant snowballing from the very first turn in favor of the Lannisters.
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