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Author Topic: Game of Thrones - the Board Game  (Read 4762 times)
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Remus West
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« on: April 15, 2008, 02:57:15 PM »

Anyone playing this game?  I got the chance to play it at the Chicago OO GTG two weeks ago.  It seems it is out of print currently but a new run is being done in May.  I loved the game and really really liked the ease of the mechanics.  You needed to have strategy to be successful but having only one path in mind seemed a sure fire method towards losing.  The mechanics were complex enough to require planning and flexibility but simple enough to keep from bogging the game down.  Over all I would say it is a great great game and I will be picking a copy up the first time I see one in the store (or ordering in May after the reprint).
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Arkon
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 03:00:27 PM »

Care to explain what the game is about/how it is played?  Never heard of it.

I really wish my friends were into board games, but sadly I seem to be alone when it comes to them.
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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 03:12:58 PM »

It's a strategy game based on the George R. R. Martin series of books and made by Fantasy Flight Games.

Each player takes the role of one of the great Houses portrayed in the novels.  You're looking to acquire more supply points than your opponents within a variable number of turns.  The system is sort of Diplomacy-light in that there's no chance involved in resolving battles, you reveal and resolve your orders simultaneously, and you're able to use your army/naval units to support or disrupt opponents.  There's a bidding element that comes into play every couple of turns (typically) where you can spend accumulated resources to bid on three special abilities, one of which lets you go first, one of which lets you switch an order after you've seen what other people have played, and one of which gives you a bonus to combat.

I would agree that it's a great game.  It's very strongly themed which may be puzzling to people who haven't read the novels, but they're not a preqrequisite to enjoying it.  It's definitely one where you'll want to read the rules ahead of time and perhaps play a few practice turns.
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Remus West
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 04:28:25 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 15, 2008, 03:12:58 PM

It's definitely one where you'll want to read the rules ahead of time and perhaps play a few practice turns.
I always feel this is a good idea on any new game.  I have to disagree with the lack of randomness though since each side in a conflict needs to play a battle card (typically value 0-3) which leads to some randomness/strategy rather than the diplomacy "I have more units I win" idea (although diplomacy is also among my favorites).

One of the things I noticed reading the rules online that we did wrong was routed units.  Routed units provide a combat strength of 0.  You still play cards though so if you attack a group of my routed units and play a zero card I could still win if I play a card high enough.  We had thought that routed units automatically lost and were destroyed.
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Boudreaux
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 04:33:08 PM »

I have Game of Thrones and the Clash of Kings expansion, and have played both maybe 3-4 times.  My impression so far is that it's a game that ought to be great, has the right elements of theme and mechanics to be great, but ends up being rather boring when played.  I think this is due almost entirely to the people I'm playing with.

The most interesting thing about the game, to me, is the pretty open nature of combat (the superior force usually - but not always - wins) combined with the ability for players to support each other in battle.  Since you almost never have the forces you want, you often have to rely on other players to help you out, which results in a lot of back-and-forth negotiation.

Or at least it SHOULD result in this.  What ended up happening in every game I played is nobody trusted anyone, EVER, and the entire game bogged down into ten silent turns of orderplacement, bidding, and occasional overwhleming combat victories.  Any attack immediately left an opening, which was exploited by another player, who left an opening that was exploited by a third player, and so on and so on.  

I'd really like to play this game with people who are familiar with the books and can really get into the negotiation and theme of the game.  So far it's been a little disappointing, but it's still on my shelf waiting for the day of vindication.
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Boudreaux
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 04:40:50 PM »

What I think would be really cool for this game would be for each player to have some sort of random, secret agenda that they're trying to accomplish.  You'd have the standard "claim-seven-strongholds-to-win" condition, but then a separate condition for each player.  The problem with negotiation and supporting other players is that everyone knows what the winning conditions are, and everyone can see everyone else's position.  Given that mustering new units can be so random and scarce, I think the risk of supporting another player's goal and possibly losing your forces is too great.  Especially when you know exactly what the other players are trying to accomplish.  If everyone had a secret winning condition, players' motivations become a little more murky and things might get a little more interesting.  Now it's not so easy to tell what's going on, and that "perfect information" is lost.  More chaotic, but I tend to think that's more fun.
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Brendan
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 04:49:50 PM »

Quote from: Remus West on April 15, 2008, 04:28:25 PM

Quote from: Brendan on April 15, 2008, 03:12:58 PM

It's definitely one where you'll want to read the rules ahead of time and perhaps play a few practice turns.
I always feel this is a good idea on any new game.  I have to disagree with the lack of randomness though since each side in a conflict needs to play a battle card (typically value 0-3) which leads to some randomness/strategy rather than the diplomacy "I have more units I win" idea (although diplomacy is also among my favorites).

At least initially, you can always tell whether or not it's possible to win because you know what pool of cards each player possesses.  So, it's not like a die roll in Risk where you're just going to be shocked watching your hugely superior army lose to a single unit in Kamchatka. :|
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Remus West
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 06:09:07 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 15, 2008, 04:49:50 PM

Quote from: Remus West on April 15, 2008, 04:28:25 PM

Quote from: Brendan on April 15, 2008, 03:12:58 PM

It's definitely one where you'll want to read the rules ahead of time and perhaps play a few practice turns.
I always feel this is a good idea on any new game.  I have to disagree with the lack of randomness though since each side in a conflict needs to play a battle card (typically value 0-3) which leads to some randomness/strategy rather than the diplomacy "I have more units I win" idea (although diplomacy is also among my favorites).

At least initially, you can always tell whether or not it's possible to win because you know what pool of cards each player possesses.  So, it's not like a die roll in Risk where you're just going to be shocked watching your hugely superior army lose to a single unit in Kamchatka. :|
True.  Also, the cards are public knowledge so you can plan where and when to attack based on which cards others have available.

As for the strategy of the game, I felt it did a nice job of being fluid.  Just because player A had attacked player B earlier did not mean player B would not support A against C if C had grown to strong.  There is a need to sneak up on the victory rather than just grab it openly.  I would be as worried about a player who is constantly willing to support my actions as I would be my open "enemy".
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Doopri
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2008, 08:04:24 PM »

im in arkons boat with this one.  ive read the rules and loved the sound of the game - but any game that has 3+ players and really comes in its own with that many, i just dont risk pulling the trigger on.  its unfortunate because this is definitely one ive considered several times (love the sound of the mechanics) but i really have a hard time scaring up 3 boardgamers (so sad!)

ive said it before and ill say it again - I NEED FRIENDS AS GEEKY AS I AM!!!  (they just dont share the same boardgame love that i do!)

remus are you going to be able to wait until may?
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Remus West
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 08:29:15 PM »

Quote from: Doopri on April 15, 2008, 08:04:24 PM

im in arkons boat with this one.  ive read the rules and loved the sound of the game - but any game that has 3+ players and really comes in its own with that many, i just dont risk pulling the trigger on.  its unfortunate because this is definitely one ive considered several times (love the sound of the mechanics) but i really have a hard time scaring up 3 boardgamers (so sad!)

ive said it before and ill say it again - I NEED FRIENDS AS GEEKY AS I AM!!!  (they just dont share the same boardgame love that i do!)

remus are you going to be able to wait until may?
Unless I find another option I have to.  I saw one cpopy listed for $500.  I'm thinking that is an error or a joke or just from an idiot.
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chaosraven
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 09:35:20 PM »

OTOH, you could simply play on my set when it arrives.

(I've played it before, I liked it, I ebay'd a copy)

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 12:05:09 AM »

If I could get three more boardgamers together, I'd definitely try Game of Thrones. G.R.R. Martin is taking t.o.o.o. long with the new Thrones book, so this would have to do. I'd be some nobody with House Stark.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 10:45:20 AM »

Game of Thrones is one of my favorite games.   But, everyone has to play to win.  Which is why I think in these games you should have players put up $2 into a pot that goes to the winner.

I wish there was a way to play this online, or there were players in my area.
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Remus West
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 04:23:12 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 02, 2008, 10:45:20 AM

Game of Thrones is one of my favorite games.   But, everyone has to play to win.  Which is why I think in these games you should have players put up $2 into a pot that goes to the winner.

I wish there was a way to play this online, or there were players in my area.
If you discover a way to play online consider me in. icon_biggrin
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Remus West
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2008, 04:08:36 PM »

Quote from: chaosraven on May 01, 2008, 09:35:20 PM

OTOH, you could simply play on my set when it arrives.

(I've played it before, I liked it, I ebay'd a copy)


Arrive yet?
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chaosraven
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 04:54:30 PM »

I just opened it.

And have read over the rules like twice...

If my wife wasn't teaching class tonight I'd say we should play tonight.

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Boudreaux
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 05:45:48 PM »

Me = jealous.   icon_neutral
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chaosraven
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2008, 06:04:14 PM »

The rules for 3 and 4 player (rather than the standard 5) remind me of something but I can't recall what.

The Military Units start on the board and sit as Neutral waiting to be attacked and removed.
Diplomacy maybe?

Some interesting notes in the rules that didn't come up the one and only time I played:
Raid versus Consolidation is one of them (when you Raid a Consolidate Order, *you* gain One Power)
Support from *other* Players (throws a nifty potential wrench and added Intrigue)

I will have to go read the rules again.
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chaosraven
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 07:26:06 PM »

Found another one... much like Cities and Knights of Cataan there is indeed a benefit/payoff for "defending the island" when the Wildlings attack.

Player who bid the most power gets to retrieve one of their battle cards.

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Remus West
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2008, 02:18:39 PM »

Quote from: chaosraven on May 08, 2008, 07:26:06 PM

Found another one... much like Cities and Knights of Cataan there is indeed a benefit/payoff for "defending the island" when the Wildlings attack.

Player who bid the most power gets to retrieve one of their battle cards.


That one I do not remember but is pretty big.  I remember the other two rules.
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chaosraven
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2008, 02:24:51 PM »

We simply must play this over the weekend.

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chaosraven
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2008, 11:01:44 PM »

Well it looks like we'll be trying the 4 player version (unless my buddys Raid on WoW falls thru).

I wonder if there's an online Map to play this somewhere?
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chaosraven
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2008, 11:41:00 PM »

Apparently I have to go to Chicago to play this game.

st00pid RL.

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chaosraven
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2008, 01:08:45 AM »

Well we are back on for tomorrow, and I'd like to note that Fantasy Flight Games rocks.

I discovered my set was missing the white players Knights.
I sent them an email asking how I could replace them, and they simply sent them to me, postage paid and all.

So thumbs up for Customer Service at FFG from me!

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Doopri
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2008, 02:34:04 AM »

i know what you mean chaos - i was actually so happy with a customer service related event that i almost posted about it here (i figured my fellow geeks would appreciate such things).  but ya, theyre a great company overall - actually ive noticed many board game companies are top notch when it comes to this stuff - industry at large could learn a few pointers from their hex-based, card driven dice rolling counterparts!
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2008, 04:23:11 AM »

When you're a niche industry, you really have to do whatever you can to keep your customers happy.  I haven't had any negative interactions with either boardgame companies or online boardgame retailers.
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