82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
On the shoulders of hobby giants!,
= Durability: = Fun: = Educational:
This review is from: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Toy)
What this is: a CCG-type fantasy strategy game with some board-game-ish components to give a nice tactile feel to things. The goal: to accumulate 15 Power tokens (representing political clout) before any other player. Plays 2-6.
This game is beautiful; let's start with that declaration. The core set includes 4 pre-made decks for the Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, and Baratheon Houses; six grey plastic moulded pieces that represent various courtly positions like Crown Regent, Hand of the King, Master of Coin, etc.; really pretty Gold Dragon coins and blue Power pieces; and a very nice, durable board for the coins and power pieces that centers the field of play nicely.
Onto the gameplay: there are three different types of attacks or "challenges" that can occur - military, intrigue, and power (aka political). Each character is marked as able to participate in some (generally, not all) types of challenges, meaning that deploying a character that can handle Intrigue on a field full of Military and Power characters can lead to a broadening advantage.
Different types of Challenges yield different results: successful military challenges let you kill off the defending player's characters, intrigues force the defending player to discard random cards from hand, and power challenges let you poach Power points from your foe. Intrigues are probably the least direct in achieving victory - holding the lead in in-play characters gives you Power points late in the turn, and Power challenges directly grab them for your side - making Intrigues sort of the "Dishonor"/bad guys strategy.
Finally, a very neat gimmick is the Plot Deck - reminiscent of the old Middle Earth CCG's long-events, i.e. cards that linger from the start of one turn to the start of the next, then are discarded, but produce some game-changing effects temporarily that can be really nice. These cards are actively chosen from a special, small deck, meaning you can pair a short-term strategy with your long-term goals. Plot Cards also have "claim" - this affects how much oomph successful Challenges have, and can make a huge difference if you pull off more than one Challenge in a single turn.
All in all, this is an excellent game with solid components, clear and helpful rules and rulebook, and a fascinating strategy that builds on such CCG classics as Magic, Battle Tech, Middle Earth, and Guardians (tangentially, anyway). It executes its design with a very strong flavor all its own, and its mechanics are distinctive. A very worthwhile purchase!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2011 7:25:17 PM PDT
I am reading book 3 - would there be any spoilers in the deck for me?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2011 7:28:27 PM PDT
Beth Dettwyler says:
Probably not - in the basic set, there aren't very many specific plot events mentioned in the cards. Plenty of characters, but mostly characters from just the first two books.
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