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on March 18, 2013
I used to be a big Magic: The Gathering fan years ago, and am a fan of the books and TV series which inspired this game as well. I purchased this to play with friends who were also familiar with the source material, but not so much with LCGs (Living Card Games, for those not in the know)in general.

So far, I've found the game to be far more enjoyable than Magic if there are 3 or more people playing. The play waters down a bit with only 2 people but is still enjoyable, just not as deep or potentially intricate. The learning curve is a little steep for someone not familiar with LCGs, so if you've never played one, be prepared to grind through one or two 'rough drafts' of game play before you actually fall into its rhythm. GoT features a very cool, ever-shifting (in my opinion) political sub-mechanism which layers the game play well, and there are rules variants included to broaden that depth even further (note: the political aspect is unworkable for and is not used in 2 player games). The physical design of the game is above-par, and much of its artwork is beautiful if not heavily stylized. The box is not so sturdy, though. Mine lost a corner on day 2, but honestly, that's NOT a big deal, and so far is my only complaint.

This core set includes a full deck for 4 of the 6 houses (Lannister, Baratheon, Stark, and Targaryen) as well as House Cards (Which admittedly don't do much for this set) for Martell and Greyjoy. If you wish to play the latter 2 houses, you will need to buy the appropriate expansion packs for them. The decks come 'pre-tuned' and ready to play. Also included are a game 'board' (more like a placeholder for game data and a reference sheet as no game play occurs on a board), a cardboard sheet with gold and power token knockout pieces, and 6 plastic multiplayer tile pieces (the aforementioned political aspect) representing 6 positions of power in the kingdoms. Each tile piece conveys its own special bonus(es) to its holder, and creates (or denies) opportunities for cooperation among players. Players work to be the first person to accumulate 15 power tokens among their House and characters, while preventing others from doing the same.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this game is the ability to launch up to 3 different types of challenges per turn. These challenges are designed to either kill enemy characters, steal their power tokens, or remove cards from their hands. Some houses are better at one type of challenge than others, so it's up to the player to maximize the potential of their deck contents.

If this sounds fun to you, you're going to enjoy it. If it doesn't, you probably won't dig it much. If you want to get into the GoT card game, THIS is the starter set and is all you need to get a taste of it. This is not the strategy board game associated with Game of Thrones.

**** What is an LCG?****

for those of you who don't know, these games are played using cards and without a traditional board or game pieces. Players use cards which represent Characters, locations, events, plots, and agendas. Each card has specific values and meaning, some of which can be shaped by the context in which they are played with other cards. I liken it to playing chess without a board, with only the pieces in play visible to your opponents. You don't struggle to make pairs, or three of a kind, or to collect cards from other players to make a hand that 'wins,' or anything like a traditional card game typically attempts. There are no absolutes to the rules as many of the cards have their own traits, identities and functions listed on them which tend to frame the basic rules around it. These games are somewhat abstract and require abstract visualization and a solid capacity for strategy to be enjoyed. They also, while somewhat quick to learn, take a good amount of play to become an adept. They are, therefore, not great choices for younger children (13 and under I probably wouldn't recommend, but just because of that) or casual game night unless everyone's played an LCG before.

Hope this helps!

-Jason
14 helpful votes
15 helpful votes
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on September 19, 2017
I played this before it was ever released as a CCG back in 2001 or so when FF brought it to an industry game day at a distributor that I worked for at the time and it was a really fun game even then. It was just the right amount of complicated with several different ways one could win during the turns to ultimately win the game. I think the word "revolutionized" is used way too often and has lost a lot of it's meaning because of people throwing it around way too much describing things that do not deserve it, but in this case FF actually did revolutionize the Collectible Card Game industry by implementing the Living Card Game format.The tactics in play changed slightly when FF made it into an LCG, but personally I think it was for the better over all and for years they put out expansion packs that you only needed to purchase one of to get the tournament play legal limit of all cards. No longer did you have to worry about getting all the rare chase cards in order to have a viably competitive deck. One purchase and you were set till the next expansion deck came out roughly a month later. They came out in sets of six expansion decks that followed story-lines or themes usually focusing on a single house with the occasional slightly larger expansion called Deluxe Expansion Boxes containing roughly 11/3 as many cards as the smaller individual story packs. Recently FF had discontinued this version in favor of a newer one. I have not heard of any promises of better or even different mechanics, if the cards are different or if they are simply reprinting the same things on different art. The thing is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the original game. FF are just being money grubbing feces heels by resetting the entire game like they have completely invalidating thousands of cards for tournament play just to turn a buck. Don't get me wrong, I want them to profit and stay in business because they make some really great games, but I am intentionally not going to ever purchase the new version of "Game of Thrones" LCG in protest to this obvious corporate sleaze tactic that has left me with functionally useless cards if I ever wanted to play in a tournament. The plus side to this is that if you just want to have some quality time with friends and family you can purchase the previous set ridiculously cheap at this point, so take advantage of that if you can.
1 helpful vote
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on August 26, 2014
I like it. It takes a certain amount of time to dedicate to it that I just don't really have. It would be interesting with more people, but the learning curve is a little too steep for trying to introduce this to people who are new to this type of game. It takes a few rounds to get used to, and looking at the round flow chart on the website was helpful, it would have been more helpful if it was included in the rulebook. If you have the time to invest into and people to play with regularly I would recommend it. I think the rules are too complex for anyone just wanting the core set to play it "board game style" casually. The fun in this is deckbuilding, and if your not going to do it, then you might be better off with a different game. Either way, go ahead and get two core sets if you're interested. Each house gets 45 cards and 7 plot cards. it would be nice to have an alternative to Valar.
1 helpful vote
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on November 30, 2015
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is the game that brought me back into Card Games. I used to be a Magic: The Gathering player, however I got out of the hobby because it became too expensive to keep up with.

This game helps to fix that problem by using the Living Card Game format. This means that instead of having a large expansion every few months, sold in randomized packages causing people to have to try and resort to buying expensive single cards to add to their deck, the game is expanded by small, non randomized packs that you can decide if you need for a deck or not.

In addition to the Living Card Game Format, AGOT features some very clean, and well executed mechanics while still maintaining the quality of the source material. It'll be a hit for anyone who enjoys both games and the novels or TV Show.
1 helpful vote
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on March 13, 2015
I bought this game for my husband as an anniversary present, he likes to play Magic the Gathering and D&D, which I don't play, but we both love Game of Thrones, so I thought it would be fun to learn. We've been playing almost every night for a month now and it is a lot of fun. It took me awhile to get everything straight, since there's a lot to it, but the rule book is a pretty good resource. Comes with full decks for the 4 main houses, and you can customize your deck. If you want to play House Greyjoy or Martell, you'll need to buy expansion packs. FYI, the picture of the box shows the game title in another language- mine came in English, which was what I wanted.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 31, 2013
It is like Magic the Gathering in the fact that it is a card game, but it is much more in my opinion. I loved how faithful it was to the stories. I only played with one other player so we did not get to play with the titles, but we went over the rules with 3-4 players, and that looks like it would be extremely fun. It took 3 hours for our first match as we read through the rules, referring back to them often, but once we got the hang of it (by about the 5th round) I was thoroughly enjoying myself. The game ended on the 6th round, and that is when we realized it had been 3 hours. I expect it would only take about 45 mins for us to play another game now. Planning ahead and having a strategy is a must in this game. I found myself constantly referencing everything to Magic when we started, but in the end I found it to be something very different and refreshing from Magic.
1 helpful vote
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on July 8, 2013
I've played the game for almost a month now, and have come to truly like it; it is one of the more interesting card games I have ever come to play (comparing it with MTG, Yugioh, and such). They have and old school card feel, and good illustrations.

If you're considering just buying the game as a table top game for friends and family (i.e., not for competitive play), buying two Core Sets would be very handy; since this will allow for way better deck construction and much better game play - though one Core Set by itself is also fun, but two core sets is double of the incredible cards that come with the Core Sets, so decks will feel very powerful and well thought out when you have 2 to 3 copies of each card.

I have two Core Sets and mostly play with my girlfriend, and we are both very satisfied with the game. We might end up buying the four larger expansions that compliment the 4 houses that come in the Core set (Queen of Dragons Expansion, Kings of the Storm Expansion, etc), though if we buy them it wont be out of necessity –I cant emphasize enough how good the game is right out of the box.

All in all, I expect to continue playing this game for many years to come.
1 helpful vote
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on February 3, 2014
THis game is fantastic. It had a bit of a learning curve(Mainly due to MTG process messing me up) but once you get the hang of it, you're hooked. Things to note:

playing 2 player is fun, but you may need to buy further expansion and/or chapter packs to tailor the deck for 2 player games.

3+ players, the game really opens up. This is where the game shines.

My wife isn't really a super tabletop nerd and she picked it up and is totally hooked.
2 helpful votes
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on August 2, 2011
I recently purchased this game to give it a try on our weekly game night. Our game night consists of 4-6 guys playing things like Axis and Allies, Magic: The Gathering, Risk, Stratego, or just Super Smash Bros, and we all got into the new Game of Thrones HBO series, and some of us got into the books.

So when an Amazon search of "A game of thrones" brought up this LCG I gave it a shot. For under $30 it seemed like a worthwhile set since it comes with enough for 4 players right out the box.

The details of the set have been covered in other reviews so I'll skip that. My set however came missing the "Stark" deck. Undaunted I emailed Fantasy Flight Games and they sent me the Stark deck right away, I had it in 3 days from noticing the deck was missing. All in all I can't complain about the missing deck because it instilled a great deal of faith in Fantasy Flight Games for their quick and ZERO hassle resolution of the issue.

Now we are all old school MTG players who no longer have the money or desire to keep up with the full time investment that can be MTG. The concept of an LCG rather than a CCG appeals to that greatly as it allows for casual and even competitive play with a much lower monetary investment.

Many of the conceptual elements of the game will be familiar to MTG players. But the addition of plotting, multiplayer titles, three types of conflict, and other developments make this, in our opinion anyway, a superior game for older and more casual players. No you do not have anywhere near the level of deck variety as MTG, but it is affordable, each part of the game is very strategic, the balance is impressive (Save the Lannisters are a bit overpowered), and the learning curve is only about 2-3 games.

After a couple game nights and about 6 four player melees we have decided this game will be a regular part of game night. Everyone is already finding their favorite houses and everyone had already chipped in to buy one of each of the deluxe house expansions and another core set to get us all deck building for the game. But honestly you could have an awesome time with just the core set for many nights of games, and for under $30 I would say I've gotten much more than that amount in enjoyment of the games.

And again I have to mention that in an ocean of horrible customer service Fantasy Flight Games impressed me with their quick and easy service. That alone puts me at ease buying from this company from here on out.
25 helpful votes
26 helpful votes
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on January 15, 2014
This is an amazing GoT themed card game that is VERY well balanced for each house represented. There is a lot of good replay-ability and my gaming group chooses this to play a lot. We liked it so much we got several of the other expansion boxes, but this added so many cards it kind of detracted from the fun. I had to get 2 binders to hold all the cards! This made deck making a bit cumbersome. I would recommend sticking with just this base game unless you really want to go all out and take a lot of time making decks with the expansions.
1 helpful vote
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