Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
Enjoying it :-)
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!