|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 28 January 2010|
Slow as honey on a cold morning, the rangers swept down on the wildling camp, picking their way through clumps of gorse and stands of trees, over roots and rocks. Wildlings flew to meet them, shouting war cries and waving clubs and bronze swords and axes made of flint, galloping headlong at their ancient enemies. A shout, a slash, and a fine brave death, Jon had heard brothers say of the free folk's way of fighting.
- George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, Volume III: A Storm of Swords
Welcome to the first installment of our new ongoing "card of the week" column for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. In each episode we will be taking a close look at a card or two from the A Game of Thrones LCG™ card pool and hopefully giving you some strategy and deck-building ideas. As the oldest of the LCGs™, with the most Chapter Packs released so far, there is plenty of ground to cover in the A Game of Thrones card pool, but we thought we would kick off this column with a little tribute to the latest Chapter Pack, Wolves of the North, which will be hitting stores very soon.
As you may have guessed from the title of this expansion block, Defenders of the North will feature a lot of cards based on events and characters from A Song of Ice and Fire that take place near the dividing line between the Seven Kingdoms and the barbarous wastes Beyond The Wall. On one side of The Wall you have Mance Rayder massing his Wildling hordes and on the other, the desperate holdouts of the Night's Watch. In game terms, that means that there will be several new cards that trigger cool effects off of traits like Night's Watch and Wildling, as well as The North.
In putting together this spoiler we were tempted to bring out all of the cards from Wolves of the North that combo together well, either with cards from this pack or from future packs in this block, but that would have spoiled the expansion's surprises too much, so instead we opted to show two cards that should give you a decent idea of what this block has in store: The Rangers and Ranger of the Watch.
With The Rangers (and future cards like it), we introduce to the AGoT LCG™ card pool the concept of multiple agendas. Normally you can only play one agenda at a time, for example The White Book (Tales From the Red Keep, F79) or Treaty with the Isles (City of Secrets, F11). Playing with an agenda is risky, as it puts victory a few more Power tokens further away, but it comes with a compensating bonus for using it. An agenda will inform much of how you build your deck and if, for example, you were interested in building a theme deck, an agenda might play well into that theme. The Rangers is just one of the upcoming The North agendas that will be introduced in Defenders of the North, and it is essentially built for a Night's Watch theme deck.
On the face of it, The Rangers has a fairly small effect. Adding a Military icon is nice if you wanted to give your Night's Watch maesters or septons some combat power, or if you wanted to protect your Military characters from the icon-removing effects of House Martell, but would it be worth then having to win 17 Power? That would be a question you would have to ask yourself when building your The North agenda deck. Add to the equation the bonuses/drawbacks that the other The North agendas bring and you have some very interesting deck-building options in front of you.
One card that might tip the balance in favor of playing The Rangers is this card: Ranger of the Watch. Out of the box, Ranger of the Watch is a character who might win dominance for you because it won't be kneeling to participate in any challenges or might soak up a Military claim effect. Not much, but at least it's cheap. On the other hand, with The Rangers in play, Ranger of the Watch becomes a 1-cost character with 2 strength, a Military icon, and Stealth. For one gold, such a character becomes a much more useful addition to your deck.
These two cards are just a taste of what's in store with Defenders of the North, and there is plenty more of interest for every faction; even if you're not building a The North-themed deck there should be lots of interesting cards to add to your existing A Game of Thrones decks.
Tell us what you think of these two cards here in the comments or on the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game forums and be sure to join us next week as we look at another spotlight card from A Game of Thrones: The Card Game.
Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, playable by 2-4 players, brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.
A Bara deck running the Wall and The Rangers... filled with some of their cheaper Intrigue and Power Power icon characters... interesting.
Thank you FFG for supporting this game again with a weekly column!
Will be nice to see a return of the Night's Watch and the increased options that will provide in building some decks. I can see the agenda being more useful to military-light decks than say Stark or Greyjoy, but that's not a bad thing. Look forward to seeing what other interesting things this block has in store for us. Thanks for sharing!
Intersting twist on the old Night's Watch Agenda. I like it, as it still makes the watch suscpetible to icon manipulation. And the Ranger is a nice card as well. So looking forward to making a Night's Watch deck. Possibly out of Bara, with PotS's Brienne.
Back just now from Avatar... and I see this news... I love this GAME!!!