News for March 2010
On the Shores of the Summer Sea 7
A Card of the Week for A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 11 March 2010

Hello and Welcome Back, loyal A Game of Thrones LCG players!

This week's card spotlight takes a preview glimpse at a card from the upcoming A Sword in the Darkness chapter pack from the Defenders of the North expansion. We hope you've been enjoying the expansion so far and we think it will just keep getting better as it goes on. As an offering to help tip the scales of your opinion in that direction, we present this week's card of the week, Starfall.

To take a quick step back, House Martell was a relative latecomer to the A Game of Thrones Living Card Game, but with the release of Princes of the Sun and regular additions through the monthly chapter packs, it has been doing an admirable job of catching up with the rest of the Great Houses. Apart from its strong house-wide spread of Military and Intrigue icons, as well as some devious Events, House Martell also has its own peculiar tricks, like the Vengeful keyword and other effects that trigger off of losing challenges. As losing to win turns a lot of gaming thinking upside down, House Martell can be a difficult but stimulating house to play.

This week's card, Starfall from A Sword in the Darkness, has less to do with Martell's vengeance so much as it has to do with the "tribal" trait of House Dayne. All of the Houses have, to a greater or lesser extent, some sort of trait that effect enough cards that it makes a decent backbone for a deck. In a Stark deck that "tribal" trait would be House Tully, in a Greyjoy deck it would be Ironborn, etc. In the case of House Martell, the "backbone" trait is arguably House Dayne and as Defenders of the North progresses, more and more is being added to enhance that trait.

House Martell already has strong unique House Dayne characters like Ser Arthur Dayne (The Winds of Winter, F34) and Dark Star (Princes of the Sun, F4), but what really makes the trait work is the number of basic, useful, "infantry" types that get stronger because of their House Dayne trait like House Dayne Knight (Princes of the Sun, F11), House Dayne Skirmisher (Princes of the Sun, F13), and Starfall Bannerman (A Song of Summer, F13).

In the case of Starfall, House Dayne characters get a little stronger through successful challenges that they are involved in. Note that it does not say "as an attacker" or "as a defender"; neither does Starfall have to kneel in order for its effect to work. Yes, its response can only trigger once per challenge, meaning only one House Dayne character can benefit from it on each challenge, but if you won all of the challenges in a round as both attacker and defender, you could be looking at +6 STR to give out. Also, taking into consideration the fact that Starfall stacks with the ability of Knights of the Sun (A Song of Summer, F15), those knights could become enormous in no time.

Without giving too much away at this time, the "gold on characters"-theme presented here will be getting some more play in future packs. Starfall is one, but there are a few more cool cards coming along the same theme. To give a little bit of historical and design background from designer/developer Nate French: "[The] design philosophy for the House Dayne, gold on cards stuff was to replace the old school 'face down attachment' tech that was in House Martell with new effects that used gold tokens as counters on cards. ... I didn't like the idea of using face down cards as counters -- and clearing them out opened up the way for the Shadows mechanic." Thanks to Nate for that bit of insight into the process.

So that about wraps it up for this week's card(s) of the week. We hope you've enjoyed it and have lots to discuss here in the comments section or in the A Game of Thrones forums. Until next time!

Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game 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.

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Comments (7)

Published: 3/16/2010 6:36:19 AM

Squire not bad but... Cant wait for Starfall:)

Published: 3/13/2010 8:28:20 AM

If Ally is a tribal trait, then you should check your Martell character pool.  You can't build a deck without sneezing on the amount of Ally characters, its what makes Dorne so good in my opinion.  

Published: 3/13/2010 4:10:48 AM

The tribal trait in Lannister is Ally...xDDD

Published: 3/11/2010 6:20:08 PM

Great synergy, and makes me want to revamp my Martell deck to take advantage of the House Daynes. Or perhaps build another Martell deck.

Published: 3/11/2010 2:37:12 PM

Thanks for the clarification, ktom. I assumed as much; effectively, the gold coins are being used as generic tokens (however, it does leave room for some possible synergies/abilities down the road).

It's enough that it can accumulate, round after round. Especially if you were going to have gold left over anyways; as long as the character is standing, it counts the same for dominance.

Published: 3/11/2010 1:55:41 PM


It is true that gold tokens on characters can accumulate between rounds since they are not affected by the Taxation phase.

Keep in mind, though, that gold tokens on characters cannot be used the way that gold tokens in the gold pool are used for anything else, either. Unless some specific card text says otherwise, you cannot use them to pay for card effects, play cards from your hand or count toward STR in Dominance.

So while gold can accumulate on characters as counters and/or markers for specific card abilities (like Knight's of the Sun's STR boost), you cannot accumulate gold on characters as a resource "bank." (The notable exception is Tywin Lannister - from the Core Set - whose ability specifically lets you spend gold on him as if it were in your gold pool.)

Published: 3/11/2010 1:34:02 PM

Since the rules for the taxation phase in the rules state:

"All players simultaneously move any unspent gold tokens in their gold pool back to the treasury. After all players have completed the Taxation phase, a new round begins and play cycles back to the plot phase."

Then I'm right in assuming that any gold tokens placed on a character remains there, and can build up cumulatively, round after round?

I'm sold.

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