|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 21 December 2010|
"The collar is supposed to remind a maester of the realm he serves, isn't that so? Lords are gold and knights steel, but two links can't make a chain."
- A Song of Ice and Fire, Volume I: A Game of Thrones
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the next exciting cycle of Chapter Packs for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game! Beginning this Winter, Secrets of Oldtown expands the breadth of A Game of Thrones and reaches into the South where the great Citadel of the Maesters rises high above the ancient city as a pillar of learning and wisdom. Throughout the six Chapter Packs that make up the Secrets of Oldtown expansion, links in the chain of knowledge will be formed and the Maesters, too, will choose sides and join the struggle to bring peace to Westeros through knowledge ... or cunning.
Featuring iconic characters like Magister Illyrio, Archmaester Marwyn, Jaqen H'ghar, The Laughing Storm (card designed by 2010 World Joust Champion Alec Irwin), the Secrets of Oldtown cycle will bring new levels of immersion and strategy to your game.
Nate French, lead designer for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game has this to say about Secrets of Oldtown:
As you would expect, Secrets of Oldtown is a set designed around the Maesters of the Citadel. One of the key principles that guided the design of the set was that the Maesters should bring a "mind over matter" feel to the game. Instead of beating you over the head with huge strength and superior numbers, the Maesters take a more cerebral approach to the Game of Thrones, preferring to work behind the scenes and out of harm's way. There are a lot of subtle synergies and interactions built into the set, and it'll be interesting to see what players make of them.
At the heart of the Maester builds is the new agenda, The Maester's Path. This card allows players to remove chain attachments from their decks at the start of the game, and then craft the chain for their Maester characters as the game proceeds. One of the things I like about this agenda is that players have direct control over how much impact it will have on their build: you can run it with a single chain link and very little drawback, or you can run it with all 12 links that are found in the Secrets of Oldtown cycle. Further, players might be drawn to the Agenda for a variety of reasons: Do you want the sheer card advantage that comes from getting free attachments whenever you win a challenge? Or is there a single chain with a useful, toolbox sort of effect, that really shores up one of your deck's weaknesses? Or maybe you just like the idea of removing cards from your deck when the game begins, increasing your chances to draw a completely different, essential card in your setup hand. These are the subtleties that the Maesters of Oldtown bring to the table.
The Chains themselves have some interesting possibilities as well. They are all "Maester character only," and many of them have text that reads: "Response: After attached character kneels..." This trigger holds some subtle power in that kneeling the Maester is not a cost of using the chain. Which means that a Maester with multiple links of this type attached can trigger all of them in response to being knelt. (Additionally, these effects also stack if you get more than one copy of such a chain on a single Maester!) So if you had a Maester with both the Pale Steel Link and the Bronze Link attached, you could kneel that Maester (perhaps to initiate a challenge), and then trigger the Bronze Link to move an attachment from your discard pile to your hand, and then also trigger the Pale Steel Link to put that attachment directly into play. And, since you are still in the response window of the Maester who just knelt, if you just returned another chain from your discard pile, you could potentially trigger its effect too! Of course, players also need ways to kneel their chained Maester when it is convenient to do so, so a few of the more powerful chains do have the traditional "Any Phase: Kneel attached character to..." trigger to pay for their effects. Using both types together will ensure that the efficient "chains" of effects are always at your fingertips.
As expected, there are a number of Maester characters in the set, including Luwin, Murenmure, Kedry, Lomys, and not one but 2 Archmaesters. There is also a Conclave character that represents an assembly of all the Archmaesters, as well as some long awaited support for the Learned crest (), building on an idea that Learned characters are able to Learn from and mimic effects that are occuring in the environment around them. Additionally, since we're in Oldtown, some of the Hightowers make an appearance, and the Oldtown Raven shows up as well.
Hope you enjoyed this overview of Secrets of Oldtown, I'm looking forward to sharing the cards in more detail in the months ahead.
Keep watching over the coming weeks as we preview more cards from Secrets of Oldtown, and this Winter, prepare to be chained ...
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.
I see the potential for Targ to become really powerful or very irrelevent in this set. (Since the maesters seem attachment driven).
I agree that this looks great, and I'm really looking forward to see that new theme in action. But I also hope earlier themes will get some love, too, to help them stay (or become again) competitive. I'd love to see the odd card using Seasons, Reinforcements, Shadows, Siege etc. I agree with Fatmouse in that I don't think a single theme dominating the meta is desirable.
I absolutely love this idea - very nedly.
My only concern is the potential house distribution of the new Maesters. Are there enough Maesters in each house for one to be able to build a whole deck around them, or will most of them be neutral, thus perpetuating the use of the Neutral house card? I think Maesters will, with the ability to put cards on the agenda at the start of the game, become a 5-10 card support base for many decks, but not the main focus of most builds.
@ Rings: you won't have to pay for the attachments, they're put into play and attach (for free). Nate told us in the article just above. Which is cOol !
REALLY cool concept. A little worried about the Agenda (and, do you have to still pay for the card?), but only time will tell as someone said.
I was thinking today to a new Maester Luwin.
And you made it !
Maester strategy sounds so good. Nice job, go on this way pliz.
Oh my god.
Last two cycles were so cool and thematic. i could not imagine it can be toped again.
this sounds so good.
and the Agenda .... again a totally new mechanic.
you FFGguys totally RULE!!!!
This theme sounds so Neddly and fun that I don't think I'll even be bothered if it ends up not being so competitive.
Will another mono-themed cycle (think DoTN and Wildlings, ignore NIght's Watch :P) dominate the competitive scene? I hope not, but only time will tell.
Tiziano: another great art ;-)
very, VERY interesting! looks like this could be a really cool cycle with some new options, strategies, builds, etc.