News for April 2011
Newly Updated FAQ and Errata, Version 2.3 19
Including an open letter to the community from the LCG Design Team
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 28 April 2011

Hello A Game of Thrones Players,

We know everyone is gearing up for regionals, and we want to apologize for creating this sudden upset and confusion in the environment. Some painful changes were just released, and we would like to share some insight with you into why these changes were made. We’d like to assure you that, while this decision may seem sudden, we have taken a lot of time and effort to find the best solution and the decision to act on the matter before regionals was not made lightly.

The four changes were:

  1. Restoring the unique symbol to Khal Drogo’s Tent,
  2. Adding “House Targaryen only” to Heir to the Iron Throne,
  3. Limiting Support of Saltcliffe to three times per round, and
  4. Adding The Laughing Storm to the restricted list.

The change on the tent was an embarrassing oversight, and we should have caught it in proofreading. It is an obvious mistake, and we are correcting it with version 2.3 of the A Game of Thrones FAQ.

The change on Heir to the Iron Throne may not be so obvious. At the time we sent the card to the printer, the non-restricted environment was better able to control this card’s explosive potential: Fear of Winter, Blood of the First Men based Wildling Decks, Castellan of the Rock, and Venomous Blade are all good checks against the faster Baratheon decks, but as we looked at these decks in the new environment, we realized that while we had addressed some metagame concerns, we had created another, one which we felt would create a negative experience for many players during the 2011 regional season.

Recently, a four card combo with Support of Saltcliffe that could discard a player’s deck, clear his hand, and reset his board was brought to our attention. This combo involves running Bran Stark out of House Greyjoy (made easier by the new Alliance agenda), giving him the Ironborn trait with Kraken Tattoo, playing Support of Saltcliffe on him, and completing the combo with the Frostfang Peaks, which discards a card off the opponent’s deck each time you reveal a plot card. The combo, then, allows you to cycle through your plot deck as many times as you would like by using and standing Bran again and again in the plot phase. And each time you use him, you are discarding a card from the opponent’s deck.

The combo becomes even more insidious when plots are carefully chosen: by adding Waste Their Time, you can discard an opponent’s hand (the cards are shuffled back into the deck, and then discarded via the Frostfang Peaks), and by using Marched to the Wall, At the Gates, and City of Secrets in the right order, you can clear your opponent’s board through Marched to the Wall, each time discarding one of your Maester characters, shuffling the Maester back into your deck with City of Secrets, and the next time through the plot deck pulling the Maester back into play with At the Gates. Start the cycle again with Marched to the Wall, and repeat until your opponent has no characters in play, no cards in hand, and no cards remaining in his deck.

We felt that restricting two cards from this combo to break it apart would be too severe an approach, and that placing a straight forward “three times per round” limitation on Support of Saltcliffe’s effect would neutralize this combo and keep the card playable and interesting for Greyjoy players.

The final change was adding The Laughing Storm to the restricted list. This was a case where the primary factor in our decision was breaking apart the combo of Val and The Laughing Storm, as the consistent draw engine was too much for House Baratheon in the new environment. This is a situation where the restricted list is working as intended, allowing us to maintain the printed text of two cards that can still be used in the game, while breaking apart a combination that would be overpowered in the tournament environment.

Just to be clear, this was the responsibility of the design team. Again, we want to apologize for the sudden disruption to the community. We will do everything in our power to tighten our procedures and deliver a game without this kind of turmoil. All future updates to the FAQ and tournament rules will be accompanied by thorough explanations.

With this announcement, you will also find an updated 2011 Tourney Rules document, that lists all legal sets, as well as restricted and banned lists for this upcoming tournament season. We apologize for any confusion caused by linking to last year’s tourney rules document.

We wish you all the best of luck this Regional season and hope to meet many of you at Gencon this year.

Nate French
Damon Stone
Fantasy Flight Games

(As always, the latest versions of all documents referenced above are available for download on the A Game of Thrones support page.)

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.

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Comments (19)

Saintsman
Published: 4/28/2011 8:26:16 PM
#7

Thank you for your explanation and as, JerusalemJones noted, showing that ya'll are listening to the community.

Rogue30
Published: 4/28/2011 8:24:59 PM
#6

Very good decision with changes and announcement.

Now, if we could get update about player action windows during epic phases, it would be even better :p

finitesquarewell
Published: 4/28/2011 8:23:20 PM
#5

""The combo becomes even more insidious when plots are carefully chosen: by adding Waste Their Time, you can discard an opponent’s hand (the cards are shuffled back into the deck, and then discarded via the Frostfang Peaks), and by using Marched to the Wall, At the Gates, and City of Secrets in the right order, you can clear your opponent’s board through Marched to the Wall, each time discarding one of your Maester characters, shuffling the Maester back into your deck with City of Secrets, and the next time through the plot deck pulling the Maester back into play with At the Gates. Start the cycle again with Marched to the Wall, and repeat until your opponent has no characters in play, no cards in hand, and no cards remaining in his deck."

Why would anyone dick around with any of this junk when they could just cycle Winter Festival in the same way to win the game?

Kennon
Published: 4/28/2011 8:04:57 PM
#4

Thank you all involved in this announcement. I can't express how classy it is to have a timely response like this. Well done. Now I just want you to keep it up.

Hellfury
Published: 4/28/2011 7:52:10 PM
#3

FFG wrote: "All future updates to the FAQ and tournament rules will be accompanied by thorough explanations."

This is good. Not because FFG need to rationalize their decisions, but because it settles a lot of questions pertaining to the choices made for such.

I only hope such care will be shown to the other LCG's that perhaps are not as popular.

Ruvion
Published: 4/28/2011 7:47:31 PM
#2

It's great to have feedback from the designers from time to time!

JerusalemJones
Published: 4/28/2011 7:30:23 PM
#1

Thank you for responding to the players. It is great to know that you are listening to all of our concerns, which include not only why these changes were made, but that as a community many of us were already concerned about some of the cards that were effected.

May the Mother guide your way.

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