News for July 2011
Sing a Song of Champions, Part One 17
Announcing the next cycle of Chapter Packs for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 06 July 2011

The melee went on for three hours. Near forty men took part, freeriders and hedge knights and new-made squires in search of a reputation. They fought with blunted weapons in a chaos of mud and blood, small troops fighting together and then turning on each other as alliances formed and fractured, until only one man was left standing.
–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 in the fourth quarter of 2011, A Tale of Champions further deepens the A Game of Thrones landscape and takes us to the great tournaments of Westeros where knights, freeriders, mercenaries, and squires participate in mock battles for honor, glory, and gold. Over the course of A Tale of Champions' six Chapter Packs, new knights will hone their skills, veteran swordsmen will defend their places, and all will prepare for the wars of Westeros' encroaching winter.

A Tale of Champions features iconic tourney combatants like the Knight of Flowers and Ser Jaime Lannister, as well as characters like Meera Reed, The Smalljon, and Ser Gregor Clegane. To discuss the development of A Tale of Champions in detail, we are proud to present a multi-part design article by Damon Stone, the lead developer of this cycle. In this first part, we will look at some of the themes developing in A Tale of Champions for three of A Game of Thrones' Great Houses. Without any further ado, take it away, Damon!

Design decisions

Lords, ladies, knights, and peasants gather from all the Seven Kingdoms to take part in the celebrations or compete in the tourney events, and as with any gathering of the nobles, the intrigues and political machinations shortly follow. This cycle features Knights, Lords, and Ladies, and places a strong emphasis on the unique characters who would be at the forefront of the tourney environment. This cycle also focuses strongly on the multiplayer format with new cards that allow you to make or break alliances in the game, as well as cards that will be useful in the one-on-one format, but get stronger the more opponents you have.

A prime example of this is Greyjoy’s Euron Crow’s Eye. Creating a scaling effect that both punishes your opponent and possibly provides you with a benefit became an obvious choice for the design of a new Euron Crow's Eye. In the novels Euron is a divisive figure, even amongst the other Ironborn. His experience with a longship, charisma, and shrewd mind make him a dangerous opponent. I wanted this version of Euron Crow's Eye to go a different route than the current versions found in Kings of the Sea (F4) and A Song of Silence (F67). I decided to make him an attractive choice in a “raiding” deck (a deck that discards cards from your opponent's deck). In a one-on-one game he may not be your go-to Euron, but he really shines in a multiplayer game, where he serves several purposes:

  1. continually deters opponents attacking you
  2. increases the chance that opponents will target the player that keeps attacking you and triggering Euron
  3. supplements card draw
  4. and, when combined with the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard title, gives you a little more control over who attacks you.

One of the goals I set for myself very early on in the design process was to help create a distinct feel for how each House would play in melee. Lannister is not the House many players first think of when they are constructing a melee deck. Lannister’s strength is in control: controlling challenges and thereby controlling the board. This set introduces a new take on Lannister control, where instead of trying to control the board, the Lannister player is now trying to control the other players. A good example of a card built specifically for the melee format with this new Lannister theme in mind is Varys. As a Shadows card Varys continues Lannister’s strength in Shadows-based decks, and he can protect you from what could possibly be a devastating attack, he can be used as a bargaining chip to protect a temporary ally, or more deviously force two players who had formed an alliance to face off against each other.

The ability to forge alliances in-game in the melee format is very important. Sometimes convincing a player to ally themselves with you for mutual gain can be difficult. Some players seek to go it alone, others make alliances that shift turn after turn. Depending on an ally can be what enables you to achieve victory, but not knowing when that ally may stab you in the back can spell your doom. House Stark’s In the Name of the King, however, changes things. With In the Name of the King, Stark can “loan out” its military might, with the advantage of claiming 1 power every time the player with In the Name of the King attached wins a military challenge. Given that, In the Name of the King may disincentivize doing military challenges for fear of giving the Stark player that controls the attachment power. If the player with In the Name of the King attached to his House card decides to turn on you later in the game, you will still gain power if he does manage to beat you in a military challenge.

Thanks Damon!

The above cards are just some examples of what is coming in A Tale of Champions. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we will continue Damon's discussion of A Tale of Champions' new features and keep watching over the coming weeks as we preview more cards from this cycle. This fourth quarter, prepare for the grand melee!

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 (17)

Published: 7/7/2011 12:25:15 AM

 Very excited for this cycle. Great to see new uniques/new versions of uniques, and I'm happy that melee is getting some love. Love that Varys.

Published: 7/6/2011 11:47:24 PM

...It's. about. time.


Published: 7/6/2011 8:29:24 PM

Wow I did not see this announcement coming at all. Hopefully soon we hear about Lannister box too.

Published: 7/6/2011 5:44:07 PM

I love Melee!~~~~~^_^

Published: 7/6/2011 5:36:58 PM

Totally awesome! I love having cards that affect the melee environment, and I'm glad to see that some cards are going to useful in both melee and joust. The Euron reminds me of the ITE version, but tacking on possible card draw makes him even more appealing. Looking forward to seeing this set, and how it will affect melee play.

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