News for August 2013
Raise Your Banners
The First Chapter Pack in the Kingsroad Cycle Is Now Available
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 16 August 2013

“As the long fingers of dawn fanned across the fields, color was returning to the world. Where grey men had sat grey horses armed with shadow spears, the points of ten thousand lances now glinted silverly cold, and on the myriad flapping banners Catelyn saw the blush of red and pink and orange, the richness of blues and browns, the blaze of gold and yellow. All the power of Storm’s End and Highgarden.”
   
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The time has come to call your banners and stake your claim to the Iron Throne. The Banners Gather, the first Chapter Pack in the Kingsroad cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!

After two cycles of Chapter Packs that carried A Game of Thrones players far from the shores of Westeros, The Banners Gather and the Kingsroad cycle mark a return to the Seven Kingdoms, its Great Houses, their lords, their banners, and their traditional strengths. In the Chapter Pack’s sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty individual cards), the Lannisters flaunt their wealth, the Greyjoys seize control of rival locations, and the Targaryens march forward with their attachments and Dragons. Likewise, the Baratheons, Starks, and Martells gain new Strongholds, Tactics, and tricks.

Your Banners Make You Strong

The Kingsroad cycle returns to many of the game’s existing themes and expands them. At the heart of The Banners Gather is a revitalization of one of the game’s oldest and most commonly overlooked traits: the Bannerman. In The Banners Gather, each of the six Great Houses gains a unique Bannerman that allows you to discard a card from your hand to trigger a powerful Any Phase ability that gains strength for each Bannerman character that you control.

Most of these abilities, like those of Alester Florent (The Banners Gather, 1) and Damon Marbrand (The Banners Gather, 7), grant a bonus that you can use while making or defending challenges. There are two important things to note about these bonuses: First, they last until the end of the phase. Second, they can target any character.

  • This means that Alester Florent can lend an appropriate boost to his King, Stannis Baratheon (Valar Morghulis, 7), during Stannis’ Power struggles.
  • Likewise, Damon Marbrand could add to the strength of Cersei Lannister (Lions of the Rock, 7) during her Intrigue challenges, a move that quickly pays off in a deck running The Power Behind the Throne (Lions of the Rock, 48), Myrcella Lannister (Lions of the Rock, 13), or other ways of creating additional Intrigue challenges.

Since each of these Bannerman characters count themselves when you trigger their abilities, you’ll always gain some bonus from performing the action. However, a little creative thinking can lead us toward combinations that gain even more power from these characters.

  • Since the popular agenda The Long Voyage (The Pirates of Lys, 60) was recently made “Neutral House only,” you might look at ways to bring a number of these Bannermen together in such a deck, using Hollow Hill (A Song of Silence, 78) and cards with Infamy. Such a deck would negate your out-of-House gold penalties and offer additional card draw that you could feed to your Bannermen to trigger their abilities.
  • You could find another host of tricks for these Bannermen in a Stark deck using The Kindly Man (Valar Morghulis, 1). Once The Kindly Man attaches to your House card as an agenda, he not only provides you with opportunities to recycle the non-unique characters you discard to trigger the abilities of your Bannermen; he allows you to “cheat” out-of-House characters into play for no cost. Sure, you can’t use The Kindly Man’s agenda text to bring the new, unique Bannermen into play, but it could enhance the effectiveness of Mors Umber (The Banners Gather, 13) by allowing you to put into play such Bannerman characters as Banner for the Kraken (Calling the Banners, 116) and Banner for the Storm (Calling the Banners, 114). Then, if you can win the appropriate challenges, you can attach these non-unique Bannermen to other characters like Theon Greyjoy (Princes of the Sun, 38) and Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun, 37), giving them some timely boosts. Then, because your Bannermen become attachments, and no longer count as characters in play, The Kindly Man doesn’t force them to leave play. Net result? Free Intimidate! Free Vigilant!

Storm the Gates

While these new Bannerman characters form the heart of The Banners Gather, the Chapter Pack also introduces new Stronghold locations for each Great House, as well as new Siege events and attachments that you can use to support new tactical approaches to the game’s struggles.

The War of the Five Kings may have ended, Westeros may have changed, but the game of thrones plays on! Now, as you make your bid for the Iron Throne, you can draw strength from the new cards of The Banners Gather, or you can be crushed by your rival’s armies.

Head to your local retailer today to pick up your copy of The Banners Gather, or order it online through our webstore!

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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