|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 24 June 2009|
The warships of the Iron Fleet draw ever nearer as the release of the first deluxe expansion for the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, Kings of the Sea, looms ahead. In anticipation of its release we are running a series of previews of some of the new additions to the A Game of Thrones metagame that will be found in this expansion. This week's preview is brought to you by former World Champion Greg Atkinson. In this preview, Greg takes a look at some of the non-Greyjoy cards that will be included in Kings of the Sea. As Greg writes in his article, there will be a little something for everyone in this expansion.
A Little Something for Everyone
by Greg Atkinson
Hello there! Fantasy Flight Games has given me the opportunity to share a few words with you regarding the upcoming Kings of the Sea expansion for the A Game of Thrones. I enjoyed Will Lentz's recent article spoiling some of the cards House Greyjoy is going to get to utilize. But today I'm going to steer clear of the Iron Islands a brief bit, so take a deep breath and enjoy a taste not so-filled with salt and iron.
For those that don't know me, I'm the parent of four children, ages 9, 7, 5 and 3. Each child is constantly getting invited to birthday parties of one friend or another throughout the year. While it means numerous trips to the store to buy the latest in brand name toys for the birthday child, it never fails that my own children come home with some sort of goodie bag given to everyone who attended the party. Since House Greyjoy would be our “birthday Kraken” in this metaphor, it makes sense that each of the other five major houses receive a gift or two of their own... “a little something for everyone,” indeed.
Click on the images below for larger versions of the cards.
I’d like to lead off with the Bay of Ice location because it effectively addresses three areas of the game that could use some additional substance: Initiative, Kingdom locations, and universal Card Draw. Anyone who has played in a seasonal Summer/Winter antagonistic game has likely experienced the importance of winning initiative and getting to dictate player order. While Overzealous Scout (The Battle of Ruby Ford, F85) offers a much greater initiative bonus, he doesn't add much else to a deck other than being a token character. Bay of Ice offers the possibility to draw an extra card, and should you build your plot deck with this card in mind, you should be the one getting the most benefit, not your opponent. Many players have been voicing their desire to have more card draw available outside of House Lannister, and I think some of the other Houses will enjoy this option. Baratheon players might appreciate the possibilities with Zealous Collector (Calling the Banners, F115), particularly with several other new Kingdom location options beyond Bay of Ice in the Kings of the Sea expansion set. But like many cards, Bay of Ice has some potential drawbacks. Not only do you not want to lose initiative, but beware Winter and the “king-beyond-the-wall” Mance Rayder (The Winds of Winter, F33) as well as some of the seasonal Bandits.
The second card I wanted to spoil is one of the seven plots available in the Kings of the Sea expansion. Stay of Execution may not seem like a ground breaking card, but a quick glance at the text reveals the Power Struggle trait. There are a number of cards that interact with Power Struggle, Intrigue Gambit and Military Battle plots in A Game of Thrones LCG. However, up until now, the only plots found with these traits were the "Fury of ...." cycle of plots from the Ancient Enemies Chapter pack. So how many do we get? Well, of the seven plots in the expansion, one is House Greyjoy only (take a wild guess, you’re probably right!), and the other six all possess one of the three previously mentioned traits. Hmm, I wonder which ones they are? As you take a closer look at Stay of Execution, you might think the ability of that plot is very weak since there are so few Kings or Queens to return to hand. That brings me to my third card...
Robb Stark has always held a special place in my heart. Every iteration of Robb Stark released in the history of the A Game of Thrones card game has been a focal point of a Stark deck of mine at one time or another. I've had many arguments about which Robb is best, and never quite came to a conclusive answer. And that discussion gets no easier to sort out with this new edition of the powerful leader of the House of Wolves, sporting the shiny King trait, and ticking the old school player's nostalgia of "To the Wolf Banner" and "The Great Host.” This is the first version of Robb Stark whose immediate impact will be felt most during the Marshalling phase instead of the challenge phase (although that free army might just make itself felt in the challenge phase), which opens up some interesting possibilities. Granted, he does need to be the only King character in play, and we did promise there is “a little something for everyone” in this expansion, so don't be surprised if each of the other great Houses finds itself with new royalty options, and thus it won't be a automatic that you can use Robb. But, if you can find a way to stand Robb Stark during the marshalling phase, do you even need income locations? While I might say this slightly tongue-in-cheek, there is also the possibility that location control becomes a serious aspect of the game again...
Which brings us to The Price of War. The other day I was playing a game with Will Lentz (our first guest writer for the Kings of the Sea Expansion previews) and he played two Golden Tooth Mines (Core Set, L57) on setup. By the end of the third round he had played his third Golden Tooth Mines and was drawing more cards than he knew what to do with. Oh how I wish I could have had this card in my deck! There has been very little location control available thus far in the AGoT LCG, but with Price of War we have our first card that is highly playable in any house and any season that can target those pesky non-income locations. While some houses have more WAR crest characters and thus could take better advantage of the card, it should still find its way into many, many decks.
If you are not a Greyjoy player, I hope you have enjoyed your "goodie bag" with the knowledge that the ironmen are not the only house getting some love in the Kings of the Sea expansion. Thanks for sharing your time with me, and I'll hopefully see you at Gencon!
Greg Atkinson was the A Game of Thrones world champion in 2004. He’ll be looking to become the game’s first repeat champ at World’s this August at GenCon Indianapolis. Will he prevail? Stay tuned for more information on the A Game of Thrones LCG World Championships!
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.
The new Robb is pretty amazing, if you think about it. Stark has some great armies, and when you are short on income he can get you a huge to make up for his loss in the challenge phase. It is a little sad to see that he is shut down by other kings (Rhaegar and Mance don't have that problem, can't remember about Renly) but you still get a decent character to play with. And the cost ratio leads me to believe that the other new Kings and Queens might fit into the same category, and not be cheap like the 5KE ones were.
Can't wait for this set to come out.
Stark wonder why thier King does not kill or involves something about killing and raising claim... :)
while i don't like the direction of the new robb, the rest of it is all fairly awesome. more more more card draw
Hehehehe. This is going to be fun!
I am eagerly anticipating this release!
Interesting and awesome. Until now I had just assumed the new kings would be 5KE reprints. Although I'm not sure yet how I'll use the new Robb, this is exciting!