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Explore the Variants of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game

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A deep red blush had appeared in the east by the time they all assembled at the gate. The stars are going out, Jon thought. When next they reappeared, they would be shining down upon a world forever changed.
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

This April, many of you will reenter the world of Westeros, experiencing the intrigues, betrayals, and epic battles of the game of thrones. As you sail across the Narrow Sea to set foot in King’s Landing once more, we want to take a moment to draw your attention to A Game of Thrones: The Board Game.

From the first edition of the game in 2003 to the fully updated and remastered second edition, countless players have used this game to journey to Westeros and play a part in the power struggles and intrigues that define the realm. During a game of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, you and your friends each take control of one of the Great Houses of Westeros: Baratheon, Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Martell, or Tyrell. You must lead your House to greatness by conquering castles and strongholds, but to accomplish your goals, you must make deals with your friends… and inevitably betray them for your own gain.

Last year, we shone a spotlight on A Game of Thrones: The Board Game and highlighted how you dispatch orders to your armies and jockey for position on the game’s influence tracks. Today, we want to follow a different road and explore the variants that you can use while playing the game of thrones!

Tides of Battle

Tyrion wondered whether this was the last sunrise he would ever see… and whether wondering was a mark of cowardice. Did his brother Jaime ever contemplate death before a battle?
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

The first way to dramatically alter your experience in A Game of Thrones: The Board Game is actually included in the Core Set—the Tides of Battle cards. By using this optional rule, you make your battles for Westeros both more unpredictable and significantly more deadly. 

Under normal circumstances at the beginning of a battle, both players choose a House card from their hand. These House cards represent the great lords and ladies of the House, and their leadership on the field of battle. Not only do these cards boost your combat strength, they also provide unique special abilities or the power to kill your opponent’s units.

When you choose to use the Tides of Battle module, both players draw a card from the Tides of Battle deck after choosing and revealing their House cards. These cards not only affect your combat strength, they can also introduce extra danger, including the skull icon, which inflicts casualties on your opponent whether you win or lose! With the Tides of Battle deck, you can never predict the outcome of a battle, making your negotiations and the support of the other Great Houses even more important than before.

Expand Your Intrigues

“When Aegon the Dragon stepped ashore in Westeros, the kings of Vale and Rock and Reach did not rush to hand him their crowns. If you mean to sit his Iron Throne, you must win it as he did, with steel and dragonfire.”
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

You can also change the experience of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game with two expansions for the game: A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Both of these expansions are available through our in-house manufacturing and each advances the game to a later point in the storyline of A Song of Ice and Fire.

A Feast for Crows allows you to enter the story at the fourth book in the saga to engage in a special, four-player scenario. Here, you can play as House Stark, House Lannister, House Baratheon, or an entirely new entry to the game, House Arryn. Each of these Houses includes new House cards with new abilities to reflect the characters left alive at that point in the story. What’s more, the addition of neutral and House-specific Objective cards invite you to score points in additional ways. Though the Houses’ objectives can vary widely, you’ll need to understand your own goals and your opponents’ if you want to achieve victory.

Finally, you can advance the game to the fifth book in A Song of Ice and Fire with A Dance with Dragons. This expert-level, six-player scenario creates a tactical situation reminiscent of the most recent book in George R.R. Martin’s epic series. Every House is still involved in the game of thrones, but their major players have drastically changed, as reflected by new decks of House cards. In addition, new setup instructions ensure that combat is possible from the very first turn of the game and every alliance you can broker is more important than ever. 

Claim the Iron Throne

Immerse yourself in the intrigues, power struggles, and massive battles of Westeros with A Game of Thrones: The Board Game! If you want even more of A Song of Ice and Fire at your game night, you can also take a look at A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. Will you be the one to unite a war-torn realm? Make your choice when you play the game of thrones for yourself.

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