Rise Through the Ranks
Earning Victory Points in A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch
"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less."
–Varys, A Clash of Kings
As a brother of the Night’s Watch, you are the stalwart guards for the kingdoms of the south. You do not play the game of thrones, but that does not mean that you are free of ambitions. The Order seeks a new Lord Commander, and you and your brothers are now in competition to prove that you are the worthiest of the post. To accomplish this, you must improve the failing infrastructure of the area south of the Wall known as the Gift, which provides the Night's Watch with resources for the coming winter, and man your section of the Wall against the gathering horde of wildlings who seek to invade Westeros.
The resources you harvest from the Gift will provide you with the ability to build and purchase unique boons that can offer you advantages over your competitors and bring you closer to victory. In our last preview, we looked at the heroes of the North and the abilities they can lend to your pursuit of power. Today, we are pleased to offer you a closer look at how to earn victory points in A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch!
Gather Your Strength
Winter is coming to Westeros and the Night’s Watch must gather supplies to prepare for the dark times ahead. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont is seeking a successor, one who can restore the Watch to its former glory, and many brothers compete for the honor. As you seek prominence and power within the Order, there are multiple paths that can lead you to victory: either building the greatest infrastructure within the Gift, commanding the largest troop of guards when wildings attack Westeros, or strengthening your hold in the North through the use of Development Cards.
When the competition begins in A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch, each brother is given two settlements and two roads from which to draw supplies. From here, the game combines elements of strategy and luck as players must determine who they can trust (and for how long), where they fortify their defenses on the wall, and where to build settlements to gather the most resources. During the Resource Production phase of each turn, you begin by rolling the two six-sided dice to determine which terrain hexes will produce resources. Once all of the brothers have collected the resources from the settlements under their control, you may trade for any resources that you still need by using your available trade routes or striking a deal with your rival players.
When your supplies are fully stocked, you can build to increase your access to resources and earn victory points. After all, building and developing the Gift is one of the principal ways that the next Lord Commander of the Night's Watch will be determined. You can expand your area of control by building roads and settlements. Then, with a little more investment, you can upgrade those settlements into valuable keeps. These fortified communities are worth two victory points as opposed to a settlement’s single victory point, and a keep can harvest twice as many resources during production.
Beyond building within the Gift, you can use your resources to buy the loyalty of a guard and have him man a section of the Wall. Beyond helping to fight back the wildlings approaching from the Frostfangs, these men can add their voice to your campaign to become the Lord Commander, and therefore earn you victory points. If you have three guards under your command, you earn one victory point, and if you have a five guards, you gain two victory points.
Lastly, you may use your resources to purchase Development Cards, powerful upgrades that offer a variety of abilities to integrate into your strategy for victory. You may play these cards at any point during your turn, so rather than displaying your strategy when your rivals still have time to stop you, you can use your cunning to lie in wait until the opportune moment.
Advance Your Agenda
When you buy a card from the Development Card deck, there is no way to predict what you will find. To purchase these cards, you must spend a sheep, a wheat, and an ore card. There are three types of Development Cards: Ranger Patrols, Progress Cards, and Victory Point cards. Whichever Development Card you draw, the choice is yours to use however you please in order to advance your agenda of becoming Lord Commander.
Ranger Patrols are one of the most common types of Development Cards, and they allow you to move Tormund the Robber as if you had rolled a seven. Alternatively, you may choose to remove one wildling from the Gift and return it to the Frostfangs, gaining one resource from the hex the wildling left as payment for your protection. Once played, these Ranger Patrol cards remain face-up for the duration of the game, and the first player to play three Ranger Patrol cards receives the Largest Patrol card and one victory point. If, however, another brother assembles a larger patrol at any point during the game, then that player takes the Largest Patrol card instead!
The second type of Development Card is the Progress Card. Each Progress Card has a unique ability that players can use to strengthen their hold on the North. They may help you recruit more guards to your patrol, expedite road building, or offer additional resources. For example, Winter Is Coming lets you take any two resources from the stock and add them to your hand. These cards are powerful, but limited to a single use. Once a Progress Card has been spent, it is removed from the game.
Lastly, the five Victory Point Cards immediately bring you closer to your triumph over the other brothers of the Night’s Watch. The Watchtower, Dragonglass, Warhorse, Direwolf, and Longclaw each give you a single victory point. And what's more, you must keep these cards hidden. After all, it is far safer to have your rivals underestimate your power until it is too late. You may only reveal your point cards during your turn when you are sure to have ten victory points, enough to win the game.
Earn Your Victory
Conquer the North. Build your settlements, recruit your guards, and purchase your Development Cards to prove that you are the most worthy of becoming the Lord Commander!
Pre-order A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch (CN3015) at your local retailer today or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here!
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