Deadly Twists

Discover What the Allies of The Wars to Come Add to The Iron Throne Board Game

"Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next."
     –Petyr Baelish

With all of its battles, alliances, betrayals, and mind games, The Iron Throne board game makes it easy for you and your friends to imagine yourselves within the world of HBO's hit television series, Game of Thrones. You command one of the Great Houses. Your friends control others. All of you seek power. But there's only one Iron Throne.

Inevitably… invariably… your tensions lead to conflicts. Alliances are brokered—then shattered upon the altar of convenience. And yet your struggles remain consistently unpredictable. Yes, you can expect your friend to betray you, but when? What will be the tipping point? So long as you share a common coal, your friends in House Tyrell are bound to support you, right? So long as you treat the Starks fairly, shouldn't you expect them to repay you in kind?

The Iron Throne encourages all manner of deadly twists. Someone is always hatching a new intrigue. Someone else is always waiting to make the clever play of a House card and emerge victorious from his or her next conflict. And all of these desperate and secretive strategies are soon to get a massive boost from The Wars to Come expansion.

Not only does The Wars to Come introduce the two Great Houses we reviewed in our earlier previews—House Greyjoy and House Martell—it also offers you the chance to populate your games with twenty-five of the most iconic and notorious allies in Essos and the Seven Kingdoms.

Petyr Baelish , Varys , Jon Snow , Ygritte , Mance Rayder , Daario Naharis , Missandei , and Brienne of Tarth —they're all here, plus many more. And when you play with the expansion's optional ally rules, these characters infuse your struggles with even more unpredictability, chaos, and opportunity.

Sworn to Your Cause

"The Second Sons are yours, and so is Daario Naharis. My sword is yours. My life is yours. My heart is yours."
     –Daario Naharis

When you play the game of thrones, the allies you make can spell the difference between life and death. And when you play with the ally deck from The Wars to Come, its characters' unique abilities can be a tremendous boon to your efforts—or the bane of your opponents. Either way, if you choose to play with the ally deck, you won't be the only one using it to forge a variety of secretive and powerful friendships.

Each player in the game receives one ally at random during setup and can then choose to draw an ally card from the top of the deck instead of receiving rewards. You can claim an ally no matter if you're the active player or a supporting player, the challenger or the defender. If you do, you place your new ally with any other allies, keeping them all facedown in your play area—ready to spring to life and wreak havoc at the appropriate moment.

Each ally indicates when it can be played, both in terms of timing and conditions to be met, and there are no limits to the number of ally cards you can play in a turn, provided you meet their criteria. So, as an example, if you were lured into a challenge as the defender, you could use Ygritte to discard three of your opponent's House cards. Then before you reveal the House cards, you can use Gregor Clegane to triple the power value of your participating character.

After the House Greyjoy player sends Yara Greyjoy against the Martells, Oberyn gains the support of both Olenna Tyrell and Robb Stark. This puts the defenders at twelve strength to Yara's three, but the Greyjoys surprise their opponents by using Ygritte to discard all three of the Martell's House cards, then playing Gregor Clegane to triple Yara's strength. Finally, the Greyjoy player plays a four-strength House card to tip her total strength to thirteen and win the challenge!

And that might be the least astonishing of all the different ways the expansion's new allies might alter the course of your games!

Each of the twenty-five different allies introduces a unique—and uniquely powerful—way to disrupt the game's standard flow. After all, there's very little in Westeros that's beyond the reach of your plots and schemes.

  • Despite all that your opponent might do with his or her allies to spur the downfall of your House, Maester Aemon allows you to broker a truce out of thin air.
  • Ramsey Bolton coopts the talents of any hostages you've taken, allowing you to use their game text as though they were taking part in one of your challenges.
  • Podrick Payne can deflect an entire challenge, forcing one of your power hungry opponents to crash headlong into another power hungry opponent, rather than letting either of them sink their swords into you.
  • Missandei shares information with the whole table, forcing an opponent of your choice to reveal his or her hand before the House cards are played facedown in a challenge.
  • And Petyr Baelish, who manipulates his opponents best when he's not directly involved in a challenge, seems to have instructed Sansa Stark in the game of thrones quite well. She doesn't just get even; she uses her name, title, and talents to get ahead of anyone who moves against her and her House.

But, perhaps, the most important thing that these allies do is bring even more life to The Iron Throne and the ways it portrays your struggles in Westeros. They take you from the North, where the Wildlings gather under Mance Rayder, to the remote grasslands of Essos, where Pyat Pree works his magic, and to the war-torn kingdoms where Thoros of Myr travels with the Brotherhood Without Banners, breathing life back into Beric Dondarrion each time he falls.

When you take control of one of these allies, you gain access to more of the show's setting, cast, and deadly twists. You gain access to more of Westeros.

There Is No Middle Ground

"The Red God takes what is his, lovely girl. And only death may pay for life."
     –Jaqen H'gar

The Wars to Come are fast approaching. The Ironborn of House Greyjoy and the vengeful Dornish of House Martell are setting forth to join the struggles in King's Landing. They're placing their bids for the Iron Throne. And all throughout the Seven Kingdoms—and Essos—you'll find men and women ready to support one of the Houses or another, serving either faithfully or according to their own selfish interests.

But behind it all, one simple truth lingers in all their minds—their game is a dangerous one. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.

Enjoy bigger games. Recruit more of your favorite characters. Navigate a wild and tumultuous path to the Iron Throne. The Wars to Come is scheduled to arrive at retailers on Thursday, July 6th, and your games of The Iron Throne board game will soon be bigger, better, and more fantastic than ever!

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