Factions of Westeros Part 2

Yesterday I posted an introduction to the (alphabetically) first four Factions of the 2nd Edition of the Game of Thrones LCG.  Today continues with the remaining four.  If what you read interests of intrigues, feel free to come down to our second Learn To Play event!

factionnightswatch

Night’s Watch

Those who are familiar with the setting will know that the Sworn Brotherhood of the Night’s Watch guards the Wall against threats from beyond.  It is appropriate, then, that defense is the specialty of the Night’s Watch.

Just look at this combo:

So not only have you got a buff to all your characters, you’ve got a great bonus for completing the Challenges phase without losing an Unopposed Challenge, and a high strength defender to help you do that.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that the Watch can’t strike back.

Jon Snow will happily throw his strength into any attacking challenge, while Ghost will occupy someone for the entire phase.  And that’s just an example.

The Watch is also interesting in that it includes Traits for each of the three divisions, Builders, Rangers, and Stewards, and has some card mechanics that interact with them.

thewatchhasneed

This creates the potential for a pretty versatile play experience within the broad framework of the faction.

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Stark

Potentially one of the most straightforward of Factions, Starks are also developing some mechanics that make them a little less direct.

eddardstark

I figured I’d get old Ned out of the way first off.  Let’s face it, anyone who wants to play Stark wants to know how awesome this guys is, and he’s pretty awesome.  Good strength, Renown, and he just keeps getting back up as long as you’re being attacked.  So sure, if you’re going first, smack someone with him, he’ll just get up for the counter attack.

What else do Stark fans love?

Direwolves.  And they’re no slouches.  Big scary monsters who aren’t just a threat in Military Challenges thanks to cards like Like Warm Rain, and Grey Wind’s habit of just straight up eating small characters.

But there’s more to the House of Stark than violence.

Characters like Catelyn and Sansa can do their part to make sure that you don’t get knifed in the back, and gain power (and victory) through some less conventional means.

factiontyrell

Tyrell

The members of House Tyrell and known for working well together, and this stands true in the cards as well.

Look at these two 4 gold gets you 6 strength, 2 icons each, and standing defenders.  Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.

So Loras, the Knight of Flowers is attacking by himself to limit defenders.  Sure, but someone like Lord Stark up above could take him on his own… until his sister Margaery steps in to help, adding her strength to the challenge without participating.

randylltarly

And then you’ve got guys like Randyll Tarly here.  After Margaery, or some other card, boost his strength, he gets back up to trouble your foes again.

Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork.

factiontargaryen

Targaryen

Last, but not least, the fire and blood of House Targaryen.  Less of a House in the traditional sense, more like a collection of allies.

Here’s the only two characters (so far, anyway) who bear the name Targaryen, and as you can see, one of them isn’t much direct threat.  The rest of the characters are split between the allies these two (though really Daenerys) have collected, including:

Dragons.  Mmm-hmm.  Dragons.  Note how all three provide a bonus to Stormborn characters.  Take a look up at Daenerys.  She’s the only one so far.  But we’re not done yet!

dracarys

Behold the most versatile kill card in the game at present.  One gold, kneel a character with a cost as low as 2, and for 3 gold worth of resources, you just killed a 6 gold cost Jon Snow.  Or any number of other characters.

But I said there were other allies, didn’t I?  Here’s a sample:

With friends like these, who needs family?

 

Well, there you have it, my introduction to the remaining Factions of A Game of Thrones.  I certainly hope you’ll consider joining us on Thursdays.  We hope to have a league going soon.

Come and play the only game that matters, the Games of Thrones, where you win or you die; there is no middle ground!

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Factions of Westeros Part 1

I would call last week’s Learn-To-Play Night for the 2nd Edition of the Game of Thrones LCG a success, and in the spirit of providing more people exposure to the game an its concepts, I thought it might be helpful to provide an introduction to the eight factions of 2nd edition, their themes, strengths, and weaknesses.

I will be providing this list in alphabetical order- this isn’t a review, or a countdown of my favorites.

I will also make this as spoiler-free as possible.

So, without further ado, the first four…

factionbaratheon

Baratheon

At the end of the day, Power is the name of the game in A Game of Thrones.  There are only two ways to win a one-on-one game: have your opponent deck out, or collect your 15 Power tokens.  Given how relatively little draw power GoT has compared to other card games, you’re much better off trying for the 15 power.

House Baratheon are the undisputed masters of collecting, defending, and manipulating Power.  The majority of Baratheon characters carry a Power Challenge Icon, thus enabling them to attack and defend in Power challenges, and cards like The Red Keep and Kingswood give you an edge over the competition.

And while you thus acquire and defend your power, cards like Tobho Mott’s Armory and Chamber of the Painted Table give you significant incentive to invest in the dominance phase.  Throw in The Iron Throne, and watch your Power grow.

On to…

factiongreyjoy

Greyjoy

Hailing from the Iron Islands, the Ironborn of House Greyjoy are fierce raiders, partly inspired by the Vikings of our own history.  Gameplay under House Greyjoy emphasizes striking quickly, and striking hard.

Cards like Ahead of the Tide will help you win Initiative, while Iron Fleet Scout and Raiding Longship help you capitalize on it.

Raiding Longship, when used on a single defender, also makes the challenge effectively Unopposed, well then… see what Loot, Asha Greyjoy (Yara, for you HBO folks), and Theon  Greyjoy can do for you:

 

Add to that a host of cards that buff strength, remove defender, and the like, and you’ve got one brutal and efficient fighting force.

factionlannister

Lannister

Anyone who is at all familiar with any incarnation of this series will be unsurprised to hear that the Lannisters are very good at collecting gold.  What’s impressive are the variety of things they can do with that gold.

Military Challenges getting you down?  Bring out Ser Jaime Lannister or Ser Gregor Clegane.

Need to drain your opponent’s hand a little faster?  Here come Cersei and Tyrion…

Or maybe you just want a giant hammer to pound your enemies with?  Well, here he is…

tywinlannister

Take up the Lannister banner, and throw money at your problems until they go away.

factionmartell

Martel

The Martels often seem like foreigners compared to the rest of Westeros.  Their homeland, Dorne, is far to the south, desert-like, and (from the books) they’re also of different ethnic stock.  It seems only fitting that their playstyle should be different- and it is.

Normally, you want to will Challenges- how else do you win the game, right?  Well, the Martels might make you re-think that strategy.

When the Martels start reacting to losing a challenge, the pain begins.  Ghaston Grey launches people back into your hand, Caleotte robs them of their icons, Sunspear raises their claim for counter attack, Unbowed robs your opponent of options, and Vengeance of Elia flips claim to the winner.  It’s horrible.

House Martel requires a unique playstyle where you lose a little, only to come back and counter hard, gaining the power you need to win before you opponent fully understand why they haven’t won already.

It is exactly the sort of knife-out-of-nowhere tactics that the Dornish love to employ.

And that is where we draw to a close!  Half the Factions down, four more to go tomorrow!  Hope you’ve enjoyed the read, and I hope even more that you’ll consider trying the game!

 

♪♫ You Can’t Take the Sky From Me… ♫♪

Firefly

On Thursday the 15th of October, we had the inaugural session of our Firefly Board Game League.

How did it go?  Pretty well.

Five people came out for the event, and earned themselves some league points, including the store owner Chris Roberts.

“First Time in the Captains Chair” was selected as the Story Card, and Leaders Burgess, Monty, Malcom, Corbin, and Marco went out into the Black to make their fortunes and pay their debts to Adelai Niska.

Kaylee quickly joined Burgess’ crew, and Dr. Simon Tam found himself recruited by the mechanically minded Corbin.

As jobs were completely and more crew were hired, additional members of the classic cast made appearances- Shepard Book found himself working for Monty, as did Jayne Cobb.

fireflyplay

Things got dirty as Burgess used his rep with Harken to redirect the Alliance Cruiser at a Wanted ship, sparking a multi-part feud that saw several casualties claimed as players callously directed the Reaver Cutter at each other’s ships.

Burgess botched a job for Patience and got himself a Warrent- he then attempted a dash across Alliance Space to get some work from Badger, but ran afoul of the Alliance and was fined; a significant setback.

In the end, Marco had his entire crew butchered by Reavers, but after selling a large store of Cargo and Contraband to Patience, stood poised to pay off Niska and fly off with his winnings… but Captain Tight-pants himself swooped in with the cash and paid off the old shark first.

The ‘Verse giveth, and the ‘Verse taketh away.

If this sounds like a fun way to spend a Thursday evening to you, there is still time and room to register in the League.  The five who attended this game have a bit of a head start in League points, but they can quickly be made up with a victory or two.  Contact the store with interest!

In the meantime, find a crew, find a job, keep flying!