peteg's blog - noise - games - 2012 09 02 GameOfThrones

A Game of Thrones (second edition)

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Jérémie suggested that we play a strategy game and chose this one, which he'd played before. We (Sandy, Albert, Ilan and Jérémie's friend Carola) organised to play yesterday at Jérémie's flat on Oberon Street in Coogee. We delayed to today so I could meet Iain (now in Perth) at the ever-popular Courthouse Hotel in Newtown.

We started some time after 2pm. It took about 90 minutes to set up and go through the rules, and we played through to about 8:30pm with some breaks. We decided to stop at about 6 or 7 rounds (of the scheduled 10), and set 5 castles as the winning mark. Combat often took ages to resolve, and it has the funny mechanic that losing armies retreat instead of being destroyed.

I found it quite complex with little opportunity for coalition building beyond some obviously mutually-beneficial non-aggression agreements. Mine was the Tyrell (rose) house, so I got stuck with no ability to play starred actions (which make up about a third of the possible ones) for what felt like ages. As we didn't muster until the third or forth round I felt I was just levelling-up. At round 6 or so I spent large and ended the game with all three thrones and hence lots of power to shape the rounds we didn't play.

These games require more of an investment than I expected. I guess I was thinking of something closer to Diplomacy, which I still haven't played.