Game of Thrones – Board Game

Tonight was RPG night, but as I mentioned earlier yesterday was board game night. We only had time to play one game and it was Game of Thrones.

I bought this game several years ago not very long after it first came out, and due to a stroke of luck. I had always put off buying it because of the price, but one day I went into my local game store and saw that they had an opened copy discounted by 25%. I asked what the problem was and the clerk told me someone had bought it and returned it because the inside box was slightly torn (really minor stuff). It barely showed, but it was enough for this person to return it and so I got an unplayed game for 25% cheaper.

At any rate. When I got it, I read through the rules, got my friends together, and we played a game. It took forever, and I enjoyed it, but I was the only one to have read the book at the time, and so all it seemed to the other players was a long, long strategy game.

Now that the book has been turned into a popular TV series, most of my friends have seen the show or read the books or both. We played a six-player game a few weeks ago which was much more fun than I remember the game being, and a lot of it had to do with player familiarity with the setting. I think the game stands well enough on its own, but it does tend to run fairly long so the investment into the characters and roles of the houses adds an interesting dimension to the board game, and makes it a much more enjoyable playing experience. Since that night a few weeks ago we’ve played the game two more times, and I have won all three games – once as house Lannister, then as Baratheon, and most recently Stark. I don’t remember whether or not I won that game from years ago, but even if I didn’t that makes for a three in four record. Not too shabby.

For anyone interested in the game, I do recommend it, though as I said the playing time tends to be upwards of several hours, worse if you’re explaining the rules to someone who doesn’t know them. I would also recommend playing with people familiar with the setting since that greatly enhanced my experience with the game, and would also suggest getting the newest version which has updated rules and parts of the subsequent expansions included in the box. Well worth the price. It does have a steep learning curve, and it’s complicated as far as board games go, but it has very well-balanced play. Good for a seasoned game vet, I’m not sure I’d use it to introduce someone who’s never gamed before.

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