Profile photo of superman82972 By superman82972 On December 07, 2011 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

First Impressions of the Game of Thrones Core Set

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December 7, 2011

“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win…or you don’t have time to finish.”
–Cersei Lannister (had she been at our house this weekend)

As I posted previously, House Brenton recently leaped into the fray in the battle for the throne of Westeros.

The day the package came, we were on a pretty tight schedule, so we didn’t have time for a full game.  However, we’d already read the rules & watched the tutorials, so we thought we’d at least get the game out & play around with it a bit, trying to get a feel for the flow of the game.  We got a decent handful of turns in, with Gabriel running the Targaryens against my Baratheons & Israel’s Starks.  Gabe dominated the table with his dragons & generally terrorized us, accumulating quite a power tokens lead before we had to call it a night.

The next night we were able to actually set aside some time to really dig in & play.  This time we invited my buddy Michael Utley over so we could have a full-blown, 4-man melee.  He’d never played before, so we had a solid half-game experience advantage on him.

Utley, running the Lannisters in his first ever AGoT game.
Israel, of House Stark








Gabriel, intimidating all who oppose him with his Targaryen Dragon war cry
Me, running House Baratheon, or, as I like to call them, "The Rightful Rulers of Westeros"










You know what's worse than a dragon? ...TWO dragons!

We had a house guest show up much earlier than anticipated, so we weren’t able to completely finish the melee, but I’d say we were around two-thirds done when we had to call it.  Gabriel wasn’t getting dragon draws as frequently as he had the previous night.  Nonetheless, Israel & I were worried about him and directed several attacks his way while we felt like we could.  A bit later, he finally managed to marshal Rhaegal.  He immediately paid the cost to activate Rhaegal’s duplication ability & got himself an easy dragon “1-UP.”  He managed to wreak a little havoc before we had to call the game.

Israel’s tactic of choice was to equip the Ice sword early in the game & then dare us to block him as he challenged.  I think we were all a bit too attached to our unique characters to be willing to sacrifice them, so he got a few free hits in.

Utley managed to bring Jaime Lannister out pretty early, as well as the Lurkers at Harrenhal.  Both of those cards had the “deadly” keyword, & they gave me a lot of fits trying to figure out how to handle them when he was on the attack.  I was absolutely amazed at the Lannister ability to generate gold.  He was frequently generating twice as much gold as any other player.

I was able to make a pretty solid run with the Baratheons throughout the length of the game.  I was fortunate to be able to marshal Queen Selyse very early.  I then used her power to grant intrigue to anybody & everybody (unique cards only, of course) in my force.  I was able to do quite a few unblocked intrigue challenges to both Israel & Gabe, neither of whom could seem to come up with characters who had intrigue icons.  Later I was able to bring King Robert into the game and get in some pretty hefty power challenges for big payoffs.  When we finished the game, I had a pretty comfortable lead.

After our company came, Israel & Gabriel were occupied with our guest.  Utley & I had been enjoying the game so much, we decided to start up a 2-man joust game.  Regrettably, we weren’t quite able to finish that one either, because I had to get up fairly early the next morning, but we had another really enjoyable two-thirds of a game.  I had a pretty solid lead in power tokens, but he had gotten every member of the Lannister family but Cersei onto the table, so I feel like he had a pretty good chance to make a late run.

In closing, let me offer some initial thoughts on this game for my TC brethren who are considering it.  After 3 partial plays, 2 in multiplayer mode & 1 in 2-player mode, I absolutely, positively love this game.  Both Israel & Gabriel 100% agree.  All 3 of us are jonesing to play it again, and are lamenting that we have such an incredibly busy week with very little gaming time available.

In joust (2-player) I already enjoy the game more than Magic (which I also enjoy….I’m not one of those anti-Magic guys).  The whole time Utley & I were playing through the joust, we were exchanging glances & grinning, knowing we’d struck gold with this game.  But as much as I enjoyed joust, it’s the multiplayer game that really puts this game over the top.  Adding in the game board with the titles adds such a fun relational dynamic to the game.  I feel that it doubles the strategic options in the game, and I’m looking forward to getting a lot of games in so I can really explore the possibilities.  I would quickly & gladly recommend this game to my friends here in the TC community.

  1. So glad you’re really enjoying things here.

    I’ve gotten a few more games under my belt recently, and I can only say that it continues to impress with the simple yet intricate mechanics that make tactics AND strategy quite the puzzle.

    Can’t wait to hear more from you guys. Loving the pics too!

  2. Sounds like our first impressions! There were many grins.

    We’re now diving into the deeper mechanics of it – solving all of those little “so when does this resolve” and “when can I play a response card” questions. It’s nice to go a step deeper with it.

    I’ve also been enjoying the little boons that each chapter pack brings to my house. Even with all of the chapter packs out, there’s really not a terrible amount of cards. As a magic player, you’ll see that it’s beyond manageable. I was looking at all the Greyjoy cards today and they’re all easily within collection reach.

    Another good thing is how great many of the neutral cards are.

    I don’t think we’re going to tech this game super hard, but rather play a bit more flavorful and fun. I see some things that scream “you could break this” but the game doesn’t really make me want to!

  3. It’s obvious from the pictures that Gabriel and Israel belong to their respective houses. Israel displays his banner with a smile while Gabriel cannot help but display his banner with absolute rage. Love it.

  4. I’ve recently made the commitment to play Baratheon among the TC circle, though I’ve yet to lay hands on a single card and my knowledge is all based on video tutorials and the random questions I’ve asked the others. That said, I’m very eager to see anything you come up with for Baratheon or even just tricks you’ve seen or tips on things I should aim for.

    1. I’m planning on doing a write up of some of my favorite core set Baratheon cards in the near future. Probably the next thing I blog, unless a battle report interrupts my plan. I don’t have the Baratheon deluxe set yet, so I’m going to keep my commentary limited to core set knowledge for a while.

      1. You’ve gotta get your hands of the Baratheon Deluxe expansion. It gives them fantastic tools that really make them sing and synergize well.

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