A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game 2nd Edition
Publisher: Fantasy Flight
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Have you ever wished that you could play life and death mind games in order to win a throne that could be snatched from you at literally any single moment? No? Well, me neither. For those of us who are not quite so power hungry, the Powers-That-Be have graced us with this wonderful cardboard version of Game Of Thrones. It has all the deception, plotting and backstabbing of the books and show, but without any actual murder. Or rape. Or lack of bathing. Did you ever think about how far The Hound and Arya travel, and they never take a bath???
A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game at its core is a very simple war game, but the designers layer about a dozen unique layers that create interesting decisions and moments of struggle throughout the game. Actually, thinking about it now, it could be considered that the core is a very simple economic game. Or a very simple diplomacy game. Add to that mix constant bidding on powers and influence, the constant threat of attacks from wildlings, and random events that occur beyond anyone's control. All of these elements combined create a complex and tense game of risk management and 'who is the cleverest'.
The game components really lend themselves to the theme of Westeros, especially the huge, beautifully designed board. There are also three over-sized influence tokens shaped like the Iron Throne, a raven and a sword crafted from Valyrian steel. These tokens look awesome and are really exciting to obtain, because you feel like a total badass when you get to use them. Oh man, I'm such a nerd, but with games like this I can hardly help it!
This is a great game to play with a group who can backstab without holding grudges. Friendships will be tested, promises may be broken, but in the end everyone will have a great time.
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