Thursday, February 14, 2013

Interlude - Boardgaming Westeros!

Greetings!  Tomorrow I'll be posting pictures of my House Stark conversions.  In the meantime, I wanted to promote a couple of games I enjoy because of the great thematic flavor of GRRM's Westeros they provide.  The first is:

A Game of Thrones

Rated 8.04 out of 10 on Board Game Geek!
Fantastic Production Values

This game has thoughtful mechanics (concealed order tokens that are revealed simultaneously) and plenty of shiv-yer-buddy dynamics as everyone gangs up to pull down the leading player.  I'll be playing this Saturday night as a matter of fact.  If you've played this, what's been your experience? Are you playing the second edition?  If not, it's a significant refinment of the fisrt, incorporating its expansions!

The other game is a natural compliment to A Game of Thrones above:

Battles of Westeros

Battles of Westeros is a tactical wargame that's a big improvement on the silly Battle Lore basic mechanic of dividing the battlefield into 3 unbreachable zones (bowling lanes).  This version allows movement and command influence across the entire battlefield.  It also has some nice abilities for units and commanders that gives each army it's own flavor and the game plenty of variation/replayability.  I will acknowledge that set up can be a bit fiddly sorting all the miniatures, activation banners, cards, terrain counters, etc.  I think a better storage system will help here. Specifically, magnetizing the bases and grouping them in their natural units on a bit of tin flashing.  Then it's just plop, plop, plop on to the game board. 

It's really a nice, portable pick up game, when time and space do not allow for a full-blown tabletop battle. 

The soft plastic miniatures (~20mm) are not bad with a bit of hot water and straightening of lances etc.  Some hard cores even paint them.

What I think is particularly cool is that some clever fellow - Frank Stark - from Downunder devised rules for combining these two great games!  It's a 3 player game, with each player controlling two houses each in a de facto alliance.  Battles in A Game of Thrones strategy game get played out using Battles of Westeros skirmish rules.   Sure it adds to the time playing the strategy game, but it then becomes more of a map-based campaign.

For those of you who own both games or are just curious about clever variants, go check it out at Board Game Geek forums.

That may be a bit much to take on if you're not in a steady game group, but I heartily recommend either of these boardgames on their own.  


  1. We really enjoy the first edition of Game of Thrones, lots of intrigue and scheming- makes for a fun game and alliances are always shifting.

  2. Couldn't one also combine the Game of Thrones boardgame with the miniature wargame of one's choice, to create an epic map-based wargame campaign?

    1. Absolutely! That was actually my first germ of an idea. The trick of it would be how to translate the infantry, cavalry and siege engine tokens from game into meaningfully comparable forces.

      That and you'd need six armies worth of figures - Stark, Greyjoy, Lannister, Tyrell, Martel, Baratheon. Hmmmmmmm

  3. The second edition is well worth the money. I have played ridiculous amounts of Game of Thrones and I will never tire!