My board game version of A Game of Thrones has been languishing in my basement for almost 5 years without being played, until last night. Granted, I used to bring it almost every time to board game nerd night– it just never got selected for play over the euro of the week or The Great Khan Game. In fact, it was played so long ago it was before I really started tracking my (too infrequent) board game plays on boardgamegeek.com. With the show out and everyone pretty happy about it, this finally got a chance to hit the table. Probably would have a week or so ago, but one of the essential order counters was replaced by Fantasy Flight after going through the wash (man they are a great company for supporting their games) and I had to wait for the pieces to come in the mail (shockingly in it was only a week!).
The infrequent play is sad really because last night was a cracking game even with all newbs but me–I still had a run for my money FTW as the Lannisters. Greyjoy was totally wiped off the map after attacking both Stark and Lannister. Being in the middle, they had little hope to survive without help from Tyrell who stayed out of the game until the end. Bearathon started to beast with power early in the game, but couldn’t get up the supply track to really get an offense going. In the end it was Stark, Lannister and Bearatheon with 5 cities each and the tie breaker was the Supply track. Lannister is tough to play, even though you can get to a boatload of supplies early and get some big armies, you are the ‘in the middle’ house who more likely will get steamrolled off the board, a lot like Austria-Hungary in Diplomacy.
All in all, it was like looking at the game with fresh eyes and it is SOLID fun. Plays fast, lots of very difficult choices. Getting a wargame this scale done in an evening (it took about 3.5 hours) and have people not be bored is quite a feat of design.