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A Game of Thrones: The Boardgame (Second edition) vs. Warrior Knights

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#1 Verzutiko



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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:26 AM

I've recently been thinking of adding a wargame to my collection and both A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (now Second Edition) and Warrior Knights are interesting choices.


If you were to pick one of the (and only one), which would it be and why?  

#2 ronsen_04



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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:13 PM

It largely depends on what you want in a wargame.


A Game of Thrones (2nd Edition) offers:

  • Lots of player interaction outside of battles; you need to negotiate truces and military cooperations, be aware of "back door entrances" of other parties into a certain area (mostly by ship) and still be true to your overall goal.  There is no second place in A Game of Thrones.  Or as Cersei Lannister said: "When you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die.  There is no middle ground."
  • The tracks and bonusses you can bid on in the game are very important.  You may not need them in every round, but you will need them often enough to make you regret (more than once!) if you intentionally bid low on something.  A Game of Thrones is not very forgiving in that regard.  But once you learned this and mention it to all the other players, too, you are good to go and won't complain too much if it still happens to you...or at least you shouldn't. ;)
  • There are event cards that will effect everyone.  Some may get hit harder than others because of the types of troops they have or because an event card just flawed your plan for a large scale naval invasion/attack/defense...but at the end, everyone is effected by event cards.
  • Because you have a collection of combat house cards with military leaders to use, there is a whole lot more opportunity and necessity to plan ahead.  And I don't mean a round or two, I'm talking up to 3-4 turns.  Granted, you need to pick your battles and may even have to pick a fight somewhere knowing you will lose just to get rid of that last useless combat card to be able to pick up all of them again.
  • The 2nd edition offers some components from 1st edition expansions that will make the game a whole lot more fun.  You can leave these parts out, but they are still included in the box to give you additional options to choose from.  Personally, I love that!


Warrior Knights offers:

  • Most of the player interaction will happen largely ingame when negotiating to not attack you but rather a powerful neighbor.  Just like in A Game of Thrones it is very likely that people will pick on weaker players because they post less of a threat.  However, there is less player interaction overall.
  • In Warrior Knights players don't really control a specific corner on the board.  Usually all players are all over the place and have way too many neighbors to feel comfortable.  And because you won't know when it will be your turn in the next round;  most of the player order within each round will be largely based on chance, which in turn makes or breaks a lot of a player's plans.  A lot of Warrior Knights seems like you are really just reacting to how the luck fell this turn.  Nonetheless, since everyone is subject to the same volatility, it usually evens out after several rounds.
  • Event cards usually affect one or more players but rarely everyone;  you can lose a Noble and/or his troops simply through chance.  That can seem unfair, especially since you can't plan this kind of accident.  At the same time, Warrior Knights is a whole lot more forgiving in terms of bad decisions (or even these chance events) and you won't be the odd one out for long.
  • The positions you can hold in the game seem important;  but much less so than in A Game of Thrones.  Not being the archbishop or the speaker of the assembly for several rounds is much less severe than it seems.
  • There is much less planning ahead.  Unlike A Game of Thrones, you kind of have to take every round as it falls.  Sometimes you will be able to act before your biggest rival, sometimes you won't.  You can largely determine in which order you want to do stuff, but not whether you will do this stuff before or after your rival does his/hers.  If you are not the kind of player who can say "tough luck, maybe next turn", this game is not for you!


I own both games and I am happy that I do.  I like them both!  All in all I must say that I prefer A Game of Thrones over Warrior Knights.  Mostly, because A Game of Thrones is more focussed on planning and strategy and I don't mind that it's less forgiving than Warrior Knights (actually, I prefer it that way!);  Warrior Knights seems like you're picking up what others left for you, at times.  And I am actually very excited about the fact that several components from the 1st edition expansions made their way into the 2nd edition core box.  I believe you get even more gaming fun for your money and that's a big plus in my book.

#3 Verzutiko



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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:51 PM

Thanks for your reply! I'm leaning a bit more towards A Game of Thrones, but I'm still unsure as it seems like a more "hardcore-gamer" type of game. My group tends to be of more casual players and Warrior Knights are a bit more forgiving as you say. I want a deeper interaction than RISK gives us today, and I'm fairly confident that both of these games will suit us.

#4 Doom1502



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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:05 AM

The rules of AGoT aren't that complicated. But the "hardcore-gamer"-attribute of the game is the game lenght. You may have a victorious house after 2 hours.. but that happens seldom. Most games need about 4 hours. (7 hours was my longest game with the 1st edition + expansions)

#5 ravi



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Posted 29 July 2011 - 03:44 AM

Both games would be deeper than what your friends might be used to, but I'd say that Game of Thrones will be more accessible than Warrior Knights.   Either game will take about three to four hours for an average game, but Game of Thrones is more streamlined in some key ways; there aren't as many different things happening on-board with different ways to resolve them, so it's easier to keep straight.

Have your friends ever played Diplomacy?  If so, they'll have a good foundation for picking up Game of Thrones.

(I have both games and enjoy both.  I know that I don't get a chance to play Warrior Knights as often, because it is a bit more complex of a game.  Also, Game of Thrones has the licensing hook, and for some people, that's enough to keep them coming back.)

#6 ronsen_04



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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:38 PM

I agree.  Game of Thrones is easier to learn and uses more streamlined rules.  I have yet to see a beginner who didn't pick up the majority of the rules within the first session.

Warrior Knights may be more forgiving but it is also more specific.  A lot of non-hardcore gamers tend to like games that follow an easier set of rules.  And then there is the time issue.  Game of Thrones may take longer to play, but I find Warrior Knights is more taxing for new players.


To make a long story short:  If you feel like your gaming buddies can take a military strategy game that usually isn't over in less than 2-3 hours but is fairly easy to learn, go buy Game of Thrones.  If you think your gaming buddies need a more forgiving game that, although more taxing and with more complicated rules, can be done in about 2 hours, go buy Warrior Knights.

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