I went to the Atlanta Diner again tonight for the board game group there; I brought AGoT with me, though I wasn't sure I'd end up playing. I was more than prepared to play something else, but as it turned out a couple that was there that were also into the series, so we ended up playing. The two of them seemed to enjoy the game quite a bit. We also got a fourth, a woman who I'm sad to say didn't seem to enjoy it all that, and never really figured out what was going on. I suspect she hadn't had much experience playing games in general; as she herself noted, the game she brought with her was Yahtzee.
Other than the woman who wasn't enjoying herself, it was a fun game. This was the first time I was playing with the decks I'd built with my second Core Set and the Refugees of War pack I'd gotten. The decks still feel kind of weak (or at least the deck I was using did), though I don't know if I need to reevaluate the choices I've made with the cards I have or if really the only way to make these stronger is to get more cards. It's probably both, I'll probably be picking up some of the Deluxe Packs soon, which should boost some houses and will dramatically increase the available plots I have to use.
I was playing Stark, the woman who didn't get the game was playing Lanni, and the couple were playing Bara and Targ. Fun, though not successful for me. I got absolutely destroyed. Even the woman who didn't get the game was way ahead of me at the game's end. I had pretty dreadful draw, and just couldn't get many characters out. I didn't get a single of my Refugees out, even though my Stark deck has more as I gave it two Vale Refugees. And I was constantly getting steamrollered by Intrigue, which I pretty much never got to defend. One round I finally got Catelyn and Cat o' the Canals out; the next round Valar was played. The Targ player managed to bounce back from the Valar remarkably well, and he ended up winning shortly after. (Just was looking over the cards from the game, realized Cat o' the Canals shouldn't've been killed by Valar. Oh well, I'll remember next time.)
One thing I'm realizing is that I am absolute **** at explaining how the game works. This, I suppose, is not too surprising given that I'm still learning the system. There were several points throughout the game where I had apparently failed to wholly explain how something worked, which resulted in the other players getting stuck doing actions that they thought would work but wouldn't. For instance, the Bara player chose Master of Whisperers one round, thinking the +3 to Intrigue would allow her to initiate an Intrigue challenge without an icon. I also did a poor job explaining how dupes work. Neither of the two people who were into it seemed to mind too much, and the Lanni player was just so completely lost that I doubt I could've made it clear.
I think the major question I had about the rules was just how to count up Dominance. It's the Str of the standing characters, but is that just the printed Str? Once or twice I won dominance because I had Winterfell Castle giving +1 to all my characters, though perhaps maybe I shouldn't've counted that.
I was also pleased to see that the sleeves I'd gotten worked better than I'd expected. I bought some cheap penny sleeves off eBay, and they seemed like they utter crap when I got them, but they worked pretty well. At some point I should probably invest in some higher quality sleeves, but for now they get the job done.
Hopefully next time I get to play it'll be with people who know the game