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Plotting Sheet


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#1 Wolvenwood

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:54 AM

I am really looking forward to the new Game of Thrones. I have never played the 1st edition, and am waiting impatiently for the 4th Quarter of the year to roll around so I can get this on the table.  (I figure I'll have the group watch an episode or two of the DVD before I whip this bad boy out...)  Anyway, to my topic:

My group is nuts for the old Avalon Hill game "Dune," and I think that GoT will be a nice change, but still a great fit for us. (We love the whole backstabey thing in Games like Battlestar Galactica, Dune, TI3.)  Dune has specified times when players may form alliances, and often allies will want to step away from the table to plot strategy or just look devious. We found that it is really handy to have a paper map to refer to during these confabs. It allows you to be all treacherous and sneaky without worrying that the opposition is reading our eyes as we look over the game board. (The same tool is also really handy in Diplomacy.)

So I was thinking that once the game is out, the fine support folks at FFG might consider supplying a PDF that is just a one-color line drawing of the map, for plotting purposes. It would of couse allow printing ONLY for personal use, and all the other copyright niceties.  (Given the length of the map, it might be best if it's a two-pager. It could be taped together or printed front and back.) Anyway, I know I'll throw something together for my group, but I bet the FFG folks would do something so much cooler than I ever could. 

Valar Morghulis and all that.

 

 

 



#2 ronsen_04

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:01 AM

Actually not a bad idea.  Only, I doubt FFG would do it.

Why?  Well, for one this would prolong the game a great deal.  There is no telling how long you can step away from the table.  And while 2+ players are discussing their plans, the remaining players have to wait.  Before you know it AGoT would take somewhere around 5-6 hours to play, if not more.  Same thing with Twilight Imperium 3E and Diplomacy.

 

There is a game out there wou may like, though.  It's called "A Line In The Sand" and is a political/military strategy game about the Persian Gulf War in 1990/91.  Part of the game is set aside for negotiations.  The game does not allow players to step away for negotiations; however, notepads are included so you can write notes to another player during a specific phase and then put them into envelopes -- effectively people know you wrote a note but they can't tell who it went to and what it said.  The only downside of this game:  it takes about 12 hours to play.



#3 Wolvenwood

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 04:47 PM

I like the note passing thing. As for plotting adding time, off-table plotting does not seem to happen overly often in our Dune games, and when one alliance steps aside to plot, the other side or sides takes the opportunity to do likewise, so we don't notice the downtime. Anyway,  it works for our group.  As for long game times, we still play a couples-team game of Blood Royale once every year or so, which we devote a whole day and evening to. That is a great game. I'll look into "A Line In The Sand," though I don't like modern-theme stuff so much.



#4 ronsen_04

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:51 PM

I should point out that A Game of Thrones: The Board Game is rarely so simple that you have two alliances and two alliances only.  Ever couple of turns the alliances change and I have had a total of 5 alliances with 6 players...while each alliance consisted of at least 2-3 players.  Yes, in AGoT it is possible to be allied with two or more players who constantly beat each other up.  Which, by the way, is part of why AGoT is so much fun.  You think you've got it all figured out and before you know it someone stabs you in the back.

In addition, just because the plotting sheet works for your group doesn't mean it works for everyone.  Especially with more sophisticated strategy games (I wouldn't call Settlers of Catan a strategy game, let alone sophisticated) I find that for every couple of people who play it come new and exciting house rules, traditions, habits and the like.  FFG is an international game company and I doubt they will make the mistake and assume that what works for one group will work for all.  I could tell of at least one gaming group that I have played with for which the introduction of a plotting sheet would mean to tripple the time the game will take;  and that will drive fans away.

I'd say, play AGoT more than once before you start throwing in ideas on how to change the rules or adapt game play.  Not that I don't cherish your idea;  actually, I like it.  I just don't see how it would work for a game as complex as AGoT when it comes to alliances and players plotting among each other.  The fact that you generally only plot while all players are at the table reduces the time spent plotting.  I wouldn't ask a former enemy to attack my ally unless I don't care whether my ally attacks me next turn...or I already have a surprise up my sleeve to throw his way and I'm pretty certain that my former enemy will be on my side.  Which is something that will rarely happen in AGoT.






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