Duck and Yandry pushed against the poles. Ysilla turned the tiller. Young Griff pushed the Shy Maid away from a broken tower whose windows stared down like blind black eyes. Overhead her sail hung limp and heavy. The water deepened under her hull, until their poles could not touch bottom, but still the current pushed them downstream.
–George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Over the course of its first five Chapter Packs, the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle has followed the Great Houses and their gambles as they turn their attentions to the Eastern continent of Essos and the rumors dragons. Now, in A Roll of the Dice, the Great Houses double down on their bets with new characters, attachments, events, and a new agenda that promises to fulfill some players’ wildest dreams.
Life on the Rhoyne
Back when we first announced the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle, lead developer Damon Stone mentioned that one of his goals for the cycle was to introduce players to the lands of Essos. Among the steps taken? The creation of a new type of River plot:
“One of the ways George R.R. Martin connects us to Essos in A Dance with Dragons is to relate a journey down the river Rhoyne, which divides that continent physically and culturally much as the United States are divided by the Mississippi. I was intrigued by the idea of plot cards that could mimic or rewrite the story of that river journey.”
The River plots from the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle likely appeal more to the “Nedly” players and the game’s “Shaggas” than it does to the hard-core, competitive “Jaimes.” They recall the Shy Maid’s journey down the Rhoyne and allow for a wide range of interesting interactions, each triggering an effect when revealed, and then triggering the when revealed effect of a previous River plot. In this way, these plots create both the sense of a journey and a cascading series of increasingly powerful effects, especially over the course of multiple turns.
However, the game’s competitive “Jaimes” realize that strategies that build up gradually over the course of multiple turns may very well not build up at all – or may only ripen at just the point that their opponent’s rush deck has just collected its fifteenth power. A Jaime player may think, “Yes, I like the plot’s triggered effect, especially when it triggers multiple times, but will I be able to get enough impact from the triggered effect to make up for the relatively low income, initiative, and claim?”
One of the new events from A Roll of the Dice begs players to tackle this very question. Flood Waters (A Roll of the Dice, 110) allows you to trigger the “When revealed” effect of a River plot in any player’s used plot pile. Currently, the game’s River plots afford the following options:
- Discard the top card of each opponent’s deck.
- Each player chooses a card in play which he or she controls and puts the chosen card on top of its owner's deck.
- Name a challenge type. In order to declare any characters to attack or defend during challenges of that type, a player must declare all of his or her eligible characters.
- Each opponent chooses and discards 1 card from his or her hand, if able.
- Each player returns the top character in his or her dead pile to the top of his or her deck.
- Reveal the top card of your deck and put it into your hand.
- Add 2 gold from the treasury to your gold pool.
The more of these plots in your used plot pile, the greater the versatility Flood Waters offers. Could the Flood Waters of the Rhoyne finally send a Greyjoy raid deck to the top tiers? Could Martell players find new ways of manipulating both icons and characters throughout the challenge phase? Will Flood Waters enable hand destruction decks to choke off their opponent’s options during a vital, final draw phase?
Set Sail to Essos
In A Roll of the Dice, each Great House increases its stakes in the intrigues of Essos. Will the Houses find strength in their new allies? Will they gain power from their new attachments? Will the startling turns of their new events help or hinder their bids for the Iron Throne?
A Roll of the Dice is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore. Get your copy today!