Blackwater Bay was rough and choppy, whitecaps everywhere. Black Betha rode the flood tide, her sail cracking and snapping at each shift of wind. Wraith and Lady Marya sailed beside her, no more than twenty yards between their hulls. His sons could keep a line. Davos took pride in that.
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
As each of the Great Houses maneuvers its navy for utmost impact, their rivals respond. New Armies are deployed to seize strategic locations and strengthen their bids for the Iron Throne. These Armies gain powerful and thematic “Response” abilities while their owners run only character agendas or no agendas. The sixty cards from A Turn of the Tide (three copies each of twenty individual cards) also include several valuable locations and three dual-House cards, including one designed by 2011 European Melee Champion Grégoire Lefebvre.
As the Lannisters use any means necessary to retain their hold on the Iron Throne, the Krakens of Greyjoy raid the coasts, the Martells hunt for new strategies to claim their vengeance, and House Baratheon seeks new life after their losses on the Blackwater. Meanwhile, the Starks turn their attentions toward The Wall and the threat from the north as the Dothraki follow their Targaryen queen to conquest in the lands across the Narrow Sea.
Back from the Dead
Several cards in A Turn of the Tide allow players new options for card recursion, one of the Chapter Pack’s more interesting sub-themes. Thematically, we can imagine that as some of the Houses lie devastated after key battles, they must drag themselves away from the battle line, and brood on their failures as they way for the tides to change. Even so, they do no sit idle, and A Turn of the Tide shows how these Houses can make use of characters who return from the dead and resources that everyone else thought were lost forever.
House Baratheon gains card recursion – and resilience – from its new Captain, Dale Seaworth (A Turn of the Tide, 67). At three cost for two icons and just two strength, Dale Seaworth may initially appear overpriced, but his true value doesn’t lie within his raw stats. His Joust keyword will force your opponent to pay attention to his attacks; his Power icon bears the Naval () challenge enhancement, making him a potential participant in any Power challenge; and each time he enters or leaves play, he allows his controller to reclaim a card from the discard pile. While this response can’t target “House Baratheon only” events, it can allow you to reuse your Narrow Sea (Core Set, 33), recover those Refugees you lost during dominance, or bounce back from an unlucky Intrigue challenge casualty.
Ride the Changing Tides
In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, vengeance often follows grief. The lords and ladies of the Great Houses of Westeros are adept at seeking revenge, even if it takes them years or generations. Lost lives can inspire others to renewed fervor. The histories of the Seven Kingdoms serve as testimony to the power of blood.
Whether your ships are trapped by chains and wildfire at the Blackwater Rush or your lords are slain before the Iron Throne, A Turn of the Tide may see your House rise to power once more.
Look for Dale Seaworth to help House Baratheon return to power, and look for the Chapter Pack’s other new cards to incite new tensions between the Great Houses when A Turn of the Tide arrives at retailers everywhere in the first quarter of 2013!