The invitation sent to my colleague and his girlfriend read,
You are cordially invited to
an afternoon and evening of
A Game of Thrones
In addition to enjoying a day of combat, deception, and intrigue,
we offer culinary delicacies from
Westeros & Essos
Wine & Ale
Arbor Gold (White Moscato)
Dornish Red (Red Merlot)
Oldtown Ale (Newcastle Brown Ale)
Sweet & Savory
Fruit Salad of the Vale
(Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries)
Crisped Bread from Pentos and Pureed Dragoin Eggs of Myr
(Pita Chips and Guacamole)
Dinner Entree & Desert
Flutes of Valyria in Red Waste Sause, Dothraki Horse Meat,
and Sprouts from the Forest of Qohor
(Penne Pasta in tomato sauce, meatballs, and mushrooms)
Highgarden Lemon Tart and Mug of Auroch Brew
(Lemon Pie a& Coffee)
One of the things this couple enjoyed about playing with me was the fact that as a 30-year gamer, I understood the ebb and flow of gaming and socializing...and that I had read the rules thoroughly and we could get right down to playing. As AGoT represents a game which has been on the shelf for years, I won't critique the game mechanics or other aspects as I do when play-testing or developing games. Instead, I want to focus on a 3-player game we experienced last night.
First, the game went the entire 10 turns, and by my colleague's account, it's the first of nearly three dozen games played that has done so. Why...again, they've played with non-gamers, uninterested in learning the game beyond a cursory examination of the rules and subsequently grew tired by mid0game, when things are starting to heat up around the board.
Second, with so many areas off limits, alliance were formed, broken, and formed once again over the course of the evening. In this game, everyone's word is secretly questioned, and even if your "ally" has promised one action, it's definitely in your best interest to keep a watchful eye on the tokens played.
Third, not one House moved from their respective Influence Track the entire evening. Baratheon maintained the Iron Throne, Stark held the Valyrian Blade, and the Lannisters (me) controlled the Raven (as a side note ~ very significant power with regard to the Special Orders!) Admittedly, I found the Iron Throne to prove a very powerful influence in the game, while the other two played a secondary role.
Fourth, the ability to Muster and Supply at the whim of the cards proved difficult at times, as there's no preparing for these events, as you would in a classic war game. Thus, you need to remain ever-vigilant of the numbers of units in each location, so that you may, at the turn of a card, capitalize on the new situation.
Finally, as someone who has play-tested more than 50 war games and has been part of developing half that many, AGoT with three players was an absolute blast. Again, we wen the distance, with Baratheon just winning with seven castles/strongholds to Stark's six and the Lannister's five. The game lasted five hours (when you take out the socializing and eating bits) and we will host this couple again...even my daughter got excited to play next time based solely on my colleague's and his girlfriend's enthusiasm.
Edited by The Professor, 18 May 2014 - 01:33 PM.