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  1. I have yet to try them, but I believe the new print-on-demand expansions supposedly give players start positions that mirror the relative positions in the books more closely. That being said, there's always the possibility of houseruling your own scenario - several such have been attempted in the past (an example "Lannisters in King's Landing" setup might involve starting with 2-3 additional footmen in control of KL).
  2. The only spoilers in the core set are the names of characters up to the middle of Storm of Swords - the 3rd book (in fact, after this season of the TV series there will be no spoilers at all). However, the existence of all the Houses has already been attested to all the way from Book 1, so I wouldn't consider them major spoilers in any case; it's simply a bit of advance knowledge on the name and possibly age/gender of certain House members
  3. For some reason Arkham Horror remains a stubborn boardgame to get the time down. Any tips for speeding up your game? Off the top of my head I can think of: -Allowing simultaneous turn-taking. This strikes me as potentially bad for balance though, since the order things occur can be very important. -Move on to the next player while someone resolves combat. Again, same issue as above though. -Resolving town encounters/Other World encounters simultaneously (split the other world deck up between all the players who are in one if necessary). -Standardizing monster moves? One tedium is having to sift through all the monsters and figure out what moves monsters make.
  4. bnorton916 said: Fighters become worthless, and turtling becomes even more advantageous. Actually, our group has tried and stuck with an interesting houserule - hits inflicted by Capital ships and PDS cannot be blocked by fighters, but fighter hits may be blocked by fighters (we also remove the associated techs/action cards that give abilities like this). This initially sounds like a severe blow to the all-around usefulness of fighters, but we find it actually *decreases* turtling: 1) Firstly, players don't spend several turns trying to build a sufficient fighter screen - there's no point! Rather, players instead build dreadnaughts or destroyer screens as damage sponges, and it makes the fleet supply limit even more significant. 2) Players who do decide to build fighter-heavy still aren't badly penalized - fighters give fantastic bang for your buck and don't take up fleet supply when supported by a carrier. Even if their supporting carrier is destroyed, fighters still keep shooting until one side is completely destroyed. Plus, fighters still remain useful as defence against other fighters. 3) The game just goes much faster overall since each combat doesn't require chewing through 6+ fighters before significant losses happen 4) Also, since everyone knows the rule, people pay attention to PDS deployments very carefully, and often amusingly enough form very exhaustive demilitarization treaties. ("I'll withdraw my forces from your border if you don't deploy any PDS on that planet"). We've had amusing games with interlinking demilitarized zones where no one dares to put down a PDS first for danger of triggering aggression from another player. Plus, it's not that bad since you're limited to only two PDS active per planet. So only a 3 planet system can support a 6 PDS grid. Finally, heavy turtling is the consequence of poor map design. And the default map construction rules are terrible at this - every player will place their best stuff in their own pie slice and rarely will interact. Playing with preset maps quite neatly avoids this - if you pay attention in map construction, you can easily prevent PDS + Deep Space Cannon spam from being able to cover everything. I heartily recommend the maps provided in PsiComa's Shattered Ascension rules, even if you don't use the rules themselves. It speeds up setup and the entire game tremendously.
  5. Warren12 said: However the most difficult mechanic by far were the ships (and ports). When they get mustered from a given castle or stronghold, can they go into either a port or a neighbouring sea area? This would effectively give Winterfell 3 possible ship mustering locations?What about combat in the sea, is it always going to be ship vs. ship? Ship armies are limited to 3 in ports but can go higher in sea areas, with 4 being the theoretical max with supply limits. I've also read reviews about ships being very unbalanced, but I can't understand why. Is that still the case in the 2nd edition of the rules? Can somebody help explain why? 1. Ships can be mustered into a port, or a neighbouring sea area so long as enemy ships are not present. You are correct, Winterfell could muster into 3 possible locations - which makes Stark very flexible. 2. Combat in the sea will always be ship-to-ship - but remember, ships can provide support to battles if they are adjacent to the battle area, so it's definitely possible to have greater than 4 strength. 3. Most of the reviews of this game are based from the very first edition of the game, which had no rules for ports. That means if a player gained control of the sea it was difficult to win it back. The addition of ports in the Clash of Kings expansion, and their inclusion in 2nd edition, has helped ameliorate this disadvantage.
  6. abStractDeath said: My question, something that I can't find in the rules is that are players allowed to initiate an attack on someone then decide to withdraw the attack after seeing something they didn't realize at first or must they go through with the attack anyways even if they have no chance of winning? When is the point of no return of march orders? As jhagen points out, if you read rules as written, the point at which you march the units into the embattled area is the point of no return - then you can call for support. This is so you can't back out if a sneaky player decides to backstab you and change their support to the other side! Usually we actually move the physical pieces into the territory itself before doing the calls for support and public strength calculation - it's a handy reminder that you've passed the point of no return when your army marches past the border. Of course you're always free to be more lenient with the rules if you wish; there's a variety of different people I play with - some are accustomed to high complexity strategy games like Twilight Imperium so generally when we play we're fairly strict about rules. But with a group of newer players or players learning the game it's worthwhile sometimes to roll back if isn't too inconvenient.
  7. Pulling out Imperium Rex to win the game (with the Bureaucracy SC from Shattered Empires) varies between "buzzkill" and "can't believe you just pulled that off" depending on the circumstances. Some games it feels positively anticlimactic, other games it's greeted with applause after a brilliant gambit to take the player into the lead.
  8. Okay, so if I'm interpreting this correctly, you'd resolve raids and marches in the same phase. So let's say the turn order is Lannister, Stark, Baratheon. After orders are placed and flipped: 1) Lannister goes first. He can choose to resolve either a raid, OR a march. 2) Then Stark goes after Lannister resolves either a raid OR a march. 3) Baratheon goes third, plays raid/march as before. 4) Play goes back to Lannister, who can resolve either raid or a march again, and so on until all marches and raids are gone? If I'm interpreting it correctly, it certainly is a dramatic change that really changes the psychology of placing raids and makes the march order a lot more important. Also, this is a really big blow to ships stuck in port. It essentially means blockading ships will almost always have their support get through. Generally a player who's being blockaded and has his fleet stuck in port is likely also doing poorly in terms of power generation and likely will not have a good Iron Throne position either, so I think it would make reversals a lot harder. Certainly I've been foiled before by a pesky ship raiding from port.
  9. Tempting, but one of the balancing factors I feel that limits players is that there are only so many orders to go around. You can only make two marches, and even with position on the King's Court you can still only make three. What I wouldn't mind would be having a handful of extra "blank" order tokens that do nothing. When you have more units than orders (admittedly a rare occurrence) play really bogs down if you use the rulebook's method. Having blank orders keeps the bluffing element intact and keeps the game flowing smoothly with simultaneous placement without unduly compromising the balance. On an unrelated note, perhaps we should try to keep all the houserules in one thread? Just for the sake of general forum tidiness. After all we can use quotes if we want to discuss a particular houserule.
  10. Don Pedro MCh said: I like this rule because it removes the element of players winning and losing the game because of the wrong bet on the next turn cards. See, that's exactly the element I like about keeping the cards hidden. No position or rush at victory is ever 100% guaranteed. That being said, I've been playing with the 2nd edition cards and I do like the choice mechanic added. Basically they allow the leader on one of the influence tracks to choose the effect of the card - for example the choice card in deck I allows the Iron Throne holder to choose between a muster, supply, or nothing happening. It definitely raises the probability of your desired effect happening... if the Throne player is cooperative or you have the Throne. Adds a nice diplomatic element.
  11. My preference would be yes, to go east towards Cracklaw Point, but I hesitate to make too strong a recommendation. Every game is different with a lot of variables to consider. Some games the Greyjoy player will hate your guts and you're gonna have to slug it out (which I still think is a poor idea on Greyjoy's part). Some games you'll be able to have a pretty good run of non-interference from Greyjoy. Obviously you'll lose if two or more players decide to gang up on you... but really this goes for any faction. The key thing to remember is that Lannister can access and support nearly every player on the map, so you gotta do some wheeling and dealing. You're easily the decisive factor in a Stark/Greyjoy conflict and the Baratheon/Martell/Tyrell slugfest in the south. Remember that supports don't require adjacency with the troops you're supporting, just with the battle zone. You can intervene for whichever House is going to give you the better deal... or perhaps backstab. Since you have a lot of fronts, it's in your interest to keep your assistance limited to support only - if you try to intervene everywhere you'll burn through your leaders very fast and get confronted with some very bad situations. There's also some weird ways you can offer assistance sometimes. In my last game Greyjoy was down to Theon Greyjoy in his hand and facing a very brutal Stark counterattack. I sent a single ship from the Golden Sound in a piddly attack and dropped Cersei, letting Greyjoy win with Theon, which allowed him to replenish his hand of leaders. He was very thankful that I was able to refresh his hand against Stark. If you don't already, I really recommend having a pencil and note paper handy during your sessions. Try to break up alliances, let players know you'll support their backstab attempts, etc. etc. That being said, you can survive perfectly well on 3 mustering points. Most other Houses only have three muster points within easy reach (at least if you're playing with 6 - I'm sorely tempted to remove Dornish territories in a 5 player game, the garrisons barely do anything to hold off the southern players). The only really crucial thing you need to do to protect Lannisport is to keep a fleet-in-being in the Golden Sound. All land approaches to Lannisport are generally within your area of influence, and you've got a 2 strength garrison to start with, so it's invasion from the sea that you need to watch for. You don't need to keep too big an army sitting on Lannisport. Since Lannister tends to start high on the King's Court track they can afford to place down Special Consolidate Orders from the beginning - Riverrun makes an excellent, if a little unsafe position to do this since it lacks any crowns. Lannisport is much safer but you are missing out on the 2 power tokens you could gain instead, which may hurt you in the long run.
  12. Cementator said: Dear authors- this is the biggest mistake you`ve done, Lannisters are not balanced well!! Check the other thread for thoughts on Lannister strategy and the "Lannister weakness". This thread is a little old, after all. Personally I feel Lannister's vulnerability is also a strength; Lannister can get ganged by all the houses, sure,but Lannister is also in a position to assist and be assisted by any of the Houses. If any of the Houses are getting ahead, the Lannisters are the player that needs to be talked into supporting a combined effort to bring the leader down. Plus, I feel the Lannister leaders are much more relatively strong in 2nd ed.
  13. I'm fairly divided on the house rule; I find part of the fun is the collective groans that come up when a Supply card is drawn yet again. Also, a bunch of the new Westeros Cards allow the Sword/Raven/Throne holder to choose, which dramatically changes the dynamics of a bid when players know that one of the cards come up. Also, when the Westeros cards are unknown a winning aggressor can sometimes have the tables suddenly very dramatically reversed. Such reversals can be a bit harder to pull off if the attacker knows exactly when to clamp down for the kill and know there's no Westeros cards that could foul his plan. There's no denying the strategic depth you get when playing with cards face up, but it also does remove an element of contingency planning and risk assessment. Since the randomness affects all players the same way, there's still a not inconsiderable amount of player skill that can go towards keeping some stuff in reserve - troops, power tokens, etc. to deal with random effects.
  14. Actually, I could see a "Targaryen Rebellion" scenario working similar to the "Fall of the Lazax" from TI's Shards of the Throne expansion, with randomly dealt secret objectives for each player to either help or hinder House Targaryen. One player plays House Targaryen and has a specific objective at the game start, and the remaining players pick a House and are each dealt a secret objective to either help the Targs win, betray the Targs, or achieve some objective solo. The default set of Houses could work, although it might be better to remove Greyjoy for Arryn, remove Tyrell and move Baratheon west, then give the Targs Dragonstone and King's Landing to start. Or possibly even further provide a map overlay that rejuggles some areas. Targaryen always possesses the Iron Throne token and can never lose it but still shift their position on the track via bids as normal. The other two tracks change as normal too. Having the Targ player not knowing who his friends and enemies, with randomly dealt objectives, are adds a mafia-like (the game, not the organization) layer to the regular diplomacy - is Lannister giving you support this turn because he's really your ally? Or is he just trying to butter you up? To be honest I could even see this working as a set of houserules. , draft yourself a set of objectives and Targaryen leaders, and shift around starting areas appropriately. -Draft a set of objectives. For the Targaryen player, the objective could always be set as the elimination of the "rebel" players (tricky, because you don't know who they are at the beginning!). Alternately, you could give them the objective of holding 9 castles to win (which probably encourages less player elimination - a good thing in my book). The other objectives should include at least an 'Eliminate House Targaryen' and a 'Allow Targaryen to Win' - add extra copies to play with the probabilities. You can get creative with the other objectives too and make some independent of the fate of the Targs, such as the classic 'Control 7 castles' -Use the Greyjoy pieces and order tokens for the Targaryens and make a set of leader cards for them (Rhaegar, Viserys, maybe Hallane? Lot of ideas from the books). Alternately, use a renamed Grejyoy leaderset if you don't want to worry about screwing with balance (I suggest ruling that each card is +1 combat strength - Euron becomes a 5 strength card, gets renamed to Rhaegar, etc. The Targs should be strong in this scenario to make up for their lack of knowledge). I'd start them in Dragonstone and King's Landing, and give them strong forces to start with, maybe a Knight and a Footman on both, and three ships. -Additionally, the Targaryens start with 7 power tokens, start first on the Iron Throne track, and can never lose the Iron Throne piece. Even if another faction bids higher gains the initiative, House Targaryen never surrenders the Iron Throne token and always decides the result of ties, although they still take their turn in the regular order. -The Targs also start 2nd in Fiefdoms and 3rd on the King's Court Track. Stark starts first on Fiefdoms and gets the Valyrian Blade to start. Everyone else starts with the Influence positions as normal, though displaced to the right as necessitated by the changes. -Make Pyke inaccessible, and count Riverrun as a small castle only. Move the Stark ship on the other side of the board (he stands in for Greyjoy to counterweight Lannister, and Arryn becomes the new northerly faction that controls the northeastern sea). -Use the Tyrell pieces and order tokens for Arryn and make a set of leader cards for them (Jon Arryn would definitely be one, maybe a Corbray?). Alternately, just use a renamed Tyrell leaderset if you're worried about screwing with balance. Start them in the Vale for sure. Possibly another territory would be Cracklaw point? And obviously a ship as well in the sea near the Vale. -If you're sticking with the default leadersets, you could give the Targs the Tyrell leader abilities and the Arryns the Greyjoy leader abilities, but I feel the aggressive and powerful Greyjoy leader abilities fit the Targs better. -Baratheon's the weirdest to move on the default map. Put his Footman in Storm's End, and possibly give him the Blackwater? I'm hesitant to put him too close to Highgarden. -Use the Dorne garrison tokens from the 5 player game on Highgarden, the Arbor, etc. -Dorne and Lannister set up as normal. -Then deal each player an objective card and let the Rebellion begin! These are of course just some preliminary ideas for a Robert's Rebellion scenario. You'd probably need to playtest them a bunch to get the balance about right... the key though is to keep the scenario deliberately assymetric - the Targs have power, but not knowledge about the other players motives.
  15. KC Accidental said: I understand that this scenario goes by earlier turns and influence positions but what makes this game great is that everything can be turned around and you can very quickly find yourself in a reverse situation than before. This is very true. I got a couple more games in over the weekend with the "Riverrun or Bust" opening (alas, I am stuck perpetually playing Lannister in my play group as I seem to be the only fan of the House from the books) and I'm convinced that a "Riverrun at all costs" attempt is not the optimal Lannister starting strategy. For one thing, it's important to avoid too early confrontation with Greyjoy - don't get tempted by all the seemingly easy castles at Seagard, Pyke, and Flint's Finger. You'll never be able to hold Greyjoy down long enough to avoid having another player gut you in the rear. If you can nail them as part of a Greyjoy backstab at the end game sure. Also a really aggressive posture early doesn't necessarily bode well for future cooperation with Greyjoy. I gambled on this on the last game but with a majority of my fleet blockading Pyke and a majority of my House leaders discarded, House Martell (who had traded control of the ocean in exchange for leaving Tyrell alone) made an assault on the lightly defended Golden Sound and took Lannisport with an incredible invasion force, which proceeded to chew through my rear Lannister areas. House Lannister's main problem is they have a front on all sides both at land and at sea. You will be hard pressed to try and maintain even two fronts evenly on just one of the theatres. Lannister is the player in most dire need of a strategic alliance to start or at least a nonagression pact. If Greyjoy doesn't irrationally hate you then he's a good candidate for this; he generally doesn't want to waste strength fighting you all game. On the flip side, Lannister is in good position to make friends. Stoney Sept, Harrenhal, and the Blackwater are all in easy reach and provide you with tremendous leverage over the big conflict spots that can occur in the three way brawl for the South between Dorne, Tyrell, and Baratheon. It's more important to husband your strength and spend it on strategic support or raids that help the southern powers wear each other down rather than fight directly. Your low rack on the Fiefdoms track also really encourages this. A second priority should be the construction of a decent fleet in the Golden Sound - mostly to deter sea attack on Lannisport, but that fleet can quickly go on the offensive when you're ready for the win.
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