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Mighty Jim 83

Robert's Rebellion

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 What do people think as to the a.) desirability, b.) practicability of a Robert's Rebellion expansion?

As far as I can see, it would need:

  • a complete set of tokens and units for Targaryen
  • New house cards for most of the other factions
  • New set-up instructions/rules - possibly new player screens
  • A few new neutral forces tokens.

All in all, this seems to me to be a fairly easy amount of stuff to put in a moderately sized expansion that would add a whole new flavour to the game, and put the Targaryens, probably the most significant family in the last few hundred years of Westerosii history back in the actions. - New house cards for Robert Arryn, Rhaegar, Arthur Dayne, Hoster Tully, and others.

for the above set of components, I'm assuming just a Targaryen for Tyrrell swap, but equally if they wanted to throw in extra components, we could have different factions: the Freys and other Tully bannermen who sided with the crown could be a faction, the Starks and Baratheons could be lumped together (although I quite like the idea of keeping them separate, gives people a chance to enact the scenario whereby Ned finds Jaime on the iron throne and claims it for himself.)

What do people think- would you buy it? and how easily do you think it would fit onto the existing map, without it spiraling out of control as a monster expansion as big and expensive as the original game?

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 I think at the moment 6 players is enough, I don't really think adding more would be beneficial to the game in terms of game length. When we first played this there was mixed opinions about the amount of game rules and how long it takes to play. The most player who was most negative about the game (whilst still praising it in some ways) was the one who has by far played the most board games and RPG's.

I had thought before about the addition of House Arryn. They are in a strategic place of the board and in the books are a big house who's involvement in the war would be of great impact. So why aren't they in it? I think the answer is balance. With such close proximity to Martell I think Baratheon have had their technical home of Storms End moved to Dragonstone, thus becoming what I consider the Eastern power. If Arryn were added then it would potentially create an imbalance with Baratheon and Stark so close by. Now fair enough you could argue that the western regions of the board is crowded already with Greyjoy, Lannister and Tyrell. But I think the game caters for that and the East is set up geographically and strategically to not allow that same set up. In other words it would need a whole new game board to cater for Arryn, changing supply, power and castle locations. 

I think this would be the same for adding any additional houses like you mentioned, mainly Targaryen. Of course you can always swap another house out like Tyrell but then there's a gaping hole where they used to be. I think with a lot of re-juggling it could perhaps be done but would ultimately require a new game board or maybe just certain area tiles put over the top to adjust it slightly. 

I think it's also worth noting "what would it bring to the game?" In an RPG, novel or computer game this would bring a new perspective to the series, we'd get more of an insight into these events and it would be fun to experience. In a board game however we aren't going to get this. All we could really expect is new house cards with different rules. I don't think it's really enough to add a new experience to the game. But then again that's not something that would stop people buying it anyway and I'd probably still buy it myself! It is an interesting idea, I'm just personally not too sure if there's enough there to do it.

What about a completely new version with the lands across the narrow sea? There's a lot of scope there the Free Cities, Slavers Bay, the Dothraki, Asshai, Qarth and the Summer Isles amongst others. Admittedly I don't find it as fascinating as the Westerosi stuff because I just love that era/way of life and I think GRR Martin is a better historian of that.

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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.


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Interestingly enough I made two scenarios, one of which was about Robert's Rebellion.  Alot of the same ideas that Vendredi had in his post are similar to the ones in mine.  It's listed below for anyone who's interested, but I never got the chance to test it out.



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KC Accidental said:

 I think at the moment 6 players is enough, I don't really think adding more would be beneficial to the game in terms of game length. When we first played this there was mixed opinions about the amount of game rules and how long it takes to play. The most player who was most negative about the game (whilst still praising it in some ways) was the one who has by far played the most board games and RPG's.

I don't think he meant adding a 7th player, but rather a scenario to reflect the "historical" conflict.

I think it's  agreat idea, and I would much rather buy an expansion that had cards and set-ups to reflect Robert's Rebellion (or Greyjoy, for that matter), than something that introduced new rules and units.

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