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Southpaw89

two players?

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I suppose it's possible, but it loses a LOT.  This game is all about Intrigue, Bluffing, Alliances, and Betrayal.  Hard to have that with two players...

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A buddy and I played last weekend trying to work out a 2 player variant.  We came up with Baratheon/Greyjoy vs Stark/Lannister.  Each player controlling both houses.  We had a real good time. 

The 2 tweaks we added were the raven could not look at the wildling card if they didn't use it to change orders, and you couldn't attack yourself as in Stark fighting Lannister for sea control or a piece of land(basically to avoid burning card decks quicker).  You could obviously move out of the space and let the other in.  Other than that, we played normal board layout for 4 players with neutral tokens, and starting strength.  Both myself and my friend have played the game many times so we understood all mechanics and both are pretty good at strategy.  The game ended in round eight with Stark and Lannister having 6 castles each, Greyjoy with 1, and Baratheon 7.  Stark and Lannister would have won in round 7, but the **** Web of Lies card was turned and no support tokens could hit the board ruining a 2 round strategy that had been developing. 

We are thinking of trying a variation where the combined castle count needs to be 11, and also thinking about trying different house combos.  Bottom line, it was a lot of fun and both house combos were in it to the end.  Greyjoy does appear to be in a bad way between the opposing 2 houses, but if all the focus goes to him, Baratheon has a pretty easy time of things.  In the end, you might lose some of the alliance/diplomacy/deceit aspect that makes the game great, but if you are as big into the strategy portion as I am, 2 players can be easily done and a lot of fun as well.

Juan4aigle likes this

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If anyone else has had fun playing a 2 player game, let me know please.  I'd like to hear some other ideas to add to the experience.

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 Wife and me have a really, really casual variant for 2 players:

We set up the board with all the houses having 2 ships and 5 footmen in 7 areas all toghather, and deal orders at random (paying attention to star counts and stuff). We use ToB and just have fun with the chaos and the way the game goes. Each controlls 3 houses, but it's all about the fun and dealing with whatever happens :)

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I've played a 2 player variant with my flatmate a coupla times which seemed to work quite well. It has an element of Risk to it  - You each control one house as normal (choosing from the available houses in a 3 player game) and take turns controlling the last house. So for example I would play Lannister, my flatmate would control Baratheon and Stark would be used between us. It puts a different spin on things; one turn you'll have a little more support, but you always have to imagine how your moves with the neutral army could affect you when your opponent controls them next turn...

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I'm very new to this game and have only myself and a couple others to play with so I'm toying around with a 2 player variant that allows you to keep most of the major elements in the game while adding a few extra layers to the game to compensate for the lack of negotiations. Instead of a long post I'm going to detail my variations and I hope you guys have some ideas and critiques to help perfect it.

Game of thrones the board game, 2nd edition.

You will need:

1 or more 6 sided dice.

Calculator.

A coin.

Here are my changes for two player:

Setup:

Each player chooses one house to begin with and then randomly chooses a secondary house to set up, preferably far away from the original two. Each non-player house is set up with twice the usual amount of pieces, so double the units in their start areas.

Set up your houses normally and proceed.

All portions of the game function normally save a few:

All non combat ties are settled with a roll of the dice. You may spend a power token to add a coin flip to your score during tie breakers BEFORE the dice is thrown, calling heads or tails where calling it correctly adds 1 to your die roll and incorrectly adds 0.

During the bidding phase, you bid with power tokens as normal, however instead of "highest wins", each power token counts as 1 throw of the dice, highest score wins.

This adds an exciting element of chance to the game, while still rewarding your investment in each phase. Every track is decided in this fashion. Players bid on the tracks with a number of power tokens, investing in their desired tracks while still having the chance to get lucky and win even with a lower investment.

Combat is played normally with 2 major exceptions:

Once per round each player may choose to spend a power token to buff their armies currently in combat, this can be done before or after the house cards are revealed. If this is done, the player spending the power token calls either head or tails, if they call it correctly they add 1 attack to their total, if incorrect they add nothing. (This variant can be altered to 1-2 instead of 0-1)

A secondary variant turns this game into a mini-risk type game - each attack point you count on your side counts as 1 roll of the dice, making the combat much more randomized (and often exciting/disappointing, lol) we have played this game before and it IS more fun, however somewhat different than the intended original game. But hey, so is the 2 player aspect.

The wildling phase has a similar mechanic. Each power spent on fighting wildlings is worth 1 throw of the dice, and each power on the wildling counter is also worth 1 throw of the dice. The totals are calculated and the determinations of winning and losing effects are now based on calculated risk and some randomization.

Other houses:

During every round the NPC faction collects two things. 1 mustering point (added randomly as a footman, ship or upgrading a footman) and 1 power token.

The other houses are essentially sitting ducks waiting to be dragged into your war. You can choose to take control of them in two ways:

1. Direct assault - attack and take control of their Capitol. When doing so you are immediately rewarded with control over the faction and you now reset the faction according to it's setup card and now you control two factions. They are played normally with all regular restrictions but their stronghold count is now added to yours. This is risky because the other player can intervene and take advantage of the gains you've made on the battlefield.

2. Political intrigue - any player may challenge the ownership of this faction by spending any number of the players power tokens and "challenging" the faction. So if the tyrells have three power and you choose to spend four power tokens to challenge them, then the tyrell a throw three dice and you throw four dice. You then add the totals and the player takes control if they win, if they lose the players tokens are forfeited (the NPC keeps it's power) and the game continues.

The other player may assist the NPC by adding it's own power to the challenge AFTER the challenging player has declared it's challenge and declared how many power tokens they are using, however the total assistance is worth half. So if the other player adds three tokens to assist in a challenge, it would add up the three dice rolls, then divide the total by two, rounded down. This power is forfeit no matter the resolution of the challenge.

In order to challenge a faction a player must have at least one army using a march order to invade the capital. At which point the player would decide to either attack it or challenge its power, but not both. If you are assisting against a power challenge to aid an NPC all you need to do is declare you are assisting, there are no physical conditions to be met.

That's it!

I'm still working on this variant. Please feel free to add anything.

Edited by Etaywah

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Last weekend, following a great three player game, my buddy and I played a two player game with Baratheon and Greyjoy. The game lasted 6 rounds, and proved an intense battle for the land and sea. Everything in the North was considered impassable, to ensure combat. But, as one of the other posters duly noted, a two-player variant loses all of its intrigue.

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I had two players leave a four player game in round 3 (normal setup with the south blocked off as if it was a 3 player game, the tyrell base was also off limits, not sure if that's fair or not), so I ended up playing stark and Baratheon, my brother was greyjoy and lannister. U had to get 10 castles combined for the win, everything else was divided as normal. It was fun. Due to the divided battle fronts, we didn't really get in a situation where one house was supporting the other, but perhaps if the game had been played that way from the start...not sure

P.S. I suppose a "u can't attack yourself" rule is a good idea--we didn't even consider attacking ourselves...

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I found a way to play that seems to be working good.
I have only tested it once, but it seemed to work well that one time.

You play it like it where a 3 player game. both of you choose one out of the tree houses Baratheon, Stark or Lannister.
The same areas are closed off as in the 3 player game and you have the same starting positions. the house no one chooses will be controlled by one of the players, but the house will swap hands during the game. flip a coin to see who starts with the house no one picked as an ally.
(Lets call the house no one picked "The Ally house")

You play the game as normal with your own house, and the player who controll The Ally house play that house aswell as if it where his own.

After the westeros phase if there where no cards that made you bid ("Klash of kings" or "Wildlings attack" westeros cards), the player that does not controll The Ally house can call for a bid to see who will controll the house. the highest bidder will controll the house untill the other player can win the house back. if you both bid the same, the one that is higher on the "iron throne track" will win.
Any influence points used to bid are discarded as usual.
We also made a rule so that The Ally house must have atleast one unit left in any castle he controlls. and if you attack The Ally house when you controll it the house will change side and cannot change sides again untill after the next planning phase.

(this is to make sure that the one controlling The Ally house dont win on cheesy stuff like moveing into your allies undefended castle.)

The Ally house is played like any other player controlled House and bids on the Klash of kings or Wildlings attack cards and gather influence like any other.
But only the two player houses can bid to have The Ally house on their side.

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Best way to play is : 1 player controls greyjoy , other player baratheon . goal is to take pyke or dragon stone from  the opponent. no other houses ! Official rules apply , exept no victory for 7 castles . Iron throne desides if round ten ends as normal or that you keep playing till the enemy his home stonghold is conquered .

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