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Sunday, August 18, 2013

This Geek's Week...

Then again, what isn't these days...

** Not a lot of stuff went on this week, so I kind of ranted about the Game of Thrones Card Game...


- More Arena Rex playtesting.  I also made a felt "Travel Arena" that can be rolled up and transported in my battlefoam bag.  It turned out ok, and will hold me over for now...

- Played a game of Sentinels vs the Chairman, and we got owned...

- Convinced my wife, who is NOT a gamer of any sorts, to play the HBO Game of Thrones card game with me.  She played Starks and I played Lannisters.  For not being a gamer, she played really well, chose her plots well, attack/defended well etc.  If she made one mistake, it was that she put the direwolf (bodyguard) on Jon Snow instead of Rob Stark, as it ended up costing her 5 power after I hit him with "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts".  I did come to one overall conclusion about the game.  So the HBO version plays pretty much the exact same as the regular GoT LCG, with a few less keywords and such, but the mechanics are the same.   The key difference though is in the decks.  in the regular LCG, each player constructs his or her own deck, with various strengths and weaknesses, avenues for winning, etc.  However, in the HBO version you are playing pre-constructed decks, and those decks are both really well balanced, almost too balanced I might add, to the point of almost a stalemate.  In the regular LCG, it's not uncommon for someone to rocket to 15 power in a handful of turns, getting 5 or more power ahead of an opponent is pretty common, while each time I've played the HBO version, both sides usually have stayed within one or two power of each other the whole game.  Then, there's the issue of the decks themselves.  The decks you design in the regular LCG version can often focus on making sure you have a strict advantage in one type of challenge, sometimes with the objective of the deck being to win via consistently winning that single challenge type.  (I.e. attrition through military, board control through intrigue, etc)  Problem is, in the HBO version, you really get none of that.  Both the Starks and the Lannisters can effectively do all 3 challenge types with equal vigor.  The Starks do seem to try to go mostly military, but the Lannisters can still mount an effective defense against 9-out-of-10 times, and Lannisters seem to lend more towards intrigue, but likewise, the Starks tend to be able to mount a suitable defense there as well.  Due to this, the games can feel slow, long, and tend to come down to a bit of a renown race to clinch out a victory.  As a huge A Song of Ice and Fire junkie, I really enjoy the game, I just wish there was some extra customization options available outside of just the plot the decks... that and maybe that my beloved Targaryens (the true and rightful heirs to the Iron Thrones) would make the appearance within the game as a playable deck.  That said, I really hoped FFG would have shown some additional support for the HBO version, but at this point, it really does seem unlikely...

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