Fantasy Flight Games recently released Mother of Dragons, their expansion for A Game of Thrones The Board Game and us here at That Hashtag Show sat down to play an 8-player game of alliances and backstabbing.
A Game of Thrones The Board Game revolves around 10 rounds of intrigue, battles and negotiations. The player who controls 7 castles/strongholds first or has the most by the end of the 10 rounds wins.
During the Westeros Phase, cards will be drawn from 4 decks. With each card having different events that can change the choices available during that round or forcing everyone to battle the wildlings at the wall.
Next in the Planning Phase, each player will assign orders tokens, face down, to each space that contains their own units. Orders involve Marching into another space to gain control or to do battle, gaining Power tokens from spaces you control (which will be used to bid for different positions on the influence track, such as the Iron Throne), bolstering your Defense or Support (allows you to provide strength to adjacent spaces when attacked, whether yours or an allies).
In the Action Phase everyone will simultaneously reveal all the facedown tokens and in influence order, starting with the player who controls the Iron Throne, will execute 1 order token. People will die, castles will be sacked, unexpected allies will come to your aid. In any case the map will change from round to round. This is the basics of the game.
The Mother of Dragons expansion finally introduces House Targaryen, allowing you to rain down on your opponents with dragons of fury. House Targaryen has a new win condition unique to them. Just like the show, they need to travel to different regions and gain loyalty from would be followers. This is represented by Loyalty Tokens, which can be claimed by moving into a space with a Loyalty token and claiming it. When House Targaryen claims 7 of these tokens they win the game. House Targaryen starts with 3 dragons that can fly to any space with a March action and increases in strength as the game moves on.
So with this new expansion, it allows you to increase the player count to 8 players. Which can be intimidating for some. The box says 3-4 hours which is reasonable for a game this scale but with the added players it can increase that time a bit. Endurance and pre-conceived strategy is definitely your best friend. The new strategies with House Targaryen really add a fun addition to the game and really create a “bad guy” feel that makes the other players have to decide to ally or not. House Arryn were added previously from a Print-on-Demand expansion and finally receive their own pieces, when before they were just pieces of another house not being used. My only issue with the expansion is the additional board which gets separated by the main boards multiple trackers, which disrupts the beautifully drawn map from being seemless. This issue however has been alleviated with a neoprene playmat that will be released soon. This game is extremely fun and really test the boundaries of friendships, especially when you have 8 players. It was only my third time playing and I look forward to getting together with a large group and battling it out for the throne of Westeros again. With its rich strategy and quality artwork and pieces, it is definitely a must have in any tabletop gaming collection.
A Game of Thrones the Board Game and its expansion Mother of Dragons is now available at www.fantasyflightgames.com or at your local game store. The playmat is now available for pre-order as well.