Ok, it is time to have a game! We used the first introductory scenario, 'Clash on the King's Road'. No special rules and only a fistful of characters, just to get on the core rules. The Starks will be led by Lord Rickard Karstark and Maege Mormont, while the Lannisters will be under the leadership of Ser Kevan Lannister and Ser Addam Marbrand.
The Starks control two vital points and must keep them; the Lannisters, of course, must conquer both. If the Lannisters hold both points by the end of turn 5, they will win. Otherwise, the Starks will rise with the victory.
|Aerial neutral view. You don't see a thing, I know. Let's get closer pics|
So, how do you play this? Let's see. Do you remember when I tried Memoir '44? Then you know how to play this. The game literally is a Memoir meets Westeros. The same dynamics rule the game, but with some deviations to make the adaptation feasible.
For example, units are not just bowmen, cavalry, infantry, etc. Each of them can be formed up of noobies, regular troopers or veterans (their status marked by the colour ot their banners, green, blue, red), that determining their actions (how many moves/attacks/etc.). Actions are not only made through cards on the different flanks; you have a mixed system of dice and cards. You roll a number of dice that tell you the order tokens you are to use each turn. You will use green tokens to activate green units, blue tokens for blue units, red token for red units and the fist allows you to activate any kind of unit.
Besides, the leaders can use the orders deck. Each turn they get a number of orders cards which can be used exclusively on units within two hexagons reach from them. That means that being close to a character will make those units more likely to conduct themselves better than those others isolated from the chain command and acting on their own.
Well, if you read through this I bet you are rid of it and wanna get some juicy pics. Let the battle start!
The Starks have the initiative on the first turn. These bowmen shoot on the Lannisters on the other shore.
|They roll two dice. Green signs. As the target is a blue unit, no harm is done. Booo bowmen!|
|The Lannisters charge! Green results on a blue target. Booo horsemen!|
Both players activate their units alternatively, using their order tokens or order cards at will. The turn will end when both players have no units to activate or decide not to activate any other one.
|Melee! The Lannisters make a move on both Stark flanks. That is dreadful indeed! First blood for the Lions!|
An overall view will help, I guess:
|The bowmen climb up to the hill and kill some infantry|
|But these Lannisportians (?) take the ford!|
|This is becoming a slaughter quite quickly. Pure Game of Thrones|
|... But not over here!|
|They are temporarily forced to fall back|
|But reinforcements soon come in assistance|
|All black and brown and covered in hair...|
|This pic is probably meanless to the spectator. Try imagine a battle, special effects an lots of blood|
The Lions finally reached the turning point of the battle, slaying Lord Rickard Karstark!
|Looks quite clear what's going on...|
|The stubborn She-Bear still keeps the Lannisters at bay|
|But oh, woman, you should be doing that on the other side of the board!|
|The bloodshed goes on and on|
|And at the end of turn 5 the Lannies own the two victory points!|
My main mistake as the Stark player was not to move Maege Mormont to the fords to block them. had I done that, the Lannisters would probably have been stuck there, not galloping freely to get the victory point.
The game is not bad, not bad at all. But I have mixed feelings about it. In the beginning I was expecting some kind of Memoir, seeing how things were, but this one is way more complex, with tons of tiny special rules that made me confused, specially those about recovering, as I told earlier. That slowed the game for us, which was a little bit disapointing. Anyway, I may have another look to the rules, as I believe we made some mistakes. Next battle will be faster!
So this has been the A song of ice and fire project for the moment! Now I still have to move on tons of other pending projects...