“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Millions of fans have immersed themselves in the enthralling world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, a world filled with warring kingdoms and deadly intrigues, populated by knights, peasants, kings, and hundreds of other characters. In the distant north, an ancient evil emerges from the icy wastelands beyond the Wall, while on the continent of Essos, the first dragons in centuries have hatched. Despite these wonders and terrors that fill the world, there is only one game that matters to the Houses of Westeros: the game of thrones!
For the past twelve years, players have entered this enthralling world through A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. The rich tapestry Martin has created comes alive in this Living Card Game®, inviting players to take command of a Great House of Westeros and use knights, spies, nobles, and other iconic characters to move and shake the game of thrones. We want to see this game continue to thrive for another twelve years or even longer. To that end, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, a Living Card Game of cunning plots, iconic characters, and deadly encounters for two to six players!
Why a Second Edition?
Over the past twelve years, we’ve learned a vast amount while producing A Game of Thrones: The Card Game and our other LCGs. Just as players had to adjust to the format of a Living Card Game, we had to learn how to develop the best LCGs we could. As we learned, certain issues that couldn’t be solved with simple errata or a restricted list became apparent in the first edition of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. We want this game to continue to grow and succeed for many more years, and now, we want to apply our wealth of knowledge to the creation of a second edition of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game.
Enter the Seven Kingdoms
In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, the warring factions of Westeros await your command, inviting you to engage in a life-or-death struggle. In every game, you select devious plots and challenge your opponents on the field of battle, through back alley intrigue, and in the political arena. Whether you play a against a single opponent, in a game known as a joust, or engage in a battle of three or more players, called a melee, winning challenges against your opponents is the way to victory.
Your ultimate goal in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is to gain influence over the greatest seat of power in Westeros: the Iron Throne! To achieve this goal, you must call upon iconic characters, such as Tywin Lannister, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Daenerys Targaryen, Euron Crow’s Eye, The Red Viper, and dozens of others. You must maneuver the members of your House and your allies in a constant battle to gain power. The first player to claim fifteen power in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition wins the game!
A Devious Plot
“He swears he knew naught of the plot. Who can say? The man is half Lannister, half Frey, and all liar.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
In most card games, players use one deck, but in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition you must lead iconic characters and simultaneously devise schemes to shape the future. To accomplish this goal, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition features two decks: a draw deck and a plot deck.
Your draw deck contains the tactical elements of your struggle, including the characters, locations, attachments, and events that you call upon in your struggle to claim the Iron Throne. You can command characters from throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, and you can march forth from the icy walls of Winterfell or muster your armies around Casterly Rock. You may even equip your characters with storied weapons, such as the Valyrian steel blades Ice or Widow’s Wail. The draw deck holds these powerful characters, locations, attachments, and events. This deck is randomly shuffled and players draw their hands from this deck.
You also possess a seven-card plot deck that is more strategic in nature. A game round in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, like so much of the action in A Song of Ice and Fire, begins with the players plotting and laying plans. Rather than shuffling the cards in your plot deck, you must carefully consider your possible plans and choose a single plot from your plot deck at the beginning of each game round. The best schemers in A Song of Ice and Fire always have plans within plans, and the plots available to you give you the chance to adapt your plans to bring you closer to the Iron Throne!
Once you and your opponents have selected plot cards, you simultaneously reveal them. Your plot for a round determines how much gold you can spend on cards, which player starts with initiative, and how powerful your challenges are. Your plot also bears a reserve value, which determines how many cards you can keep in your hand past the end of the round. Plots may also offer powerful effects that can trigger when the plots are revealed or persist to shape the entire game round. You may scorch the earth with a deadly wildfire assault, or call upon all players to support the faith of the Seven. Because you can choose any available plot in your plot deck, you have an incredible amount of tactical flexibility for adapting to the twists and turns of the game. For more information on how plots work, visit the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition description page.
Challenge Your Opponent
“A true champion defeats all challengers.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords
The plots you devise provide you with gold to marshal new characters, calling lords and ladies, knights and servants, direwolves and dragons to your side in your struggle for the Iron Throne. During the game, you use these characters to attack and defend in a series of challenges. If your opponent is unable to successfully defend himself against your challenges, he must suffer the consequences.
Three distinct types of challenges exist in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, and each one punishes your opponent in a different way. Winning a military challenge on the field of battle kills off one or more of your opponent’s characters. Intrigue challenges allow your spies and assassins to reduce your opponent’s options by forcing him to randomly discard cards from his hand. Finally, power challenges allow your most influential characters to move power from your opponent’s faction card to your own faction card. Deciding which challenges to make and which characters to use is an important element of mastering the game.
You attack and defend in challenges using the characters you control. Every character in the game has a given amount of Strength, or STR, which determines how powerful that character is in a challenge. Characters also have a number of challenge icons, which determine which challenges the character can participate in. If a character does not have the appropriate challenge icon, it cannot participate in the challenge.
For example, Eddard Stark has a STR of five and the military and power challenge icons: although Eddard can bring a large amount of STR to bear on the field of battle or in a power struggle, the twisted intrigues of court are anathema to him. Eddard Stark may have a much higher STR than a simple spy with an intrigue icon, but because Eddard doesn’t have an intrigue challenge icon, the spy can slip by unopposed. Both players have the chance to affect the outcome of the challenge by committing multiple characters with the appropriate icon and by using special abilities and event cards, but after both players have passed on the opportunity to take actions, the player with the highest total STR is victorious! You can find a more detailed discussion of challenges on the description page.
Enter the Tourney Ground
“Give me honorable enemies rather than ambitious ones, and I’ll sleep more easily by night.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Two distinct game modes are found within A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition. You can test your skill at arms in a joust, which pits two players against each other in an honorable, one-on-one battle to claim the Iron Throne. Or, you can take on up to five opponents in a ferocious, unpredictable melee with three to six players, opening new levels of intrigue and backstabbing as you make deals and betray allies.
A melee game introduces a new layer of player interaction by inviting you and other players to take your place on the king’s Small Council after revealing plots at the beginning of each game round. The Small Council titles that you select offer a host of powerful abilities, but they also come with pre-established allegiances and hatreds. If your chosen title supports another player’s title, you are hindered in your efforts to attack that player, although he is under no such restriction against you. If your title opposes another player’s title, you gain benefits for winning your first challenge against that player! We’ll cover both joust and melee game modes in greater depth in a future preview.
Fight for Your House
“‘Make way,’ Jhogo shouted at the crowd from horseback, snapping his whip, ‘make way, make way for the Mother of Dragons.’”
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
You’ll find numerous factions to play within A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, each offering a host of recognizable characters and a unique playstyle. You may lead the armies of the north with Robb Stark, or scheme in the shadows with Tyrion Lannister. You may muster your fleets on the Iron Isles with Victarion Greyjoy or plot vengeance for past wrongs in the south with Doran Martell. You may even cast your lot with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons across the Narrow Sea.
A starter deck for each faction is included within the Core Set for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, and as you build decks, agenda cards enable you to ally with other factions. You can call upon the allegiance of any other faction when you build a deck: House Stark may call upon the warriors of House Baratheon, or Daenerys Targaryen may embrace an alliance with House Greyjoy.
Battle for the Iron Throne
“It is the one true king of Westeros who stands before you.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Your path leads towards the Iron Throne, but only the greatest commanders and most cunning schemers will succeed in reaching their goal. Call the banners of your House and prepare to battle for the future of Westeros in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition!