Sunday, March 21, 2010

More thinky bloodshed (A Game of Thrones : A Clash of Kings)

Although we were only three players, I wanted to try the A Game of Thrones expansion one more time (now that I've played it with four, I was less afraid of getting a bad impression if it didn't work out).

I was Stark (white), Shemp was Lannister (red) and Kozure was Barratheon (black). Greyjoy is mandated as the house to remove from the game, which appeared to make sense though I was afraid that without my natural enemy it would be too easy for me (in the four player game, Stark and Greyjoy start in the north).

In practice, it wasn't too bad. I did enjoy relative peace for much of the game as I grew my forces and slowly marched south. As it happened in our last game, the Lannisters shot out ahead in VPs early in the game. Unfortunately for Shemp, he watched the Lannisters get beaten down for it, just as in our last game. It was Kozure who was pulling out ahead. He took King's landing and was pushing back the Lannisters, winning Claim with his abundance of power tokens. The three houses converged at Harandhall and Riverrun. I took Riverrun first, satisfying my house tactics card Claim condition. Kozure took Harandhall. Shemp came from the south-west and put pressure on both of them. In order to steal the victory from Kozure, Shemp and I hatched a plan to surround Harandhall, so that I could support the Lannister's siege against the city. As it often happens, particularly between me and Shemp, the partnership did not go as planned. He had just taken Riverrun from me, so in an effort to give me the opportunity to take it back I took an unconventional route to surround Kozure... I crossed the river with a single unit and "supported" with Rob Stark's army rather than moving the army itself. It was good enough to defeat Kozure's army, and good enough to take back Riverrun, but it left me with a single army at the gates of Harrenhall (ironically, the idea to take back Riverrun that turn came frm Shemp, though it was certainly my plan to go back eventually). In the final turn, Kozure's Barratheon's had 7 claim, Shemp's Lannisters had 5 and I had 6. If things went according to plan, Shemp would steal a city and we would find ourselves in a three way tie. knowing I wasn't in a position to gain any claim this turn, and knowing I had to stare down a host of betrayed Lannisters at Riverrun, I had to be defensive on my last turn and set myself up to win on the tiebeaker. Unfortunately, in placing my action tokens I didn't think to put a support token on my army adjacent to Harandhall and s when Shemp did attack, I couldn't help in any way. He lost by one. I hadn't seen it coming, but Shemp had a second target in mind, as he swept east to King's landing and took the city. Barratheon managed to get it back, but for a second there it seemed like he might have managed to stop Kozure from winning.

In the end, my programming mistake was a huge one, because I would have won on the tiebreaker (most supply). Oh well. All hail king Barratheon! All hail the master of A Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords, Kozure, as his win ratio remains 100% at this game.

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