Turning A Song of Ice and Fire into the Game of Thrones TV show has been an incredible success. Adaptations to other mediums, like Video Games and comic books haven’t been as successful. But not everything has failed. Turning Game of Thrones into a Board Game or two worked quite well and more, with a Risk and Monopoly version as well.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
The Game of Thrones strategy board game has been around since before the TV Show. It came out in 2003 to keep the masses satisfied while they were waiting for A Feast for Crows to come out. Made for 3-to-5 players, the original, expansion-less version is for about two to three hours of gameplay, and includes the Arryn, Baratheon, Greyjoy, Lannister, Stark and Tyrell families. How is it played?
The game is played on a board that divides the continent of Westeros into several regions. Most regions have at least one icon representing a city, a stronghold, a support barrel, or a power icon, and some key locations have multiples of such icons. Each player selects a starting House, places starting units on the board as indicated by the instructions, places House markers on the Supply and three Influence tracks, and takes the hand of seven House characters to be used in battles.At the beginning of the game, the players with House markers on the highest positions in the Iron Throne, Fiefdoms, and King’s Court Influence tracks will start with the Iron Throne, Valyrian Steel Blade, and Messenger Raven special tokens respectively. The three Westeros decks are shuffled, and placed off to the side where all players can see. A deck of cards representing the actions of the Wildlings is placed on the board, along with a Wildling threat token indicating the strength of the Wildlings should they attack.
Got it? So go play. It’s available for $130.98. With time, two expansions came out, according to the books: A Clash of Kings in 2004, adding the Martells, a new unit type (Siege Engines), rules for ports, a second possible set of 7 House character cards for all six Houses with a wider variety of effects, and new unique special orders for each House. The expansion was then integrated into the base game when the second edition came out.
Then there was a Storm of Swords (the third book) expansion (available for $80) that came out in 2006. Additions include Tactics cards, Ally cards, new sets of House character cards, new Westeros cards, new units, and a new game board for a standalone game, representing a focused view of the Trident region of Westeros.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition
The second edition came out in October 2011, a few months after the release of the last novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (so far. Hurry up George!), A Dance With Dragons. he second edition includes the additions introduced in the A Clash of Kings expansion to the base game, and other changes to game play include alterations to the starting positions of units for some Houses (such as Greyjoy), the abilities of house cards, the effects of consolidate power and raid special orders, and the possibility to use Tides of Battle cards to affect battles. It’s currently available for $41.51 instead of $59.99.
There were expansions to the second edition as well. A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book, got the first expansion in 2012, adding 42 house cards. Also included is a special scenario and alternate setup to reflect the current states of each of the six playable Houses and shortens the total turn length from ten down to six. It’s available for $10 instead of $14.95.
The fourth book, A Feast for Crows, got an expansion as well. It adds a four-player scenario, with an alternate victory condition, shortened play time, and a set of playable House cards for House Arryn are the main focus of this expansion. A total of 48 new cards are included. It costs $10 instead of $14.95.
Risk: Game of Thrones Board Game
The universe of A Song of Ice and Fire is perfect for a Risk game, which according to Seinfeld, is a game about global domination played by people who can barely control their own lives, or something like that. In any case, it includes maps of both Essos and Westeros, over 600 unique game pieces including armies represented by noble houses and can be played by up to 7 players. It’s available for $49.79 instead of $74.99.
Monopoly Game of Thrones
A very special collector’s edition which is pretty much the same Monopoly game you’ve always played, only with a Westeros twist, including customized game pieces and of course specially designed mission cards to make you feel a bit more in the Game of Thrones mood. It’s available for $42.75 instead of $59.99.
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