So, managed to pick up this little baby recently…
It’s actually the Second Edition released in 2011 by Fantasy Flight Games, designed by Christian T. Petersen and based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire rather than the HBO series with which it shares its name.
That means that rather than taking its visual cues and design from the TV series, we get to revel in some sumptuous original artwork, including but not limited to the game board itself, which is depicted as (while still being a game board) a hand drawn map on vellum – perhaps like one of the characters from the book series might carry with them to plot their machinations.
After an extensive read of the rulebook, it’s plain to see that this is not a game for a few spare minutes – more like 3 or 4 hours. It’s complex, deep and multi-faceted – just like the books it’s based on – and that means it’s not for the faint of heart.
For me, personally, this complexity actually improves its appeal. I only wish it were playable by two people – three is the minimum specified in the rulebook, with a maximum of six. Apparently there are modified rules for two people available on the internet, but they can detract from certain elements of play.
Still, we can’t have everything, can we…?
Having just grasped the rules I haven’t yet had a chance to organise a test game. As soon as I do though, I’ll let you know how it goes…