Thursday, 28 July 2016

Across the Seven Kingdoms chapter pack for A Game of Thrones LCG 2nd edition unboxing and review

Its been too long since we delved into the world of A Game of Thrones, but that is now changing with a new cycle in the game. The War of Five Kings cycle starts with Across the Seven Kingdoms.

As you may all know A Game of Thrones the card game 2nd edition is my favourite card game, so im pretty excited to see what this new pack brings us.

With all the expansion packs you get 20 new cards, with 3 copies of each for a total of 60 cards per pack.

The comet’s tail spread across the dawn, a red slash that bled above the crags of Dragonstone like a wound in the pink and purple sky.
   
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings



In the aftermath of Robert and Eddard’s deaths in King’s Landing, the Great Houses of Westeros have pulled away from each other. Joffrey Baratheon has been crowned king, and now sits the Iron Throne, but Robb Stark has already been proclaimed King in the North, and Stannis plots in his fortress of Dragonstone, brooding on a throne that should have been his. It is the calm before the tempest: war in Westeros is imminent, and above it all, the Dragon’s Tail burns a blood-red trail across the sky. 
Enter the War of the Five Kings with Across the Seven Kingdoms, the first Chapter Pack in the War of Five Kings cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game! As the War of Five Kings cycle moves forward to highlight the thrilling battles and intrigue of A Clash of KingsAcross the Seven Kingdoms invites the Houses to call upon their loyal bannermen as a multitude of new Kings arise to claim the Iron Throne. What’s more, this Chapter Pack begins to introduce effects based on the Summer and Winter plot traits, allowing the long-lived seasons of Westeros to play a more integral role in your combats. With new King versions of Robb Stark and Viserys Targaryen entering the game alongside characters like Arry and Janos Slynt, this Chapter Pack marks the explosive beginning of the War of Five Kings cycle!

Lets pop it open and take a look at what we get.........


 Starting off with House Stark we get Riverrun.  its a 2 cost location that has the reaction after power is gained by a house Tully character kneel Riverrun to have them gain an extra power.  This card will work really well theTully cards from the Wolves of the north expansion such as the Blackfish, really boosting the power they will bring to the game.  robb Stark appears in his new form as King and Lord.  He is a cost 7 strength 5 with military and power and renown.  During military challenges he gets +1 str for each loyal character you control making him quite the powerhouse, and you can also choose a non king card to remove from the military challenge when you make one, forcing your opponent to commit at least two cards or suffer an unopposed challenge.
The Nights Watch get the White Tree which gets my favourite art of the pack award, and which is a 3 cost location.  Its reaction happens after your opponent collects their income, and allows you to take a gold from them, which is a 2 gold swing, as you are gaining one, and depriving your opponent of 1, so its very useful to help to try and control their marshaling phase.  Arry is a 4 cost 3 strength character with military and intrigue icons and ambush 4 as well.  If you control Arya, perhaps running a dual faction deck you must sacrifice Arry.  Otherwise the action lets you return the card to your hand to draw another card, which can be very useful and combined with the messenger raven lets the Nights Watch  draw cards quickly.
Baratheon gets the Ruby of R'Hllor as a 3 cost attachment but only for those cards with the R'Hloor trait.  It provides a reaction that after you win an intrigue challenge in which the attached character is involve you can name a card, the losing opponent reveals his hand and discards each card with that name.  This may not always work, as you have to be lucky, but it does let you look at your opponents hand so you can get an idea of what may be coming.  The White raven is a 2 cost 1 strength card with only the power icons, and if you lose a power challenge he must be discarded.  Though he does have the reaction that if you win dominance while there is a winter card revealed gain an extra power
Dorne gets Harmen Uller, a cost 6 str 4 character with military, power and renown.  He also gives any sand snake cards in your hand ambush at -1 cost so can be handy.  Tower of the sun is a 2 cost location that gets you a gold after an event is played, excellent, nice and simple to get you some more income.
Pyke is a 2 cost location for the Greyjoys that can be knelt to pick a character and give them stealth, this used on the right card can be devasting, its a must have in your deck.  Caprains Daughter is a 4 cost 2 str cards with only the power icon, but can help put characters out of play again at the cost of sacrificing her.
Shirrak Qiya is a 0 cost event that if you win a power challenge by 5 or more knwwl the faction card to choose a stand a participating character, so its great to use on your big cards to get them back into play for either another challenge, or for defense.  Viserys.... cost 2, strength 1 with only power icon available.  When he attacjs all other King trait cards must block if able, so hes a pretty easy sacrifice as he is so weak, but after dominance, if ther ear no king cards out he does gain a power, so he can sit and earn for you.
Ahh my favourite house.  Lannisters.  Levies at the rock is a 0 cost event that lets you take gold from a players pool relative tot he umber of attackers in a challenge, and since may Lannister cards use gold to power themselves up, this is a good thing.  Janos Slynt for example uses gold, he is cost 5 so not cheap, military and intrigue icons and intimidate.  His action though lets you pay a gold to boost his sstrength. Combine this with Levies at the rock, and your opponent may go in thinking you cant boost him as you have no gold, then.. boom play Levies and power up Janos.
Bitterbridge encampment is a 3 cost location for the Tyrells, and as a reaction after a summer plot card is revealed you can kneel it and each player puts a free character into play from their hand.  Ser Colen of Greenpools is a 2 cost military and power icon character with 1 str, but he does get +3 during power challenges, so he is very cheap for what he can do.
Dragons tail is a0 cost neutral event that lets you and an opponent both draw 2 cards, handy when you need to but be aware your opponent is gaining from this as well.  Pyromancers are a cost 5 neutral card with only the intrigue icon and 2 str.  With such low strength why so expensive? their dominance action.... kneel them and discard a power to choose a non limited location and discard it from play.  This is very powerful for getting rid of enemy locations, perhaps ones that are generating them too much income, or are proving a hindrance to your plans.
Rains of Autumn is a 4 income, 3 initiative 1 claim plot with a reserve of 6, and it stops characters and locations providing plus gold modifiers, very handy for shutting down an enemy economy for a turn to allow you to try to recover.

Varys Riddle lets you perform the when revealed part of another plot card an opponent is using as if you have just played it, so timing this one will be crucial to get maximum effect.

This pack again is a great addition, it provides more variety of schemes, and traits of schemes that will see expanded in the future, such as Omen, and Riddle.  Its nice seeing new versions of characters like Robb Stark that are so very different from the core box, which can allow for wildly different builds, or make one of your favourite characters fit a build idea you have better.  Im most excited by the synergy between this and previous packs, with the Starks in particular linking to house Tully, giving them a really good way to build power up fast making them a real threat of a house now, and i think they very much got the best cards in the pack.


To learn more about A Game of Thrones the card game second edition take a look here
Stick with us as we look at the Factions in future articles to give you an idea of how they play, and take a look at some of the upcoming chapter packs that add more to your game.

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Head on over to your local game store to pick this up with an RRP of £13.99 it will add plenty to your game!