Monday, 7 November 2016

A Game Of Thrones LCG Lions of Casterley Rock deluxe expansion unboxing and review

When Fantasy Flight Games released A Game of Thrones the LCG 2nd Edition I was smitten.  I love A Game of Thrones, and the art in the game, and the mechanics are excellent.  In fact its probably my favourite Vs card game.  Since then they have released regular chapter packs advancing the plot, and a deluxe expansion Wolves of the North which was focussed on house Stark.  Now we get one I have long been waiting for, the Lions of Casterley Rock, which focuses on my favourite house, the Lannisters.

“My brother is undoubtedly arrogant,” Tyrion Lannister replied. “My father is the soul of avarice, and my sweet sister Cersei lusts for power with every waking breath. I, however, am innocent as a little lamb.”
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


Lions of Casterly Rock, the second deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, invites you to take your place among the storied names of House Lannister. Within this expansion, the Lannisters explore new themes, launching an ambush with their Clansman allies, redoubling their focus on the intrigue challenge, and sending out marauders to pillage the lands of Westeros. You’ll also find new versions of the most iconic Lannister characters, including Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Ser Jaime Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister.

So we get new cards, some alternate versions, new plots... all sorts of goodies.... lets crack it open and take a look inside...




 You get 156 new cards in the pack, a little bit of FFG catalogue, and a sheet with some deck ideas on here.  A really nice touch, I like that as it can push you in ways you may never have thought of before.
 Time to delve into the cards..... starting with Ser Kevan Lannister... 6 cost 4 strength with intrigue and power he lets you bring back a Lannister location from he discard pile when he is marshalled, so pretty handy and solid stats too.  Timett son of Timmet is a 6 cost 4 strength clansman with military and power challenges.  Clansman is a theme we see a lot of in this deck.  The more Clansman you have the more "killy" Timmet becomes, as if you win a challenge with him involved you can kill X strength of enemy where X is the number of Clansmen you control... pretty nifty!
 A new version of Cersei lands at cost 7 with a strength of 6 and intrigue and power. Yes she is costly, but she is a beast! she does not kneel when decalrted as an intrigue attacker, and after after a palyer loses a card from their hand (the results of an intrigue challenge) Cersei gains a power.  You can also gain that from any other effects that may cause the attacker to lose a card from their hand too.

Tyrion is also a new high cost 7 card, with all 3 icons and a strength of 5, so he is certainly no pushover, and he has a very useful reaction.  After you win a challenge, return an attacking Clansman card to your hand and then you may either, draw 2 cards, gain 3 gold, or raise the claim by 1 on your plot card... These choices provide you with so much versatility, and power to your deck to provide you with what you want when you need it. 
 Jaime returns in a new variant with a cost of 5, and strength of 4 with military and intrigue icons.  He also buffs all your knight characters giving them renown, and by definition with him being a knight he gets it himself too.  He also has other uses in the challenges phase, you can choose a kingsguard character and they gain the intrigue icon until the end of phase.  Very useful if you need that intrigue blocker.

Tywin was probably my favourite of the Lannister cards in the core box, and this is a different version again, which though good, I think I prefer the core set one.  This version is strength 5, cost 5, with intrigue and power challenges, and pillage to work through an enemies deck, and he lets you look at the top two and decide which to ditch... this is more powerful then you may first think, as it also lets you know what your enemy has coming next.
 Moon Brothers are a 3 cost 3 strength military challenge card that act with other clansmen again.  When you are attacking with a clansman, you can kneel your faction card to put moon brothers into play from your hand as a participating attacker standing.. which is super useful as you can bluff your opponent and then hit them hard to take the win.

Red Keep Spy is a 3 cost 3 strength with intrigue only, can be ambushed from your hand.  She also has a reaction that after she enters play using ambush you can choose a character of cost 3 or less and return them to their opponents hand, but only if you have more cards then them.  With Cersei working her intrigue challenges this should not be a problem to achieve.
Shagga son of Dolf, is another clansman with 3 cost, 4 strength and military challenge icon.  He does gain amubush cost of 0 whilst in your hand if you control a clansman already, or Tyrion, but if you use this you must kill a Lannister character you control.

Taena is a 3 cost, 2 strength card with intrigue and power, and lets you choose and discard a card in your hand to draw another one after you have palyed an event, so handy to get those dead cards out of the way, and if its a location, Kevan can bring it back into play.
 Chella is another clansman card, cost 4 with 3 strength military and intrigue icon (and also my favourite art of the pack).  she gets +1 strength for each ear token she has, and if she has 3 or more she gets intimidate AND renown.  She gets these tokens by participating in challenge where the enemy is killed.

Ser Gregors marauders are cost 4, strength 4, with military and intrigue icons and pillage.  They can stand after they discard an even with pillage so this lets you get more use from them.
 Alayaya is a cost 2 strength 2 card with intrigue, and the reaction that after you win a challenge she is involved in you can move a gold from your opponents pool to yours.

Ser Lancel is cost 2, strength 0 with military and intrigue... strength 0 you say? how does he do anything??? well.... when you control a lord or lady he gets  the same strength as them, so he can potentially be quite strong.
 Tommen us a 2 cost, 2 strength card with only the power icon, and each player with no cards in their hand cannot gain power from challenge bonues, so if you can knock your opponents hand out with intrigue you can really reduce their offensive possibilities.

Lannsiport guard is a 2 cost, 2 strength card with military and intrigue, and after he is marshalled each player draws a card.

The golden tooth is a 2 cost location that can be kneeled to gain a gold, handy for that coin when you need it, but you get 3 if your opponent has no cards in hand, so it links nicely with the intrigue theme of stripping them apart.  Mountains of the Moon is a 1 cost location that after a clansman enters play they gain a challenge icon of your choice till the end of phase, which is pretty useful as most of them only have a military one, so this lets you adjust them to what you need.

 Lannisport treasury is a 1 cost location that has the reaction after the treasury phase, move 1 gold from you pool to this card.  Then in the marshalling phase you can kneel it to move any over to your pool again.  This is handy as it lets you keep and store up any unspent gold for when you need it.

Shield of Lannisport is a 3 cost attachment that can go on a lord or lady only, and gains you an extra gold a turn, and it boosts your characters if there are no high cost ones out.
 Valyrian steel dagger is a 2 cost attachment, that gives the bearer  +2 strength and stealth in intrigue challenges, so this in my opinion is perfect for Cersei letting her dominate that phase.

A Lannister always pays his debts is a 3 cost attachment that has the challenge action, choose an opponent who has won a challenge against you this turn (we don't want this to happen often if at all though)  Then you may initiate an additional military and intrigue challenge against that player.. so timed right, letting a soft win through, this can then prove to be devastating.
 Insidious scheme is a 1 cost even that lets yu draw 2 cards if you win an intrigue challenge by 5 or more, and with Cersei tooled up.. that's not that hard at all to pull off.

Daring Rescue is a 1 cost event that can only be used if you have a knight character, if you do you return a character you control to your hand to have a knight you control gain 1 power. could be useful if that's the one you need to win!
 House Martell gain, Trystane Martell who is cost 4, strength 4 with intrigue and power icons, and the reaction that after you lose a challenge he is participating in choose a character with a lower strength and they can not be declared a defender, so its a god way to clear a path for that vital challenge you need.

You murdered her children is a 2 cost event in the challenges phase that lets you chose a martell character you control and double their strength till the end of the phase, though they are then killed after, so its a trade off.
 The Greyjoys get Victarion, who provides a solid boost with his cost 6, strength 5 military and power, plus he has intimidation and renown.  You can also keep him alive by sacrificing 2 power from him when he would be killed letting him cause more havoc.

Old Wyk is a 2 cost location that as a reaction after you initiate a power challenfe lets you put the top drowned god character in your dead pile into play knelt as an attacker in that challenge, and if you win by 5 or more put him back to your hand, otherwise the bottom of your deck, either way its bringing a character back for you.
 House Baratheon get Edric storm 2 cost 2 strength power challenge, who as an reaction can choose a character that will nto add its strength tot he dominance phase, which is great as Baratheon loves to win dominance and has plenty of cool tricks that go with it.

disputed Claim is a 1 cost attachment that gives the character +2 strength and renown when you have more power on your faction card then your opponent, again it all ties into winning that dominance and crushing your opponent in that phase to provide MORE power.
 The Nights Watch get Sweet Donnel Hill, a 2 cost 2 strength character with intrigue, which is rare in the watch, but he is a great defender as he causes the attacker to lose all keywords, so no renown, or pillage..... very useful indeed.

The Bridge of Skulls is a 1 cost location that has an interrupt.  Choose an opponent who did not make a military challenge against you, they must discard a card, so it forces your opponent to challenge you meaning they may be short of blockers, unless they want to lose a card that is.
 The Starks get Jeyne Westerling a 3 cost 1 strength character with intrigue and power icons.  You can kneel her to stand another Stark Character, this is great meaning you can always get your biggest blockers out, or surprise your opponent with an unexpected attacker.

Last Hearth Scouts are a 4 cost and strength card with military and power icons.  After a character enters play during the challenge phase, so perhaps an ambush, they must then kneel. useful to put a stop on shenanigans.
 the Targaryens get one of my favourite characters from the TV show in Ser Barristan Selmy.  He is cost 5 strength 4 with military and power icons, and if you win a challenge in which he is involved and you have less cards in your hand than your opponent you can stand him.

Daenerys favor is a 2 cost attachment that can only go on Targaryen characters, and gives all other  participating characters -1 strength in a challenge they are involved in.
 House Tyrell gets Alerie Tyrell who is cost 4, strength 3 with intrigue and power icons.  She has the reaction that after she enters play you can search the top 10 cards of your deck for a Tyrell character with cost 3 or less and put it into your hand.

A Rose of Gold is a 1 cost event that is a challenge action.  You can look at the top 3 cards of your deck, add 1 to your hand and place the others at the bottom of your deck, hopefully letting you pull out that useful one you need at the right time!
 The Neutrals also get a nice buff with some new cards in this set starting with the High Septon.  He is cost 6, strength 5 with intrigue and power icons, and the interrupt that can deflect targeted abilities from you to other loyal the seven traited cards.

Devout Freerider is a 3 cost and strength card with military and power icons that stops each player gaining gold during the challenges phase, very useful to stop those scheming Lannisters (though I love them dearly)
 Wildling Bandit is a 2 cost, 1 strength card with military and intrigue icons, and gains +2 strength attacking a player with more gold in their treasury than you.

Ocean Road is a 0 cost location that reduces the cost of the next neutral or out of faction card by 1.
 Appointed is a 1 cost attachment that gives the attached player the small council trait and the intrigue icon.

The council consents is a 1 cost event that lets you stand all small council characters if you win a challenge by 5 or more, very useful in a themed deck.
 We get a new agenda with the Rains of Castermere thaty can help you with scheme plots.

then we are onto the new plots in the deck.... Early Frost is a winter card that reduces the number of cards drawn in the draw phase by 1, good to try and control your opponent if you are loaded up with goodies.
 Lions of the Rock gains you 3 gold in the challenges phase, great to spend on goodies for Lannisters!

Unexpected delay can bounce a character back to the players hand.
 Summoned to court canlet you and your opponent bluff to put a character into play, by picking a character each and then revealing, and the lowest cost one goes into play.

Littlefingers meddling reduces the cost of each event you play by 2, so is perfect when your hand is loaded to fly those events out.
Time of plenty is a summer card, and increases the draw of each player in the draw phase by 1.

Gossip and lies is a perfect card for a Lannister player, when active each charater you control does not kneel when you initiate the first intrigue challenge, so you can really smash your opponent to make sure you win with this card.

You get a ton in this pack, and I love it, not just for being a Lannister fan, as each house gets some excellent cards, and the neutrals are solid, but the amount you get and the new plots make this the perfect pack for all fans of the games, it provides so many options for you to tweak and trim and adjust your play style with the new cards or different versions, and the plots provide even more challenges to think of when you build your deck.

To learn more about A Game of Thrones the card game second edition take a look here
and check out our articles on Factions and plots 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.

Come and join us in all sorts of gaming chat in our Facebook group here, and come follow us on Twitter @rollyoursix and Instagram join the chat, and tell us about your games!

Head on over to your local game store to pick this up with an RRP of £29.99 it will add a huge amount to your game!