Thursday, 23 March 2017

All Men Are Fools chapter pack for a Game of Thrones the card game from Fantasty Flight games unboxing and review


Once more its time for another Chapter pack for A Game of Thrones the card game.  Its always an exciting time, as I never look ahead to see whats in the pack, so its maximum fun at opening time.  The other chapter packs have been excellent, will this one continue the tradition as its the start of a new cycle? Contents wise, as always you get 60 cards, 20 new one with 3 copies of each to add to your deck building options, and it also introduces a new keyword rule which we will look at before the cards.

Three treasons will you know. Once for blood and once for gold and once for love.
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce All Men Are Fools, the first Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!
In the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater, a moment of peace falls across Westeros as the Great Houses lick their wounds. House Lannister has won a decisive victory and forged a new alliance with House Tyrell—but more important than battles are the schemes hatching in the darkness. In the heart of King’s Landing, Tyrion Lannister plots his return to power, as the Queen of Thorns takes Sansa Stark under her wing. House Bolton and House Frey each prepare to strike devastating blows against the Starks. And in the south, the princes of Dorne plot their revenge against the Lannisters for sins long past. Soon, these schemes may determine the fortunes of every Great House…

 Lets take a a look at the new keyword now before we delve into the cards...........





With the onset of the Blood and Gold cycle, a new keyword—the first since the Core Set—enters the game. This keyword is “bestow,” and it gives you a new level of control over your card’s power level. 
For example, one of the first cards to feature the bestow keyword is the blind seneschal of House Martell, Ricasso (All Men Are Fools, 15). Ricasso costs three gold to play, but he also bears bestow (2), which means that when Ricasso enters play, you may move up to two gold from your gold pool to Ricasso. You’re never forced to move this gold, but once the gold is placed on a character, you cannot spend it and you’ll lose the gold if the character leaves play. Still, as we’ll see in a moment, bestowing gold on the right characters is always beneficial.
Placing gold on a card with bestow has no inherent effect, but the purpose of the gold is defined by the rest of the card’s text. In this case, Ricasso’s ability reads, “You are considered to have X additional plot cards in your used pile. X is the number of gold Ricasso has.” Obviously, bestowing gold on Ricasso has powerful implications for cards like Doran Martell (Core Set, 105), Doran's Game (Core Set, 119), and Starfall Cavalry (Called to Arms, 35), but it’s up to you to decide exactly how much you want to invest in Ricasso. 

For the greatest impact, you may choose to bestow two gold on Ricasso—the maximum that you’re able to place on him. Still, doing this costs five gold in total, and you may need to save your money for other effects. Bestowing a single gold on Ricasso gives you a lesser effect for a lower cost, and in desperate circumstances, you could simply play Ricasso for his STR and challenge icons, without worrying about his ability. This precise control over the abilities on your bestow cards is exactly what makes them so adaptable and well-suited to the changing tides of the game of thrones.
With the onset of the Blood and Gold cycle, a new keyword—the first since the Core Set—enters the game. This keyword is “bestow,” and it gives you a new level of control over your card’s power level. 

For example, one of the first cards to feature the bestow keyword is the blind seneschal of House Martell, Ricasso (All Men Are Fools, 15). Ricasso costs three gold to play, but he also bears bestow (2), which means that when Ricasso enters play, you may move up to two gold from your gold pool to Ricasso. You’re never forced to move this gold, but once the gold is placed on a character, you cannot spend it and you’ll lose the gold if the character leaves play. Still, as we’ll see in a moment, bestowing gold on the right characters is always beneficial.
Placing gold on a card with bestow has no inherent effect, but the purpose of the gold is defined by the rest of the card’s text. In this case, Ricasso’s ability reads, “You are considered to have X additional plot cards in your used pile. X is the number of gold Ricasso has.” Obviously, bestowing gold on Ricasso has powerful implications for cards like Doran Martell (Core Set, 105), Doran's Game (Core Set, 119), and Starfall Cavalry (Called to Arms, 35), but it’s up to you to decide exactly how much you want to invest in Ricasso. 

For the greatest impact, you may choose to bestow two gold on Ricasso—the maximum that you’re able to place on him. Still, doing this costs five gold in total, and you may need to save your money for other effects. Bestowing a single gold on Ricasso gives you a lesser effect for a lower cost, and in desperate circumstances, you could simply play Ricasso for his STR and challenge icons, without worrying about his ability. This precise control over the abilities on your bestow cards is exactly what makes them so adaptable and well-suited to the changing tides of the game of thrones.  Its going to change a lot of things, and once more open up new options.  Now lets look at the packs cards!......
 So we looked at Ricasso already, not to the Princes plan.  A 2 cost event that as an action lets you choose a character who gets +1 str until the end of the phase for each plot in your used pile, and gains a challenge icon of your choice.  This can be brutal when played late game! and it has a reaction that after you lose a challenge you can pay 1 gold to return it to your hand from the discard pile, letting you use it again!
 House Tyurell gets the card matching the title of the pack with All men are fools.... its a 0 cost event that is a reaction when you win a challenge by 5 or strength.  Each lady you control then gains a power, with a max use of 1 per challenge, but dropping a few of these in the deck seems a solid choice if you playing the right theme.

Margaery Tyrell makes another appearance, though i think the art on the core set version is my favourite, and i also think the core sets ability has the edge, but that's only in the kind of decks i build, there is certainly a use for this version.  She has Renown for a start, and the reaction that after a unique King or lord character you control is killed, you can search your deck for one and put it into play once per round, this is a good way to avoid paying heavy costs, but of course, you have to lose characters in the first place.
 The Targaryens get the Slavers Bay Port, a 2 cost location  that is limited.  It has its own action in the marshaling phase, where you can kneel it to gain a gold, or 2 if the opponent has 4 or more dead characters, so this will always start to make its money back.

Ghiscari Elite is a 5 cost character with 5 strength, intrigue and power icons.  She has the reaction, after she is knelt (so that could be in a challenge or anything else, you may choose an attachment or event in your discard pile to add to the bottom of your deck.  Very useful for recycling cards!
 Greyjoys get Moat Cailin a 2 cost location that gives the effect..... While there are more winter plots then summer revealed, reduce the initiative on each opponents plot by 3, and reserve by1.

Drowned Disciple wins art of the pack in my mind, its great looking.  He comes in at 3 cost with 3 strength and only power icons, but he does have the reaction... after a character enters play from your dead pile, choose a drowned god character and have it gain a power.  Getting to 15 power is what you need to win, so anything that improves that is good!
 The Lannisters get more to carry on their Hill tribes theme with the Stone Crows.  A 3 cost 3 strength character with military challenge only, and ambush 3, and bestow as well......  The reaction is after you win a challenge in which Stone Crows are participating you may discard a gold from it (got there with bestow) and the defending player must pick and kill a character.

Attack from the mountains is a 2 cost event.  It is used as a reaction when you win a challenge in which you control an attacking clansman, then you can put one from your hand into play, this can be useful to get cards out cheaper, or to put out an unsuspecting surprise fro your opponents.
 House Stark get more to add to the "Tully" theme with Hoster Tully, a 2 cost character with 1 strength and power icon, so he seems weak right? and cheap too, which is good as he buffs your other Tully cards by giving them renown if he is participating in a challenge with them.

The Tumblestone is a 0 cost location in the riverlands with bestow 3, and a reaction that can work so well with Hoster..... after a Tully card gains power discard a gold to stand that character.  Great for getting power, and attack and defence work too, and of course standing to go towards claim.
 Baratheon get the Fickle Bannerman, a 3 cost 5 strength character with military and power icons.  He seems pretty powerful for his cost right? well there is a downside... He has renown, which is good, and bestow 2, but he has a forced reaction.... after you lose a power challenge the winning opponent takes control of fickle bannerman unless you discard a gold from it, and with only 2 gold on it.... things could get messy if you don't win power challenges.

Storms end is a 1 cost location that has the reaction that after you win dominance you can discard a power from your faction card to put one on 2 characters... its a risky move, as they may be killed, but a good way to increase the speed of getting power and winning.
The Nights WAtch get the 3 cost Eastwatch Carpenter, who is 3 cost, 3 strength and only has the power icon.  He does have the reaction though that at collect income time, you gain 1 gold for every 2 locations you control, so you can potential start raking it a lot of cash,

Eastwatch-by-the-sea is a 2 cost location that adds an extra reserve to your hand size, and has the reaction that after dominance begins, if you have a higher reserve value, draw a card.

Ygritte makes her appearance for the neutrals, with the classic quote of "You know nothing Jon Snow" she is a 4 cost character with 3 strength, military and intrigue icons and she can not be knelt by card effects.  She also gains stealth if you control another wildling character.

In a new exciting (well for me anyway) we have a new Agenda... Alliance.  This increases minimum deck size to 75, but lets you run two banner agendas as well, so you can really get the best cads from two house.... Lannister Tyrell alliance coming up.

The pack is finished off with 2 new plots, these are great ways to change up your deck, and these again provide all sorts of benefits or negatives depending on how you look at it!

Barring the gates gives you a 5 income, 2 initiative, 1 claim with 5 reserve.  The title is Cards cannot
enter play from card effects, so good to stop sneaky recycling things your opponent may have.

Late summer feast is a 9 income 0 initiative, 1 claim with 5 reserve plot, and has the forced reaction, that after you win a challenge your opponent may draw a card.... Quite a trade off for the high income, but used in a house that likes to lose, like Martell... very useful.


This is another great pack, which is good as its the start of a new cycle... I am continually impressed with how much content they can find and create. I always enjoy looking at the new options it gives to the houses, and with neutrals getting more every pack too, you can really start to theme and tailor your decks to your own personal play style, and how a simple keyword can change things massively, its time to head back and start re-evaluating some cards.  Its good seeing new variants of old characters too as they progress through the story its only right their abilities should change, but of course you are left with the choices to use either or any version.

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 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 £14.99 it will add plenty to your game!