GAME OF THRONES THE BOARD GAME



OBJECTIVE OF GAME OF THRONES THE BOARD GAME: The objective of Game of Thrones The Board Game is to control more castles and fortresses than your enemies.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 6

MATERIALS: 

  • 1 Rule Book
  • 1 Board
  • 138 coloured plastic units (10 Footmen, 5 Knights, 6 Ships and 2 Siege Engines per house)
  • 42 House cards (7 per House)
  • 30 Westeros cards
  • 9 Wildlings cards
  • 24 Course of the Battle small cards 
  • 6 House screens, 1 per house
  • 90 Order tokens (15 per house)
  • 120 Power tokens (20 per house)
  • 18 Influence markers (3 per house)
  • 6 Supply markers (1 per house)
  • 14 tiles Force Neutral
  • 6 Victory Point markers (1 per house)
  • 6 Garrison tiles (1 per house)
  • 1 Iron Throne tile
  • 1 Valyrian Steel Blade tile
  • 1 Messenger Raven tile
  • 1 Game Round marker
  • 1 Wildling Threat token
  • 1 King’s Court plate (for 3 or 4 player games)

TYPE OF GAME: order/army placement strategy game

AUDIENCE: teen, adult


OVERVIEW

King Robert Baratheon is dead, and the seven crowns governing the lands of Westeros are preparing for war. Armies are gathering and crows are flying, the battle of the kings becomes inevitable.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s series of novels The Iron Throne, Game of Thrones The Board Game allows players to take control of one of the great Houses of Westeros and embark on a game of struggles for influence, conquest of territory, and diplomacy in the amazing world of the Iron Throne.

In this strategy game, you will recruit armies, conquer territories and form alliances. Take control of your house and control as many Castles and Fortresses as possible in order to claim the Iron Throne.

Example of a 3 player game setup

SETUP

Place the board in the centre of the table.

Shuffle the deck of Wildling cards, place it next to the Wildlings’ track, and place the Wildlings’ Threat marker on the square 2 of the Wildling Threat track.

Shuffle each of the three packs of Westeros cards separately (using their number) and place them next to the board.

Neutral forces: take the rectangular region tiles that have a number corresponding to the number of players on one of their faces, and place them in the relevant squares on the board, with the correct face visible (the one corresponding to the number of players).

Place the Game Round marker on square 1 of the turn track.

Each player chooses a house, but depending on the number of players some houses are not available:

  • with 5 players we play without the Martell house
  • with 4 players we play without the houses Martell and Tyrell
  • with 3 players you play without the houses Greyjoy, Martell and Tyrell, and the whole south area of the board (representing the Tyrell and Martell territories) will be inaccessible.

In addition, for 3 and 4 players, a different plate is added on the first 4 positions of the King’s Court influence track of the board.

Once the houses have been chosen, each player takes the following material corresponding to his house: House screen, 7 House cards, 15 Order counters, 1 Supply counter, 3 Influence markers, 1 Victory Point marker, 1 Garrison tile, all armed miniatures.

Then, referring to what is indicated on their home screen, each player places on the corresponding tracks/areas on the board:

  • his Supply marker
  • his Victory marker 
  • his three Influence markers on the three tracks of the King’s Court (with less than 6 players, when all players have placed their markers, the empty spaces are filled by shifting the markers to the left)
  • his starting units in the regions indicated
  • his Garrison tile on his starting area

Finally, the Power tokens are placed near the board, and each player takes five of them from his house, which he places behind his board.

GAMEPLAY

Each round is divided into 2 main phases: the Westeros phase and the Orders phase. 

Westeros phase

3 random events will take place during this phase. Some of these are present several times in the event decks. You will therefore, several times in the game, have to deal with the four main events.

Notes: Each time an event card is applied, check first if there is a Wildling symbol on that card. If so, the Wildling Threat counter is moved one space forward. If this token reaches the 12 square, a Wildling Attack takes place immediately, as described below (Event #4).

1. Adjust your supply according to the territories controlled. To do this, each player counts the number of Supply symbols in the regions he controls, and places his marker on the corresponding box on the Supply Track. Your supply level will indicate both the total number of armies you can control and the maximum number of units each army can hold. If during the readjustment, your troops exceed your Supply level, you suffer losses and must immediately remove troops from the board in order to comply with your Supply level.

Remarks:

  • the loss of a territory giving Supply does not trigger a readjustment of the Supply counter, and therefore does not trigger possible troop losses
  • you may not take any action that would cause you to exceed your current supply limit (e.g. recruiting or moving armies for any reason)

2. Recruit new units in controlled castles and fortresses. Each Fortress earns 2 recruitment points, and each Castle earns 1. Recruitment costs are as follows:

  • 1 point per Footman
  • 2 points per Knight (or 1 point by transforming a Footman into a Knight)
  • 1 point per Ship
  • 2 points per Siege Engine (or 1 point by transforming a Footman into a Siege Engine)

Recruited units are obligatorily placed in the area that provided the recruitment points.

Note: Ships must be placed either in a sea area not controlled by the enemy and adjacent to the area that provided the recruitment points, or in a port connected to that area (if there is one). Otherwise, Ships cannot be recruited. Moreover, Ships also count as armies as soon as there are 2 or more Ships in the same sea area.

3. Participate in the game of influence by betting your Power points in order to obtain the best position on the 3 Influence tracks of the game, and thus obtain precious bonus tiles: The Iron Throne (which determines the order of the turn and grants the ability to settle ties), The Fiefdoms (which gives +1 in Combat Strength and the advantage in ties in combat) and The Messenger Raven (which allows you to see upcoming events or to change an order).

Each track is solved one after the other. Each player secretly places Power tokens (or no Power tokens at all) in their hand, and then they are revealed simultaneously. The Influence markers of the track being auctioned are readjusted in descending order of bidding.

Remarks:

  • the player with the Iron Throne tile settles the ties, if any.
  • the tiles Iron Throne, Valyrian Steel Blade and Raven Messenger Raven are only awarded to the player in first position on the corresponding Influence Tracks at the very end of the auction.
  • the Power counters used in the auctions return to the global reserve, near the board.

4. Confronting the attack of the wildlings, which requires collaboration between players to defeat them. The top card of the Wildlings draw pile is revealed, then the players will bet, fist closed, a number of Power tokens of their choice.  After revelation, 

if the total reaches or exceeds the strength of the wildlings, the wildlings are defeated:

  • the player who bet the most receives the reward indicated on the card
  • the Wildlings Threat token is placed on the 0 square of the Wildlings track
  • the card is handed under the draw pile of the Wildlings


If, on the contrary, the total is not sufficient, the wildlings prevail and risk attacking again very soon.

  • all players suffer the normal defeat effect indicated on the card
  • the player with the lowest bet suffers the strongest effect
  • the Wildlings Threat token is moved back two squares on the Wildlings track

Orders Phase

During this phase, players simultaneously and secretly choose their orders for each area with units. To receive an order, an area must have at least one unit (Infantryman, Knight, Ship…).

An area can only receive one order, regardless of the number of units in it.

There are five types of order: March, Defence, Support, Raid and Consolidation.

Each player has two normal orders and one special order of each type. The special order is marked with a star. Special orders have a higher bonus than normal orders or an additional effect. You can only play a limited number of special orders per turn, determined by your position on the King’s Court Influence Track (third row of the Game of Influence area of the board).

When the orders have been revealed, the player controlling the Raven Messenger tile may, at his option:

  • Replace one of his assigned orders with one of his unused orders, always without exceeding the special order limit.
  • Look at the card from the top of the Wildlings’ draw pile 

Then the orders are resolved according to their type in the following order: Raid, then March, then Consolidation. For each of these order types, each player resolves one at a time, in turn, following the turn order, which is indicated by the Iron Throne Influence track.

Note: Defence and Support Orders are only used in reaction to battles that may be triggered by March Orders.

– Raid: This order removes a support, raid or consolidation order from an adjacent area (but not a march or defence order). A raid from a sea area can affect an order of a land area, but not the other way around. In the case of a raid of a consolidation order, the player who carried out the raid gains a Power token, and the targeted player loses one. The special Raid order might be used to remove a Defence counter.

– Walk: This order allows you to move your units to an adjacent area. The movement rules are as follows:

  • You can move all, some or none of the counters in the area that has been given a March order.
  • You can move your units to one or more adjacent areas.
  • Important: for each March order, no matter how many areas you move your units to, you can only move units to one area containing units from another House.
  • Sea convoy: land troops can pass through as many sea areas as desired in a single movement, as long as these areas are occupied by ships from the same House as the moving units. There is no need to have placed an order token in sea convoy areas, the convoy is automatic.
  • Moving one or more units to an area containing units from another House triggers a battle. The battle is resolved immediately after movement.

– Consolidation: For each consolidation order, players earn 1 Power token, plus 1 Power token for each Power symbol (crown) in the area where the order is located. The special Consolidation order allows, instead of taking Power, to recruit in the area where the token is played, if it contains a Fortress or Castle.

Example of an Order Phase just after revealing the Order tokens. The Stark player has the Messenger Raven tile, and might use it to change the token in the Shivering Sea, where he has three ships, into a Support token to help the Eyrie against a very likely attack from the Lannisters.

Battles

The value of units in an army’s Combat Strength is as follows:

  • 1 per Foot-soldier
  • 2 per Knight
  • 1 per Ship
  • 4 per Siege Engine, only if the unit is participating in an attack against an area containing a Castle or Fortress, 0 otherwise.

Each player adds up his initial Combat Strength total as follows:

  • units in combat
  • supporting units
  • Defense order bonus (for the defender, if he placed one in the attacked area)
  • March order bonus (for the attacker)
  • garrison (for the defender, if there is a garrison tile in the attacked area)

– Support: This order is used to support troops from an adjacent area where a battle is taking place (in attack or defence). The combat value of the supporting troops will be added to the combat strength of the House being supported. If you decide to support a House other than your own, that House may refuse the support offered. Land troops (Knights and Footmans) cannot support a battle taking place in a sea area, but Ships can support a land area.

Note: Following a support, the Support command token remains in place, thus potentially allowing several supports in the same turn.

Once the initial Combat Strength has been determined and announced, the attacking and defending players secretly – and compulsorily – select a House card from their hand, and then reveal it simultaneously. Their effects are applied immediately or not depending on the nature of the effect, and then each player adds the value of their card to their Combat Strength. Then, if one of the opponents has the Valyrian Steel Blade tile, he can decide to use it to gain +1. In this case, the Blade is flipped over to indicate that it will not be used again this turn.

Once the winner is determined, losses are applied: the loser takes one unit per sword symbol on the opponent’s House card, but may cancel one such loss for each tower symbol on his House card.

The army of the loser must then retreat:

  • in the area from which it came, if the attacker lost
  • in an adjacent area not controlled by another player (nor in the area where the attack came from), if the defender lost

Other retreat rules:

  • it is forbidden to exceed the supply limits following a retreat
  • units with nowhere to flee to are destroyed
  • land troops may flee by sea, according to the sea convoy rules described above
  • Siege Engines are destroyed if they have to retreat.
  • retreating units are laid down to indicate that they are in rout
    • they no longer provide Combat Strength during the turn
    • they are destroyed if they have to retreat again

Once the retreat is over, the attacker’s March Order is removed, as is the defender’s if the defender has been defeated.

Other rules

Ports

  • When a player recruits Ships in a land area with a port, he may place them in the port or directly in the sea area adjacent to the port.
  • It is possible to recruit in a port even if the adjacent sea area is occupied by enemy ships.
  • No more than three ships in a port
  • Ports count as zones, so they can receive Order counters if they contain at least one Ship.
  • A player who takes control of a land area that has a port immediately converts all Ships in the port into Ships of his colour.
  • The normal supply rules apply at all points in ports.
  • When the Game of Thrones card is resolved in the Westeros Phase, players also receive one Power counter for each port with one (or more) Ships whose adjacent sea zone is not controlled by the enemy.

Zone control

When a player voluntarily moves all his units out of an area, he may place a Power counter from his reserve to maintain control. This allows him to keep the advantages granted by the area (Fortress, Castles and Supply) but not to play Order counters. Starting areas remain constantly under the control of their owner until they are conquered by another player. Power tokens do not provide any Combat Strength though, and an army entering in a region containing only a Power token automatically takes control of it.

Alliances

Players may verbally enter into alliances at any time, but are not allowed to reveal game elements that should normally remain hidden (order tokens, bids in auctions, etc.). Obviously, breaking alliances is fully allowed! 

END OF GAME

If at any time during the game, a player controls seven areas containing a Castle or Fortress, the game ends immediately with that player’s victory. Otherwise, the game lasts until the end of the tenth game round and the player who controls the most areas containing a Castle or Fortress wins the game. The following elements are used to break the tie in descending order of priority:

  • most Fortresses
  • the best supply
  • most tokens Power
  • the best position on the Iron Throne track
After many treacherous moves, the Lannister player wins by conquering his seventh castle while Baratheon and Stark players are stuck at three castles.

Enjoy! 😊

VARIATIONS

Course of the Battle cards

Using these cards during battles allows for more violent fights, surprises and dire outcomes. Shuffle the Course of the Battle cards and place them near the board. During battles, apply the following rules:

  • after revealing the House cards, each player draws a Course of the Battle card and secretly looks at it
  • if a player has the Valyrian Steel Blade tile, he may use it – flip it – to discard his Course of the Battle card and draw another one
  • each player reveals his Course of the Battle card and applies the Combat Strength modifier (shield symbol)
  • when determining losses each player adds the Sword/Tower symbols of his Course of the Battle card to those of his House card
  • after determining losses, each player suffers one unavoidable loss per Skull symbol on his course of the Battle card
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