Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Battles of Westeros

This is my first board game review - I've chosen a rather involved game so people can get a feel for what I'm going to cover and...I just really liked it, so I wanted to talk about it. Get off my back, okay?

First and foremost, for those who are not Game of Thrones fans, this game is a strategy based game set in the fictional land of Westeros, created by George R.R. Martine in his saga "A Song of Ice and Fire." If you haven't read this series or seen it on HBO, go. Come back and finish this after you're done...

Are you back? What did you think? How 'bout that red wedding? Okay, enough, back to the game.

If you're not in to strategy based games, this is definitely not for you (I'm looking at you, people who can't make it through a game of Risk). There are scenarios that you play through, called "Battle Plans," that detail  what the goal is of the scenario, what pieces to play with, how to lay out the map, etc. It's a really versatile game, and there are more plans online than are included in the game set.

HOWEVER...it took us over 3 hours to prepare the game and get through the directions. There were over 100 pieces to assemble onto little stands, and it was much harder than it needed to be. My boyfriend and I were crushing the little pieces into the stands using butter knives. I got a blister on my finger, so...there's that. And, to add insult to injury, the pieces didn't all stay in their stands, we had to glue about two dozen of them together.

But, okay, I can get passed that, spend an hour or so crushing and gluing small pieces together while watching an episode of "Parks and Recreation," not so bad. The next morning, though, not as easy. Punching out the rest of the pieces took another 15 minutes and then.....the directions. Can I just take a minute and say -- holy shit. Over 25 pages of directions (which were all necessary, none of this fluffy stuff that you just end up saying "Okay, let' play a couple rounds and we'll just pick it up." This shit is legit, you better be paying attention. And after you've been blistered by the pieces, and beaten into submission by the directions, it's finally time to play. This is where it starts looking up.

The game is a two player game, which there aren't a whole lot of. Yeah, there are games that you can choose to play with two people, but they're usually less fun/challenging/engaging. So this is JUST a two player game, don't invite all of your friends over to play it. They will be very bored and never come back.

As I said before, the game is very involved and versatile. The board, or "battlefield," is set up according to the scenario given in the battle plan. There will be rivers, roads, towns, etc. that are added to the board to introduce different challenges and options. Each scenario has a different goal, which changes the strategy of how you play from game to game.

The game itself takes only 1-2 hours to play, depending on the battle scenario chosen, so after you invest the time to prepare it and learn it, it's not a big time commitment. You can think of it like an investment. And MOST importantly, I can't believe I'm only mentioning this now, you play as the Starks and the Lannisters. I don't know why they did that, the most beloved family vs. the most hated family, I'll rock-paper-scissor you for the Starks! You get to play as some of your favorite characters and they each have special abilities according to their natures.

So, DON'T buy the game if you have no interest in strategy based games, you won't like it, it will be a waste of money, and you will just lead a terrible life because of it...or you'll get over it, who can possibly know? DO buy the game if you are a fan of GoT and also love a good strategy game and you don't mind spending at least 3 hours to set up and learn the game the first time. It's a little over $60 depending on where you get it, so a little more expensive than the average game, but you get a lot for your money (or at least that's what my blisters are telling me, and they're rarely wrong).

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