News for April 2011
Newly Updated FAQ and Errata, Version 2.3 19
Including an open letter to the community from the LCG Design Team
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 28 April 2011

Hello A Game of Thrones Players,

We know everyone is gearing up for regionals, and we want to apologize for creating this sudden upset and confusion in the environment. Some painful changes were just released, and we would like to share some insight with you into why these changes were made. We’d like to assure you that, while this decision may seem sudden, we have taken a lot of time and effort to find the best solution and the decision to act on the matter before regionals was not made lightly.

The four changes were:

  1. Restoring the unique symbol to Khal Drogo’s Tent,
  2. Adding “House Targaryen only” to Heir to the Iron Throne,
  3. Limiting Support of Saltcliffe to three times per round, and
  4. Adding The Laughing Storm to the restricted list.

The change on the tent was an embarrassing oversight, and we should have caught it in proofreading. It is an obvious mistake, and we are correcting it with version 2.3 of the A Game of Thrones FAQ.

The change on Heir to the Iron Throne may not be so obvious. At the time we sent the card to the printer, the non-restricted environment was better able to control this card’s explosive potential: Fear of Winter, Blood of the First Men based Wildling Decks, Castellan of the Rock, and Venomous Blade are all good checks against the faster Baratheon decks, but as we looked at these decks in the new environment, we realized that while we had addressed some metagame concerns, we had created another, one which we felt would create a negative experience for many players during the 2011 regional season.

Recently, a four card combo with Support of Saltcliffe that could discard a player’s deck, clear his hand, and reset his board was brought to our attention. This combo involves running Bran Stark out of House Greyjoy (made easier by the new Alliance agenda), giving him the Ironborn trait with Kraken Tattoo, playing Support of Saltcliffe on him, and completing the combo with the Frostfang Peaks, which discards a card off the opponent’s deck each time you reveal a plot card. The combo, then, allows you to cycle through your plot deck as many times as you would like by using and standing Bran again and again in the plot phase. And each time you use him, you are discarding a card from the opponent’s deck.

The combo becomes even more insidious when plots are carefully chosen: by adding Waste Their Time, you can discard an opponent’s hand (the cards are shuffled back into the deck, and then discarded via the Frostfang Peaks), and by using Marched to the Wall, At the Gates, and City of Secrets in the right order, you can clear your opponent’s board through Marched to the Wall, each time discarding one of your Maester characters, shuffling the Maester back into your deck with City of Secrets, and the next time through the plot deck pulling the Maester back into play with At the Gates. Start the cycle again with Marched to the Wall, and repeat until your opponent has no characters in play, no cards in hand, and no cards remaining in his deck.

We felt that restricting two cards from this combo to break it apart would be too severe an approach, and that placing a straight forward “three times per round” limitation on Support of Saltcliffe’s effect would neutralize this combo and keep the card playable and interesting for Greyjoy players.

The final change was adding The Laughing Storm to the restricted list. This was a case where the primary factor in our decision was breaking apart the combo of Val and The Laughing Storm, as the consistent draw engine was too much for House Baratheon in the new environment. This is a situation where the restricted list is working as intended, allowing us to maintain the printed text of two cards that can still be used in the game, while breaking apart a combination that would be overpowered in the tournament environment.

Just to be clear, this was the responsibility of the design team. Again, we want to apologize for the sudden disruption to the community. We will do everything in our power to tighten our procedures and deliver a game without this kind of turmoil. All future updates to the FAQ and tournament rules will be accompanied by thorough explanations.

With this announcement, you will also find an updated 2011 Tourney Rules document, that lists all legal sets, as well as restricted and banned lists for this upcoming tournament season. We apologize for any confusion caused by linking to last year’s tourney rules document.

We wish you all the best of luck this Regional season and hope to meet many of you at Gencon this year.

Nate French
Damon Stone
Fantasy Flight Games

(As always, the latest versions of all documents referenced above are available for download on the A Game of Thrones support page.)

Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, playable by 2-4 players, brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (19)

Published: 5/7/2011 5:40:25 PM

I would love to see more write ups for the game for things like the FAQ but even just other articles about the game. I also agree that I prefer the restricted list over errata. Much easier to keep track of.

Published: 5/2/2011 9:44:14 AM

Nice announcement!

I think restricted is more elegant than erratta (obviously IMHO).  It adds a layer of deckbuilding, rather than a layer of text.  :)

Published: 4/29/2011 10:09:20 AM

 Great move and thanks for being so kind. :)

Now do the same thing for Warhammer: Invasion: update the FAQ and BAN Verena. :)

Published: 4/29/2011 6:12:06 AM

About the TLS, shouldn´t be enough just adding "only in Intrigue Challenges or other player effects" and so avoid to have another restricted card in just 3 weeks?

Published: 4/29/2011 12:36:06 AM

Regarding those who said just run Winter Festival...that doesn't really work.  Keep in  mind, you will have your opponent decked around the 7th-8th time you go through plots.  That means festival gets you only 8 power.  And the pieces of the combo will NOT help you win any challenges, as Bran is an iconless chump.  Using Waste their Time helped to cherry pick potential problem cards out of their hand that could stop the combo, and once you mixed in Marched to the Wall, you were clearing boards.  As someone who has decked an opponent in round 2 of a game and STILL LOST, it isn't enough to just deck someone, you have to be able to close out the game afterwards.

Published: 4/28/2011 11:25:18 PM

"All future updates to the FAQ and tournament rules will be accompanied by thorough explanations."

This right here goes a long way toward helping players deal with the unfortunate times when we get errata like this. Good for you all for taking the time to do this for us.


Published: 4/28/2011 10:44:08 PM

 Thank you, Damon and Nate and everyone else at FFG involved in making this article happen and addressing player concerns this swiftly.

I still think the restriction on Heir is a sad solution in that a "Any house but Baratheon" restriction would have addressed the actual problematic house while offering the benefits to the agenda to other houses and opening up deck building possibilities for those.

Published: 4/28/2011 10:28:59 PM

 Haha, finite I thought of that too as I was reading the article, but I guess if you really just wanted to annoy your opponent you'd do all of that instead :P

Thank you Nate and Damon!  This is a huge step in the right direction and we all greatly appreciate it!

Published: 4/28/2011 10:25:23 PM

Wow. Good show.


Good. Damn. Show.

Published: 4/28/2011 10:22:42 PM

Thanks for clearing things up!

I just skimmed the tourney rules, and I think you guys left Blood of the First Men off the ban list by mistake.  It might be a good idea to clean that up as well to prevent any confusion. :D

Published: 4/28/2011 10:20:43 PM

Thanks for the explanation, Nate and Damon. This definitely helps to understand the rationale behind these decisions and allay (misplaced) concerns about other motives/preferences.

Published: 4/28/2011 8:28:13 PM

Thank you for the explanations on the recent changes. This answers alot of questions and prevents many more. Thank you for a timely response.

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