|The King's Wrath in The Grand Melee
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 10 November 2011|
As we arrive at The Grand Melee for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, Knights and champions from across the land assemble on the tourney grounds. Lords and Ladies give them their blessings and place their bets. It is a cruel fact of aging that some who may have once ranked among the fiercest warriors inevitably grow old and lose their edge. Likewise, some individuals who revel in combat may move into positions of power where it becomes undignified to risk life and limb in tournament combat. Today, as The Grand Melee goes on sale at retailers everywhere, guest writer Joe Becker takes a look at one such character.
Joe Becker on Robert Baratheon:
One of the main goals of A Tale of Champions was to introduce cards with abilities that get stronger the more players there are in the game. We’ve already read about Euron Crow’s Eye (The Grand Melee, 29) and Doran Martell (The Grand Melee, 34), two characters who can hurt all your enemies when you are forced to defend against a challenge. But a melee game is also about initiating challenges, and today we’re going to look at the King of Westeros, and his desire to fight.
This pack gives us our fifth version of Robert Baratheon for the LCG environment, and this new version of Robert Baratheon (The Grand Melee, 27) has a very interesting ability. To start, Robert is five gold for three Strength, a noble with the King and Lord traits, and Military and Power icons. Robert just wouldn’t be Robert without Renown, and he also gains the Melee keyword. But, as noted, he also has an intriguing, unique ability: “While Robert Baratheon is attacking alone in a Power challenge, each opponent you are not attacking may declare 1 eligible character as a defender.” In other words, your opponents can join in the challenge in an attempt to reign in Robert’s power. The stakes are small if they win–perhaps a power for Renown, or the chance to trigger an ability–but if you win, the stakes are not so small: all your opponents must fulfill your claim. In a four-player melee and with Focused Offense (Queen of Dragons, 51), Robert Baratheon can potentially claim as much as nine power from claim and one for renown.
It may appear obvious that everyone will defend against Robert's challenges, then, but that doesn't mean your opponents will field the necessary strength to stop you. Opponents with no power on their House card may have nothing to gain by declaring a defender, and while you're not the only threat, your opponent's can't ignore each other just to stop Robert. You may find moments when your opponents have killed and knelt enough of each other's characters that an event to boost Robert's Strength, along with his Melee keyword, can see him push his way through to victory. And maybe, just maybe, an opponent simply lets your challenge pass undefended, hoping that by giving the King what he wants–more power–he is making an ally in the game for the next turn or two. After all, isn’t the political aspect of the melee game just as important as the cards on the table?
The King’s Warhammer
House Baratheon gets another nice card in this pack, the Warhammer (The Grand Melee, 28). Put this card on Robert, and your opponents now have to decide if they want to defend with a character that can be discarded after the challenge resolves or let you win the extra power for an unopposed challenge. You do have to win the challenge to trigger this ability, though, so it’s a card that works best when you have some surprises up your sleeve to boost your Strength and claim the victory.
Robert Baratheon always enjoyed the melee, and if he can get free of the public’s watchful eyes and squeeze himself back into his armor, you can bet he’ll be looking forward to his chance to swing his warhammer again in The Grand Melee.
Now that you’ve had your appetite whetted by this and other previews, head to your local retailer or our webstore today. The Grand Melee is now on sale.
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.
It is a response, you never have to trigger responses if you do not want to.
What happens if you put Warhammer on Bob, and there isn't anyone in play but him with power? Do you end up killing your own character after you win a challenge?