|Fire and Ice
Announcing the Second Chapter Pack in the Kingsroad Cycle
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 03 May 2013|
“Maester Luwin said the day was looming closer. The end of the long summer was near at hand. Winter is coming.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
The Kingsroad cycle returns players to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, their conflicts, and their intrigues. It also marks a return to several of the prominent themes and mechanics that have already been developed in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. Accordingly, though the Chapter Packs in the Kingsroad cycle are light on new rules, they introduce a fantastic array of strategies and deck-building options as their cards promote new synergies and encourage players toward deep, new exploration of the existing card pool.
The sixty new cards in Fire and Ice (three copies each of twenty different cards) draw new focus to the game’s Summer and Winter mechanics, and they add a number of intriguing new twists. Not only will you find new characters and locations to grant your deck and House a powerful boost in one season or the other, you’ll find two new Seasons agendas that will lead to all-new deck types.
A Song of Fire. A Song of Ice.
“In ancient books of Asshai it is written that there will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword.”
–Melisandre, A Clash of Kings
Seasons in Westeros can last for years, Thus, it’s only natural that they can drastically reshape the lives of those they impact, and in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, the Great Houses each favor one season, either Summer or Winter, excepting the Baratheons, who exist divided between Summer and Winter just as the House is divided between brothers. Summer favors the rich Lannisters and the Dornish of House Martell. They count numerous boons during Summer’s bounty, as do those who support Daenerys Targaryen. Further north, the Starks and Greyjoys are more heavily impacted by Winter than the other Houses, so they have adapted, becoming harder, leaner, and more severe. These qualities may not increase their comfort when the air is warm and the harvests are plenty, but they can prove the difference between life and death when the heavy snows begin to fall.
While the new cards in Fire and Ice don’t create Summer or Winter, they feature numerous interactions with the seasons, and two new agendas heighten the extreme impact the seasons have upon Westeros.
In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, it is neither Summer nor Winter until a card creates the season. The two most elemental cards for establishing seasons are the Black Raven (A Song of Summer, 2) and the White Raven (The Winds of Winter, 24). The Black Raven creates Summer, and the White Raven creates Winter. If either one is played, it forces the discard of the other, meaning that the two Ravens will never create co-existing Summer and Winter seasons. Still, it is possible for the seasons to co-exist. While neither the Black Raven or White Raven are in play, the Crown of Meereen (Queen of Dragons, 6), Crown of Winter (Lords of Winter, 1), and Crown of Azor Ahai (Kings of the Storm, 23) can all create seasons, and their effects can exist simultaneously. They don’t trump each other, but the Ravens trump them.
Now, with Fire and Ice, even the Ravens can be trumped. The Seasons agendas, A Song of Fire (Fire and Ice, 39) and A Song of Ice (Fire and Ice, 40), each prevent opponents from creating a rival season unless they, too, are running a Seasons agenda.
This means, too, that they will force players to give careful consideration to decks built around either Kings of Summer (A Song of Summer, 1) or Kings of Winter (The Winds of Winter, 21). Players running these recently restricted agendas will suffer when they can’t create the season of their choice against a rival Seasons agenda, and they’ll be forced to build their decks without relying too heavily on the positive effects of their agendas or intended seasons. Furthermore, they’ll need to time the play of their Ravens to ensure that the game doesn’t swing to their rival season, or their agendas will prove only a hindrance.
Though the new Seasons agendas will trump the old ones for creating seasonal game states, they don’t offer the same immediate, visceral impact. Instead, each rewards players who can build decks to take advantage of its passive effect. With A Song of Fire, this means finding a way to draw consistently up to the enhanced cap of four cards (or five, if two players are running A Song of Fire). With A Song of Ice, this means balancing the cost-effectiveness ratios of your deck so that you’re always coming out of a turn with a set of four cards in your hand that set you up better for the next turn than the cards in your opponent’s hand do for him.
This is an exciting evolution in the seasonal agenda type, creating an additional layer to the A Game of Thrones metagame. Additionally, as noted by Lead Developer Nate French, it marks a shift in the focus of the seasonal agenda:
“Summer and Winter decks have historically been more about using the effects of the Kings of Summer and Kings of Winter agendas to make decks run more efficiently. While such decks may have used a couple season-based cards, they weren’t often focused on that season in a significant manner. Fire and Ice and the newer Seasons agendas reward decks that combine many season-based effects, and a card like Green Dream (Fire and Ice, 35) will help players pull those effects to the forefront, ensuring that the clash between Summer and Winter remains fully impactful on the board.”
In the Wake of War
While the Kingsroad cycle returns players to the Seven Kingdoms, it depicts those lands as they exist after the War of the Five Kings. Forever scarred and changed, they’re familiar, but not quite the same as they were before.
In addition to the new Seasons agendas, Fire and Ice offers new versions of important figures such as Balon Greyjoy, Tommen Baratheon, and Bran Stark. Along with the Chapter Pack’s other cards, these characters reinforce their House’s traditional strengths while allowing you to tweak your tactics and strategies.
Expect to witness an explosion of new decks and strategies in the third quarter of 2013 when Fire and Ice arrives at retailers everywhere!
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.