News for April 2014
Rules of Engagement
New FAQ and Tournament Rules Are Available for A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 15 April 2014


The 2014 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Regional Championship season is almost here, and it’s time to once again discuss the rules governing a battle. What is permitted during a tournament? What is allowed during a grand melee? Are there certain characters banned from the tilt?

Knowledge before battle is just as important as your armor, so make sure to read the new FAQ (pdf, 15.3 MB) and Tournament Rules (pdf, 1.4 MB) before heading out to a tournament.

Click on the above thumbnails to download the FAQ (left) and Tournament Rules (right)

Here are a few words from the developers, Nate and Damon, to describe the changes.

A Word from the Developers

Hello A Game of Thrones players!

With Store Championships wrapping up, we have prepared an FAQ and tournament rules update for the start of Regional season. This update can be divided into two spheres: one which focuses on ruling clarifications, and one which focuses on metagame health.

On the rules side, the most impactful entry is the new content added to section 3.6, the “Triggered Effects” definition. In order to address a number of counterintuitive situations in which players were seeking to pay costs with no possibility of resolving any part of the effect, we have introduced a play restriction check that verifies at least one aspect of a card’s effect (in addition to its cost) has the possibility of resolving, not factoring in cancels. If none of the card’s effect can resolve, the effect cannot be triggered. The general principle here is that “paying a cost for no possible effect” is akin to kneeling influence “just because,” or throwing gold back into the token bank “for no reason,” neither of which players are permitted to do. The practical application of this ruling covers effects like Osha (DotN F81) (Challenges: Stand Osha to remove her from the current challenge.”), so that having Osha participating in the current challenge (thereby making it possible to resolve the effect) is a prerequisite to triggering her ability.

With the launch of the Conquest and Defiance cycle, the question of how to handle a single card with multiple instances of the Prized keyword has been common. Entry 3.43 establishes that each instance of this keyword resolves independently, regardless of the qualifying value(s). This means that if a character has the printed keyword “Prized (1)” and gains “Prized (1)” from another effect, each opponent will claim a total of 2 power when it is killed. This will be handled as two independent instances of claiming 1 power each time.

Additionally, in the Q&A section, we present explanations of the timing for initiating a challenge by the card Show of Force (C&D F14), the structure of an epic phase, how to handle Art of Seduction (LotR F52) when it is revealed outside of the standard framework action window in which plot cards are revealed, and what to do if a character that has been removed from the game by Coldhands cannot re-enter play when the Coldhands (KR F61) effect expires.

Regarding the restricted list and balance-oriented changes, we have used the results of recent major tournaments and Store Championships, as well as a series of detailed field reports from our playtest team, to identify some trends in the current metagame that, if left unchecked, could cause high levels of stagnation in tournament play as we move into Regional season. These trends, in a nutshell, are a widespread gravitation toward extreme control archetypes, mass resets, and a de-emphasis on character cards and challenges, which many players identify as some of the more enjoyable aspects of the game.

To address these concerns, we have taken a three-tiered approach that incorporates a small amount of balance-oriented errata, the addition of new cards to the restricted list, and the removal of a number of cards from the list that were deemed as being no longer worthy of restriction in the current environment. None of these changes were made in a vacuum; they were made with a consideration of the environment as a whole, with the goal of challenging the perceived dominance of extreme control play styles (without completely eliminating their potential from the game), while simultaneously empowering traditional, character- and challenge-based approaches, in order to provide a metagame that is as healthy and interesting as possible for our audience during the upcoming Regional season. With these large picture goals in mind, we then aimed to make the most appropriate decision (restrict, unrestrict, errata) for each of the cards that was considered for this update.

In closing, we would like to take a moment to comment upon a topic that is not addressed in this FAQ update: set rotation. We are aware that the size of the card pool, the number of products available, and the breadth of the game are growing increasingly problematic for our audience. For some, it is a barrier of entry that is discouraging to new players who are thinking of buying in or trying to get caught up with their collections. For others, it is a matter of increasing complexity and a sense of getting lost in the card pool. We bring this up now to let you, our player base, know that we are aware of these issues and are working toward a long-term solution that ensures the continuation of the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game experience for years to come. More information on this topic will be presented in November, at the 2014 FFG World Championship Weekend.

Good luck at your Regional events!

Nate French & Damon Stone
Fantasy Flight Games

Thanks Nate and Damon!

Things can get hectic on the field of battle, and you often have to act without planning. Download the new FAQ and Tournament Rules today so your instincts will be honed and ready to act in the heat of the moment.

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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