News for June 2014
Secrets and Schemes
Announcing the First Chapter Pack in the Wardens Cycle for A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 06 June 2014

“Lysa knew more than she had dared to put in her letter. She might have the very proof that Ned needed to bring the Lannisters to ruin, and if it came to war, they would need the Arryns and the eastern lords who owed them service.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Lords and ladies across the Seven Kingdoms have fought for the Iron Throne. Many have died. Still others have held back, aloof and apart, courted by those who desire their strength. But these lords and ladies have their own plans and ambitions…

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of Secrets and Schemes, the first Chapter Pack in the Wardens cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!

In Secrets and Schemes, you will discover sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) that touch upon the schemes concocted by those patient individuals who have remained above or outside of the wars that have shaken the Seven Kingdoms. Additionally, you’ll learn how they make their opening moves with a host of new Knights, attachments, and the agenda, Aloof and Apart (Secrets and Schemes, 18), which encourages players to revisit some of the game’s most expensive, powerful, and recognizable characters.

Additionally, as it opens the Wardens cycle, Secrets and Schemes begins the exploration of its ongoing themes. For more about these themes and what the cycle has to offer players of every type, we turn to lead developer Nate French.

Lead Developer Nate French on the Wardens Cycle

Hello, A Game of Thrones players!

The Wardens cycle is the twelfth expansion series for A Game Thrones: The Card Game, and with it, we sought to explore a number of under-explored nooks and crannies, both in the game and in the A Song of Ice and Fire setting. This means there’s plenty to appeal to all three of our archetypal players: Ned, Shagga, and Jaime.

The “Ned” Archetype

“Ned” players are fans of the source material, who come to the game to immerse themselves in the A Song of Ice and Fire setting. For such players, the biggest draw in the Wardens cycle is likely to be its exploration of the Vale of Arryn and the Eyrie.

In this expansion cycle, you’ll find a number of important unique characters and locations that have not yet appeared in the LCG®, including Lysa and Robert Arryn, The Knight’s Declarant, The Moon Door, and the “Petyr Baelish” version of Littlefinger.

In the novels, a number of different lords and ladies desire the support of the Vale, but the Arryns have not yet emerged as a unified player in the game of thrones. To this end, the Arryn cards were designed so that they can be splashed as useful support into a wide variety of different decks, rather than collected together as a unified deck archetype. Instead of having a direct impact, the Arryns are more content to lend their support and influence from afar, “safe” within the walls of their Eyrie.

The “Shagga” Archetype

“Shagga” players are fans of novelty, always eager to play around with any new “bright and shiny” toys. The Castle plots of the Wardens cycle introduce a new type of “delayed” plot effects to the cardpool. In exchange for broadcasting their intentions ahead of time and delaying the payoff, Castle plots allow players to take advantage of powerful effects when these plots enter their used plot piles. Because they represent the tendency of the Arryns to plot slowly and cautiously behind the impregnable walls of their mountain fortress, these cards also have a nice Nedly angle to them.

In addition to these new Castle plot cards, you’ll find support for a number of synergistic Trait-based decks that have long enticed Shagga players, but that have not yet made it to the top of the competitive hill. Clansman, House Tully, Sand Snake, Dothraki, and Raider decks all receive a number of new options in this expansion, and House Baratheon gains an entirely new set of cards that focus on the Rainbow Guard.

The “Jaime” Archetype

Finally, the “Jaime” player archetype is the competitive player, for whom winning isn’t just the ultimate objective – it’s the only objective. As we looked at the game from the perspective of these players, we decided that the category of “Limited Response” abilities had not yet been satisfactorily explored.

For most decks and games the limitation of “1 limited response per round” just wasn’t a big deal. To make this aspect of the game experience more interesting, a number of powerful limited response abilities, such as those on The Drumm (Secrets and Schemes, 4) and Maester Vyman were designed into the Wardens card pool. These should challenge competitive players to determine which limited responses, and how many, to include in their decks. They’ll also find themselves confronted with more over-the-board situations in which the decision as to which limited response is more useful in a given round becomes a significant choice.

Another area of the game that was explored from a “Jaime” perspective in this cycle was the cost threshold between printed cost “3” and printed cost “4.” Historically, this has been an important breaking point in a card’s evaluation, where, once a card costs four or more, the Jaime evaluation of the card changes dramatically so that only the most fantastic four-cost characters are considered for inclusion in such a player’s deck.

To challenge these assumptions, the Wardens cycle provides players with a number of cards such as The Eyrie and The Bloody Gate that encourage the use of higher cost characters. Attacking the situation from the other side, a number of cards such as Mord, Sky Cell, and Ser Ilyn Payne aim to undermine the reliability of characters with printed costs of three or lower, necessitating that competitive players re-evaluate the relative merits of vast swaths of the character pool when working out their decks.

Whether you count yourself a Ned, Shagga, or Jaime – or some combination thereof – the Wardens cycle was designed and developed with you in mind. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do with them!

Enter the Fray

For years, some of the Seven Kingdoms’ most powerful lords and ladies have remained aloof, apart from the turbulent wars that have revolved around the Iron Throne. Now, as they start to stir to action, how will you respond? Will you broker an allegiance? Will you crush them in battle? Will you use lies and cunning to foment dissent within their ranks?

As the first Chapter Pack in the Wardens cycle, Secrets and Schemes ushers into the game some remarkable new characters, locations, attachments, and plots. However, it also serves as a portent of those things yet to come.

Look for the powers to rally to action when Secrets and Schemes arrives at retailers everywhere late in the third quarter of 2014!

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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