Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

A Game of Thrones: A Dance with Dragons

Dragons Not Included

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I’m not sure if this will be so much of a review, as a comment on how Fantasy Flight has chosen to deal with the expansions for the Game of Thrones board game. Hopefully it’s a little of both, but I may rant a little. Hopefully that’s okay.
The Dance With Dragons expansion is really just a deck of cards that provide new character cards for each family and a new set up scenario. It takes the story ahead to the end situation in the Song of Ice and Fire books thus far, so I suppose there are some spoilerish stuff if you are currently reading them or if you are a TV watcher only (though I suppose at this point they’re pretty much in the same place).
But don’t let the name fool you: Daenerys does not make an appearance. The only reason it is called so is because it’s the title of one of the fifth book. So lets talk about that for two seconds, because it drives my organizational mind crazy. The first edition of the game had two expansions, named respectively after the next two books; Clash of Kings and Storm of Swords. Okay, cool idea.
Then after the second edition, the first expansion out was this one, named after the 5th book and completely skipping over the 4th (which would be next). I got an OCD twinge in my neck, since that will always be out of order now. Also, I can’t really complete the set, since the first two expansions are incompatible. It would have been nice to have gotten some updated versions, but oh well. I know that I am one of a small few who are actually bothered by this, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
But let’s look at the expansion we do have now.

Additions

1 New Scenario – The major idea behind ADWD is the new scenario set up. It has new starting positions to reflect the progression of the storylines such as *SPOILERS* Stannis being at the Wall, the Bolton’s controlling the North, and so on. What this new set up does is gets the aggression in the game going faster rather than player’s spending a turn or two just preparing for battle.

2 New House Cards – The other major addition is the new character cards for each of the 6 houses. These also reflect the changes in the books as characters who have been killed off are no longer present, while others have been promoted. The artwork is interesting as always, and I like that their looks are not influenced by the TV show at all. They also have some neat abilities to try out.

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Critique

Best Feature:
For me personally, it’s nice to have a new set of character cards. On a fan level, it’s nice to see new characters represented. On a game level it’s nice to have a few different tricks up your sleeves

When to use: The new scenario is only to be used when there are exactly six players, but if you’re doing a 6-player game then this is the way to go. It ultimately makes the game shorter and gets the action going quicker. So it can only be used with one player count, but it’s good for that player count.

Does it fit?: Its only a deck of cards, so it fits in the game box very easily.

What type:
Dance is an alternate scenario expansion, but its pretty limited as there’s only one alternate scenario.

Overall: It’s worth getting if you are able to play with six players a lot. If not, only get it if you are a fan and what to see more of the people of Westeros in your game. I know I went on a rant about the expansion names and orders, but that’s really just a “me” thing I wanted to vent about.

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