Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a strategic card game titled A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King. The premise is simple. You want to become the King’s Hand, one of the most powerful positions in Westeros. So do your opponents. Each of you takes turns using Varys, the Master of Whispers, to gain influence over each House. Whoever has the most influence by the end of the game becomes Hand of the King. Why you want that job is beyond me. I’ve seen what happened to the previous four Hands, and it’s not pretty.
HOW TO PLAY
At the start of the game, 36 court cards are laid out at random on a 6×6 grid. One of these cards is Varys. At the start of your turn, you chose to move the Varys card any one direction to land on a character of your choice. You then collect that card, as well as any other cards of the same house Varys passed over, to join your side. Then your opponent does the same. But be careful, with each move, you can potentially set up your opponent to take even more cards.
Each of the major houses– Stark, Greyjoy, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Tyrell, and Tully — has a different number of members in their house. Once you have collected a full house, you can activate a companion card such as Sandor Clegane or Ramsay Snow to utilize their powers and shift the outcome in your favor. These cards do things like switching character positions on the board or even killing a member of the court to remove them from the game.
At first, it all seems very simple, but once you realize that you have to think three moves ahead, it’ll be just like an actual battle to become the Hand of Westeros. Maybe with a little less bloodshed.
You can pick up your own copy of A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King at your local retailer in Q4 of 2016.
Featured image credit: HBO, Fantasy Flight Games
Image credits: Fantasy Flight Games