Just like in real life: the card flop is followed by a card top. Before you join the celebrities in the jungle camp again tonight, the next two episodes of the series "Game of Thrones" are running on RTL 2. And there is also a card game for this, admittedly strong, license that allows fans and card game lovers to delve deep into the history of the Game of Thrones. I would like to introduce you to the HBO version of the GoT card game and I already recommend that you try this card game: fun guaranteed!

Game of Thrones - The Card Game

It's not only snowing here in North Rhine-Westphalia, winter is also approaching in Westeros. Where we have to grapple with icy roads and delayed Deutsche Bahn trains, the poor Westerosi are exposed to completely different dangers: the white hikers are coming! And as if that weren't enough, countless clans are still scrambling for the claim to the Iron Throne.

The presented card game is a special 2-player version and not the Game of Thrones LCG (I already have a special planned for this). What the game lacks in terms of complexity, it makes up for with low entry barriers.

The card game uses of course the impressive fantasy story of the book by George RR Martin. House Stark is at odds with the golden lions of House Lannister. The two card players each take over one of the two traditional houses and fight for supremacy in Westeros. What sounds simple, in the end it is. But this is exactly what makes a good card game so appealing to me. A quick start, followed by an exciting finale, followed by the excitement of the next game. Even card players who are not at all familiar with the topic "Game of Thrones" should have fun with this card game. The good German instructions lead you clearly through the first test runs and rarely leave you alone with problems with the rules. Then a look at one of the board game internet forums helps, where Game of Thrones games are thrown with similar emotions as other polarizing brands (Just think of the MMORPG sector and the obligatory fanboys and haters). There is a little resentment about the strength of the two Häsuer. One side claims the Starks are too strong (ha!). Others doubt that the Lennsiter Lions could ever lose. This discussion already shows that balancing cannot be that bad.

Except for a few timing issues, which are unfortunately typical for card games, the GoT card game plays quite smoothly and without interruptions. Smaller rule questions can easily be discussed by yourself, because your own rule agreements do not affect the gaming experience. After the warm-up phase, you will be busy with a game for around 45 minutes. That literally screams for several rounds of play and is the most fun with changing roles.

As already mentioned, the card game lacks complexity, which is tolerable in the 2-player versions. Displeasure only arises when the opponent shows a really lucky hand when drawing cards and this creates an imbalance from the start. That can happen, but luck is also a good tension factor.

The presentation of the 132 playing cards as well as the tokens and standards is successful and, as usual from FFG, of high quality. The collaboration with the Heidelverger Spieleverlag is, as always, flawless.

The course of the game is intuitive and consists of several steps that are worked through by the players. the Strategy phase determines determines the current procedure in each case. After Fill up the hand in the second step (drawing cards) is followed by the March, i.e. the payout of gold coins, which is based on the strategy cards. Now the highlight of the move is imminent: The Challenge! In this step it becomes military and the active player chooses from various maneuvers (military strike, intrigue, power struggle) to weaken the opponent. The houses then make their claims to rule in the phase Domination and distribute the power token. The regeneration after the fight takes place in the phase Straighten up instead and makes the units ready for battle again. So that the gold does not end up in your pockets, you give up the excess like (phase: Taxes). Now it is the turn of the second player and starts over.

For around € 20-23 you can't go wrong with this two-player card game. Fans of the series and card game fans are sure to have fun with this card game.