Ivan was back from reservist and raring to game this week. He wasn't disappointed as he, Jo and I managed two games of A Game of Thrones LCG midweek. He has invested substantially in sprucing up his set and this time round he revealed a new deck - that of House Greyjoy. He began with that while Jo and I took Martell and Lannistar respectively.
I had an amazing opening hand, filled with gold producing locations AND characters. Before long, I was running up an income of around 8 each round and was unstoppable as I increased my characters in play. Valar nor Bear Island was in play thankfully and I rushed to 15 power tokens rather comfortably. In a melee game, I made it a point to target Greyjoy rather than Martell for fear of the latter's backlash effects. Ivan struggled with the lack of income locations in his deck - definitely an area he intends to tweak for our next session.
The second game was a much closer affair. I opted for Martell this time round, with Jo trying Greyjoy and Ivan going his new fav - Stark. While he opted not to carry Valar as a plot choice, his Bear Island was nonetheless devastating, having a free kill during dominance of any character without an attachment. It not only depletes your opponents' stock of powerful characters (particularly those with he 'no attachments' trait) but puts him in good stead to win dominance each round. However I played it right this time recognizing Bear Island gives one kill and not one from each opponent which would make it absolutely ridiculous in melee.
Jo also struggled with income, noting he had powerful cards yet was unable to play them. I had no idea how I inched ahead them to win especially when I started unimpressively. But what wa probably integral was Arianne Martell who allows an extra claim for each winning battle she participates in. Considering she had a power icon coupled with a few turns where I had non-kneeling effects, I racked up the power tokens in a jiffy. I suppose it was fortunately I was able to keep her safe from the Bear Island effects by giving her an attachment at the point I marshalled her.
I was keen to play Hansa after but Ivan suggested Chicago Express, not having tried it before. I was surprised to have pulled this game in 2 consecutive seasions. I still have high regard for the game as my pas posts on it indicate but I have to admit the game does feel a little samey with the same player count (which has been 3 for my group). In most cases, Red is the one reaching Chicago first. However, this time round, we split the Red shares evenly so it was Jo and I pushing Blue towards Chicago and reaping the attractive payout afterwards. Jo had an early lead when I foolishly overbid for the 2nd Red share only for him to swoop in for the 3rd share at a cut price the next turn. I managed to claw back the lead with a few well timed auctions and eventually took the win with $90+. Jo and Ivan were both close with $70+ each.
By then we had only time for a filler. We ended up trying the 3-player variant of Battle Line. It was functional but no where as impressive as it's 2-player counterpart.
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