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The Thrones LCG Community FAQ (For New Players & Vets Alike)

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scantrell24

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Welcome to the comprehensive Community FAQ thread. In the Game of Thrones LCG players use customized decks to assume leadership of one of the great houses of Westeros vying for control of King's Landing and the Iron Throne. To achieve their goals, players launch military attacks against their opponents, undermine their opponents’ plans with intrigues of their own, and make brazen power plays to win the support of the realm.

 

The Game of Thrones card game launched as a CCG (collectible card game) in 2002. It was designed by Eric Lang at Fantasy Flight Games and based on the novels written by George R.R. Martin. In 2008 the game rebooted to accommodate a switch to LCG (living card game) format. In August 2015, the game rebooted again, still with the LCG distribution model but with streamlined rules, sleek new designs, and additional factions. Previous cards will not be compatible. However, the new edition does maintain the essential game elements (plot deck, three challenge types, victory condition) of the first edition. For Fantasy Flight's reasons behind the reboot, please read lead designer Nate French's letter to the community

 

Players choose to represent one of eight factions vying for control of or influence over the Iron Throne - TargaryenLannisterBaratheonStarkMartellGreyjoyTyrell, and the Night's Watch. The Thrones LCG can by played head-to-head (called "joust" -- the usual format for competitive tournaments) or with 3-6 players (called "melee" - more like a board game). The 2nd edition Core set hit shelves in early October, with the first "chapter pack" expansion following in early December. 

 

Second Edition Resources

The Product Page

Full Tutorial Video

First Preview Video

First Preview Article

Card Database

 

The LCG (Living Card Game) Model

The Core box for 2nd Edition contains 211 distinct cards. You get single copies of most cards, but a few neutral ones are duplicated to reach a total of 234 cards in the box. Casual gamers may find one Core sufficient, but tournament players need three Cores to obtain a full play-set of every card. 

If you've already enjoyed playing with a single Core set, consider enhancing and customizing your decks with cards from additional Core sets, Chapter packs or Deluxe boxes. Under the LCG model, additional cards are released in monthly chapter packs (approx. $15 MSRP) and bi-annual deluxe expansions (approx. $25-30). Both product types contain a fixed distribution of cards, and each card comes 3x so you have a full play-set immediately. You know exactly what you're getting when you buy a pack -- no chasing rares, and no shelling out big bucks just to play on equal footing in tournaments. 

Chapter packs contain 2 different cards per each of the 8 factions factions, plus 4 different neutral cards, all at 3x each for a total of 60 cards. As of January 28th 2016, we have two chapter packs available, Taking the Black and The Road to Winterfell.

The first Deluxe expansion, Wolves of the North, will feature House Stark prominently but also include a few neutral cards and cards from other factions, with a total of about 55 different cards, at 3 copies each.

To ease the burden of entry for new players and keep the tournament scene fresh, chapter packs rotate out of the tournament-legal card pool after about 4 years (so starting in 2019). The Core set and deluxe expansions will not rotate but rather remain "evergreen". The LCG model makes Thrones a relatively cheap investment compared to collectible card games like Magic. Furthermore, players can easily share a collection with a friend or two by divvying up the 8 factions.

 

Deckbuilding

In 2nd edition, a player forms his decks by choosing a Faction card (such as House Baratheon) which allows him to use all loyal AND non-loyal cards from that faction. Additionally, the player can opt to use an Agenda card (such as Banner of the Kraken) which allows him to add non-loyal cards from his Banner faction. The Banner agendas are currently the only method to include out-of-faction cards. So far there's only one non-Banner agenda, Fealty, but you can expect more agendas in the expansions. Finally, neutral cards without a faction crest can be added to any deck. 

 

Thronesdb Deckbuilder

Browse Winning Decklists on White Book

Cardgamedb Deckbuilder

Cardgamedb Submitted Decks

 

Discussion Groups & Forums

The Worldwide Facebook Group

Discord Chat Group

Reddit

Throneshub

Boardgamegeek

Team Covenant

FFG Forums

Agotcards

 

Podcasts

Beyond the Wall: Podcasts, Facebook

The White Book: Podcasts, Website, Facebook

Banter Behind the Throne: PodcastsFacebook

Summer Is Coming: Live on Twitch: Tuesdays at 3 Eastern / 6 Pacific

Calling the Banners: Facebook

Taming Dragons: Facebook

Dobbler Talk: Youtube

 

Essential Articles, Discussions, & Videos for New Players

Choosing An Agenda

Optimizing Your Setups

The Relative Importance of Challenges

Building Your Main Deck

Building Your Plot Deck

How Many Copies of Each Card?

 

Watch Games on YouTube

Beyond the White Book

Rob St. John

Throne Runner

Songs of Bambi the Bard

scantrell24

cooleo1c

mnbroncos

tinygrimes

Guardians of Tyr

Agotnordic's Youtube & Twitch

 

Blogs & Personal Sites

Wardens of the Midwest

The Old Gods and the New

Jack's Tournament Reports

Valar Tymptir

 

Rules Questions

When you're stumped, first check the RRG (Rules Reference Guide) that came with your Core set. It's also available on FFG's website under "Support". Then you can try the Rules Forum FAQ, and if you still don't have an answer, feel free to ask! There's also an entire column series devoted to rules intricacies and explanations called Quill & Tankard Regulars.

 

Upcoming Cards

Four the Watch Spoiler Tracker

Google Docs Spoiler Tracker

 

Official Tournaments

Store championships are the bottom of the organized play pyramid, and the season runs from January to March. Prestigious Regional tournaments run from May to July. The U.S. National Championship is held at Gen Con in August, the European Championship is held at Castle Stahleck in late November, and the World Championship is held at FFG headquarters in Minnesota in early November. The winners of US Nationals, the European Championship, and World Championship events (draft, joust and melee) each earn the right to design their own card! Additionally, major unofficial tournaments are held throughout the year, and local stores can host tournaments with game night kits including prizes like alternate art promos, deck boxes, and playmats. In addition to player-run online tournaments through OCTGN, there's a new initiative called Tabletop Tourney Grounds to create a tiered system of tournaments following FFG's Regional season.

 

Play Online

OCTGN is a free program that allows us to play Thrones online. A subscription is not necessary to play on OCTGN, but subscribing supports the developers and unlocks some additional features. FFG and OCTGN are not affiliated, so cards released in the last six months are censored. You can host a game or find a game to join in the lobby. To get started, follow the instructions found here.

 

Game Results

The Annals of Castle Black (tournament data)

The Iron Link (individual game results)

Winning Decklists (via White Book podcast)

 

Where Can I Play?

To find a tournament, check the event calendar on whitebookpodcast's page.

To find individual players or groups, check the following spreadsheet and pin-able map, try the player finder on throneshub, or introduce yourself in the worldwide Facebook group.

 

The Spreadsheet.

Anyone who has the link can edit it. I've created a tab for each country (more countries can be easily added as necessary). There are columns that ask for state/province within the country, name of your local gaming store, the store's address, a link to your meta's website, forum or facebook group, contact info for someone in the meta, and what time your group regularly meets (if any). Holding Ctl + f will let you search within a sheet to find your state.

 

The Pin-able Map.

Anyone can add a pin for either a store or a player. To add a pin, go to "Additions" in the top right and click "Add Marker - Detailed". To add a PLAYER, make sure the marker color is RED. For the "Entry Name" put your real name, forum handle, or both. For address, you can get as detailed as your exact address if you want, or just put the street name without your house number, or you can just put your city or area code. Then on the "Details" tab you can add an email address or other contact info. To add a STORE, make sure the marker color is GREEN. For the "Entry Name" put the name of the store. Add the exact street address. Then under the "Details" tab you can add contact info for the store. I also recommend adding contact info for your meta in the Description box, such as a Facebook group or forum url. If you make a mistake with your pins, send me a message and I'll correct it.

 

Challenge Phase Timing - Don't Forget to D.U.C.K.!

At the end of a challenge, it's important to resolve game and card effects in the proper order.

 

1. Determine winner - this is where you'd trigger reactions to winning/losing, like Tears of Lys, Lannisport, and Ghaston Grey

2. Unopposed bonus - this is where you'd trigger reactions to claiming the unopposed bonus, like Rise of the Kraken

3. Claim - this is where you'd trigger reactions to claim, for example if a Lord or Lady is killed for military claim, Joffrey can trigger here

4. Keywords - finally, keywords and their reactions happen last, for example, when Robert gains a power for renown, you can trigger Lightbringer

 

Vocabulary (under construction)

Player types include Ned, Jaime and Shagga

Deck archetypes include Combo, Aggro, Rush, Tempo, Toolbox, Soft Control and Hard Control

Game terms includes Burn, Mill, Choke, Resets, Voltron and Metagame

 

Tournament Etiquette

FFG's Tournament Rules (under "Support" and then "Tournament Resources")

 

Cheating is defined as any behavior outside the rules of the game performed with the intent to create an unfair advantage for one or more players. Categorical methods of cheating include (but are not limited to): sleight of hand tricks, component manipulation, collusion, misrepresentation, and unsportsmanlike conduct.
All players in a game have a responsibility to maintain the proper board state. If your opponent counts 1 less gold than he should have, you should tell him. If your opponent misses a Forced Reaction card ability that would be detrimental to you, you should tell him.
It is not rude to ask for a takeback. It is not rude to decline such a request.
In a tournament, you should feel free to continue to play at normal speed until time is called even if your board position is hopelessly lost. However, you should not deliberately stall (play slowly) in hopes of getting a modified loss (worth 1 point) instead of a full loss (worth 0 points). 

Scouting is generally frowned upon. Ask your TO and discuss with your meta mates to determine exactly where they draw the line. Some groups allow players to spectate and/or share the details of opponent's decks with their friends between rounds. Personally, I think both of those actions make you an ass-hole, but scouting can be a grey area if "everyone does it".

 

Draft Packs

In November 2013, FFG introduced draft packs which allow players to hold draft tournaments. The LCG distribution model previously made drafting difficult ; players had to create their own draft cubes. But now each player just needs a reusable starter pack ($5) and a randomized draft pack ($15). There were two draft pack sets in First Edition - first Fire and Ice followed by Westeros. FFG added draft tournaments to World Championship weekend starting in 2015, so we can safely assume draft will continue into 2nd edition. 

 

Major Tournament Champions

2015 Worlds - Sam Braatz from Wisconsin - Martell Banner of the Rose

 

International Resources

Roca Casterly (Spanish)

El único juego que importa (Spanish)

Le Trone de Fer (French forum)

The Conclave (Italian Facebook group)

The Conclave (Italian Youtube channel)

 

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this guide! Feel free to bookmark it, as I make frequent updates with newly relevant links, and share it with other new players. Below you'll find some information from the previous edition of the Thrones LCG, which is not compatible with second edition, and is no longer supported by FFG.

 

First Edition Resources

FFG's Support Page
Video Tutorial
Basic Rules

FAQ 5.5 and Tournament Rules (updated July 15 2015) 

Tournament History

 

Rules Questions & Answers
Quills & Tankards Articles

Valar Morghulis
Timing Structure

 

Helpful Sites & Articles
Deckbuilding 101
Card Advantage
Deck Archetypes

Playing With a Limited Card Pool
Setup Analyzer

 

OCTGN for playing online

Download the files

OCTGN Installation Walkthrough

 

FFG's Timing:
FAQs were released 3 to 4 times each year to update the resitricted/banned list and to address unclear rules interactions. Previous FAQs were released on 16th July 2015, 12th February 2015, 15th October 2014, 21st July 2014, 15th April 2014, 14th October 2013, 23rd July 2013, 27th February 2013, 11th October 2012, 3rd August 2012, 20th March 2012, 19th January 2012, 22nd September 2011
.


  • WWDrakey, zordren, Ratatoskr and 32 others like this

#2
erocklawell

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+1 awesome idea

#3
dcdennis

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see, now you're doing something useful :)

#4
accountdeleted

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lol

#5
istaril

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Shadows, Joust, Melee, and Naval Enhancments are all present in the last 2 pages of the FAQ (where the old "insert" has now been placed).


One of the top questions I see usually revolves around "what do I buy first?". How should we go about answering that? I'd recommend 2x Core Sets, the deluxe expansions, then an entire cycle at a time starting with the most recent, but I also want to stress that some packs are definitely better than others. A few older ones are essential, but most of them are garbage with rare exceptions (like Tommen and Northern Cavalry Flank in the Scattered Armies pack).


I agree with the recommendation for a second core set, and then the deluxe expansions (or at least the deluxe expansion for the house you like best). I've stayed away from recommending chapter pack cycles in general (although they should be recommended as cycles and not packs), since normally if they've played a few games and started to use the deckbuilders/octgn, they get a feel for the cards they want. That said, if someone is splitting cards with a playgroup, I typically recommend Tourney/Narrow Sea type packs that have a lot of house-specific cards, as opposed to Maesters/Defenders that have a lot of neutrals they would fight over.

Playing Online (I'll need some help here)
OCTGN Installation Guide


I'll write something up and make a tutorial video.
  • scantrell24 likes this

#6
scantrell24

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Shadows, Joust, Melee, and Naval Enhancments are all present in the last 2 pages of the FAQ (where the old "insert" has now been placed).


Ah yes, thanks for pointing that out.

I agree with the recommendation for a second core set, and then the deluxe expansions (or at least the deluxe expansion for the house you like best). I've stayed away from recommending chapter pack cycles in general (although they should be recommended as cycles and not packs), since normally if they've played a few games and started to use the deckbuilders/octgn, they get a feel for the cards they want. That said, if someone is splitting cards with a playgroup, I typically recommend Tourney/Narrow Sea type packs that have a lot of house-specific cards, as opposed to Maesters/Defenders that have a lot of neutrals they would fight over.


Good points. I'll make sure to recommend playing on OCTGN to get a feel for cards first, and to give differing answers depending on whether the purchases are for an individual or a group. Does anyone have links to the First Tilt articles? Are they still relevant?


I'll write something up and make a tutorial video.


That would be awesome. We need a walk through for installing OCTGN itself, installing the Thrones stuff, and how to actually play (how to put cards facedown and how to peek at cards get asked often).

#7
biggs369

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This is a great idea!

As a relatively new player myself, i found the First Tilt articles to be very helpful.

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/the-first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-baratheon
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-baratheon-r212
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-baratheon-r303

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/the-first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-greyjoy
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-greyjoy-r182
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-greyjoy-r309

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/the-first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-lannister
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-lannister-r202
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-lannister-r327

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-martell-p-r120
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-martell-r194
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-martell-r292

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/the-first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-stark-r84
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-stark-r175
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-stark-r274

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/the-first-tilt-which-house-is-for-you-targar-r103
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-expanding-house-targaryen-r187
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deck-archetypes-targaryen-r267

www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-new-player-faq-r257
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-what-the-faq-means-for-new-players-r503
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-deckbuilding-concepts-r369
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-character-matters-r411
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-building-your-house-plot-deck-r230
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-opening-plots-and-plot-combos-r242
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-plot-strategies-r221
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-resets-r237
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-common-mistakes-r440
www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html/_/game-of-thrones/first-tilt-common-mistakes-part-2-r496

Also, this deck building article is good stuff:
elitistjerks.com/blogs/122150-emptyrepublic/566-building_game_thrones_lcg_deck/

#8
SerMisu

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I think this thread should be pinned, for easier acces...

#9
scantrell24

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As a relatively new player myself, i found the First Tilt articles to be very helpful.


Thanks for posting those links! I'll add them.

Also, this deck building article is good stuff:
elitistjerks.com/blogs/122150-emptyrepublic/566-building_game_thrones_lcg_deck/


That site wanted me to register to see the post. Is it viewable any other way?

#10
istaril

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I'm having a few issues recording the tutorial, most of which I think I can solve with a slightly less awful microphone. I'll still do this, but it'll probably have to wait two weeks until the move when I can justify buying things again without taking up precious U-Haul space.

#11
biggs369

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That site wanted me to register to see the post. Is it viewable any other way?


Weird. You're right, but i didn't have to last time i checked. The author was emptyrepublic as far as i recall, maybe he has it saved somewhere.

There is an OCTGN 'how to' here. It's slightly outdated, but it still worked for me.

Also, another few helpful articles i forgot in the last post:
http://www.cardgamed...lding-for-melee
http://www.cardgamed...building-a-r752
http://www.cardgamed...trigger-on-r184

#12
agktmte

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I'm having a few issues recording the tutorial, most of which I think I can solve with a slightly less awful microphone. I'll still do this, but it'll probably have to wait two weeks until the move when I can justify buying things again without taking up precious U-Haul space.


If you record the video and write out a voice over script someone else can record the audio for it. Yes, I will volunteer myself for that aspect if no one else would rather do it. This might make it happen sooner and then you won't have to buy anything extra.

#13
scantrell24

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Added some things, but this is still a work in progress. I'll get more up tomorrow. Thanks for the help so far.

Are there any other streams/channels with recorded games?

#14
JCWamma

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I've got my own one (www.twitch.tv/jcwamma), but while I can stream videos fine, I'm not the most savvy and don't know how to save them. If someone could tell me that then there'll be a resource there too.

I'll try to compile the Rise of the Kraken articles into an easy list to add to this, so any budding Greyjoy player can learn their trade ;).

#15
agktmte

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If anyone has saved videos (of live games or octgn games) it could be good to see if someone else (Staton maybe?) wants to go through them with commentary to explain what's going on. Perhaps we could even use some games to make tutorial videos if they don't involve anything too complex during the game.

#16
scantrell24

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If anyone has saved videos (of live games or octgn games) it could be good to see if someone else (Staton maybe?) wants to go through them with commentary to explain what's going on. Perhaps we could even use some games to make tutorial videos if they don't involve anything too complex during the game.


I'd also like to know how to record and save video of my OCTGN games.

#17
JRoel

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I just got that all set up to stream and record my own games, it's quite easy actually. I downloaded OBS (http://obsproject.com/), and have used it a couple times to stream on twitch. You can also use it to save recorded matches to your computer. Twitch actually has a quide specifically for obs, in addition to guides for a number of other broadcasting software: http://help.twitch.t...caster-software

#18
slothgodfather

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/vote to get stickied.

#19
biggs369

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Maybe this could replace - and include a link to - the stickied thread with the balanced decks made from 2 x core sets?

#20
scantrell24

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I added a link to the 2x core set deck thread. There are still a few more tweaks pending but it's just about done. A sticky would be great!