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Quill & Tankard Regulars - Issue 5

Small Council Quill & Tankard Regulars Ire Ratatoskr WWDrakey

Today in Quill & Tankard Regulars we resume with our studies in Citadel Custom. Get out your quills and notebooks and remember to feed your ravens... everyone ready? It's time to draw.

Citadel Custom – Draw, Chapter 1

Citadel Custom is a set of articles presenting game mechanics through illustrated gameplay examples. It is aimed at all players from initiates to self-proclaimed Archmaesters. Each article will consist of a short recap of the relevant rules, followed by a detailed example with a more or less complex starting situation.

One of the most fundamental, and seemingly simple portions of an AGoT turn is the draw phase. Both players draw 2 cards, then move on to the more important stuff, how difficult can that be? While in many cases the Draw phase can be quite uneventful, there are exceptions. And, as any experienced competitive player will tell you: drawing cards wins you games. And if there's even a slight edge to be gained, then you should use it.

Rules Recap

Draw Phase: Structure

1. Draw Phase Begins


1. Each player draws two cards


1. Draw Phase Ends

Framework Actions

1. Initiate Framework Event*
2. Save/Cancel Responses*
3. Resolve Framework Event*

* Repeat for each Framework Event.
4. Passive Effects
5. Responses
6. End of Framework Action

See our first Citadel Custom here, for a more indepth explanation on how Framework Actions are resolved.

Effect Types

There are three fundamental types of card effects in AGoT: triggered, passive and constant effects. All three of these usually only function on cards that are considered to be in play (with agendas and revealed plot cards being notable exceptions), unless otherwise stated or implied by the text of the effect in question. An effect is considered to be an ability, if it's on a card that is currently in play.

Both passive and constant effects can be distinguished from triggered effects by the lack of a bolded Response: or Phase: before the effect text. Further, passive effects can be distinguished from constant effects by the fact that they have some kind of point of initiation, such as At the end of..., When..., If... etc. Constant effects on the other hand affect the game in some way all the time.

NOTE: This is a simplified explanation on the differences between the three types of effects. Additionally, there are also various card effects (such as Targaryen 'Burn' effects) that resolve as a combination of several types of effects.

Passive effects

Passive effects are card effects, which must initiate when applicable. There is no choice left to the player, and 'forgetting' to initiate a passive effect is not legal in AGoT. Initiating passive effects is NOT considered to be taking an action, and passives are not affected by effects that specify that they affect triggered effects.

Passive effects are resolved in Step 4 of the corresponding Player or Framework Action window. If two passive effects resolve at the same time, the first player always chooses the order in which these effects are resolved.

End of Phase

According to the rules (FAQ §2.6, p. 7) the End of Phase Framework Action Window is slightly special, in comparison to other framework action windows. First of all, it is played without Steps 2 (save/cancel) and 5 (Responses). In effect, the ending of a phase can never be cancelled, and there is no opportunity for Response: effects to be triggered. Further, no triggered effects can be played during this whole Framework Action Window.

1. Initiate End of Phase
2. Save/Cancel Responses
3. Resolve End of Phase

4. Passive Effects
5. Responses
6. End of Framework Action

Effects that last 'until the end of the phase' expire in Step 3 of the window, while 'At the end of the phase' passives resolve in Step 4.

Starting Situation

On the cold north winds sounds the clamor of war, as Greyjoy loyalists charge against Stannis' fanatical followers in order to once and for all decide who are the true rulers of this snow-covered land. Meanwhile, from fire and flame are cast the most dark of shadows, to extend their grasp onto the lives of mortals. Yet, in the face of the coming winter, even summer still retains a tenuous grasp here, although solely by the power of the Crown of Azor Ahai (KotStorm).


Figures 1. Starting situations for both players.

Greyjoy Player

Agenda: Kings of Winter (TWoW)
Power: 2

Locations: River Blockade (RoR), Flea Bottom (TGM)
Characters: Cotter Pyke (TBC), Wildling Wisewoman (TWH), Island Refugee (RoW)
Hand (2 cards): Finger Dance (WLL), Alannys Greyjoy (ODG)

Dead pile: Wintertime Marauders (ACoS), Island Refugee (RoW)
Discard pile: 2x Sunset Sea (Core), Baelor Blacktyde (TIoR)

Baratheon Player

Agenda: Kings of Winter (TWoW)
Power: 5

Locations: The Red Keep (TftRK)
Characters: Shadow Stalker (ACoS), Ser Cortnay Penrose (KotStorm)

Attachments: Crown of Azor Ahai (KotStorm) (on Ser Cortnay Penrose)
Hand (2 cards): See who is Stronger (KotStorm), Nightmares (LoW)

Dead pile:
The Laughing Storm (GotC), Zealous Collector (CtB)
Discard Pile: Direct Assault (KotStorm), Seat of Power (WotN), Narrow Sea (Core)

First Player: Baratheon

Gameplay Resolution

Observant players will quickly notice that the season in our example is currently quite peculiar, since it is affected by both Cotter Pyke (TBC) and the standing Crown of Azor Ahai (KotStorm). Since the restrictions for both cards are met, Cotter Pyke (TBC) is making it Winter, while Crown of Azor Ahai (KotStorm) is making it Summer. In effect, it is now both Summer and Winter at the same time. For some card effects this would cause unusual behaviour (like Wintertime Marauders (ACoS) and Summer's Champion (ASoS) gaining both their positive and adverse effects), while others (like Shadow Stalker (ACoS)) will function normally.

Pre-draw Actions: The draw phase begins, and players move forward to the pre-draw action window. Knowing to fear a cancel from a GJ deck, our Baratheon player decides to play their See who is Stronger (KotStorm), while their opponent still has less chance of cancelling it. He kneels the The Red Keep (TftRK) to pay for the cost of the event and targets The Laughing Storm (GotC) in his dead pile. However, our Grejoy player is already holding a Finger Dance (WLL), and decides to cancel it, kneeling Island Refugee (RoW) for the cost of her cancel event. See who is Stronger (KotStorm) is discarded, but The Red Keep (TftRK) remains knelt. Then, the Baratheon player discards the top card from his deck – a Narrow Sea (Core) – and the Greyjoy player shuffles Finger Dance (WLL) back into her deck. The next opportunity for actions is for our GJ player, but she has no actions to make, so she opts to pass. The Baratheon player still has a few tricks up his sleeve, but decides to wait until he knows what other cards he is getting.

Framework Event 1: Both players now draw two cards. Our Baratheon player recieves a Salladhor Saan (KotStorm) and a R'hllor's Blessing (AKitN), while our Greyjoy player gets a Distinguished Boatswain (TftRK) and a third Sunset Sea (Core).

Passives and Responses: No passives were initiated and neither player has any Responses to play, so they move onwards.

Post-draw Action Window: Now our Baratheon player puts his plan into action. He plays his Nightmares (LoW) event and chooses to blank his own Ser Cortnay Penrose (KotStorm). This leaves our Greyjoy player scratching her head, since it seems like a complete waste of a powerful event. She opts to pass again on any actions, since she has nothing to play. Our Baratheon player chuckles to himself, and passes as well.

End of Draw Phase Framework Action: First the Framework event (Draw Phase ends) is initiated and resolves. Simultaneously all 'until the end of the phase' effects end, in this case Nightmares (LoW). Then, the players move onto Step 4 of the Framework Action Window, resolving passive effects initiated by anything in the action window.

At the end of the phase Passives: In our current situation, with it being both Summer and Winter, there are four passive effects resolving at the end of the phase. All of them are printed on the two copies of Kings of Winter (TWoW). Each four of these effects needs to be handled separately, even though they may originate from the same cards.

Since out Baratheon player is First Player, he will decide the order in which all of these effects resolve. He compares the number of cards in each players hand, and notices that he has one less card in hand, just as he planned (Baratheon: 2 cards, Greyjoy: 3 cards). He first resolves the Winter-portion of his opponents Agenda, and no cards are discarded from him, since he has one less card in hand (Baratheon: 2 cards, Greyjoy: 3 cards). Next, he resolves the Summer-portion of his opponents Agenda, and draws one card (a Zealous Collector (CtB)), since he had less cards than his opponent (Baratheon: 3 cards, Greyjoy: 3 cards).

Our Greyjoy player looks forlorn at her Wildling Wisewoman (TWH), but like all triggered effects, it cannot be used during the End-of-Phase Framework Action. There are still the two passive effects from our Baratheon players' own Kings of Winter (TWoW) Agenda. He first decides to resolve the Summer portion of his Agenda, and since both players have an equal number of cards, his opponent does not get to draw a card (Baratheon: 3 cards, Greyjoy: 3 cards). Finally, he resolves the Winter-portion of his own Agenda, forcing our Greyjoy player into discarding a card at random, hitting the Sunset Sea (Core) in her hand (Baratheon: 3 cards, Greyjoy: 2 cards).


Figures 2. Ending situation for both players.

All of this leaves our Greyjoy player shaking her head in disgust. Well, at least The Laughing Storm (GotC) didn't reappear. Nothing complicated about a draw phase, just draw two cards and move onto the important stuff... right?

Dear Archmaester

Dear Archmaester collects interesting, unusual and unexpected rulings from the FFG Rules forum.

Q: Dear Archmaester,
I'm doing a military challenge against the furious stag. As my attackers I have Syrio Forel (TftRK) and a Carrion Bird (ASoS). My cowardly foe tries to foil my plans by kneeling his The Painted Table (TBC). But I want Syrio back in Shadows! What happens if I use my Carrion Bird (ASoS)'s Response first? Will The Painted Table (TBC) still be able to cancel Syrio?

A: The Painted Table's effect is looking for next effect that is triggered and will cancel it. In this case the next effect, Carrion Bird's Response, cannot be cancelled, so it cannot cancel it. As the triggered effect of Painted Table is only looking for the next effect, you are free to use Syrio Forel's Response without fear of The Painted Table (TBC), since it no longer fulfills the restrictions of the cancel. The Targaryen Ambush keyword is another example of a triggered effect that cannot be cancelled (see the Core Set Rules p. 21 and FAQ §4.14, p. 11). For further discussion on the topic, see here.

Antti Korventausta (WWDrakey) is a self-proclaimed Finnish AGoT philosopher and nitpicker, who also used to practice Quantum Mechanics, but found that it paled to AGoT in both interest and complexity. As a Stahleck regular and judge, he sometimes has oddly vivid dreams of understanding portions of the game. In AGoT, he'll play anything as long as it's suitably twisted... often ending up with something that has horns on it.

Helmut Hohberger (Ratatoskr) started playing AGoT in September 2010 and has never looked back (although his wife has, longingly). As a German, he loves rules - and I mean *loves* 'em. Try triggering a Response at the end of a phase on his watch, and he'll probably invade your country. He has actually read the FAQ, and was made a judge at Stahleck 2011 and at various other events. He sometimes answers rules questions on boardgamegeek and the FFG rules board. Some of his answers haven't even been contradicted, corrected or expanded upon by ktom - there is no higher accolade for a rules board morlock.

Every Maester needs a Raven on his shoulder. As a Finn, Iiro Jalonen (Ire) got pulled under the waves by Krakens years ago, and has never looked back. A self-inflicted Shagga and active member of the global AGoT community, he has always strived to know the rules of the game, in order to make them do ridiculous things.
  • Bronson, Zaidkw, bveld and 3 others like this


no quiz? : (
Sadly, no quiz this week. However, if people liked the one last week, I think we might make it a more permanent part of our Issues.

So: Any more people, who would like quizzes to be a more permanent part of Q&TR?
    • Staton, Kennon, Zaidkw and 1 other like this
I like the quizzes!
Quizzes... yes, please!
Yeah, please make quizzes.
quiz yes, and amazing article as always!
The setup for this article's example of play situation is outstanding.
Yeah I love how they set the context for the timing situation rather than just telling you how it works! It really makes it very easy to understand.
Thank you very much for the kind words!

Looks like quizzes are getting an unreserved thumbs up, so expect much more of them in the future. :)
    • Tobi likes this
Can you use the painted table to cancel the next triggered effect of a plot? (Like the when revealed portion of valar.)
Or is there something in the rules about normal cards interacting with plots?
Oh... I have an off-topic question. Is that a painted version of the resin Greyjoy House card? It looks amazing!
Well, painted table only works on triggered effects, and as far as I recall Outwit is the only plot with a triggered effect. Should work on that though.

@doulos2k: Yup, that's a GJ resin housecard that's been painted by Ire. It even says 'We do not sow' on the front! :)
Well, my kudos to Ire. I'd love to know what paint was used... just beautiful work.
Thanks :)
I used citadel paints that I still have around from my Warhammer playing days.
Yes to more quizzes please.