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Quill & Tankard Regulars - Volume II, Issue 2

Quill & Tankard Regulars Ire WWDrakey Istaril Ratatoskr JCWamma Small Council

Quill & Tankard Regulars - Volume II, Issue 2

Da ‘ells izzat?

Clearly it’s a Highgarden Destrier, a fine Warhorse. Well, a picture of one, at least.

Da ‘ells izzit doing ‘ere? Inns iz fer gittin’ stinkin’ drunk, na ‘orseys!

As we’ve started to clean the place up, we need to attract higher quality clientele, instead of the motley bastards we’ve had so far. Some fine artwork should help add a bit of class to the place.

Dat ‘orsey is %¤&# blubbery, ‘tis!

Well, slightly plump, perhaps. But then, no Archmaester worth the links on his chain would ever ride a skinny horse, now would they?

Aye, n’ makes fer effin’ fine sossig!

Sausage, you mean.

Aye, iz wut e sed?


Seen in Flames - Attachments, Duplicates and Setup
Seen in Flames exclusively previews rules mechanics changes for the upcoming A Game of Thrones 2nd Edition, putting them into context through a card spoiler. The rules knowledge and card examples have been graciously provided via raven by the Archmaesters at the (FFG) Citadel.

Attachments, a look back

For the Game of Thrones LCG attachments have long been the bastard child of card types. But why exactly haven’t they seen play?

In 1.0 (the first edition of the LCG, see previous Issue for the vocabulary) attachments were directly competing with events for deck slots, since both were non-setup cards. Usually events were prioritized, due to their inherent surprise factor and lower cost (many of the strongest events were free). To circumvent this downside, some attachments have had the Setup keyword on them, with its usage increasing as the lackluster power-level of attachments started to become clearer.

Unfortunately for attachments the competition with event slots was not their only problem, there’s another one that’s at least equally problematic - card advantage, the element that 1.0 greatly revolved around. When you play an attachment on your card, you are committing two cards to one basket. If the original card that the attachment was attached to is dealt with, then the attachment will usually also be neutralized. So, in case of removal, your opponent just got rid of two of your cards with a single effect. Another side-effect here is that you don’t usually need to pack any direct solutions for attachments, but rather it was enough to have solutions for the cards they attach to. One way of combating this, in the early 1.0 cardpool, was limiting strong effects like The Hatchling’s Feast or Castellan of the Rock to targets without attachments, but even this mechanism faded away as the cardpool expanded.

This is of course only true for positive attachments - the ones that are placed on your own cards. Negative attachments, those going on your opponent’s cards, don’t suffer from the same card advantage issues. This is also the reason why many of the most playable attachments were negative. They get rid of opposing cards without giving the other player card advantage and if he or she wants to get rid of the negative attachment, then they’ll have to use actual attachment control for it and possibly trade a card for your card.

In 2.0 some of the old attachment rules have carried over, while we have gotten several new ones to go with them. Have the bastards now been legitimized? Let’s take a closer look.

The New: Longevity

It’s likely best to start off with the one Rules Reference Guide entry that will likely have the largest impact in the long run:
  • If a card to which an attachment is attached leaves play, return the attachment to its owner’s hand. This occurs simultaneously with the attached card leaving play.
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest problems facing positive attachments was the card disadvantage. This new rule makes it so that attachments have lost that critical weakness. If your opponent gets rid of the card on which your attachment was attached to, then you get the attachment back into your hand. Essentially, you no longer give your opponent card advantage by playing an attachment!

Cards that directly remove attachments, such as the 1.0 Tin Link, would still discard the attachment as usual, as this rule only affects what happens when something happens to the “host” card. And since the wording is “leaves play”, this covers all removal from kill to discard, bounce and even shuffling back into deck.

It is good to remember that if your attachment costs more than 0, you are probably still going to have to deal with a resource disadvantage from re-playing the attachment again from your hand. But, on the other hand, with this new mechanic an attachment can be played early onto a sub-optimal target to keep it safe from intrigue challenges, then returned to hand and replayed post-reset or after suffering a military claim. One of the important aspects here is that it’s no longer enough to just have solutions to the “host” cards, but rather to deal with key attachments you’ll need to pack actual attachment removal.

This also affects all negative attachments quite strongly, as they will now start to rival Control locations with their longevity, often forcing you to keep a character with a negative attachment around, so that another key character does not get it instead. On top of all that, there’s also quite a bit of other interaction going on with both intrigue challenges and reserve.

The Old

Now we will examine which rules haven’t changed with attachments.
  • There is no limit on the number of attachments that may be attached to a card or a game element.
This does not need much explanation. You are allowed to make tower of attachments on a card, like before, if you so desire. Shagga wants to wield three two-handed war axes? Shagga will wield those axes and gain all of their benefits. How is that physically possible? Your guess is as good as ours, but Shagga does like his axes.

Now, while triple-wielding Shagga is an interesting feat on its own, there is a mention here of a “game element”, as well as a card. We would hazard a guess that this addition is mentioned in the rules, in case of attachments that are attached to elements such as a player’s dead/discard pile, deck or even hand. While we haven’t had attachment like these in Game of Thrones, we have seen something like this in the Call of Cthulhu LCG with f.ex. Snow Graves, which attaches to the discard pile, specifically.
  • An attachment can only attach to a character, unless otherwise specified by the attachment’s text.
  • If a situation arises in which an attachment is not legally attached, discard the attachment.
So the norm is still that an attachment has to go on a character, unless the card says otherwise. These rules make it so that blanking is still effective attachment removal for non-character attachments, as it makes them lose their special permission and now be illegally attached to a non-character card and discarded. So, if 1.0 Meera would return in her current form (ye gods!), she would still wreck non-character attachments.

While blanking is one case, another is when a card changes card type. A good example from 1.0 would be Longship Maiden’s Bane with Outfitted for War. While this might at first seem like a good plan, it doesn’t work for long. The moment LMB becomes a character, the attachment is no longer on a Warship location, which again means that it is not attached legally, and gets discarded. This will be true with 2.0 as well.
  • An attachment a player controls remains under his or her control even if the card or game element to which it is attached is under an opponent’s control.
Quite straightforward again - steal doesn’t give control of the attachments on the stolen card. Now, there is a specific case here. Some attachments might have limitations like “attach to your own character” or “attach to an opponent’s character” and when the control is changed, the attachment will again become illegally attached.
  • An attachment card stands and kneels independently of the card which it is attached.
Eddard Stark kneeling and attacking? Well, his Ice would still stand ready to chop.

The New: Setup

Another important change related to attachments has to do with setup. Let’s have a more in-depth look at what the placing of setup cards entry looks like in the Rules Reference Guide (RRG) and digest it through in pieces:

Place setup cards. Each player, in player order, may place up to a total of 8 cost worth of character, location, and attachment cards from his or her hand as setup cards. Setup cards are placed face down in a player’s play area.

When placing setup cards, the following restrictions must be observed:
  • No more than 8 total cost worth of cards may be placed.
So, to adjust for the increased gold curve, setup gold has come up from 5 to 8 (with the same number of cards).
  • No more than 1 card with the “Limited” keyword may be placed.
Limited resources are still very much a thing. And then the part we’re particularly interested in with regard to attachments:
  • Only character, location, and attachment cards may be placed.
  • Each attachment that is placed must be eligible to be attached to a valid card or game element that will be under its owner’s control when the setup cards are revealed in the next step.
So, basically this means that the Setup keyword is now obsolete, as all attachments can be set up by default. Well, all attachments that can be attached to cards or elements you control. So, if a card had a restriction like: “Opponent’s character only”, then it could not be setup, as your own setup cannot contain a valid target.

There’s one more important entry here, but it warrants a more in-depth discussion.

The New: Duplicates

Attachments were not the only endangered game element in 1.0 that is getting a boost in 2.0. Another one, duplicates of unique cards, are also getting some much needed support.

In 1.0, after certain cards (like the Lannister Iron Throne) entered the cardpool, decks only rarely ran multiples of unique characters, with only a few (like Meera Reed or The Red Viper) being powerful enough to warrant such an approach.

This was largely due to the vulnerability of duplicates to being cancelled (any character ability cancel like The Iron Throne or other cancel like He Calls it Thinking), denied (Brienne) or just plain discarded (Wintertime Marauders).

From that same Setup RRG entry we were looking at above, we have something interesting with regard to duplicates:
  • Additional copies of unique cards may be placed in setup at no cost, and revealed as duplicates in the following step.
Basically, running multiple copies of unique characters suddenly went from being detrimental to your setups to actually helping achieve good ones!

In fact, this is not the only important upgrade to duplicates, as there’s another one as well. Here’s the relevant part directly from the Duplicate RRG entry:

A duplicate grants its controller the following triggered game ability: “Interrupt: When the overlapping unique card would leave play, discard this duplicate to save that card. (Cannot be canceled.)”

Remember that list above? Duplicates can no longer be cancelled, nor can they be denied by anything that only affects card abilities (like the 2.0 Catelyn Stark) as they are now a game ability.

While running a deck with 1x of all the best and most cost-efficient unique characters will likely still be a valid approach in 2.0, it will probably not be the only one. Not only are attachments getting a boon, but so is running multiple copies of unique cards, which of course further strengthens attachments by providing more stable bases to attach them to. Combined, all of these changes may push the game towards higher cost centerpieces and away from drawing and playing as many cheap (or free) cards as possible.

Something Old with a twist of New

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For this week’s spoiler we are revisiting an old and familiar negative attachment, Milk of the Poppy. At it’s core, Milk is still the same kind of powerful ‘soft Control’ (negation without removal) card that it was in 1.0. And the scope that it affects, is also the same from it’s 1.0 incarnation, with the text box including: keywords, card text and abilities, and non-challenge icons (such as gold, initiative, and reserve modifiers). So, a character retains it’s printed strength, icons and Traits, but otherwise acts as if it were blank. However, it has gained a new keyword on it’s way to 2.0.

The keyword that Milk of the Poppy has gained is Terminal, which is completely new for 2.0. Essentially, the Terminal keyword makes attachments work the same way as what we are used to in 1.0. If the card the attachment is attached to leaves play, then the attachment gets discarded, instead of bouncing back to hand. It might be a good thing that Milk of the Poppy doesn’t recycle like other attachments, as the image of sipping something another person already suffered from… is not particularly pleasant.

While Milk now has a downside compared to other attachments due to being Terminal, it is a cheap way to get rid of any troublesome character ability that is locking the board or making challenges hard. If anything, it has gained power between 1.0 and 2.0, since before you were mostly paying 1g to negate a 3-4 gold character, while now you’re paying the same to negate a 7 gold one! Eddard Stark participating in almost every challenge? Milk. Varys threatening to discard all characters? Milk. Tywin generating heinous amounts of gold? Milk… While you cannot repeat its usage, Milk still holds an important position in the cardpool as a flexible troubleshooting card, and its importance should quickly become obvious as 2.0 launches.

Questions, feedback, or were you the one that got the neighbours goat drunk? Chime in, in the comments below!

Antti Korventausta (WWDrakey) is a self-proclaimed Finnish AGoT philosopher and doomsayer hermit, who used to practice Quantum Mechanics, but found that it paled to AGoT in both interest and complexity. Having played and judged for more years than he would like to admit, he has found himself on the winning side of rules arguments more than he would expect. In any game he plays, he has a tendency of playing anything he considers to be off the beaten path, whether it makes sense to others or not.

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. He is the quintessential rules board morlock. While the others played and frolicked about outside, he sat by candlelight in a remote corner of the library and tried to get a grasp on the intricacies of the 1st edition rules. He even thought he did not do too bad at it, but then the Call of the Three-Eyed Crow drove him into the darkest depths of madness and despair. But he’s all better now, honest, and looking forward to new challenges.

Iiro Jalonen (Ire) Started AGoT in 2009, got pulled under the waves by Krakens years ago, and has never looked back. While not an Oldtown local, he has often been spotted in the Quill & Tankard Inn making sure that the rules of sportsmanship are maintained with the traditional finger dance games. 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.

James Waumsley (JCWamma) is a first edition veteran who has judged at multiple large tournaments including the European championship of Stahleck. A renowned loudmouth and pedant, he will shout about the rules loud enough that he can be heard by those north of the wall.

Alex Hynes (Istaril) co-hosts Beyond the Wall, writes articles for FFG, created and curates the Annals - and even tried to fill in ktom’s shoes in the big ktom drought of 2013. When the Regulars asked him to be an honorary member, he, of course, refused and said he didn’t have the time. Or should have, anyway. Still, how much work can being an “Honorary” member be?

  • bigfomlof, emptyrepublic, scantrell24 and 6 others like this


32 Comments

Great write up thanks for sharing. Allowing duplicates on setup is going to be very interesting. Also, changes to attachments create a lot of new strategic and tactical decision making that I'm looking forward to in 2.0.
    • WWDrakey likes this
(Accidental double post)
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theamazingmrg
Jun 11 2015 12:24 PM

All this makes the spoiled Robert Baratheon even more exciting! (Except Milk of the Poppy, obviously!)

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ScionMattly
Jun 11 2015 12:25 PM

Dupes can't be cancelled? Yay.
Dupes on Setup? Yay.
Terminal to allay fears of constant negative attachments? Yay

Pretty much all awesome.

    • WWDrakey likes this

I'm liking v2.0 more and more. Still very much the same game (and thats the most important thing) but with all the right tweaks in the right places.

 

Can we just skip forward a year to a decent size card pool? 

    • kizerman86 and zoltan like this

robert baratheon was spoiled?

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darkbladecb
Jun 11 2015 12:44 PM

The 8 gold on setup is one of the first ways we're seeing the increased gold curve in real action.

    • istaril, VonWibble, theamazingmrg and 2 others like this

i really like the cannot be saved on duplicates as well as ability to play them on setup!

I'm not convinced I like terminal (it feels like a 1.0 mechanic for the sake of it having existed in 1.0). It may be interesting in the long run, but I'm not sold. However, there is one thing I really like about it; the reminder text. 

 

How many people are going to be playing 2.0 mostly off 1.0 rules, play milk of the poppy, and suddenly realize (because of the description of terminal) that they were playing attachments wrong? A neat way to get people to re-learn a mechanic.

 

Each attachment that is placed must be eligible to be attached to a valid card or game element that will be under its owner’s control when the setup cards are revealed in the next step.

 

So, am I reading this wrong when I say that this means you can place negative attachments that can attach to an opponent's card if there is a valid target?  Or does "it's owners control" mean it has to be yours?  Sometimes me not read English good.

 

I love every ******* one of these changes to setup AND the change to how duplicates work.  It's much more streamlined!

Great article you guys.  Thanks for all the info.

 

As an aside though, with 8 gold now being the amount you can setup, that makes it even easier for decks to get a 7 card setup if they stick to the same gold curve that's present in 1.0.  As it stands now, there had better be some sort of event, plot, or even attachment control towards chuds.  If there's not, with the limited information we have so far, I'll grin ear to ear when my opponent sets up Eddard or Tywin and I setup 3 - 5 characters knowing full well my opponent can't defend against them all.

Does it worry anyone else that Milk of the Poppy didn't go up in cost at all to go along with the more expensive characters? We already have a history of negative attachments being playable. They'll only get better if they're knocking out 7 costers.

    • WWDrakey, Bomb, kizerman86 and 2 others like this

Seems like it could easily cost 2g.

    • agktmte likes this

Does it worry anyone else that Milk of the Poppy didn't go up in cost at all to go along with the more expensive characters? We already have a history of negative attachments being playable. They'll only get better if they're knocking out 7 costers.

 

Maybe they want to emphasize an increased importance of attachment control. Or the importance of an intrigue challenge after going 2nd.

 

I understand your concern because if you can't handle the attachment, you can end up wasting a 7 gold character that is most likely 7 gold due to their text box and not so much their strength and icons.

It seems obvious then that attachment control will need to be a key inclusion in your deck design.

    • agktmte likes this
As long as it is available to all houses in some way, for example by having 2-3 non loyal attachment hate cards scattered around, or a neutral one.
    • Avatar likes this
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RemkoLooten
Jun 11 2015 05:35 PM

All this makes the spoiled Robert Baratheon even more exciting! (Except Milk of the Poppy, obviously!)

What Robert Baratheon? I do not recall any Robert being spoiled yet

There was one on the back of the box, although he was hard to make out (it seemed he had intimidate and renown). I'd have to dig up the picture again...

 

Hmm, it seems the cardbacks have switched since that box preview, and that art we all thought was Varys isn't the same art we saw in the Team Covenant Spoiler.

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RemkoLooten
Jun 11 2015 05:46 PM

oh he looks cool! it says something like he gets +1 strength for each ......

 

could be power of course

Definitely STR. Perhaps "for each other kneeling character in play"?

"

  • Each attachment that is placed must be eligible to be attached to a valid card or game element that will be under its owner’s control when the setup cards are revealed in the next step"

How does this work with negative att? cause they could or could not have a valid card when setup cards are revealed.

How does this work with negative att? cause they could or could not have a valid card when setup cards are revealed.

 

If they have a restriction like "attach to opponent's character", they could not be placed in setup (since you cannot have an opponent's character in your setup).

 

If they're negative like Milk (well, who knows, milk might be positive if it blanks negative character abilities!), then they can definitely be set up provided you also set up a character they could attach to.

 

Whether you could attach it to an opponent's character once you reveal your setup, though, that would require more text from the rules than we already have to answer. Probably from the instructions on how to reveal your setup.

Setting up a chud character to get Milk on him seems like a reasonable gamble.
 

Man, I am LOVING the changes.

oh he looks cool! it says something like he gets +1 strength for each ......

 

could be power of course

me and my playgroup agreed roberts text on that art is
intimidate. renown
robert baratheon gets +1 str for each other standing character in play.

This article makes me so happy. Such excellent changes.Thanks!