This was a summer of gaming in our house. Not video games — though there was plenty of that — I’m talking about board games. Lots and lots of board games.
Now technically, A Song Of Ice & Fire is considered a tabletop game rather than a board game, but whatever you call it, this game is a ton of fun. My sons and I have been battling in Westeros for the past few months, only taking breaks to paint the endless armies that come in each box. The game is set in the world of the Game of Thrones, and that plays a huge role in influencing my enjoyment of it. Playing as Jon Snow or his direwolf, Ghost, is so much more exciting than playing a similar game with (insert random sci-fi mech here).
A Song Of Ice & Fire plays like a simplified version of Warhammer, which is perfect for an old guy like me — too many rules means the game stays on the shelf around here. This game is easy to learn but difficult to master. There’s lots of dice chucking, and in addition to the wargaming aspect, there is plenty of intrigue that allows non-combat units to throw wrenches into the most perfectly laid plans.
We are big fans of minis around here. When we hear a game comes with high-quality miniatures, our ears perk up, and this game certainly delivers. The starter sets for both the Free Folk and the Night’s Watch each come with over 40 minis, including several large ones, like the giants and cavalry. CMON has a reputation for packing their games with minis, and this game is overflowing with Starks, Lannisters, and every other faction from the book series. New expansion sets keep coming, so your favorite characters are sure to appear, if they haven’t already.
This is the sort of game that checks a lot of boxes for me. I’ve been painting miniatures and building terrain since I was 10 years old, and now I get to do it with my own kids. Once the painting is done, and the trees and rock walls are built, we get to play the game! This is the kind of game that keeps us entertained on so many different levels, and the creativity keeps flowing. My son makes his own cards for minis from other games–we currently have the dragon, Ashardalon, on our battlefield, and I think a regiment of giant spiders might be on the way soon.
If you’re interested in checking this game out, visit your friendly local gaming shop (FLGS) and I’m sure they would be happy to give you a demo. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below. Now I have to go paint some more Lannister crossbowmen.