A Game of Thrones: Catan
This new version of Catan, is a beautiful return to the gameplay of a classic board game that adds complex, thematic mechanics that deliver on both flavor and fun. In addition to the regular building, trading, and settling, players are tasked with defending the Wall and defending Westeros from the wildlings. Guards serve as both a victory point generator and an alternate victory condition. Should the wildlings breach the wall too many times, the game ends immediately. In this case, the player with the most guards on the Wall wins.
Overall, the new mechanics added by this special edition of Catan are fun and engaging. As a bonus, a Game of Thrones: Catan can be played as a regular game of Catan but with the wonderful components. The plastic-sculpted miniatures are of typical Fantasy Flight quality, and they make the game much more luxurious. In addition, the cardboard and cards are printed on high-quality stock, ensuring that they will last a long time.
Mechanics and Problems
This printing of Catan has a few new mechanics: Wildlings, the Wall, and “Hero” cards. The wildlings and the Wall are tied together. As players build settlements and cities, wildlings begin to gather in the North. Once enough have gathered, they attempt to overrun the Wall. To counteract this, players can recruit guards to defend the Wall.
Hero cards add another dynamic to the game. At any time, players have a single hero card available to them, enabling them to trade, steal, or substitute resources or buildings. The hero “market” is another level of strategic play that opens up alternative strategies to the classic Catan.
Unfortunately, the first printing of this game does have some problems. Due to its nature as a specialty product, there was only a small number of copies printed. Over the Black Friday weekend, the majority of the copies flew off the shelves. In addition, there are a few critical misprints in the first printing of the game. Upon contacting Fantasy Flight Games regarding these misprints, we were informed that the company was “aware [but not offering replacements]”.
Our Review: 9 / 10
Overall, this is a wonderfully put-together product. Though some may be turned away by the Game of Thrones brand, the box contains a well-balanced game with beautiful art and miniatures. If you can find a copy, this is a game well worth its space on the shelf.