In Song of Ice & Fire players are playing warring factions of armies in a miniatures wargame. Every part of this game from the tactics cards to the miniatures has been approved through George R.R. Martin so you can be sure that it will be historically accurate in relation to the Song of Ice & Fire Universe. CoolMiniOrNot worked really hard to create factions that looked in a way that fit the characters from the books. Every unit has a unique visual look as well as tactics cards that relate to the character as told in the books.
The entirety of the book series has been licenced which is super neat leaving all of the current content open for miniatures licensing. If you read about it in the book, you can be hopeful to see it in the miniatures game. CMON partnered up through Dark Sword Miniatures to make this game a reality. They will have plastic miniatures with special hard plastic for weaponry so you can be sure you don’t experience any droopy spears. The miniatures are not one piece sculpts, but they are pre assembled so you can play them right out of the box. The game is based on a point system; which allows players to play bigger or smaller, shorter or longer games depending on how much Song of Ice and Fire you'd like to play.
The commander you choose for your army helps determine some of the cards in your deck. An army ran by the Mountain is going to be far more aggressive than an army ran by Tyrion Lannister, which of course, would be far more tactical. There's also some behind the scenes army characters. A character like Cersei Lannister would grant additional tactical benefits such as bribing a unit to show up late, or even taking temporary control of a unit. The game comes with a shared tactics board and only one character can occupy a tactics space at a time, so timing during gameplay is absolutely critical.
Players activate the minis one tray at a time. The ranks of the trays are based on the number of units left in a tray. The morale system also makes it so that some units will break and eventually run away. It is possible to completely break the morale of another faction. It’s also important to note that Lannister paid soldiers won't have as high morale as the Starks who are fighting for a cause they truly care about.
So if you've ever wanted to see a battle between two characters who'd never fight, now is your opportunity. This is a fan fiction writer's dream come true. Who needs another book when you can live out the story, your way?
The game plays on a 4x4 table using a d6 system and the game rules fit on a singular card. The alternating activation system allows for more than two player battles. Much like in the Song of Ice & Fire universe, you can have a bunch of armies fighting each other, picking off units one by one or even helping out a neighboring faction by strategically playing those tactics cards. Combat in this game is handled by selecting a number of available actions. Moving, pivoting, charging, etc. When a character chooses to pivot that tray can pivot up to 360 degrees in any direction but remember, placement matters. Nobody wants to get stuck from the side or worse, the back of the head! That said, If someone has a particularly long and spiky weapon, it's probably not best to charge at them from the front because then your character would certainly take damage.
CMON told us the standard sized game is 45 minutes to an hour and a half for a 7 unit game with a shorter play time if your dice hate you. It will be available in retail this March 2018 . There will be various scenarios, making it so killing each other doesn’t always mean winning a scenario.
The two starting factions will be the Starks and Lannister but we were reassured there is much much more to come. They mentioned that there will be ranged units and I for one, want to command some dragons. There will be organized play from day one so look forward to playing this at your friendly local game store. They're hoping to have just a few things on Kickstarter but plan on having monthly releases in retail and hope to focus on the retail sales and organized play of this game.