Because getting your butt kicked in the Battle of the Blackwater just once is not nearly enough, Game of Thrones fans will soon be able to take the reigns of House Baratheon and re-create the epic conflict again and again. Perhaps they'll even have a chance to write their own ending to the conflict between Baratheon and Lannister, or better yet, stage a fan fiction-esque battle of Baratheon versus Stark.
All of the above are possible with the Battles of Westeros tactical board game system from Fantasy Flight Games, which is about to receive its first major addition in the form of a House Baratheon Army Expansion. Game of Thrones may not be returning to HBO until March 31st, but with the luck of the dice and a skin of hot mulled wine, you just might yet survive the winter.
For current players of Battles of Westeros, the addition of House Baratheon is a big deal. Although the game system has been expanded numerous times, each product has only served to tack additional units onto the Stark and Lannister armies. Now player will have a third faction to choose from, and Fantasy Flight is giving the Battles of Westeros system a ringing endorsement by producing its largest expansion yet, signalling that fans have plenty more to look forward to.
Included in the new expansion will be "110 plastic figures and bases, dozens of banners, nearly 100 cards, over 120 markers and tokens, and a detailed new game board depicting Blackwater Bay, " putting this set on par with the size of the base Stark and Lannister forces.
The set also introduces a brand new method for tying matches together: epic battles. Fought over three different stages, epic battles will be won by the player who can win a best two-of-three competition, with cards, tokens, and positions all transferring from one stage to the next. Victory for each individual map will depend on scenario-specific criteria, though, and an in-game timer will crank up the tension on players. Of course, the first set of epic battle maps will depict the Battle of the Blackwater, as seen in the A Clash of Kings novel and Game of Thrones Season 2.
The common advice for Game of Thrones fans to survive their television drought is to pick up a book, but there are other options. Why not enjoy a game? There are many options between Green Ronin's newly-revised A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game, or Fantasy Flight's Game of Thrones board game and living card game. Battles of Westeros scratches a particular gamer itch, that of the miniatures war gaming usually seen in Warmachine or Warhammer.
Yet Battles of Westeros has just as much in common with casual board gaming as it does those sprawling and expensive war games, making it very well suited for for those new to the hobby. If Game of Thrones fandom has got you wandering down the gaming aisle at your local comic shop, Battles of Westeros and the House Baratheon army set could be a good fit.
For more information on the units included in the House Baratheon Army Expansion, and the Battle of the Blackwater epic battle matches, keep an eye on Fantasy Flight's House Baratheon product page.