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Announcing For the Realm

by Design Team
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Hello Thrones Community,

The Global Operations Design Committe and the Design Team are happy to reveal the next expansion of the G.O.T. era!

For the Realm strives to bring new life to the Army and Commander traits, as well as support both old and new themes for each faction. To this end, the pack boasts: an agenda intended to resurrect long-forgotten plot cards, eight unprecedentedly powerful characters, an innovative new keyword, and much more! With the War of Five Kings as inspiration, For the Realm seeks to capture the thrill of commanding a mighty host as it besieges an opponent’s holdfast.

We hope you enjoy!

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The most radical and prominent addition from For the Realm is the new keyword: Assault. A combination of Stealth, Intimidate, and cards like Seized by the Guard or Frozen Solid, the keyword allows attacking characters to treat a defending player’s location as blank for the challenge’s duration (except for Traits, of course). On top of functionally removing it from play during the challenge, the attacker’s success also forces the location to be knelt; with such potential for control, the keyword is limited to only targeting locations of a lower cost than the Assault-wielder. 

This allows locations like Dorne and The Stormlands to resist all but the mightiest of forces, and ensures Stronghold locations like The Wall are not trivialised. But nothing is unconquerable, as For the Realm’s Assault-wielding 8 Cost Army characters seek to demonstrate! Each faction receives its own potent Army, with the exception of Stark and Targaryen who each receive an equally terrifying Commander. So, if you wish to hide behind your walls, beware…

King Stannis's Host

King Stannis of House Baratheon, lauded as the greatest strategist in Westeros, now has an Army to compliment that status! King Stannis’s Host makes use of the Baratheon’s under-used STR lowering mechanic to limit any and all opponent’s success in Power Challenges, while giving Stannis Baratheon himself the Stealth needed to surprise Jon Snow and Mance Rayder alike during the Battle for the Wall. 

The Holy Hundred, conversely, increases the STR of your The Seven devotees. Finally, the eerie ruins of Summerhall prevent the entry or departure of cards during Power Challenges, both trapping and protecting the challenge’s participants…

The Iron Fleet itself can now be set loose against the Iron Island’s enemies, reducing the cost of future Raider characters and guaranteeing the discarding of opponents’ cards simply by declaring a challenge!

Foamdrinker joins the ranks of other supportive Warship locations, with Dagmer Cleftjaw himself gaining Assault. In addition to that, Dagmer’s ship can bestow any desired Challenge Icon on any Captain or Raider character you wish! Ironborn characters can also benefit from For the Realm, with Euron Greyjoy’s Valyrian Steel Armor guaranteeing the survival of an appropriately significant character – so long as they are alone in that significance…

The Iron Fleet

The might and cunning of Casterly Rock are on full display with Lord Tywin’s Host, which breathes new life into Lannister’s Pillage mechanic. In addition to wielding the keyword itself, its effect allows any Lannister character’s Pillage to slowly reduce – or completely reveal – an opponent’s hand!

Lord Tywin's Host

Ser Jacelyn Bywater, as Commander of the Gold Cloaks, works with his own Army and Lannister’s other Ambush-focused characters by allowing that keyword’s use… from the discard pile! Fair Isle, too, presents unprecedented opportunities by forcing a player to temporarily drain their own hand of cards; this can either allow for targeted use of Pillage, or lower the size of their hand for any number of Lannister effects…

Despite their passive reputation, House Martell already boasts an impressive range of Army characters. For the Realm must therefore innovate by expanding upon two of the faction’s less-used Traits: House Yronwood and Mercenary. The first brings Lord Anders’s Host, whose impressive strength and access to Ambush is complemented by the ability to return characters to their owner’s hands; the second sees the Windblown emerge from the Shadows to help your Army or Mercenary allies stand after challenges.

And then, one can combine these armies with Sandstone of House Qorygyle. By rewarding attacking characters with power if the losing opponent has characters with few or no Challenge Icons, these three cards all drastically improve House Martell’s capacity for offensive play. 

Lord Anders's Host

The Night’s Watch, under-manned and vulnerable as it is, has only one notable Army: The Great Ranging. It embodies the ideals of both the Steward and Ranger traits, with Intimidate, Insight, and – through its summoning of the Fist of the First Men – an increase to your Reserve. The Great Ranging is an expensive but valuable asset for most relevant decks.

Great Ranging

The Watch’s other two cards are decidedly more passive, but nonetheless useful and encouraging of new strategies. A new variant of Old Bear’s Raven (FtR) allows for repeated use of Old Bear Mormont, while You Know Nothing allows you to remove the keywords of each non-Army character controlled by an opponent until the end of the phase.

House Stark, already equipped with King Robb’s Host, receives a Commander to revitalise the faction’s uninspiring Army characters. The Blackfish (FtR) does this by providing Intrigue to each of Stark’s armies, while also boasting some impressive keywords and potent STR.

To complement this new Commander of House Tully, Stark receives Brynden’s Outriders; in addition to providing the Assault keyword, this Army gains Stealth from Riverland locations and a Power Icon from Commander characters. When combined with Brynden Tully himself, these affordable Outriders become a truly versatile threat. Grey Wind is a similarly significant addition, with his ability to counter character abilities by returning his fellow Direwolf cards to your hand.

The Blackfish

With mighty Dothraki hoards and Prince Aegon Targaryen to support the Army trait, House Targaryen instead receives a Commander worthy of such forces. Ser Barristan Selmy (FtR), still earning his title as Barristan the Bold, is a potent and versatile character; with the ability to stand his fellow defenders or increase claim as an attacker, Ser Barristan remains the greatest Knight in Westeros or Essos.

Ser Barristan Selmy

In Daenerys’ absence, Ser Barristan leads the Mother’s Men; these freedmen not only give Targaryen access to the Assault keyword, but can jump into play from the discard pile if a character should be killed through card effects. This ability to leap into play is mirrored by Griffin’s Roost, ancestral home of House Connington and foothold in the Stormlands for Aegon’s invasion; with it, each successful Power Challenge allows you to place a card from your hand into shadows.

For an already wealthy faction, it is only natural that the gold-generating House Redwyne should provide a gold-generating Army. The Redwyne Fleet, composed of both trading galleys and warships, yields gold each time a House Redwyne character is knelt; in addition to that, the Fleet bestows new Challenge Icons and the Commander trait on Paxter Redwyne himself!

But military might is not the only strength of House Tyrell, as shown by the emphasis Longtable and Goldengrove place on Spy and Small Council characters. The former empowers and reduces the cost of such political warriors, while the latter is able to kneel itself or Small Council characters to stand – and reclaim control – of your other cards.

The Redwyne Fleet

In addition to all these southern hosts, the true north also receives an Army of its own! The Thenns, with Pillage and a conditional Assault, are joined by the deadly Raider Harma Dogshead and the character-saving Magnar of Thenn. Last, least, but nonetheless useful, we have Squire; of little use in challenges, he humbly reduces the cost of any Army or Knight character you wish to marshal.

Finally, at the center of all these Army and Commander characters, we have a new plot and agenda. The eponymous For the Realm allows for the significant reduction of Army and Stronghold cards, while Battle of the Trident utilises Army and Commander characters to breathe new life into under-used and hard-to-use plots. 

Battle of the Trident

With an expanded plot deck of exclusively War, Edict, or Siege plots, Battle of the Trident rewards the application of claim in conjunction with an attacking Army or Commander character with the revealing of a new plot! This allows Reinforcements to bring a sorely-needed character into play, a well-timed Return to the Fields (R) to grow your hand, or an unexpected Fortified Position to remove the text from all characters. With different Challenge Types triggering different types of plot, this agenda promises new uses for established plots and unexpected applications for plots you’ve never used before!

We hope you enjoy these inventions, and the Design Committe and Team look forward to seeing how you redefine the meta with these new opportunities.

Good luck, and have fun!

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Mattia Di Pietro

Great job guys. I really enjoy this new mechanics added to the game and I’m really excited to try them all asap.

The Red Widow

You get to ignore it and kneel it afterward? Holy moly that seems like a lot together. Much more potent in a single swing than something like stealth.

Drew Underwood

Fantastic, each new expansion makes me incredibly excited to game for years to come.

Kennon

Always glad to see new stuff. Maybe we can get together a review sometime soon…

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