Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Game of Thrones

I have long been a fan of the Song of Ice and Fire universe, ever since I got all three of the first books, and read them in a week while my then girl friend (now wife) was out of town, and I was sick and bored. The gritty realism is of course part of the draw, but the characters are another.  I got through all three books, and then was eager for #4, which came out that fall. (a quick peek at amazon indicates that it was 2005, so nearly 7 years ago).  The long delay from Feast to Dance sort of cooled things off for me, and I have not thought as much about Westeros lately.

In any case, the wife and I have just started watching the Game of Thrones TV show, and it has rekindled some of that heady feeling I had when I crammed in 2400+ pages in a week. (Astonishing my wife's cousins who are devout fans of the series) Naturally, as these things go, I started to think about how to game the series, and what miniatures to use...

Obviously, there are the official miniatures from Dark Sword, and while they are generally lovely, they are quite large, expensive, and not suited for gaming in my opinion.  (although still retaining utility for characters and unusual types)

Fortunately, the Westeros way of war seems to be broadly similar to the War of the Roses/mid Hundred Years War here on earth, that is to say "high medieval" in arms and armament, minus, of course, guns and cannon (so 1420-1450).  So full harness for well-to-do types, mail and partial plate for those poorer, and cloth and helmets for the lower level retainers.  Fantasy elements are limited, particularly in the first three books, with valarian steel swords being the main thing needed.  Heraldry from here and from this amazing map.

The Perrys have a lovely series of figures that would fit in well here, in the shape of the War of the Roses line.  The plastic boxes for this yield archers, Men-At-Arms, billmen, pike men, and crossbows. Metals fill in a few of the other needed elements, and the Hundred Years War line would provide for the poorer lords' forces. 

Gaming wise, I would use the LotR skirmish game engine, which allows for low powered heroes and warbands.  Figures would be assembled into groups, representing minor lords and their retainers, which should allow for surmountable painting as well. (I would make mostly Northers, Riverlands, and Lannister allies) Larger games could be accommodated by the same engine, or by moving to the WotR mass battle game, although I do not foresee things getting that out of hand...

Obviously I am treading the same path that many have gone before, such as this recent thread on The Miniatures page. (or this older one) Or the several lovely threads on Lead Adventure (This one, Stark, Lannister, plus Captain Blood's WotR figures)

Now I just need to finish off about 25 other projects, and I can move on this one!


Monty said...

Great post! I devoured the series this fall (latecomer because I read nonfiction) and I've just started watching the HBO series. What could be better? Gaming Game of Thrones! Great idea!

Lasgunpacker said...


There are a couple of GoT board games, and I think a card game as well, but miniatures seem quite a bit more fun for this sort of thing.