Board vs Card Essay

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In the series A Song of Fire and Ice an epic story is weaved with many characters and settings. George RR Martin tells a tale of six houses all competing for the Iron Throne through battle, treachery, and influence. This book series has inspired a television series, while not identical holds true to spirit and themes of the books. This is not the adaptation that will be looked at, but two other adaptations of George RR Martin’s work. Taking the basic elements of the story and see how these apply for the new medium; those five elements are character, plot, theme, settings and conflict. Using the implementation of those elements as a baseline I will attempt to decide which is a better adaptation The Game of Thrones the Board game as played with three players or Game of Thrones the card game. With both these properties we will look and see if and how the five elements are used and playability of the game.

In the board game the player takes on the role as leader of one of three houses Baratheon, Stark and Lannister. You start with the territories associated with those houses and six character cards. Character cards provide certain bonuses in conflict; some of these bonuses are more martial other bonuses are more to do with intrigue. Each character can only be used once until all six are used at which point the player may choose from the six again. There is a problem with this system; certain important characters get left out if they are not aligned to houses. In the card game most of the characters from the television show are there, each card has its own flavor text, and unique ability that corresponds with their character on the show. In this case both games recognize the importance of the characters to the story so neither is superior to the other.
The next element that will be studied is the plot. Sadly the randomness of a card game does not allow for any kind of defined plot, and the card game obviously falters here. While in the board game there is a definite beginning, middle and end, as the game only lasts for ten turns. The players begin their own territory and expand from there; this corresponds with an introduction and rising action. The board is designed so that all three players come in contact roughly at the same time, more rising action and conflict. This creates a classic Mexican standoff situation with each player waiting for a mistake to be made; here is the climax. Then the other two players almost race to pick up the Territory of the player made the error; finally a resolution. Given that most of the parts of a standard plotline exist in the board game the nod goes to there.
In the case of setting, both games do a good job. The flavor text, which feature quotes from the characters, and images on the cards in the card game help establish the game as being set in Westeros. The board in the board game is a map of Westeros and actually uses important geographical features as game elements and example of this would be...

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