A Game of Thrones is a strategy board game created by Christian T. Petersen and released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2003. The game is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. It was followed in 2004 by the expansion A Clash of Kings, and in 2006 by the expansion A Storm of Swords.
A Game of Thrones allows the players to take on the roles of several of the Great Houses vying for control of the Seven Kingdoms, including House Stark, House Lannister, House Baratheon, House Greyjoy, House Tyrell, and as of the expansion A Clash of Kings, House Martell. Players maneouver armies to secure support in the various regions that comprise the Seven Kingdoms, with the goal of capturing enough support to claim the Iron Throne.
At the beginning of the game, the players with House markers on the highest positions in the Iron Throne, Fiefdoms, and King's Court Influence tracks will start with the Iron Throne, Valyrian Steel Blade, and Messenger Raven special tokens respectively.
The three Westeros decks are shuffled, and placed off to the side where all players can see.
There are five types of orders. March orders are used to move units from one region to another and initiate battle if an enemy unit is in the new region. Defend orders provide bonuses to units that are attacked in the region. Support orders allow some of the units in a region to participate in battles that occur in neighbouring regions. Raid orders allow a player to remove certain opponent orders from neighboring regions. Consolidate Power orders allow a player to collect more power tokens, which can be used to later bid on positions on the Influence tracks. Each player receives three of each order each turn, however one of each type is marked by a star. In addition to the limit of three of each type of order, a player is limited to playing a maximum number of starred orders determined by his position on the King's Court Influence track.
The Messenger Raven special token, held by the player in the highest position on the King's Court Influence track, allows a player to change one of his placed orders for an unused order after all orders have been revealed.
During a battle, each player totals the strength of all of his non-routed units in the disputed region, which may be modified by values on an appropriate March or Defend orders. Players may then solicit help from any units in adjacent regions, controlled by any player including those involved in the battle, who have placed a Support order this round. Finally, players select an unused House card from their hand to represent their leader in the battle. House cards have various effects on the battle, which may include strength increases, extra damage, negation of damage, or other unique effects. The player with the highest total wins the battle, and the losing units must leave the region routed, or possibly removed entirely if enough damage was inflicted. Ties are won by the player with a higher position on the Fiefdoms Influence track. Once per round, the player holding the Valyrian Steel Blade special token can add a +1 bonus to either side of a battle.
Finally, players can claim more power tokens by executing any Consolidate Power orders remaining on the board.
Other than during battles, if at any point a tie occurs, such as when bidding for positions on the Influence tracks, the player holding the Iron Throne special token determines who wins the tie.