Some people become immersed in a fictional world by merely reading a book. For me, I don't become fully immersed until I get spin-off wargames and roleplaying games (RPGs). To date, I have games based on Middle Earth, Hyboria, Star Trek and Star Wars. Now I can add Westeros, the setting for George R.R. Martin's series Song of Ice and Fire.
As I mentioned in my Winter is Coming post (16 April 2011), I missed out on buying the Game of Thrones boardgame, but managed to get a map of Westeros from an issue of Dragon several years ago while this magazine west still in print. Prior to the airing of first episode on HBO, I downloaded PDF versions of the RPG books, by Green Ronin:
But it wasn't until I visited my friend Joe and got to look at his collection of Game of Thrones-based games, that I got hooked on the world of Westeros.
I didn't take the plunge, though, until I discovered I had a surplus of funds on my credit card. With my plastic burning a hole in my wallet, I high-tailed it to our local gaming store, The Game Matrix and purchased, not only the Battles of Westeros Core Set, but all three of the available supplements; Wardens of the West, Wardens of the North and Lords of the River. (The fourth supplement, Tribes of the Vale is due out soon).
You can check these out on the Fantasy Flight Games website here:
All this for a book I'm only 206 pages, out of 807, that I'm into? And there's 3 more 800-plus page books, with #5 awaiting publication.
Is Game of Thrones so great that it's turned me into a rabid fan and spend a lot of cash on gaming merchandise this early into the saga?
Not really. I'll do a full book review when I'm finished, but as of now, I find the book "interesting," as opposed to "totally awesome." Over the years I've heard a considerable amount of criticism about the Song of Ice and Fire series and from what I've read so far, these comments are not entirely incorrect. The sheer size of each book along with the number of characters turns off a lot of readers. What I do like however, is George R.R. Martin has done a fabulous job of world building--a world I know I'll enjoy wargaming in.