The Night is Dark and Full of Sheep – When Westeros Meets Catan

Fantasy Flight made the announcement that they will be releasing a Game of Thrones themed version of Catan later this year, A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch.

House Stark bestowed the Gift to the Night’s Watch when the Order was first founded thousands of years ago. By right, this area belongs to the Watch to supply provisions to the stalwart brothers who guard Westeros from the north. In game, each of these areas supplies one of five resources: lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore. The barren Ice Fields, however, produce nothing.

Players take on the role of Brothers of the Night’s Watch and use these resources to strengthen their hold on the north by building roads, settlements, and keeps; recruiting guards for their patrol; or buying Development Cards. Each of these acts bring players increased power and recognition through the awarding of victory points. The objective will be familiar to players of the original Catan—the first player to achieve ten victory points wins the game and becomes the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

But this is not as easy as it sounds; the area surrounding the Gift can be treacherous. Wildings from north of the Wall have crossed over, and follow their own rules of honor which often conflict with the laws of Westeros. One of their ranks, Tormund Giantsbane, does not respect the Watch’s claim to the land as he moves throughout the Gift, robbing resources from the Brothers sent to provide for their Order.

Fans of Catan will recognize features in A Game of Thrones Catan as being similar to those used in previous Catan expansion and renditions, perhaps making this game a redundant purchase for them. However, for Game of Thrones fans that have not played a lot of Catan or for collectors of either, this may be a game to watch.

With a retail of $80 coupled with art that doesn’t inspire, news of this release doesn’t seem to be creating the buzz that one would have expected when combining one of the biggest classics in board gaming with one of the most popular fantasy franchises. As a die-hard Game of Thrones fan, I will remain cautiously optimistic. I will make my own call after playing the game.

Read more about it in Fantasy Flight’s official announcement.

One Reply to “The Night is Dark and Full of Sheep – When Westeros Meets Catan”

  1. My reaction was a resounding, Eh *shrug*. For me, Catan is merely good but doesn’t blow my socks off(Heresy, I know). And like any popular thing that becomes franchise, I get over exposed and less interested with each new thing. Except the show and maybe someday the remaining books, I can take or leave GoT at this point. Though the CMON game sounds mildly interesting. And I wouldn’t mind a replica of Ice Claw to hang on the wall. Maybe that blanket. And the coster set..the Hand of the King bottle opener to go with of course…

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