I am, as you should be, quivering with excitement over the new A Feast for Crows 4-player expansion for AGoT2e that was announced last month, and will be covered in a future article on this very blog. Very little information about the content of the expansion is available at the moment, so until Days of Ice and Fire, where the game will debut, the following are my assumptions about how things will pan out.
There are spoilers for A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons beyond this point.
The map on Fantasy Flight's page shows the forces of the vale of Arryn (conspicuously represented in Tyrell green) as they will presumably be set up at the start of the game, in a part of the board that can tend to get quite cramped. Stark/Bolton's main strength may be squeezed into what remains of Winterfell and the riverlands, and Lannister will probably have a firm dominion in the south.
It's not clear whether Baratheon will be positioned at Dragonstone as in the core game, or at Castle Black as in the literature. Hopefully this expansion will find a way to stay true to its sources, but the lack of resources and most likely rigid competition from the Starks/Boltons in the north may have forced the designers into a compromise. On the other hand, A Feast for Crows may only be a spiritual title to reflect the emergence of Littlefinger and the Vale powers, introducing new house cards and victory mechanics, but changing little in the way of scenario, adopting a more arena-like design philosophy (as in the core game). The new victory conditions may serve this, as the geography of castles and strongholds will no longer be such a critical factor (as in the vanilla 4-player game, where Baratheon simply runs rampant through the neutral southern castles).
I hope to also see some incorporation of the Baratheon/wildling/Night's Watch coalition but this seems doubtful without a Mance Rayder-like card as in ADwD. This raises another potential issue in ensuring that the FfC content doesn't overlap into the DwD content, as Baratheon in particular looks to be slim on potential house cards if the events of ASoS are to provide the inspiration. In general the fact that the two books are mostly simultaneous may prove somewhat limiting in terms of the scope of the characters and 'flavour', i.e. text abilities that can be drawn on.
With Littlefinger's text ability being as it is, and the standard set by ADwD expansion for location-specific abilties, I expect to see more references on the house cards to regions on the game board, particularly the house 'capitals' and possibly King's Landing. Abilties pertaining to the objective cards seem likely as well, but this is dependent on exactly how the objective system works. New Westeros cards are confirmed, but it's not known whether they will replace or be added to the existing decks. They may provide the mechanic for delivering objective cards to players with some kind of draw instruction (maybe one of the dominance tokens will allow some degree of freedom in this), and possibly also an opportunity to 'cash in' completed objectives for points. If not then expect some kind of dedicated drawing and scoring phase in the rulebook.
The fact that the objectives appear to be (mostly) dealt at random will add some interesting new uncertainty to the highly deterministic nature of the core game, and hopefully channel some of the intrigue of the books in figuring out each player's personal ambitions. It would be nice to see an objective option or a future objective pack for the core game.
Finally, these are the house cards for the 4 houses in A Feast for Crows Expansion as I would like to see them. This really reflects nothing about what we know about the expansion at the moment, but I hope it will be interesting fodder for the fans who are waiting for the real thing to come out.
4 – Roose Bolton: If you win this combat, you may immediately remove any order tokens in the embattled area and place a defence order token from your hand into the area (if your position on the King’s Court track allows it).
3 – Ramsay Bolton: 2xSword
2 – Walder Frey: If your opponent is being supported in this combat, and you are not being supported, then all armies supporting your opponent do not contribute combat strength.
2 – Black Walder: 1xSword
1 – Aenys Frey: 1xTower
1 – Arnolf Karstark: After combat, you may replace 1 of your order tokens with an order token from your hand.
0 – Reek: If your Ramsay Bolton house card is in your hand, you may immediately discard this card and play Ramsay Bolton in this combat.
4 – Jaime Lannister: If you are attacking, you may immediately remove your opponent’s order token in the embattled area.
3 – Kevan Lannister: 1xSword
2 – Daven Lannister: 1xTower
2 – Aurane Waters: If the embattled area is a sea area, you may immediately place 1 additional ship in the embattled area (if your supply limit allows).
1 – Ilyn Payne: The printed combat strength on your opponent’s house card is now 0.
1 – Emmon Frey: 1xSword 1xTower
0 – Cersei Lannister: If you win this combat, draw 1 power token for each house card in your discard pile.
4 – Bronze Yohn Royce: 1xSword 1xTower
3 – Littlefinger: Draw power tokens equal to the printed strength of your opponent’s card.
2 – Nestor Royce: If you are defending The Eyrie, this card gains +3 combat strength and a tower icon.
2 – Lyn Corbray: 1xSword 1xTower
1 – Alayne Stone: You may return the opponent’s house card to his hand and force him to play a different one. If he has no other house cards in his hand, your opponent cannot play a house card in this combat.
1 – Harrold Hardyng: If your Robert Arryn house card is in your discard pile, this card gains +2 combat strength and you draw 2 power tokens.
0 – Robert Arryn: You may discard up to 3 power tokens. This card gains +1 combat strength for each power token discarded.
4 – Stannis Baratheon: If you win this combat, you may immediately muster forces in the embattled area.
3 – Davos Seaworth: 2xSword 1xTower
2 – Melisandre: If your Stannis Baratheon house card is in your discard pile, you may return it to your hand.
2 – Jon Snow: If Castle Black is the embattled area, this card gains +2 combat strength and a sword icon.
1 – Axell Florent: 1xSword 1xTower
1 – Justin Massey: 1xTower
0 – Selyse Florent: If your Melisandre house card is in your discard pile, you may return it to your hand.