Tides of Battle is an optional module to A Game of Thrones: The Board Game that adds an element of unpredictably and deadliness to combat. This increased risk can make negotiation even more vital, gaining support in combat more critical; it creates additional drama (and casualties) in combat and breeds entirely different strategies for your A Game of Thrones: The Board Game experience.
Before playing, all players should agree whether to use this option. If agreed, shuffle the Tides of Battle cards into a single deck, placing it near the game board during setup.
Tides of Battle makes the following modifications to combat:
Drawing Tides of Battle Cards
After choosing and revealing House cards, the attacking and defending player each draw one Tides of Battle card from the top of the deck and privately examines it.
Using the Valyrian Steel Blade
Before revealing the two Tides of Battle cards, if either the attacking or defending player holds the Valyrian Steel Blade token, he may use it to discard his first Tides of Battle card and draw another one to replace it. He must keep the new Tides of Battle card. He then flips his Valyrian Steel Blade token to its faded side to show it has been used this game round.
Revealing Tides of Battle Cards
Each player reveals his Tides of Battle card, adding the specified Combat Strength modifier (the number in the shield) to his current Combat Strength.
Each player then adds any Sword or Fortification icons on his Tides of Battle card to his House card (as if they were printed on his played House card).
After resolving casualties from Sword icons, players resolve any Skull icons on drawn Tides of Battle cards as follows:
If a player's Tides of Battle card features a Skull icon, the opposing player must suffer one casualty regardless of which player was victorious in the combat.
This casualty is in addition to any other casualties dealt during combat, and cannot be prevented by Fortification icons.