I've been quiet the past few days (both here and commenting on other folks' stuff) due to a trip up to Ft Worth to visit my imaginary sister (in that we're not related by blood, but our mothers are best friends and I've known her since she was born and my folks practically raised her) and her family. It afforded me a chance to visit some different game stores (Toy Soldiers, a place just for mini wargamers and Generation X, an all-around awesome comic and game store).
Best of all, I finally got a chance to play Fantasy Flight's Battles of Westeros, a tactical wargame based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire." I bought it back in September, but hadn't found anyone to play it with locally who was willing to sit down with me and puzzle through a completely unfamiliar ruleset. My friend's husband is as big a gamer as I am, but far more experienced with board and minis games, including Battlelore, the system BoW is derived from. So, I knew if I took it with me, we'd play it and I'd figure it out along the way.
The game is, as mentioned, based on FFG's Battlelore, though with a number of changes that I'm told substantially improve gameplay. We played out the first scenario and generally tried to figure things out as we went. As a result, mistakes were made, but we got through it to an acceptable conclusion. I was poised to win at the end of turn 4, only to be on the verge of a complete rout before turn 5 was over.
In terms of feel, the game does a great job of capturing the gritty, realistic feel of battle depicted in the novels. The leaders have abilities that ring true to this fan of the books, and the overall feel of the game matches what I know of medieval warfare (which is a fairly considerable amount, honestly).
I definitely need to play some more before I'll be completely comfortable with it, but I already felt like I got my money's worth after the first game.