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Risk: Game of Thrones Edition

Winter is coming, and so is this epic game

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Winter will have come and gone in the real world by the time we return to Westeros and find out whether Jon Snow is actually KIA (though judging by Kit Harington's still-flowing locks, you could bet a bag of Silver Stags that he'll return through some form of witchery).

In the meantime, Fire and Ice aficionados can scratch their itch for intrigue with the Risk: Game of Thrones Edition Game, from USAopoly, Hasbro and HBO.

Hold your destriers, though, the game isn't scheduled for release until August. However, the Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy" blog published a detailed "exclusive look" at Risk: GoT on July 7. Based on the preview, it should be more than sufficient to wile away a few hundred hours waiting for season six.

In keeping with the epic nature of both the Game of Thrones HBO series and the Song of Fire and Ice books that spawned it, Risk: GoT is sprawling. Its 650 pieces include two game boards depicting Westeros and Essos; enough troops to fill the armies of seven Houses; seven player boards; and 28 character cards including Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister and, presumably, all the other usual suspects.

Beyond that, there are territory cards, maester cards, objective cards to help you on your way to the Iron Throne, an in-game currency and special unit tokens for use in deploying Stannis Baratheon-level stratagems.

Choose from several game scenarios, including a three- to five-player War of the Five Kings in Westeros, a two-player war between Ghiscari slavers and House Targaryen and a seven-player world war that brings together both boards and the Houses of Baratheon, Ghiscari, Lannister, Martell, Stark, Targaryen and Tyrell.

As they say among the speakers of High Valyrian, "All men must die." They should also say, "All men (and women) must play."