Comparing Living Card Games
Tim Moore
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Elmhurst
Illinois
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I want to start by saying I really enjoy customizable card games, collectible card games, trading card games, whatever you want to call them. AND, I have been really excited to see the work that Fantasy Flight Games has been doing with their Living Card Game format...what's not to like about being able to easily get a playset of cards. That said, I've often wondered how the LCG's stack up against all the other games we play. So I started pulling together a bunch of information related to each one. Each of the games has the following information:

Designer: The people listed as designer of the game at BGG (with links to their designer pages).

BGG Rank
BGG Rating: That's the whole tweaked out average rating that BGG uses to rank games
AVG Rating: That's the average rating of all ratings on the game at BGG (untweaked)

Other Games with the same AVG Rating: I was curious which games came out with the same rating as the LCG in question (looking at similar quality).

Bracketed Games: Another look at similar quality by comparing the LCG to the game directly above and below it's rank in the BGG database.

And finally, because I've been playing these games for a long time, I was curious how the games stacked up against the quality of the first generation of CCG's.

I'm not sure what I find here, but there does seem to be some connection when you look at the whole picture as to the perceived quality of the LCG's. However, I think there are some problems when comparing the newer LCG's to 1st generation CCG's, as I don't think the games are as strong as the originals (Not that they are bad by any means). This could be an artifact of the cult of the new.

Edit: After looking a little bit deeper, I really think there are some issues related to comparing the newer LCG's with the CCG's. I really disagree with the rank order of the first gen games (These ranks come from the customizable game category, not the board game category):

#10 Netrunner
#13 Magic: The Gathering
#23 Deadlands: Doomtown
#26 Legend of the Five Rings
#31 Middle-earth
#32 Legend of the Burning Sands
#33 Shadowfist
#36 Vampire: The Eternal Struggle

The only game I haven't played on this list is Shadowfist, and I really think that Vampire and Middle-Earth should be up higher on the list, but again,the cult of the new might be the cause of this.
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1. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:44]
Tim Moore
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Elmhurst
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Designer: Richard Garfield, Lukas Litzsinger

BGG Rank: #5
BGG Rating: 8.123
AVG Rating: 8.44

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Secrets of the Third Reich

Bracketed Rankings:
#4 Puerto Rico
#6 Eclipse

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks number 1 above all 1st gen CCG's (Netrunner being the highest rated)
 
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2. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Tim Moore
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Designer: Nate French, Caleb Grace

BGG Rank: #73
BGG Rating: 7.416
AVG Rating: 7.63

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Pandemic
Hammer of the Scots
Suburbia
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Successors (third edition)
Asia Engulfed
Leviathans
The Great Zimbabwe
Cave Evil

Bracketed Rankings:
#72 Small World
#74 YINSH

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks number 3 above all 1st gen CCG's (Netrunner being the highest rated)
 
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3. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:505]
Tim Moore
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Elmhurst
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Designer: Eric M. Lang

BGG Rank: #171
BGG Rating: 7.161
AVG Rating: 7.44

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Zulus on the Ramparts!
Middle-Earth Quest
Notre Dame
Legends of Andor
Bonaparte at Marengo

Bracketed Rankings:
#170 Letters from Whitechapel
#172 Defenders of the Realm

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks between Netrunner and Magic: The Gathering.
 
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4. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:516]
Tim Moore
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Designer: Eric M. Lang

BGG Rank: #159
BGG Rating: 7.188
AVG Rating: 7.89

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Dominion
War of the Ring (First Edition)
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Up Front

Bracketed Rankings:
#158 Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
#160 Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks number 2 above all 1st gen CCG's (Netrunner being the highest rated)
 
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5. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:799]
Tim Moore
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Designer: Nate French, Eric M. Lang, Christian T. Petersen

BGG Rank: #258
BGG Rating: 6.996
AVG Rating: 7.29

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Super Dungeon Explore
Nexus Ops
Chicago Express
Ambush!
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815
Deadlands: Doomtown
Ancient Battles Deluxe
Cornerstone
Skat
Cataphract
Hotel Life

Bracketed Rankings:
#257 Kemet
#259 Formula D

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks between Magic: The Gathering and Deadlands: Doomtown.
 
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6. Board Game: Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1014]
Tim Moore
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Designer: Nate French, Eric M. Lang

BGG Rank: #410
BGG Rating: 6.749
AVG Rating: 7.14

Other Games with same AVG Rating:
Formula D
Biblios
Haggis
Age of Renaissance
Drum Roll
Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth!
Tanto Cuore
Dungeon Crawler
Saratoga
War Galley
The Spoils
Circus Train (First Edition)
HeroClix: The Lord of the Rings

Bracketed Rankings:
# 409 Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga
# 411 Mexica

Compared to 1st generation CCG's:
Ranks between Magic: The Gathering and Deadlands: Doomtown.
 
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