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This post originally appeared at Couple vs. Cardboard, a site about gaming with your spouse. Check it out here: http://couplevscardboard.com/an-over-long-review-of-the-over...


Storage is my white whale. Or, if I were Gollum in this analogy, it’s the Precious — constantly out of reach, hurting me, and will be my untimely end. I have to one day find a way to sort out all of my cards. I started with the Core box, then cut rows of cardboard so I had 3 rows. Most recently, I bought those cheap white boxes, one for each cycle, and one for Print-on-Demands and Sagas. I put all of them in cheap plastic sleeves, then put 2/3s of them into less cheap plastic sleeves. Who knows what tomorrow will look like?

That is to say, I am the guy Fantasy Flight Games saw coming: I have everything. And this is going to be long, so I’ll spoil the end: I love this game and it is worth buying in if it makes sense. It may not, but I like it a lot. The game has developed much slower than I’ve wanted and I think you have to buy more than you would for similar Living Card Games. But, I think smart people design it, who listen to customers who want certain or different things. That’s everything you’re going to read through the rest of the post.

At the time of this writing, we have every expansion you can buy on Amazon or you can pick up from your Friendly Local Game Store for the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, a Living Card Game, by Fantasy Flight Games (hereafter, LotR LCG and FFG). That includes both Saga expansions (Over Hill and Under Hill, On the Doorstep), 2 Deluxe expansions (Khazad-Dûm, Heirs of Numenör), almost 3 full cycles (Shadows of Mirkwood, Dwarrowdelf, and Against the Shadow up to Assault on Osgiliath), and both Print-on-Demand scenarios (Massing at Osgiliath, Battle of Lake-town) and two copies of the Core Box (don’t have Nightmare decks and Black Riders is in route from Amazon).

I started writing out a post about Shadows of Mirkwood, but I realized that I would have to make similar comments for all three cycles, and it might just make more sense to do a summative or “State of LotR LCG”, rather than later. That is, because if you read my last post my conclusion for the Core Box was, “buy, but you’ll need to buy more”, I’d want you to know what you were buying into.



The Company
So, one thing you should know about FFG, is they are geniuses at making money. I don’t mean this in any kind of pejorative “evil, corporate scum” sense. They’re genius. I mean, I can’t verify they’re not evil. They could be trying to take over the world, but their scheme to do so seems to be “make awesome games which appeal to people in ways other companies aren’t”. One example is licensing and publishing games which have gone out of print. They jazz up the art, neaten up the rules if need be, repackage them (usually in smaller, square boxes, with a bazillion chits) and remind us how cool those games were in the first place. Genius.

Additionally (this is the part which will be relevant to LotR LCG or future X-Wing reviews), they find a way to appeal to the middle. For example, you consider yourself a board gamer? You used to play Magic: the Gathering? You stopped playing because you payed way too much money for cards? Hm. Well, we have this thing called a Living Card Game. No, no, no, it’s not a collectable card game. It’s different. Yes, it is customizable, in that, you will be building a deck — but you enjoyed that part, right? You know how you used to buy cases of cards because you needed all of the super rare cards? Well, these are fixed sets. You get all the cards. Level playing field with your companion or opponent (as they have a number of competitive LCGs, such as A Game of Thrones, Netrunner and Star Wars). In fact, they’re not boosters, they’re expansions. So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money. Genius.

Also, these games are hot. Or at least everyone who plays them say they are. They’re fanatical about these LCGs. Which may/could/probably means they’re way fun.

So they change the language from “booster” to “expansion”, and sell it on the concept of fixed monthly “expansions”. Additionally, for a fanatic or a casual player, or even for someone who doesn’t normally buy a game like this, he has something new to look forward to once per month so he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out or can get left behind. Fantasy Flight is great at making money by seeing what the problem with a particular game or system is, finding a solution for that problem, and marketing it to the middle. Not the hardcore fanatic, but to the average-joe-gamer who wants that experience he had or always wanted but couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t with a big time CCG.

Say it with me now, “Genius.”

Lord of the Rings LCG
How does this relate specifically to LotR LCG? In each expansion, you have your regular two types of card, Player Cards and Encounter Cards. There are typically two kinds of expansion, Deluxe Expansions and Adventure Packs and each of these exists within a cycle. A cycle could be said is a story that takes place in a particular region of Middle-Earth. Shadows of Mirkwood in (take a guess) Mirkwood, Dwarrowdelf in the ruins of Moria, and Against the Shadow on the fields of battle in Gondor. Each cycle has Player Cards related to that particular region, so Dwarrowdelf has a lot of Dwarves, Mirkwood: Eagles, Wood Elves, and — uh — Rohan, and Gondor — you guessed it — Gondorians. As well as the story of the scenarios takes place in that region, so you’re trucking through the mines fighting orcs, you’re pressing through the ruins of Osgiliath fighting orcs, you’re heading through Mirkwood tracking Gollum (fighting orcs along the way).

Deluxe expansions have around 150 cards, which includes 3 scenarios worth of cards and the rest being player cards (including 2 heroes). Another important point is Deluxe Expansions include cards required for the rest of the Adventure Packs in the series. Each Adventure Pack is 60 cards, one scenario and the rest Player cards (including one hero). Again, each pack includes 3 copies of each card (which is the max you can have in one Player’s deck). They vary in difficulty and in what the win conditions are. More on that in a minute.

There are two Saga Deluxe Expansions related to The Hobbit book. It breaks the book into six big conflicts, such as facing the Trolls, Bilbo and Gollum’s riddle-off, or the Battle of Five Armies. The two boxes were made at the same time, so they have a cohesive feel. Additionally, they have Treasure cards (like Sting and Bilbo’s Magic Ring) which carry from one scenario to the next, giving you a sense of campaigning — that is, having ongoing adventures which build from one scenario to the other.

I am an anti-spoiler person. When a movie or TV show is coming out, I will bury my head in the sand and rent a cave in Wyoming to avoid undue spoilers. My favorite way to play this game is to know as little as possible when going into a scenario. I glance at the rules (sometimes) to see if there are new keywords or specific rules I need to know, then, setup, shuffle and jump right in head first (read: lose). Then adjust our decks needed. When I play with Cheryl, it’s easy to set up to play a couple times per night which can go pretty quickly.

The Great
Cheryl and I marvel often at how they can be fresh and unique every time. Every game has a different victory condition. This keeps us on our toes and makes us think a lot about how to best strategize to defeat them. We like working together. As I mentioned, the ruleset is solid, which allows for that variety. In one scenario the goal will be to take out a particular foe, in the next it will be to obtain a certain item, in others it will be escorting or rescuing another some character.

Furthermore, each scenario really attempts to delve deep into Tolkien in a unique way. As long as you know that Noldor are the kind of elves Elrond is, and Silvan is the kind of elves where Legolas comes from (Mirkwood), and Istari is the kind of wizard-people Gandalf and Sauroman are: you know everything you need to now. For the rest of you, Tolkien-crazies, you’re gonna love it. The designers really take some unique spins and really try and unpack things implied or suggested in Tolkien’s writing. They have unique ways of rolling out cards so you feel often (not every single time, but often) that they were really gleaning the inspiration from the books.

Additionally, it really is fun having something new every month. On average, you have one new scenario to chew through for the month, as well as a few new player cards to play with. Cult of the New: appeased.

Also, without question, LotR LCG beats the pants off the rest of the LCGs in terms of Organized Play. Organized Play is FFG supporting game stores by creating things which are unique to the game to incentivize game nights at a game store. The rest of the LCGs usually include a couple promo items which can be won in leagues or tournaments. Since LotR LCG is cooperative, they came up with something awesome: Nightmare Mode. You think the game is hard now? They turn up the juice and add or replace more difficult cards into the mix in scenarios which you may have already beaten. We’re in Season 2 of OP, Season 1 was Nightmare Modes of the Scenarios in the Core Box, the Season 2 is the first three scenarios from the first Cycle (Shadows of Mirkwood). So, remember when you managed to finally put the Trolls in The Conflict at the Carrock to the sword? Now do it again. Except they’re harder. Also there’s a fourth Troll. And he has two heads. Giddyup.

Also, after a healthy amount of time, they make Nightmare Mode available to the anti-social and otherwise unable to find Organized Play, but finding groups to help you beat them is helpful.

Finally, it’s the best solo game I think that exists (after obtaining a few packs after the core box). Which, if you are a gamer married to a non-gamer, can make this a boon for buying in if you’re not sure your spouse will enjoy it. When Cheryl and I were dating, we would play through the Hobbit, while I would solo through Shadows of Mirkwood. Which was great for the both of us.

The Criticisms
It was when I started putting my cards into a binder (working on storage again) that I had a realization. I was putting them in by sphere, then by expansion. It was a difficult realization to make, and it was this: you only get two unique cards from each sphere in each pack. In other words, you typically get 9 Player Cards and one hero in each pack. At the end of the cycle, $90+ later, there are 60 unique cards. In the Deluxe Expansions, it’s only 3 unique Player Cards. So, if you were used to the Magic: the Gathering world where you get boat loads of card each box, you can get rid of that notion now. Two years later, we’re around 300 unique Player Cards in the Lord of the Rings LCG.

Furthermore, I think it’s pretty clear that the Cycles are all worked out at the same time, then split up and put into Adventure Packs (as opposed to worked out as individual packs). With scenarios built around certain themes or concepts, it can feel like I’m not getting the full benefit of a card for a couple packs. Even, there are many cards which (I feel) are needed in present scenarios, which don’t appear until several packs later. I think to myself, well, I’ll come back in the next couple packs, see how I do then. It also stinks when certain traits or abilities don’t feel as well developed or built as they should. So, if there’s a concept which was under-developed (secrecy), odd, or imbalanced (Outlands), it feels really frustrating. Like, “man, I waited 6 months for this thing to finally come to fruition only to still feel a little bit off”.

Another way of putting this is that, two years later, this game develops much, much slower than some of its LCG brethren. Because the player cards are half what you get with another LCG, it can feel difficult with a lack of variety for deck construction, even after buying a full-cycle. The lack of variety can feel especially frustrating.

The other criticism which is leveled a lot against the game is that there aren’t enough scenarios — I can’t speak to that. Coming in late, I had a glut of them to complete, and still have a few to complete left in the Heirs of Numenör (which is brilliantly challenging and taking us a while to get through). Between that and the new Nightmare Mode, have I quite a bit to work through before I need a pile of scenarios.

Lastly, I think the stories can at times feel shallow. When you only have a 1″ x 2″ space on a card to put any story text, it can be difficult to create a mood or backstory to a particular adventure. But I think they are addressing that (which I will mention below).

The Future
There are a few things already on the horizon which I am excited about:

1. Deeper Stories. I mentioned above that at times the stories can be a bit shallow. One epilogue was something like, “if you complete this quest, you find evidence that Gollum has moved on”. One thing that I have found that they are including in the Against the Shadow Cycle is that they are working on adding in long, one paged epilogues. These epilogues should give a great sense of the over all narrative in the Cycle. Which I think is a really welcome addition. I talk about this in an abstract sense because I haven’t completed any quests in the Against the Shadow Cycle (see, anti-spoiler) so I am trying to wait to finally get there to find out what happens in the story. But I imagine these being like cut-scenes in video games after you’ve beaten the game, something to both give you more of the mythology, closure and affirmation: fireworks, dancing ewoks, or even just a lowering flagpole and Toad telling Mario the Princess is in another castle.

2. Campaign Mode. Frodo gets stabbed by a Morgul Blade at Weathertop and feels the wound-that-wont-quite-heal all the way to the Crack of Doom. The Fellowship is given gifts by the Lady of the Golden Wood, these gifts save and help these men in their journey. How do you reflect this in a card game? One way is in Burdens and Boons, which will roll out for the Black Riders saga, which says that certain characters will get certain cards and abilities every time they set up for the rest of the campaign. So, let’s say Samwise gets the Valiant Warrior boon, anytime I play with Samwise until he gets to Mt. Doom, when I set up the cards, that card is added to Samwise and he gets those bonuses.

They started rolling this out in Treasure cards, which were cards you could or could not get from certain scenarios in the Hobbit Saga. We spent hours trying to sneak more and more treasure past Smaug (usually getting us killed) so we could have it to fight with in the Battle of Five Armies. Which was way too fun. I think few board games really get to express an building on what you did prior. And this has been one of those features which has really excited all of us who play Lord of the Rings LCG and another which really sets this one apart from the rest.

3. Easy Mode. I mentioned in the last review that this game is seen as exceptionally difficult. To compensate, FFG released rules for how to play this game in Easy Mode. You pull out a certain number of the really difficult cards so you don’t get creamed so easily. This can be really great, especially if you just need a win. Then go back later and play in Normal Mode. Also, once you get really great (or maybe too full of yourself), come back and play in Nightmare Mode.

4. Ents. They announced the next Deluxe box will deal with Isengard. That means we are potentially one step closer to my dream of an Ent deck. Happy Dance boon card will be permanently attached to Treebeard for the rest of his existence.

5. Really smart designers. Notice, if we look at the above things, most/many of them come directly out of customer concerns. Remember, I told you that Fantasy Flight is genius at noticing problems with games, addressing them, then marketing their stuff to the average-joe-gamer. My hope with this game for the future is that as they hear customers concerned about the small number of Player Cards, they find ways of addressing this. This is the point where many other critics often include their ways of how they would fix this, I won’t bother. I will say that I would pay (a little) more money for more Player Cards if this were an option — and I suspect others would as well.

Final Remarks
This game has always had a different feel than most other customizable games. To date, there are no ultra-rare, would-betray-my-mother-to-obtain cards, there are no super intense competitions to try. It has always seemed like a great game with it’s focus on the experience you are having with friends or soloing by yourself.

We hope to do a video review of The Black Riders in a bit, after we’ve had a chance to play through it (read: die) a few times. Look for that soon.
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Hassan Lopez
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Nice comprehensive review, with a lot of love for a lovable game. I'm one of the few (I think) who's able to be selective about which scenario packs and deluxe boxes I buy into. As such, I probably have 25-30% of the player cards available. But I still feel like I have a ton of game to play. ~12 different scenarios, dozens of different decks to try out, some thematically-designed, others purely for the tactical power; solitaire, 2-player, etc. Great game with great legs. I look forward to the Isengard set, as I skipped Numenor.
 
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Luke Heineman
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Fantastic write up, and I couldn't agree more on every point. This should be referred to for quite awhile for anyone on the fence about purchasing this game.
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Thanks for that review!!!

I am just now getting started on the game as 2 player with my spouse, and I bought almost all the adventure packs for the first set, except Conflict at Carrock. I cannot find it anywhere!!!!

Does it really ruin the story line if you skip a pack???? Or can I play later once I manage to find it in stock somewhere?
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Matthew Jensen
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thesmallman wrote:
Furthermore, I think it’s pretty clear that the Cycles are all worked out at the same time, then split up and put into Adventure Packs (as opposed to worked out as individual packs). With scenarios built around certain themes or concepts, it can feel like I’m not getting the full benefit of a card for a couple packs. Even, there are many cards which (I feel) are needed in present scenarios, which don’t appear until several packs later. I think to myself, well, I’ll come back in the next couple packs, see how I do then. It also stinks when certain traits or abilities don’t feel as well developed or built as they should. So, if there’s a concept which was under-developed (secrecy), odd, or imbalanced (Outlands), it feels really frustrating. Like, “man, I waited 6 months for this thing to finally come to fruition only to still feel a little bit off”.


This reality is still one of the uneasy points of their LCG model that I wrestle with. It's more so in LOTR. Love the reduced financial investment (of sorts) but it's hard to wait six months for that strategy to unfold. Dead on issue with a great game and intriguing release model.

Very nice review by the way!
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Mark Griffiths
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That's a really nice review - thanks for taking the time to write it!

I think I agree with you on everything, although to an extent I'm at peace with the slow rate of player card pool growth. I used to tell myself "it's still a new game, it's fine", but now I just look forward to the scenarios and look at the player cards as a bonus. It kinda works for me

Anyway, thanks!
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Richard Morris
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Gamenurse wrote:
Does it really ruin the story line if you skip a pack???? Or can I play later once I manage to find it in stock somewhere?


Certainly not.
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glen.
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Thanks, everyone.

Another thing I wanted to mention I forgot to is that the criticism leveled by others, namely that there aren't enough scenarios, I wanted to point out that if Voice of Isengard does come out this year, we'll end this year with signifigantly more scenarios than we ended last year with.

You can check my work in this nerdy spreadsheet I did:
http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/89618/lotr-lcg-product-ann...

Sometimes when I need to look at something, I just need to throw it into a spreadsheet...
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glen.
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Gamenurse wrote:
Does it really ruin the story line if you skip a pack???? Or can I play later once I manage to find it in stock somewhere?


Thanks.

I'd say no. Though -- again, anti-spoiler guy -- I'd probably say I needed it. Blah. I'm sick.

But I will say the story in Carrock would be fine to come back to.
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
Storage is my white whale.

I highly recommend wine presentation boxes.

Quote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money. Genius.

The pacing of purchases was well thought out and rather than having a bunch of (near literal) throw away cards, every pack is used 100%. Of course as you mentioned, if you're not playing that particular pack you only actually get to use ~10 unique cards.

Quote:
Cheryl and I marvel often at how they can be fresh and unique every time. Every game has a different victory condition.

Agreed, each pack is surprisingly thematic. Amazing what they can do with simple card mechanics.

Quote:
Campaign Mode.

I see this as the future of the game. The continuity of the storyline, genius!

Quote:
Easy Mode.

This has been a boon for me and the boy. The game tends to be loooong and it's hard to rationalize playing it on a school night (or even depriving him of precious weekend X-Box time) when there's a near hopeless certainty of being crushed by trolls, etc...

Something else FFG did right with LotR: LCG is releasing full faced errata cards. OCD gamers (cough, cough) much prefer printing their own errata replacement cards than making do with "paste-ups."



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glen.
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Robrob wrote:

Quote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money. Genius.

The pacing of purchases was well thought out and rather than having a bunch of (near literal) throw away cards, every pack is used 100%. Of course as you mentioned, if you're not playing that particular pack you only actually get to use ~10 unique cards.


I grant this only in part. There are cards which I have found incredibly difficult to use (secrecy) to utterly unusable (Keeping Count).

They are fewer and further between certainly, but they're there.
 
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Robrob wrote:

Something else FFG did right with LotR: LCG is releasing full faced errata cards. OCD gamers (cough, cough) much prefer printing their own errata replacement cards than making do with "paste-ups."


I've been 'away' so I may have missed something here.

How are they doing this? Is there or is there going to be a product I can get (as in preferably free but buy if I have to) that fixes all the cards they got wrong to date, or does this just mean that when they do reprints they do corrections?
 
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Charles Stampley
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Thank you for this great review. I am personally fine with the slower development of the game. One thing that turned me off about Magic the Gathering was you had to buy into a new cycle every three months or so to stay competitive on the tournament scene.

I just picked up the Black Riders expansion a couple of hours ago and looking forward to starting the quests tomorrow--Farmer Maggot for the win!
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Nigel McNaughton
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There are also quite a few custom scenarios available now too.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Gamenurse wrote:

I am just now getting started on the game as 2 player with my spouse, and I bought almost all the adventure packs for the first set, except Conflict at Carrock. I cannot find it anywhere!!!!


http://fungamescafe.com/fgcIndex.php?command=showgame&gameId...
http://www.germangames.com/lord-of-the-rings-lcg-conflict-at...
 
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Nice review that sums up well many of the strong and weaker areas of the game (and the distribution model). Thank you!

I too hope that the designers will focus on developing better narrative in upcoming adventures, as well as develop the campaign mechanic into a central game feature.

The only thing I don't agree with in the review is the criticism of not having many quests. I am curious, how many times do you play a particular quest? I find that between the randomness of what cards you get from the Encounter deck, and the different deckbuilding possibilities for the player deck, quests are very replayable. If anything, I end up spending too much time on a single quest and still have a long way to go to catch up with the game. Then again, I only started playing around January 2013.
 
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thesmallman wrote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money.


I'd have to agree with this, unfortunately. The game is expensive. Even if you buy the various releases at online retailer prices, so far you get something like:

$25 for a Core Set + 6 * $20 for Deluxe and Saga expansions + 16 * $12 for APs ~= $337. This doesn't include other extras such as an extra core set, Gencon adventure releases and Nightmare decks. It also doesn't include shipping, which is not very realistic since the distribution model of the game makes buying in bulk for free shipping less likely.

I've never played Magic, but I am curious, how much money have you folks who play(ed) it spent on it compared to LotR or other LCGs?
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John Davis
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honeyralmond wrote:
thesmallman wrote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money.


I'd have to agree with this, unfortunately. The game is expensive. Even if you buy the various releases at online retailer prices, so far you get something like:

$25 for a Core Set + 6 * $20 for Deluxe and Saga expansions + 16 * $12 for APs ~= $337. This doesn't include other extras such as an extra core set, Gencon adventure releases and Nightmare decks. It also doesn't include shipping, which is not very realistic since the distribution model of the game makes buying in bulk for free shipping less likely.

And if you're not in the U.S., it's a lot more expensive than that - Heirs of Numenor bought from Amazon UK is US$34 for example
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honeyralmond wrote:
thesmallman wrote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money.


I'd have to agree with this, unfortunately. The game is expensive. Even if you buy the various releases at online retailer prices, so far you get something like:

$25 for a Core Set + 6 * $20 for Deluxe and Saga expansions + 16 * $12 for APs ~= $337. This doesn't include other extras such as an extra core set, Gencon adventure releases and Nightmare decks. It also doesn't include shipping, which is not very realistic since the distribution model of the game makes buying in bulk for free shipping less likely.

I've never played Magic, but I am curious, how much money have you folks who play(ed) it spent on it compared to LotR or other LCGs?


Well, I always bought the boxes that came out every 3 months at $120, then they also had the core set for another $120. (At least that is how much it costs in Canada, including tax.) So that is $480 a year. Then if you didn't get the rare you were hoping for you might spend another $30 or more for that one card.

Then they also offer rare collections. Like this year it was modern masters. I had to restrain myself and not buy it at $240 a box. It offered a rare that sold for $300 alone if you were lucky to get it. And that is when I threw the towel in for the game all together and stopped playing.

The people who DID buy that box and spent the money on those cards got such powerful decks, it was frustrating. I bought a couple packs at $15 each and got several very game changing cards that completely overpowered my friends decks who didn't. Yes they could rebuild, but it showed me how unfair the game could be unless you pay to play.

So as a person who loved opening the packs and loved to get the new cards, it added up. Gad I did not even realize how much!!!! Yikes.

Anyways in comparison, the LCG model is quite cheap!!!!

Love mtg. Very much. But never again. I will play with what I have but I am not getting on that treadmill again.
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Michael Carter
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thesmallman wrote:

It was when I started putting my cards into a binder (working on storage again) that I had a realization. I was putting them in by sphere, then by expansion. It was a difficult realization to make, and it was this: you only get two unique cards from each sphere in each pack. In other words, you typically get 9 Player Cards and one hero in each pack. At the end of the cycle, $90+ later, there are 60 unique cards. In the Deluxe Expansions, it’s only 3 unique Player Cards. So, if you were used to the Magic: the Gathering world where you get boat loads of card each box, you can get rid of that notion now. Two years later, we’re around 300 unique Player Cards in the Lord of the Rings LCG.


I think that is actually a plus for a lot of us. The relatively small number of cards (not that 300 is really that small of a number) means that we have fewer options to wrap our heads around. An LCG is already aiming at a section of the market that have strayed away from CCGs and being Co-Op it is even more likely to be picked up by people who are new at deck construction games. By easing in new player cards and instead focusing more on the encounter decks, it can be easier for the less dedicated of us.
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Related to the number of cards in the game, I wonder whether the game could've been balanced to work with a deck with a max of 2 copies of a card, not 3. I usually either include 3 of a card in my deck if it's a really useful card, or 1, if I think it's a nice to get card, but not critical. I sometimes add 2 copies when I can't make up my mind, but it doesn't feel like it's a very critical part of the game to have 3 options for how many of a card to put in your deck.

Anyway, water under the bridge, this can't be changed now.
 
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honeyralmond wrote:
thesmallman wrote:
So the guy is buying a $15 MRSP pack once a month now and crazier still you’ve convinced him he’s saving money.


I'd have to agree with this, unfortunately. The game is expensive. Even if you buy the various releases at online retailer prices, so far you get something like:

$25 for a Core Set + 6 * $20 for Deluxe and Saga expansions + 16 * $12 for APs ~= $337. This doesn't include other extras such as an extra core set, Gencon adventure releases and Nightmare decks. It also doesn't include shipping, which is not very realistic since the distribution model of the game makes buying in bulk for free shipping less likely.

I've never played Magic, but I am curious, how much money have you folks who play(ed) it spent on it compared to LotR or other LCGs?


$337 is a drop in the ocean for many Magic Players
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