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Doomtown: Reloaded» Forums » General

Subject: How many base sets for a Complete playset? rss

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Chris Nutt
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Researching this game I thought I would go ahead and ask the dreaded question.

I'm a huge fan of Netrunner and early on I grew to appreciate the options provided by a second core set, while not a complete set of cards, it's heavily expanded my options when deck building.

For Doomtown Reloaded, we know that saddle bags contain 4 copies of 21 cards, which indicates (to someone who hasn't played Doomtown original) that in order to maximize card diversity in the core set, we will most likely see different increments of specific cards just like in FFG LCG core sets.

Anyone have any insight to this, or am I jumping the gun and nobody outside AEG has any idea one way or the other?
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Eric Jome
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Internutt wrote:
... or am I jumping the gun and nobody outside AEG has any idea one way or the other?


This
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Well the number will have to be between 1 and 4.
 
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I've been a playtester on several FFG LCGs. I'm a "casual" LCG player (except for the LotR LCG) and I have often voiced a desire that ONE core set contain everything anyone needs to play even against serious competitors.

While I understand the desire to gain revenue from having series players purchase multiple copies (with with a 4 card limit in Deadlands, will that mean 4 core sets?) but I think companies often lose sales to more casual gamers who consider getting involved but balk at the idea of having to buy multiple sets, especially when they haven't even played the game yet.

I think it's a friendlier experience if a casual gamer buys a single core set and enjoys it and then when they decide they want to get more involved find out they don't need to buy more core sets but just need to start buying the expansion decks as they come out.

I wonder how many sales are lost when a casual gamer plays the core set, likes it and then realizes or is told to really get involved with a game they now like they must buy multiple sets of the game they've already bought!

I know that's stopped me from getting more deeply into some systems that I enjoyed casually at the start. It's a big hit on the wallet to jump from a single, casual core set player to a "I want the whole series and play more seriously" when it means buying more core sets (which are the most expensive) before feeling like you can begin buying the cheaper expansions.

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B.D. Flory
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SirRoke wrote:

While I understand the desire to gain revenue from having series players purchase multiple copies (with with a 4 card limit in Deadlands, will that mean 4 core sets?) but I think companies often lose sales to more casual gamers who consider getting involved but balk at the idea of having to buy multiple sets, especially when they haven't even played the game yet.


Without reference to AEG's plans (because we don't know them)...

It's telling that FFG is going on its...7th?...LCG and continuing to sell their core boxes with the 1 box for casual play, multiple boxes for competitive play paradigm.

Especially given that, some time ago, they changed the setup of their expansions to be 1 box for a playset (from 3 for a playset). So it's not like they never make changes to reflect sales trends.

I highly doubt they lose more in single box sales to potential casual players than they would lose in additional boxes to competitive players.

-B
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Eric Jome
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SirRoke wrote:
I have often voiced a desire that ONE core set contain everything anyone needs to play even against serious competitors.


So, in a game where you are limited to no more than 4 of a single card in a single deck, clearly you need 4 then? No. Wait. You need 8! Because what if you want to have two decks built? But if you might want 2 decks... might you "need" 3? 5? So, clearly 20 of every card!

It's been my experience that you get all you need to play a fun, engaging, interesting game in 1 box with FFG's LCGs. It's not needed to buy multiple base sets to play and have fun; the games aren't intended to suit tournament competitors and completist collectors.

I can only see them following the same normal model. You'll likely get some 1 offs for things you only need 1 of. Some things you'll want more of will have more. I doubt you'll get 4 of everything in the base set; you wouldn't even want that with serious Doomtown deck construction.
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I'm very surprised to see someone with significant LCG experience holding this viewpoint.

The Cores are the way they are because their job is to show a new player the game and they do that more effectively having 1-2x of a lot of cards instead of having 3x each of a much smaller number of cards.

Since Doomtown has a 4x limit, I'm personally hoping that the Core set will have 2x of each card so that two Cores will provide a full set. I'm not sure whether Doomtown: Reloaded has a keyword that limits some cards to fewer than 4x in a deck, but if it does then those could be 1x's without a problem. For instance, in their L5R CCG you can only include one copy of any Unique cards.
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dboeren wrote:
I'm very surprised to see someone with significant LCG experience holding this viewpoint.

The Cores are the way they are because their job is to show a new player the game and they do that more effectively having 1-2x of a lot of cards instead of having 3x each of a much smaller number of cards.

Since Doomtown has a 4x limit, I'm personally hoping that the Core set will have 2x of each card so that two Cores will provide a full set. I'm not sure whether Doomtown: Reloaded has a keyword that limits some cards to fewer than 4x in a deck, but if it does then those could be 1x's without a problem. For instance, in their L5R CCG you can only include one copy of any Unique cards.


I'm very surprised to see someone with significant LCG and BGG experience surprised to see someone post with this viewpoint

Let's see if we can somehow manage to get an FFG LCG core set distribution thread on at least one game from every publisher! We can print up bingo cards for it.
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Since there are 286 cards in the base set and 146 of them are unique. I would wager that 4 Homes and 2 other cards (Rank of poker hands, quick guide for order of play, or something like that) are only 1 copy, and the other 140 cards have 2 copies to fill the 280 other slots, so that would lead 2 Core Sets to have a playset (4 copies) of each card. Just my guess.
 
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fightcitymayor
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Idaho11 wrote:
I'm very surprised to see someone with significant LCG and BGG experience surprised to see someone post with this viewpoint

Let's see if we can somehow manage to get an FFG LCG core set distribution thread on at least one game from every publisher! We can print up bingo cards for it.
I enjoy watching people fight over it about every 3-to-6 months in every FFG LCG forum.


But seriously, FFG (and anyone else that chooses to print an LCG) can make everyone happy if they would simply create a "Core Set Extension" set that provides "the rest of the cards" to make every Core Set card 3x. But FFG has yet to implement such a seemingly obvious idea.

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I'm hoping their distribution in the core and expansions is good. I'm a long time L5R player since it first came out until today. Their L5R booster boxes are extremely good to players because in you usually get 3 playsets of each common, at least one playset of each uncommon, and one of nearly every rare, most of which are uniques anyway. (The big core sets like Ivory or Celestial are not this generous of course, just the expansions.) I've always felt AEG has treated its players well. BTW I always play one set behind so I can buy booster boxes on the cheap.

I missed Doomtown when it came out and when it was being discounted because my son was too young to play it--way too creepy. Now it's not a problem. Thankfully we won't have to buy expensive booster boxes to play the game. So even two core sets is cheaper than buying the old CCG.
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Luke Stirling
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Hank McCoy wrote:
Since there are 286 cards in the base set and 146 of them are unique. I would wager that 4 Homes and 2 other cards (Rank of poker hands, quick guide for order of play, or something like that) are only 1 copy, and the other 140 cards have 2 copies to fill the 280 other slots, so that would lead 2 Core Sets to have a playset (4 copies) of each card. Just my guess.

While that is a possibility, those numbers could merely indicate an average of two of each card across the set, with the actual number of any given card being between 1 and 4. I'll not be too discontented if unique dudes and such are one-card-per-set. I think I would be a tad more miffed if there are super useful actions or other cards I would be strongly inclined to put four of in a deck occurring at a rate of one per base game. Even this won't affect me unless I find myself playing other players at gaming events who are at a significant advantage for having 4 base sets and I have only one. Playing with family and friends it won't make much of a difference, as we'll all be on an equal footing.

In my personal situation, the worst case scenario isn't all that bad for me. There's a good chance I will do with Doomtown what I have done with Netrunner. Namely, I have one set for me, and one for my wife. We can each tune our Runner and Corporation decks as we please without dismantling one another's decks. If I do this with Doomtown as well, then I can just mingle cards from my wife's set with mine before going down to the local store that holds tournaments for AEG games.
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Netrunner manages to do pretty well with 2 Cores, even though technically you need 3 for a "full" set.

But, having 2 non-Unique cards out of 3 seems less sad than having 2 cards out of 4. In that case I'd feel I was missing out.

AEG has always impressed me as a company that has their heart in the right place. Sure, they make mistakes sometimes, but they seem to generally be stand-up guys.
 
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fightcitymayor wrote:

But seriously, FFG (and anyone else that chooses to print an LCG) can make everyone happy if they would simply create a "Core Set Extension" set that provides "the rest of the cards" to make every Core Set card 3x. But FFG has yet to implement such a seemingly obvious idea.


Not as easy as it seems, from a production standpoint, and unlikely to produce a sufficient return to justify it. Not only do you face higher price per box manufacturing costs (because you can only sell this to a certain installed user base, and only a certain percentage of that base will buy), but the margin on the core box drops because suddenly you're only selling 1 per player.

Part of the reason these games are profitable is because core boxes can be printed en masse.

-B
 
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bd flory wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:

But seriously, FFG (and anyone else that chooses to print an LCG) can make everyone happy if they would simply create a "Core Set Extension" set that provides "the rest of the cards" to make every Core Set card 3x. But FFG has yet to implement such a seemingly obvious idea.


Not as easy as it seems, from a production standpoint, and unlikely to produce a sufficient return to justify it. Not only do you face higher price per box manufacturing costs (because you can only sell this to a certain installed user base, and only a certain percentage of that base will buy), but the margin on the core box drops because suddenly you're only selling 1 per player.

Part of the reason these games are profitable is because core boxes can be printed en masse.

-B
Yes, but does that make up for all of the wasted cardboard, since when you make a person buy a second copy of the same box they are only buying it for part of what's in it. Seriously, how many token/plastic doo-dads do we really need? Not to mention that some people would be more likely to buy that second box if it was complimentary to the first box they bought rather than simply duplicative. I should clarify that I am thinking more along the lines of a "Basic/Core" set to introduce the game and an "Advanced" set to compliment it. I appreciate your argument about margins and scale, but it seems to me that the inefficiencies inherent in the system are still something of a problem as well.

The thing is that there are other ways to organize your Core set(s), like breaking them into smaller sets. So say in this game you could have one box with Law Dogs and Sloane Gang, and another box with Morgan Cattle Company and Fourth Ring. Only having to focus on two factions per box would allow for a more complete card selection. Such a system would still allow them to sell two boxes to the "advanced" players, who will want cards for all of the factions.

The biggest problem I have with FFG's core set approach is that they are trying to trying to do two things at once with one box, namely be both a stand-alone introductory game and (when doubled, or let's be honest sometimes tripled) provide a full set of cards for "advanced" players. Trying to do both of those jobs with one box forces them to make compromises that mean it ultimately is unable to do either job as well as it could/should.
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constantkarma wrote:
Yes, but does that make up for all of the wasted cardboard, since when you make a person buy a second copy of the same box they are only buying it for part of what's in it. Seriously, how many token/plastic doo-dads do we really need? Not to mention that some people would be more likely to buy that second box if it was complimentary to the first box they bought rather than simply duplicative. I should clarify that I am thinking more along the lines of a "Basic/Core" set to introduce the game and an "Advanced" set to compliment it. I appreciate your argument about margins and scale, but it seems to me that the inefficiencies inherent in the system are still something of a problem as well.

The thing is that there are other ways to organize your Core set(s), like breaking them into smaller sets. So say in this game you could have one box with Law Dogs and Sloane Gang, and another box with Morgan Cattle Company and Fourth Ring. Only having to focus on two factions per box would allow for a more complete card selection. Such a system would still allow them to sell two boxes to the "advanced" players, who will want cards for all of the factions.

The biggest problem I have with FFG's core set approach is that they are trying to trying to do two things at once with one box, namely be both a stand-alone introductory game and (when doubled, or let's be honest sometimes tripled) provide a full set of cards for "advanced" players. Trying to do both of those jobs with one box forces them to make compromises that mean it ultimately is unable to do either job as well as it could/should.

This is the LCG debate all over again. I would be delighted if AEG brought out an advanced set, containing the cards needed to bring the count up to 4 of every card. I can also see why that is a bad product to make. The cost inefficiencies (and production waste) of that kind of product could be a nightmare. In creating a card game product, making maximal use of each slot on a sheet of cards is key to making something profitable that is attractively priced to the customer. This is even more true in a non-CCG environment, where volume sales per customer are going to be much lower. The chances of a completion set making efficient use of the card sheets is probably pretty low. Then you have to consider the volume that a completion set would do. I'm betting that AEG are hoping that the core game sells to a much wider audience than just those focused on competitive deck design. Which makes the profitability a completion set all the more questionable.

But that's the best of a bad lot of alternatives. The decks need to be readily playable right out of the box. Giving the average non-CCG player a whole bunch of cards they can't use when starting out is probably not a sensible idea. The possibility for cards getting mixed up, and decks becoming unplayable is too high. And while it's obvious why you wouldn't want to do this in a way that also priced the base game too high, I also don't think you want to do this by breaking the game up into to two separate two-player sets. Doomtown's mechanics are at their best when 3-4 players are at the table together. Hiding that design strength behind a two-tiered purchase is selling the game short to new players.

The last thing to consider is that catering to the casual audience is absolutely key to a product like this being sellable in the first place. The CCG model can be sustained by a smaller, dedicated audience, simply because each player is willing to spend quite a lot with each release to make the product profitable. By releasing this in a fixed format, you put a much lower ceiling on how much even the most dedicated fan needs to pay to have all the cards they could ever want. That means that the customer base has to be much larger for profit margins to be comparable. You might not like the idea of a game that caters to both kinds of players at once. But this kind of card game distribution absolutely relies on it to succeed.
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constantkarma wrote:

The biggest problem I have with FFG's core set approach is that they are trying to trying to do two things at once with one box...


This is absolutely true, and baked in to this kind of game's business model. If the box fails to do both of these things -- sell to to casual players, as well as sell additional boxes to competitive players (hopefully including casual converts) -- the game will fail in the marketplace.

Experience shows that since none of us have the actual data reflecting costs and revenues, nor the market research, this debate just goes round in circles. So I'm going to bow out.

I recommend folks who are skeptical hold your judgment until we know more. We don't even know what the distribution in the box is, or even if the rules still allow 4 of each card in a deck. There are a lot of unknowns here.
 
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fightcitymayor wrote:

But seriously, FFG (and anyone else that chooses to print an LCG) can make everyone happy if they would simply create a "Core Set Extension" set that provides "the rest of the cards" to make every Core Set card 3x. But FFG has yet to implement such a seemingly obvious idea.



Retailers and FFG won't be happy with multiple SKUs that have the potential to confuse buyers while taking up more shelf space. But that's all I'm going to say, as no side has budged on this debate for the better part of a decade at this point.
 
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Idaho11 wrote:
Retailers and FFG won't be happy with multiple SKUs that have the potential to confuse buyers while taking up more shelf space. But that's all I'm going to say, as no side has budged on this debate for the better part of a decade at this point.
Wait, what?
The company (FFG) that makes their profits releasing a dozen or more LCG SKUs every year is somehow going to put itself out of business because of... one more SKU? Every time I hear that excuse I have to chuckle. FFG makes their money flooding the LCG market with SKUs. At least do something that could be considered pro-consumer by giving people what they want instead of squeezing blood from a stone by forcing gamers to buy the same Core Set three times just to get the same 3x set of cards that FFG deems proper for every subsequent LCG pack they release. Keep the Core Sets how they are, just give your customers the opportunity to "complete the set."

Like you said, it's an old fight, but I have yet to hear anything logical regarding why a 3x Core catch-up set is such a dirty word in Roseville. Do what is best for your customers, it's that simple.

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fightcitymayor wrote:
Idaho11 wrote:
Retailers and FFG won't be happy with multiple SKUs that have the potential to confuse buyers while taking up more shelf space. But that's all I'm going to say, as no side has budged on this debate for the better part of a decade at this point.
Wait, what?
The company (FFG) that makes their profits releasing a dozen or more LCG SKUs every year is somehow going to put itself out of business because of... one more SKU? Every time I hear that excuse I have to chuckle. FFG makes their money flooding the LCG market with SKUs. At least do something that could be considered pro-consumer by giving people what they want instead of squeezing blood from a stone by forcing gamers to buy the same Core Set three times just to get the same 3x set of cards that FFG deems proper for every subsequent LCG pack they release. Keep the Core Sets how they are, just give your customers the opportunity to "complete the set."

Like you said, it's an old fight, but I have yet to hear anything logical regarding why a 3x Core catch-up set is such a dirty word in Roseville. Do what is best for your customers, it's that simple.

There are several issues with looking at it this way. Not least are the potential sales of an completion pack. I have no idea how many copies the regular expansions sell compared to the core games, but it's fair to assume that it's fewer per SKU released. I think it's also reasonable to expect the sales of a completion set as lower still. This counts against such a product being made.

Then there are the aforementioned increased production costs I mentioned in my previous post.

And finally, there's the issue of releasing a product that has no new cards in it. While I agree in principle that it behooves the buyer to know what they are getting into, a company does risk alienating customers who don't know what they are getting when they buy a completion pack and are disappointed to discover only duplicate cards.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see such a product become the norm for LCGs and their ilk. But not being privy to the economics associated with such a release, I don't feel qualified to criticise a company for failure to produce them.
 
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fightcitymayor wrote:

Like you said, it's an old fight, but I have yet to hear anything logical regarding why a 3x Core catch-up set is such a dirty word in Roseville. Do what is best for your customers, it's that simple.



And I think that what you stated has very little to do with the point you're trying to make, or with rebutting my point.

So it's best to leave it alone - neither side is going to budge.
 
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Idaho11 wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:

But seriously, FFG (and anyone else that chooses to print an LCG) can make everyone happy if they would simply create a "Core Set Extension" set that provides "the rest of the cards" to make every Core Set card 3x. But FFG has yet to implement such a seemingly obvious idea.



Retailers and FFG won't be happy with multiple SKUs that have the potential to confuse buyers while taking up more shelf space. But that's all I'm going to say, as no side has budged on this debate for the better part of a decade at this point.
How would multiple SKUs confuse customers? Multiple SKUs would provide clarity where currently none exists. If I buy the basic set a game and decide I like it and that I want more of it, oh look, right there on the shelf is the advanced set. Logical progression, from basic to advanced and then onto expansions. Even if you split the core set by factions, then it is simply "hey, I like this game. I should buy this other box so I can try out these other factions". The current system asks people to do something that is counter-intuitive, buying a copy of a game that is exactly the same as the one they just bought. This isn't even analogous to buying multiple booster boxes for CCG's as each booster box has different content. Besides which, not everyone is coming into LCG/ECG's from the a CCG background. So what's "perfectly natural" among CCG players is not so for other types of gamers.

As for space on the shelf, FFG consciously puts their LCG's in boxes that are too large for the content that they contain. Now I understand why they do that, they want to have a bigger presence on the shelf. Heck the size of the box even distinguishes between the core set and expansions. The fact is that you could cut the size of the boxes in half and have a basic and advanced set in the same amount of space as the single core set takes up now.

As for the "nobody has budged" point, FFG themselves have made significant changes to their distribution model. Namely going from 40-card expansion packs to 60-card expansion packs. So LCG's did not spring fully-grown from the mind of Zeus. If FFG are not content and happy with their current model, fair enough. But maybe, just maybe the LCG/ECG structure needs someone to come at it from a different perspective. So while this argument may seem pointless to you, with good reason to be fair , I do think its important for people in position to make these changes to know that these are indeed issues and to challenge them to come up with better solutions.
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So apparently we can't avoid it...

constantkarma wrote:

How would multiple SKUs confuse customers? Multiple SKUs would provide clarity where currently none exists. If I buy the basic set a game and decide I like it and that I want more of it, oh look, right there on the shelf is the advanced set. Logical progression, from basic to advanced and then onto expansions.


You're assuming a level of sophistication from consumers that just doesn't pan out in the real world. And the argument that multiple SKUs is clearer than a single SKU is, I would argue, objectively incorrect.

First, you now have "Core Set" and "Core Set Completion Pack". You will have people confused by which one they have to buy if they want to play the game. Then, you'll have people wondering why the Core Set they're buying is "Incomplete" or "Non-Advanced". You'll have some people buy the Completion Pack thinking that it's a Core Set +, only to find out that it's not and be pissed off because they "wasted" money. All of this to cater to a small group of consumers - those who want multiple copies of the core set, but don't want to spend the money to get multiple copies of it. You're a fleetingly small minority of the consumers for this product.

Quote:

The current system asks people to do something that is counter-intuitive, buying a copy of a game that is exactly the same as the one they just bought. This isn't even analogous to buying multiple booster boxes for CCG's as each booster box has different content.


I would argue you're wrong on all counts here. It's not counterintuitive to ask people to buy multiple copies of something if they want multiple copies of its contents. And buying a booster box of a CCG is both more expensive and, more or less, does contain the same content - you get different rares, but the vast majority of cards you're buying is overlap.

Quote:

As for space on the shelf, FFG consciously puts their LCG's in boxes that are too large for the content that they contain. Now I understand why they do that, they want to have a bigger presence on the shelf. Heck the size of the box even distinguishes between the core set and expansions. The fact is that you could cut the size of the boxes in half and have a basic and advanced set in the same amount of space as the single core set takes up now.


But they won't, because nothing in your plan makes them any money. The core set boxes contain rule books and counter sheets that "justify" the size of the box, as well as allowing for additional cards to be stored. It creates a larger shelf presence to catch people's eyes, and their LCGs are sold in B&N as well as FLGS - which means they have to catch those eyes in order to get people to purchase it.

Quote:

As for the "nobody has budged" point, FFG themselves have made significant changes to their distribution model. Namely going from 40-card expansion packs to 60-card expansion packs.


But they haven't budged on the "Core Set Completion Pack" argument, which is what I'm talking about.
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paralipsis wrote:
I'll not be too discontented if unique dudes and such are one-card-per-set. I think I would be a tad more miffed if there are super useful actions or other cards I would be strongly inclined to put four of in a deck occurring at a rate of one per base game.


Same ditto. On top of this, in Doomtown, if you have multiples of a card, you're more like to be caught Cheatin', and the meta result is that your tournament-level opponents will know the best cards to have multiples of, and will build their decks to counteract this. And, no guarantees, but, in the long run, after "enough" cards are printed, there will be cards with similar effects, so these not-yet-published super useful cards won't be as necessary to have multiples of.

Finally, if someone comes along with a munchkin deck, I know what the other three pardners on the table are going to do.

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Chris Nutt
United Kingdom
Linlithgow
West Lothian
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The deck building rules certainly made it clear about the limitations.

I'll still pick up 2 sets just to have the variety.
 
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