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Subject: Might try LCG again rss

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Keith Craig
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This game is making me consider hopping into the LCG again.
I do love the theme a lot.

I tried the LOTR LCG but just did not enjoy the deck construction. I kept wondering if I lost because my deck I built was poorly made or because of bad luck. I do not mind losing to bad luck but found I did not enjoy deck construction enough to get competent at it.

I played the entire Pathfinder ACG Rise of the Runelords. I liked how my deck got better through luck in the game (what was flipped over to be found and the die roll) but I did get bored with it near the end as the game was much too repetitive to last as long as it did for me.

Do you think this game has a simpler deck construction than LOTR with some improvements coming to you during the campaign like Pathfinder but with more variety than the Pathfinder had?

I guess I can wait until some reviews are posted as it looks like most of the pre-orders are going to be gone anyway.
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David Boeren
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If you didn't like LotR then I would not expect to like this and I see no reason why deck construction will not be approximately as significant as in that game.

If you don't like making your own decks you can always net deck (which you can do in LotR as well).

It will certainly have more variety than Pathfinder though, you can be assured of that.

The impressions that some people have posted that this game will somehow be lighter on the deck build come from IMHO two sources:

1. There are default actions you can do which are independent of your cards. This is also true of Netrunner, which I doubt anyone will claim is light on the deck design.

2. Wishful thinking. For the last few years a lot of casual boardgamers have admired LCGs and their variety, but they tend to find the deck design intimidating. So they keep wishing and hoping that somehow the next game will be different and it will have all the variety and intricacy of an LCG without making decks. This is not possible. It's the enormous variety of finely tuned decks that MAKE the richness of gameplay. And now that an LCG is advertising an RPG element, the siren's song is stronger than ever.

As you can infer, I believe the impressions of lighter deck building are largely false, or at least overstated. It sounds to me like your best bet is to try someone else's copy first or if you get your own, go into it with the expectation that you will primarily either use net decks or play on easier difficulty levels to help compensate for wanting to use less well engineered decks.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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dboeren wrote:
As you can infer, I believe the impressions of lighter deck building are largely false, or at least overstated.

I hope you're right! If deck design is not a significant player element, this game will lose much of its appeal to me. As you say, those who don't want to engage with deck design themselves can use published decklists.
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oldschoolgamr
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dboeren wrote:
If you didn't like LotR then I would not expect to like this and I see no reason why deck construction will not be approximately as significant as in that game.

If you don't like making your own decks you can always net deck (which you can do in LotR as well).

It will certainly have more variety than Pathfinder though, you can be assured of that.

The impressions that some people have posted that this game will somehow be lighter on the deck build come from IMHO two sources:

1. There are default actions you can do which are independent of your cards. This is also true of Netrunner, which I doubt anyone will claim is light on the deck design.

2. Wishful thinking. For the last few years a lot of casual boardgamers have admired LCGs and their variety, but they tend to find the deck design intimidating. So they keep wishing and hoping that somehow the next game will be different and it will have all the variety and intricacy of an LCG without making decks. This is not possible. It's the enormous variety of finely tuned decks that MAKE the richness of gameplay. And now that an LCG is advertising an RPG element, the siren's song is stronger than ever.

As you can infer, I believe the impressions of lighter deck building are largely false, or at least overstated. It sounds to me like your best bet is to try someone else's copy first or if you get your own, go into it with the expectation that you will primarily either use net decks or play on easier difficulty levels to help compensate for wanting to use less well engineered decks.

The other thing that might lead to this impression is that each character in the game REQUIRES a set of specific cards to be in the deck. Not sure if that is new or carry-over mechanic from other LCGs, but at least a portion of your deck is going to be constant - at least from the beginning of the games life - maybe something later in the campaign changes this?

At least that is my impression - correct me if I am FOS.
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David Boeren
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Correct, if deck design is not prominent, then you'll lose the entire LCG player base for whom that's a big part of their enjoyment.

It may seem odd to boardgamers, but we derive much pleasure out of fine-tuning existing decks, discussing cards, combos, and entire decks online with other players, messing around with new decks or concepts, etc... You can get a pretty good hobby going without even playing an actual game
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David Boeren
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
The other thing that might lead to this impression is that each character in the game REQUIRES a set of specific cards to be in the deck. Not sure if that is new or carry-over mechanic from other LCGs, but at least a portion of your deck is going to be constant - at least from the beginning of the games life - maybe something later in the campaign changes this?


Each Investigator does have a few cards that start in your deck, but it's a small percentage and largely there for flavor (each Investigator has one card specific just to them). This already existed in the Conquest LCG which had a significantly larger percentage of your deck predetermined by which warlord you were using (the equivalent of the Investigator in Arkham Horror) and that has proven over time to have deck design very similar to all the other LCGs in terms of complexity.

Theoretically anything could happen later in a campaign, but we have no examples yet of a campaign effect that could allow you to omit these cards. We have had mention of being forced to add more negative cards to your deck to reflect the character acquiring new weaknesses (whether physical, psychological, curses) or similar. Over time, I would say that sooner or later at least one campaign will probably include ANY effect you can think of that seems pretty obvious and straightforward.
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Ivan Cox
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kbclac wrote:
Do you think this game has a simpler deck construction than LOTR with some improvements coming to you during the campaign like Pathfinder but with more variety than the Pathfinder had?


Re: other responses, it's not all or nothing. Given each character has a primary and secondary sphere, smaller deck size, and the upgrading of cards between adventures, it's hard to argue against the quote above.
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Richard A. Edwards
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kbclac wrote:
This game is making me consider hopping into the LCG again.
I do love the theme a lot.

I tried the LOTR LCG but just did not enjoy the deck construction. I kept wondering if I lost because my deck I built was poorly made or because of bad luck. I do not mind losing to bad luck but found I did not enjoy deck construction enough to get competent at it.

I played the entire Pathfinder ACG Rise of the Runelords. I liked how my deck got better through luck in the game (what was flipped over to be found and the die roll) but I did get bored with it near the end as the game was much too repetitive to last as long as it did for me.

Do you think this game has a simpler deck construction than LOTR with some improvements coming to you during the campaign like Pathfinder but with more variety than the Pathfinder had?

I guess I can wait until some reviews are posted as it looks like most of the pre-orders are going to be gone anyway.

Like you, I played LotR LCG but don't care for power deck construction enough to really get into it. I also played Pathfinder (all the way through Rise of the Runelords) and my group liked it a lot, but it had its faults.

I think Arkham Horror will be a good balance that will make it just about perfect for me and my group.

Given the focus is on campaign, you only build your deck once at the start and do not rebuild it between scenarios, unlike LotR where your deck can be completely rebuilt for every quest.

There are 5 different "classes" plus neutrals, and especially starting with just the core (which someone posted had about 120 player cards) it seems like card choices to start will be very few and limiting.

Given each investigator has two set cards plus some random "weakness" cards, maybe there's 100 left divided between 5 classes and neutral. At most, that's about 16 cards for each class plus neutrals (and probably more neutrals than class cards?)

With a few higher level cards for each class (used to upgraded between games), maybe a dozen or so cards for each class that you can start with?

Your character can only use two classes, so toss in all of both for about 25 and with a 30 card deck requirement, toss in a few neutrals and you're set.

The 30 card limit is also much smaller than most decks in LotR and will make it easier for those of us who aren't into deck building to approach it more easily.

Of course with two core sets and the inevitable expansions, the cards available for building will climb. But if the expansions come with new investigators, new campaigns, new scenarios, and with more classes to support, including higher level cards you cannot build decks with before starting, there may be fewer cards to choose from for initial deckbuilding than other LCGs.

This is why I do think it will be a lighter deck building game with lots of meaningful play which can actually develop your deck slowly during the campaign.
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Cameron McKenzie
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LOTR had a habit of introducing quests that had very specific demands on the players that they had to take into account in their decks, and these demands could change dramatically from one quest to the next even within the same cycle. Because you were free to rebuild your deck completely each time, the quests were often built with a specific deck type in mind.

Considerring that an Arkham campaign seems to allow fewer deck adjustments between quests within the campaign, I wouldn't expect as many "curve balls" that you have to adapt to.

You also can't stack certain card types like you could in LOTR. For example, you are limited to 1 ally in play, so you can't build decks that swarm allies.

I think it will be a bit easier to just pick a few eligible cards to fit each "slot" and see how it plays, then make small adjustments if you find yourself struggling in certain areas,
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Dean Newman
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SirRoke's comments highlight the very reasons why I, and many others, are very excited indeed by this particular LCG.

I also found the Pathfinder card game became very repetitive and boring over time though I did like the long campaign progression. LOTR involved too much deck re-construction between every scenario, though I did enjoy the base box sets when I played with a friend (using his copy).

AH looks like a great compromise between the two that will offer a great experience. I like the idea of improving the deck gradually over each campaign of 3 or 6 scenarios. Then reset for a new campaign.

I can understand the concerns of existing LCG players about deck construction depth, I think FFG has catered very well to these players in the past. But there are many potential LCG players for which that is not the biggest draw and I think this LCG has the potential to bring in many of these previously hesitant players. But hopefully FFG can craft a game that will appeal to both crowds. The scenario card offering two difficulty levels may be one such approach.

If AH delivers on its promise the only thing that would excite me more is to see them follow up with a Star Wars Edge of the Empire LCG (modeled on AH design): play bounty hunters, explorers etc performing jobs (scenarios), replace weakness with obligation, use same campaign concept.
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Keith Craig
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Thank you everyone for your input. I think I am going to hold off on this game and read what people think about it once it comes out.

I can still get my Cthulhu kick from the Call of Cthulhu RPG that I am running.
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Robert Leonhard
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From the video I watched on this game, I think it looks fantastic. I own LOTR but don't play it much for two reasons. First, the scenario with the trolls is durn near impossible for the amateur, which turned me off. (I bought expansions that still have the shrink wrap, because I never made it past the core set.) Secondly, I have never liked the mechanic in the game in which a character can block but not then attack (unless you can somehow refresh him/her). That seemed artificial and fiddly to me.

In AH-LCG, the game play looked more logical, with more variety and things that players could do to mitigate problems. Like most here, I LOVE the theme. Unlike most, I play games like this more for the story it tells than I care about winning or mastering the mechanics.
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Gergely Kovacs
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darkmoonrising wrote:
But there are many potential LCG players for which that is not the biggest draw and I think this LCG has the potential to bring in many of these previously hesitant players.


If deck building was the only drawback for these people, then they should take a look at the Star Wars LCG. There is hardly any deck building in that one, which is actually the main reason why many serious card gamers tend to keep away from it. So that is the other side of the coin. FFG needs to tread very carefully as to not to upset card gamers because they went too light on the deck building aspect.

I am not a huge beck builder myself (even in Netrunner, I usually net decked and just tried to improve upon them over time), but I would still like to know that the possibility for serious deck building exists.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Rinceart wrote:
darkmoonrising wrote:
But there are many potential LCG players for which that is not the biggest draw and I think this LCG has the potential to bring in many of these previously hesitant players.


If deck building was the only drawback for these people, then they should take a look at the Star Wars LCG. There is hardly any deck building in that one, which is actually the main reason why many serious card gamers tend to keep away from it. So that is the other side of the coin. FFG needs to tread very carefully as to not to upset card gamers because they went too light on the deck building aspect.
Why? If they are pitching the game directly at those who find LotR to be too "deck-constructy" and the Saga expansions too difficult using just the base + saga and who still want a solo/co-op story-driven campaign-based then they will have achieved their goal. If "card gamers" are too precious to enjoy this format, they have plenty of other games, they don't have an inalienable right to have all card games pitched at their specific requirements.
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Gergely Kovacs
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Why? If they are pitching the game directly at those who find LotR to be too "deck-constructy" and the Saga expansions too difficult using just the base + saga and who still want a solo/co-op story-driven campaign-based then they will have achieved their goal.


Sure, but is it economical? I don't have the numbers, but I would imagine that this group is probably not too large. By the way, the Warhammer Quest card game was made specifically for the people you describe, and as far as I can tell, it was a colossal failure. Which is a shame coz I actually liked that game, but you hardly hear anything about it any more.

Quote:
...they don't have an inalienable right to have all card games pitched at their specific requirements.


You are right. However, my experience is (although it is purely anecdotal) that the more hard core a player is the more willing he/she is to get every expansion, while casual gamers tend to buy less. It is generally a good idea for a company to cater for the demographic that is willing to pay the most for its product.

Nevertheless, I hope AH will find the fine line between the two and have something to offer for both demographics.
 
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Ivan Cox
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Rinceart wrote:
Sure, but is it economical? I don't have the numbers, but I would imagine that this group is probably not too large. By the way, the Warhammer Quest card game was made specifically for the people you describe, and as far as I can tell, it was a colossal failure. Which is a shame coz I actually liked that game, but you hardly hear anything about it any more.


As far as I'm aware, all indications are that it did well, and better than expected by FFG. Lack of expansions is either due to GW license issues or... there not yet being an expansion.

On your other point, following the biggest market is fine for a while, but when that market is over-saturated, I'm pretty sure it can make sense to tap a potentially smaller market with more room in it. My impression is that that's what the Warhammer Quest game did. The people who liked it could well be part of who this LCG is intended to appeal to.
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chris thatcher
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I never bother with deckbuilding in lcg's. I did the whole Magic thing in my youth and loved deckbuilding but nowadays i and my friends cant be bothered with it.

I play Star Wars: The Card Game and we just play with pre made decks. By pre made i mean i just put all the faction cards together. When i buy an expansion i just put all the cards in their respective faction decks. I think each deck now has 25+ objectives, only one of each type.

I do the same with the lord of the rings lcg, although i only play that 3-4 player now.

Yes it is random, luck of the draw etc, but i find the games are still great fun with huge variation/replayability.

Also do the same with Magic now. Just grab a large deck of cards (cube) and play.

I know most people play these games for the deckbuilding aspect, but that does not mean you cannot play how you want. The games still play fine and with no setup..just pick up and play.

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M.C.Crispy
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Rinceart wrote:
Quote:
Why? If they are pitching the game directly at those who find LotR to be too "deck-constructy" and the Saga expansions too difficult using just the base + saga and who still want a solo/co-op story-driven campaign-based then they will have achieved their goal.


Sure, but is it economical? I don't have the numbers, but I would imagine that this group is probably not too large. By the way, the Warhammer Quest card game was made specifically for the people you describe, and as far as I can tell, it was a colossal failure. Which is a shame coz I actually liked that game, but you hardly hear anything about it any more.

Quote:
...they don't have an inalienable right to have all card games pitched at their specific requirements.


You are right. However, my experience is (although it is purely anecdotal) that the more hard core a player is the more willing he/she is to get every expansion, while casual gamers tend to buy less. It is generally a good idea for a company to cater for the demographic that is willing to pay the most for its product.

Nevertheless, I hope AH will find the fine line between the two and have something to offer for both demographics.
FFG are fairly smart as a company. I suspect that they've done their research and believe that there are enough Arkham Horror fans that will buy (that's me), "hard core" (your words) gamers that will buy all the expansions (that's me) and fans of co-op games/card games/campaign games (that's me), or a sub-set that fall into multiple categories (that's me) to ensure that they'll sell enough to justify production. I've seen enough comments of the "urgh, frikkin' co-op, count me out" from the LCG/CCG fraternity to convince me that they aren't necessarily pitching hard at that crowd (or at least not the "hard core, competitive/tournament" sub-set).
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David Boeren
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Co-ops do occupy an unusual space within LCGs. They attract some people from the boardgame side, and some from the LCG side. I know a good number of hard core LCG fans that play Lord of the Rings, you might say that it's one of the few social/group sort of games that can manage to hold their interest. But, they probably play it quite differently than the boardgame crowd too as they tend to require harder quests lest it be too much of a cakewalk.

With RPG element added, Arkham Horror may draw even more boardgamers than LotR did but we'll have to see. However, it also calls to the Call of Cthulhu LCG community, many of whom are still attracted to the setting and willing to give a solo LCG a try.
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Matt E.

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Speaking for myself, I'll be trying an LCG with my wife for the first time.

Why? The theme plus the co-op.

We have a usual group of 3 that meets once a week and play Pandemic Legacy, Eldritch Horror, Mansions of Madness (1st and 2nd) most frequently.

Our third is the type of player that is VERY A.D.D. and at overwhelming situations may say "just tell me what to do".

I've already assumed this deck building game will not be for him, as I do not want to be building his character's deck for him.

I'll have a better feel after my wife and I play it a few times. I suppose if he really wants to join in he can net deck it.

***

By the way, in defense of said third player, he is very capable of making informed bold moves, in a fan made Mansions scenario he boldly murdered an NPC with partial evidence of evil doing. Is super effective at zeroing in on my ass when I'm Jack the Ripper in Letters from Whitechapel. Just don't put him in a pressure situation.
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Richard A. Edwards
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spotH3D wrote:
I've already assumed this deck building game will not be for him, as I do not want to be building his character's deck for him.

I'll have a better feel after my wife and I play it a few times. I suppose if he really wants to join in he can net deck it.

Most (all?) of FFG's LCGs come with deck lists in the core set so you can assemble starting decks quickly right out of the box and start playing. Very quick and easy way to get a balanced starting deck without having to do any deck building.
 
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David Boeren
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SirRoke wrote:
Most (all?) of FFG's LCGs come with deck lists in the core set so you can assemble starting decks quickly right out of the box and start playing. Very quick and easy way to get a balanced starting deck without having to do any deck building.


Even if they do come with some suggested Core decks (and yes, they do), the next month you'll get an expansion pack and the suggested deck lists won't incorporate any of the new cards. And again the next month, and the next, and so on... It won't take advantage of a second Core if you have one either.

Even the casual players who build moderate power decks will soon begin having a significant advantage over the one-Core-only example decks. At some point you'll be dragging the group down. "Hey Rick! Tune up your crappy deck why don't you? The rest of us are tired of getting eaten by ghouls because you're not pulling your weight in the dang quest!" Quest difficulty will slowly increase as well.

So eventually you will either want to take the effort to build a better deck than the examples, or let someone do it for you, whether the person be an anonymous online stranger or one of your local buddies.
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Richard A. Edwards
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This game may well be quite different in terms of deck building.

If each cycle is one campaign (there's debate about that still), then we'll start the first cycle with only the added cards from one expansion to build with before starting.

Then we have to keep our deck with small upgrades for each scenario/expansion as they're released.

Only after the cycle is finished would we then go back and build a new deck with all the expansions from the cycle.

In any case, some of us play cooperative games to enjoy playing together and don't really care about power deck building.

Luckily this game seems very story/campaign oriented so it may well be interesting and fun regardless of "winning" or "losing" a particular scenario.

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