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Subject: TCG/CCG vs LCG rss

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Ryan Muir
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I was a long time MTG and Mechwarrior (tabletop clix)player until Mechwarrior died and MTG never felt like the same game after Llorwyn, to me. Off and on for the last year I've been looking for something to replace these games and bring back the fun I used to have with them, on a more active level than simply casual play at home.

In my searching recently, I became aware of the "Living Card Game" model that Fantasy Flight and a few other companies have started adopting. While it seems better for reducing costs for the manufacturer and retailers, this model seems to detract from the fun and excitement of the random booster draws. It seems like it would be easier to get more players into the game, but at what cost?

I don't have the excitement of pulling that rare and finding out what I got. I don't have the fun of playing that awesome rare against someone who may have not even seen the card before. I don't have the fun of playing sealed or draft tournaments.

What I would like from everyone is:
A) Am I off base in my assumptions and should I give these LCGs a chance?
B) Which do you prefer between the two as far as fun factor and also the financial burden as a consumer? I understand the LCGs can be cheaper, but is it worth the lower cost for the differences?
C) What would you think about a hybrid of the two? A core box with a whole set of specific cards and blind booster expansions.
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Joke Meister
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You aren't off base in your assumptions insofar as they are what you personally like or dislike. If you like the booster format, then there is nothing wrong with continuing to buy and play CCGs.

For me personally, I hate the random distribution model in CCGs. For me, the fun comes from constructing the deck and then playing the game. Finding a rare gives me zero satisfaction.

As you can imagine from my own preferences, I love the LCG distribution model. For myself, I will never again but a game that uses blind boosters. Judging from the success of the LCG games, there are plenty of other people who share this view.

As to whether you should try out an LCG, I think this depends on how well you know your own preferences. If you know for sure that you prefer random distribution, why don't you try out other games that have blind boosters before you try out an LCG? They don't even have to be card games. For example, I believe Dice Masters uses random distribution and it seems to be very popular.
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Zac Jensen
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I also prefer the LCG model. While finding a rare is an awesome feeling, its the 10-20 packs of crap you already have that ruins it. Getting a rare every once in a while doesn't make up for a bunch of wasted money. With that model, wouldn't just buying that rare card by itself online be the better option most of the time? But like it has been said, if the rush of blindly getting a good card is what drives you, then you should stick with that model.
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Ryan Muir
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While I like the fun of getting to open the boosters, it's not my sole drive in the games. I like the building and strategy more. It just seems to take away a lot of the options for blind draw competition, which I like as a way to level the playing field between the guy who can buy 3 booster boxes a month and the guy who can buy 3 booster packs a month.

Someone described the LCG model as closer the the Warhammer tabletop game. Everybody has access to the same pool to buy in whatever pieces they feel fit their style best. Is that an accurate way to think about these games?
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Adam Hostetler
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Lanthanaas wrote:
It just seems to take away a lot of the options for blind draw competition, which I like as a way to level the playing field between the guy who can buy 3 booster boxes a month and the guy who can buy 3 booster packs a month..


With the LCG format you don't need blind draws because the playing field is already level. I'd also argue it's less luck based than a blind draft.
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Zac Jensen
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I'm not sure these are really all that comparable. I'm not aware of a LCG competitive scene, at least with LOTR. You are playing scenarios and quests, not other people. To be competitive with other people in a CCG model, you HAVE to have certain cards and probably lots of them. The LCG packs add scenarios and quests, along with cards for you to use to beat said quests. The added packs just increase the variety essentially. You really only NEED the core set to play the game but if you want to make more intricate decks and have new challenges, then you need to buy more packs. I think with a CCG model, you HAVE to invest a certain amount of money to really play the game how it's supposed to be played. Does anyone play MTG by themselves? Is that even possible?
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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It's still possible (in principle) to play sealed/draft tournaments with LCGs. Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game released "Necronomicon Draft" packs for this purpose, although it was right at the end of the LCG's development cycle and didn't seem to go anywhere commercially.
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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zjensen3 wrote:
I'm not sure these are really all that comparable. I'm not aware of a LCG competitive scene, at least with LOTR. You are playing scenarios and quests, not other people. To be competitive with other people in a CCG model, you HAVE to have certain cards and probably lots of them. The LCG packs add scenarios and quests, along with cards for you to use to beat said quests. The added packs just increase the variety essentially. You really only NEED the core set to play the game but if you want to make more intricate decks and have new challenges, then you need to buy more packs. I think with a CCG model, you HAVE to invest a certain amount of money to really play the game how it's supposed to be played. Does anyone play MTG by themselves? Is that even possible?

You are confusing the co-op character of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game with the LCG model. The latter is mostly competitive rather than cooperative games. FFG has supported organized play for most of these, and still does for Android: Netrunner, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition), and Warhammer 40,000: Conquest.
Even LoTR is having a quasi-organized-play Fellowship Event.
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Andreas Rovio
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Some LCGs allow you to have drafts. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn for example, let's you and the other players take the cards and build a drafting pool of them, really fun in my opinion!
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Zac Jensen
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Thank you for clarifying that
 
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Bwian, just
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Carthoris wrote:
It's still possible (in principle) to play sealed/draft tournaments with LCGs. Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game released "Necronomicon Draft" packs for this purpose, although it was right at the end of the LCG's development cycle and didn't seem to go anywhere commercially.

I hadn't heard of that one. Warhammer: Invasion included special cards to throw into the mix when drafting in the base game, but I'll admit I never got around to trying them out.
 
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Darth Heisenberg
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You say you like strategy and deck building, so give it a try. Coming from CCGs getting one or two LCG cores shouldn't seem expensive
 
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Ryan Muir
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The lack of a competitive scene is the other reservation I had. I saw that FFG supports organized play but I didn't see much in my area (Portland, OR). I think I will go ahead and try one out, if only to get a better sense for the style. I'd still like to know which everyone else prefers. It seems like everyone likes the model of LCG better for the strategy side of the game?
 
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Justin
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Lanthanaas wrote:
It seems like everyone likes the model of LCG better for the strategy side of the game?


Not for the strategy, for the cost. You're not spending $90 on a box of boosters and hoping you get lucky, instead you spend $15 and get exactly what you want.
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Drew Thomson
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Carthoris wrote:
zjensen3 wrote:
I'm not sure these are really all that comparable. I'm not aware of a LCG competitive scene, at least with LOTR. You are playing scenarios and quests, not other people. To be competitive with other people in a CCG model, you HAVE to have certain cards and probably lots of them. The LCG packs add scenarios and quests, along with cards for you to use to beat said quests. The added packs just increase the variety essentially. You really only NEED the core set to play the game but if you want to make more intricate decks and have new challenges, then you need to buy more packs. I think with a CCG model, you HAVE to invest a certain amount of money to really play the game how it's supposed to be played. Does anyone play MTG by themselves? Is that even possible?

You are confusing the co-op character of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game with the LCG model. The latter is mostly competitive rather than cooperative games. FFG has supported organized play for most of these, and still does for Android: Netrunner, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition), and Warhammer 40,000: Conquest.


and Star Wars: The Card Game.
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Matt Brown
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Vasher wrote:
Lanthanaas wrote:
It seems like everyone likes the model of LCG better for the strategy side of the game?


Not for the strategy, for the cost. You're not $90 on a box of boosters and hoping you get lucky, instead you spend $15 and get exactly what you want.


To be fair, you might still get more usable cards in a $90 box. You just might not get the exact one you need if that is what you are looking for but then you aren't buying $90 in boxes. You are merely buying the single.

antro wrote:
Some LCGs allow you to have drafts. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn for example, let's you and the other players take the cards and build a drafting pool of them, really fun in my opinion!


Nit pick, Ashes isn't an LCG. While it is expandable, it is not done in the monthly format that LCGs are done in. Another expandable game worth looking into is Mage Wars Academy, which is being expanded at a rather slow rate which is likely appealing to a number of folks. MW:Academy has 4 mages announced. Ashes on the other hand has 13 Phoenixborn if you include promos.
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John Wilder
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I would guess a city like Portland has a regular Netrunner meetup or tournament scene. The other LCGs are slightly less popular, but you could be able to find something as well.

If you like Dice, there is a new random booster game Star Wars Destiny, that FFG is releasing in November. That may attract you if you are interested in the random packs. But it is a dice and card game, not a strict dice game.

Also, you are incorrect that the LCG model does not have draft play.
There are "draft packs" that you can buy, and have draft tournaments. I am not sure how popular this format is, but it exists. In Netrunner, I do know that there are specific Runners, who are only used in this format (so they would not be legal in other tournament play). The other cards might be printed in house at FFG not at the place that normally prints their cards, so you might need sleeves with solid backs to play those in tournaments.

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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Vasher wrote:
Not for the strategy, for the cost.

For me, it's not that I get the game cheaper, it's that I don't want to play the additional "game" of card acquisition through blind purchase and an inflated aftermarket for rares. I just want to buy the cards I want, so I can design decks and play.
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Andreas Rovio
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matthean wrote:
Nit pick, Ashes isn't an LCG. While it is expandable, it is not done in the monthly format that LCGs are done in. Another expandable game worth looking into is Mage Wars Academy, which is being expanded at a rather slow rate which is likely appealing to a number of folks. MW:Academy has 4 mages announced. Ashes on the other hand has 13 Phoenixborn if you include promos.


Since it's off-topic I won't go into detail here but I will give a short reply. In my view, releasing fixed expansion for a card game that has deckbuilding, makes it an LCG. I don't think the release schedule is any reason to differentiate between 'LCG' and 'expandable'. And while the term may have been made popular by FFG using it for their expandable card games I see no reason that it can't be used for other card games that follows the same format. Just my opinion and I know that some people will think differently. I just wanted to explain why I consciously chose to use the term.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Yeah, "LCG" is in fact a FFG trademark. But there's really no practical difference between an XCG ("expandable card game," a generic substitute for LCG) like Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn and the FFG LCGs. Ashes is releasing expansion decks regularly, with two out and two more on pre-order.

The earlier Plaid Hat game Summoner Wars is a little more marginal in its relationship to other XCG games, because deck design is less of a priority there. Out-of-the-box play with base decks is more the rule than the exception, I think. Since the release of Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set last year, though, deck design has become very interesting in this game!
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In service to the Imperium of Man
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Lanthanaas wrote:
While I like the fun of getting to open the boosters, it's not my sole drive in the games. I like the building and strategy more. It just seems to take away a lot of the options for blind draw competition, which I like as a way to level the playing field between the guy who can buy 3 booster boxes a month and the guy who can buy 3 booster packs a month.

In LCGs, no one needs to buy three booster boxes a month since everyone knows exactly what they're getting. Different companies have different variations on the way they release cards, but with FFG's games a single $15(ish) purchase buys you a full playset of all 20 cards released in a monthly expansion.

Quote:
Someone described the LCG model as closer the the Warhammer tabletop game. Everybody has access to the same pool to buy in whatever pieces they feel fit their style best. Is that an accurate way to think about these games?

Yes, that is an accurate comparison.
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Matt Brown
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antro wrote:
And while the term may have been made popular by FFG using it for their expandable card games I see no reason that it can't be used for other card games that follows the same format.


Except as mentioned, it is trademarked by FFG. There is more to it than just a monthly release format. It is 6 chapter/data packs and one deluxe expansion which focuses on 1-2 "factions" within each cycle although I believe A:N is set to be just data packs at this point. Rinse and repeat. Nobody else does that format.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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You won't get that cracking a booster feeling from an LCG, but I've not seen anyone look for that since the 90's. Serious players buy singles, or buy by the box and case, so the distribution becomes more or less fixed anyway.

If you can get over that, then the best LCG (in all but name) by far is Mage Wars Arena
 
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Bwian, just
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ElAdoranSureshot wrote:
Lanthanaas wrote:
Someone described the LCG model as closer the the Warhammer tabletop game. Everybody has access to the same pool to buy in whatever pieces they feel fit their style best. Is that an accurate way to think about these games?

Yes, that is an accurate comparison.

Yes, but...

You can certainly buy packs to suit your play style or current deck(s). People I know don't do that, though. They buy every pack until they stop. Even people who specialize in a particular faction or two end up wanting all the cards for that faction; since every pack has cards for every faction, they all end up getting bought. While in theory they could split packs between friends, or sell the excess cards on eBay, the price point is low enough that the secondary market is pretty dry: the headaches of organizing cards for resale aren't worth the price you would get.

So it's sort of like Warhammer, if every Warhammer box came with 10 Orcs, 10 Dwarves, 10 Elves, 10... (Actually, they did make one of those boxes in the '80s. But they've changed their packaging since, obviously. )
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Anon Y. Mous
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The reality of a TCG/CCG is there is no exciting moment of "pulling a rare", you buy all the cards for a competitive deck on the secondhand market rather than gambling with boosters. Rares are bought the same way, they just cost more.
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