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Subject: Hey, Board Gamers: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it? rss

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mortego
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I'm a former M:tG player (have only played it about 4x's since November 2015 and less than a dozen times the 3 years before that which is around the time I caught the board game bug.

I can't help but feel that Magic somehow helped pave the way for modern board gaming. I belong to a game club and when I first joined back in '04 the club was a board game club but had a Magic group, too. Back then I never played games other than Magic and when I did it was pretty rare (regrets now).

What do you think? Has Magic played a part somehow in making modern board gaming popular or is it an entity all its own?

(sorry if the thread seems a bit disjointed, I wrote it in a hurry but wanted to get it out there before I forgot about it)
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Joey Larsen
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
Worked for me. It seems like it's a good way to get into a boardgaming type mindset.
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Michael Korson
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I personally never played or got into MtG (except for the one time a friend that was into it actually had enough patience to try to explain the game to me). I got into modern boardgaming by playing large grand strategy games like Axis & Allies before being introduced to Catan which accelerated things from there.

My perspective: MtG has more direct influence on the rise of CCGs and LCGs than modern boardgames overall. I remember in the 90s, with MtG being extremely popular, that there were a lot of CCGs that cropped up - like the original Star Wars collectible card game. Not many of those survive, but others like Pokemon have certainly amassed their own following and new CCGs and LCGs continue to hit the market. Many of these take a cue from the MtG playbook (or at least attempt to) - great art, theme, a strong competitive game system, adaptable to tournament play etc. I don't see there being as many of these without MtG appearance on the scene.

Regarding Boardgaming overall, I don't see any evidence of a direct impact, except arguably in the realm of deck building games that try to some of the CCG mechanics without the collectability aspect.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I played back in the 90s... got in around The Dark and out around Mirage ??? I still have some friend who purchase new sets (not like they used too though) and we play occasionally. It did consume a lot of time and money but didn't really contribute to my getting into modern board gaming. That "honor" goes more to games like Catan and Ticket to Ride.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I haven't, which is arguably weird for someone who came of gaming age round the CCG boom.

But we were all into Mythos, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and Illuminati: New World Order instead. Obviously, they wouldn't have existed without MtG.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
Hi, I'm also a former M:tG player. Started playing about 10 years ago (Time Spiral block). For many years it was the only thing on my mind, and I played it (casually) at the FLGS and online, also did 2 local Grand Prix. Fun times! Some years back, my interest shifted from Magic to boardgames/other card games.

I think Magic has paved the path for a smooth transition to boardgames. In the FLGS, they sell boardgames as well, and I think looking at all those pretty boxes while waiting for my next match to start has somehow influenced me :-) If it wasn't for Magic, I might not have been interested in boardgames in general. Although I'm not sure, I might have gotten there through different routes. At first, I wanted to find the game that was "just as good" as Magic. Couldn't find it. Got frustrated. Tried the usual suspects: anything with cards and a fantasy and/or battling theme. Mage Wars Arena came close, but somehow I still prefer Magic. I did however "evolve" to other types of boardgames, appreciating for how they are different from Magic.

Nowadays, boardgames are on my mind about as much as Magic once was, and I almost never play Magic anymore, apart from a prerelease and a FNM.
Looking back on it, it was a hughe money pit, I feel sick when I try to think about all the money I spent on cards (even worse: digital cards!). But it has given me years of fun and I got to meet nice people, some of which have become real friends who come over to play boardgames :-)
That said, the Magic crowd can also be a mean one. In our local store, people are generally nice, but I have met some who are pretty elitist in their hobby and look down on new players instead of making them feel welcome in the community. I've never felt that way in the boardgame clubs I went/go to.

I kinda miss my Magic days, but life has gotten more busy over the past few years, interests have shifted, and spare time has become scarce. So little time, so many shiny boardgames to play blush With boardgames, I feel there is less need to "keep up" with everything. With Magic, there was always a new set around the corner, if you miss one, you feel like you are lagging behind when you want to join a limited FNM once in a while, because you're not up to date with the new cards and the new mechanics. So I just stopped going to FNM altogether... I couldn't find the energy nor the time to keep up with everything.

A friend of mine who is more addicted to Magic than I ever was (and he's also the better player) pointed me towards a format that might just scratch my itch: battlebox. It is a format where you (and/or your friends) build a big deck (there is no limit to the number of cards) with just a seemingly random selection of the cards you collected over the years. Nothing fancy, no bombs, all colors. Each player gets a set of 10 land cards (5 dual lands and the 5 different standard land cards). Each player takes a bunch of cards from the battlebox, draws 4 cards (instead of 7) and each turn you can play a land card from those 10 you received (land cards are kept seperately, they don't go into the deck or into your hand) and you just play. It is fun, makes you rediscover old cards and makes it easier to play with all sorts of players: the very skilled player who usually only plays construced decks of several hundreds of $ can still be beaten by the newbie. My battlebox counts about 400 cards, and just a few weeks ago I played it with a friend of mine who got into Magic together with me, but dropped out after a year because she didn't want to invest all the time and money into it. So she hadn't played in years, but she beat me :-)
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Chris Ferejohn
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I mean, you can't find a single root cause for all of modern board gaming, but it's pretty hard to deny that Magic has been a major vector:

It did a lot to legitimize table top gaming as a thing for adults to do in the US.

It pretty directly inspired Dominion, and by extension all deck builders.

I'm hardly an industry expert, but I'm guessing it (and the CCG/TCG boom that followed it) also resulted in a fair amount of infrastructure for card manufacturing.

Wizards' belief and commitment to the idea that strongly supporting brick and mortar game stores was the right way to grow magic probably kept (and keeps) no small number of game stores afloat.
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Chuck Harrison
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
Magic was definitely my gateway game (though D&D was my gateway to Magic). I started playing in 1994, and played it obsessively for 5 years. I even made it to the Pro Tour once (and performed badly). Because I enjoyed Magic I played V:TES, Netrunner, and Roborally when they came out. Comments in gaming magazines about this hot new game of Settlers of Catan that was taking the world by storm led to me buying that (and the card game). Richard Garfield's comments about Cosmic Encounter led to me buying that when Hasbro printed the Avalon Hill version. Which further led to me trying Acquire when they reprinted it. Even though my days of playing CCGs ended nearly two decades ago, my wife and I have continued to play both RPGs and Board Games.
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Larry L
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I played Magic, but I am old enough that it is not my gateway into board games.

What Magic did was upset the apple cart. Many American publishers scrambled to enter the CCG market and ended up losing out, while WOTC grew rich enough to buy up other companies (and get bought up). The relative dearth of new American board games opened up the market for German ones.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
cferejohn wrote:
I mean, you can't find a single root cause for all of modern board gaming, but it's pretty hard to deny that Magic has been a major vector:

It did a lot to legitimize table top gaming as a thing for adults to do in the US.

It pretty directly inspired Dominion, and by extension all deck builders.

I'm hardly an industry expert, but I'm guessing it (and the CCG/TCG boom that followed it) also resulted in a fair amount of infrastructure for card manufacturing.

Wizards' belief and commitment to the idea that strongly supporting brick and mortar game stores was the right way to grow magic probably kept (and keeps) no small number of game stores afloat.


What he said. Especially the last point.

Me, I've played Magic casually since the 90's. I still maintain that the game is at its best sitting around the kitchen table with $50 worth of cards rather than the pay-to-win tournament scene. But I digress. I wouldn't say Magic led me directly to board gaming, but it did lead me to game stores and therefore a general awareness that hobby board games were a thing.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
I've played MTG back around 4th edition, 95? up to 97 or 98, along with Vampire and Netrunner. It didn't have anything to do with me getting into boardgames about 10 years ago, as I had little idea anything outside of tabletop wargames/warhammer/GW type things and RPG style board games (like advanced heroquest) existed until a friend introduced me to carcassonne.
 
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
My supporting anecdotes:

I wanted to get into M:TG in the '90s, and my high school game club was going to be the place where I'd do that. Except one of the kids was stealing to feed his habit, and a parent complained. No Magic, kids; let's play Civilization!

I started back into M:TG after moving to a new area as an adult. Conveniently enough, the shop that ran M:TG tournaments also ran a board game day every couple months. I distinctly remember my M:TG friends being really excited about playing Bohnanza.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
Commander format is way more enjoyable than most board games. Even some that I really like.
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Dan Bradshaw
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Re: Magic: The Gathering - Do you or have you played it?
killerjoe1962 wrote:

What do you think? Has Magic played a part somehow in making modern board gaming popular or is it an entity all its own?


I'm going to say yes for two reasons. First, it's important to keep in mind that, at the time M:TG appeared, there were few games (I'm not counting RPG's, because that's a whole separate thing) and they were mostly shit. Magic thrived because there was a demand for smart, strategic games which rewarded investment of time and thought to succeed.

Secondly, I think it's reasonable to say that many, many local game stores survive on Magic. They ain't making a profit selling Mice and Mystics. They ain't paying their rent and utilities and payroll by selling Tash-Kalar. The money that Magic (and we can include Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh in the same conversation) brings into the industry allows these spaces to exist, which allow people a chance to encounter great games...like Mice and Mystics and Tash-Kalar.

I used to play Magic back in high school and college, something in the range of 1994-1998 or so. The last expansion set that I remember engaging with at all was Ice Age. I'm sure the game is radically different these days, and I'm always happy to see younger gamers (by which I mean teens, 20's) playing the game, and remembering that they were probably in diapers or not around at all the last time I laid a swamp on the table.
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Tony C
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I played in college some, I guess 91-94 or so.
Some with friends, some with my then-gf. We each had a card box about 10 inches long full of cards, then realized "this can get really expensive". Never really played seriously, at events or tournaments or anything.

About five years ago the company would send 2 free intro decks just for asking, I ordered those and played them a couple times.

For me there was no crossover between MtG and board games. In college the only board game I played was backgammon. We did play a lot of spades and D&D.

I didn't get into boardgaming again (as a kid/teen I played, mostly the usual but some not so usual, Sinking of Titanic, Rich Uncle; then Axis and Allies/Shogun/Fortress America as a teen) till about 8 years ago.

I agree, most FLGS survive and thrive thanks to MTG and other CCGs.

If Boardgaming is successful due to MTG, it is largely a coincidence and due to tagging along in the few FLGS that are welcoming to boardgaming/boardgamers.
 
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Sure I played Magic. I got into it actually because I wanted to design my own and I wanted to make sure it played its mechanics differently. I got into CCGs after that, as I compared and contrasted them.
 
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Magic The Gathering? Never heard of it. Was it popular in the 80s? /s



That aside, I've played it a few times, but only because a college roommate let me use his spare cards. Some "base game" with the "arctic expansion". Otherwise, never got into it. Have been plenty fascinated by the stories and jokes they spurned....

STEREOTYPES
--What's the least used combo by M:tG players?
Soap and water

--"I can recognize fellow Magic players by scent alone"

--somebody stood on top of a card at some tournament because if he bent down to pick it up, it would've been too obvious. However, it wasn't really his, and he didn't want to just leave it b/c it was a VERY valuable card


FINANCIAL SIDE OF THINGS
--back in the 90s (or 80s?), somebody was able to purchase a car, in cash, from the proceeds of all the cards he sold

--Some expenses for competitive M:tG players include but aren't limited to:
$200 a month; $1000 to $2000 a year
up to $1000 for a single card
... and these are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not "in the know" at all, so those with experience can surely regal us with even more fascinating tales!


THOSE WHO LEFT IT
--one person used to play a WHOLE lot. But his collection got stolen one day, and he just couldn't be bothered to rebuild it from scratch. Also, it "helped" that he was single, and raising his (IIRC) 4yo daughter at the time

--a bartender was surprised to hear it was still going on. I told him definitely, as I walk into or drive by FLGS, and see posters for "Magic The Gathering 2013"


BG CULTURE
--inspired Dominion, which in turn inspired other DBG!
You may like or hate Dominion, and/or other DBG, but if you like any one of them, chances are, we have Magic to thank for that!

--also inspired LCGs, and their equivalents (like Smash Up, which AFAIK is the same difference, sans the trademark LCG name)
 
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GoodOmens wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:

What do you think? Has Magic played a part somehow in making modern board gaming popular or is it an entity all its own?


I'm going to say yes for two reasons. First, it's important to keep in mind that, at the time M:TG appeared, there were few games (I'm not counting RPG's, because that's a whole separate thing) and they were mostly shit. Magic thrived because there was a demand for smart, strategic games which rewarded investment of time and thought to succeed.


Interesting perspective, because I think it is about visibility and access. Speaking as someone involved in American hobby gaming since the 70s, there were smart, strategic boardgames games around before Magic, but maybe it helped prime the market for the wave we're seeing now.

I played a bit of Magic for a few years when it came out, but I also joined a boardgame group that had previously been focused on Titan, and had just recently started to play imported games like Settlers and El Grande. I don't think the new games would have succeeded without the existing boardgame community, but Magic may have attracted players that might not have considered playing more thoughtful games before.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Mabuchi wrote:
Commander format is way more enjoyable than most board games. Even some that I really like.


Where as I'd rather play nothing than be forced to drag myself through another 3 hour commander slog, but, you know, different strokes
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cferejohn wrote:
I mean, you can't find a single root cause for all of modern board gaming, but it's pretty hard to deny that Magic has been a major vector:

It did a lot to legitimize table top gaming as a thing for adults to do in the US.

It pretty directly inspired Dominion, and by extension all deck builders.

I'm hardly an industry expert, but I'm guessing it (and the CCG/TCG boom that followed it) also resulted in a fair amount of infrastructure for card manufacturing.

Wizards' belief and commitment to the idea that strongly supporting brick and mortar game stores was the right way to grow magic probably kept (and keeps) no small number of game stores afloat.


Magic is absolutely the reason why I play hobby board games. I first started playing MtG back in the early 00's with the Onslaught block. Most of my friends had been playing longer. I had just moved out of my parents place and had a full time job and was starting to spend money on things I wanted for myself. I played it off and on up through about 2010, when I found Dominion. There wasn't much looking back after that.

Dominion may have been my true gateway drug, but I probably wouldn't have ever tried it without Magic priming my brain for this sort of thing.
 
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I've never played it. arrrh
 
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To this day, Magic continues to be the carrier wave that all other gaming piggybacks on top of.

Pete (thinks MTG is the "funder" of the infrastructure we all enjoy in this hobby)
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I loved playing MTG, but I think the gateway to my current hobby was definitely Settlers of Catan. Further back it was games that came in MC's Discovery packs (hex games with soldiers), Heroquest and other Games Workshop productions. I think board gaming today is a multi faceted beast and while MTG is superb, I don't think it has influenced board gaming too heavily since it is its own genre (CCG). It has definitely influenced other deck builders like Pokemon and the like, but not so much wargames and Euro games that preceded it by many years (Spiel Des Jahres has been going strong for decades, I have played the 1979 winner Hare and Tortoise whereas MTG emerged in 1993 I believe).
 
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I started when I was about 10 years old with 7th edition I think it was. That's about 20 years ago? Dang. I played it casually with friends until I graduated high school in 2007. I picked it up again more serious than ever when I got in the military in 2011. Then I deployed, came home, got married, and never got too into it again despite my wife having played casually in the last. I actually just bought both of the intro decks that just came out to play with my wife. Not entirely sure why as we've only played once and I'd rather play my other board games or card games like AGOT 2.0, Ashes, LOTR LCG, Dice Masters, etc.
 
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