Recommend
41 
 Thumb up
 Hide
26 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

A Game of Thrones Collectible Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review of new LCG Core Set rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: read_this [+] [View All]
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
THE LCG CONCEPT

The LCG concept (Living Card Game), if you haven't heard yet, is to release a large, playable, self-contained core set, with premade decks and player aids. One need never buy another card to enjoy the game. Then, once a month or so, a "Chapter Pack" will be released that includes every card of a set. No hunting rare cards. Every card from the set will be included in every pack of the set. The only monetary commitment needed is the core set and then just add any chapter packs that interest you. Right now "A Game of Thrones" is the only LCG available, but Call of Cthulhu is in development (due hopefully in November) and there was a teaser at GenCon of another LCG in development that I would bet money is going to be based in the Warhammer universe.

Since "A Game of Thrones" is being advertised as a complete, self-contained game, I am reviewing it as such, as I would Runebound (even though it has expansions, the base game should stand on its own).

BITS

The Good

This core set comes with everything that 2-4 players need for the game. There are 4 preconstructed decks representing a separate faction (or "house") involved in the struggle for power. There are house cards included for 2 other factions, but their preconstructed decks are not available yet. There are strong, pretty, plastic minis representing the 6 offices that may be chosen in multiplayer games. There are counters for gold pieces and power tokens; plenty enough to be used in the game. There is a board that also has places to put the tokens and spaces for each office on a track that shows how each office supports or opposes the others. This is an especially helpful aid to those who have been trying to play multiplayer with the CCG as it clears up much confusion regarding the position of offices to each other.

The Bad

I saw several copies opened at GenCon, and many had warped boards. This could have been a shipping issue.

Also, the box itself is designed with holes large enough for the cards to slip through the insert into the bottom of the box. The owner is going to have to figure out a way to keep the decks separated (rubber band, etc.) or sift through the cards, looking for the letter of the faction, to sort decks every time they play. These are minor issues, but were avoidable.

GAMEPLAY


The Good

The gameplay is very intricate and in-depth for a card game. Mechanics such as picking offices every turn (with different bonuses for each and different supporting and opposing offices), picking plot cards each turn(usually with a rule making, or rule breaking advantage on it) and having three separate ways to challenge another faction (military, intrigue, and power struggle) add lots of depth to each turn.

The person who wins initiative each turn picks who goes first. Do you want to go first to make sure you get to do things you want before anyone else, or want to see what other people do and/or wait until some of their resources are depleted to make your move(s)? This can be one of the most important decisions a player makes.

The goal is to gain 15 power tokens. They can be gained by winning an undefended challange, winning a power struggle against an opponent (taking one power directly from their house), or through special abilities of your characters. This is different than most other card games where the object is to destroy your opponent. You can win this game without ever attacking militarily, and I've seen it happen.

This power goal helps keep the game from becoming "beat up on the weak guy" as well. It becomes instead a game of "stop her from winning." "Weak" positions by factions can change quickly, especially with the help of plot and event cards that I call "reset cards." These cards are most often plot cards, but can also be abilities of characters or events. What these cards do is force EVERY faction to either discard or kill some or all of their characters. This keeps someone who got lucky in an initial draw from being able to run roughshod over everyone and helps keep one feeling they are in the game to the end.

Another interesting mechanic is that you have to "kneel" (i.e. expend) your character in a challenge on offense or defense. Then when each faction has had an opportunity to try 3 challenges, the person with the most strength points in characters left standing gets a free power token from the bank. So do you defend against that intrigue challenge so your opponent doesn't get through undefended, or save the strength points for your own challenges and/or dominance phase? These sort of decisions get even tougher after someone just played a plot card that reduced you to 3 total characters (against 9 possible challenges from your 3 opponents and then the dominance phase).

The mechanic that will be new to players of the old CCG is the use of gold. Players gain gold from their plot cards and locations and take gold coins to place beside them. These gold coins are used not only to bring out new locations, characters, events, etc., but also to trigger character abilities or may be needed to pay for an ability or card. For example, one plot card called "Uneasy Truce" requires that if you want to initiate a military challenge against another player you must pay them 2 gold. No gold=no military challenges. Then there is a taxation phase at the end of the turn where all gold is returned (unless, of course you have found a way to miss the taxation phase like the sneaky Lannister's have been known to do).

The factions have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as an overall "feel" to them that is different from all the others.

The Bad

The biggest weakness of the set is that it advertises as being able to be played by 2-4 players, but the way the decks are constructed are definitely for 3-4 players. When one of the plot cards you must play says "pick another player and you cannot initiate challenges against each other" it can slow down a 2 player game. This could be easily remedied by picking plot cards from unused factions to replace these for a 2 player game.

Also the intricacy of the game may be more than someone playing a CCG-like game is looking for. It takes a lot of thought, and strategy, to try to perceive, and take advantage of, the many options available to you during a turn, much less anticipating other players' moves. This is not a "light" game.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

I like this game. I am a big fan of cards games, collectible or otherwise, and this is one of my favorites. It is intricate as well as fun. As a boardgamer, I appreciate the self-contained and preconstructed decks ready to play. As someone burned on other CCGs, where no matter how good a player I thought I was, I seemed to be getting beaten by people who spent more on the game than I wanted to, I find the LCG concept appealing as well. Many times it doesn't even feel like a card game and fortunes change every turn.

If you are looking for a good multi-player game that has many options to win, plus lots of surprises and "got ya!" moments, this is the game for you. It's not a "light game." It's going to take you a couple hours to play and give your brain a workout. But you don't have to sift through (or buy) lots of cards you don't need.

And you get all that plus: diplomacy, deceit, assassinations, epic battles, brave men and women, bribery, greed, consorts, poison, nobles, black market fences, armies, mercenaries, renown, infamy, intelligent wolves and even baby dragons! What's not to like?

16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Chappell
United States
Fullerton
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the solid review. I've been looking at this game carefully.

It does indeed seem like the cards can "fight" the 2 player setup in some cases (and the coolest bits are for multiplayer games). However, the Mutual Cause card, which I believe is the one you're talking about, specifies you only use its power if you're playing with more than 2. So all you do with it in a 2 player game is consider its stats.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jennifer Schlickbernd
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How long does it take to play (including set up/take down) a 3 player game? or a 4 player game? Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jschlickbernd wrote:
How long does it take to play (including set up/take down) a 3 player game? or a 4 player game? Thanks.


Set up/take down time is very minimal. Just shuffle the cards and put out the tokens and 6 office pieces in their proper slots.

Time is harder to quantify at this point. The games I have been playing all involve teaching the game to other players who aren't familiar with the game at all. Even with that, no game, even 4 players, has lasted more than 2 hours, and most are less than that. With experienced players I would think you could play in an average of 30-45 minutes per player according to how much time each player was taking to think through their moves.

The learning curve might make your first games a little slower and longer, but it really plays rather quickly once you get the hang of it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John So-And-So
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
badge
You and the Cap'n make it hap'n
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How many copies of each card are included in the starter set? Is there any reason to buy 2 sets (for deckbuilding purposes)?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wolf Stalwart
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
CapAp wrote:
How many copies of each card are included in the starter set? Is there any reason to buy 2 sets (for deckbuilding purposes)?


There can be, for competitive play. Each of the 4 House decks contain only one copy of each included card, with the exception of basic resource-providing locations. Since one is permitted to use 3 copies of any given card in deck construction, there can be some advantage to owning three copies of the core set.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CapAp wrote:
How many copies of each card are included in the starter set? Is there any reason to buy 2 sets (for deckbuilding purposes)?


I haven't looked at the decks card by card, but the only copy I can recall from playing a few games with the core set is that there are two copies of a dragon whose special power is to bring out a copy of itself when it comes into play.

That does seem to be a disadvantage to tourney players right now (although they will probably have access to all the CCG cards as well I would think). But I think the "Chapter Pack" concept, in the long run, is better for tourney players. Getting every card of a set in each box, you need only buy 3 (at $10 each) to have all you would need from those for a tourney. No hunting ultra-rares and rares.

Perhaps FFG could be talked into selling the Core Set house decks separately (maybe in "replacement parts" section of site?). That would be a less expensive option for tourney players. But again, I don't think for tournament purposes that they have nixed any of the of CCG cards...yet.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John So-And-So
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
badge
You and the Cap'n make it hap'n
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So now I'm confused. I'm looking at preordering the Core Set and whatever Chapter Packs are available, but it looks like there are already a dozen different chapter packs. I thought they were on a 1-per-month release schedule?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CapAp wrote:
So now I'm confused. I'm looking at preordering the Core Set and whatever Chapter Packs are available, but it looks like there are already a dozen different chapter packs. I thought they were on a 1-per-month release schedule?


I am not aware of any Chapter Packs available for the LCG format. Those that you are seeing on the site are for the old CCG format that has been around for years.

GenCon (last weekend) was the premiere of the new format and the Core Set. It'll take a while for the website to completely catch up to the change. Plus FFG will be wanting to sell off its old CCG product.

For the LCG, only the core set is currently available. Order that. The "old cards" are somewhat compatible, but they will not include the "gold" using abilities. I'd wait for new Chapter Packs to be announced on the front page of FantasyFlightGames.com.

I hope this helps.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kester J
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So is the core set available now? I've had trouble tracking down any info on this release; it definitely doesn't seem to be near the top of the FFG priority list. I've been interested in the game for a while and was considering taking the plunge with the format change, but if they're not pushing it, I'm not sure it's going to be worth getting into.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kester wrote:
So is the core set available now? I've had trouble tracking down any info on this release; it definitely doesn't seem to be near the top of the FFG priority list. I've been interested in the game for a while and was considering taking the plunge with the format change, but if they're not pushing it, I'm not sure it's going to be worth getting into.


The Core Set is available, but strangely enough, I don't find it on the FFG website. Other online sources and FLGS have them, I believe. Here is a link to Funagain (first one I found), so I know it is out there for purchase. FFG seems to be dropping the ball on getting it up on their own site.

http://www.funagain.com/control/product/~product_id=019552

And they are "pushing it" as they had lots of demos going at GenCon. It's just a brand new release and the website needs to catch up. I'll send them a note.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Joslin
msg tools
CapAp wrote:
So now I'm confused. I'm looking at preordering the Core Set and whatever Chapter Packs are available, but it looks like there are already a dozen different chapter packs. I thought they were on a 1-per-month release schedule?

There have already been six chapter packs, but they were made in a transitional period. A regular set was converted into a group of chapter packs instead of being released as a collectible set, and it shows. The newer cylce of chapter packs starting with A Song of Summer and The Winds of Winter was designed specifically for the LCG format and also uses a new rule/phase in the core set. You probably won't need the Clash of Arms chapter pack cycle unless you get really into the game (and even then, I'd reccommend the Iron Throne block first).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John So-And-So
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
badge
You and the Cap'n make it hap'n
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All right guys, I think I got it now. Thanks a ton for the information.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Low
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. It might be good to mention the specific components in the box (240 cards over 4 decks, etc).

Not bad value. RRP $40 for four decks, board and bits. A quick look on ebay and you can find starters ranging from $7 upwards.

Great way to keep the game alive and yet make it appeal to a wider audience!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Smallwood
United States
Santa Ana
California
flag msg tools
badge
TWO Equals in an "if" statement!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Could you please summarize how my collection of Val. and 5 Kings edition cards fit in? Are they now a totally different and incompatible game, or can they be pulled forward in to the LCG?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dorque wrote:
Could you please summarize how my collection of Val. and 5 Kings edition cards fit in? Are they now a totally different and incompatible game, or can they be pulled forward in to the LCG?


It's kind of a complicated answer but I will try to explain as best I know. I'm assuming you are talking about Valyrian and Five Kings.

The Core Set introduces a new mechanic where gold is gained in coins and there is now a mechanism to spend it for abilities, plot cards, etc. and then it is put back in the pot at the end of the turn (taxation phase). It even counts toward dominance in the dominance phase.

This means that cards in sets like Valyrian and Five Kings were not designed with that mechanic in mind. You could still keep gold from your muster no matter what card gives you the gold. In game terms, those cards are completely compatible with any new releases.

There is a secondary issue, however, which is that FFG is looking to get new players involved, so for tournaments and leagues, any cards from before they published in Chapter Pack form, are not allowed. You can use the cards with your friends, but they won't be allowed in tourneys or leagues, except maybe in some sort of "Legacy" format. FFG doesn't want new players to feel like they have to buy a bunch of old cards to be competitive on the tournament level. Needless to say, this has ticked off some of the people who've been playing for a while.

Any Chapter Packs are supposedly okay and "A Song of Ravens" (I think that's what the last batch of CPs were called) was supposedly written with the LCG change in mind (I just happen to not like some of its mechanics). I am encouraging new players to only play with the Core Set and anything that comes out afterwards. That is just personal advice; not the company line.

Summary: Yes, you can use any cards, but not in any "official" event. I hope that helps.
2 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
P.S. That's why the white borders that everyone hates; it is so they can easily tell what is usable and what isn't, I think.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Smallwood
United States
Santa Ana
California
flag msg tools
badge
TWO Equals in an "if" statement!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grimstax wrote:
Summary: Yes, you can use any cards, but not in any "official" event. I hope that helps.


Sweet, thanks for the summary. I understand why I got that box of 5 Kings for $3 now. The Core-forward style will be good since I have some friends who want to jump in.

Grimstax wrote:
P.S. That's why the white borders that everyone hates; it is so they can easily tell what is usable and what isn't, I think.


And I think the white boarders prevent card-marking because if you ding the edge of a black bordered card you get a spot of white.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex N
United States
Metuchen
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How is this game different as a LCG from the other game on BGG listed as: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game?

I just finished listening to Episode #142 of Tom Vasil's Dice Tower. In it Moritz said to appreciate Fantasy Flight's new LCG concept for Game of Thrones you would still need to spend $200. I couldn't tell if he was referring to this edition A Game of Thrones Collectible Card Game or A Game of Thrones: The Card Game since he was referring to chapter packs. It seems this concept is present in both games.

Alex
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Rice
United States
LIHUE
HI
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
THIS game is not the LCG, it's the CCG - which is out of print, but still available on eBay and from a few small outlets.

AGOT: The Card Game is the LCG.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex N
United States
Metuchen
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
andy.rice@att.net wrote:
THIS game is not the LCG, it's the CCG - which is out of print,


That's what I thought but Grimstax, the guy who posted this thread, makes it very clear from his first paragraph that this game is a LCG and relies on "chapters", hence my confusion. I didn't see anything in the thread that disputed this viewpoint, which by the way is the hottest review on this edition.

Maybe Grimstax can explain this?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chiefsachem wrote:
andy.rice@att.net wrote:
THIS game is not the LCG, it's the CCG - which is out of print,


That's what I thought but Grimstax, the guy who posted this thread, makes it very clear from his first paragraph that this game is a LCG and relies on "chapters", hence my confusion. I didn't see anything in the thread that disputed this viewpoint, which by the way is the hottest review on this edition.

Maybe Grimstax can explain this?


Hi Alex! I haven't heard the episode of Dice Tower that you are referring to, so I don't know exactly what Tom was talking about. My review is for the Core Set for the new Living Card Game. You have everything you need in the Core Set to play with 4 houses to your heart's content. The LCG Chapter packs have copies of every new card for the set, so there is no hunting for rares.

I think the confusion here is that the game first started a few years ago as a "normal" type of collectible card game, with booster packs, etc. Upon release of this core set FFG basically "reset" the game, much to the chagrin of loyal players everywhere. I like the LCG concept, but there was some confusion at the "re-issuing" of the game as a Living Card Game. It didn't help the confusion that FFG was still advertising the old collectible cards (which couldn't be used in tournament play) to try to sell out their stock.

That being said, you could spend lots of money on extra cards and especially the extra House sets with the LCG as well, but you don't have to, and you never have to buy a booster pack "hoping to get a good rare card" as all cards are included in the new Chapter packs.

I still play with just the Core Set and have much fun. The 4 main Houses from the series are included (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, and Targaryan), with most of the major characters represented. You only need to buy more if you crave variety or the other Houses.

Does that answer your inquiry or can I help further? Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex N
United States
Metuchen
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the quick reply, Grimstax.

First of all, the episode I listened to was #142 on the Dice Tower podcast, featuring a 8 minute rant by Moritz Eggert on how it was still very expensive to appreciate the new LCG concept introduced by Fantasy Flight. You should listen to it.

I couldn't tell if he was referring to A Game of Thrones Collectible Card Game which you elegantly spoke about in this thread or A Game of Thrones: The Card Game since reviews on both of these games on BGG refer to the LCG concept. Having said that, I wanted to know what the major differences were between these two editions.

Maybe you can clarify on this so I can decide which edition is best for newbies who have never entered the realm of collectible card games.

Again, thank you for following up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My review is for the Core Set of "A Game of Thrones: The Card Game." That is the official listing on FFG's website for their newest version of the game. They have discontinued the "Collectible Card Game." Some confusion on this review is that I reviewed straight after the GenCon premiere in 2008 and there wasn't a BGG place for the new game yet. I have been unsuccessful in getting attempts to have this moved to that category.

The CCG is no longer in print (but a few booster packs are available).

Anything published the last 4 years has been for this version. It sounds like the point being made on The Dice Tower is that an LCG is still pretty expensive and I would have to agree. But only if you want to obsess about it like many CCG players do. It's how the publisher makes money.

It sounds like Moritz was comparing the LCG concept (invented by FFG) with a "regular" collectible card game, like Magic. He is saying you can still spend lots of money on both.

You seem to be saying you are new to the collectible genre, so I believe you will like the Core Set of "A Game of Thrones: The Card Game." It has 4 playable faction decks, a board, and tokens to help keep track of things. They added the use of Gold coins (note I mention that in the review), so some cards from the old set are not compatible. I believe the Core Set sells for around $40 if I remember, and has everything 2-4 players would ever need to play a great multi-player card game with Houses and characters from the books/TV series. You don't have to buy anything else. Really. If you are just going to play with your friends, you don't need anything else.

This Core Set was designed to try to reach out to the boardgamer market by having everything self contained. I got that from the designer's mouth. Then perhaps to get players to buy the chapter packs to add cards to each House. But you don't have to.

This game is a wonderful multi-player card game, especially for fans of the series/books. Since there is out-of-print stuff out there and you might get confused, I highly recommend you just go to your FLGS and get a "A Game of Thrones: The Card Game" Core Set off the shelf. Perhaps even get a demo. There was no "Core Set" in the Collectible Card Game version.

I really think that might be all you need, Alex. Hopefully you are less confused. $40, not $200. I still play with my friends using just the $40 Core Set. I'm a boardgamer and they made it for me.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex N
United States
Metuchen
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That entirely clears up the confusion Grimstax! Geek gold to you for taking the time to explain everything! Adding new games to the database is now as easy as 1-2-3. Just look at:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/BGG_Guide_to_Game_Submiss...

I now feel comfortable in going after this card game, especially since I picked up the 1st season of "Game of Thrones" on Blu-Ray for just $25 at Costco. I would love to see Fantasy Flight extend this to "The Walking Dead". Wouldn't that be a hoot! zombie
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.