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Subject: LCG's...good thing or bad? rss

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Jessey
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I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.
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Rishi A.
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Hmm. Nightfall isn't an LCG.

I think the trick is to not try to collect all the LCGs. Find one you like and stick with that. I do think that FFG has too many properties going at once, but I don't think they expect people to play everything.
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I guess I would ask what you want (or need) from your LCG?

I play very casually, so the base games are just fine for me.

More to the point, buying the boosters would actually ruin the experience for me. I play mainly Warhammer: Invasion and Call of Cthulhu with my wife and a friend and they aren’t going to build their own decks. My friend is into the MTG tournament scene and my wife as no desire to deck build. So, the “out of the box” decks are great. (Especially Call of Cthulhu…the possible combinations make that one endless.)

So, if you are buying simply to satisfy a craving or a desire to collect, then there is little difference between an LCG or CCG…you’ve just switched the specific target of your craving and you’re stuck. However, if you are looking to LCG’s for gameplay, then take a look at your potential player pool and ask yourself if all these cards are really enhancing the game for you.

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PollutedMonkey wrote:

But you have to admit LCGs does do away with blind purchase/random boosters..

On the flipside you can't buy singles, but have to buy complete sets.

I've spend a lot on Magic - but it also lasted me over 4 years. Look forward to seeing the longevity of the new LCGs.


Good point. Though, most of my Magic expenses after the first year were singles - I built decks with a 60$ / deck limit and I did well by it. I made 3 decks over 8 months and it served me very well. I only stopped because I was running into the stale problem - playing the same deck over and over gets dull, and after a while it started to feel like every deck was like-enough to another I had made that I was bleh. I went all 'Johnny' and started making wacky decks that worked and then quit. Overall I played for 5 years so not a bad haul, and I recouped a bunch of money selling my cards off (I kept my 2 favourite decks though and still have them just in case ).

The thing that was nice about M:tG was the ability to hit up a local store on Friday night and know I can get a game in against someone probably new. While I see LCG's as more of a 'buy to play with your friends'.

That aside, War of Honor does have my attention because it's all in one box, stands alone and I don't need any deckbuilding to do it. I've always admired L5R from a distance, but never wanted to break into another CCG, and at least their model isn't deceptive - they say up front it's a set of CCG precons that is fully compatible with the rest of the game.
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Rishi A.
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PollutedMonkey wrote:
Rishi wrote:
Hmm. Nightfall isn't an LCG.

I think the trick is to not try to collect all the LCGs. Find one you like and stick with that. I do think that FFG has too many properties going at once, but I don't think they expect people to play everything.


While it's only Fantasy Flight who uses the LCG label for their games, I would argue that LCGs = expandable card games; which also included the popular deck building games, and Summoner Wars.. All of which are getting a lot of expansions.


I am okay with calling Summoner Wars an LCG, but there needs to be the ability to build your own deck apart from the game itself. By your definition, Race for the Galaxy is an LCG.
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Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.


But the benefit of LCG's is you know what you're getting. Blind purchases are annoying, although the thrill of getting a great card is a good feeling.
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Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.


Same thing happened to me. I was all pumped to get back into Call Of Cthulhu, but between the "reinvesting" and the over-protective tournament scene that still exists... I dropped it all together. I'd rather deal with the headaches of Magic since at least I know I can find people to play with on any given day.

It doesn't matter to me that "everyone has the same cards" because you still have to spend money to get those cards just as you would in Magic. And in order to do so you HAVE to buy everything to be on the same page, where Magic you can go onto a million online shops and buy what you need for your deck and be done.

In fact, it's common practice that many competitive Magic players DON'T buy boosters unless they are playing in limited events like drafts. It's just easier to go in to your shop, plop down a few bucks and buy singles, and sleeve up your deck.
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I gave up on CoC after not too long, mostly because I started playing W:I instead. But yes, the release schedules are a bit too frequent. I've gotten everything up to Bleeding Sun, but am not looking to expand much further at this point.

But LCG = good thing
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Rishi wrote:
PollutedMonkey wrote:
Rishi wrote:
Hmm. Nightfall isn't an LCG.

I think the trick is to not try to collect all the LCGs. Find one you like and stick with that. I do think that FFG has too many properties going at once, but I don't think they expect people to play everything.


While it's only Fantasy Flight who uses the LCG label for their games, I would argue that LCGs = expandable card games; which also included the popular deck building games, and Summoner Wars.. All of which are getting a lot of expansions.


I am okay with calling Summoner Wars an LCG, but there needs to be the ability to build your own deck apart from the game itself. By your definition, Race for the Galaxy is an LCG.


OK. Race for the Galaxy is an LCG. In fact with the new set of expansions which are not designed to mix with the old one, you can kind of "deck build" the main deck (ok, fine you have 2 choices). Race definitely has a much slower release curve though.
 
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Rishi wrote:
PollutedMonkey wrote:
Rishi wrote:
Hmm. Nightfall isn't an LCG.

I think the trick is to not try to collect all the LCGs. Find one you like and stick with that. I do think that FFG has too many properties going at once, but I don't think they expect people to play everything.


While it's only Fantasy Flight who uses the LCG label for their games, I would argue that LCGs = expandable card games; which also included the popular deck building games, and Summoner Wars.. All of which are getting a lot of expansions.


I am okay with calling Summoner Wars an LCG, but there needs to be the ability to build your own deck apart from the game itself. By your definition, Race for the Galaxy is an LCG.


I'm not sure that I'd label Summoner Wars as an LCG...more like an expandable board game (a subtle distinction, I'll admit, but a fair one).
 
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ImaginaryRoot wrote:
Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.


But the benefit of LCG's is you know what you're getting. Blind purchases are annoying, although the thrill of getting a great card is a good feeling.


Well said, this exactly.
 
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ImaginaryRoot wrote:
Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.


But the benefit of LCG's is you know what you're getting. Blind purchases are annoying, although the thrill of getting a great card is a good feeling.


You do have a valid point, though on the CCG front because of the random packaging stores and people would but a ton, open em' up and sell the singles. Unless you're building the 'new hotness' decks or zeroing in on the super costly cards (I'm talking before this Mythic Rare garbage they have now) you can save a lot of money buy only buying good cards - and then you don't get the crap.

Not to say LCG's force the crap on you - the format encourages every card to have value; and if an LCG ships with a card that's like an Mt:G common then the designers have failed to leverage the greatest value of the format. If everyone has every card then every card should be equally valuable - otherwise you're just as bad as Mt:G in trying to construct a money tree.

And again, I want to say - LCG's are not a bad thing; they're just not my thing and I think a lot of the LCG v CCG arguments fail to hold much water. They're comparable formats but not the same format and each has merits over the other and appeal to different crowds (which have a natural overlap).

Also, Summoner Wars is borderline CCG if you asked me - especially with those Reinforcement Packs.
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Candi wrote:

And again, I want to say - LCG's are not a bad thing; they're just not my thing and I think a lot of the LCG v CCG arguments fail to hold much water. They're comparable formats but not the same format and each has merits over the other and appeal to different crowds (which have a natural overlap).



I'm with you 100%. It's a great format that has obviously produced results for FFG, and there are more people playing COC than when it was a CCG. However I think everyone needs to be aware that it's not REALLY immune to the CCG trap of "spending gobs to be competitive." If you plan to play in tournaments... expect to pay your way to the best deck possible if you want to do well.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who just by a Core Set and call it a day as well.
 
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Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.


I don't understand how this is possible - unless you make very few purchases at all with Magic.

Pick one LCG at random. I'll pick Game of Thrones to make my point. The Chapter Packs come out once a month. $15 a month. 4 Magic boosters cost more than that. With the LCG, you spend $15 a month and you have a full playset. How much would you have to spend on Magic to achieve the same?

True, there's also the occasional deluxe expansion for $30. Even with these and the cost of the monthly Chapter Pack, from an economic standpoint, the LCG is a far better choice for both the casual and the competitive player.
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Candi wrote:
I originally was pulled to LCG's hoping for a CCG like game that doesn't come with the price tag... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.

This says nothing about LCG's as games - they look like they are legitimately fun (and that's great!) but the marketing as "Like a CCG but without random boosters!" is deceptive. It's still just as (if not more) expensive with the aggressive release schedules.

Base set, $40; 1 "big" expansion, $30; 6 regular packs, $90. That's what you'd be spending in 6 months. That's $27 per month. I spent less than that when I was playing Magic, too, but I was just messing around with the guys from work: I didn't even have the base for drafting, and any standard deck I might have tried would have been a bad joke.

If you were able to enjoy Magic on less than 7 boosters a month (or, from the sound of it, the monetary equivalent in singles), then why are you comparing to the full release schedule of an LCG? Why not just get the base set, and add single packs if they sound interesting/useful? It just seems like you're comparing apples to fruit baskets.

Edit: Looks like I wasn't the only one confused. Just the slower typist
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Zambo wrote:
Pick one LCG at random. I'll pick Game of Thrones to make my point. The Chapter Packs come out once a month. $15 a month. 4 Magic boosters cost more than that. With the LCG, you spend $15 a month and you have a full playset. How much would you have to spend on Magic to achieve the same?


Because not everyone buys boosters, and some only buy singles. To be fair, my example is from an established player who knows what they are looking for and follows the scene...

Each new MTG set comes out every 3 months. So for $45 bucks you have your AGOT packs (not counting core sets). For $45 bucks you can usually buy playsets of many of the cards you need from a new set, and for a set you don't like, it's extra money to put towards the next. I had a $50 a set spending cap on my Magic habit. It was easy to make it stretch! Of course where the LCG wins, is you usually cannot buy that big bonkers rare in your $45 cap.

Bwian wrote:
If you were able to enjoy Magic on less than 7 boosters a month (or, from the sound of it, the monetary equivalent in singles), then why are you comparing to the full release schedule of an LCG? Why not just get the base set, and add single packs if they sound interesting/useful? It just seems like you're comparing apples to fruit baskets.


In Magic, there are 175-300+ cards in every set. There is plenty of "filler" for booster drafting and selaed deck. For a regular player, it's easy to skip buying boosters because you know which cards you want. For the price of a booster you can get a few playsets of the commons/uncommons you need. In an LCG, if you are a completionist, collector, or tournament player... EVERY pack is a good pack and EVERY pack is a must own.

I see what you're saying,and agree in the right situations, but again... there is this idea that magic players run around blindly buying booster packs, and a large chunk of players never buy a booster unless it's part of the tournament fee.
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stagger lee wrote:
Bwian wrote:
If you were able to enjoy Magic on less than 7 boosters a month (or, from the sound of it, the monetary equivalent in singles), then why are you comparing to the full release schedule of an LCG? Why not just get the base set, and add single packs if they sound interesting/useful? It just seems like you're comparing apples to fruit baskets.

In Magic, there are 175-300+ cards in every set. There is plenty of "filler" for booster drafting and selaed deck. For a regular player, it's easy to skip buying boosters because you know which cards you want. For the price of a booster you can get a few playsets of the commons/uncommons you need. In an LCG, if you are a completionist, collector, or tournament player... EVERY pack is a good pack and EVERY pack is a must own.

Is that true, though? Packs tend to have themes: for example, one pack in Call of Cthulhu concentrated on the Arcane struggle IIRC. If your tournament deck ignores the Arcane struggle (to concentrate on some other area), you don't need to buy that pack. If you only care about one or two "colors", you might not need a given pack: the 4-6 cards in those colors might not mesh with your deck.

And although there isn't a global secondary market, there's nothing preventing you from trading cards within your play group. Especially if people tend to concentrate on certain colors, which is often the case. I mean, at $45 a set I assume you weren't trying to maintain playable decks in every color?

stagger lee wrote:
I see what you're saying,and agree in the right situations, but again... there is this idea that magic players run around blindly buying booster packs, and a large chunk of players never buy a booster unless it's part of the tournament fee.

The idea I'm having trouble with is players who are spending less that $27 a month on Magic, despite the fact that I did it myself. If you're buying singles, you can blow that budget on a single card. If you're entering tournaments, that's two sealed or three drafts in a month. And if you just have two decks that you pull out when college friends come by, you aren't really a Magic player, are you?

So I agree, in the right situations the LCG might look more expensive. But they're pretty specific situations. In my case, we played sealed every week, but no one cared if some people re-used boosters: I just kept a spreadsheet so I could re-separate cards, and make sure I hadn't used the same combination before. But I've never talked to anyone outside our group who was even interested in that idea.
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Candi wrote:
... and realized if I purchased the LCG and it's expansions at the rate they come out I would end up spending more money per month then I ever spent on Magic.
Not to be an "I told ya so!" but there were many Magic players who pointed this out early, and were summarily shouted down as heretics.

And I love FFG, and I love 2 out of their first 3 LCGs, but to act like they aren't a pain in the wallet to keep up with has always been disingenuous.
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Bwian wrote:
The idea I'm having trouble with is players who are spending less that $27 a month on Magic, despite the fact that I did it myself. If you're buying singles, you can blow that budget on a single card. If you're entering tournaments, that's two sealed or three drafts in a month. And if you just have two decks that you pull out when college friends come by, you aren't really a Magic player, are you?


I get it, and I agree. Situations vary from place to place, and hell some shops charge cost for boosters even which messes with things... But there are even MTG players who can't fathom ever playing in drafts because they are paying $15 a pop for what ends up being $5 in cards. Those limited players aren't really Magic players after all?
 
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For me, it has so far turned out to be mostly a bad thing. The only LCG I have is Blue Moon. A friend bought me the base game for Christmas a year or two ago, then a couple expansion packs for my birthday. So far, I've played exactly once. My wife said she'd be willing to try it again, but we've put it off so long--and have so many other games--that she's probably forgotten about it. Meanwhile, though, I bought all the expansions for it. And since it's OOP, I guess that means I have a complete set.

But it never gets played.
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Candi wrote:

That aside, War of Honor does have my attention because it's all in one box, stands alone and I don't need any deckbuilding to do it. I've always admired L5R from a distance, but never wanted to break into another CCG, and at least their model isn't deceptive - they say up front it's a set of CCG precons that is fully compatible with the rest of the game.


You're a good person, and we like you!


Seriously, all of you check out War of Honor. Ok, done plugging, back to your LCG discussion.
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Well, they would be great but for a few small details:

Most of them have some sort of "neutral" cards, and if you wanted to get cards in order to build two decks to compete against each other, you would need to buy 2 copies of any chapter pack with those neutrals in them.

While they don't require as much monetary commitment (which is debatable) as classic CCGs, they do require some level of commitment to the developing, building, and testing of decks. For maximum effect, you need to have another player in your area who is at the same level of commitment as you are.

So, what I would want from an LCG is that the releases contain everything you would want for two players, and collected decklists that play well against each other so that you can just count out the cards and go.

Also, while not fitting the traditional thought of the term "CCG", most of the modern board games played primarily with cards are CCGs. Dominion is a CCG, as is RFTG, as is Summoner Wars. They would all balk at being called CCGs, as there is a sort of stigma associated with CCGs among many boardgamers. However, they are card games, and you can collect them. I know my Dominion habit can border on $100 a year. I don't care that you get "the whole game in one box" - to make it complete, you must collect them all.
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stagger lee wrote:
Bwian wrote:
The idea I'm having trouble with is players who are spending less that $27 a month on Magic, despite the fact that I did it myself. If you're buying singles, you can blow that budget on a single card. If you're entering tournaments, that's two sealed or three drafts in a month. And if you just have two decks that you pull out when college friends come by, you aren't really a Magic player, are you?

I get it, and I agree. Situations vary from place to place, and hell some shops charge cost for boosters even which messes with things... But there are even MTG players who can't fathom ever playing in drafts because they are paying $15 a pop for what ends up being $5 in cards. Those limited players aren't really Magic players after all?

I'd generally say you aren't a Magic player if you aren't playing at least twice a month, more likely once a week. You might be a card player, or a gamer, but you aren't specifically a Magic player. (And I don't currently consider myself a Magic player, for the record: I switched jobs, and haven't played Magic since.)

And if I'm working from this definition, I don't see many people under $27 a month. One booster box per set? Over $27. Netdecking? Over $27. Playing in weekly limited tournaments? Over $27. I mean, yes, I'm sure some people only play constructed, and only buy cheap new singles to add to their decks: I'm talking to one such person. I managed to play 5 lunch-hours a week, in limited format, for under $27 a month. But I know my situation was abnormal, and I fail to see why a "cheap singles" play group would refuse to split up LCG packs in an agreeable manner.

P.S. I'm using MSRP for my numbers, because those are easy to find. Yes, you can get Magic boosters for below list. But then, you can get LCG packs for below list, too.
 
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Quote:
Also, while not fitting the traditional thought of the term "CCG", most of the modern board games played primarily with cards are CCGs. Dominion is a CCG, as is RFTG, as is Summoner Wars. They would all balk at being called CCGs, as there is a sort of stigma associated with CCGs among many boardgamers. However, they are card games, and you can collect them. I know my Dominion habit can border on $100 a year. I don't care that you get "the whole game in one box" - to make it complete, you must collect them all.


I think you might be stretching the definition of “CCG” here.

Granted, RFTG and Dominion are card games and we can “collect” them in the sense that they have regular expansions. However, Runebound and Dungeon Twister also have expansions and we don’t call them “collectible board games.” It just seems too cumbersome.

From a pedantic point of view you are right, but “CCG” has come to signify a very specific type of card game typified by MTG. LCG would probably fit into that definition also, but for the marketing space FFG is trying to carve out by differentiation.

Language should attempt to be as clean as possible and lumping RFTG & Dominion into the same category of game as MTG because they both have cards and “expansions” in one form or another would seem to muddle the waters to me. They have entirely different metagame spaces that function in discrete ways.

Also, this notion of “complete,” I would take issue with. From a collection standpoint, you are right, but not from a gameplay standpoint. One can own the entire base set of Dominon in one box for one price and never have to look at another Dominion card again. The variations are exponential in that one set. One could be an avid and passionate Dominion player with just that one set. I don’t see this as the same thing with a CCG.

You certainly can get “one deck” in those prepackaged releases, but this is not the “entire base game.” Any change, even as mundane as a basic land, requires another purchase. Now, one could be entirely satisfied with their one prebuilt MTG deck for years and never buy another card again. I don’t think, however, one could say the game is “complete.” In a very real way, Dominion and RFTG are absolutely complete in those base games.

The expansions enhance play and add to it, but with a CCG those boosters and other cards are crucial even to basic play. I think even the most ambivalent and disinterested MTG player probably bought a booster or two to go along with their starter. I absolutely love RFTG but see no need to buy the expansion because for me, the game is already “complete.”

In this regard, I would subjectively say that it is tough to say when a CCG is “complete,” if it ever is. One of the defining characteristics is that the environment is constantly changing. Also, from a personal standpoint, there is always something to chase. A good friend of mine is a Vintage/Legacy player with Power and every card he “needs” in those formats for whatever deck he wants to make. He literally has probably a hundred thousand cards all over his house…yet, he still goes to the shop and trades his $5 rare for a few uncommons that he “needs” for the Extended deck he wants to build.

Dominion he sees as a complete game, but MTG is an ongoing process. (He is already gearing up for the rotation later this year...this doesn't happen in non-CCG games.)

Kevin
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Bwian wrote:
I'd generally say you aren't a Magic player if you aren't playing at least twice a month, more likely once a week. You might be a card player, or a gamer, but you aren't specifically a Magic player. (And I don't currently consider myself a Magic player, for the record: I switched jobs, and haven't played Magic since.)


Yet if someone follows the blogs, the spoilers, the tournament scene, the forums, etc etc... and buys singles for the tournaments they do play... it's no different than people buying board games once a week and only really playing any of them once a month if they are lucky. We all know people who have 100+ games and really only get to play 6-7 times a year if they are lucky. Does that make them "not a board gamer?"

I know we're pinching at straws here... and the point of the matter is that there will be SOME people that will invest in LCGs more money than SOME regular players sink into Magic. The whole point of LCGs is that they are an "anti-CCG" with an appeal of "not having to spend as much."

Bwian, I think you'd find many MTG players who do exactly what you do. play regularily with a limited budget or card pool. You don't have to own 4 foil Mind Sculptors to enjoy or play regularily.

pkmatchbox wrote:
Coming back to my initial question, can I assume that not many of you collect every single one of the booster packs for your favorite LCG? Have you stopped collecting boosters for your favorite LCG? Is the cost of collecting your boosters becomming prohibative?


It was for me. I saw myself sinking hundreds in getting "caught up" in COC if I wanted to play again. I would have been playing in tournaments and being a fan from the old CCG days, there were cards printed in the Core Sets that I felt weren't as good choices as other old cards that they could have printed. I would have needed to collect most of the LCG boosters to feel like I was playing the same game I enjoyed back in the day.

Also, you really have to know where to look to find out the quality of cards for each booster. In a CCG, it's like a celebratory rite of passage to know the complete set before it comes out for some... in an LCG, many cards aren't known until it hits stores and people start opening. Then you have to wait around till someone wants to post the results online. To be, it was too much waiting, and I found myself getting "behind" quickly because I'd lose interest.
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