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Subject: How important are promos? rss

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I've been looking at deckbuilding games today, found this, then was very disappointed to see there are "promo" cards.

How important are these for the game?

If lack of the promos is equivalent to destroying 10% of the game parts before playing, I can't imagine buying the game. Or perhaps I will wait for a second edition.

I should note that I don't attend gamer conventions, nor buy stuff from ebay or BGG. I need to buy complete games.
 
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Lee Wardle
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You don't need them to play the game, but as with the majority of deck building games; the more cards to choose from when setting up, the more variance you will have in your games.
 
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Oliver Graf
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The games are complete without the promos. For example the first promo (Zombie Horde) has no way to get it's kicker activated if you only have the basic Nightfall set.

As you can see in this Visual Aid the cards in the set are balanced (chain wise). In essence the promos destroy this balance.
 
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David Gregg
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lydon wrote:
In essence the promos destroy this balance.

Note that the promos will cycle through 1 of each color, so every other set (3 promos per set) will maintain the chain balance.
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Todd Rowland
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s3rvant wrote:
lydon wrote:
In essence the promos destroy this balance.

Note that the promos will cycle through 1 of each color, so every other set (3 promos per set) will maintain the chain balance.


It's almost like you planned that.
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AEGTodd wrote:
It's almost like you planned that.

cool
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Robbie M.
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I just picked up Martial Law and it includes dividers for another 3 promos. So now, it's one down, five to go.

Edit: I hit the only Lvl1 store in my state (CT) and grabbed the NF promos and TStone promos. So now, three down, three to go.
 
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This a "show-stopper" for me. I have a little too much of "collector's disease" not to be unhappy about having an incomplete set, so on balance it's better not to get started.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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gyc365 wrote:
This a "show-stopper" for me. I have a little too much of "collector's disease" not to be unhappy about having an incomplete set, so on balance it's better not to get started.


I don't see this as an issue when the cards so far have been easy to get.
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rickert wrote:
gyc365 wrote:
This a "show-stopper" for me. I have a little too much of "collector's disease" not to be unhappy about having an incomplete set, so on balance it's better not to get started.

I don't see this as an issue when the cards so far have been easy to get.

In some locations, for some people, they may be easy to get. For me, in a city where the game and at least one major expansion are readily available, they are not. And my one lifetime experience of spending excessive amounts of time and energy to get the components necessary to play a game (not MtG is already behind me.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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gyc365 wrote:
rickert wrote:
gyc365 wrote:
This a "show-stopper" for me. I have a little too much of "collector's disease" not to be unhappy about having an incomplete set, so on balance it's better not to get started.

I don't see this as an issue when the cards so far have been easy to get.

In some locations, for some people, they may be easy to get. For me, in a city where the game and at least one major expansion are readily available, they are not. And my one lifetime experience of spending excessive amounts of time and energy to get the components necessary to play a game (not MtG is already behind me.


I disagree about two things. These promos aren't necessary to play the game. Secondly, how much easier could it be than getting them online from AEG.
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Oliver Graf
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We are all offering our advice here. And our advice is that promos are not important to play the game (even may offset the balance).

You seem to think that there is a rule that 'such games' need to be complete to be played.

Perhaps you could take this game as an exception that proves this rule?

And if you can't live with promos you might not get, well there is one simple solution: buy another game without promos (but be aware, this kind of games tend to attract the 'promo disease' quite easily...).

P.S.: and yes, I'm currently trying hard to get those promos here in Germany, cause I don't like to stick my credit card in some distant online store I have no control over. But trying to get a promo is part of the whole fun, isn't it?
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Vince Lupo
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Promos are never needed. They sometimes add a little bit of fun but often can be silly and unbalancing.

Deck building games, by their very nature, are easy to expand and add promos for.

I did have to pick up the treasure chest expansion for San Juan because I heard the extra cards make the game more fun. In that case it's true, but it's a single deck game that really needed those cards. It sounds like Nightfall is balanced without the promos. Get it from a local store or amazon or something and if you like it, buy the expansion and then consider the promos.
 
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I've debated with myself whether it would be polite to explain why these promos are a show-stopper for me. But perhaps I'm representative of a noticeable part of the gaming community, so here goes:

As someone who hasn't played the game, I can only view the promos as either being completely useless (unbalancing, and therefore best never used in the game) or necessary. It would be contradictory to be able to judge for myself, and while I do appreciate the help, I've found this thread to be ambiguous overall. I'm going with "uncertain" on this point.

I've learned (here) that there is a related set of three promos for each of two sets, and that if there are more sets, there will be more promos. I have no practical way to get two of the current three. There's nothing to suggest I'll ever be able to get them, or that this problem won't recur with later sets. Postal rates to move tiny packages to where I live mean that even if I can get the promos one pack at a time, they will add around 35% to the price of the game. For each and every standard game package.


When I select card games to try out, the "rejection priority" is:

A. "Cardboard crack" business model (CCG, LCG, etc)
B. Game (mechanics, style, theme, etc) doesn't suit me or others in my gaming group
C. Necessary components unavailable
D. High cost

There's another important rejection criterion too: uncertainty. I can only introduce a limited number of games to my group, and each failure makes it a little harder to introduce the next game.

Note that I didn't write "will need at least one "patch" to be really good". I expect that. But regardless of how the "patch(es)" are initially delivered I expect to be able to get them without too much trouble.

So the point of all this is that the promos are the reason I'm not planning to buy Nightfall. Perhaps I'm the only gamer in the world with these criteria, in which case my decision is not a problem for anyone else. But in case there could be more like me, there are any number of easy fixes:

* Make any extra components (e.g. the promos) conveniently available world-wide at some point
* Consider the issues for the major non-US regions (cost, postage, customs, getting any "free" packages to current customers) when choosing the means of distribution
* Announce this as a supplier policy, either from the original developer and IP owner, or from each and every local publisher

As far as I can see, the easiest way to do this would be to put the "expansion X-1" promos in the box for "expansion X", but I've never seen this happen, so I suppose there are hidden difficulties.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I think your premise is flawed. Good promos are neither unbalancing or useless. They are interesting and fun. I really don't see how they can be construed as necessary unless the game is poorly designed and they fix a problem. Nightfall isn't poorly designed and they don't fix any problems. Unless a player just can't play a game unless they own everything for said game, these promos shouldn't influence any buying decisions.
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Edward Bolme
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Every release in Nightfall has a self-contained and symmetrical linkage ring. That is, if you arrange the colors in order, each card links to the two colors clockwise, and kicks from one of the two colors counterclockwise.

The promo card form their own separate linkage ring. Their absence does not mean you will miss anything, since the rings included in NF and NF:ML are each complete.

Their presence adds another ring, one that is, at this time, incomplete. Which can be good (if you like unpredictability) or bad (if you like symmetry) or just cool (if you like promo cards).

We don't directly sell our promos to make a profit. We use them in ways that will hopefully spur interest and excitement. And we do work to make them accessible to all.

In the long run, once the promo color wheel is complete, you may see them appear somewhere that is easy for everyone to get. But we're a ways from that yet.
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Vince Lupo
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gyc365 wrote:
I've debated with myself whether it would be polite to explain why these promos are a show-stopper for me. But perhaps I'm representative of a noticeable part of the gaming community, so here goes:

As someone who hasn't played the game, I can only view the promos as either being completely useless (unbalancing, and therefore best never used in the game) or necessary. It would be contradictory to be able to judge for myself, and while I do appreciate the help, I've found this thread to be ambiguous overall. I'm going with "uncertain" on this point.

I've learned (here) that there is a related set of three promos for each of two sets, and that if there are more sets, there will be more promos. I have no practical way to get two of the current three. There's nothing to suggest I'll ever be able to get them, or that this problem won't recur with later sets. Postal rates to move tiny packages to where I live mean that even if I can get the promos one pack at a time, they will add around 35% to the price of the game. For each and every standard game package.


When I select card games to try out, the "rejection priority" is:

A. "Cardboard crack" business model (CCG, LCG, etc)
B. Game (mechanics, style, theme, etc) doesn't suit me or others in my gaming group
C. Necessary components unavailable
D. High cost

There's another important rejection criterion too: uncertainty. I can only introduce a limited number of games to my group, and each failure makes it a little harder to introduce the next game.

Note that I didn't write "will need at least one "patch" to be really good". I expect that. But regardless of how the "patch(es)" are initially delivered I expect to be able to get them without too much trouble.

So the point of all this is that the promos are the reason I'm not planning to buy Nightfall. Perhaps I'm the only gamer in the world with these criteria, in which case my decision is not a problem for anyone else. But in case there could be more like me, there are any number of easy fixes:

* Make any extra components (e.g. the promos) conveniently available world-wide at some point
* Consider the issues for the major non-US regions (cost, postage, customs, getting any "free" packages to current customers) when choosing the means of distribution
* Announce this as a supplier policy, either from the original developer and IP owner, or from each and every local publisher

As far as I can see, the easiest way to do this would be to put the "expansion X-1" promos in the box for "expansion X", but I've never seen this happen, so I suppose there are hidden difficulties.




If a game is fun without the promos or an expansion, then all you need is that game.


Expanding the game via promos or expansions is optional at that point. I suggest ONLY when you have played the original enough to feel like adding more variety to the gameplay. In MANY games, expansions are a bad idea because it can split your gamers.

Ex: My group likes Settlers of Catan but I'm the only one willing to try expansions. Most of my group doesn't seem to like seafarers for some reason. Probably because they expected the ships to be more flexible in movement and less like roads. So, now I basically have that expansion and a couple others that nobody wants to play with because they just like regular catan. :(

Carcassonne is hard to expand very much because each expansion seems to add 20 minutes or more to the game because the draw stack just keeps growing.

Also, often when you teach a new player, you can't even play with the expansion because it's too complex to teach the game + expansion.



Dominion and many deck building games are what I what I consider perfectly expandable. Because you can have the presence of an expansion, even with a new player, and it's not a big deal at all. That means you can use your expansions more often. At the same time though, they aren't even necessary because the base game is very fun. In the case of dominion, I just love the game so much that I will get every expansion because it's great fun. And I can play MANY games of dominion in an evening. Replay value is THROUGH THE ROOF.

I won't expand likely expand Thunderstone because it takes longer and we haven't played it as much.

Sadly, I won't pick up Cities and Knights for Catan, I'm fairly sure. Though I MIGHT get the Catan Trails to Rails America game.



I am getting Nightfall this week and I don't know whether I'll bother with the promos and expansion yet. If the game feels just right without them, then I probably won't. If we play it a LOT then I'll consider the extra stuff as a bonus. But I don't know enough about the "rings" and kickers to say whether I'll like having "incomplete rings" yet, or more rings.



Here's an example expansions from the video game side:

Borderlands is a pc game that is very good. It has tons of replay value. I liked it so much that I got the expansions/dlc for it.
But someone else might play it, love it and not get the expansions.



My point is, don't let the presence of extra material for a game stop you from buying and enjoying a game on it's own. Especially if the reviews say good things about the original game on it's own. Reviewers on here are pretty good about saying how they review a game and which expansions they do or don't have. Do your own research and decide. Which you may have already in this case, which is fine of course.


I just find it a hard to understand perspective that a game needs it's expansions. Most expansions I see primarily just add replay value.
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Daniel DuBois
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Yeah, I hate the existence of promos. I want to buy one box and get everything, not be spending time and money trying to track them down to satisfy my OCD completionist. Even if I could get them for free via mail-in box top or whatever, I still would prefer they not exist, just due to the hassle involved. But five $ for one card from the BGG store, UGGH! It's like M:tG all over again.

If you included the promos in subsequent expansions, so the hardcore promo-lovers could enjoy being first to have them, but still making it easy/free for me to get them delayed, then I'd be fine with them.

Honestly, I don't get the rationale behind it. I can't imagine people are buying Nightfall because Shadow Seven exists. It seems to me expansions are being released quickly enough to keep the game fresh. How do they make AEG more money?
 
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ddubois wrote:
Yeah, I hate the existence of promos. I want to buy one box and get everything, not be spending time and money trying to track them down to satisfy my OCD completionist. Even if I could get them for free via mail-in box top or whatever, I still would prefer they not exist, just due to the hassle involved. But five $ for one card from the BGG store, UGGH! It's like M:tG all over again.

If you included the promos in subsequent expansions, so the hardcore promo-lovers could enjoy being first to have them, but still making it easy/free for me to get them delayed, then I'd be fine with them.

Honestly, I don't get the rationale behind it. I can't imagine people are buying Nightfall because Shadow Seven exists. It seems to me expansions are being released quickly enough to keep the game fresh. How do they make AEG more money?


It keeps news of the game out there even between releases. Plus, the way AEG is using the last ones, it helps out the stores that carry the product and provide table space for customers to play.
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Because AEG decided to include file divider cards for the first three promos in the initial Nightfall set, the set seems incomplete without the cards to go with them.
Cost of the first promo, through BGG = $5
Cost of the next two promos, through AEG = $5+ (could have been over $80, depending on the shipping option chosen).

So it could seem like it costs an additional $10 just to complete the basic game set.
 
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Abdiel Gotabo
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Obviously AEG has it’s commercial reasons for realizing promos, some of which have already been mentioned. So yes it is about the money, be it directly (more products to sell at a higher price) or more indirectly (keep getting the attention for the game between the releases of regular expansions), and generally there’s nothing bad about this fact.

I think the limits of what types of marketing strategies are acceptable have to be defined by each customer for him- or herself. I personally consider the marketing strategy of the producers of collectable card games more or less equal to those of drug dealers (create addiction and abuse) and therefore I never jumped on that train (I personally never liked Magic but had a really hard time resisting starting Vampire Eternal Struggle). That’s why I appreciate the rising popularity of card games which are not based on the concept of selling blisters with unknown content like Dominion and Nightfall. But I have friends who had good times spending fortunes in Magic and who don’t regret it. When the victim is happy, too, I think its okay.

I personally don’t like promos neither, but if they serve to keep Nightfall as a games series alive, I consider them helpful (until now for it being 3 promos/expansion and the fact that the game is perfectly playable without them). I also think AEG could be doing worse things: For example the marketing strategy of Warhammer Invasion with monthly releases of a small amount of new cards will prevent me from ever starting it.

However I would like to back one point which has been risen: There are people living in places where it’s really hard getting promos and the shipping cost from the USA are immensely high. I would appreciate it if AEG could release boxes containing all the promos released in the future. But since there can be made money with that I´m confident that we will see that happen.
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edbolme wrote:
Every release in Nightfall has a self-contained and symmetrical linkage ring. That is, if you arrange the colors in order, each card links to the two colors clockwise, and kicks from one of the two colors counterclockwise.

The promo card form their own separate linkage ring. Their absence does not mean you will miss anything, since the rings included in NF and NF:ML are each complete.


With this in mind would you recommend still using the same rules of shuffling all draft cards together before the game to determine the archives (NF, ML and promo draft cards)? By having only 1 or 2 promo cards end up in the game, does that throw off the balance too much? Should I just include ALL or NONE of those cards to keep things balanced with promos?
 
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mattamd wrote:
With this in mind would you recommend still using the same rules of shuffling all draft cards together before the game to determine the archives (NF, ML and promo draft cards)? By having only 1 or 2 promo cards end up in the game, does that throw off the balance too much? Should I just include ALL or NONE of those cards to keep things balanced with promos?

This is why the official draft setup is changing with each release (larger draft sizes and face up commons first with Blood Country). You can mix in which ever promos you want, though "all" or "none" would be better for linking potential as every other set (6 promos) will return the total link numbers to a balanced state.
 
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s3rvant wrote:
mattamd wrote:
With this in mind would you recommend still using the same rules of shuffling all draft cards together before the game to determine the archives (NF, ML and promo draft cards)? By having only 1 or 2 promo cards end up in the game, does that throw off the balance too much? Should I just include ALL or NONE of those cards to keep things balanced with promos?

This is why the official draft setup is changing with each release (larger draft sizes and face up commons first with Blood Country). You can mix in which ever promos you want, though "all" or "none" would be better for linking potential as every other set (6 promos) will return the total link numbers to a balanced state.



So, it's better to get no promos or all promos. That seems fair. It's easy enough to ignore them if I need to.
 
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Neo42 wrote:
So, it's better to get no promos or all promos. That seems fair. It's easy enough to ignore them if I need to.

Either that or swap out similarly colored cards before drafting so that the odds of each color remain even.
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