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A Game of Thrones: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Considering a purchase, but a few questions: rss

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Enon Sci
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It's late so I'll dispense with the verbage and get to the meat of my inquiries:

1) I've heard the core set has a runaway leader issue in 1 v 1. Would you chalk this up to player experience or design issues?

2) I'm a casual player with access to a large group. If I pick up this game, I'm sure to be the only one proactive enough to invest money into the product.

My question is: when I begin investing in the house *I* like (based on the source material, Lannister or Targaryen), how badly will I unbalance the game in my favor?

I hear contradictory statements about this game: people say that FFG has done a good job at avoiding power creep in their LCGs, but then go on to paint a picture of a power imbalance between those who invest and those that don't. I was hoping that the greater bodies of cards would perhaps offer more variety in strategy over strength, but I'm unsure whether this is the case.

To be honest, though I intend to be the sole provider of this game (and the principle deck builder until others seem keen), I really don't see myself investing like a completionist. I'd like to invest in what I intend to play and sod the rest. However, I like well matched, competitive games. What is a lad to do?

Lastly, and this might be a silly one, but:

3) *IF* another member decides to purchase an additional core, how difficult would it be playing with decks from two cores in a single multiplayer game?

In other words, does this game have a lot of "attachment" cards where cards from my deck can get placed into another's play-space? The principle concern here is mixing up our cards and having to laboriously count out our sets after every game. 'Course, house aligned cards would be easy to spot, but if there are a lot of neutrals that have the potential of flowing around the table, I wanted to appreciate the burden pre-purchase.

(all that said, it's not lost on me that any tournament styled card games must make it relatively ease to defend against this, but the question still remains).
 
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Christopher Hill
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For the most part I think the core set card decks are relatively well balanced. I do think player experience plays a significant role, but in one on one games certain decks do better against others.

Once you start investing in cards and incorporating them into the game, yes you can really imbalance things. It would be best to get folks interested so they too will want to build their own decks. I keep one core set with no expansions so I can teach the game to new players, while still keeping things relatively balanced. If you want to build the decks for your friends to use that's ok too, but I think once your friends learn the game they may want to try it on their own. A lot of the fun is in the deckbuilding and seeing how your conception works against others.

The best solution I have for two core sets 'mixing' is sleeving your card decks by color. This way you can quickly see who owns each card. A lot of folks don't like to sleeve, but I think it goes a long way in protecting your investment.
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Jason Kirckof
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1) Player experience, the core set decks are fairly balance against each other as long you leave them as is. Though the Stark and Bratheon deck tend to have a lesser learning curve.

2) Buying deluxe packs for just one or two houses will definitely unbalance the game in favor those houses. While buying cards from chapter packs have cards from each houses so slightly more balance, though some cycles tend favor one or two houses more (quality wise).

3)Sleaving works wonders for this. Also since core each core set has same cards with same amounts cards, mostly 1 card each with few exception of two, it shouldn't be to hard to keep track of your cards.
 
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Enon Sci
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kinga1965 wrote:
For the most part I think the core set card decks are relatively well balanced. I do think player experience plays a significant role, but in one on one games certain decks do better against others.


Is this because certain decks (e.g. Lannister) are designed to play off table politics, or survive best when not the brunt of direct attacks every round, like a 1v1 setting would imply?

Could you give me an example of a bad 1v1 match-up? I've always considered foregone conclusions in games to be a symptom of bad design. Is this not the case?

Rising Dragon wrote:


2) Buying deluxe packs for just one or two houses will definitely unbalance the game in favor those houses. While buying cards from chapter packs have cards from each houses so slightly more balance, though some cycles tend favor one or two houses more (quality wise).



I figured (well, hoped) that expansions would offer more cards, not better cards, is this not the case?

If kept to a highlander model, everybody would have have the same number of cards appearing with the same frequency. Wouldn't this balance things? If not, could you elaborate on where the power imbalance comes from?

Final question: if I went the chapter pack route, am I guaranteed a balance of cards between houses over the arc of a complete cycle? Is that something FFG shoots for?

(by this I mean, some packs have more or less cards per house, but if I purchase a full cycle, will these imbalances generally even out? Or will I have to research to find the most balanced pack?).

Thanks guys.

*edit: what are the dimensions of the sleeves I would need for these cards?
 
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Jason Kirckof
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Standard magic card size sleeves work for a Game of Thrones cards.

Highlander games for part a lot luck of draw element so as long each house as same amount powerful cards thing should be relative balance, though house Stark may have the advantage in that format cause they have the most search you deck for card effects.

I will definitely say research. http://www.cardgamedb.com/ has excellent card database that list everything that comes in each pack as well a lot helpful articles about AGOT.

I would love to say every cycle is perfectly balance but wouldn't be true. While some cycles are better there are some that seem favor one house over another card quality wise, the good thing is seems to rotate and eventually evens out.
 
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Certain cycles favor certain mechanics, and certain mechanics work a little better out of one or two houses. I haven't run across a customizable card game yet where each set is completely equal. If having one house possibly have a little advantage is really a problem over the long run, just remove the card that seems to be the greatest offender, or look up the solutions to that card or the tactic/strategy it empowers and buy the pack containing the counters to it. THAT is a major benefit of the LCG format over the CCG format. You don't have to hunt down rares to balance decks, or even buy multiple boosters to get the right number of uncommons to balance out a deck. It is just one purchase.

In my experience there are no bad matchups in the Core Set deck to deck, but instead player to player. If you are an experienced CCG control player and you have Lannister you are going to roll the n00b playing Stark because he won't know how to play Valar and won't have the tools to handle your intrigue challenges... in short he will defeat himself, your deck will just provide the pressure that makes him crack that much faster. If both players are inexperienced Stark will roll Lannister because their board control via kill is just insane, and you won't understand how to maximize the intrigue challenge and instead will waste time trying to fight a losing war of attrition against a superior force.

But you get an experienced aggro player and an experienced control player, you will have epic knockdown drag-out fights between these two houses. Same can be said for Bara and Targ, though what their strengths and weaknesses are will be different.

Regarding buying the house expansions, as long as you are committed to building a deck that is essentially balanced with the core set decks you are fine. For most of the sets you can pretty much just grab one of the packs, open it up, and play it straight against a core deck with no alteration and you'll see the power level about the same (Greyjoy and Martell both require some adjustment since they include cards for all the Houses, those will need to be removed and any discrepancy in card count should be fixed by adding additional copies of resources).

The moment you start constructing a deck though you will unbalance the format, not because the cards are more powerful but because your deck will be more coherent, tightly themed, and provide enough redundancy to allow luck to have the smallest impact on your play. Added to that you will be able to exploit your strengths and shore up your weaknesses. IT isn't any given card in an expansion is clearly better than any given card in the core set, it is that constructing a deck lets you build in custom strategies and answers to most problems you might face.
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