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

Subject: 2 Core Houses vs. Big Box Expanded Houses rss

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Enon Sci
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In the esteem of those more knowledgeable than I, how does a deck composed from 2 Cores stand up to a deck similarly expanded, but with a Big Box expansion?

I'm considering pulling the trigger on a second core, with the addition of the Lords of Winter Stark expansion, but am slightly worried Stark will take an unbeatable competitive edge.
 
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Enon Sci
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Ok, try 2:

Here's what worries me about pissing my money away on a second core:

It seems utterly pointless.

Yes, I'd be able to hit the magic 60 card number, but to what effect? Android Netrunner plays fine with 45, and we've enjoyed our games. Sure, we lack duplicate protection, but that can come out of the expansions for key characters. It's cheaper than buying all the expansions, but wouldn't this money be better spent, incrementally speaking, on the expansions (note, I play joust mainly).

Here's my kicker, however, and the root of what I was hoping to get some perspective on: Buying a second core doesn't seem to open up strategic possibilities. Sure, I get double copies of some key plot cards, but only two really strike me as desirable (Valar and Summoning Season). My criticism of the core decks is that House keywords are scarcely applied -- buying a second core wouldn't open this up by much since most houses apply these keywords to uniques only.

So, IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, what were the benefits -- the real game play benefits -- of purchasing a second core... 'cause I'd rather buy a second Netrunner, to be honest.
 
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The key reason to buy a second core is to improve consistency in your decks. Considering how many uniques are in the core set, trying to build a character centric deck can be a bit difficult from a single core set. This is offset by the lower card count at which you've been playing (45 vs 60 cards) as a smaller deck also improves consistency. When playing with a tournament legal deck (which isn't necessary in a casual environment), if you are hoping to see certain cards, not having multiples of them may hurt your expectations. Examples include Golden Tooth Mines in almost all Lannister decks and Flame Kissed in a Targaryen burn deck. Another important reason is to have multiple copies of Valar Morghulis and Wildfire Assault. If you're building multiple decks, most will want access to a reset and Valar is the bog standard reset in the game and the core set is the only place to find it (as you have already noted).

Having said all that, I get the impression that you're not looking to play in tournaments so much of that probably doesn't matter to you. If that's the case go ahead and pick up a deluxe expansion. I will warn you, that probably will throw the power curve in favour of that house but you can offset this by... getting a different deluxe set next . An alternative is to pick up a chapter pack or two which will slowly flesh out all of the houses almost equally.

If you intend to play both games equally I can unreservedly say that a second AGoT core set will carry you much much further than a second A:NR core set.
 
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Daniel Ach
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Here are a few threads that may address your questions:
here
here
here
here
here
 
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Enon Sci
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danach81 wrote:
Here are a few threads that may address your questions:
here
here
here
here
here


I won't slight your intellect, rather I'll just assume it has something to do with the language impasse. If you thought I was asking "what should I buy next?" then you were making reductionist assumptions about my inquiry. I wasn't asking that at all.

* edit: Oh wait, you're an American too. Ok, I guess we'll have to go with the intellect after all.
 
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Daniel Ach
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Anarchosyn wrote:
danach81 wrote:
Here are a few threads that may address your questions:
here
here
here
here
here


I won't slight your intellect, rather I'll just assume it has something to do with the language impasse. If you thought I was asking "what should I buy next?" then you were making reductionist assumptions about my inquiry. I wasn't asking that at all.

* edit: Oh wait, you're an American too. Ok, I guess we'll have to go with the intellect after all.


I'm very sorry, friend, that I didn't answer your extremely well-conceived inquiry to your satisfaction, and made such a cursory, minimal response that seemingly insulted your intelligence, and seemingly revealed my lack of concern for you as an individual.

"Second try," and take this with a grain of salt since I'm really not that smart:

1) As with any card game, the more cards you have, the more options you have for deckbuilding. This means that you have more discretion to take out bad cards and put in good cards.

2) As an extension of #1, the more copies of good cards you have, the more likely you are to draw into them, thus improving your gameplay, and I dare say, your game experience. What's better than drawing one Flame-Kissed and killing your opponent's key character? Drawing two of them!

3) Having multiple copies of critical plot cards allows you to create decks that give you the ability to create your own flow in the tactics of your turn-by-turn strategy. Again, this has to do with more decisions in deckbuilding. For example, think of the oft-cited "Valar Morghulis dilemma" in the Stark core set deck.

4) If you care about such things, getting a second core will give you a "legal" deck. This makes no difference if you enjoy the core set as a board game type experience, but it might if you care about the rules of deckbuilding. It irks my OCD side, personally.

5) More copies of cheaper cards equals more cards in setup and more relative card advantage, which, if you are familiar with any CCG/TCG/LCG type game, is huge.

The reason I linked these is because if you read between the lines, comments about "deck consistency" means all these things in practical application to the gameplay. It allows you to have more tactical decisions, since you aren't limited by what plots you just happen to have, or what card you randomly draw into.

I hope this helps. I certainly didn't mean to insult you, and I wish I could say the same about your comment, but if you stick with the game, I hope the great quality of individuals in the AGoT community rubs off on you.

Cheers!

* Oh, I I'll add that a deluxe expansion can achieve each of my above points as well as an additional core; it just does so for one specific house as opposed to all 4 equally. So it just depends on how much money you want to spend and if you are buying for multiple players. (Which ties nicely into the "What should I buy?" question.)
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Matthew M
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Remember - if you see something you want to react negatively to, flag it and forget it.

Using the icon serves two functions - first, if enough users flag a post then it will be collapsed from general view. Second, flagging posts helps bring them to the attention of the forum moderators.

Thanks!
 
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Enon Sci
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danach81 wrote:

I'm very sorry, friend, that I didn't answer your extremely well-conceived inquiry to your satisfaction, and made such a cursory, minimal response that seemingly insulted your intelligence, and seemingly revealed my lack of concern for you as an individual.


Condescending and dismissive is how I'd typify your response, which is exactly what I gave back in return.

However, perhaps we got off on the wrong foot. Here's a quick synopsis of our differing perceptions:

You saw: Yet another in a long line of "what do I buy/how do I expand this?" inquiries.

What I wrote (twice): An inquiry as to the strategic options and potential strength of a 60 card deck composed specifically of two cores played against a similarly constructed deck that also includes, for example, Lords of Winter.

Or, in simpler terms, am I disadvantaging my players by including big box expansion content even if I have two cores?

Two cores would easily get me to 60 cards, but wouldn't offer much in the way of synergies since the core, itself, lacks significant synergies. Two cores seemed to offer little more than increased card access probability and options.

It's not about the number of cards, but the interlinking advantages conferred from those cards that I'm asking about. A deck composed of Lords of Winter, even at 45 cards, seems like it could work in a tighter (thus more effective) manner against my unexpanded houses, even with two cores. I know this will be the case, my inquiry was to gauge just how much of an imbalance I'd be inducing.

Nevertheless, I owned 1 core, the Martell expansion and two chapter packs when I posted this (A Song of Summer and a Sand Snake related Martell deck -- I've done my homework). However, the majority of my cards had been shelved in favor of the core's content due to fears of imbalancing the money generation (I could have cherry picked replacements and kept the deck at 45, but I've resisted this as well). Since posting this, I pulled the trigger on Lords of Winter and Lions of the Rock, but resisted the purchase of a second core for the time being (not out if disrespect for the advice given here but for monetary concerns).
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Matt Shinners
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While I dislike your initial response to Daniel's answer (which was, admittedly, cursory), I will answer this question because I like the tone of the new response. Not trying to be a jerk here - just pointing out that even when you think someone's being a jerk to you, the correct response isn't to be a jerk back. Then you're both jerks.

Anyway, if you purchase the Stark box only, it will severely disadvantage the other houses, especially in Joust. Same with any of the boxes. If you're planning to play mostly Joust, maintain equality by purchasing big box expansions at equal rates. So with Lions and Lords of Winter, you should be good for a Stark v. Lannister matchup. With the Martell expansions you have, you can make a decent (but probably still a bit weak) Martell deck.

Without the Bara or Targ boxes, those houses will be SEVERELY disadvantaged against Stark/Lannister (and you can't really run Greyjoy without their box).

The reason most people suggest a second core is because with it, you can create fairly balanced decks for the four main houses that compete well with the Greyjoy/Martell decks made from those starters. From there, it's easier to grow a balanced collection if you're the main card-provider for the group as you'll have a solid starting point for everyone. After that, I'd still recommend chapter packs over the Big Boxes until you have a good amount to balance out the power provided by the Big Boxes (my recommendation would be the Brotherhood w/o Banners and Grand Melee-including chapter pack series). However, if you find two houses are getting played the most, then those two Big Boxes will keep those two houses relatively in balance (even though they'll leave the other houses behind).
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Daniel Ach
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Whatever. Water under bridges and such. My somewhat tongue-in-cheek apology was nonetheless sincere.

Anarchosyn wrote:
What I wrote (twice): An inquiry as to the strategic options and potential strength of a 60 card deck composed specifically of two cores played against a similarly constructed deck that also includes, for example, Lords of Winter.

Or, in simpler terms, am I disadvantaging my players by including big box expansion content even if I have two cores?


You're right, I didn't get this from your second post. I see now that you were asking this in your first post, but the second didn't come across as a question about relative strength of 2x core vs. expansion decks. It seemed to be a question about the viability of 2x core decks.

Anarchosyn wrote:
Two cores would easily get me to 60 cards, but wouldn't offer much in the way of synergies since the core, itself, lacks significant synergies. Two cores seemed to offer little more than increased card access probability and options.


This. While the core sets give you a coherent flavor of the house, you're right that deluxe expansions will give you relatively more synergies. That's not necessarily overpowering, as some deluxe expansions are better than others, and some core sets have better cards than others. Has anyone done a statistics of wins with core set decks? I'm not sure. And I'd be willing to bet that other players would have a hard time telling you for certain how any particular deluxe expansion would affect the environment, other than just giving generalizations.

Anarchosyn wrote:
It's not about the number of cards, but the interlinking advantages conferred from those cards that I'm asking about. A deck composed of Lords of Winter, even at 45 cards, seems like it could work in a tighter (thus more effective) manner against my unexpanded houses, even with two cores. I know this will be the case, my inquiry was to gauge just how much of an imbalance I'd be inducing.


It's almost impossible to say how much of an imbalance it would create because your your talking about specific fixes that you want to make. The whole idea of this game is about customizing your experience with expandable packs. Certain houses may work better against another, then when you throw different cards in the mix, it has to be re-evaluated. It's what competitive players do with the whole cardpool, but you're doing on a smaller scale. If you're buying the deluxe expansions and then dumbing them down, what is the value of buying it in the first place, other than just customizing your idea of what the house theme/synergy/flavor is? That's not bad, but it doesn't seem to maximize your investment.

My advice would be to just experiment with the balance until it seems to work. You can always adjust a card here or there if it seems to disrupt the gameplay egregiously or is overpowered.
 
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Gary Baxter
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Golly gee willikers guys, come on!

I have Core x 2 right now, and right now, I am having trouble with the Stark deck. It seems to get blown up if we play 1v1, but it seems to do ok in multiplayer. I put in a copy of Sansa and Catlyn to kind of help with Intrigue challenges and I put in a few more gold generating locations.

It seems to me that a lot of the problem is that the Stark plots are kind of junk...

I'm still learning(having a blast btw) so maybe it has just been bad luck.
 
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Matt Shinners
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Pure Fight wrote:
It seems to me that a lot of the problem is that the Stark plots are kind of junk...

I'm still learning(having a blast btw) so maybe it has just been bad luck.


Yea, I don't believe I've played with the core set decks without drafting (or balancing) the plots.
 
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I've played a lot of various incarnations of limited formats, so I'm going to speak about my experiences. Understand I will state these as observational statements of my experience and extrapolate that you will find something very similar given the sheer number of games I've played (probably about 1000 with single core for joust and melee each, at least 200-300 of double core and probably about 200-300 of single core and expansion combined for melee and joust, with an unknown amount of melee and joust games where there were games that included one or more double core set decks versus one or more core plus expansion decks).

The decks with expansions are better in every way if the deck builder is either replicating one of the deck lists or basing their deck off it. When it is a case of just random building the stats become harder to tell because some of the decks are just junk, putting in all the pretty cards or "power" cards with no real looking at gold curves and win conditions.

If you are providing all the cards for your play group then the expansions will definitely end up creating some imbalances in regards to power level (of the deck not any specific card). The cards create much greater synergy both in how they work together as well as what they are generally trying to achieve in the game and because they appear more frequently in the deck they will also create a level of dependability that a double core set deck still cannot replicate.

IF you are playing mostly joust and providing cards for both you and your partner then pull the trigger and buy an expansion for each of your favorite houses. If you are doing melee the second core set will create balance with decks created by the Greyjoy and MArtell expansions.

The Core Set decks are not week and Stark's plots are not bad, but what they are trying to accomplish and how that is balanced against the other core set decks is really narrow, and if you try to play against their strengths or alter the decks but do so in an uneven manner you will see MAJOR imbalances crop up. That said, if you are playing the decks against type but make alterations that will make that deck perform more towards your playstyle then you can see an increase in your personal win loss ratio.

My general recommendation is get the expansions. As much fun as I've had with the core set (and continue to play single and double core only games) the deck building jumps significantly with the expansions and you get a much more satisfying experience when you pull out a win with a deck you built yourself.

In regards to th 45 card deck comparison between A:NR and AGoT, apples and oranges my friend. AGoT is a much more strategic card game in so far as the cards create situations that allow you to plan several turns into the future and predict how your opponent is going to build up their forces and what tactics they are going to take. This means the additional 15 cards actually increase your strategic options.

Compare this to A:NR which is a more strategic base game where the cards only play a small part of what you can do and how your opponent can respond. The cards will certainly let you leverage more, but being able to win without playing a single card pretty much speaks to this.

I do not believe one game is superior to the other or that one is more fun, so I'm not personally making any statements about that, just how I perceive the strengths of each game leads to the 45 card deck giving very different experiences.
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This is a topic I'm getting interested in too... I'm starting to warm up towards multiples of some cards and am too thinking 1 core + 2 faction packs, and be happy with that.

Let's say, I get core box and Martell & Greyjoy boxes. The latter two have an amount of plot & neutral cards, and even cards of other factions. If I split a lot of these two sets between all the other decks, would it allow a good variety of cards for everyone with strategic options? I'm not familiar with the cards yet, but I could think of giving a few sets of 2 or 3 for other decks, perhaps returning some single cards.

But, I have multiples of many characters mainly for two decks; how do you generally use multiples? Do you usually put multiples of many non-uniques, and how many uniques are you usually protecting/improving draw-chances with one or two extras? Would original decks be disadvantaged for not having duplicates for it's main characters? It seems that they would have some multiples though from the faction packs.
 
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