Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Customizable Games» Forums » General

Subject: What Customizable Game is good with just the Starter Set? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Cox
United States
Sugar Land
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Is the gentleman with the BroStache invited to this party?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This may be a difficult task for many of us who have plunked down over $150 on various game systems for better or for worse, but lately I've been interested in a lot of different customizable games and wanted to know what games are good with just the Starter Set.

Many times when people ask for recommendations for what games to get into, one of the responses is always something like, "just buy whatever you like playing." Apparently people who give this advice have an endless supply of money, because I like playing a lot of things, and can't afford to try it all.

And lately, the customizable games have been getting better and better. If I am going to try out a few, I'm going to start with the Starter Set and go from there (but I may just end up playing only the Starter Set for years). We all know that most (not all) games get better after the starter once you can actuall "customize," but there have been numerous threads on best overall games.

That being said, I'm not asking for recommendations for what Starter Sets I should get, but rather I want to know what you, the all-knowing geek, thinks is the best Starter Set from each of the following categories:

CCG/TCG (Current) - Ex. Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, and Pokémon Trading Card Game

CCG/TCG (Dead) - Ex. Netrunner, Star Wars Customizable Card Game, and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle

LCG - Ex. Android: Netrunner, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game

Deckbuilder - Ex. Dominion, Thunderstone, and Ascension: Deckbuilding Game

Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid) - Ex. HeroClix, Star Wars Miniatures, and Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie

Miniatures (Tabletop) - Ex. Warmachine/Hordes, Warhammer: The Mass Combat Fantasy Roleplaying Game (1st Edition)/Warhammer 40,000, and Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.) - Ex. Dragon Dice, Twilight Imperium: Armada, and Pogs

Feel free to add/split the categories I've listed as you see fit. (I wasn't sure where to categorize games like Mage Wars Arena, Summoner Wars, and Yomi since I have never played them.)


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Cox
United States
Sugar Land
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Is the gentleman with the BroStache invited to this party?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's my (limited experience) list:

CCG/TCG (Current) - Magic: The Gathering - I currently own one Duel Deck, and it's a good game without spending a ton on packs, singles, and tournaments. (Which I had done at various times in the past.)

CCG/TCG (Dead) - N/A

LCG - N/A

Deckbuilder - Dominion

Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid) - Star Wars Miniatures

Miniatures (Tabletop) - Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.) - N/A
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Helmut Hohberger
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
flag msg tools
badge
Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game seems to work fine out of the box, but I see you already have experience with that.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Core Set works fine out of the box, both 2-player and multiplayer. There's people who would disagree when it comes to 2-player, but I firmly stand by what I said.

Star Wars: The Card Game Core Set seems to offer a fine and balanced play experience too.

I'm uncertain about recommending The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, although it is a good game IMO. Of the three scenarios in the Core Set, one seems to be very hard and one nigh-unwinnable with just the CS.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Moskop
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fuzzydice82 wrote:
Many times when people ask for recommendations for what games to get into, one of the responses is always something like, "just buy whatever you like playing." Apparently people who give this advice have an endless supply of money, because I like playing a lot of things, and can't afford to try it all.

With this in mind, I have the perfect oppurtunity to recommend Star Trek Customizable Card Game (Second Edition). Though technically a "dead" game as Decipher has stopped printing it, the game lives on at The Continuing Committee with new, completely free expansion sets, printable starter decks for all affiliations, free online play, and a vibrant player community. And if you are interested, the CC also keeps Star Trek: Customizable Card Game (first edition) and Tribbles Customizable Card Game alive too.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Dallas
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Android:Netrunner is one of the best out of the starter sets I've played.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hunter Birckhead
United States
Nellysford
virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Summoner Wars
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Cox
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
IMO:

CCG/TCG (Current) - Magic: The Gathering

CCG/TCG (Dead) - Netrunner

LCG - Android: Netrunner

Deckbuilder - DC Comics Deck-Building Game

Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid) - HeroClix

Miniatures (Tabletop) - Warmachine

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.) - Star Trek: The Next Generation Collectible Dice Game
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shadowfist just released a 3-4 player starter set. Great game. The rules in the new set aren't the greatest, but there are better versions online.

If you can find a starter set, and don't mind a lot of "building" time, and can enjoy a light game, Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie is very cool.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Elsenheimer
United States
Howard City
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CCGs: If you enjoy wargames try L5R. They just came out with a "learn to play" pack called "Honor and Treachery". It has 2 balance decks from the Phoenix & Scorpion Clans.

Dead CCGs: Need to go all the way back to Jyhad. It got different when they changed the name - the closest to it nodays,IMO, is Nightfall. (FYI:my husband disagrees with that statement)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Fox
United States
Yukon
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't know where these fall in the list, really hard time deciding (may not actually be a place for them), but as for games that you can enjoy with a base purchase with or without buying more factions or armies, these deserve some sort of recognition:

Summoner Wars: Master Set (and smaller, 2-faction sets are much cheaper)
Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans
Pocket Battles: Elves vs. Orcs
Pocket Battles: Macedonians vs. Persians

Again, these aren't really central to the OP . . . and yet they ARE distantly related. You can enjoy them as is OR get more factions/units and employ some level of customization.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
fightcitymayor
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
Avatar
mb
For $20 you can't go wrong with Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea.
The 2010 Starter includes 8 ships you can't find elsewhere, plus maps, plus counters, plus a nice, deep rulebook.
And of course it all whets your appetite to buy more, as any good CMG should.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Stout
United States
Pasadena
CA - California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
michaeldavidcox wrote:
IMO:

CCG/TCG (Current) - Magic: The Gathering

CCG/TCG (Dead) - Netrunner


QFT
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Cox
United States
Sugar Land
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Is the gentleman with the BroStache invited to this party?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dragonstout wrote:
michaeldavidcox wrote:
IMO:

CCG/TCG (Current) - Magic: The Gathering

CCG/TCG (Dead) - Netrunner


QFT


Well good, because I just made a trade for a Netrunner starter, that also arrived with about 300 extra cards

I'll put it next to my Magic Duel Deck
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Haverty
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmb
I'll just pipe in here with my opinions of the LCG core sets.

Android: Netrunner
Aside from being an outstanding game, I think the core set provides plenty of replayability, both in terms of becoming a good player as well as deckbuilding. There are 4 corp decks and 3 runner decks included, which is good.

The deckbuilding rules allow you to add up a certain point value of "out of house" cards to a deck, so that takes you from 4 pure corp decks to variations of each corp deck with cards tweaked in from the other corps to support a theme or strategy, or shore up a weakness, whatever. The same applies on the runner side. Great core set, I think.

Star Wars
I've only played this 3 times so far (and with a significant rule wrong), but I'm liking it quite a bit. I think the game has a very strong element of "I don't have enough guys to do everything I *need* to do" to it.

It comes with Jedi and Rebel decks (two affiliations on the Light Side) and Sith and Imperial Navy decks (two affiliations on the Dark Side), plus a couple extra objective sets for each side, including the 3rd/final affiliation (Smugglers & Spies for LS, Scum & Villainy for DS). Unlike the old SW CCG, the "big names" are available right away, which is nice for fans of the theme.

As far as replayability, the deckbuilding in SW LCG is unique (as far as I know): decks are NOT formed out of single cards but rather from 6-card objective sets. When you add a set to your deck, you MUST put the 1 objective card in your objective deck and you MUST put the corresponding 5 other cards in your command deck. You cannot cherry pick single cards. You must evaluate each 6-card set. So, I think the deckbuilding will be very interesting, but because it is so different I don't have a feel for how much variability is in the core set.

Call of Cthulhu
This might have the most diverse, simple deckbuilding of any core set. There are 7 different factions in the core set and you simply mix any 2 together to produce a deck, which I believe is 21 possible combinations. When you get tired of that, of course, you can then mix them up more as you desire for traditional deckbuilding, so the replayability from that standpoint is solid.

Game of Thrones
I have a ton of experience with the CCG version of this game and less so with the LCG. For 2-player, there is very little different in the gameplay. For multiplayer, I think the LCG core set really excels because of the roles/titles aspect. The CCG was already great fun multiplayer and the LCG really makes that shine. If you think you'll ever play this with 3-4 players, then that aspect of AGOT alone makes it an outstanding core set. (There's nothing wrong with 2p AGOT, I just think this is the clear leader among LCGs for multiplayer.)

Lord of the Rings
I like this game quite a bit, but from a "single core set experience" evaluation I think I'd have to rate this clearly lower than all the other core sets. While it does come with 4 playable decks, which can of course be tweaked later, it's a coop game with only 3 scenarios. Even tackling those scenarios with a different mix of decks still limits the "single core set" replayability, IMO. Great game, well-implemented coop and/or solo play, but I think the replayability improves geometrically as you add more scenarios (i.e., packs) and the core set wears off its welcome faster than the other LCGs.

Warhammer: Invasion
I think this is currently my most-played LCG. It comes with 2 Order and 2 Destruction decks and just a splash of cards from their respective Elf factions. The resource system actually makes it fairly easy to make "multicolor" decks without generally worrying about getting hosed on resources, so tweaking in the core set is pretty good.

That said, I sort of feel like you don't have THAT many options for tweaking them up. I know we were ready for more cards very quickly back when we just had the core set. If nothing else, adding the Assault on Ulthuan deluxe expansion would be the first step past the core set as it includes the capital boards (i.e., makes playable) the two Elf factions and includes a enough cards for each to make mono decks out of them. I love this game, though. The resource system is fantastic and adds a SIGNIFICANT element of player skill in deciding where to play your cards, because you have a great deal of control in deciding if you want more card draw or more buying power or more attacking power, all without adding any kind of dedicated resource card to the deck; you can make those decisions on the fly as you play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bwian, just
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fuzzydice82 wrote:
Many times when people ask for recommendations for what games to get into, one of the responses is always something like, "just buy whatever you like playing." Apparently people who give this advice have an endless supply of money, because I like playing a lot of things, and can't afford to try it all.

I might say this, on the assumption you'll try playing someone else's copy before plunging in yourself. Most customizable game players are eager to recruit new faces.

There's also a factor that not all games have two-player starter sets. More have one-player starter sets, such that you can buy two different ones and get a decent game in.

All that said, my recommendations:
CCG/TCG (Current): probably a set of Magic Duel decks. I don't know which set of Magic Duel decks, though

CCG/TCG (Dead): Netrunner plays fairly well out of a starter (which has one Corp deck and one Runner deck). But I'm going to recommend Illuminati: New World Order One With Everything, because I like that game, too. You'll need to make decks (or play a different game, closer to the boardgame version of Illuminati), but you'll also have enough cards for variation.

LCG: Besides, I'm going to recommend Netrunner here. 12 matchups in the box, with decent flavor in each deck. Really any of them works, although CoC is weaker. (It was the first, and uses a flat distribution. Good for collectors, not so good for consistent starter decks.)

Deckbuilder: I'm not coming up with any bad ones. Take the one whose theme you like the best? I also wouldn't call these customizable, since you don't customize a personal deck before the game.

Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid): Probably Heroscape. Most of the other starter sets are just too sparse.

Miniatures (Tabletop): I'll go with Warmahordes (either starter set, depending on thematic preference). The 40K starter is a great deal if you're going to run either of the included armies, but is not close to the number of figures you're going to want in a full game. (Last I checked, anyway.) Star Wars X-Wing doesn't have enough ships to be interesting.

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.): Diceland: Deep White Sea. This starter comes with 5 full teams, or you can mix and match per the rules of the game. I like the way dexterity combines with tactical decisions once your pieces are on the table.

Honorable Mention: Battleground. This technically doesn't have a two-player starter (unless you count the historical version), but most combinations of one-player starters work well. This is a miniatures game, without miniatures, and the rules are excellent: the resource you're playing with is your commander's attention to details, which feels very thematic to me. And the price can't be beat.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ivan Madd
United States
Statesboro
GA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mage Wars is a hard one to categorize. It is kind of a mix between CCG or LCG (although LCG is trademarked so not allowed to use that to describe it) and a Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid). With that said, whatever category you put it in, it beats all of the other candidates easily.

The value you get for your money with the Starter Set is amazing. You can get it for $40 from Cool Stuff Inc or Amazon. If you only count the cards (330 of them) and nothing else, that is a better value than most of the competition. Thats 12 cents per card. Compare that to Android: Netrunner, $27 for the core set from Cool Stuff Inc for 252 cards equals 11 cents per card. Compare it to the Theros Intro Pack for Magic the Gathering, $50 from Cool Stuff Inc for 380 cards equals 13 cents per card.

But with Mage Wars, you DON'T just get cards. You also get a HUGE game board, 2 amazingly beautiful spellbooks, a handful of custom dice, several dozen markers, 2 status boards, and some wooden cubes. All essentially for free since we've applied the entire price to the cost of the cards in this comparison.

So, we've established that it is the better value when comparing what components you get for your money. Now we need to establish it as the better game with just the Starter Set. This is harder to do, as it is a subjective question and every individual will have their own opinion. Here is why I feel it is the best customizable game though.

1) Customization: Nearly every card is available to any mage. Thus, as a two player game with 330 cards to choose from you can have a lot of customization with your two spellbooks.

2) Strategic: Mage Wars contains very little luck. You pick which cards to use, plus when and how to use them. There's no random draw or shuffling. The only luck in the game is dice during combat. Damage dice have a very narrow range though (0 to 2) and dice very rarely affect the outcome of the game. It is a true battle of wits.

3) Tactical: There's a spatial element like with miniatures games, as you move your creatures around the board and try to take advantage of the best positioning possible. Pushing and Teleporting units around the board to establish a dominant position can and does win games.

4) Theme: In Mage Wars you actually FEEL like a mage doing battle in the Arena. Some people have called the spellbook mechanic a gimmick, and it might be to a point, but works. It truly makes you feel like a powerful magi flipping through his tome of spells. Also, each of the four mages in the Starter Set feels unique and conveys their own flavor. The game has sucked me into the narrative more than any other customizable game I've played.

5) Deduction/Bluffing: Few customizable games that I'm familiar with, other than Android: Netrunner, have a strong Deduction/Bluffing element. Mage Wars does. There's an element of trying to read your opponent to deduce his next move, guessing which spells he has prepared, which enchantments he has yet to reveal, and of course surprise him with your own moves.

Overall, even with just the starter set you'll have infinite replayability. No two games are ever the same, you get an amazing value for your dollar, and it's just plain out more fun than the competition IMHO.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Dortch
United States
Sparta
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

CCG/TCG (Current) Magic: The Gathering. Better if you just stick with starters imo.

CCG/TCG (Dead) Tomb Raider the CCG. Yes the art work is horrible. Just screen shots from the PS1 game. But it has some solid mechanics and it's really fun actually.

LCG Android: Netrunner. And it only gets better with the expansions.

Deckbuilder Dominion.

Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid) N/A

Miniatures (Tabletop) Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.) N/A
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Edmond
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CCG/TCG: Magic the Gathering Commander. Commander is the new poor mans magic. With 100 cards in a deck- games will be much more varied each time.

CCG/TCG(Dead): Dragon Ball Z. Because I love that game

LCG: Though it fits in a lot of categories- Mage Wars. Could play the core set for the rest of eternity.


Miniatures (Board/Hex/Grid) Got to say the very first D&D minis game. Tile placement makes for more variety.

Miniatures (Tabletop) Cant go wrong with Warhammer.

Other (Dice, Disks, etc.) Um......Russian roulette. Obviously- I always win. I have a system.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not customizable in the traditional sense, but from what I've read, Race for the Galaxy gives massive bang for the buck with just the base set.
1 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Painter
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
LCG - Android: Netrunner: an amazingly engaging game.

Miniatures (Tabletop) Warmachine/Hordes: The starter sets for this are good value and starter games in Warmahordes are very good fun. It'll be quite a while before you've mastered your starter box and feel the need to expand beyond it.

I'm also going to make a shout out for Dropzone Commander. The two player starter box is great value with a full rulebook and everything you need to play (two plastic armies, terrain, dice etc.). I've not played it yet though, but the models are very nice indeed...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Testy Testerson
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Battletech Introductory Box Set whistle
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.