Thursday, January 17, 2013

What else is out there that might count as an LCG?

So, at the moment, FFG produces 6 great LCGs, but like any gamer, I always want more.

So naturally, the question is- what else is available?

Well, what sort of things do I want in a card game?  Deck-building is a major key.  Heck, half the work you do in getting better as a player is in designing new, awesome decks.  Of course, the second part of that is drawing- the randomization (and optimization) of what comes off the top of your deck is fairly important, at least to me.  Finally, card games can eventually become stale without expansions.  I feel like occasional (doesn't have to be monthly) expansions to the game really add a lot to the game, by creating a steadily shifting meta.  You'll have to regularly go back and adjust your deck to handle the new environment you're playing in.

Of course, the better the rules, the better the game, but without these things in some way, it's hard to count the game as an LCG.

So, the question from before.  What else is available?

The first game I thought of was Frontline General: Spearpoint.  In this one, you have deckbuilding- you have a number of points you're allowed to spend on your deck, and you construct it using those points.  The issue is that the decks are mutually exclusive.  If you have a German deck, you build with only the German cards.  Same with the American cards. You do have good draw rules, and the game itself is fantastic (and I have some posts on my Cardboard Warriors blog about it), but it also doesn't have very frequent expansions, and some of the 'expansions' aren't compatible with the base game (the 1987 expansion in the future, for instance).  Good game, but not really LCG material.

Mage Wars is another interesting one, and it's one that cardgamedb has started supporting.  You have deck building (I believe based off a points system as well, although I'm not sure).  You have what could be yearly expansions (depending on what the company decides to do).  I've never played the game, but it's got a heavy boardgame component (you move cards around a board, as I understand it).  There is no card draw, again, as I understand it- you'll choose two cards from your deck each turn.  I'm interested in playing this, but the jury is still out for me on whether this would be an LCG or just a card-based boardgame.

PURGE: Sins of Science was a recent successful Kickstarter campaign and one that caught my interest, but I didn't back because, well, I'm poor.  It had deckbuilding, it had expansions (at least a few), but apparently the card draw was a little different, but I'm not sure how.  This may qualify, but we'll see how it goes before I really try picking it up.  I hear the rulebook is a mess, for example.

Elemental Clash is another one that has potential.  Deck building, desire for future expansions, it looks like it could be good.  I've heard it described as a mix between super-simple Magic the Gathering, Call of Cthulhu, and Battletech, but primarily Magic in mechanics.  To me, that's not a big deal- I really enjoyed Magic, and would continue to play if it wasn't for the random boosters.  I worry that the game will be TOO simple, but I'll wait and see- maybe the expansions will add some additional complexity to the game.

I've also heard Shadowfist is moving to this format, which is supposed to start this upcoming year (although I see you can get the starter now?), which will certainly bear investigation, especially as they seem to be slowly reprinting cards from the CCG era into the expansions.

So, anyone else have any ideas for games, either currently out or in the future, that might be LCG-like?

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