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Fantasy Flight Announces Some Big Changes for LCGs

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05 Nov 2014 23:13 #190073 by san il defanso
FFG has announced that their main five LCGs in competitive scenes (Star Wars, Call of Cthulu, Game of Thrones, Netrunner, and the new 40K one) will be transitioning to a "rotating" system with card packs. Basically once enough packs come out, the older cycles are retired from tournament play and retail. Essentially it is turning the LCG format into something a little like M:tG's Standard format, cycling a little slower.

Here's the announcement.

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05 Nov 2014 23:55 #190074 by Shellhead
That's good news for FFG and bad news for players, unless they appreciate that this will keep the game alive longer and possibly result in more innovation in later card cycles.

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06 Nov 2014 00:38 #190077 by Msample
Bet we see some older sets get marked down on the annual Black Friday sale.

I think the single biggest factor driving this is reducing the number of SKUs.

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06 Nov 2014 08:45 #190083 by stoic
I hate games with a built-in expiration date.

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06 Nov 2014 08:46 #190084 by stormseeker75
I love this. Easier to get in on a game now. That's what's makes Standard Magic so awesome.
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06 Nov 2014 08:58 #190087 by Michael Barnes
I agree, this makes organized/competitive play WAY more accessible to people who don't have all umpteen monthly card packs. It also encourages the kind of "block" theming, storylines and gradual innovation seen in more traditional CCGs. It keeps things fresh in general- including product on retailer shelves.

I can't imagine keeping all of those card packs in stock, what a PITA.

As for the game "expiring"- that is true, but that is actually an important part of meta. Without it, players get locked into certain deckbuilding patterns and strategies. Expiration keeps everyone moving and it keeps certain factions or styles of play from stagnating.

Casual play, doesn't matter. Your old cards will continue to work past the expiration date, I assure you.
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06 Nov 2014 08:58 - 06 Nov 2014 08:59 #190089 by charlest
I don't think less SKUs is driving this, what this is for is to address the complaint that new players can't get into older LCGs without paying hundreds of dollars. If you tried to get a competitive Game of Thrones deck it would cost you several hundred dollars right now.

This is good and bad for players. Love Netrunner but I'm glad I got out when I did.
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06 Nov 2014 09:43 #190092 by Bull Nakano
This is basically nothing. FFG releases about 3 cycles every 2 years, so it'd take 5-6 years for anything to even phase out. No LCG to date has had 8 cycles. I guess they forsee Netrunner getting there, but 7 full cycles before the first rotation is still a ton of cards.

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06 Nov 2014 09:45 #190093 by Msample

Michael Barnes wrote: I agree, this makes organized/competitive play WAY more accessible to people who don't have all umpteen monthly card packs. It also encourages the kind of "block" theming, storylines and gradual innovation seen in more traditional CCGs. It keeps things fresh in general- including product on retailer shelves.

I can't imagine keeping all of those card packs in stock, what a PITA.

As for the game "expiring"- that is true, but that is actually an important part of meta. Without it, players get locked into certain deckbuilding patterns and strategies. Expiration keeps everyone moving and it keeps certain factions or styles of play from stagnating.

Casual play, doesn't matter. Your old cards will continue to work past the expiration date, I assure you.


As can be imagined, there is a lot of teeth gnashing over on BGG. Way over the top if you ask me. Cries of "money grab" and complaining about cards being made obsolete are being thrown out.

As for cards "expiring", I think its overblown. The % of people who play competitively are small, and the rotation lifespan still means the card pool will still be something like 1500 cards.

At the same time they announced the new LCG policy, they also announced a reboot of the Game of Thrones LCG. It sounds like the card pool got so bloated, as well as mechanically clunky, they are going to strip some stuff out and make it more streamlined. Smart move IMO.

charlest wrote: I don't think less SKUs is driving this, what this is for is to address the complaint that new players can't get into older LCGs without paying hundreds of dollars. If you tried to get a competitive Game of Thrones deck it would cost you several hundred dollars right now.

This is good and bad for players. Love Netrunner but I'm glad I got out when I did.



But even with the culling of "useable" cards, getting into a given LCG is still not going to be cheap if you're a completist or want to do well in competitive play. I think those voicing displeasure on BGG are a somewhat vocal minority - they may do a lot of OP, but that's still a small portion of the overall player base.

From both FFG as well as retailers standpoint, trying to keep all this in stock was/is a PITA as well as a substantial financial outlay.

While its not perfect, I think its a logical move on the part of FFG.

Now that Warhammer Invasion is dead, I wonder if they'll start dumping that for Black Friday, as well as the soon to be obsoleted Game of Thrones LCG.
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06 Nov 2014 09:55 #190094 by Bull Nakano
Anything posted on BGG regarding customisable games is probably not worth paying attention to. I can't imagine a competitive player, someone who's devoted many hours to a game, being upset that after FIVE YEARS, some cards would cycle out. It's how it has to happen if you want to have a healthy enviroment. Cycling out is actually exciting for gamers because the cards that leave could have been holding back other areas of design that could have warped the meta if allowed to interact. I just wish it wouldn't take so long to start cycling. I also would like to see new base sets every few years, as a casual Netrunner player.
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06 Nov 2014 10:01 #190096 by JoelCFC25
I think it's a good move. For those into the competitive scene, it's hard to believe they won't eventually develop a Legacy format--and if they don't you could roll your own on a local level, I guess.

All the people moaning about how they continually get wrecked by the Andromeda and/or Near Earth Hub can feel all warm and fuzzy...only 3-ish more years until those IDs cycle out!

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06 Nov 2014 10:03 #190097 by VonTush
I have considered getting into Conquest, in fact I bought the base game.
Seeing this though made me realize that I don't really need another subscription game. I bought the game with the intention of just playing what was in the box because with all the Prime/Ally deck combos there is a lot to play just in the box I think so I'll just keep it there. I don't need to keep up until there are 1,200-1,500 cards in the game.

That said, I think these changes will be good in the long run. And shows that FFG has some very long term plans for their LCGs which is good. I still chuckle though how FFG has figured out a way for boardgamers, who say they'll never get into a collectable card game, to buy into a collectable card game by simply removing the random packs.

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06 Nov 2014 10:06 #190100 by Bull Nakano
Random = bad, I want EVERYTHING (except a secondary market).

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06 Nov 2014 10:11 #190101 by VonTush
That's what I find amusing.
Remove random from card games, remove assembling/painting/measuring from miniature games...And you suddenly have games that board gamers will buy by the boatload. I tip my cap to FFG in other words for making genres of games appealing to those that said they'd never get into one.

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06 Nov 2014 10:59 #190105 by DukeofChutney
good move. Like others have said, if you are so into the hobby as to want to be in the competitive scene for a long enough time to see a whole cycle then paying out is something you should be ok with. If you are knew to competitive its easier to get in. If you are non competitive the older packs should become cheap on the second hand market. It also might mitigate the need to buy every single pack some have.

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