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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

× Talk about collectible card here.

Let's Talk: Dead CCGs

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16 Feb 2022 09:10 #330793 by Legomancer
There's a hoppin' geeklist over on TOS where two guys in Germany are buying stuff from old dead CCGs and playing them. It's bringing back everyone's memories of those bygone days.

I of course played Magic, and also briefly (takes deep breath): Jyhad/Vampire, Heresy, Middle-Earth, Netrunner, L5R, Rage, INWO, and I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two. The only one I stuck with was Magic, and I got out of it and sold all my cards long ago.

Several years ago at a gaming event I bought at auction a box of Super Deck! cards for a quarter or possibly a dime. How could I pass up the chance to play one of the worst CCGs ever??? I made my pal Matt play it with me and it was truly, truly awful. Somehow I managed to pass the cards on to a bigger fool, though I think for free.

One of the few I tried and still have my cards for is Battletech. I only played it a couple times and remember liking it. I don't have many cards, just a few starters' worth, but I really want to try it out again.

I also bought a box of On the Edge, the weirdo conspiracy/intrigue one from Atlas Games. I tried it back in the day but couldn't afford anything other than Magic so it never went anywhere. The geeklist made me jones for it so I have a box coming my way. I'm going to owe Matt a bottle of Scotch.

Someone also reminded me of the awful Doctor Who CCG and I'd love to try that one as well, but that would be another bottle of Scotch, and really good stuff.
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16 Feb 2022 09:39 #330795 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
I posted my thoughts on MtG in the other thread. (And of course it and Vampire are not dead.)

So the only dead one I was into back in the day was INWO. I don’t think the underlying game has aged well, and moving it to a CCG format didn’t help much. Not to mention that a game that made fun of conspiracy whackaloons was a lot funnier 20 years ago, before the whackaloons took over one of the country’s major political parties.

Ca. 2003 I got into the LOTR one that came out alongside the movies. It was pretty fun but eventually had broken combos and got tiresome. The stills from the movie made for great art, and the theme was top notch.

I played Middle-Earth, Rage, L5R, and a few others once but didn’t have the time or financial bandwidth to get into them.
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16 Feb 2022 09:52 #330797 by drewcula
Replied by drewcula on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
Only yesterday did I see my old deck box of Chaosium's 'Mythos.'

Why oh why do I still have it?
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16 Feb 2022 10:13 #330798 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
The team covenant guys go through and do streams playing old dead CCGs on their youtube channel.. there were so many weird ideas hamstrung by the business model.

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16 Feb 2022 10:23 #330799 by Rliyen
Replied by Rliyen on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
I still have one staple of my CCG days from the 90s still residing in my closet: Shadowfist. Now, that's one I thoroughly enjoyed. Z-Man did an excellent college try to get back up and running, but it also died. I did enjoy being the Silver Band rep for Z-man at my LGS. And Zev is an excellent person in general.
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16 Feb 2022 10:30 #330800 by ChristopherMD
Replied by ChristopherMD on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
I played more of them than I can remember back in the day. I still have a few thousand Babylon 5 CCG cards. I'll give them away locally someday as I don't feel like inventorying or shipping them. Also have the EVE CCG which I'm keeping as my last CCG. It's a solid 2-player game and I have everything needed for starter drafts.
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16 Feb 2022 10:36 - 16 Feb 2022 11:12 #330801 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
I had some old Doomtown starters that I bought for cheap, never played them, and made my brother take them when he bought all my Magic cards for cheap. I then bought Doomtown: Reloaded, and never could drum up any interest for that either.

I remember a dealer at Origins way back when who was selling discontinued CCGs for cheap. If you talked to him for five minutes he would tell you that Galactic Empires was the greatest game EVAR, bar none.

ETA: Middle Earth CCG. I have a friend who loves it, and he talked us into playing it a few years ago. He had a different starter deck for each of us. So there were seven of us down in one of the player's poorly-lit basement, trying to read The Silmarillion printed in Flyspeck 3 on every one of these cards. My eyesight ain't what it used to be. The cards looked cool, and there might have been a good game trying to get out, but most of us just checked MECCG off our bucket list and moved on.
Last edit: 16 Feb 2022 11:12 by RobertB.
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16 Feb 2022 10:45 #330802 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
After I got into Jyahd in 1994, I lost interest in Magic and stopped playing after the Ice Age expansion. At GenCon in 1995, I tried and liked several other CCGs: Legend of the Five Rings, Shadowfist, Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings), Netrunner, and Mythos. I later got into the short-lived Legend of the Burning Sands, Rage (both editions), Heresy, and picked up some cheap lots of WildStorms and On the Edge, as well as the all-in-one set for INWO. I also bought a six-starter deck pack for a Cyberpunk ccg that crashed on arrival. I never even played it because it just looked like a bad game.

I've said plenty about Jyhad/Vampire and Magic in this forum, so I will instead talk about the others here.

Legend of the Five Rings takes place in the excellent Rokugan setting, which was a fictional blend of Japanese samurai and Chinese mysticism. The game itself is playable but flawed, and not actually good for multi-player. Fan engagement was impressive for a number of years, in part because tournaments and organized play seasons had an impact on the gradually-unfolding metaplot of the game. These days, I would rather play another campaign of the L5R rpg in the same setting. Legend of the Burning Sands was an unsuccessful Arabian Nights style spin-off of L5R, but was actually a better game that was later re-implemented as a standalone card game known as The Romance of the Nine Empires, complete with a different setting. The 7th Sea ccg took place in the pseudo-Europe portion of the same world as L5R and LBS, but I wasn't into that one. I never tried the modern version of L5R, as it was completely incompatible with all of my cards. I should get rid of all of my L5R cards except for maybe the nine-deck standalone Emperor edition box. But when I ran my lengthy L5R rpg campaign 20 years ago, it was great to have all of those cards for visual aids.

Shadowfist is a great multi-player game but less fun as a two-player game. It is similar to Magic except that land is more limited and you fight over it. The setting is a lively blend of kung fu, magic, and technology. However, the endgame often suffers from leader-bashing and/or kingmaking. I still play Shadowfist from time to time, but maybe should sell off most of my singles and just hang onto a number of decks.

Middle Earth was an ambitious and meticulous design, and the designers enforced high standards for all of the art used on the cards. It plays out like each player is running a D&D party through a wilderness adventure in Middle Earth, with adjacent players throwing monsters and hazards in their path. The game started out complex and several of the expansions added even more complexity. However, some of the expansions offered exciting options like playing Nazgul or the Balrog or even a fallen version of one of the Wizards (like Saruman). I should probably get rid of all my singles and just hang onto my 10-deck challenge set and the two balrog decks.

Mythos has a similar overall structure to Middle Earth, except that each player is on a journey through Lovecraft country and stranger places. The game was designed with a fatal flaw that encouraged players to keeping slapping each other with various forms of insanity instead of exploring all these neat locations. I should get rid of my Mythos cards, except maybe the nicely-balanced two-player starter set.

I only played the original base set of Netrunner. The random two-player starter decks were a good value and I bought several of them cheap after the game went out of print. I also bought a couple of booster boxes, but never got into the deckbuilding aspect. It was a flawed but interesting game. I didn't try the modern version because it was incompatible with my cards.

Heresy was a Magic ripoff, but with interesting art and a strange setting. I played it once. Rage was a sloppy design that functioned as a quick filler game. I never played WildStorms because it looked bad and I didn't read the comics from that setting. I played On the Edge once and wasn't impressed. I played INWO twice, and it generally suffered from the same flaws as its ancestor, Illuminati. I should sell all of these cards.

For the most part, gamers as a group did a reasonably good job of identifying and playing the better CCGs. But I strongly feel that Magic is over-rated, critically flawed, and only maintains its supremacy because it was first. Richard Garfield went on to make better games, like Jyhad and Netrunner. Likewise, Legend of the Burning Sands was a better design than Legend of the Five Rings, but most players stuck with L5R because they were so invested in the cards and the setting.
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16 Feb 2022 10:47 #330803 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
I have around 2500 Star Wars CCG cards still. They're a remnant from my youth that I have used for prototypes.

About five or six years ago, someone on BGG was interested in buying them off me. He had me go through and identify all of the rares, as well as count Controls and Alters.

It took me a few hours to do the legwork.

The price was somewhere between $50+$100 if I recall correctly, which was his offer based on the rares and quantity, but then he backed out last minute as he found a set to buy elsewhere. He did apologize but it was pretty aggravating.
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16 Feb 2022 11:04 - 16 Feb 2022 11:04 #330805 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs

Shellhead wrote: Legend of the Five Rings takes place in the excellent Rokugan setting, which was a fictional blend of Japanese samurai and Chinese mysticism. The game itself is playable but flawed, and not actually good for multi-player. Fan engagement was impressive for a number of years, in part because tournaments and organized play seasons had an impact on the gradually-unfolding metaplot of the game. These days, I would rather play another campaign of the L5R rpg in the same setting. Legend of the Burning Sands was an unsuccessful Arabian Nights style spin-off of L5R, but was actually a better game that was later re-implemented as a standalone card game known as The Romance of the Nine Empires, complete with a different setting. The 7th Sea ccg took place in the pseudo-Europe portion of the same world as L5R and LBS, but I wasn't into that one. I never tried the modern version of L5R, as it was completely incompatible with all of my cards. I should get rid of all of my L5R cards except for maybe the nine-deck standalone Emperor edition box. But when I ran my lengthy L5R rpg campaign 20 years ago, it was great to have all of those cards for visual aids.
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I only played the original base set of Netrunner. The random two-player starter decks were a good value and I bought several of them cheap after the game went out of print. I also bought a couple of booster boxes, but never got into the deckbuilding aspect. It was a flawed but interesting game. I didn't try the modern version because it was incompatible with my cards.

L5R was a worthy alternative to M:tG back in '95. I thought the storyline tournament notion was way cool.

I started getting into FFG's Netrunner LCG, and it was pretty good. I know that Erik and a couple other folks here really got into it, but FFG didn't want to renew the Netrunner IP and that was that.
Last edit: 16 Feb 2022 11:04 by RobertB.

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16 Feb 2022 11:35 #330807 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
Yeah, I got into FFG's version of Netrunner when it first came out. Even played a few tournaments. But I couldn't get back into the daily grind of meta awareness and there weren't people in my immediate area to play with on a regular basis, so I got out.

I got into the Call of Cthulhu LCG after it transitioned away from the standard CCG. It was great, My favorite faction, by far, was The Key and the Gate. But I just couldn't find anyone to play with, so that got traded/sold, too. I had a few hundred Heresy cards that I got in a fire sale from one of the local stores that was shutting down. I liked the concept, but never managed to find anyone to play a game with. Sold it. Other than that, I haven't done much in the card space outside of MTG. I definitely wouldn't get into one now, given my rather obsessive nature with collectible games. It's just too much of a time (and money) sink for me.

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16 Feb 2022 13:22 - 16 Feb 2022 13:33 #330815 by fightcitymayor
As much as I loved CCGs back in the day, the best part was buying them up on clearance when they inevitably failed. Sadly a lot of those old CCGs are no longer as dirt cheap as they used to be 10-20 years ago. On to my list!

Battletech - LOVED IT!
Another Richard Garfield design, made especially fun because you could attack specific locations instead of just performing a generic "attack everything" phase. Fun factions, great established lore, high-quality cards, wish it would have lasted longer, but the expansions were uneven & eventually they ruined it by releasing vehicles, which totally botched the game balance, which they tried to address with a general re-release which ultimately failed.

Legend of the Five Rings - Too fiddly!
It taxed my meager brain capabilities beyond what I felt was "fun." I thought the LCG would boil it down to basics, but it kind of went in the opposite direction & made it even more granular. Boo!

7th Sea - Wonky but fun!
Great lore, great factions, interesting release schedule (like Doomtown, with smaller card expansions), ultimately the game itself tried to do too many different things (dueling, boarding ships, invasions) without doing any aspect well.

Doomtown - Good CCG, lost something when it transitioned to an LCG
For me the best part of Doomtown was the deep lore that didn't take itself too seriously. It was fun, the gameplay was great in a casually wacky way, but nothing I ever wanted to play in a severely competitive format. The sense of fun & whimsy was pretty much torpedoed when it was re-released as an LCG.

On The Edge - Bizarre goofy fun
A lot of Gen-X fun back in the day was rooted in being able to laugh at ridiculous campy satire, and kooky dark premises. I never took this game seriously, but it had that Mad-Magazine-gone-goth quality about it, kinda like...

Illuminati - Make weird pyramid connections between cards!
I played this like twice, and enjoyed reading the cards more than playing the actual game.

Any and every Decipher CCG (Star Trek, Star Wars, LotR) - sooooo much text.
When they lost the Star Wars license they tried rebooting the same mechanic with Wars, which is actually still cheaply available.
Last edit: 16 Feb 2022 13:33 by fightcitymayor.
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16 Feb 2022 13:35 #330816 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs
My dim memory is that I bought into the very weird but kind of cool Star Trek CCG... but that it frequently was based heavily on species/empire synergies depending on you having a whole bunch of cards of the same faction, which you wouldn't have if you were playing casually.

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16 Feb 2022 13:56 #330818 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Let's Talk: Dead CCGs

fightcitymayor wrote: Any and every Decipher CCG (Star Trek, Star Wars, LotR) - sooooo much text.
When they lost the Star Wars license they tried rebooting the same mechanic with Wars, which is actually still cheaply available.

IIRC, the complaint back in the day was that Decipher was way too into overpowered cards and their one-card counters. "If an opponent plays Bacta Tanks, search your deck for Painful Rectal Itch, and play it if found."
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16 Feb 2022 14:04 #330819 by fightcitymayor

RobertB wrote:

fightcitymayor wrote: Any and every Decipher CCG (Star Trek, Star Wars, LotR) - sooooo much text.
When they lost the Star Wars license they tried rebooting the same mechanic with Wars, which is actually still cheaply available.

IIRC, the complaint back in the day was that Decipher was way too into overpowered cards and their one-card counters. "If an opponent plays Bacta Tanks, search your deck for Painful Rectal Itch, and play it if found."

Absolutely correct. Magic always got it right by abundant keywording and streamlined text abilities (eventually, not so much early Alpha/Beta/Revised.) Any Decipher CCG was an exercise in scanning a paragraph of text, then attempting to remember what other card's paragraph of text was obviously made to counter it. Which made it fun in a "hey I know that character!" way, but a real chore to deckbuild.

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