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OT: FFG's other LCGs


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#1 Mestrahd

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:01 PM

So I'm fascinated with this idea of LCG after coming from CCGs and I wanted to get the opinions of FFG loyalists. I've watched the demos for all 3 of their LCGs and I'm interested in this order: WI, AGOT, and lastly COC. I've heard WI is imbalanced pretty bad with just the core set, but how about AGOT? I might buy either WI or AGOT based on positive feedback, but probably not both. I'd prefer my initial investment to be low, so which one is best out the gate with 1 core? Both have been around for what looks like years but shouldn't be too hard to find if I like them.

Thanks for any advice!



#2 Carnivean

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:23 PM

Hey Mestrahd,

Well I have 2-3 Cores of AGOT, WI and LOTR.  Personally of those three, AGOT is easily the best out of the box.

Having played LOTR, you know that the Event cards eat into player decks in the core set and that is understandable.  Characters are limiting in terms of customisation.  Also the LOTR card pool is bare.  Neither WI and AGOT are going to have this issue.  The decks are larger out of the box and are broader in scope.

Our group isn't as heavily into WI as AGOT, but reading around the balance in WI is getting there now.

AGOT I love to death.  Some players are still just using the CS and have a great time in our group.  A lot of that has to do with imagery as much as anything, but it is a solid game, enjoyable play and as balanced as anything can be is something like a Core Set.
Add in that there are deluxe boxes now for all but one house (Lannister) and there are plenty of options for people in your group to go forward with.



#3 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:52 AM

AGoT is by far the best right out of the box and overall. Best thing now is if you get the core set and like it you can buy the house expansion for the house that you like and using that and just 1 core set you can build decks that were designed for using just those. In each of the newer house expansions they have put in a little insert that gives you two decks to build and explanation on how to use them. Princes of the Sun and Kings of the Sea do not have this, instead they have alternate play format rules. If you ever get Princes of the Sun or Kings of the Sea, make sure it is the Revised edition as they now come with 3 of each card in them. When originally released Princes had 2 of each and Kings of the Sea had 1 of each and a special resin house card.

I started buying LCG's back in the fall of 2009 and started by buying Warhammer invasion, and then AGoT couple weeks later, then I started to collect both games packs buying 2 of each as at the time packs were 10 cards in 1 copies and 10 cards in 3 copies. We got bored of Warhammer after playing in the Canadian regionals in 2010 and haven't touched it since. Game is horribly imbalanced and from what I see from the occasional read on W:I forums, still has some issues, this was just after the second cycle had started that we stopped.

AGoT I now own every card for. It really was quite easy getting the old packs, some my FLGS got for me and rest I got on ebay and miniature market.

So for the best core set experience get the AGoT core set box and if you want to expand I would start with the House expansions as they are the best investment, Lannister is only one not out yet and will likely I am guessing be out later this year.



#4 Mestrahd

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 05:13 AM

Thanks guys. It sounds like AGOT is ahead so far. Which expansions or cycles do you deem "necessary"? You mentioned House specific packs? Are they labeled as such in the product description?



#5 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:50 AM

It really depends on what house you want, what kinds of decks you wanna build etc. as to what packs to get. The cycles since Brotherhood without Banners cycle are all 3 of each card so they are good investments. Ones prior to that were the older LCG pack model but may see reprinting down the road like they are doing with Cthulhu's older packs, maybe.

The House boxes are the big deluxe expansions each of which focuses on one of the Houses, Kings of the Sea Revised(introduced Greyjoy to the LCG enviroment), Princes of the Sun revised(introduced Martell to the LCG enviroment), Lords of Winter(Stark expansion), Kings of the Storm(Baratheon expansion), Queen of Dragons(Targaryen expansion). Kings of the Sea and Princes of the Sun come with new play format rules and the others come with two deck lists and how to play with them and the Targaryen one also has the rules for shadow cards. You can also download all the rules on the AGoT support page.



#6 Arma virumque

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:56 AM

I also like AGOT better than WI.  Here are a couple more points to think about:

1) If you think you might want to play a game with more than 2 players, AGOT is the only way to go.

2) The AGOT learning curve is steeper than WI, in several ways:  The gameplay is more complex (and the FAQ is larger).  The cards in the core set are all singletons, so it takes many games to become familiar with all the cards in your deck.  And there are more expansions available.

Personally, I recommend AGOT for experienced CCG players, people who want multiplayer, and people who want to be devoted to their LCG.  WI might be a better choice for less experienced players and people who just want a core set to throw on the table once in a while.



#7 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:29 AM

1 thing some cards in AGoT are in multiple copies 2 or 3 copies. Most unique cards people only use 1 of anyway in even most competitive decks. We played for a few months with just the core set with 3 to 4 players and it was great.



#8 sputang

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:21 PM

As a recent fan of the LotR CCG, I was actually going to ask the original poster's same question and was really looking at AGoT.  However, among my group, I will most likely be the only one purchasing the game and will treat try to pull it out on board game night every now and then.  With this in mind, besides the core set, what deluxe set would be most varied to have 4 pre constructed decks ready whenever I'd like to bring this out?  And is this even good for this style of play?



#9 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:17 PM

Each of the deluxe expansions focuses on one of the Houses but each gives you cards to add to the core set and make full size decks. However, playing with just the core set is fine and works well. I was the only one in my group getting it but I got others hooked into it quite easily. Now is an even better time as the HBO show is really getting people excited for it. The core set has 4 pre constructed decks in it ready to use.



#10 Mestrahd

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:23 PM

Arma virumque said:

I also like AGOT better than WI.  Here are a couple more points to think about:

1) If you think you might want to play a game with more than 2 players, AGOT is the only way to go.

2) The AGOT learning curve is steeper than WI, in several ways:  The gameplay is more complex (and the FAQ is larger).  The cards in the core set are all singletons, so it takes many games to become familiar with all the cards in your deck.  And there are more expansions available.

Personally, I recommend AGOT for experienced CCG players, people who want multiplayer, and people who want to be devoted to their LCG.  WI might be a better choice for less experienced players and people who just want a core set to throw on the table once in a while.

Arma virumque said:

I also like AGOT better than WI.  Here are a couple more points to think about:

1) If you think you might want to play a game with more than 2 players, AGOT is the only way to go.

2) The AGOT learning curve is steeper than WI, in several ways:  The gameplay is more complex (and the FAQ is larger).  The cards in the core set are all singletons, so it takes many games to become familiar with all the cards in your deck.  And there are more expansions available.

Personally, I recommend AGOT for experienced CCG players, people who want multiplayer, and people who want to be devoted to their LCG.  WI might be a better choice for less experienced players and people who just want a core set to throw on the table once in a while.

Thank you for the further points. I have to compare the two games now.

1) I don't see a time where I would ever have more than 2 players, so does AGOT begin to pale in that regard vs WI? Which is a better straight-up 2 person game?

As for your recommendations, I am an experienced CCG player, but I do not care about 3+ player capability, and I'm already "devoted" to at least 2 other games at the moment. So would you recommend Warhammer at that point? I plan on asking my friend's opinion on both games too, and that will carry a lot of weight, but as I said, good reviews always help.



#11 Carnivean

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:59 PM

I think the 3+ thing is more just if your group is that dynamic.  AGOT is great with 2-4, no dramas at all.  WI doesn't seemed as well designed as AGOT when talking 3 or more players.  What you will find is that some cards have an effect that scales meaning it is definitely more effective in a 4-player game.  You will likely end up with a deck built for 4-player Melee games in case people want to have a go at that level and a 2-player Joust deck which you use most of the time.

The different game types can be fun as well, so that can offer a break from standard game.

In our group now we are finding the following happens . . . AGOT at 2 players, then AGOT or LOTR as more players turn up depending on what people what to do.  WI seems to get pushed to the side more often than not.  WI got played a little pre-LOTR, but since then not much at all.

The Core Set really is great though for AGOT.



#12 Arma virumque

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 05:39 PM

Mestrahd said:

 

 

Thank you for the further points. I have to compare the two games now.

1) I don't see a time where I would ever have more than 2 players, so does AGOT begin to pale in that regard vs WI? Which is a better straight-up 2 person game?

As for your recommendations, I am an experienced CCG player, but I do not care about 3+ player capability, and I'm already "devoted" to at least 2 other games at the moment. So would you recommend Warhammer at that point? I plan on asking my friend's opinion on both games too, and that will carry a lot of weight, but as I said, good reviews always help.

 

 

AGOT's a fantastic game for 2 players, so no worries there.  However, there are a small number of cards in the core set that are pretty lame in 2-player matches; you'll figure out which ones they are pretty soon, and swap them out for other cards.

There's no easy answer to your other question, about whether Warhammer would be better for you because you're "devoted" to 2 other games (which I assume means that you would play AGOT/Warhammer only sporadically).  Let me share one observation that may help:

In my opinion, there's more tactical depth in AGOT.  What I mean is that it's very hard to win AGOT, even with a great deck, if you make poor tactical decisions during play.  By comparison, about 50% of my Warhammer games seem to run on autopilot -- my deck/strategy vs. the opponent's deck/strategy, with only a few key tactical decisions each game.

The flip side of the tactical depth is that AGOT creates more "brain burn" for casual players:  The tactical decision trees can be overwhelming, and lead to analysis paralysis.  With experience, of course, this isn't as big a problem.

I hope that helps.  I'm a sporadic player myself, and would definitely choose AGOT over Warhammer if given a choice.  Unfortunately the only person I can make time to play with doesn't own AGOT cards, so I haven't played it in over a year.  I miss it!



#13 Arma virumque

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

Arma virumque said:

 

In my opinion, there's more tactical depth in AGOT.  What I mean is that it's very hard to win AGOT, even with a great deck, if you make poor tactical decisions during play.  By comparison, about 50% of my Warhammer games seem to run on autopilot -- my deck/strategy vs. the opponent's deck/strategy, with only a few key tactical decisions each game.

 

 

Is it self-centered to quote yourself in a post? 

I want to add one clarification:  I was referring to my experience with constructed decks, not the core set.  I didn't play too many games with just the core sets, but I have a vague memory that perhaps this generalization doesn't hold true in that instance.  I'd be interested to hear a second opinion from somebody like Toqtamish who said that he played extensively with just the core set.



#14 TheLightdarker

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:52 PM

This may be far too vague of a question to ask (or demand too long of an answer to bother responding to), but having no experience with the other LCGs, just how similar are all of them (considering that Nate French also designed CoC and aGoT)?  From what I've read, there seem to be quite a few mechanics that they share, but just how alike are these games?



#15 Mestrahd

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

@Lightdarker - Having just watched all the tutorial videos, with no actual gameplay, they all look quite different from each other. Of course they are dramatically different than LOTR being pvp games, but I think the variety between them is impressive too. Maybe someone else could clarify further?

@Arma - Your response was great! Now I hope my friend agrees with AGOT, because that's where I'm leaning now. And you're right about my devoted comment, with AGOT only acting as "filler" between releases (LOTR mostly, because my other 3 games are "dead"). Now that I think about it, it might be better to have a pvp game that scales with more people, just in case. I already have several 2 player only games and nothing that accomodates more except LOTR which I just got a month ago. As for "brain burn", I don't mind that because it feels like you've accomplished something at the end. We used to get that occasionally playing Vs, and those games tended to be more fun than the autopilots.



#16 Arma virumque

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:21 AM

Lightdarker said:

This may be far too vague of a question to ask (or demand too long of an answer to bother responding to), but having no experience with the other LCGs, just how similar are all of them (considering that Nate French also designed CoC and aGoT)?  From what I've read, there seem to be quite a few mechanics that they share, but just how alike are these games?

I haven't played COC, so I can't comment on that.

AGOT feels similar to LOTR in some of the mechanics, such as exhausting a character to attack or defend (so you can't do both with the same character).  (Of course, that particular mechanic is shared by other CCGs as well.)  In addition, AGOT and LOTR both have detailed turn sequences, with many phases.  But as you would expect, AGOT has nothing remotely similar to the encounter deck or any of the mechanics that set up your opposition in LOTR.

The biggest similarity, I think, is in the card templating.  Examples include the bold text in front of an action that specifies (sometimes) if an action can only be performed during certain phases (i.e., "Quest Action:"), or if an action can only be triggered as a response ("Response:").  In addition, there are some concepts that travel well from game to game, such as the difference between "played" and "put into play."

Warhammer, on the other hand, is quite different.  There's no kneeling to attack or defend.  And instead of having defined "Response" triggers, Warhammer uses a Last-in-First-Out stack (similar to Magic), where any action can be played as a response to almost any other action, but resolve first.  (I happen to really dislike this mechanic.)  Plus, the card template allows for restricting actions to certain zones of play but not certain phases of the game.  (Warhammer fans are still waiting for a thorough, comprehensive turn sequence.)  In my completely uninformed opinion, it appears that a fair amount of designer effort since the game's release has gone into clarifying these mechanics, or into clarifying cards because the templating language for describing the game's concepts isn't as well defined.

 



#17 Arma virumque

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:36 AM

(Boy, I haven't done this much posting in months!)

One other difference:  The AGOT forums are generally filled with thoughtful, reasonable discussions, and the people I've met at tournaments have all been kind and generous.  It's an outstanding group of players.  I've never been to a Warhammer tournament, and I'm sure there are lots of kind, generous Warhammer players too, but the online forums have a higher level of snarkiness and rude behavior.  I enjoy reading the AGOT forums for fun, just like I enjoy the LOTR forums, but I don't get any enjoyment from reading the Warhammer forums.

I don't mean to give anyone the impression that Warhammer is a bad game.  It's not!  As I said earlier, I play it nearly every week, simply because that's the game my friend owns, and I have a good time.  But if I could magically change all my friend's cards into AGOT cards, I would.

As always, this is just one guy's opinion.  Your mileage may vary.



#18 Toqtamish

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:51 AM

AGoT has a great community of which I am glad to be part of. Warhammer on the other hand the forum used to be great in the start but it devolved pretty quickly. I have been to the Canadian regionals for Warhammer and if you are not playing Orc rush you might as well have just auto lost I came in 5th with my Dark Elf deck, we have not touched the game since then and that was over a year ago now. I have taught friends both games and they always say I like AGoT better. Not to say W:I is bad it is just for them and me that AGoT is better between the two.

AGoT on the other hand is my main game and the one I push a lot of. It is fun, tactical, and I have 10 different decks for it. Plus I enjoy a game where you can support your faction kinda like L5R.



#19 Mestrahd

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:45 PM

I tried some demo decks for AGOT and it seems like once you get a lead, it's very hard to catch up. It kind of rolls downhill. Any of the challenges is potentially helpful either by board control, hand control, or gaining power. And I'm not sure I like the way initiative is determined. It seems the person that goes first is usually going to make headway. It's entirely possible I'm playing something wrong as well.



#20 Toqtamish

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:36 AM

Sounds like you might be. AGoT can go back and forth very quickly between two players. It does take a bit to get used to so it might just be because you are new at it. Come on over to the AGoT forums and can talk over there and ask questions.






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