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New to LCG. Q regarding card distribution in core set…


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#1 denyeverything

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:34 AM

First off. I really enjoy Netrunner. I just recently picked it up, and just learning and working with all the cards and the system is great. I wouldn't have registered and posted here otherwise. As a caveat to all of this, this is my first LCG by FFG, so if this is all old hat, well….

 

Here is an old hat again. 

 

When I was at GenCon and asked about the game "oh, you don't buy packs. when you buy a set, you have all the cards." I thought, how sweet is that. It's not really the cost, but the hunting, haggling, and debating of where/when/why/how much of getting the cards I needed was a headache that distracted from my enjoyment of card games. I don't watch antique roadshow. I don't flip houses for a living. I just want to play the games and design the decks. Taking all that nonsense that was unfortunately necessary due to the economics of a pack centric card game systems had an entirely different allure.

 

In truth, that was probably primary reason for picking up the game. (Of course, it' specifics led me to Netrunner, but if it was just packs or something else, I doubt anything about the system or world would make the sale.)

I open the box and what do I see? OOoo cards! I thumb through them reading them. Figuring out different synergies and deciphering the secrets of the game systems. 

And then I go… Wait.. I only have 1 of this card… Isn't it 3 cards max for a deck… and i just have 2 of this card… and… wait… what?

I'm genuinely concerned that I lost some of the cards. How could I be so careless? I just opened the box moments ago? Yet,  Moments later, I get a sneaking suspicion, check the instruction manual and… okay. 28 corporation cards each… ummm… everything seems right… i look up the information on the corporation cards, i look at the symbol list, until i see the blurb about starter decks and the symbol indicating how many of each card I should have….

 

I am confused.

 

So I started this post, half way in it I thought, "well maybe I deceived myself. maybe, this was more my assumption than anything else." so, i check the back of the box. Doesn't say anything about this. I look at the website.

"A Core Set provides everything you need for a complete and self-contained game experience, but if you choose to go beyond the Core Set, monthly expansion packs provide fresh content at an easily affordable price. These monthly releases offer enough new content to keep the game immersive and strategic, while remaining accessible and digestible to casual players."

Ahh… well I guess, it's technically complete. It's complete in the same way a starter deck in Magic is complete, though more so in a certain context. (Though the way the word "complete" is rendered meaningless by the phrase "more complete" sums up my point). 

"LCGs® have no rare or promo cards that need to be chased. This ensures that games are determined by a player’s deck building skills and play strategies, rather than who spent the most money in pursuit of hard-to-find ultra rare cards. The fixed format means that every player has equal access to every card needed to build his or her deck."

Ahhh… well, I guess there are no rare cards. I mean, since you don't define a card as rare in the classic Magic the Gathering way, you didn't say anything technically untrue. Of course, if I have one of one card and three of another card, there is certainly an element of being rare in a Websters Dictionary sort of way. And due to this, I'm pretty sure that spending more money to get 3 of a card that you only got one of, could and would be a common element to winning games. It's a stable set of money, sure, but to say that a person with one core set "ensure that money is not an issue" is something that isn't really true…. oh wait, right. you defined rare to mean you have no rares and you limited the context of money only to rares. alrightie.

 

Again, if this is all "business as usual", well frankly, I'm new to the business.

But, to be blunt, if the expansions are structured in a similar way, I'll probably just take the hit on buying the core set and walk away. The nature of rares in pack-centric card games is part of the nature of the beast. You buy a pack, and you might strike rich. You might hit mud. But that is part of what it is. And, yes, it can game you, but you can game it right back. And while that's not my thing, at least it never tried to imply that it was anything other than what it was. 

So this is a long way of saying "Netrunner, you disappointed me."

Now, I'm sure some people will defend it by saying "if you compare how much going into other card games are, even buying three sets is really not all that expensive".

And I honestly, wholeheartedly agree. But on the other hand, would you pay 120 dollars for a set that contained 3x of each of the cards? The funny thing is that I would probably be willing to pay more than most for such a set. And ultimately, I may still in fact do that if it turns out the expansions are complete in, ahem, my definition of complete.

 

So that's my… confession? criticism? confusion? not really sure. 

 

Is there a rationale to this that doesn't devolve to simply "the business model that was chosen"?

Am I the only one who thought it was going to be different?

Are the expansions going to follow the same distribution formula?

Are the other Core sets going to follow this distribution formula?

Do the other living card games follow this distribution formula?

 

And don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to make any sort of moral claim or judgment here. But simply, the business model of "a truely complete core set with complete expansions" was something that I wanted to buy into. If that's not what this is, then, that's all well and good. I wish you all the best as it's a good system and set. But it's just simply less than what I was looking for.



#2 Shadin

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:25 AM

The expansions all come with 3x of every card in them.  The Core Set does not, since FFG decided to instead focus on a complete experience with a single box, instead of a limited deck building experience.  The issue has been debated extensively, but at least you can rest assured that all future expansions contain complete playsets.

To soften the blow (and because I tend to disagree with their choice of not offering a pack to complete the Core playset), I buy my first Core Set online and then if I want additional ones I scoop them up used in Like-New condition as people sell them off for cheap.  I recently decided to get into AGOT and have three Core Sets for a total of $68, one from Amazon and two used for $20 a pop.  I haven't done the same with Netrunner since the initial printing sold out and copies are hard to come by, but intend to as soon as the market is flooded again.


I know there's no grand plan here.  This is just the way it goes.


#3 Toqtamish

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:55 AM

Core sets are meant to provide card variety over entire play sets. This is like this for every single LCG. Also the card list including quantities for Netrunner has been available for quite a while now and can be found on the support page, www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp You by no means need 3 of every card in any card game. However extra core sets do allow you to build more decks, I currently own 2 and am buying a 3rd as soon as they are back in stores, currently the reprint is shipping to stores. There will be no other core sets, every LCG only has 1 core set. There might be deluxe expansions which are 3 of each card as are the data packs. Like I said this was known for quite a while so did not come as a surprise to most especially with the card list itself being given out as of August. I'm sorry this gave you a bad impression.

www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/android-netrunner/support/AND01-card-list.pdf



#4 ShippuJinrai

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

 I see no discrepancies with what the description says. It advertises that the game is completely playable out of the box. You only NEED one box to play. The nice thing about Netrunner is that the cards that are 1 of's are usually unique or don't really warrant running a full set of anways (IE consoles, Aesop's, ICE Carver, etc.). To kind of piggy back off of what these gentlemen have already said, I am sorry you feel cheated. However, the entry cost of Netrunner is lower then any other LCG (at least to my knowledge… this is my first one :P) and substantially lower than ANY other CCG. I hope you stick around and continue playing the game. It really is a fantastic game with a TON of depth and strategy. Even the limited card pool gives you a boat load of options for deck building. 



#5 Mejis

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

ShippuJinrai said:

 

 I see no discrepancies with what the description says. It advertises that the game is completely playable out of the box. You only NEED one box to play. The nice thing about Netrunner is that the cards that are 1 of's are usually unique or don't really warrant running a full set of anways (IE consoles, Aesop's, ICE Carver, etc.). To kind of piggy back off of what these gentlemen have already said, I am sorry you feel cheated. However, the entry cost of Netrunner is lower then any other LCG (at least to my knowledge… this is my first one :P) and substantially lower than ANY other CCG. I hope you stick around and continue playing the game. It really is a fantastic game with a TON of depth and strategy. Even the limited card pool gives you a boat load of options for deck building. 

 

 

Yeah I have to agree here, I don't personally feel the need to buy any additional core sets to "complete" up to 3 cards of each to make a set. Also, you'll find in the rules manual that each card lists how many are in the core set by the little square icons found on each card (one, two or three squares), so you can easily check if you've lost any cards!

And, as has been said, each expansion will contain 3x of each card.

The biggest pro of an LCG is that you know exactly what you are getting, and that you are getting exactly the same as everyone else.

 

And finally … Netrunner is flipping amazing, I cannot wait for the first expansion.



#6 Khudzlin

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:37 AM

I'll add that the A:NR Core Set is way better than the AGoT Core Set as far as the card distribution goes. The latter does not provide complete decks (they only have 45 cards instead of the required 60) and almost all cards are 1x with quite a few you would want to include 2x or 3x. This means you need 3 copies if you get serious about deckbuilding. On the other hand, the former provides complete decks, 1x cards are probably not needed as more than 2x for a single deck and really necessary cards are 3x. That means you probably want a 2nd copy if you get serious or want extra decks and would want a 3rd only for extra decks or if you absolutely want to have 3 copies of each card.



#7 Devlan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

 I think unless you're playing competitively, the main draw to buying multiple core sets is so you can have more than just one Corp and Runner deck at the same time.  I've got a single core, and I think the distribution is pretty decent for a starter set, but I'll probably be picking up another two at some point just so the completionist in me can feel satisfied with having at least one of everything, and having more options available if and when I try to teach other people the game than just the core set starter recommendations.



#8 Lazy McCrow

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:54 PM

 I am new to LCGs, and I am excited to get in to A:NR at the ground floor - it is a ton of fun - an excellent game and I look forward to the expansion sets.

However, this post is really just to register that my experience as exactly the same as the OP. I don't want to buy three core sets, and while I am enjoying the game with just one, the fact that you DO want 3 copies of some cards which aren't included as a 'Complete' set is annoying. The fact that 3x of each card are not included, is about as obvious as the tiny dots on the Core set cards ie: Identifiable only once you've realised what you're looking for.

The only way I'll be 100% happy with the way this sales technique has been applied, is when FFG release the 'missing' cards as part of a separate expansion: Which is one that I will be happy to buy.

 



#9 Toqtamish

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:49 AM

Lazy McCrow said:

The only way I'll be 100% happy with the way this sales technique has been applied, is when FFG release the 'missing' cards as part of a separate expansion: Which is one that I will be happy to buy.

 

Never going to happen, ever. This has been debated, argued, fought, to death for years now. FFG has made it very clear they would rather have card variety in the game than complete sets. Complete sets would mean less different cards and therefore a much less fulfilling out of box experience. Also it is not cost effective to make an expansion like that. You do not need 3 of every card, especially in Netrunner. If you want more get two sets that would be plenty for pretty much anyone.



#10 Lazy McCrow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:55 AM

 OK - I appreciate the answer, given that its old ground, much covered. I just hadn't appreciated that quirk of the marketing model when I bought into it. I shall continue to enjoy the game nonetheless :)



#11 Toqtamish

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:42 AM

Another way to think of it is more like a board game. If you only ever buy one core set ever and that is all you play with you would want more variety over quantity.



#12 Messenger

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

 TBH and IMHO, most of the cards that come in 1's and 2's you don't need 3's of, even for competitive play. Certainly, those cards tend to provide some useful albeit quirky effect, but you can easily enough play without that extra copy of them. With draw and search easily available as well, you can get by with what you have.

Personally, I find one Core Set enough. Going for three cards can often be overkill in deck construction and in play. In fact for my Haas-Bioroid and Criminal deck, I've even found myself completely kicking out cards that came in 1's and 2's. Ultimately- I'm going to be stepping on some toes here- I think some completist players are missing the point of the game: it is not to have 3 copies of a card or to frequently do what those cards provide; rather, the point is to advance or steal agendas and win the game, and those cards are merely stepping stones.






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