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Another LCG changes distribution model


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#1 Danigral

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Warhammer: Invasion joins Call of Cthulhu in the new distribution model of 1 deluxe expansion every 4 months. When it happened to CoC, some speculated that this might herald a shift of other LCGs, and now the precedence is set that other LCGs could shift to this model. To me, this seems an indication not of player base, but of competitive player base, because when you think about it, this is a similar model to other card-based board games like Thunderstone, Dominion, etc., whereas the chapter pack model in my mind caters to the competitive crowd. It's hard to know, but CoC and W:I may still have a sizeable casual player base, similar perhaps to their other board games. Thoughts?

(Here's the original announcement from the headline:)

 

Cataclysm will be the game’s fourth deluxe expansion, and it will also be the first in a new release model. Starting with CataclysmWarhammer: Invasion The Card Game will shift away from monthly Battle Packs to the release of three larger, deluxe expansions per year.

Last year, we made a similar adjustment to the release schedule for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. The change has been well received, and while monthly expansion packs are still the best fit for our other Living Card Games®, we are confident that this release model is better for both Call of Cthulhu and Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game, and we are excited about the future of all our LCG lines!



#2 BBSB12

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

I would argue that competitive players should/would/might prefer whole cycle release model, because in chapter pack model there is an influx of incosistent cards which can easily become useful or playable only by the end of the full cycle. Otherwise, what's the point of buying a pack if it doesn't affect your best deck right away?



#3 Danigral

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

I like the deluxe distribution model as well for a couple of reasons:

1) it's cheaper in the long run. $90 for 180 new cards ($0.50/card) vs. $180 for 240 ($0.75/card) is strictly better economically, even though it's less cards overall per year.

2) the slow trickle of cards month-to-month distracts from people thinking outside the box in deckbuilding, since we'll tend to just replace one card in an already-fine-tuned deck than to build from scratch; a sudden infusion of new cards on a regular basis would encourage experimentation which in turn would shake up the meta somewhat.

That being said, I would love if they went to deluxe boxes and supplemented with special packs, such as a pack full of agendas, or a pack of plots, or a pack full of reprints of important cards (much like the Legacy pack from 5KE during the CCG days).



#4 BBSB12

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

Another interesting question is if expansion model will make people more stable emotionally.=) Because right now after each pack is released people go crazy about how unbalanced it makes House Y which could be true or it could be just an effect of not seing all packs at the same time (where House X will get card Z which could even make House Y the weakest House for all we know)



#5 ccgtrader99

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

Well, the writing was on the wall, these games are moribund. Its sad because CoC was great, and im sure Warhammer was fun also. But one a month(s) is slow enough so im happy Agot isnt headed in that direction yet. If or when it does I'll probably be on my way out.

#6 -Istaril

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

I dunno if Warhammer Invasion is dying, I just think it has more following in Europe. I remember hearing at worlds that there was a tournament in Poland that drew some impressive number of players. Overall it seems like a solid distribution model - you limit the number of separate producs a store has to carry on its shelves, you get bigger influxes of new cards to shape up a meta… you allow the designers to shape and support a new mechanic all in one release (rather than over 6 months). 



#7 playgroundpsychotic

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

The only issue I have with it is that Warhammer and CoC are now getting less cards per year. If GoT went the same path I would like to see either bigger or more frequent boxes.



#8 Vaapad

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:22 AM

playgroundpsychotic said:

The only issue I have with it is that Warhammer and CoC are now getting less cards per year. If GoT went the same path I would like to see either bigger or more frequent boxes.

Agree.  If we got one 180 card box (60 distinct cards 3x each) every 3 months (instead of 4), we'd be getting th same number of cards per year as we currently get with 1 ch pack per month.  Seems like that would be a win win.


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#9 Keggy

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:04 AM

playgroundpsychotic said:

The only issue I have with it is that Warhammer and CoC are now getting less cards per year. If GoT went the same path I would like to see either bigger or more frequent boxes.

This sums up my feelings exaclty.



#10 mdc273

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:36 AM

playgroundpsychotic said:

The only issue I have with it is that Warhammer and CoC are now getting less cards per year. If GoT went the same path I would like to see either bigger or more frequent boxes.

Eh, this enters the quality vs. quantity debate. You can be sure that more time can be spent on each card in a 180 card cycle than a 240 card cycle. You can't be sure that 240 cards will create more variety than 180 cards. 60 of those cards could be very similar, get ignored, or just be more optimized versions of existing cards.

As for card trickle vs. card bang, there is the "Ooooooo, shiny!!!!" component that is not insignificant. If you've played a loot-drop based game, you get that, LoL. People find it more exciting to get something new, even if it's not great, a bunch of times over getting one big new shiny. The environment will not shift at all (card-wise) between expansions. This could result in a loss of interest. I know one player in my meta became disinterested with the meta as he felt it had become stale. The big bang model increases that risk. M:tG can constantly push packs because people are always excited to open a new pack. AGoT can only push packs when there is interest. Therefore, in theory, if they have X players, X is the most number of packs they can push. It is of the highest priority to maintain and increase X. I don't know if there is evidence supporting that an expansion cycle is the way to do so.



#11 Totalgit

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

Doesnt FFG already design a entire chapter cycle up front, then decide what cards go in which chapter packs and print them one at a time?

Seems switching to big box expansions wouldnt really make much of a difference when designing mechanics/themes. I would be up for it as long as the number of cards per year was kept roughly the same.

 






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