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BigKahuna

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  1. So recently there has been several online shops that have put up a Twilight Imperium expansion on pre-order yet there has been no official announcement from Fantasy Flight Games about it. The expansion is called Prophecy of Kings, its listed at about 100 bucks in several places. Since its not April 1st, has anyone heard any official confirmation of this product anywhere?
  2. Yeah don't doubt it, if they made an expansion, I would be first in line for it no matter what it is. For me personally if Fantasy Flight Games wants to do something for the fans, the loyalist that have been playing this game for decades. I vote for a collectors edition like they did for War of the Ring. I would hand over my first born guilt free for that, he's 15, he's had a good run, I'll miss him, but definitely worth it.
  3. Hey Guys I recently started up a new Lord of the Rings Saga campaign and realized that I'm actually still hosting some community produced resources on my servers, but I'm not sure how many people are even aware of it. So for the record. gamersdungeon.net (http://www.gamersdungeon.net/) is a gaming blog I write for, its been around for quite a few years and covers a wide range of gaming reviews, opinion articles and various strategy guides, stuff like that. Mostly board games but there is a lot of RPG, PC game and other articles. It's kind of a mish-mash but included as part of the site is a Lord of the Rings card game section. The prize here is the Lord of the Rings LCG companion (http://lotr-lcg-quest-companion.gamersdungeon.net/) which has been maintained very well, it includes a lot of great information on the various expansions, ratings, FAQ information , rules for everything, glossaries. Its very well done. We also host the Lord of the Rings LCG Campaign Log tool (http://www.lotr-lcg-quest-companion.gamersdungeon.net/campaignlog/) . This is just a nice tool to manage/track your Saga campaigns. I just wanted to remind everyone that this resource is still around and available, its humble creators should come forth and say hello as well!
  4. Lord of the Rings has had a great run and though I agree that the game is done well enough to justify its continuation, given the circumstances of the economy and the state of the company, I think it's fair to speculate that its time has come. My hope is that I will be able to finish my collection, Im missing a few quests from a couple of cycles I would like to complete, but frankly if I never bought another thing for Lord of the Rings, Im very happy with my collection. As for new versions, frankly I would be fine with it as long as its backward compatible somehow but Im not down for collecting a whole new Lord of the Rings card game. Im very invested in the game, so much so that I passed on the electronic version as well for the same reason. Once was enough, whatever new version they come out with, regardless of what it is, I will pass on it unless its backwards compatible with the current version.
  5. I agree and some of the responses to me kind of support that. For example when dalestephenson pointed out that to him adjusting decks for Carrock is not necessary. It may not be necessary for him, as he see's the games difficulty as lower, then I do. I for example have never been able to beat any quest on Nightmare mode, to me they are physically impossible to beat. Clearly that is a matter of skill, it could be a matter of card pool, an amount of games played, or even bringing over just general gamer experiance. The game has to manage to be fun for me and fun for guys like dalestephenson under the same mechanic and same conditions. This is why I always say that Arkam Horror is such a big let down for me, to me it does exactly what I don't want a game to be, its balance is meant to be "fun for everyone". Which is great but what that really means is that the game is stupidly easy even for guys like me, I can't imagine how boring it must be for the more experienced gamers. Me and my friends literally unboxed Arkham Horror (with the Dunwhich Legacy Cycle) read the rules, played our first run through the whole campaign and beat every quest on the first try under normal difficulty. It was the first and last time we ever played the game, its been collecting dust on my shelf ever since and I mostly regret buying into it so hard. And here is the thing, no one disliked it, it was fun, there just was no point in ever playing it again, it was kind of like a legacy game. You play it through once, you beat it and then your done with it. Lord of the Rings on the other hand me and my friends are still trying to beat certain quests, we still have never successfully completed the Saga campaign. People come up with new Deck Ideas all the time and it kind of drive the game back to the table . The fact that we struggle with it, that it seems unfair sometimes or even unbeatable, that's what keeps us coming back.
  6. Its written on the box. I don't think its a stretch to assume a 1-2 player game released as such is not tested for 3-4 players. Would you assume they tested the game at 8 players?
  7. I don't have any experience playing the game 4 players and officially its a 2 player game which suggests that it was never really tested/designed to be a 4 player game. I can however imagine with 4 players, the amount of synergy you can create would probably allow for a greater diversity in the decks which might not require you to alter them as much. My experiences have always been solo or 2 player so I can only speak to that.
  8. Agreed. Its difficult to put into words, but I think the short answer is that Lord of the Rings is a unique deck building game in that unlike almost all deck building games in that you don't build a deck to beat the game or beat your opponent, you instead build a deck to solve the current puzzle (quest). Now grant it there are ways with sufficient card pool to create niche decks that can become the sort of "ultimate deck" that is powerful enough to beat most quests in the game but those are so very specific and there really are very few of them, most of which leverage min/maxing and poorly designed cards with a few assumptions (like owning 2 core sets for example). Generally this is a game of solving a puzzle via deck building and most of the problems described by the OP are not "all quests" problems, but very specific quests. For example most quests do now have Location heavy encounter decks, some do, but most don't. Most encounter decks don't rely on the Doom mechanic, same goes with enemy design. Each quest is unique and requires a unique deck(s) to beat it and the challenge of the game is building that deck for that quest. For the next quest you will likely again have to alter your deck. I think the mindset of "build one deck to beat them all" is a kind of carry over from most deck building games and a attribute/attitude players bring over in this game which ultimately leads to disappointment. If however you recognize how Lord of the Rings is different and that the challenge is to build decks to beat specific quests, if you embrace that concept, then the game opens up to you and a lot of the design starts to make a lot more sense. A good example is Conflict at The Carrock. Most new players really struggle with this quest because up until you hit it, most of the quests leading up to it in that series don't really require anything particularly specific as far as design or strategy goes. Most halfway decent decks will do. Conflict At The Carrock is the first time when you must adjust your deck for a very specific challenge and most players that figure out can eventually beat the quest 100% of the time even on nightmare because there is a puzzle to solve here and once solved a quest that seemed impossible to beat becomes fairly easy to defeat consistently. From Carrock on, this is how the game challenges you. Now of course there are some quests that really are super tough and you might not be able to find a solution to the puzzle with your current card pool. I dont think that is intentional but it does happen (depending on how you collect). As an owner of almost the entire collecting I have many quests I have never beaten but I know there is a solution to those puzzles, I just havent found it and I have always intentionally avoided seeking out the answer online. The game stays fresh and interesting for me knowing that there are still challenges waiting for me in my collection.
  9. Its worth pointing out as well that this concept of "elimination" as a player goal and it being opposed to winning the game (going for the win strategy) is actually really common in Euro games. Just off the top of my head, Through The Ages, Ticket to Ride, Terra-forming Mars, Great Western Trail, 7 Wonders, even CamelUp. Any one of those games if you don't care about winning and you just want to make sure someone at the table loses, its super simple to do it. This idea of throwing the game to make sure someone at the table loses the game is possible in I would say the overwhelming majority of all games. The fact that it can also be done in Twilight Imperium is hardly even worth discussion, if someone at your table plays to lose and is just there to ruin someone elses fun, your problem isn't the game, its your gaming group.
  10. I have been playing this game for a very long time, I think the better part of 10 years. In all time I can't recall a single game where a player was ever eliminated from the game. Certainly people have and almost always do end up in positions from which they aren't likely to recover and win the game, but eliminated.. never seen it. I do believe that inherently as part of the core mechanic of the game there really is no real benefit to eliminating someone and quite a few drawbacks. Twilight Imperium is a game of gaining victory points and in equal part preventing opponents from getting victory points. War is a major detractor from gaining victory points, it's a resource sink that rarely pays back as much as it takes and typically going to war slows down your progress even if you are winning it as much as it does your target. Typically the winners of any wars between players are the players not in the war (the third party). Eliminating someone really requires a considerable effort and resource commitment and it's unlikely that if you make that commitment that it will earn you as many points as you would earn if you don't commit to a war. In particular given that even a player in a terribly weak position can still snipe at you with very damaging action cards for example, or blocking moves that can give an advantage to someone other than you as they go after you on the basis of vendetta. In our games if I as a player for example tried to eliminate you, its paramount to me throwing the game, I will definitely not win. For one, the player that I'm at war with him will do everything in his power to ensure that I don't win and in TI, if a player decides you are not going to win and is willing to sacrifice his own chances of winning, the chances of you still winning that game are just shy of 0%. A player that sacrifices himself to keep you from winning will succeed 100% of the time, in 10 years I have never seen it play out any other way. We call this the revenge factor at my table as once a player thinks your responsible for his loss and decides to throw the game to take you out, you are done for. In my experience most even marginally experienced TI players quickly learn that there is a time to fight, but in on itself war is almost always a losing proposition which is exactly why the races that have the greatest advantages in war like the Sardek for example, actually are hands down the worst races in the game always playing it from a massive disadvantage. I do believe of course that you see elimination in your games, certainly, if as a player decision you make eliminating a player from the game a goal, it can be achieved, but I can't imagine a player with that sort of objective would have any chance in **** of actually winning the game, so it begs the question, why would anyone have this strategy? I think by design, TI assumes that players will be playing to win, not to eliminate each other. So while you can certainly claim that TI has player elimination, this really shouldn't be a problem in a game where everyone at the table is actually playing to win the game.
  11. To be honest with you, not that I would pass on anything ever made for TI, but frankly its kind of bloated already in particular if you own both TI3 and TI4 which at this point I would imagine most current TI players probably do. To me TI4 was a really good compromise that took all of the best parts of TI3 and infused them into a single experience with an appropriate heavy hand of streamlining. In a lot of ways its the perfect version of the game. Many of the expansion concept that have been explored in past edition and ultimately eliminated from the current version were cut for pretty good reason. For example the 7-8 player game. Complete and utter nightmare. I did it once and frankly given a choice between a swift kick in the nuts and a 8 player game, I would take the swift kick. Just an awful experience which effectively took what is already one of the longest games imaginable and extends it by 3 hours with downtimes that could last in excess of an hour towards end game play. More systems really wouldn't change much in the game, there is already a metric ton of dynamics in the galaxy creation, I mean sure it might be interesting to have some new red tiles for example or perhaps some alternative planet systems but I don't really see that as something missing from the game. The game already has 17 factions. I have been playing this game for a bloody decade and there are still factions I have never played. Plus the interaction of the factions is already so immensely complex I don't see how adding more would really improve the game in anyway. It's already a bit much. Distant Suns to, I mean I have added them from Ti3 into Ti4 and frankly it really doesn't do much to improve the game in anyway, what the effect really boils down to is that the game is slower which with TI, anything that makes the game slower is bad. Notably most of the expansion content that was cut from TI4 where very specifically things that made the game slower. I mean I'm not opposing an expansion, I would certainly buy it, but I don't really see anything that is missing in the game, quite to the contrary, there is too much of it as it is.
  12. I think it's important to keep some things in mind here. First, competitive play is something the minority of people do. Most people that play card games do so at their kitchen table with friends. While I understand that competitive play is an important component to success of a collectable card game (CCG, LCG or other), the reality is that this is not the format and standard by which the vast majority of players will experience the game. The second thing is the cost . These games are not sold outside of the US for 15 bucks for a cycle pack for example. In Sweden for example to buy the entire collection it would cost you about 12,000 crowns if you buy it at the cheapest online outlet and that is a reduced priced compared to brick and mortar shops. 12,000 crowns is about 1,200 dollars, a lot in any country. Finally I think the key issue isn't maintenance cost but getting into it cost. Today if you want to play Legend of the Five Rings, lets assume your cost of 610 dollars. How many people do you know that have 610 dollars to get into a card game? That cost goes up each month and it will be less and less likely as time goes on to get into the game. And as pointed out, eventually you start running into availability issues as well thanks to the way the game is staggered into cycles, so even if you have 610 dollars, it's unlikely you would be able to find everything. I get what your saying, but its really now quite that black and white and I think the devil is in the details here and its here where a lot of these games actually do run into trouble.
  13. Certainly, it's not a perfect science, but with LCG's you know with 100% certainty that you are not going to sell more Expansion X, then you sold core sets. You have some basis on which to do the math. I do think there are problems in the LCG model as well. One of them is that they make too much stuff too fast. For example I'm a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, but frankly the rate at which the games expansions were released was so fast that it became like a second mortgage payment to keep up. I think one of the mistakes FFG keeps making with their LCG's is that they are pushing expansions at too fast a rate and its particularly bad with L5R where they didnt even stagger the cycles, releasing them all at once. I got the sense I fell behind almost immediately and stopped collecting all together because I was facing a few hundred bucks overhead to get caught up and it just pissed me off. FFG's version of the LCG model needs some work. I always felt it would be better if they stopped with the "cycle" nonsense and just did box set expansions at a staggered enough rate so that you could keep up easier. Card games have also become waaay to expensive and its caused a saturation in the market. You can't expect people to drop 100 bucks every couple of months to keep up with a card game. They might do it for the first couple of months, but eventually the hype and novelty wears off and people stop buying. L5R is a good example. The game is less than 2 years old and there is already over 1,000 dollars worth of stuff to buy to get caught up. Its too much too fast, it's why they have overstock and I don't believe it's because they did the math wrong, I think they gambled on purpose. I know barely anything about the business and I could have told you that if they had 1,000 dollars worth of stuff available before the 2nd year that the game would fail miserably. It doesn't matter how good it was, NO GAME is going to sell that, not even Magic The Gathering.
  14. It's unfortunate that TI4 hasn't been reprinted, I'm embarrassed to say but I pre-ordered so I have a brand spanking new copy on my shelf. For what it's worth, there are no reprints of any kind on the schedule at the moment according to the website and rumor is FFG may be going out of business entirely.
  15. Things are rarely black and white, I'm sure production cost of the dice played its part, but production issues are almost always the result of incorrect forecasting. If you know how many people are going to buy a product, it doesn't matter what you are making there are always solutions to production issues. I think the issue for them was more likely that they couldn't accurately predict who and how often people would buy their game and this is one of the most common problems and reasons why CCG's fail. Prospecting is one of the key issues all collectable games face because you are selling "random" to people and there is no telling how much of that "random" they are going to buy. There is no way to predict how important the 3rd party market becomes, how the costs of the 3rd party market will affect your direct sales, how much faith your brick and mortar stores will have in the product. There are all sorts of challenges to trying to get a CCG off the ground and it's why the model was abandoned by FFG in the first place and they switched to making LCG's. This is the weird thing with Destiny. Everything that transpired is exactly why they started making LCG, I don't understand why, having already learned those lessons the hard way, they would risk their business on it given that they have a model (LCG's) that have a proven track record. The vast majority of their LCG have been very successful, why they would suddenly try to get into the CCG market where they have always had problems in the past is beyond me.
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