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Is the Arkham Horror LCG the end of LotR LCG?

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Not to pad the post count for a topic that is kinda off topic... but I just played the Arkham Horror LCG for the first time today, and it just might re-focus my gaming away from LOTR LCG towards AH LCG.  The deck building aspect is almost completely removed, and there is a stronger connection to the character you are playing, which makes this a much easier game for the mainstream audience.  Existing players may stick with LOTR, but new players may go for AH.

 

I am curious, is there a lot players in LOTR LCG that don't enjoy the deck building aspect?

:)

 

This is the sort of question that could use a poll on BGG, but for the record I don't particularly like deck building. The way I do it is to have 8 decks permanently set up (Gondor; Gondor/outlands; Dunedain; Sindar; Noldor; Ents/Halflings, Dwarves, and Rohirrim). I then play a game and afterwards tweak the deck as necessary. I find having to continuously create decks just too fiddly, and prefer to make decisions in-game really.

 

AH LCG sounds much better than LoTR LCG in many ways, but I'm not amazingly keen on the theme, so probably won't buy it.

 

The criticisms I'm seeing of AH LCG appear to concern FFG's LCG model more than anything else - i.e. people are upset that you need 2 core sets to have a decent pool of cards, and as usual the box is awful.

 

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The criticisms I'm seeing of AH LCG appear to concern FFG's LCG model more than anything else - i.e. people are upset that you need 2 core sets to have a decent pool of cards, and as usual the box is awful.

 

 

What do you mean the box is awful?

 

The 2 core thing is a given honestly.  You want a lot of cards?  Got to buy two cores.   Can the game be played - successfully - with just 1 core? Absolutely.  However, with the split sphere deck building, it does mean you can make fewer decks.  But that should be a given since you are nearly doubling your card pool when you get the second core.  I think people are forgetting how you need THREE cores of LotR if you want a play-set of every card, and then you have trip sets of some really terrible core cards.  The same 3 core policy is in their other games as well if I recall, so 2 cores is a big improvement.   If they got it down to just 1 core, then the core would be nearly twice the price and would then lower the number of people that initially get into the game.

 

With two cores, you can build 3-4 decks.   If you build a Skids deck, I don't see there is enough good cards to balance out a Roland and Wendy deck since Skids can utilize the best from each sphere.   Wendy and Agnes can be build near mono-sphere and do really well.   

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Sloth - Your post indirectly channels something that's been bugging me. There IS deck building in AH - a significant amount in fact. I think people who are saying "there is not as much" are deluding themselves because of the small cardpool that currently exists. In LOTR we need a minimum of 17 different cards in our deck (50/3) while in AH we need 15 different cards (30/2). Not that different. Also in AH there is the XP upgrading at the end of an adventure - which doesn't occur in LOTR.

Browsing through arkhamdb.com I am already seeing different approaches to deck building for the characters and your point about Daisy and Agnes is spot on. Folks, there wasn't as much deck building in the early days of LOTR either.

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Sloth - Your post indirectly channels something that's been bugging me. There IS deck building in AH - a significant amount in fact. I think people who are saying "there is not as much" are deluding themselves because of the small cardpool that currently exists. In LOTR we need a minimum of 17 different cards in our deck (50/3) while in AH we need 15 different cards (30/2). Not that different. Also in AH there is the XP upgrading at the end of an adventure - which doesn't occur in LOTR.

Browsing through arkhamdb.com I am already seeing different approaches to deck building for the characters and your point about Daisy and Agnes is spot on. Folks, there wasn't as much deck building in the early days of LOTR either.

 

I think the deckbuilding lack comes into play when changing scenarios. Usually you'll earn 5-7 XP between scenarios, meaning you get to swap out and upgrade 2, 3, maybe 4 cards - so not a whole lot changes. In LOTR, you generally need a sideboard of about a dozen or more cards, and you'll be swapping out a good number of them between quests. One might require Condition control, the next you swap those out for Willpower boosts, the next you swap those out for a Siege quest, etc. I'll agree there definitely is deckbuilding in both, but in AH, once your deck is built, it's supposed to be fairly stable for an entire cycle of 8 scenarios.

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Sloth - Your post indirectly channels something that's been bugging me. There IS deck building in AH - a significant amount in fact. I think people who are saying "there is not as much" are deluding themselves because of the small cardpool that currently exists. In LOTR we need a minimum of 17 different cards in our deck (50/3) while in AH we need 15 different cards (30/2). Not that different. Also in AH there is the XP upgrading at the end of an adventure - which doesn't occur in LOTR.

Browsing through arkhamdb.com I am already seeing different approaches to deck building for the characters and your point about Daisy and Agnes is spot on. Folks, there wasn't as much deck building in the early days of LOTR either.

IMO, deck building in AH is simpler than LotR primarily because you get 1 investigator instead of 3 heroes.  In LotR, there are so many different synergies between heroes as well as between spheres.  In AH, you are basically just building around spheres.  You'll never get the crazy combos like Elrond/Gandalf, Sam/Pippin/Merry, or even Theodred/Aragorn in the core set.  Obviously LotR has a bigger card pool, but you can make far more varied decks in the LotR core than the AH core.

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I like the deckbuilding. I just don't like that I have to deckbuild for every specific quest. It's almost impossible to have a viable deck + sideboard that can go through any arbitrary quest. When I want to play LOTR, I want to be able to sit down, pick a quest, and go. Not have to pick a quest, then build a deck, then go.

I often feel like this too which is why I make lists of my best decks for each quest in a notebook.

So if I want to just play Lots without thinking about decks I'll pull out a deck/quest that I made a note was really well balanced and then all the game is about the deal and how I play it.

New unplayed quests usually need me to deck build, which I do enjoy, but not always.

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Sloth - Your post indirectly channels something that's been bugging me. There IS deck building in AH - a significant amount in fact. I think people who are saying "there is not as much" are deluding themselves because of the small cardpool that currently exists. In LOTR we need a minimum of 17 different cards in our deck (50/3) while in AH we need 15 different cards (30/2). Not that different. Also in AH there is the XP upgrading at the end of an adventure - which doesn't occur in LOTR.

Browsing through arkhamdb.com I am already seeing different approaches to deck building for the characters and your point about Daisy and Agnes is spot on. Folks, there wasn't as much deck building in the early days of LOTR either.

IMO, deck building in AH is simpler than LotR primarily because you get 1 investigator instead of 3 heroes.  In LotR, there are so many different synergies between heroes as well as between spheres.  In AH, you are basically just building around spheres.  You'll never get the crazy combos like Elrond/Gandalf, Sam/Pippin/Merry, or even Theodred/Aragorn in the core set.  Obviously LotR has a bigger card pool, but you can make far more varied decks in the LotR core than the AH core.

 

 

I don't think you are right about "never getting the crazy combos" because - while the spheres you are allowed in AH are tied to your investigator - there is really no reason to believe they won't make some investigator that can have cards from multiple spheres.  

 

As for building out of the core - sure, you could make some varied decks out of the LotR core - but they would generally be pretty bad.  There really wasn't any room for creative building in LotR (especially with 1 core) and still have an reasonable expectation to complete a quest.

 

AH is a more simple deck-build process, for certain.  The deck is smaller, you currently can only use two spheres, and only 2x of each card. No disagreement here, but I don't dislike this aspect.

 

In LotR, you often needed a side board to deal with quests as you moved on.   The upgrade system IS your side board.   Spend your XP to switch out that Condition control, etc, as needed.  Some people mention they like to build a deck and keep with it throughout - well that is honestly what AH is all about.  You build your deck, then take it to the following stages, and using your XP to upgrade cards or access your side board.   I'm not sure what the actual complaint is since it seems it is delivering exactly what you want.  Please explain further. 

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My point was that in LotR you have the combos related to you deck and combos related to your heroes.  In AH, you only have combos related to your deck.  If you just run the math on the number of different decks you can make, LotR inherently has more (not counting for the larger card pool).

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Not to pad the post count for a topic that is kinda off topic... but I just played the Arkham Horror LCG for the first time today, and it just might re-focus my gaming away from LOTR LCG towards AH LCG.  The deck building aspect is almost completely removed, and there is a stronger connection to the character you are playing, which makes this a much easier game for the mainstream audience.  Existing players may stick with LOTR, but new players may go for AH.

 

I am curious, is there a lot players in LOTR LCG that don't enjoy the deck building aspect?

 

I am more of a 1v1 TCG player, so for me deck building is the biggest draw beside the IP itself, and I always thought other than IP this game would be more attractive to the game TCG/CCG players.

 

And I still haven't given up the idea of making this game somehow competitive 1v1 yet, especially now that we are getting Harad heroes and allies. :)

 

 

I like the deckbuilding. I just don't like that I have to deckbuild for every specific quest. It's almost impossible to have a viable deck + sideboard that can go through any arbitrary quest. When I want to play LOTR, I want to be able to sit down, pick a quest, and go. Not have to pick a quest, then build a deck, then go.

 

I love deck building but l still don't enjoy (nor do I actually do it) building a deck for every individual quest. That's just way too time-consuming and for me not the enjoyable kind of deck building. The fun is very much in trying to build that one deck (or maybe two or three) that can beat through almost all quests, and then just charge blindly into a quest and enjoy the surprise (I think I have it now). The downside is most easier quests tend to be a cakewalk, but I find it a good way to enjoy the storyline with leisure. My other deck-building fun is to build thematic decks for saga quests, and that is actually a MUCH more difficult and time-consuming project than simple power decks lol. 

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The criticisms I'm seeing of AH LCG appear to concern FFG's LCG model more than anything else - i.e. people are upset that you need 2 core sets to have a decent pool of cards, and as usual the box is awful.

 

 

What do you mean the box is awful?

 

The 2 core thing is a given honestly.  You want a lot of cards?  Got to buy two cores.   Can the game be played - successfully - with just 1 core? Absolutely.  However, with the split sphere deck building, it does mean you can make fewer decks.  But that should be a given since you are nearly doubling your card pool when you get the second core.  I think people are forgetting how you need THREE cores of LotR if you want a play-set of every card, and then you have trip sets of some really terrible core cards.  The same 3 core policy is in their other games as well if I recall, so 2 cores is a big improvement.   If they got it down to just 1 core, then the core would be nearly twice the price and would then lower the number of people that initially get into the game.

 

With two cores, you can build 3-4 decks.   If you build a Skids deck, I don't see there is enough good cards to balance out a Roland and Wendy deck since Skids can utilize the best from each sphere.   Wendy and Agnes can be build near mono-sphere and do really well.   

 

Hi Sloth

 

Compare the boxes to Pathfinder Card Game or Thunderstone for example - large boxes that come with internal trays that allow for efficient card storage. Nothing directly to do with the game per se, but nonetheless it makes things much easier.

 

There are endless complaints on the Arkham and LoTR forums of BGG regarding the need for multiple core sets. Where reviews are marking down Arkham it is all to do with the fact that you need more than one core to make some decks. FWIW I do understand your points (I have 3 LoTR core sets for example) but there's no doubt that this model incurs additional expenses on players because you have to purchase additional cards that you don't actually need.

 

I don't want to seem that I'm only complaining by the way, so these points need to be seen in context. I love LoTR LCG, and Arkham sounds very good. 

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Compare the boxes to Pathfinder Card Game or Thunderstone for example - large boxes that come with internal trays that allow for efficient card storage. Nothing directly to do with the game per se, but nonetheless it makes things much easier.

 

There are endless complaints on the Arkham and LoTR forums of BGG regarding the need for multiple core sets. Where reviews are marking down Arkham it is all to do with the fact that you need more than one core to make some decks. FWIW I do understand your points (I have 3 LoTR core sets for example) but there's no doubt that this model incurs additional expenses on players because you have to purchase additional cards that you don't actually need.

 

I don't want to seem that I'm only complaining by the way, so these points need to be seen in context. I love LoTR LCG, and Arkham sounds very good. 

 

 

I completely agree it is a pain to get multiple cores, especially because of the wasted cards, but I guess since my first card game experience (besides dabbling in Magic about 20 years ago) was with FFG's AGoT 1st edition LCG and you had to get 3 cores with that.  Then Lord of the Rings (3 cores), Then netrunner, starwars and Conquest (in no particular order).  I honestly can't remember if you needed 3 cores from Netrunner or Conquest but the point is, FFG's card games are the only ones I've really been involved in or exposed to, and so I take the extra core business with a grain of salt, but I accept it none the less.   

 

How much do those cores for Pathfinder or Thunderstone cost btw?

 

A MUCH better system would be if they would release a "companion core" (something I've suggested since first getting into AGoT) that would fill out your card pool without adding in extra sets of encounter cards, tokens, investigators and their person specific cards, or the basic weaknesses.   Those are all now excess garbage cards that just take up space.  So yea, that part is frustrating.  

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Compare the boxes to Pathfinder Card Game or Thunderstone for example - large boxes that come with internal trays that allow for efficient card storage. Nothing directly to do with the game per se, but nonetheless it makes things much easier.

 

There are endless complaints on the Arkham and LoTR forums of BGG regarding the need for multiple core sets. Where reviews are marking down Arkham it is all to do with the fact that you need more than one core to make some decks. FWIW I do understand your points (I have 3 LoTR core sets for example) but there's no doubt that this model incurs additional expenses on players because you have to purchase additional cards that you don't actually need.

 

I don't want to seem that I'm only complaining by the way, so these points need to be seen in context. I love LoTR LCG, and Arkham sounds very good. 

 

 

I completely agree it is a pain to get multiple cores, especially because of the wasted cards, but I guess since my first card game experience (besides dabbling in Magic about 20 years ago) was with FFG's AGoT 1st edition LCG and you had to get 3 cores with that.  Then Lord of the Rings (3 cores), Then netrunner, starwars and Conquest (in no particular order).  I honestly can't remember if you needed 3 cores from Netrunner or Conquest but the point is, FFG's card games are the only ones I've really been involved in or exposed to, and so I take the extra core business with a grain of salt, but I accept it none the less.   

 

How much do those cores for Pathfinder or Thunderstone cost btw?

 

A MUCH better system would be if they would release a "companion core" (something I've suggested since first getting into AGoT) that would fill out your card pool without adding in extra sets of encounter cards, tokens, investigators and their person specific cards, or the basic weaknesses.   Those are all now excess garbage cards that just take up space.  So yea, that part is frustrating.  

 

It's hard to compare like with like because there are other differences with the games - it's not just box design. For example Pathfinder has a lot less art. However, taking all that in to consideration, the FFG games are cheaper:

 

Pathfinder Curse of the Mummy is considerably more expensive: Paizo are selling it for $59.99 (I can't stand the game by the way!).

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask Base Set includes more than 500 cards and 5 polyhedral dice.

 

Thunderstone Base is an older game with around 500 cards and some tokens but it does appear to go for around $60. Maybe $50 if you're lucky. I do enjoy this one, but it's nowhere near as good as LoTR.

 

Releasing a companion set would certainly make a lot of BGGer's happy! I suppose it's all to do with BGG people only being a small part of the market, and FFG have probably looked at the economics of such a move and decided it's not worth it. Plus if I'm being cynical, obsessives will swallow their ire and just buy more core sets anyway as both you and I have done.

Edited by JonG

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as both you and I have done.

 

 

100%.  

 

I've no idea what it would actually take - at a production level - to make the "companion core" that I suggest.  Considering that you need 2 cores to have enough tokens (or threat dials in LotR) for a 4 player game, the "companion core" would still need to include some amount of cardboard inserts and not just a collection of cards.  It's nice to think that it should be a simple matter of taking their existing card prints and redoing the layout of the print sheets to exclude all the unncessary cards, get those printed and get any extra cardboard things printed.  Get everything bundled and into a new "companion core" box, that they will need to design, etc.   It does sound easy, but that is time and money that they have to invest in, and sure, the "companion core" would sell well.  BUT - would it sell any better than a second core already does without the additional investment from FFG?   I'd guess not.

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as both you and I have done.

 

100%.  

 

I've no idea what it would actually take - at a production level - to make the "companion core" that I suggest.  Considering that you need 2 cores to have enough tokens (or threat dials in LotR) for a 4 player game, the "companion core" would still need to include some amount of cardboard inserts and not just a collection of cards.  It's nice to think that it should be a simple matter of taking their existing card prints and redoing the layout of the print sheets to exclude all the unncessary cards, get those printed and get any extra cardboard things printed.  Get everything bundled and into a new "companion core" box, that they will need to design, etc.   It does sound easy, but that is time and money that they have to invest in, and sure, the "companion core" would sell well.  BUT - would it sell any better than a second core already does without the additional investment from FFG?   I'd guess not.

I still like the idea of the first deluxe actually being a second core, with duplicates of whatever cards were 1-ofs in the first core but not of anything that already had enough for a full play set. Then you can pick either core set to get started, or buy both for a full set with no waste.

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I've no idea what it would actually take - at a production level - to make the "companion core" that I suggest.  Considering that you need 2 cores to have enough tokens (or threat dials in LotR) for a 4 player game, the "companion core" would still need to include some amount of cardboard inserts and not just a collection of cards.  It's nice to think that it should be a simple matter of taking their existing card prints and redoing the layout of the print sheets to exclude all the unncessary cards, get those printed and get any extra cardboard things printed.  Get everything bundled and into a new "companion core" box, that they will need to design, etc.   It does sound easy, but that is time and money that they have to invest in, and sure, the "companion core" would sell well.  BUT - would it sell any better than a second core already does without the additional investment from FFG?   I'd guess not.
I still like the idea of the first deluxe actually being a second core, with duplicates of whatever cards were 1-ofs in the first core but not of anything that already had enough for a full play set. Then you can pick either core set to get started, or buy both for a full set with no waste.

 

 

A second core for LotR would need a LOT of Gandalfs to be the true 4-player add-on most of us wish for :)

 

I really like the idea though. Two dials and some extra tokens (you probably don't need a full set of all the tokens), and who knows how many cards. I think it would have a much higher card count than the core though, making it a fairly pricey thing. A compact box with no rulebook would be doable, if FFG were so inclined.

 

It's not without precedent either in the gaming world, with Dominion's two upgrades (the first being just an art upgrade for the basic cards).

 

A lot of the issues we (the whiners who would like more complete boxes) have are really caused by FFG being a board game company who like to sell a complete experience initially, rather than splitting up games into components and letting people pick and match.

 

If I were to make a game like this I'd sell it by sphere, with player cards (say two decks worth for each sphere. resouce tokens, 6 heroes, one threat dial, repeat card counts for each cycle), and quest sets being separate products. A whole cycle worth of quests could be one large box. It might not be a smart decision, but it would be my ideal distribution method ;)

Edited by evilidler

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The LotR core was so bad from a player card standpoint that I refused to buy a second, let alone a third. (You only get eleven cards from that third box I think someone said.). The AGoT box on the other hand was brilliantly done. I can only quibble about the extra Put To the Torches. I bought three and didn't feel cheated. AH being a coop game was always going to have about half the cards being superfluous if you bought a second core, but other than that I thought it was well designed and I bought a second.

The idea of a core expansion set is nice and all, but so is ice water in hell.

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We played our first game of AH yesterday with 3 people using 2 cores practicing with the standard decks.

But roughly mid game we already saw that 1 or 2 more cores would make us that much stronger.

By being able to add the better extra 0-2 level cards the other player used in a cutsom made deck instead.

These cards were now taken however.

However, the questions are: was it doable? Yes. Was it fun? Yes. 

So imo, it's a choice; as you don't need it to play.

But if you are willing to spend the money to be stronger: go right ahead.

FFG is a company, and companies tend to want to make money.

That's just the way it is.

Edited by Noccus

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Here's a consideration:

With the marvel legendary games, a lot of the expansions come with a stack of black cards. When I asked why it was for production reasons. Essentially for some reason (maybe the sorting, maybe the minimum print runs, maybe just the negotiated printing deals) is actually better financially for upper deck to print packs with blank cards in. Everybody accepts it.

So if you imagine with your second LotR core you are getting a bunch of blank cards for printing economy BUT they are actually printed as spares. ... then it's not so bad :)

True it doesn't stack up at all for a third core lol where only about 12 cards are gained.

**** I need a third core :P

Edited by alexbobspoons

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The blank cards in Legendary are a lot more useful for custom cards though ;)

 

I bought one AH core and wished for another for xmas. Pretty much the only gift I mentioned (by sending the link once a day for a while) to one family member. Problem solved for that game  :)

 

LotRLCG feels just fine with one core and the collection of cycles I have. AHLCG seems less casual (disregarding the vast number of expansions both will have), in that it almost requires players to have their own sets of cores and deluxes. LotR is safe from this tentacled new upstart.

Edited by evilidler

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