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Would you balk if FFG published fewer player cards?

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To date, every Adventure Pack has included 8-10 (usually 9) new player cards, plus a new hero. As the game grows, the number of possible decks has exploded, to the point where the addition of just one new card sometimes opens up a new deck archetype, usually with multiple variations (e.g., Strider, Sword-Thain, Elven Light, Gather Information). And nearly every hero opens up a new deck archetype.

 

I would almost rather see just a few player cards published each cycle (say, 8 in a deluxe and 2 in each adventure pack), especially if those player cards that did get published were of the calibre of the examples I gave above. The adventure packs themselves might start to include two quests instead of just one, or to include encounter card setups that make use of the larger number of cards. Heck, maybe they'd start to publish the nightmare decks simultaneously and include them in the adventure pack!

 

I'm not even sure this change would decrease sales of the game - I enjoy playing the new quests, especially because I'm interested in seeing what new ways the designers have come up with to challenge us or to smash powerful deck archetypes. And, if the player cards were as game-changing as some of the examples I gave above, I certainly wouldn't mind. As it is, only about half of the player cards that I get these days actually make it into decks. Partly this is because of a lack of time on my part, and partly because some of the player cards are very conditional and require careful deck-building (Master Ironsmith, Guarded Ceaselessly, Arrows from the Trees, Scouting Party).

 

But I digress. My original query was: would you balk if FFG published fewer player cards?

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I wouldn't balk, but I wouldn't like it either. It literally took us years for the card pool to get deep enough where multiple deck styles could be considered tier 1. Fewer player cards means a slower evolving metagame. Also, this naturally means more encounter cards which means that the encounter deck size grows. I prefer it when the encounter deck is 50 cards or less.

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I would definitely "balk". I love the amount of player cards we get. Even if they don't make it into my decks I really enjoy receiving the vast majority of player cards that we get just for their art, theme and the fact they may be great in future decks I build. Just because they don't end up in my decks doesn't mean they won't end up in somebody elses either. The abundance of player cards is what opens up deckbuilding. If we just received 2 player cards and they were always power cards or cards that make a huge difference/change the meta of the game everyone would eventually end up with extremely similar decks all rocking the same power cards.

Some people don't like the best of the best of player cards, some people like to play easy mode with subpar decks.

Some just want to play thematically and don't care about deck power etc.
Also sometimes the cards you think are coasters end up being gems in later decks you build. Some new cards we get make older cards more playable (any time we get cost reducers older more resource intensive cards are given a slight boost).

I'm not sure I've ever played another card game that has such a small and slowly growing card pool for players than this one. I come from a Magic background though so this was always going to be the case for me. To reduce an already extremely low amount of cards per pack to me just doesn't make sense. I mean it makes a little bit more sense towards the end of the game when we already have a good pool of player cards but even then I'd prefer if they stick to the one hero and nine player cards format. To be completely honest I would probably rather an extra player card or two!!! :P

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definite yes from me.

i was actually thinking that they could release a player-card only supplement set, and i would actually really like that.

in terms of player cards, because most of the cards are part of the AI decks, we actually have relatively few player cards compared to other games.

here are some numbers for comparison:

Lord of the Rings: LCG

has roughly 578 player cards, according to hallofbeorn, not including unreleased, alt, or saga/treasure cards.

Android: Netrunner

has 521 corp cards and 446 runner cards according to https://netrunnerdb.com

so Lotr LCG has more player cards than either side for Netrunner, but Lord of the Rings has been out for a year longer and looks really bad in comparison when you add up corp + runner together

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definite yes from me.

i was actually thinking that they could release a player-card only supplement set, and i would actually really like that.

in terms of player cards, because most of the cards are part of the AI decks, we actually have relatively few player cards compared to other games.

here are some numbers for comparison:

Lord of the Rings: LCG

has roughly 578 player cards, according to hallofbeorn, not including unreleased, alt, or saga/treasure cards.

Android: Netrunner

has 521 corp cards and 446 runner cards according to https://netrunnerdb.com

so Lotr LCG has more player cards than either side for Netrunner, but Lord of the Rings has been out for a year longer and looks really bad in comparison when you add up corp + runner together

 

You cannot compare the number of player cards form a pack of LOTR and Netrunner because they both have different playstyles. As you know Netrunner and all the other competitive LCGs have only player cards. So it's normal that each pack provides more player cards than a LOTR pack does. The question is .. do we get enough player cards per pack/expansion? 

 

I'm ok with the actual situation. If we get less more cards for the players the decks will develop less faster and you will see less different decks or decktypes.

If they put two packs together .. two szenarios, only player cards from ohne pack (10? + Hero).. could be lame, but i think it would be ok for me.

Edited by JanB

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As it is, only about half of the player cards that I get these days actually make it into decks. Partly this is because of a lack of time on my part, and partly because some of the player cards are very conditional and require careful deck-building (Master Ironsmith, Guarded Ceaselessly, Arrows from the Trees, Scouting Party).

Ignoring the fact that those cards tend to be among the most interesting cards. I also find it weird that you bring up these cards as very conditional but you praised Strider, which is similarly conditional.

 

One of the most interesting things about this game is the sheer variety of decks you can build with all the different cards. As I already said, the conditional niche cards are often the most interesting - much more so than the generic staple power cards which just go into every single deck that can play them.

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Here's some quick math:

92 heroes, so add 90 nCr 1 + 90 nCr 2 + 90 nCr 3 = 129,858 different Hero lineups.

556 player cards (not counting Treasures, Boons, and Burdens), of which 9 are Limit 1 per deck = 1.1e96 possible fifty-card decks.

Multiplied by Hero lineups = 1.5 × 10^101 unique possible decks, assuming 50 card decks only.

That number is unfathomable. That number of subatomic particles in the universe is estimated to only be 10^80.

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By having so many player cards in each pack, you allow for multiple deck types to get support in each pack.  Someone who plays a Noldor deck may not want the same kinds of cards as someone who plays a Dwarf or a Dunedain deck.  If you reduce the number of player cards in a pack, you increase the risk of some players simply deciding that a pack isn't worth it for them.

 

Here's some quick math:
92 heroes, so add 90 nCr 1 + 90 nCr 2 + 90 nCr 3 = 129,858 different Hero lineups.

556 player cards (not counting Treasures, Boons, and Burdens), of which 9 are Limit 1 per deck = 1.1e96 possible fifty-card decks.

Multiplied by Hero lineups = 1.5 × 10^101 unique possible decks, assuming 50 card decks only.

That number is unfathomable. That number of subatomic particles in the universe is estimated to only be 10^80.

 

Theoretically, yes, but in practice the number will be much smaller, as decks are unlikely to be completely random, and would be rather frustrating if they were (what would I do with Boomed and Trumpeted or Ent Draught if I have no Ents in my deck, for instance?)

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By having so many player cards in each pack, you allow for multiple deck types to get support in each pack.  Someone who plays a Noldor deck may not want the same kinds of cards as someone who plays a Dwarf or a Dunedain deck.  If you reduce the number of player cards in a pack, you increase the risk of some players simply deciding that a pack isn't worth it for them.

 

Here's some quick math:

92 heroes, so add 90 nCr 1 + 90 nCr 2 + 90 nCr 3 = 129,858 different Hero lineups.

556 player cards (not counting Treasures, Boons, and Burdens), of which 9 are Limit 1 per deck = 1.1e96 possible fifty-card decks.

Multiplied by Hero lineups = 1.5 × 10^101 unique possible decks, assuming 50 card decks only.

That number is unfathomable. That number of subatomic particles in the universe is estimated to only be 10^80.

 

Theoretically, yes, but in practice the number will be much smaller, as decks are unlikely to be completely random, and would be rather frustrating if they were (what would I do with Boomed and Trumpeted or Ent Draught if I have no Ents in my deck, for instance?)

 

Yeah but I don't have anywhere near enough time to do the math on this. Ignoring decks with dead cards, e.g. no possible resource match, cards that depend on Traits that don't exist. That's for a far more ambitious individual to calculate.

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definite yes from me.

i was actually thinking that they could release a player-card only supplement set, and i would actually really like that.

in terms of player cards, because most of the cards are part of the AI decks, we actually have relatively few player cards compared to other games.

here are some numbers for comparison:

Lord of the Rings: LCG

has roughly 578 player cards, according to hallofbeorn, not including unreleased, alt, or saga/treasure cards.

Android: Netrunner

has 521 corp cards and 446 runner cards according to https://netrunnerdb.com

so Lotr LCG has more player cards than either side for Netrunner, but Lord of the Rings has been out for a year longer and looks really bad in comparison when you add up corp + runner together

 

Sadly we know Caleb said that we're not getting any player-card only products ever, as the whole game revolves around playing against a quest so if we didn't get a quest we would have nothing to play against. I personally woud love some player card only products but it's unlikely. The best thing we can hope for IMO is another parallel series after the Saga expansions end, maybe saga packs as has been suggested with events like the Battle of Dale and other War of the Ring events. I would love to have this, or something like a new series.

 

On the other hand, I would also be ok if we just got more payer cards in regular expansions.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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definite yes from me.

i was actually thinking that they could release a player-card only supplement set, and i would actually really like that.

in terms of player cards, because most of the cards are part of the AI decks, we actually have relatively few player cards compared to other games.

here are some numbers for comparison:

Lord of the Rings: LCG

has roughly 578 player cards, according to hallofbeorn, not including unreleased, alt, or saga/treasure cards.

Android: Netrunner

has 521 corp cards and 446 runner cards according to https://netrunnerdb.com

so Lotr LCG has more player cards than either side for Netrunner, but Lord of the Rings has been out for a year longer and looks really bad in comparison when you add up corp + runner together

 

Sadly we know Caleb said that we're not getting any player-card only products ever, as the whole game revolves around playing against a quest so if we didn't get a quest we would have nothing to play against. I personally woud love some player card only products but it's unlikely. The best thing we can hope for IMO is another parallel series after the Saga expansions end, maybe saga packs as has been suggested with events like the Battle of Dale and other War of the Ring events. I would love to have this, or something like a new series.

 

On the other hand, I would also be ok if we just got more payer cards in regular expansions.

 

 

I was thinking it'd be nice to have some Saga expansions delve deeper into Middle Earth's history.  It'd be pretty much impossible to get permission to use anything from the Silmarillion, but there are other historic events which could be fun.  The top two on my list would be the Battle of Fornost (with Hobbit Archers!) and the Battle of Greenfields (with a Bullroarer Took hero). 

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Dude, we barely get enough player cards as it is. I would be extremely disappointed with getting less then we are already getting. I would be in favor of more player cards per pack. Hell, I wouldn't mind a 99% payer card pack that comes with a very small encounter deck that consists of 2 cards (Caleb did say no player card only packs, so this should work), one saying you lose, the other you win. :P

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Dude, we barely get enough player cards as it is. I would be extremely disappointed with getting less then we are already getting. I would be in favor of more player cards per pack. Hell, I wouldn't mind a 99% payer card pack that comes with a very small encounter deck that consists of 2 cards (Caleb did say no player card only packs, so this should work), one saying you lose, the other you win. :P

 

What happens in a multiplayer game, where you have to reveal more than one card?

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i wouldn't balk IF they also changed the way things were structured.  If we got fewer player cards per pack, there are a few things that I would want in return.   

1.  Really excellent quests.    I know its a lot to demand, but we've had a lot of quests that were somewhat mediocre.   I want really good quests.  I have bought packs before without intending to use any of the player cards just for the quest.

2.  Better player cards.  If we're only getting a few cards per pack than I want all of those cards to be useable and competitive.   It's a high bar to set and I know we have to be careful about power creep, but FFG can do it I think.  I really dont want to open a pack of a few cards and be like -eh, never using that.

3.  Themed player card packs.   I don't really care if the player cards go along with the quest,  but maybe if we got say a Gondor hero and say 3-4 cards that went with Gondor.   Then the next pack would be Rohan hero and 3-4 cards that went well with Rohan, then Elves, dwarves, etc.  That way I can buy the packs I like for the faction I am building if I like.

with those changes, I would definitely keep buying packs even if player card count were dramatically reduced.

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Dude, we barely get enough player cards as it is. I would be extremely disappointed with getting less then we are already getting. I would be in favor of more player cards per pack. Hell, I wouldn't mind a 99% payer card pack that comes with a very small encounter deck that consists of 2 cards (Caleb did say no player card only packs, so this should work), one saying you lose, the other you win. :P

 

What happens in a multiplayer game, where you have to reveal more than one card?

 

Sounds like a fun design challenge, though. Design a quest that uses the smallest number of cards possible, while still remaining fun.

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You cannot compare the number of player cards form a pack of LOTR and Netrunner because they both have different playstyles. As you know Netrunner and all the other competitive LCGs have only player cards. So it's normal that each pack provides more player cards than a LOTR pack does. The question is .. do we get enough player cards per pack/expansion?

well, i mean i did, but that wasn't really the point i was making.

the salient point is: more player cards would be preferable, not less.

think of how many underdeveloped themes and traits there are: there are only 5 Dale cards. only 1 Esgaroth.

Rohan has been pretty fleshed out as far as Spirit goes, and it's gotten a bit more support in Leadership and Tactics recently, but there are only 2 Lore Rohan cards.

we've just now got some great support for Scout, but i think it could use a bit more.

starting in this cycle, we've got some support for multisphere decks as well as more support for mutliplayer, with 'any player may activate this ability' on a lot of cards

last cycle we got side quests, and we'll get more in the next cycle.

point is, as i said, i'd rather see more of these things, not less.

Sadly we know Caleb said that we're not getting any player-card only products ever, as the whole game revolves around playing against a quest so if we didn't get a quest we would have nothing to play against. I personally woud love some player card only products but it's unlikely. The best thing we can hope for IMO is another parallel series after the Saga expansions end, maybe saga packs as has been suggested with events like the Battle of Dale and other War of the Ring events. I would love to have this, or something like a new series.

 

On the other hand, I would also be ok if we just got more payer cards in regular expansions.

yeah, i'm not actually surprised. i'm fine with the status quo as it is. would be happy to see more, but definitely would not be happy to see less.

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Dude, we barely get enough player cards as it is. I would be extremely disappointed with getting less then we are already getting. I would be in favor of more player cards per pack. Hell, I wouldn't mind a 99% payer card pack that comes with a very small encounter deck that consists of 2 cards (Caleb did say no player card only packs, so this should work), one saying you lose, the other you win. :P

 

What happens in a multiplayer game, where you have to reveal more than one card?

 

 

Game's over after one pull. You either win or lose, no need to draw another card. ;)

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