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New Core Set idea

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So whenever an LCG gets announced, it is inevitably followed by threads about how it is a ripoff to have to buy 3 core sets. There really isn't a solution, but I just thought of one.

So the Core Set needs to keep its price point of 40 dollars and approximately 200-250 cards plus tokens. That is a hard limit.

It also needs to have out of the box diversity, including unique cards so there is more variance to get new players in, while making them want to expand their decks. So you are stuck with mostly 1-ofs and some 2-ofs.

A core set completion set would be useless because there isn't as much market for it, but what if you released multiple products to complete it?

My idea, release a core set that you only need 1 of. It comes with playsets of the neutral cards and the faction cards in 1 or maybe 2 copies for a few. You release it at Gencon and then in August or September for the general public.

Then you follow up a month later with faction packs similar to what they have done in L5R. They are bigger packs eith more room for cards. You make them completely faction focused. You only need this pack if you want to play or splash this faction. It will contain full playsets copies of new cards, while also completing the playsets of cards in the Core set. 

This means you don't have the waste of needing to keep buying core sets with diminishing returns. It quickly expands the card pool from Core set. And most importantly in my opinion, it gives a clear second purchase after the Core set. Pick up whichever faction or 2 you enjoy.

Then you follow this up with normal packs and deluxes and such. My personal idea under this new format is to have 1 deluxe each year release at worlds and in November or December for the public. Rotation is based around these deluxes on a yearly basis, with cards being in rotation for 2-3 years. These deluxes allow you to jump start the theme for the cycle like Frey's in Agot, Imperial in L5r, etc. You can put the focus of the theme in a couple factions with neutral support, And build the others up over time.

Then you only have 1 cycle of cards a year. But you make these cycles with slightly more packs.  Have 8-10 packs, maybe make 1-2 of them be larger packs like Arkham Standalones or L5R clan packs, And spread their release throughout the year. 

This gives you about a 1 month or so gap between cycles and just before world's so there isn't sudden new product. It also makes the rotation line up in a way closer to Destiny.

Edited by Radix2309

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It'll never work, mostly for marketing reason. Let's say you do the core with neutral and basic stuff. Then you have 8 factions. Mysteriously, one of the faction's stronger (see AGoT 2nd in the beginning when everyone was playing Lannisters). Nobody buys 7 factions, everyone buys the 8th. The company has 7 unsold factions that would kill the line. This is the reason why we have core with all factions in, and then when deluxe hit the market, they have at least one card for each of the other factions.

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Another thing to keep in mind is the cooperative games.  It could work with LOtR since it is influence focused within the 4 spheres, bit Arkham is a different beast.  That game is focused on investigators rather than classes.  No two investigators build the same.  

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I think what they did with Arkham and L5R has been the best.  Both had a few neutral player cards that received 1+ copies, but every other player card was a one-of.  You can play the game with a single core set (and mysteriously, some do), but getting a second (or third for L5R) copy gives you a playset of everything with little extra.

Extras in Arkham with a second core:

  • Investigators and their specific cards (5 mini & 15 cards)
  • Basic weaknesses (10 cards)
  • Flashlight, Knife, Emergency Cache (12 cards) (However, you can use the core set to play 4-player, at which point these are no longer extras)
  • Enemy/Mission cards (Although you can use them to set up all three scenario decks to have on hand with a second core)

Extras in L5R with 3 cores:

  • Strongholds (14 cards (7 in each))
  • Clan-specific Provinces (14 cards (7 in each))
  • Neutral Provinces (7 cards, because you can build 2 non-overlapping decks with a second core)
  • Role cards (10 cards (5 in each)
  • You end up with a playset of all neutral cards, and 2 playsets of Fine Katana, Ornate Fan, and Wandering Ronin.  As you can field 2 decks, the second playset for these is not a drawback.

Compared to previous LCGs, I think this model works best.  They give maximum cards per box with very little extra.

In either game, you can play any class/character/faction out of the box - giving a feel for how each plays - but with additional copies, you can customize and play each better and to your liking.

I expect the communities for these 2 games (one competitive, one cooperative) have had less complaints about their core sets than any other LCG.  Maybe even combined.

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