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Jeff Kaos

Unwilling to buy 2 core sets. Should I pass on this game?

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Every time I see anything about this game I see people saying you need 2 Core Sets in order to fully enjoy the game. Usually this is prefaced with "for deck building".  So I have a few questions about the game:

 

First how necessary is two sets? I mean what do you get in the core set that makes you need to have a second copy "for deck building"? Can anyone give an example of a few cards that I need doubles of in order to enjoy the game? I'm really only going to be playing with two players so how handicapped would we be with only 1 core set?

 

Second: if there's a specific list of cards needed for deck building purposes then why doesn't FFG offer those cards outside of the core set? Why not put those "for deck building cards" into it's own deck instead of asking people to buy another core set for $40?

 

I swear, I've seen "you need two core sets" comments all over the internet regarding this game for years which is the main reason I've never bought the it. 

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Absolutely not. It's perfectly playable with one core set. Deck building is harder, certainly, but if you buy some expansions later, totally possible. Now. The core set contains a lot of staple cards. The best combat spell (Shrivelling) and the best weapon (machete) are in the core set, to give two examples, and most decks that use them are better with two. But you can totally build with only one.

 

If you only buy the core and no expansions, you will have basically no deckbuilding options. It contains basically one deck for every class, with not much to change out.

 

Plus, you can print proxies. People have even helpfully put up PDFs of all core set cards you can cut out.

Edited by Eldan985

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All of the non-neutral player cards are single copies and you can have two in a given deck.  The card pool is big enough with the other sets (all of which have pairs) that you don't need them.  I will say that it also depends on how many players you're intending to play.  For 1-2 players you should be fine, for 3 or 4 you're going to be fighting over cards that can fit into several players' decks.

To answer why they don't release a separate product, it's because all of the cards (single-copy) are available in the first product and they don't want FLGS getting stuck with a less useful product on their shelves.

I usually build for Seeker & Guardian decks, so those are the 2 I'll focus on.  Machete, .45 Automatic, and the experienced version of Beat Cop are really useful and often end up in other players' decks. While both the regular and level 1 version of Magnifying Glass along with Dr. Milan Christopher are go-to tools for seekers.  For Rogues, I feel obligated to note that Leo De Luca is more of auto-include than any other card I named.

I think player-count is the most important question.

Edited by Duciris

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The recommendation to have two core sets kept me out of the game for a while as well.  Eventually I just bought one core and figured I could probably sell it second hand if I didn't like it.  That didn't turn out to be an issue.

I still haven't bought a second core set, but I've played the core campaign a couple of times and a few of the scenarios as one offs.

I bought some Dunwich stuff a while ago, just getting the last two mythos packs for it in the mail today actually.  That gave me some actual options with deck building and it doesn't feel like I'm wasting money because it's a whole huge campaign to dive into.  I haven't tried it yet, I've been holding out to get my wife to try the game and then we go through it together if she likes it.  If not I have a buddy who just bought the core set last month who may be interested and failing that I'll just play it two handed solo.

I'd still like to have a second core set, but it is definitely not a must have.

Edited by Burius1981

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There are sites where you can buy singles of some of the cards.  There were a few in the core set that I wanted extras of, but didn't need a whole second set.  Paid like $8 with shipping and got the extra cards I wanted for my build.

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I bought the Core Set on the day it came out and love the game. I still don’t own a second Core Set. We played 2 player through all of The Dunwich Legacy, opening and playing each pack as it came out, and we won the campaign on standard difficulty on our first attempt.

We also played in (and won) a Labyrinths of Lunacy 12 player game, and I’m not sure the other two players in our group noticed that our decks were only made with one core.

I will say, however, that a second core is necessary if playing with either 3 or 4 players. I might also recommend it if you have a burning desire to play the Hard or Expert difficulties.

Outside of that, I would definitely call it an optional purchase. My recommendation is to buy one Core Set and see if you like the gameplay. Once you’ve played through the Core campaign once or twice you will hopefully be able to tell whether or not a second Core Set is something you want.

I hope that helps.

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I also only have 1 core set. Here's the thing though; overall, if you want the best experience with this game, you are going to have to financially invest as that is the nature of a game that has cycles and regular packs that come out monthly. 

I think the better question is to ask yourself if you are willing to invest in those additional packs. I would say that you would need at least a core and one deluxe expansion plus a full cycle of packs to really get the full effect of the game. If that's too much, I probably wouldn't bother, though getting 1 core and trying it couldn't hurt.

Edited by Soakman

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I think you need to ask yourself if you are okay with the expense of this game in general.

Just the first core set doesn’t give you much of a game. It is the gateway to the game itself. There will be a more or less $15 purchase once a month if you like this game. If you are already balking at the entry price, maybe you should back out now?

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If you're just playing 2-player, there's no need to have two core sets. I played 2-player with a friend from the start and only very recently got a duplicate set of player cards. As long as you don't need to play 3 or 4 player and you're not obsessed with having maximum deck construction potential, 1 copy is just fine.

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I have four core sets and it is just  Fine! I love this game!

if you wan to to play mystic you need two cores, if you play something else one core may be enough. If you have more than two players you definitely need two cores IMHO.

 

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19 hours ago, Eldan985 said:

Plus, you can print proxies. People have even helpfully put up PDFs of all core set cards you can cut out.

As Eldan985 said, just print some proxys and insert them into sleeved cards you do not use at the moment :) I can give you the link to my proxys if you wish!

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I'm a solo player and one core is all I need. I've slowly been working my way through the game in order of release and am about half way through Dunwhich Legacy and now have plenty of cards to build competent decks. I took a Daisy deck to Arkham Nights and did very well in Labyrinths of Lunacy, but got sucked into the abyss in Eternal Slumber. Soloing it, is impossible with my limited card supply. As play and buy more expansions, you will eventually have more than enough cards to build nice decks. Unless you are OCD and need to play "the best", there is no need for two core sets.

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On 10/26/2018 at 8:23 PM, Assussanni said:

We also played in (and won) a Labyrinths of Lunacy 12 player game, and I’m not sure the other two players in our group noticed that our decks were only made with one core.

I didn't notice!!

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Buying 2 core sets nets you a base of cards to found rounded investigators on. A bunch of core cards are staples throughout the game, lucky and Look what I found, machette and vicious blow, deduction and DR. Milan, Shrivelling and Holy Rosary, most of the factions have key cards here that they need. 

 

But my question is, is buying a second core set really a problem? This is a beefy expansion based game, to date there are 3 Deluxes, 17 scenarios, 3 extra scenarios, 1 Rehash expansion, and the near future brings us 3 more small expansions, another deluxe, one expansion-for-another-expansion and it'll continue like this until FFG can make no more. Youre also gonna want Storage solutions and sleeves. 

 

So, this is an expensive game, with lots if awesome content to offer, filling out your core set is highly reccommended if you think you'll play the rest. You literally spend hours, days, playing a campaign and youll do it more then once. All of which will be improved by owning 2 cores.

 

 

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Considering how much i already spent on this game, the cost of a second core is dimishingly low because the second core accounts for less than 5 % total expenses.

I dont know if this is a good or a bad thing, haha. I am getting a ton of mileage out of this game though.

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Having to buy two cores is VERY annoying. Most of the cards you get another copy of are simply not necessary as a single core comes with all the non investigator cards you need. On top of that, there is a whole update to the core missions, making those cards even more redundant.

The good news is this whole needing to buy two crap stops with the core. Everything else you just need a copy of. When you look at the overall cost of this game in the long run, an extra core isn't a huge deal. You are looking at 6X$15 for each pack for an expansion plus the main expansion box itself. So you are looking at $120 per expansion cycle, retail.

Yes, I hate rewarding FFG's marketing strategy by buying two cores as I feel they really need to cut that out. If that $40 is going to break you, even less on sale, then this isn't the game for you anyways. I am not sure if anything will change FFG's practice of having people buy multiple cores. Part of the reason is it is a money grab, the other part is they want that first intro to the game to be as cheap as possible, so they leave out a bunch of one penny cards.

It's a great game however and worth it despite the money grab.

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1 hour ago, Mep said:

Having to buy two cores is VERY annoying. Most of the cards you get another copy of are simply not necessary as a single core comes with all the non investigator cards you need. On top of that, there is a whole update to the core missions, making those cards even more redundant.

The good news is this whole needing to buy two crap stops with the core. Everything else you just need a copy of. When you look at the overall cost of this game in the long run, an extra core isn't a huge deal. You are looking at 6X$15 for each pack for an expansion plus the main expansion box itself. So you are looking at $120 per expansion cycle, retail.

Yes, I hate rewarding FFG's marketing strategy by buying two cores as I feel they really need to cut that out. If that $40 is going to break you, even less on sale, then this isn't the game for you anyways. I am not sure if anything will change FFG's practice of having people buy multiple cores. Part of the reason is it is a money grab, the other part is they want that first intro to the game to be as cheap as possible, so they leave out a bunch of one penny cards.

It's a great game however and worth it despite the money grab.

i crunched the numbers and my total expenses are close to the 600 € (700$) mark (All 3 cycles, Return to night of the zealot, coin capsules, playmat, boxes for all my cards, a storage system for my capsules and the tokens, 2 PODs (Carnevale of Horror and Course of Rougarou are yet to come) and 2 cores and a ton of mayday premium sleeves). In the grand picture, as i have already written before, a second core really isn't that expensive. Though, i too hated the fact that i was buying a set of cards that was 100 % useless...

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7 hours ago, Eldan985 said:

Yeah. I didn't refuse to buy a second core for the money. I refused to buy a second core because I didn't want to get useless cards. 

So, I use the extra cards to prebuild scenarios for my two Arkham groups.  And the leftover scenario and player cards... I use those for proxying cards that I print out when I don't have enough of one player card for all of my players.  Everything that I bought has a use.

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On 10/30/2018 at 3:26 AM, Mep said:

Part of the reason is it is a money grab, the other part is they want that first intro to the game to be as cheap as possible, so they leave out a bunch of one penny cards.

It's a great game however and worth it despite the money grab.

This is only half right. For any business the difference between "cash grab" and "product with viable profitability" is basically whether or not you have an axe that you've spent years grinding.

 

The Core Set design is subject to multiple constraints.

  1. It must provide a sufficient variety of cards by title. There are only 9 level 0 cards for each faction--having that cut down to only 4 or 5 cards by title would impoverish deck building options, which would in turn create a dire necessity for additional product, and cause people to b!tch about cash grabs.
  2. It must have a viable set of scenarios. Night of the Zealot and its encounter deck elements provide a tremendous bang for the buck, and you couldn't really cut into that very far without drastically impacting its playability. If NOTZ were sold separately, yeah you could dramatically increase card count and give 2x of more cards probably, but then it wouldn't even be playable at all without a second purchase, and would cause people to b!tch about cash grabs.
  3. It must come in at a $40 cost. This is the real sticking point. FFG has held to $40 for over a decade, because at that price point, people are often willing to make a blind buy. Going up to $50 would, in economic terms, reduce demand, i.e. sell fewer copies. The extra elbow room for additional cards would not create enough extra sales to make up the difference. And unfortunately, there are only so many cards you can put in a box along with tokens and rulebooks. (When they made Netrunner's revised core set they even cut the Rules Reference Guide and published it as a PDF to save money.) Contrary to what some people would claim, you can't just add stuff into a box and only account for the penny it costs for paper and ink. That's not how product valuation works. But, even if you did go up in price, the other constraints would still be in place. It would still be the best idea to provide the greatest variety of cards as you could in the core set, and that means giving two cards instead of two copies of the same card for any given slot. The only way you'd think you were getting a better deal in that situation is if you compared it to what the core set would give you at only $40, but you couldn't since that product wouldn't exist. And in doing so you'd reduce the number of people who would actually buy the thing.

So, at the end of the day, the design is confined by cost and yet must maximize card variety. The only way to do that is not to double up on cards by title unless you absolutely have to, as was done with many staple neutral cards. The prospect of a second core set purchase is not a cause of the design parameters, it's a result of them.

But given that the core set is what it is, they're not really helping themselves if they create a product whose only purpose is to cannibalize sales of the central item of the game line, so I very much doubt we'll ever see a deckbuilding pack. Every LCG they ever made all benefit from a second core set because of similar design constraints, and they've had ample opportunity to do such a thing before if they ever decided they wanted to try that.

Edited by Grimwalker

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