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dbmeboy

Power Creep?

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I'm new to LCGs so I have a question for those of you who have been playing FFG's other LCGs: how does FFG avoid power creep?  Conventional wisdom says that eventually sets would need to be more powerful to sell.  Why else would you convince everyone to buy your new expansion if they're not going to use anything from it in their decks and why use things in decks when you already have equivalent or better options.  MtG handled this with the set rotation in Standard.  Decipher never really handled it with the SWCCG, and it was definitely a problem near the end of the game's publishing.  Does FFG usually avoid this with their LCGs, or can we expect to have to buy the latest expansion to be competitive?

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If they stick with the current pod style of building a deck by choosing an objective card that then adds 10 cards to your deck then you'll want to buy them simply to get a different objective to work with, 

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spirit said:

If they stick with the current pod style of building a deck by choosing an objective card that then adds 10 cards to your deck then you'll want to buy them simply to get a different objective to work with, 

 

I agree.  Since you will have the inability to add individual cards to a deck, powercreep should be less of an issue (in theory).

 

But it does exist in all of the other games.  AGoT has introduced a banned list, a restricted list, and has a FAQ for specific errata and clarification.

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 Power creep aside, FFG likes to add new mechanics as they go with big box expansions to go with the chapter packs, so expect to see more "things to do" alongside any potential power creep.

I'd imagine, by the looks of the Objectives and deckbuilding and such that you'll see different personas of main characters.  I've seen a picture of a card for Vader's TIE Fighter, but the card for Vader doesn't have text for using him as an Enhancement card, whereas there is a Black Squadron pilot that can attack to ships.  I would imagine there would be "Pilot Vader" to go with "Combat Vader", and with uniqueness, you could only run one or the other on the board at once.

SW CCG did it all the time.  If you wanted a beefy Falcon combo, you went with Captain Solo from the Cloud City set.  If you wanted some ground combat power, you could run Han with Blaster Pistol for the extra battle destiny combo and attack, or General Solo from the Endor set if you were doing a Scouts deck.

They all had their uses and focus.  That said, the original Han Solo from Premiere fell out of vogue when Captain Solo appeared, but later became useful for maximum Force Retrieval when played as the captive Han in the "You Can Either Profit By This…" Objective.

At a high level play tournament scene though, there were obviously better choices for to powergame your way across the finish line, but in terms of playing for fun, they never really killed the different personas of cards in any appreciable way.

I think Leia was the only card I ever really started using when her Daughter of Skywalker persona came out.  You could use her instead of Luke for Jedi Training decks which opened up all kinds of crazy alternate universe shenanigans.

Hopefully FFG will take this approach rather than just making a "better" Vader, Luke, Han, etc.

Here's hoping they still keep the game text that mechanically let's Han always shoot first.  Not that I'm an angry SW fan about that bit in the movie, I just think it's a fun little mechanic that keeps the spirit of Star Wars in the game.

Also, here's hoping for "Special Edition" Greedo that shoots first against Han just for the fun of it.

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cleardave said:

SW CCG did it all the time.  If you wanted a beefy Falcon combo, you went with Captain Solo from the Cloud City set.  If you wanted some ground combat power, you could run Han with Blaster Pistol for the extra battle destiny combo and attack, or General Solo from the Endor set if you were doing a Scouts deck.

With all those different card names, how was character uniqueness established?

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I think the pod system actually allows for a considerable amount of leeway when it comes to designing powerful cards. If FFG wants to introduce a particularly awesome effect, they can include it in a pod with five other miserable cards. So, you may get that Boba Fett that just wrecks everything, but he's bringing a bunch of dead weight with him. 

Now, I don't know whether this would frustrate players unduly, but it certainly offers a way to mitigate the overall power of decks (if not of individual cards themselves). 

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MarthWMaster said:

 

cleardave said:

 

SW CCG did it all the time.  If you wanted a beefy Falcon combo, you went with Captain Solo from the Cloud City set.  If you wanted some ground combat power, you could run Han with Blaster Pistol for the extra battle destiny combo and attack, or General Solo from the Endor set if you were doing a Scouts deck.

 

 

With all those different card names, how was character uniqueness established?

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds like the old WotC minis game - weren't there 14 Darth Vaders, of one name or another? I forget now, but I remember that game had the text 
Unique (counts as Darth Vader) 
or something similar. 

This post is probably of no use whatsoever…

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starhawk77 said:

So, you may get that Boba Fett that just wrecks everything, but he's bringing a bunch of dead weight with him. 

 

 

I have no real idea about just how balanced each pod will be (I know some guys on BGG have managed to group together at least two of the pods from the cardgamedb post), but I'm sure the other cards won't be that bad… 

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MarthWMaster said:

cleardave said:

 

SW CCG did it all the time.  If you wanted a beefy Falcon combo, you went with Captain Solo from the Cloud City set.  If you wanted some ground combat power, you could run Han with Blaster Pistol for the extra battle destiny combo and attack, or General Solo from the Endor set if you were doing a Scouts deck.

 

 

With all those different card names, how was character uniqueness established?

MarthWMaster said:

 

 

With all those different card names, how was character uniqueness established?

It was part of the rules, covered as "personas"

So "Han Solo" from Premiere was a unique persona of Han Solo, as was "Captain Solo", "Han with Heavy Blaster", "General Solo", "Jabba's Prize", etc.

I believe it was a piece in the rules about each card having the ubiquitous unique dot, and it calling out that it was Han in the flavour text, or elsewhere on the card.  I don't have them in front of me, but you get the idea.

So Luke Skywalker, Commander Luke Skywalker, Son of Skywalker, Luke with Lightsaber, Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight and Luke Skywalker Rebel Scout would all be considered "Luke" for deployment restrictions on uniqueness, as well as card effects.

What was really interesting were the card effects that required specific personas.  So Echo Base Garrison lets you pull "Hoth Series" Luke because it specifically shows the expansion symbol for "Hoth" (which was the planet Hoth, in case you were wondering).

If I remember correctly, you could always deploy out another version of the same persona that overides and replaces the card you had out originally, and in a very flavourful twist, in the Cloud City expansion, you had a Dark Side and Light Side Lando card that could be converted, representing his changing sides in Empire.

I think the Dark Side got a Lobot in the Special Edition set that stopped the Light Side from converting Lando.

Wacky, wacky fun.

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 In SWCCG, different cards representing the same character (or starship or weapon) were considered the same persona and could not be on table at the same time (if unique). Usually it didn't take much work for a reasonable person to handle that rule, but the complete game rules included persona lists for the unreasonable people.

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dbmeboy said:

 In SWCCG, different cards representing the same character (or starship or weapon) were considered the same persona and could not be on table at the same time (if unique). Usually it didn't take much work for a reasonable person to handle that rule, but the complete game rules included persona lists for the unreasonable people.

As if that needed to be explained, but you know that Rules as Written guy at every gathering would be a giant **** and talk about some loophole that lets him use 2 different Hans if he could, and **** the spirit of the game.

I get why they had to spell it out in such detail, it would just always make my friends laugh because if we ever played against that person at a shop, we'd just laugh them out of the room and nobody would play with them.  Sportsman-like conduct goes a long way in keeping the little communities in each town going.  Trying to lawyer your way into some weird BS powergaming moment, especially in casual play is just not cool.

Like when I was learning to play Call of Cthulhu LCG with a friend, I had made some oversight a couple of turns in, about a deployment, which I realized as he pointed it out.  I went for a do-over and he was hopping around like "haha, you screwed up, I'm not letting you do it".  It was literally the first time either of us played the game.  It set me back, but I won the match, and from then on, I just stopped explaining in depth every move I was doing and raked him over the coals so bad every game after.

Then he was throwing up his hands about losing every time, and it was frankly because I didn't feel like pointing out an obvious mistake he made in not using an ability or something, because clearly he felt the need to play cut-throat from the first card we ever picked up.  I'm all for cut-throat when you're talking about two experienced players squaring off in a serious match, but on the first time out, we should all allow a wide margin of error.

Back on topic, I'm sure there's going to be a persona rule for Star Wars LCG as well, because I can't see them being so uncreative to have different Luke cards all being called just "Luke Skywalker".

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cleardave said:

dbmeboy said:

Back on topic, I'm sure there's going to be a persona rule for Star Wars LCG as well, because I can't see them being so uncreative to have different Luke cards all being called just "Luke Skywalker".

Well I was disappointed when I found that alter-egos in the LotR LCG were all called by the same name. Both Aragorn cards are just called Aragorn instead of Aragorn and Strider. You lose some flavor by keeping it simple that way. I'd prefer a clause that says, "Counts as Aragorn."

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Budgernaut said:

Well I was disappointed when I found that alter-egos in the LotR LCG were all called by the same name. Both Aragorn cards are just called Aragorn instead of Aragorn and Strider. You lose some flavor by keeping it simple that way. I'd prefer a clause that says, "Counts as Aragorn."

Or had the "Aragorn" resource

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Budgernaut said:

cleardave said:

Well I was disappointed when I found that alter-egos in the LotR LCG were all called by the same name. Both Aragorn cards are just called Aragorn instead of Aragorn and Strider. You lose some flavor by keeping it simple that way. I'd prefer a clause that says, "Counts as Aragorn."

The 'alternate' title is in the subtitles.

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starhawk77 said:

So, you may get that Boba Fett that just wrecks everything, but he's bringing a bunch of dead weight with him. 

 

That's exactly why I'm not really for the pod-building mechanic. No deck builder ever wants dead weight in their deck.

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herozeromes said:

 

starhawk77 said:

So, you may get that Boba Fett that just wrecks everything, but he's bringing a bunch of dead weight with him. 

 

That's exactly why I'm not really for the pod-building mechanic. No deck builder ever wants dead weight in their deck.

 

 

I don't think it will ever be dead weight per say, just cards that maybe aren't the greatest depending on how you build. For example, one of the pods that looks to be complete is:

The Emperor's Web objective, Emperor Palpatine, Emperor's Royal Guard, Sith Library, Force Lightning, Force Choke

So I think it will more likely be thematic batches like this.

But then depending on how you build the rest of your deck maybe some of these cards then aren't the greatest that you want included. Though even then, I'm fine with this as it's kind of like a risk you take for taking certain other cards, and you can always just use these cards in the edge battle.

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Mattr0polis said:

I don't think it will ever be dead weight per say, just cards that maybe aren't the greatest depending on how you build. For example, one of the pods that looks to be complete is:

The Emperor's Web objective, Emperor Palpatine, Emperor's Royal Guard, Sith Library, Force Lightning, Force Choke

So I think it will more likely be thematic batches like this.

But then depending on how you build the rest of your deck maybe some of these cards then aren't the greatest that you want included. Though even then, I'm fine with this as it's kind of like a risk you take for taking certain other cards, and you can always just use these cards in the edge battle.

That's how I look at it as well.  I think we all have our own ideas of what we would like to run as a theme in a Star Wars card game, and initially, I suspect few of us will feel that "complete" experience.  That said, the decks I got the most out of, that were theme-heavy in SWCCG involved batches of cards across different expansions.

If you just played SWCCG with the Premiere set, it would be "ok", but not nearly as fun as when you can really focus a deck onto one or two aspects of the movies and run with those cards.

I like that we're getting hints of Flight Squadron synergy with the "Black Squadron Assault" Objective, which pairs with Black Squadron Pilot, I'm On the Leader, TIE Advanced (I can't see the pod number of the graphic, so maybe not?) and Vader's TIE Advanced.  Nothing about this pod is really "dead weight" in an obvious way, and you have the option to apparently put the Black Squadron Pilot on his own, in the TIE Advanced, or in Vader's TIE Advanced, contributing his card effect to add to the Fighter's damage output to Units and Objectives.  The Objective itself allows you to both attack with the TIE Advanced in question and presumably DEFEND with it, assuming you can take an Action with the Objective after declaring an attack with your TIE Advanced.

Also I'm assuming the opposite would work; defend with the TIE Advanced combo, then focus the Objective to strike back.  Both the TIE Advanced and Vader's TIE are pretty interesting on their own, and the added pilot just makes it better.  I'm on the Leader makes sure they don't answer with their own Fighter unit.  I've also noticed only 4 (that I saw on cardgamedb) cards in that pod.  Is it possible there's a Vader pilot card for that set coming in Core? Either way, I wonder what that 5th card for the Black Squadron pod would be.

Also Heart of the Empire pairing with Coruscant Defence Fleet, and There is No Escape can be interesting in itself.  If you were coming down to the wire at the endgame, and had the Defense Fleet sitting quietly in your hand all game, you could play There is No Escape to wipe the board clean, then proceed to drop the Defense Fleet and put a severe damage output threat on the board.  Bonus if you actually have Heart of the Empire out to use Defense Fleet to soak up Objective damage if your opponent thinks they're going to put all their efforts into taking that Objective out for the win.

Again, I see the pods as looking like decent groups of cards that work together. If the Core comes with one of each Objective and card pod, then buy 2 Cores and focus more on what you like, assuming you can run with two copies of the Objective and its associated cards.

Then, when the expansions come out, it just goes outward from there into customizing that Objective stack to be more in keeping with your own theme of what "Star Wars" means to you.

If you really do feel a certain card in the pod is of no value to you, toss it in an edge battle or use it as a discard fodder somewhere else.

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Mattr0polis said:

herozeromes said:

 

starhawk77 said:

So, you may get that Boba Fett that just wrecks everything, but he's bringing a bunch of dead weight with him. 

 

That's exactly why I'm not really for the pod-building mechanic. No deck builder ever wants dead weight in their deck.

 

 

I don't think it will ever be dead weight per say, just cards that maybe aren't the greatest depending on how you build. 

Yeah, that's what I was trying to suggest. The other cards won't be useless, but FFG can balance pods by pairing powerful individual cards with several other less spectacular ones. That way, the overall power level can be kept relatively consistent across pods while still allowing the designers to make Vader/Boba/et al. as awesome as they should be. 

Now, I don't know if this will ACTUALLY happen, but the option is certainly there. Maintaining balance in this game should be easier than leveling the playing field in almost any other CCG/LCG.

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The pod-building mechanic also creates a justifiable method of ensuring that Empire players are running a full cadre of troops that can't shoot worth a darn (because they really wanted to include that impractically huge battle station with the glaring weakness :P).

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starhawk77 said:

Maintaining balance in this game should be easier than leveling the playing field in almost any other CCG/LCG.

That's true, but I'm not sure they can avoid effectively obsoleting earlier pods with their new ones.  Basically, I'm worried that every probably games like MtG or SWCCG have had with power creep via cards will instead become power creep on the "pod" level.  They have to keep everyone buying the new products, after all.

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Indeed, there is no way to assess the precise "value" of a pod as the sum of its parts. It may be that less-useful cards become less frequent. Hopefully it won't happen for a few years yet, though.

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 As was the case with SWCCG, and could be the case here, future expansions can also bring new utility to existing cards.  I remember when ISB Operations came out for SWCCG, it forced me to go back through my collection and dig out all the cards that would work with the Objective and I was definitely using stuff I never would have before.

If you can do that with your game design, it lets the players' collections of cards have more life and not just be restricted to the current expansions.  The other benefit, from a business perspective, is that it keeps the purchasing of all of your expansion packs worthwhile for players that come late to the game.  Sure, there might be "that" cycle, that everyone points new players towards getting first, but ultimately having the full collection should be fruitful.

Looking at cards we know from the demo, there is the Coruscant Defense Fleet that helps protect your Heart of the Empire Objective, which has the "Coruscant" resource on the card.  I can imagine there will be at least one more Coruscant-type Objective in the Core Set; there are at least 2 each for Executor and Death Star from what I recall.  Right there, you have a good strategy for a Dark Side deck; double up on "Heart of the Empire" (which I believe is paired with Coruscant Defense Fleet) and another Coruscant Objective, and you can likely have one, if not both Defense Fleet cards out getting in the way of the Light Side running on your Objectives.  If you got lucky enough to have all 3 Objectives on the table be Coruscant Objectives, you can basically focus all efforts on boosting the Defense Fleet with support so the Light Side can't break through.

That's just a conjecture-based strategy, obviously, but I think it highlights the potential for some decent deck-building design around a core concept; turtle up and run out the clock.  The Dark Side doesn't need to actually attack the Light Side to win, per se, just get that counter across the finish line.  If you're not trying too hard to break through and wreck Light Side Objectives, you can just lock up Coruscant and try and win the Force each turn to speed up the game for you.

Theme-wise, I think that really translates to the universe as well; you would expect that a Rebel incursion into Coruscant at the height of the Empire would be a very difficult undertaking.  As cheap as that tactic sounds, remember that if the Light Side somehow breaks through and wrecks your Objective, you also lose the game immediately, so it balances out all the extreme effort your opponent would need to expend to get there.

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There is always posibility to power greep. For example we get Luke in one pod from core set.

Later we can get another pod with different Luke. Either the new Luce or new "extra" cards can make the old Luke or the block obsolete (in power greep).

But it is allso possible that later we will get anoher Pod, that work wery well together with the older Luke, so the old pod would be usefull again (or the new pod will make the newer Luke pod even more better). So the consept does not gurantee anything about the power greep. It is up to the designers to deside what will happen. And like in many games (including lcg) there will become some God combos that cause havok with the game balance. For Example Zigil miner in LOTR lcg that became too powerfull, with many cards that allow you to control the player deck etc. So it will happen allso in SW lcg when there are enough force packs (and so more pods available). It is not a "bad" thing. It is something that any card game that gets expansions is likely to meet.

 

The another this is force greep that is made in purpose to sell more new sets. That is really bad and I hope that lcg FFG would avoid that, but lcg environment by itself does not protect against that either.

 

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