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Grrhawk

Suggestion: LCG Core Complement Packs

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 I have seen much wailing and gnashing of teeth over LCG core set distribution models.  Personally I think they got it right with games like Netrunner, which have an uneven distribution, making the game much more playable for owners of single core sets.  A 3x distribution model on the core set would either be prohibitively expensive for players just trying out the game, or have too little variety.

That being said, I do dislike all the wasted cardboard of buying 2nd and 3rd core sets.  For Netrunner, a 3rd core set gets you only 10 cards that you did not already have 3x of.  $25-35 for 10 cards is a pretty awful deal.  Yes, I know there is a benefit to people building multiple decks, but I think even those people would prefer what I have in mind.

I think FFG should release  "Core Complement Packs" that only contain the cards necessary to bring the core sets up to 3x cards.  They could be packaged in a small box, maybe a bit larger than their monthly 60 card expansion boxes, nothing fancy, no chits or anything.  Heck, they could package them with something fancy to jack the price up and I'd still probably snap one up for every LCG I own..  They would lose out on multiple core set sales, but they would gain sales from people who a) refused to buy the game in the first place due to the distribution model (probably more vocal than numerous), b) people who bought 1 or 2 core sets, and want a full set, but are reluctant to get a 3rd core, and c) hardcore deck builders who want to build multiple decks with 3 copies of some single-distribution card, or whatever.

Obviously they'd have to see if it's worth doing from a business perspective, but I'd personally love if they did this.

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I don't know if you know this already but this has been brought up about a million times before and FFG has said very clearly they will not be doing this. They have said it is not cost effective to do this. The reason core sets are the way they are is because they prefer card diversity over a full playset in Core sets. Also you do not need 3 of every card. I have two core sets for both AGoT and Android: Netrunner and that is more than enough and the only reason I did that is to build multiple decks.

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You might be underestimating the number of cards in the Netrunner core set that aren't in triplicate. There are 55 cards in the core set that come in pairs (that's nearly half the 113 cards in the set, and more than the 40 cards in triplicate), and 18 singleton cards (though that number does include the 7 Identities). Buying a second core set gives you 66 non-Identity cards that you can now include more of in a deck, either doubling up on or putting in a full set of three. Obviously the value of the investment will vary widely from person to person, but from where I'm sitting, that seems pretty worthwhile. It's not absolutely necessary, but it's a solid investment that definitely boosts your options.

Netrunner is, as far as I'm concerned, the best designed core set FFG has put out so far for an LCG. My other experience is with AGOT and LotR, which are for various reasons much worse.

AGOT's core set gives you four 45-card decks, which are almost entirely composed of singletons. You can't even do deckbuilding with this set, as you don't even yet have the cards for a full 60-card deck. Buying a second core set is nearly mandatory for a new AGOT player, and though you have the nice advantage of not having too many extra cards, it's certainly annoying that you can't really do anything with the provided decks until you've bought them again.

LotR has even more waste. You have some double and single cards you might want more of, but you end up with a ton of superfluous encounter decks and hero cards if you buy another one. The number of cards you're actually buying is definitely far, far lower than other core set second purchases.

I'm looking forward to the Star Wars core set, which will at least deal with the major shortcoming of the Netrunner core set: those **** singletons. With only two card pods allowed per deck, you should have an absolutely complete pool with just two Core Sets.

 

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Hellshark said:

They would lose out on multiple core set sales

Which is why this will never happen.  It would be financially viable, but not as financially viable as making people buy multiple Cores, which the target demographic for this product will do, anyway. 

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Shadin said:

Hellshark said:

They would lose out on multiple core set sales

 

Which is why this will never happen.  It would be financially viable, but not as financially viable as making people buy multiple Cores, which the target demographic for this product will do, anyway. 

I guess the question there would be do they want to expand the format beyond that target demographic. One of the selling points of LCGs was supposed to be that they are effectively CCGs for the non-OCD collector-types. But if I'm being asked to spend $120 retail just to get a full set of the core cards, in addition 

Now for a competitive player, the LCG is a lot cheaper than a traditional CCG. But for a more casual player who just wants the ability to build a variety of decks, it's still a bit pricey. But then if Fantasy Flight is happy enough just serving the 'core' audience, if it's providing them with good, steady income then I guess who's to say they should try and expand their market? That's a decision they have to make looking at their bottom-line. 

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KEM said:

Shadin said:

 


 

 

I guess the question there would be do they want to expand the format beyond that target demographic. One of the selling points of LCGs was supposed to be that they are effectively CCGs for the non-OCD collector-types. But if I'm being asked to spend $120 retail just to get a full set of the core cards, in addition 

 

 

$120 is still way cheaper than any TCG out there to get a full playset in. And you don't need playsets of every card in any of the LCG's. AGoT it is kinda pointless as once a character is dead you can't play another copy. Netrunner has like 11 cards that come in singles. I have two core sets now and don't really see a need for a third to get 11 cards. Maybe eventually to get some demo decks.

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Toqtamish said:

$120 is still way cheaper than any TCG out there to get a full playset in. And you don't need playsets of every card in any of the LCG's. AGoT it is kinda pointless as once a character is dead you can't play another copy. Netrunner has like 11 cards that come in singles. I have two core sets now and don't really see a need for a third to get 11 cards. Maybe eventually to get some demo decks.

Good point, I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that and I ended up conflating some issues. I think for a more casual player the issue would be more about being able to build a couple of functional decks and less about having a full play set. I don't own Netrunner so I can't speak to that, but I do know that with the AGoT core set you are not able to build even one functional 60-card deck. To build a functional deck requires a core set and at least one expansion, which comes out to about $70 retail. Compare that to a TCG like Magic or WoW where you can get an Intro/Class Deck for $12-$15. So for the price of one core set which won't even let me build one deck, I could buy 3 decks for a TCG. That's more what I mean as far as LCG's having a high barrier for entry for a more casual player.

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KEM said:

Toqtamish said:

 

$120 is still way cheaper than any TCG out there to get a full playset in. And you don't need playsets of every card in any of the LCG's. AGoT it is kinda pointless as once a character is dead you can't play another copy. Netrunner has like 11 cards that come in singles. I have two core sets now and don't really see a need for a third to get 11 cards. Maybe eventually to get some demo decks.

 

Good point, I wasn't as clear as I should have been on that and I ended up conflating some issues. I think for a more casual player the issue would be more about being able to build a couple of functional decks and less about having a full play set. I don't own Netrunner so I can't speak to that, but I do know that with the AGoT core set you are not able to build even one functional 60-card deck. To build a functional deck requires a core set and at least one expansion, which comes out to about $70 retail. Compare that to a TCG like Magic or WoW where you can get an Intro/Class Deck for $12-$15. So for the price of one core set which won't even let me build one deck, I could buy 3 decks for a TCG. That's more what I mean as far as LCG's having a high barrier for entry for a more casual player.

 

 

Let me first say that I still own just one core set as I'm still hoping for a "core complement" set .

Now, if you take pre-constructed decks from MtG, they are as bad as the 4 decks you can build out of Warhammer Invasion  core set. Can't see why you need extra expansion for building a single functional deck out of the core set. 

Yes, these are un-competitive decks we are talking about, just as well are the MtG pre-constructed ones.

(cant' say about WoW, but I have a feeling it's just the same…)

Danilo

 

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I would LOVE to get my hands on any LCG Core Complement Packs. For better deck building, for collection purposes, etc.

Why not go Print-On-Demand and make these accessible through the site, like the expansions to Death Angel, for example?

I would pay a bit extra to get the missing cards that would complete my collection of 3x of each card in either AGOT, Netrunner or Warhammer: Invasion. I have bought only one of each released update/expansion pack for each of those three games.

How much money would that net FFG, if it was POD?

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http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=3808

On one hand I'm happy to see that AGOT is still popular and is coming back - maybe I'll manage to get more local players into playing AGOT.

On the other, I don't think I will be buying these reprints, simply because it doesn't make sense for someone who has bought the cards already. I know, I could complete my collection (and have additional cards on top of that), but spending money again for the same cards that I already have? What's the point?

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This is my big problem with starting playing LCGs. I was considering getting into Warhammer Invasion a few years ago (around the time the first deluxe expansion game out). I was looking at my FLGS owners copy of the game and asked what was worth buying to get started. He explained that the starter came with enough to play all four factions in it but that I should pick up the Ulthuan expansion as it would mean I would get the other two copies of card from the base set that I needed to complete a playset that would be good for the Orc deck. Puzzled I asked if there were cards in the Core Set that didn't come in playsets of them. He confirmed my suspicions and so I followed up say that at least they completed them with the Ulthuan playset. He then explained that it was only that one card where they did that leaving me rather put off and perplexed. Surely this meant that rather than fix the inherent collectability problem that CCGs/TCGs have it just compounded it.

If I needed 3 copies of Special Awesome Card number 1 but it only came at one per box, but on the other hand that box already came with 3 copies of Average Faction Specific Card number 2 then surely I would end up with "swaps" that I had no need for that many of in my collection. Further compounding this problem is that in any CCG/TCG any additional commons could be boxed up and used to give to new players to help them get into the game. However anyone playing the in question LCG would already have 3 copies of Average Faction Specific Card number 2 themselves and so all my additional cards would just be a waste of cardboard. This made me realise that FFG's LCG model is in fact more flawed than the standard CCG/TCG model.

You see what FFG have done with LCGs is not remove the collectability aspect of the game but rather removed the secondary market aspect of the game. With the CCG/TCG format I need an additional copy of Special Awesome Card number 1 then I go to ebay or a webstore and order a copy of it. It may cost me as much as several boosters depending on rarity and playability but at the same time I'm guarrenteed to get it without all faffing about with Cards I don't need. However with an LCG there is no secondary market, however I still don't (from what I've read) get a playset of cards from my starter set and I know that I need another copy of Special Awesome Card number 1 but to get it I have to buy a complete new copy of the starter set. At this point I end up with the card I need and all the additional cards which I don't need extra copies and now have no purpose but to sit in their box and take up space. Thus the LCG quickly becomes the most wasteful release format. Essentially LCGs still have the rarity issues that CCG/TCGs do but don't have an efficient solution to them.

The recent releases of the Netrunner and Star Wars LCGs made me consider getting in to them again. So I looked around online to see whether or not that same issue still plagued the games and unfortunately it still does. I appreciate the fact that the Starter Set's purpose is to sell someone on the game and that does not neccessarily require a playset of every card in the pack for practical purposes. However if FFG told me they were releasing an amazing new LCG and that when the first Deluxe expansion hit it would contain, in addition to a playset of the new cards it introduces, the cards I need to complete a playset of the cards in a Starter and that the montly cycle expansion packs all contain a playset of their new cards I would be all over it. At present however LCGs look alot less attractive than every other collectable game out there.

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There is no rarity issue with LCG's. You know exactly what you are getting. If you cannot see the bargain of LCG's compared to CCG's then I feel sorry for you and it is your loss.

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But there is a rarity issue. Just because there isn't a defined rarity in the games appearance doesn't mean it isn't there. A card you only get 1 copy of in a box (Card A) is rarer than a card you get 2 copies of in the same box (Card B) which is rarer than in a card you get 3 copies of (Card C). The fact that in acquiring a playset (say 3 copies) of Card A you end up with 2 playsets of Card B and 3 playsets of Card C by default means that in your pool of cards, Card B and Card C are more common than Card A. It's the definition of rarity in it's most basic sense. Card A is less common in terms of how many are in existance than Card B and Card C. To obtain more of Card A you need to buy more of Card B and Card C. Your still wasting money on excess cards you don't need to get more copies of those you do only the fact it isn't truely collectable means that there isn't a secondary market for you to draw upon as an alternative. Some form of Core Complement pack would open the game up to more people who have this misgiving.

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skwizzle said:

Oooorrrrrr you could just play with one core and expansion packs, like I do.

To be fair this is probably what I'll do and just hope it gets fixed one day. I won't be playing competitivly so it's not the end of the world. It just perplexs me that it's still the case all the years after LCGs debuted.

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This is a really interesting debate, the fact that cards do not have rarities but some are still inherently less common. I think the lack of secondary market is what leads to this observation. If you could buy a core set and then just go to an ebay retailer and buy the missing cards you need without having to buy a second core set, people would do it. However, if you think about it this retailer would probably charge you a premium for the individual cards and so you would end up paying more for the small number of cards you needed than what a second core set would be worth in buying.

 

I think the issue boils down to people who like card games like having all the cards they can use but don't like having excess cards which they can never use. I get rid of so many junk commons and uncommons from my magic collection so I know the feeling. The problem with an LCG is that no one wants these excess cards you have so you are at a loss what on earth to do with them most of the time. I guess the best thing to do is if you want to play at the highest level just buy that second core set and no longer think about it. From what I can gather the issue is only with the starter or core packs for a game so it is hardly a huge issue.

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Evazorek said:

I think the issue boils down to people who like card games like having all the cards they can use but don't like having excess cards which they can never use. I get rid of so many junk commons and uncommons from my magic collection so I know the feeling. The problem with an LCG is that no one wants these excess cards you have so you are at a loss what on earth to do with them most of the time.

Well, I must admit that I am one of these person, needing every single card, even if I don't plan (not excluding it) to play in a competitive area. However, I like to not limit my options. I guess I will just put all the excess cards and dials (Star Wars: The Card Game) in one box and the other in another box. Sure I'm more lucky that Star Wars just needs 2 Core Sets (confirmed by other players) than getting three for Netrunner (if I really want a third copy of 11 cards).

Evazorek said:

I guess the best thing to do is if you want to play at the highest level just buy that second core set and no longer think about it. From what I can gather the issue is only with the starter or core packs for a game so it is hardly a huge issue.

Also this. I consider it the necessary evil. FFG is a company that wants to earn money. Selling at least a second core set is a huge boon to them. Also there is so much as customer research. If you don't like this kind of distribution, don't support it. The thing is that it's only done with core sets and deluxe expansions which are rare enough for me. If they just would release a whole cycle as a deluxe expansion I would happily rejoice with every complain and grab my torch and do some enlightening towards FFG.

 

Coming from M:TG I blew a lot of cash just for some card to compliment one (1) deck, sometimes in the form of several boosters, sometimes buy buying them flat out. I eventually sold all of my cards for less than I invested and never looked back. Also remember that FFG catered to the community. The first cycle in the WH:I universe (if my researche was correct) came with two cards of the same, instead of three. Ppl grabbed pitchforks and burnt the whole place down, now they offer each ENTER NAME pack with enough cards that gives you the max number of each card. They could've ignored the outcry and LCG would have been a much more horrendous money sink…

Also I guess the "casual player" who maybe will not even buy every force pack and maybe JUST the deluxe expansions will not care that much. Are they missing out? Sure! Will they play it that much so they should care? Doubtful. However if they are, that might warrant the purchase of another core set.

 

TL;DR I can understand it's a nuisance, but not one that should be met by another product.

 

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Kiwamu said:

 I consider it the necessary evil. FFG is a company that wants to earn money. Selling at least a second core set is a huge boon to them.

 

This part is not exactly true as with that second core set comes all of the other bits that cost them money, the box, the tokens, rulebook etc. They probably don't really make that much extra money off of another core set purchase.

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Toqtamish said:

 

Kiwamu said:

 

 I consider it the necessary evil. FFG is a company that wants to earn money. Selling at least a second core set is a huge boon to them.

 

 

 

This part is not exactly true as with that second core set comes all of the other bits that cost them money, the box, the tokens, rulebook etc. They probably don't really make that much extra money off of another core set purchase.

 

 

 

I have to disagree in a kindly way. They probably get more discount for ordering a bigger stock to be produced. If they had to splitt, the discounts wouldn't be as high or wouldn't apply. Sure you now could say, they just have to print out the cards, but I guess they would require a second packaging etc. Also marketing would be HELL!

Imagine the game and the complement pack at the same retailer, at the same shelf, the casual player that just buys it because STAR WARS, or A GAME OF THRONES would be immeadeatily put off to see that one of the purchases wouldn't give him all the cards. Howeve if there is only the core set to display, than he would grab it and present the newest FRANCHISE game to his beloved ones and cries out in joy if he draw his favourite franchise character.

Last but not least, if they wouldn't benefit in the sale, why bother to sell the first core set in the first place and reprinting it?

So they would probably loose out on the discounts AND the impulse purchases. :)

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Kiwamu said:

Toqtamish said:

 

Kiwamu said:

 

 I consider it the necessary evil. FFG is a company that wants to earn money. Selling at least a second core set is a huge boon to them.

 

 

 

This part is not exactly true as with that second core set comes all of the other bits that cost them money, the box, the tokens, rulebook etc. They probably don't really make that much extra money off of another core set purchase.

 

 

 

I have to disagree in a kindly way. They probably get more discount for ordering a bigger stock to be produced. If they had to splitt, the discounts wouldn't be as high or wouldn't apply. Sure you now could say, they just have to print out the cards, but I guess they would require a second packaging etc. Also marketing would be HELL!

Imagine the game and the complement pack at the same retailer, at the same shelf, the casual player that just buys it because STAR WARS, or A GAME OF THRONES would be immeadeatily put off to see that one of the purchases wouldn't give him all the cards. Howeve if there is only the core set to display, than he would grab it and present the newest FRANCHISE game to his beloved ones and cries out in joy if he draw his favourite franchise character.

Last but not least, if they wouldn't benefit in the sale, why bother to sell the first core set in the first place and reprinting it?

So they would probably loose out on the discounts AND the impulse purchases. :)

I don't see how the marketing would be hell at all. Just keep the "core" sets that way that they are and call them what they really are: Introductory sets or Basic sets. Then you make another set called the Advanced set, and indicate clearly on the box that you need the Basic set to play. Fantasy Flight still gets to sell two copies of the game, and the customer is more accurately informed as to what they are getting into. The basic sets would be pretty much what they are now, fully playable sets that give you the flavor and feel for the game. For some people that could be all they need. The people who really want to get into the game can buy the advanced set and open up the possibilities of desk design and what not.

The current situation really isn't tenable, to be honest. I mean, imagine if you bought a board game and there weren't enough components to play the complete game. You ask what the deal is and everyone tells you, "duh, you're supposed to buy a second copy of the game". You'd look at them as if they were nuts. So why exactly is that acceptable for LCGs? Especially when I don't every recall seeing anything on any LCG core set explaining that it is only an introductory set and only contains part of the game. If there is and I've missed it, fair enough. At least with a Basic set and an Advanced set customers will know exactly what they are getting.

 

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KEM said:

The current situation really isn't tenable, to be honest. I mean, imagine if you bought a board game and there weren't enough components to play the complete game. You ask what the deal is and everyone tells you, "duh, you're supposed to buy a second copy of the game". You'd look at them as if they were nuts. So why exactly is that acceptable for LCGs? Especially when I don't every recall seeing anything on any LCG core set explaining that it is only an introductory set and only contains part of the game. If there is and I've missed it, fair enough. At least with a Basic set and an Advanced set customers will know exactly what they are getting.

There is no such thing as "the whole game".  That's the entire point of an LCG, more cards keep coming out and it just keeps going.

Therefore, the Core set cannot contain "the whole game" because it doesn't exist.

However, it does contain everything you need to play, unlike your straw man half-a-boardgame example.

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dboeren said:

KEM said:

 

The current situation really isn't tenable, to be honest. I mean, imagine if you bought a board game and there weren't enough components to play the complete game. You ask what the deal is and everyone tells you, "duh, you're supposed to buy a second copy of the game". You'd look at them as if they were nuts. So why exactly is that acceptable for LCGs? Especially when I don't every recall seeing anything on any LCG core set explaining that it is only an introductory set and only contains part of the game. If there is and I've missed it, fair enough. At least with a Basic set and an Advanced set customers will know exactly what they are getting.

 

There is no such thing as "the whole game".  That's the entire point of an LCG, more cards keep coming out and it just keeps going.

Therefore, the Core set cannot contain "the whole game" because it doesn't exist.

However, it does contain everything you need to play, unlike your straw man half-a-boardgame example.

Sure the core set gives you everything you need to play, as long as you don't consider deck-building to be a significant part of the LCG. If you do want to build decks, then you're going to find that the core set is short of many of the key cards you'll need. The only way to get those cards currently is to buy a duplicate copy of the game you just bought. Expansions don't have much of anything to do with that problem.

I should probably be a bit clearer though that I'm not accusing Fantasy Flight of any shenanigans. My last post came off a bit more accusatory than I intended and for that I apologize. LCGs are a pretty new concept and Fantasy Flight has been doing their best to try and figure out how to make and market this type of game. Fantasy Flight already addressed a similar issue with regards to the expansion packs when they switched from the 40-card packs to the 60-card packs. That was simply part of the growing pains of sorting out this whole new game type. The 60-card packs are great improvement on the format and Fantasy Flight deserve much kudos for that. At the end of the day all I'm really saying is that the core sets are just another issue that Fantasy Flight are going to have to sort out. They've done it before, they can do it again.

 

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Evazorek said:

This is a really interesting debate, the fact that cards do not have rarities but some are still inherently less common. I think the lack of secondary market is what leads to this observation. If you could buy a core set and then just go to an ebay retailer and buy the missing cards you need without having to buy a second core set, people would do it. However, if you think about it this retailer would probably charge you a premium for the individual cards and so you would end up paying more for the small number of cards you needed than what a second core set would be worth in buying.

 

I think the issue boils down to people who like card games like having all the cards they can use but don't like having excess cards which they can never use. I get rid of so many junk commons and uncommons from my magic collection so I know the feeling. The problem with an LCG is that no one wants these excess cards you have so you are at a loss what on earth to do with them most of the time. I guess the best thing to do is if you want to play at the highest level just buy that second core set and no longer think about it. From what I can gather the issue is only with the starter or core packs for a game so it is hardly a huge issue.

 

There are some people on ebay who sell single cards for LCG. I'm just not willing to pay ~5€ for a single card. :-/ 

 

You're adressing my main problem with buying a second or third Core Set. It's that I don't really want to have a bunch of cards lying around that nobody would ever need, not even a beginner. It's not the end of the world and I realize, that the LCG format is already very consumer friendly. 

Would it be possible to make a Core Set that only contains a single copy of every card, or would that ruin the consistency of the starter decks? I think that the Call of Cthulhu Core Set is made like this, but I'm not entirely sure. It would surely make it a lot easier for me to pick up multiple Core Sets. ^^

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