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The Tuckbox: All About Card Games

Undead_BeansUndead_Beans Community RelationsDes Moines, IARegistered User regular
I'm a massive fan of tabletop gaming, and I've been on a pretty serious card game binge recently. I think I've played several hundred games of Munchkin, Fluxx, and Magic: The Gathering in the past two weeks, and with a PA-themed Munchkin expansion out now, I thought I'd take this chance to get a discussion about card games going. What other games do you folks favor besides those I listed? I'm basically scouring the globe for good ones atm.

Posts

  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    In a similar humor vein (and mechanics kind of) with Munchkin, you can look at Ninja Burger. You play a ninja who must make deliveries to exotic places (like Cursed Mayan Ruins, the Space Station, etc) in 30 minutes or less. You can get equipment, bonuses, and all sorts of other fun stuff to help you (or stop your opponents from) making that delivery.

    I don't play any CCGs currently, but if you can find a collection cheap, I'd recommend picking up 7th Sea. It's out of print now, but the mechanics are a ton of fun - pirate ships chasing each other across the globe, and you can engage in cannon or boarding warfare. There's all the traditional types of pirates, from Privateers to a Dread Pirate to even a g-g-g-ghost ship. I loved the boarding combat in the game, very fun back and forth.

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  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    Well, let's get the obligatory Dominion out of the way...

    Dominion is a game that basically created an entirely new genre. Rather than sitting down with an already constructed deck alla M:tG, you purchase cards from the tableau during play, typically ten different cards chosen at random. As you play your deck grows and becomes an well-oiled engine or a imbalanced, poorly-constructed seesaw. However, the hitch is that to win you must purchase victory point cards that serve no function than to clog your highly-tuned machine. Like most German-designed games, though, it suffers from the usual criticism that it doesn't offer much interaction between the players. Everyone just kind of plays their own game until someone purchase a victory point card, at which point it becomes a mad dash for whoever has the most points. Other games in this genre include the excellent Penny-Arcade: Gamers Vs Evil, Thunderstone, the uninspired Nightfall, Tanto Cuore and the upcoming Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game based on the Marvel comics universe. A Few Acres of Snow is a war board game that impliments the deck building aspect of Dominion to simulate the logistical challenges of foreign conflict in a frozen territory between the English and French forces during the colonial era.

    Now something a bit more interesting... Gloom is an American-style card game where each player has a hand of five cards from a shared deck in the center of the table and each player also has a unique family of five miscreants. The goal of the game is to make your family as miserable as possible using a scoring metric similiar to golf (e.g., -10 is better than +5) before you kill them off in grusome ways. You'll want to accomplish this as quickly as you can to prevent the other players from giving your family better days. The hitch to this game is that you have to justify every card played via storytelling based on the title and text of the card. For example, if you play a "Mauled by a Mantee" card on "Darius Dark", you have to explain through storytelling how Darius came upon such a horid fate. Now, Gloom isn't a game I would recommend to everyone. In fact, I think this board typically refers to it as a trash game. However, if you enjoy storytelling and have a morbid sense of humor, this is the game for you without a doubt.

    7 Wonders is drafting-style card game where you attempt to build the most magnificent civilization the planet Earth has ever seen. Each turn you'll have a hand of cards to select one card from then pass the remaining cards to the player on your left. There are three different rounds of drafting, representing the Fist, Second, and Third Age of your society. Between these rounds you'll trade resources with other players or resolve military conflicts. At the end of the game, each players scores his or her civilization and the player with the most points wins. I've only played it a handful of times but it's on my shortlist of must-have purchases.

    Android: Netrunner is a Living Card Game (LCG) revival of the classic Netrunner CCG. A LCG means that the base set contains all the cards you'll need to play the game. There's no need to chase booster packs to expand your card library - you've been given complete playable sets of all the current cards, though future expansions will be released and will contain all the cards you need from said expansion. In Android: Netrunner, one player takes on the role of the corporation with secret agendas it needs to work to develop while the other takes on the role of the netrunner, or hacker, attempting to uncover and reveal those agendas. It employs an assymetrical game design, in which the coporation's deck functions by setting up defenses to protect their slowly developing agendas (ICE) or setting traps to fry the runner's mind or meat body through feedback. The runner meanwhile builds his rig and enlists special programs (ICE Breakers) to crack the corp's defenses and steal those agendas for themselves. Here's the kicker: the corporation plays most if not all of its cards on the table face down (unrezzed) and the runner won't know what they are until they either encounter them or the corp player options to turn them face by paying their costs (rezzing). It's a brilliant bit of game design that, while at first seems complicated, is surprisingly intuitive once you'll gotten a few games under your belt. Other Living Card Games include The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Call of Cthulhu, and the upcoming Star Wars.

    Race of the Galaxy is card game about galatic expansion featuring an expansive, even intimidating, iconography that allows multiple paths to victory - diplomatic, military, economic, technological, etc. Each round the players select one of seven roles in secret, then each players getting th opportunity to participate in the roles selected. The player who selected the role, however, typically gets some kind of bonus to assist them in completing the task. Like Dominion, the game is often criticize for not allowing for much player interaction and essentially becoming a game of solitaire despite that you may have upwards of five people sitting at the table with you.

    As for CGGs, even though I haven't played in years, I recommend the Legend of the Five Rings CCG. In L5R, you take on the role of a samurai warlord leading your clan to victory against the enemy. The game is played with two decks rather than one: the Dynasty Deck and the Fate Deck. The Dynasty Deck is filled with resources, special events, and the samurai who you hire to and are laid face down on the table in four slots, or "provinces," until they are revealed at the start of your turn. The Fate Deck represents the special action, equipment, and followers your samurai can take. In addition to these two decks, you have a Stronghold that represents your clan affliation and provides an ability to build a strategy around. The game is fairly unique among CCGs in that it allows for multiple paths to victory - honor, dishonor and military victory - and has a strong clan identities that encourages players to form communities around their favorite clans. When you say "I'm a Crab player," you immediately find communties of hundreds and thousands of players ready to help you become a better gamer. L5R also introduced the idea of players have influence over the cards and story of the world the game is set in. As some samurai become more popular than others and see more play, they get more powerful experienced version. Certain tournament events, such as the annual Kotei regionals, have direct influence over which in-game samurai could become the head of their clan based on the results or even who could become the next Emperor. As one of the earliest CCGs to be produced after M:tG the game isn't without its flaws. For example, once one player begins to build momentum it can be very difficult to impossible for the declining player to stage a comeback. But for all its flaws the game has a die-hard fanbase and some truly inspired ideas. Though honestly, if this is the style of play your looking, the LCG from Fantasy Flight are just as good and present much less strain on your wallet.

    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
    Feral
  • Undead_BeansUndead_Beans Community Relations Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Wow, someone's a expert :)

    I've been looking at getting Gloom since they featured it on TableTop, and I know I can get my hands on a copy of Dominion. L5R sounds pretty interesting as a CCG. There's just something about playing a CCG that you don't get with other games. The experience of popping open a booster pack and going through the card within just has some kind of strange magical quality to it, haha. I've also been looking into party games, and I'm super interested in trying out Cards Against Humanity, a sort of 18+ Apples to Apples.

    And I'm an FFG fanboy, so I'm familiar with their LCG. Never tried one, but maybe I will after your recommendation.

  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    I wouldn't say expert... but I believe in being an informed consumer. I do my research before purchasing a product.

    I had a lot of good years playing L5R. Came in top 10 at the Southeast regional Kotei and consistantly came in the finals of tournaments I entered. However, AEG started to have financial problems and fired all their R&D. So they let the fans, e.g. a specific pool of players considered the best in the world, start to design the cards. This was a mistake. As while they had some interesting ideas (I had a lot of fun with my Mantis clan Raiders), they slowly introduced cards that made their already op factions even more dominate. This was years ago and I hear its gotten better since then. AEG hired actually staff back and are branch into new products. But I've since lost my interest and prefer games that I don't have to invest a ton of money in. I'm also much less competitive than I was a a young man. I'm just looking for games to have fun with my friends with now.

    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
  • Undead_BeansUndead_Beans Community Relations Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    I have to admit, I've been a little nervous about the LCG versions of games. For example, I bought the AGOT board game before the LCG because the LCG makes me nervous. I'm not sure why. I just get a weird feeling from them.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Honestly my friends and I have really enjoyed the Paint the Line CCG that Penny Arcade put out. Its a lot of fun and plays fast. I hope they put out expansion packs for it.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    I play the Game of thrones LCG and it's a blast. Just make sure you have at least one other person to play with (called Joust) or up to 6 ( called melee). I find that 4 players tend to work best.

    This is the go to website to build decks.

    http://www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/index.html

    PSN: Canadian_llama
  • JWashkeJWashke Registered User regular
    If your a fan of CCG's and deckbuilding, I really can't recommend Netrunner enough. My girlfriend and I have played it over 200 times since getting it back in September, and play in a biweekly league. We played 5 games last night tweaking our decks for a small tournament this Sunday. We're also big fans of the Lord of the Rings LCG, but that is purely cooperative.

    I've always wanted to try the Game of Thrones LCG, but there are so many packs to get to catch up that I've avoided it for now, I already spent about $150 dollars last month catching up on Lord of the Rings Cards because I had fallen behind for a while. Another perk to Netrunner is only the core set is out now, with the first data pack coming out in the next few weeks or so, you can get in on the ground floor. As others mentioned the Star Wars LCG is coming out next month.

    Like Mikey CTS I also have a lot of fond memories of L5R, but I haven't played it since I was in high school. I actually just picked up a couple starter decks for the new Emperor Edition last weekend, because of my girlfriends new interest in card games and my nostalgia I wanted to give it to try. Everytime we sit down and think about playing it though we just end up playing Netrunner.

    If we do end up liking the game does anyone with L5R knowledge have and purchase recommendations, I doubt we would play super competitively, but I have a couple other friends who really enjoy card games but have no interest in deck building, so my ideal would be to get a good basis of cards then build a balanced deck for each clan. I was planning on getting a starter box of all the clan starters if we like it. If I picked up a booster box of emperor edition would that give me a good base of cards to deckbuild from? I doubt I would want to keep up with all the expansions, rather I would just want to get a large card pool to build some balanced decks from, and then just play those decks with friends. Should I just stick to the premade starter decks? LCG's have spoiled me and I have no idea what to do for CCG's.

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    My wife and I can't get enough of Netrunner, either. We just started modifying the decks after about 30 games and I honestly can't ever see it getting old. Why? Because the game is less about the cards you have and more about how you play those cards and how well you know your opponent. Plus the game oozes flavor and every little thing has a buzzword that is just awesome to say.

    Seriously, Netrunner is worth the purchase for anyone who loves card based games.

  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    JWashke wrote: »

    If we do end up liking the game does anyone with L5R knowledge have and purchase recommendations, I doubt we would play super competitively, but I have a couple other friends who really enjoy card games but have no interest in deck building, so my ideal would be to get a good basis of cards then build a balanced deck for each clan. I was planning on getting a starter box of all the clan starters if we like it. If I picked up a booster box of emperor edition would that give me a good base of cards to deckbuild from? I doubt I would want to keep up with all the expansions, rather I would just want to get a large card pool to build some balanced decks from, and then just play those decks with friends. Should I just stick to the premade starter decks? LCG's have spoiled me and I have no idea what to do for CCG's.

    If you're going to get a EE booster box, I'd wait until the EE: Gempukku reprint comes out in December, since the boosters come with six rares each from across all the currently legal sets.

    There's also a L2P set coming out next month called Honor & Treachery which has a Scorpion & Phoenix deck in them.

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  • Undead_BeansUndead_Beans Community Relations Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Thanks for the info on Netrunner. I'll see if I can get my hands on a copy. You also inspired me to break out my GOT LCG. Damn, there are a lot of acronyms in that last sentence...

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