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Are LCGs the Game of the Future?

Posted Tuesday, 10-Mar-2015

Contributed by Andrew Knighton

There’s something massively appealing about a collectible card game.  The dynamic artwork.  The excitement of waiting to see the next expansion.  The endless novelty of a game that keeps on growing.

Until recently, these games used random expansions.  Not knowing what was in a pack could make collecting frustrating and expensive. But a new approach has put that in the past.

Living Card Games, or LCG’s, are Fantasy Flight’s take on collecting cards, including the Game of Thrones and Star Wars card games. They’ve built a wide range of games, many using popular settings.

 

Game of Thrones LCG
Game of Thrones LCG

Other companies have followed a similar model without the LCG label.  These games have regular expansions — many of them seeing new releases every three months.  Instead of random cards, each expansion pack always holds the same set – you and your friends will get the same thing for the same money.

So why might you want to get into LCGs?

Variety

By repeatedly adding new cards to an existing game, expanding card games keep your experience fresh and varied. Having a new deck is nice, but when you can combine it with previous ones you get hundreds more options.

These are games that keep evolving, so don’t get repetitive or stale.

 

Android Netrunner LCG
Android: Netrunner is one of the best-selling LCGs on the market.

 

Challenge

Most expanding card games let you design the deck you play with, picking the cards to include.  If you get into a game like cyberpunk hacking game Android: Netrunner, you get two interesting challenges – tactical play and deck design.

This means that these cards provide entertainment between games, as you design your deck.  Many also have thriving online communities, where you can discuss deck design and upcoming expansions with other fans.  The most popular, like Netrunner, even have their own tournaments.

Story

Doomtown Reloaded LCG Game
Published artwork from Doomtown: Reloaded

As the games expand, so do the worlds they’re set in.  Each release for the fantasy western game Doomtown: Reloaded comes with short stories, both in the box and online.  You see the world you’re playing in expand and the characters develop.

Adaptability

If you don’t want to tax your brain with deck design, there are expandable games you can just pick up and play.  Smash Up sees classic archetypes from TV, books and film clash, and all you need to do is shuffle together two decks.

Want to see ninja wizard fight zombie pirates?  Or shapeshifting dinosaurs grapple with steampunk time travellers? Smash Up is a fun, simple way to play that out.

Smash Up LCG
No game is going to suit everybody.  But with their wide variety of styles and settings, and their great replay value, there’s an expanding card game for almost everyone.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com



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