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Comparing card game formats

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questccg
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Some people (other designers) have talked about card game formats. I wanted to "re-open" the discussion to really "compare" each format in itself.

1-CCG or Collectible Card Game: Typically sold in boosters packs with other starter deck configurations. Cards are random and include rare card chasing. Money pit for games that get popular enough.

2-LCG or Living Card Game: Sold in a package set with fixed cards (all sets are identical). No rare chasing and no randomness. New cards can be added to a set with "expansion" sets which are new series of cards (again identical - no rare card chasing). More costly upfront (since sold in complete sets) but less costly in the long run.

Are there other formats I am unaware of??? Or worthy of mention? Are there other points worth comparing/discussing?

fecundity
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Deck building?

Note that the labels CCG and LCG only really apply to games where players construct decks before the game starts.

Another format, for other kinds of card games, is Base Set + Expansions. Munchkin, for example, doesn't strike me as an LCG. Yet, like an LCG, there is no randomness in what you get. You buy one of the base set games and then can add as many of the expansions as you like. Race For the Galaxy and a hundred other games follow this model. The key point is that they are all shared-deck games.

Note that deck-building games, where the decks are built in game, also follow Base Set + Expansions. Dominion has two base sets, which can be played alone or in some combination with expansions.

A further format is just to have a base set. Plenty of games don't really need expansions!

questccg
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Very informative

fecundity wrote:
Another format, for other kinds of card games, is Base Set + Expansions. Munchkin, for example, doesn't strike me as an LCG. Yet, like an LCG, there is no randomness in what you get. You buy one of the base set games and then can add as many of the expansions as you like. Race For the Galaxy and a hundred other games follow this model. The key point is that they are all shared-deck games.

A further format is just to have a base set. Plenty of games don't really need expansions!

I have heard of Munchkin (Steve Jackson Games) however I have never played the game. I am assuming that the base set contains specific cards and the expansion are other cards that complement the game. Am I correct?

It is true many card games are games in themselves and do not have expansions. I did not want to exclude them in this discussion, however it is hard to discuss products that vary in many different ways from each other (each one has its specific format/rules).

ilta
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That is correct re: Munchkin.

That is correct re: Munchkin. However it's worth pointing out that, as with Dominion, there are many "Base" sets in Munchkin, any of which can be combined with or without any of the "Expansion" sets. Some combos work better than others, but in the end you're still playing Munchkin, which is just an awful game at heart, albeit with funny insider-y jokes all over the cards.

As for the "all in one box" games, there's really nothing to analyze beyond that, since you're just talking about different means of breaking up the possible cards players have access to, and the degree of control they have over what they get when they purchase.

There's one more model, which I don't think I've ever seen but which might exist out there somewhere: a completely standard base set, and randomized expansions. So everyone who purchases the base set gets the same cards (Dominion, Race for the Galaxy), and then each expansion you buy gives you some number of cards, but you don't know which ones (Magic, Pokemon, Yugi-oh).

bonsaigames
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Chips & Dice

This may be a little outside the scope of the discussion but there are also constructed "deck" games that use poker chips and some that use dice, but basically work the same way as an LCG or Dominion.

innuendo
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I'm with ilta, I think there

I'm with ilta,

I think there is room in the market for a hybrid approach. Possibly consider a base set of 100ish unique cards, with a 50 card pool that is also considered part of the same set.

Players who opt to buy into the game with an LCG like model are guaranteed enough copies of the core of the set, possibly with some number of extra cards randomized (so almost a core set + built in boosters).

And then also sell standard expansions in with randomized packing to supplement that includes cards from the core and 50 card extra pool. This ensures players who are first time to the game get the core, but still has some expandability within even the base set.

fecundity
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Hybrid systems

Lots of games have used the hybrid model: predetermined starting sets with random expansions. Even Magic offers prebuilt decks, which are essentially the same thing.

My point regarding expansions was that the difference between a CCG and an LCG really only makes sense if each player starts the game with a second pool of cards. If you and I both buy some random boosters, you play with what you pulled and I play with what I pulled. Your boosters add to your collection, and you can use them even when you're not playing with me.

Games that have a shared pool of cards - like Dominion, Munchkin, Race for the Galaxy, and lots of others - are different. If I own the Dominion base set, then you wouldn't go and buy random boosters for it. Neither would I, for that matter. I would only pay for determinate expansions. Of course, there can be multiple base sets and multiple expansions, used in various combinations.

The point is that the Base Set + Expansion model makes sense for a different kind of game (a shared deck game) than either the CCG or LCG model.

questccg
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Makes sense

fecundity wrote:
Games that have a shared pool of cards - like Dominion, Munchkin, Race for the Galaxy, and lots of others - are different. If I own the Dominion base set, then you wouldn't go and buy random boosters for it. Neither would I, for that matter. I would only pay for determinate expansions. Of course, there can be multiple base sets and multiple expansions, used in various combinations.

Yes it would make it quite silly if the game using shared pool of cards had boosters with random cards... As you mentionned if for a game, each player had their own deck, well then boosters would make sense.

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