Boardgaming in 2019!

A.k.a. “cheating”! :)

I like deckbuilding, but it gets to be a real pain in the Arkham Horror card game. It’s almost like, after every adventure, “oh god, not another four experience points of cards to buy…”


Heh. Depends on the game. Still waiting for FFG to release an expansion to DOOM: The Board Game.

I was actually interested in some of FFG’s Living Card Games at some point, especially Star Wars: The Card Game – but then I realized that I’d need to buy two core sets and that they’d also released countless expansions and – well, thanks, but no thanks. There’s sometimes so much stuff, I don’t know where to begin and then simply don’t bother. Might just be me, though.

KeyForge is still pretty great, though.

Good thing you didn’t, it’s essentially dead.

Perhaps, but I tend to like lots of different stuff. Also, not sure you could say any FFG game has elegant gameplay.

When you buy an FFG game you’re buying an experience as much as any gameplay. They tell a story, have amazing art, and production quality that sucks you in. I’m not saying outer rim doesn’t do that as I haven’t played it, but I just look at that game board and then I look at Rebellion’s, Xia’s, or even Firefly’s and I just find them more interesting.

The “2-3 core sets if you want full options” for the Arkham Horror card game was galling, especially when all you needed in the extra core sets is the investigator cards and the 60% of components that make up the rest of the core set are worthless dead weight.

It would have been so easy to just sell extra investigator cards separately, but they force you to pay for all other stuff you don’t need in extra $40 core sets.

I know, right! ;-)

Yeah, it’s at this point where I don’t really see what the advantage is of an LCG compared to a CCG. At least with a CCG, all I have to buy is a starter deck and some boosters to be at least a bit competitive. An LCG where you have to buy two core sets at $40/$50 each to be able to have enough options – ouch. There are a lot of other games I’d rather spend that kind of money one – especially the ones that are ready to go straight out of the box…

Sure, for a CCG, the minimum investment just to have a basic starter card pool is smaller. But the ongoing investment, particularly if you want to be seriously competitive, is much, much lower for an LCG. (Which is not to say that it’s necessarily cheap, of course.) And if you want to get a decent amount of game, ready to go straight out of the box, for <$80, you shouldn’t be doing either.

Yeah, true. Just with a CCG, you can sort of test the waters before taking the plunge. With an LCG, you have to immediately dive into the deep end, so to speak.

KeyForge seems like the best kind of approach for a game like this.

Also, on further thought, I reject the premise that you can get a more viable card pool for the starting money in a CCG. The reason you buy multiple core sets for an LCG is that you don’t have the maximum number of all of the cards for deckbuilding. But you’re not going to get that from a single starter and a few random boosters in a CCG either, and you’ll have a less robust selection overall. (I think they’ve stopped doing this, but it used to be that a starter was just a bigger set of randomized cards and you had no guarantee of having a playable deck, even.)

If you already know people who have their own decks, you might be able to get into a CCG a little cheaper than an LCG by buying a single preconstructed deck and testing with that, but I think that’s as close as you get to a cheaper buy-in. And honestly, most LCG core sets are going for around $30-33 online, that’s not that much of an ask to dip your toes in.

I mean honestly, it’s all a joke - they’re just charging what they can get away with.

Realistically, both LCG and CCG pricing are complete ripoffs. I’m talking about from a material perspective. I can buy a game like Caverna or Agricola, and get a ton of cards, chunky cardboard components, glossy instructions, the whole works, for like $50.

But for some reason, selling me a hundred or two thing cardboard playing cards with nothing else in the box costs like $70-80 or so.

I mean, they can charge what they want, capitalism, more power to them. But recognize, before we start hearing arguments about “intellectual property” and the like, that there’s just as much intellectual property in a board game. Yet they manage to sell them for far less. The markup/margin game is clear.

So, as someone else said, if you’re looking to maximize affordability, the direction does not lie in either CCGs or LCGs, in my opinion. Sure, some people just play one game, and then maybe it is for you. But don’t expect to pick up a CCG or LCG as “just another game” and have it be really affordable.

This, completely.

It can be worth the price, and for perspective I spent more money on train tickets going to Netrunner tournaments than I ever did on the cards, especially since I recouped a chunk of the cash when I sold the collection.

Yeah, true. Cards are dirt cheap to manufacture. When I compare what I paid for some of my board games (quite a few with fantastic plastic miniatures, loads of cards, nice, chunky tokens/tiles, etc.) with what I’ve spent on some card games…

You don’t need two core sets for AH LCG. You really dont. People have convinced themselves that you do, but you dont.

Depends on what you’re trying to do. It’s not mandatory, but there are some deck builds you won’t be able to do without it, and you absolutely cannot field 3-4 investigators off a single core. You also shouldn’t play with 3 or more investigators, because the game is clearly not actually designed for those investigator counts. But if you want to for some reason, you’ll need two cores.

You can thank Magic: The Gathering for that.

I do, by continuously giving Richard Garfield money. ;-)

(I regret nothing.)

So, was unable to get a game of Outer Rim going with people this weekend, so I ended up playing solo, and you know what? It’s pretty good solo (no pun intended, Han was not in this game.)

I played Jyn Erso and randomly selected the insufferable Billie Dee Williams, er, Lando Calrissian as my foe. Lando was controlled throughout the game by “Droid” cards, which are card-based AI similar to automa cards in Stonemeyer games (although I thought this AI system was easier to grasp.)

We both started out in crappy little light freighters with no crew and no gear. Lando had the awesome ability to re-roll dice and Jyn had the situationally useful ability to turn a focus result into a critical.

Off the bat, Lando had a better start. His special ability had more frequent application, and he had a run of good luck with the AI and market cards. He got to 5 fame (10 is victory) while Jyn was still at 1. Jyn was struggling with some poor-ish luck in the market and dice, and also with a weird mismatch in her character: her special goal requires her to test the Stealth skill, but she doesn’t have that skill, which means she has a hard time passing the test, and her special ability only helps 2 rolls out of 8. I tried to remedy this by encountering crew but ended up with a beefy crew of mightiness ( Pandu Baba, then I added Chewbacca and eventually Sal Gerrera) but no stealth. I did manage to buy an updated Heavy Lifter Ship and meet its goal so I flipped it to its special ability side, which was really good (+1 movement for each job you are undertaking so that’s typically +1 or +2 movement which is very good). Eventually I managed to complete Jyn’s special goal by brute force rolling of the dice and her special ability of redirecting patrols is pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, Lando’s luck with the AI cards went bad: he needed 2 smuggling missions completed to get his special goal but he only ever got 1 during the whole game.

So I was closing in on him and even played a secret card on him when I had 5 fame and he had 8 that let me steal one of his fame so it was 6 to 7.

Alas, close was as far as I got. My flaunting of the Empire caught up with me and I got beat by an Imperial Patrol, letting Lando get a turn ahead of me. Lando on the other hand used his special re-roll to beat a Syndicate Patrol and cruise on for the win. Lando’s luck with the AI cards evened out and he got enough mission successes to hit 10 while I was still at 9. I was only 1 turn from Naboo and my own 10th point when he won. Bastard.

Overall, very clean game system, elegant IMO, much less fiddly than Firefly, with very good Star Wars flavor.

Even solo (or Solo if you roll that way) it had excellent flavor. Will play again.

Thanks for the recap. I think I’m going to have to pick this up. Sounds fun!

Wait, what? I wish you hadn’t told me that.

What, if anything, is lost by having a deck of cards randomly decide what the AI does every turn? Is there any meaningful player interaction when there’s another human playing?


Not having played it with people yet, I can only speculate but I believe there are probably two levels of player interaction:

1)the typical level of indirect interaction you see in many Euros “Damnit you took the cargo I wanted from the market!” - and also it is possible to move the patrol ships in such a way to affect other players.

2)There is some direct interaction: you can get a bounty on a character on someone else’s crew, and if you attempt to capture them, that player can defend them. There are also some cards that allow for direct player to player combat in certain circumstances.

I feel about this solo game the way I feel about Terraforming Mars solo, except the Star Wars license adds a lot of flavor. TM solo and Outer Rim solo both seem like good ways to learn the systems of the games, and to get a sense of the various decks, cards, etc. However, playing with people is almost certainly better.

Solo play was not my first choice, and in fact I had no plans to play it solo when I bought it. But, needs must, etc. I feel like when I do get it on the table I’ll be able to both play and teach it better due to solo experience.