View Full Version : Fantasy Flight Games Rotating Cards in their LCGs

11-05-2014, 10:18 PM

This is very interesting. So FFG will automatically "phase out" cards from competitive play over time. The core sets and large expansions will stay forever, but data packs will phase out once they are pretty dang old. For example, Android Netrunner has been out for over two years, but the earliest data packs still won't "expire" until they've been out for almost 5 years total.

Interestingly, Summoner Wars has just hit this mark of being five years old, and the small-ish (relatively) pool of serious, dedicated deckbuilding players have, by and large, gotten sick of the oldest stuff. The strange thing, though, is that the three main decks we're sick of are in the original "core" sets rather than in expansions.

The funny thing is, some of the most annoying Netrunner cards are also in the core set, so it's kind of annoying that they won't be fading San-san City Grid, Astroscript Pilot Program or Scorched Earth ever.


11-06-2014, 12:09 AM
Are you saying Summoner Wars should phase out older stuff from competitive play too?

11-06-2014, 12:21 AM
No, just comparing.

11-06-2014, 01:51 AM
I wouldn't want to see anyone phased out. Elien is still a summoner that I enjoy playing with his natural friend Rath and FP warriors will help him push even more. Grognack + Raldag should make for a fun deck too.

11-06-2014, 02:48 AM
No, just comparing.

Gotchya. I don't think a phase out would work for SW though. But it is an interesting tactic on FFG's part.

11-06-2014, 03:15 AM
Clearly SW need to phase out if they plan to keep releasing stuff, 40 summoners for a tournament is crazy.
I would prefer SW to just improve the old stuff and have a fixed numbers of summoners and try to create as polished game as ever. That ship sailed though.
But as FFG pointed out if you want to keep releasing cards, you need to have a contained format or the game dies on it´s own weight.
Already 40 summoners is just too much.
I didn´t make much fuss about it because the only real competitive setting right now is online where we have 10 summoners wich is fine. 16 is fine. But as soon as more summoner start hitting we should have a more serious talk about formats. Maybe for the Standard format (i can see some kind of legacy format where nothing ever rotates out like in magic), I see only one summoner representing each faction, maybe also a summoner from the dual faction? So it´s 16/24 max. But then brings the talk of can we use ellien units? yeeeakkksss, i don´t know. Sadly cards don´t have ¨summoner symbols¨ to identify themselves that they are from ellien or where they come from.
Anyway FFG is doing right, they are making a good business and game design decision.

11-06-2014, 09:19 AM
There are currently about 300 total Netrunner cards. By the time they start cycling out cards, there'll be close to 600, and the total number will keep slowly growing since deluxe expansions and the core set never fade out.

Summoner Wars, after 2nd summoners are done, will have 40 summoners, ~180 events, 120 commons in faction decks, 120 champs in faction decks, 52 or so champs in reinforcement packs, 42 or so commons in reinforcement packs.

That means in two years or so, about the time Android Netrunner starts fading out cards, Summoner Wars will still be under 500 cards easily.

Now, I'm not bringing this up to argue that Summoner Wars is fine with so many cards, otherwise I would've never started the thread.

The games do work a lot differently. For example, in A:NR (and many CCGs), the cards are not created equally AT ALL. When an average data pack comes out, a half dozen or so are unlikely to be played competitively ever, 4-6 will warp the meta significantly, and the rest are situational. Of course, future packs modify the usefulness of old packs too.

In an LCG/CCG, you only need to know about a third of the cards--the most important cards--to play competitively. BUT, there really is no simple way to do that. You have to get pretty deep into a game, scouring sites, listening to podcasts, looking up other people's deck lists, etc, and at that point you are officially a hardcore player. On top of that, cards are still regularly released that if you don't know they exist, can really screw you over. So you always have to keep up.

But I think that's the nature of LCGs/CCGs. In fact, those players LIKE those qualities and they like lots of cards. Part of the fun of being competitive, for them, is doing the work to keep up on what's hot, what's winning, etc.

Now, in SW outside of a half dozen mercenaries there isn't a simple card list that's like "these are the two dozen cards you have to know about." That both works for it and against in on the "memorization" spectrum. However overall I don't think card memorization is holding SW back in the competitive player's world. Only in the boardgamer's world.

I think we, as a community, need to work on quick-reference booklet that has each faction's playstyle and the 4-5 units for that faction you NEED to be aware of when playing against (ie Gror, Defenders, etc) and then each summoner and the 2 or so events that you NEED to be aware of when playing against (ie Besiege the Walls, Heroic Feat, Magic Drain). Each faction's units could be 1 8x11 sheet, and then you could fit 2-3 summoners per sheet too.

11-06-2014, 10:16 AM
That would be awesome Joe. How do we make that happen?

11-06-2014, 10:44 AM
I'll start a thread and we can work on it as a community.

11-06-2014, 11:21 AM
Interesting about those LCGs. (I only play LotR LCG, and that's solo.) I know MTG phases out cards too. But the number of players and cards is more extensive with these games.

Still, early SW cards are ripe for an evolution. Whether it's banning, replacing, or a new rule or two to prevent certain abuses. Just bummed the official stance from PHG is to ignore it.

11-07-2014, 07:12 PM
I've sometimes thought it would be cool for "official" PHG tournaments to limit the summoners available in those tournaments for certain (short) periods of time, with some lore story as the reason, possibly providing tourney prizes related to that story (special promo cards related to the story), and rotate. I think it might be possible to structure the factions allowed in such a way that the boring matchups are limited.

Now that we have a map, we could also segregate by geography.

Honestly though, I'd have no problem banning Prince Elien now that Immortal Elien exists. I'd be all for new versions of Grognack and Oldin, too.