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The Difference Between Collectible Card Games (CCG) and Living Card Games (LCG) (2 of 3)
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, reminding you that, if you pay as close attention to every single video I make as I’m assuming you do, then you’ll recall that I recently spoke about my experiences with collectible card games, or CCGs. Specifically, about the constant compulsive card accumulation that was my experience with Magic: The Gathering.

After phasing myself out of Magic, I decided to avoid collectible card games for a while. And that’s one of the reasons why Deadlands: Doomtown flew under my radar when it was first released as a CCG back in 1998.

But Deadlands: Doomtown was recently resurrected, re-envisioned and re-released as Doomtown: Reloaded. And this revised version of the game comes a new format. It’s no longer a collectible card game, but now a living card game.

A Living Card Game, or LCG, abandons the CCG’s concept of card rarities, replacing the blind-buying of booster packs with a fixed card pool, which is provided, in full, with the game. Additional card sets are introduced over time, but again, all the cards in each set are made available, instead of through random, blind distribution. The LCG approach allows players to create customized decks in an ever-evolving environment, without the need to track down and shell out over a hundred fifty dollars for a rare Tarmogoyf.

So, with the advent of LCGs, everything’s great now. (LONG, LONG PAUSE WITH STUPID BLANK LOOK ON FACE.)

Actually, there still one question that I always struggle with: when’s the right time to jump in to a LCG? Too early, and there may not be enough cards in the card pool for the variety desired when designing decks. But wait too long, and there can be so many card choices that you may not know where to begin.

Fantasy Flight Games, pioneers in the LCG environment, address this issue with set rotation, in which only the most recent half-dozen or so card expansions are considered viable for organized play, with older ones being retired. This can help prevent novices who enter the game late and are overwhelmed by too many cards in the pool to absorb. But what about coming in too early?

Returning to Doomtown: Reloaded as an example, as of the time of this recording, its base set plus four expansions have been released, and, to me, I feel that it’s card pool is just now reaching a desirable minimum size. Of course, your mileage may vary.

What’s your experience with LCGs? Are you comfortable diving in to one? Or do their evolving card pools make them too much of a moving target?
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