Wednesday was Fantasy Flight Games’ LCG State of the Union address. This is where the company communicates with its LCG players and talks the current state of the game catalogue, tournaments and gives news on upcoming changes and events. The big news out of the event was a second edition of A Game of Thrones the Card Game and a change to the legality of LCG cards that can be used competitively.
A Game of Thrones The Card Game Second EditionThe big news for me was the announcement of A Game of Thrones The Card Game second edition. A Game of Thrones was one of the first games brought into the Living Card Game (LCG) system, along with The Call of Cthulhu, both having previously existed as collectible card games. The LCG system has evolved over the years and so has the Game of Thrones card game and Fantasy Flight Games believe it’s time to overhaul the game to make it more streamlined and make it more attractive to new players.
There is a full description of the changes between editions over at the Fantasy Flight website but here’s a run-down of the main changes:
- Graphical overhaul
- Removal of the influence resource
- Removal of crests
- Reduction of keywords
- Improved timing system
- Draw cap replaced with a hand size limit
- Two new factions, raising the number of factions in the game to 8
All these changes appear to be there to help make the game easier to understand and to streamline game play. In our Game of Thrones The Card Game review we made a point that entering the game was a mammoth (riding) task with a game that core set that struggled to introduce players properly to the game. This new version will allow for a much improved core set and rule book and hopefully mean that players aren’t intimidated by the scale and complexity of the game.
The interesting hint here is the change of name from houses to factions. The current game consists of 6 great houses from the Game of Thrones lore, but unless the intention is to bring in some lesser houses it’s difficult to see where these new houses are coming from. The changing of nomenclature to factions suggests these new decks won’t be houses. The Night’s Watch and the Wildlings? The good news is that he second edition core set will include decks for all eight factions.
A Game of Thrones The Card Game second edition will be released at Gen Con 2015.
RotationThe other major news for the State of the Union address was the changing of tournament rules on card legality. In order to restrict the pool of cards available for LCG tournaments Fantasy Flight Games have introduced a new rotation policy on deck legality.
The practical upshot of this change is that tournament legal decks can now only be constructed from cards from the following sources:
- The core set
- Deluxe (big box) expansions
- The last five to seven cycles of monthly packs
Rotation is a way for Fantasy Flight Games to have greater control over tournaments and concentrate on which cards to keep in print. The cynic would say it is a method of forcing players to keep buying new cards but if you’re a tournament level player you’re already buying all of these cards and it must be difficult for Fantasy Flight Games to keep all these older cards in print and available to buy internationally.