Living Card Game Options Part 2
In the second part of this list we take a look at some of the more recent options released by Fantasy Flight Games. Even if this company coined the term Living Card Games and thus only their products can be named thus there are some additional options that aren’t made by them but can be put into this category so we will do a presentation of those as well in a future post.
Android: Netrunner (2012)
Another game that is highly original is Android: Netrunner which is probably the most popular Living Card Game to this day. Competitive in nature and asymmetrical in its design, Android: Netrunner features a dystopian cyberpunk universe and is a game that was based on the design of Richard Garfield from 1996 when he made this as a collectible card game.
This is one of the most widely supported living card games through events and also the best selling product of this genre so far. It can be quite complex to get the hang of it but once you do it will offer a lot of excitement due to the highly diverse game choices you can make.
You play a runner (a sort of hacker) who tries to bring down a corporation’s evil agenda or you take the role of the corporation and use your power to bring your plans to fruition. Each player thus has a different task that they should complete before the other one and it contains a lot of bluffing elements once both sides become more skilled.
One problem with it though is that it doesn’t have any multiplayer mode and since it came out quite a while ago it can be difficult to catch on and get up to date with everything.
Star Wars: The Card Game (2012)
With such a popular universe and an innovative system of resource management, this game became really popular since its release. The deck building process was simplified so that you don’t have a lot of customization options making it a great starting point for beginners and one of the easiest ones in this list.
With the dark side (the Empire) you have to accumulate more power to win while the light side (Rebels) tries to disrupt the objectives of the dark side. To do these things you have some objective cards that give you various missions and in a usual game you deploy the cards to attack the opponent’s objectives while defending your own.
The game received an expansion called The Balance of the Force and it allows for multiplayer games so Star Wars: The Card Game might be a very good choice if you are just starting with living card games and plan to play with more than one other player.
Warhammer 40,000: Conquest (2014)
The seven factions introduced in the game each come with their own flavor and play stile and you get an alignment wheel that allows you to create an alliance between two of the factions. This leads to a certain degree of complexity but the game is actually quite easy to understand and engaging.
You lead your armies against the opponent and have to conquer the entire Traxis sector, capturing each planet. You get a warlord with powerful abilities and he is the one determining your starting resources and hand size while also stepping into the fray himself.
The pace of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest is really fast and there are many situation turns due to the way in which the cards and factions have been balanced.
If you want a card game that can only be played in 1 vs. 1, is easy to learn and quick then this might be the choice for you. The Warhammer 40K art is also quite impressive so if you’re a fan of the universe then you definitely should give this game a try.
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition (2015)
The second edition of the popular game has some elements removed while others have been added, improved or revised and this new version made the game more popular than ever. You choose one of the factions in Westeros and fight for control either with your army, with politics or with intrigue and you use some of the key figures from the books and TV series in your endeavors.
You have a small plot deck (seven cards) and a regular draw deck and you can combine factions or build very specialized decks that have one clear win strategy. The new edition made the game easier to learn but there still is a lot of depth when it comes to planning your moves and a great advantage is that there is a very well thought of multiplayer variant to the game so you can play it in multiple ways.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (2016)
This game isn’t a revival of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game since it is quite different from that game and is closer in play style to The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game since it is a cooperative game in which the investigators (players) join forces to try and solve a mystery or stop some cosmic horror from invading the realm of man.
The game can be played with up to four players and you can also play it as a single player campaign so it is really flexible in this regard. Since it was designed by Nate French and Matthew Newman, the same designers for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, you will see many familiar elements here.
The decks can be customized a lot but since it is such a new game you don’t have too many things to buy to get up to date with it. Instead of using dice as was the case with the Lovecraftian games by FFG here you have a bag with a set of different tokens and you just take out one from there to determine the result of many actions.
You fight monsters, uncover clues and get allies to help you in your quest while cooperating with the other players to survive. As the word horror is right in the title, don’t expect this to be an easy game, but if you enjoy cooperative games and the Lovecraftian universe then this might be a great choice for your first purchase.
Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game (2017)
The world of Rokugan is filled with elements from the Far Eastern mythology and in this realm honor, nobility, magic, intrigue, duty and warfare all play important roles. Some called it A Game of Thrones with samurai and this newest addition to the FFG set of living card games does have some similar elements although it is in the end quite a different game.
There was a previous collectible card game developed by the Alderac Entertainment Group and Fantasy Flight Games purchased the intellectual property for it. They reimagined the setting and introduced some mechanical changes that made it incompatible with the previous game.
As it will only be officially released at Gen Con 2017 the details are quite scarce so far and thus it is difficult to determine who would enjoy this more than the other living card games we discussed so far. As more information is released we will feature a more in depth presentation but if you really want to start with a game from its initial release then you can do that with Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.