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Friday, February 4, 2011

Deck Building Games

Now here's something I found interesting: Deck building games!
I had never heard of them before, but just recently found out about them on the web.

I like games. And without saying, that also includes board games and card games and whatever. So I became really intrigued when I discovered these deck building games.

I'm sure they sell these all over the place. So far, all I can really find are these three:
Dominion - supposedly the pioneer of this genre. came out in 2008? Family friendly. Boring setting. But still supposed to be really solid in its gameplay.

Thunderstone - has some similar mechanics, but more high fantasy/dungeon crawler/RPG themed. you can have heroes with different classes, they kill monsters, level up, etc. Looks to have some really awesome artwork.

Resident Evil: Deck Building Game - kind of like thunderstone, but with Resident Evil characters, enemies and stuff.

I'm sure there are probably more, but I can't really find any good source of info that explains everything and stuff (I keep saying "and stuff" because my head hurts and I don't want to think).

So what's so friggin' awesome about these games that make me really want to get one?
I guess I'll start with some back story.
*cue Flashback music
A loooooooooooong long...long long time ago, when I was just a wee little lad, I loved board games/card games (Okay, I essentially still do). What makes them so great? Well, they have that "feel." You can hold the pieces in your hand and everyone gathers around to have some fun. It's simple, easy to pick up and play...and you can usually watch a movie WHILE you're playing! You can't really do that with video games because of how fast paced they usually are. You can play a game, hang out with friends and watch a movie at the same time! AAAAAAAWESSOOME.
One thing I particularly liked was card games. Namely: stuff like tcgs. trading card games...where your goal is to build a cool deck and compete against other players. The problem? Well, when I was young I used to love Star Wars(still do). So I thought...if I wanted to get a TCG...Star Wars was the way to go! Unfortunately...the rules sucked (too complicated) and no one played it. I still have the decks stashed in my uh...stash. *SIGH*

And that's the end of the story. Depressing isn't it? Of course, the REAL issue lies with TCGs themselves.
1) To improve your deck you must BUY expansions. Even though you'll get some rare cards, card trading isn't exactly the BIGGEST thing in the world. Only certain enthusiasts care about TCGs.'s a pain in the butt to really do anything with it. And it's a...waste of money.
2) To play the need friends WITH THE GAME. Not everyone's a fan of this it's hard to actually play against people in your normal everyday life. Without competition...they're just a worthless deck of cards.
3) If it's not a popular tcg, it'll die down in popularity...and no one will care about it...and no one will sell it anymore. So you gotta just go with the winning side.

In other's a pain to get people to care about it and a pain to get people to play it (unless you do tournaments and stuff but that's too bothersome for me).

So why are deck building games different?
Well, for one thing...they act more like a boardgame. When you buy the get all the cards you need! While they do have expansions, they are COMPLETE expansions that are only needed to improve replay value. In other words...something nice...but not necessary. You get all the coolness of TCG in one sweet package of a game that a group of 2-4 can play.

Not only that...but some of these deck building games also offer...single player experiences. Of course it won't be as fun, but that's already better than having a deck of cards that you can only use in limited situations.

(ugh, my head and eyes really hurt. I'm going to end this quick).
And that's the reason why I probably won't ever play a deck building game.
The reason is...because it looks like it'd be hard to get a bunch of people together who'd be interested in playing this sort of thing. So while...I super love the concept and totally dig it. And would be dying to play this new wave of cardgame/board game things. I'll have to just be depressed that no one else I know will care.