Trading Card Games: Old and New

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Something New: 

A couple of ridiculously cool gaming things occurred this weekend: 1. Final Fantasy Trading Card Game released. Now I’ve ignored all TCGs the last several years because I like the Living Card Game (LCG) format pioneered by Android: Netrunner, and find it’s a more sustainable situation for playing games not to have a “I have better cards” war with other players. Of course, what’s lost in that, is that you don’t get that rush from cracking a pack of cards, finding that sweet money card or card you want.  

On a whim, I bought some Final Fantasy, as that’s one of my favorite properties of all time. Playing a card game with Lightning, Wakka, Cloud, it just sounds amazing to me, almost as amazing as the megareel games.

I was pretty skeptical of the gameplay at first, as it looked similar to Pokemon, a game I think doesn’t actually give a fun play experience. It’s light, but the way the game play works is painful to play sometimes. This game didn’t have that at all when I played it. It was fun, I really like the strategy. It’s got provisions in it where if you take damage and are losing, that you actually can gain some benefits. I’m very happy with the game.

Now if you are tempted to buy it, you likely can’t! It’s sold out everywhere. I’m reading online that people are driving 2+ hours to try to find some and are failing. There will be a 2nd printing of the set out sometime in December, however.

Something Old: 

The second exciting event this weekend was Alderac Entertainment’s Warehouse Sale. They have produced TCGs for 20+ years, most famously Legend of the Five Rings but also with Doomtown, 7th Sea, Warlord, Initial D, City of Heroes, Legend of the Burning Sands, Humalien, Spycraft…. and I THINK that’s all of them. I could have missed one they’ve done so many. I collect a lot of these dead games, and am pretty close to complete-complete collections of most of the ones listed, so on an imupulse-whim, I figured I’d go down and scoop up some product.

If you’re not into dead games — there is a market for them. Some of these boxes can go for $200-300 on ebay. Some cards do that as well, so it’s pretty cool.

The Warehouse Sale was overwhelming. Tables of boxes of cards. Tables of RPG books. Tables of board games and boxes and boxes of even more unopened. It was crazy.  I ran into my awesome friend Brandon Snyder there who picked up some of the most ridiculously cool miniatures games products I’ve seen. Here’s some of what I hauled:

Legend of the Five Rings, mostly from Gold-Jade. I mentioned most of my collection of this game (which lasted 20 years so there’s a TON of cards) is mostly deficient in this era, so Brandon handed me stacks of boxes and said “Buy These!” I’m an easy sell.


Deadlands: Doomtown CCG. I wrote the flavor/lore for the followup Reloaded LCG version of the game.


7th Sea CCG. I’m actually only missing a few cards from this. Some of this is for friends:15053437_10206560509884679_1147245177_o

and finally there’s the coolest thing that I found in this whole sheebang. With these boxes that are crazy rare you might not think it, but here’s what happened. My son came with me, he’s 7 years old. He naturally picked up some smaller boxes of cards and shoved them into my shopping bag as I was going through. I didn’t even see that he had put in a Star Trek The Card Game starter deck, opened already and played condition, in my bag until after I got back.

I wouldn’t have picked this up. It’s a $3 starter deck on ebay, I’ve got zillions of them, no cards I potentially need from this not-so-good game in there. I’ve got a complete set of everything except for a couple of promotional cards they gave away. I opened it up, thumbed through and found this:



This is the rarest item I found today. I have NEVER seen one for sale on ebay, never came across anyone who had one. The card is a common regularly, but this special Gencon giveaway has an additional text “All of Chekov’s ratings are +1 if this card is autographed by Walter Koenig”. They gave this away upon the release of the game, there were maybe 50-100 of these in existence in 1994. Who knows how many survived until today? I lucked out with this. So thank you Mateo for picking that up!

I may do some unboxings and talks about these various games this week on Periscope. Stay tuned.

And if you like card games, you might like my book, because it’s based on a card game! preorder today, comes out the 15th!!!

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