Thursday, June 5, 2014

Great Reminder Why I Do Not Play CCGs

I used to play Magic back in the day,  I started playing during Unlimited when Arabian Nights boosters will still available and followed through revised and started to stop buying after The Dark with only a little of Ice Age.  One of the turn offs during that time was the Legends expansion which seemed like it was so underprinted that all the cards where bought up by the time we knew they were out.  You could get boosters at like 4-5 times list price but being a high school student with my only job being minding the school computer lab after hours a couple of nights a week did not allow me to buy lunch from places not the school lunch room and 15 dollar boosters.  My older brother did pick a up couple at this price as he had a job with more hours but it left a sour taste in our mouths.

We all know that CCG games while you are required to be able to design a good deck (list building in 40K terms) what is really important is having the right cards.  I got a good reminder of that this last weekend when my second grade daughter took out her Pokemon collection and we played a couple of games.

My daughter has some Pokemon cards, more than you would say for someone just looking at the game but way less than someone who is a serious player.  She started with Pokemon a few years ago when some friends with older sisters gave her some cards and they started to trading.  Since none of them played the game as they were to young, most of the trading was based on the pictures but we tried to closesly monitor it to make sure no one was trading rares for commons.

She wanted some more cards but I decided she would have to learn to play the game before we bought a significant number of cards.  I had my brother buy her a stack of commons off ebay for her birthday one year to give her more cards to trade in that little group.  So we got a trainer set and another themed deck and learned the game.  She has slowly added to her collection mainly in the form of gift boxes which have like plastic figures and other stuff along with a couple of boosters and a few more theme decks.  No boxes of boosters or single purchases.  We tuned her original theme deck with any good cards that fit it and upgraded another theme deck with cards that would go in it but we have a few others which are pretty much straight out of the pack since she picks these based on liking the look of the cover Pokemon so ended up with a mainly purple and green related decks.

So the other day, she was using her tuned themed deck and I was using a brand new themed deck which we got for the fairy relation.  She just stomped me like 6-0 and 6-1.  Now in a fair game I should be getting smashed by my 7 year old.  She had a great time and it was fine with me as my goal is to get her to practice reading the cards and doing the math and associated thinking processes.  She mentioned how she was going to teach some friends the game at a sleep over coming up the game and I told her she should not be using her tuned deck.  This got her very upset as she is quite attached to the deck but I explained to her that it is not fun to lose all the time and her friends will just lose if she plays that deck while teaching them.  The game is just not fair with the decks as we have them constructed.  We reached a good comprise where we will remove the Ex pokemon from her deck and put them to the side to go back in later which will bring it back in line with the other ones and everyone will have a better shot of enjoying the game.

This was a good reminder of why I like the non random miniature games.  I am certainly a collector(hoarder) at heart but I like to know that I control what I get at a even price.  If I just want to fly Han Shoots First type list all I need are those three ships or if I want a certain 40K army I could just buy exactly those pieces.  It is probably why I am mad at GW balance issues.  The stuff is expensive enough that I want anything I buy to be useful for a long time as it takes a while to build up a whole codex worth of stuff and the usefulness of the stuff should not to swing wildly from edition to edition.  I do not mind the NERF bat but GW usually seems to hit you twice for the stuff that was overpowered then introducing something else that is now made of win.

Well if you made it through thanks for reading my wall of rambles.  Anyone feel the same way or have kids into Pokemon.


  1. Now to make it more fun, as my twins found out. To play in official Pokemon tournaments your deck has to be of specific versions of cards, mostly the latest 2 releases...

    So your tuned deck might not be legal in an official tournament, some of your cards may be too old to play.

    1. Thanks for coming by.

      I doubt I would ever take her to a tournament as she is a bit on the sensitive side and would probably start to cry in a game with a serious player.

      I would guess that the whole core of the deck would be disallowed under those rules as it comes from the HS Undaunted Theme Decks. Most of the nasty cards though are from new stuff other than her favorite Espeons which allow you to move 40 damage from you pokemon to any of your opponents.

      That limited use length is probably a pain in the butt. I guess you need to sort the cards by series for that application than by color as we do now.

  2. No experience whatsoever with pokemon cards, but I do feel the exact same way about CCG's, and GW.
    I used to love to play Magic in 4th and 5th Ed, but the constant release of new expansions that would nerf the existing decks, made me put a stop on it. Funny enough, I put the cards aside to start playing WFB, and a couple of years later felt GW was doing the exact same thing with their teaks in the army lists. And that's when their 'smaller' games started to appeal to me...

    By the way, you're up for an 'award':

    1. Thanks for the nomination. It is nice that you got yours from Paul. Back when House of Paincakes ran a blogger questionnaire, I wrote that Paul was a blogger I looked up to due to his blog and real life work.

  3. You're welcome. :-)
    Yes, it was a nice surprise to be nominated by Paul.
    It's one of the blogs I follow as regularly as I can
    And is job does have a ton of "awe" factor, to say the least

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks. Did you notice that I still got a little anti GW message in there.

  5. When Pokemon cards first came out all the kids in primary school got into it, including me at the time. After a few months the school banned them.

    As for balanced decks I can understand the desire for a powerful deck, but as I learned then, no one wants to play you if they always lose. I had the pokemon cards that you got when you saw the movie at the time. I got to play again once I removed them.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I am pretty sure the bans are still in effect. We do not let her leave the house with her cards so she only really plays when people come over or with me.