Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CCG --From another age

Just a quick post to possibly evoke a collectible-card-game-ghost.

First off I will blame the cold for all that follows --the cold always gets me thinking about a few things; Stew, Nick Drake folk tunes, and The Lord of the Rings.

I have been the victim of a subtle,but growing, nerd anxiety episode. When I moved from our old apartment to this house, we left most of my books in the garage, stacked in boxes. The idea was to repaint our bookshelves before unpacking the books. Of course, being a procrastinator, I left them in the garage for months, resulting in water and mildew damage. One of the books that was damaged was my copy of Lord of the Rings. My mourning, however, was short-lived. I realized that I had merely settled on that edition when really, what I wanted was the 50th anniversary edition; wrapped in real, leather-bound glory and illuminated with color-platen inserts of the archaeologically obtained, remnants of a sacred historical text that has never even existed.

While searching online for this book, I stumbled across sites for the original Middle-Earth CCG game. Of truly notable interest, was the way in which these sites and their member's correspondence, have taken on the tone and format of support groups. It was only after reading through a three page thread that I too had been convinced that this game must not only have been the greatest CCG ever, but may have the power to transform modern culture in a way that Tom Cruise could never imagine.

If you have indulged in this fantasy staple, whether as victim , enthusiast, or profiteer, let me know what you think and whether or not you believe your once feared deck will ever re-emerge from the mantle place of legends and once again face the fiery fire.

I'm also curious about the original Star Wars game by Decipher and any CCGs still in print that may be worth getting into.

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At 5:34 PM, December 23, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

I remember when Magic came out and thinking how neat it was. But I quickly figured out two things:
1) I knew none of my friends would be remotely interested in it
2) It was going to be a money sink at a time when I didn't have money to throw into said sink (and there weren't even any "editions" yet--it was just Magic)

So I never got into CCGs in general, although I liked the idea.

I also never really got into Lord of the Rings. Ask Ben and Steve how long it took me to watch the trilogy. I finally watched the third movie this year, and I've owned the trilogy for probably about 5 years. I never really read the books because they seemed so dry to me.

But I can appreciate hearing someone wax nostalgic about CCGs in general as well as about the ultimate fantasy world of them all. Others here know a lot more about these things. But I do know about nostalgia, and I enjoy hearing about looking back at the things that influenced us when we were younger and helped us identify the things we enjoy today. I've got my own couple of bins of Infocom games/D&D modules/Dragonlance books (really the only fantasy books I think I ever got into)/IBM PC games. I always thought I'd come back to them when I had time.

The couple of times I've opened them up, I've discovered that the books hold up pretty well and can be enjoyable to re-read (as long as the bugs and mildew don't get them). The computer games, to my dismay, don't age well at all and I find it difficult to invest any time to replay them--they're just not as enjoyable anymore.

But it's fun to at least look through them and remember how much I enjoyed them back when. So, thumbs up for the nostalgia.

At 7:17 PM, December 23, 2008, Blogger Jeff said...

If you want, I'll put together some learning decks of both METW and the Decipher SWCCG and walk you though the rules (although in the case of METW it will be more of a limp through the rules with frequent references to the rulebook).

Jeff, the pusher man

At 7:58 PM, December 23, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

Dear Heathens,

Please be aware that your False Gods (METW, SWCCG) are inferior to the True Gods (Shadowfist, Legend of the Five Rings). While the True Gods are very flexible, they do take blasphemy quite seriously. Repent.

I remain your obdt. Servant,
Bishop Tao

And L5R is giving away a free expansion right now. Makes me want to take it up again. I still have 10,000 cards or so.

At 9:57 PM, December 23, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

I played just a wee bit of Magic back in the day in grad school. I remember early on (at least in my neck of central Ohio) kids commonly played by putting up a random card draw each at risk during any given duel. Wow! Talk about a lot of adolescent shoving, screaming, and brouhaha at the FLGS! I retreated rapidly from the hobby and focused instead on 18XX games with a bunch of fat old dudes in their 50's.

Chris, you really need to read the LotR books...

At 3:07 AM, December 24, 2008, Blogger Travis said...

I will definitely take you up on that offer. I, being a literature buff, am somewhat intrigued by both the depth of play and the integrity that this game seems to maintain with the Tolkien classic.

I will be going out of town for the holiday but will send an email when I return.

Thank you all for your responses; Bishop Tao, I expect a complete justification for said remarks!

At 3:37 PM, December 24, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

Legend of the Five Rings has a story like Lord of the Rings, but the players have created it over the last dozen year. There was an article in Salon about it ...

From a game play standpoint, L5R has a number of aces -- multiple paths to victory, a high degree of interactivity, different clans have different play styles. And I'm a sucker for feudal Japan and samurai myths.

Shadowfist is just the shiznit.


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