I don’t think it is fair to say Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game aka UFS CCG is a dead CCG just yet but it is definitely a dying one. There are still UFS CCG sets being released but most of the local gaming stores near me don’t stock them any more. The packs or decks I do find are usually for sale. I got 10 packs of UFS Red Horizon Tides of Vengeance and a Dr Wiley starter deck for $12.
What piqued my interest in UFS initially is their licensed sets like Megaman and Street Fighter. UFS mimics classic fighting games (like Street Fighter) and the goal is to land enough attacks to knock out your opponent’s character. What I think is the strongest element of the game is the push your luck mechanics. For example, each time you play a card you have to see if the difficulty is less than or equal the control number on the top card of the library (which you discard). If you don’t pass the check, you have pay the difference with foundation cards that you played earlier. Each additional card you played also increases in difficulty. This make you think about the order you play card and even how to build and balance a deck. I also like how fast you go through your deck. You draw back to the starting hand size every turn and you also discard a lot of cards because you have to make a lot of checks.
So why did UFS fail? UFS sets were released too fast and there were way too many broken cards. Their banned list is huge. It is no fun to see the deck you invested in banned and it is also not fun to play against broken decks every round in a tournament. Also there are a lot of Japanese/ anime theme card games that is has to compete against. Just to name a few: Weiss Schwarz, Dragon Ball Z TCG, Final Fantasy TCG, Force of Will and Buddyfight. You also got the big 3 when it comes to CCGs: Magic, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh. It is tough for any CCG.
Also I have to admit I have not gotten to play a full game of UFS. I goldfished the game a bit but it is hard to find someone to play with. Everyone in my gaming circle would rather play either Magic or a board game instead. Learning a CCG is a commitment. Sure the rules could be simple but there is a lot of reading and a lot of ambiguity when you first start any CCG. I also find it takes a couple of playthroughs to just “get” the game. It is a tough sell for any CCG.
All in all I still like collecting lost or dead CCGs. They are usually super cheap and I kind of just like building decks without really expecting to play with them…
Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you. Honestly I was hoping to open some packs of the newest Star Wars Destiny set, Spirit of the Rebellion for this special occasion but I couldn’t find any for sale. Instead I got the next best thing, the Rey & Finn starter deck!
Star Wars Destiny is probably my favorite tabletop game right now. It is actually one of the reason I don’t really collect and play Magic anymore and it is biggest reason I don’t play Dicemasters anymore. It has a great theme and it has the perfect combination of luck and strategy built into the framework of the game.
Despite that, this game has some flaws and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself. A) – The collectible card game model makes this game very expensive to play especially if you are planning on playing in tournaments. B) – The game is sold out everywhere and distribution of the game is a bit iffy. C) – Starter decks don’t give you a complete deck since it has only 20 cards of the 30 cards you need. So for A you really can’t do anything about it. Fantasy Flight is supposed to have fixed B with a bigger print run but given that the new set was supposed to come out on May 4th and I haven’t seen packs in stores yet give me some cause for concern. Finally for C, Fantasy Flight should really just put any 10 cards to fill out the deck.
Anyways when the packs do come out I highly recommend that game. It is easy to learn and fast to play but it still gives you some interesting choices. I can’t wait to build my Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe deck!
I was looking through the discount DVD section the other day and I found a Naruto Volume 5 – Shinobi Weapons DVD. To my surprise it also came with a Naruto CCG promo card!
The card was loose in the DVD case so some of the corners were damaged. Oh wells.
Anyways, I played the Naruto CCG years ago and I may have played it two, maybe three times. I used to own a bunch of cards but not really enough to build a tournament deck. I did have a friend who loved the game so I just borrowed his decks to play.
Again my memory of the game is kind of hazy. But as you can see there are two combat stats for each character, one for when he or she is healthy and one for when he or she in injured. A big mechanic of the game is organizing all the characters aka ninjas into teams and have them attack your opponent. Also on your turn you will be playing missions, charging chakra and playing jitsu cards.
Unfortunately any CCG is a huge money sink and it is a very, very competitive market so it is no surprise to see Naruto CCG out of print. So many in the past have. But if I can get some Naruto CCG cards for cheap, I wouldn’t mind picking it up again and trying out the game again.
It is no secret that anything Star Wars is sure to be a huge money maker. Star Wars: Destiny is a collectible card and dice game from Fantasy Flight. Awakenings is their first set and it must be selling like hotcakes because it is sold out everywhere. I have been curious about the game and I have been looking for it all over New York City. I couldn’t find a starter set but I did find 3 booster packs which is better than zero.
Each pack has 5 cards and 1 premium die. It seems like Boba Fett’s Jetpack is a good pull, worth about $15. I can’t say much about the game play until I get a couple of games in.
I wouldn’t pay the inflated prices you see at Amazon, eBay and the like right now. Fantasy Flight is sure to make another huge print run. I am waiting to pick up a Starter deck that I need to play then.
Unlike previous years, the 2016 AEG Black Box has only one game and it is marketed towards advanced gamers only. Interesting. Well I have my hands on the Black Box now and the game is Phase!
It includes 306 cards (6 reference cards, 6 preconstructed decks and loose cards to build and upgrade decks with), a bunch of tokens, 150 sleeves and a rule book.
Phase is a CCG/ TCG (maybe LCG?) years in the making. It was announced way back in 2010 and it wasn’t released until now. I haven’t played the game yet but it has an intriguing mechanic where each card is double sided, one good and one evil. A big emphasis on this game seems to be deck building and finding game breaking combos. For me, deck building is my favorite part of most card games (including Magic: The Gathering) and I also just happen to love finding wonky combos and intricate synergies. In fact, AEG has a prize for those who can find these game breaking combos in Phase. The art on the cards is outstanding and the cards are tarot card size which is unusual. Another interesting thing about this game is instead of buying packs like in a CCG/ TCG to get the cards you want, you can make your own combination of cards (the good side and the evil side) and print it with Drive Thru Cards.
The game is for 2-5 players. I skimmed through the rulebook and watch this youtube video so I think I get the game. With four different modes on each card, the game could be complicated to keep track of. But the game in a nutshell is just recruiting strong warriors and playing pump spells or removal spells in combat to win influence tokens/ victory points. Combat is like Magic. Warriors have an attack and defense value and they trade blows. One twist is that only good warriors can block evil warriors and vice versa. You pay for most cards by phasing aka flipping between the two sides of cards in your resource pool.
I haven’t been this excited about a board game or card game in a long time so I have high hopes for Phase. I just have to convince some of my MTG friends to try a new card game.
There was an explosion of collectible card games (CCGs) in the late 90’s and in the shuffle, a lot of great games got lost in time. If you can find them for cheap, they can actually be a lot of fun. I want to highlight some of these forgotten CCGs in my new blog segment simply called Lost CCGs!
I have to start with Comic Images’ WWE Raw Deal which is probably my favorite “lost” CCG. It was quite popular in its heyday but they couldn’t quite capitalize on the momentum. It is such a shame but not surprising. I found these Paul Heyman and Evolution decks for only $2 each. If my memory serves me right, these are two cornerstones for powerhouse decks.
I imagine professional wrestling to be incredibly difficult to convert as a card game. There are just so many elements to stimulated a match in a fun way but the mechanics of this game do reflect them flavorfully without being too complicated. Without going to much in detail, you have to build up fortitude to land bigger moves and you do that by successfully executing smaller moves. So to land say a shooting star press, you need to land a couple of punches and kicks first. When you take damage, you actually mill that many cards from the library aka the arsenal. Moves can be reversed if your opponent has a reversal in his or her hand or if it is among the cards milled. It is actually one of the few games I like that has the deck as your life mechanic. Also I love how you keep the moves you land in front of you so you can’t help but to use your imagination and just visualize the match from start to finish as you play the game.
So why did Raw Deal failed? I think the game got a bit complicated with the added rules each set brought. For example, I read the rule book a couple of times and I am still unsure about some of the prematch mechanics. Also cards can be a bit wordy and confusing itself. You have to read some superstar cards a number of times to get what is going on.
Anyways, living card games (LCGs) where there is no rarity or random booster packs are seeing more popularity lately and WWE Raw Deal would actually be perfect rebooted as a LCG. *Fingers crossed*
I recently came across this pack of Dragon Ball GT.
From what I can get from the packaging, it is a card game made by Tesla Distribuzione in 1998 and it is not in English. I am not 100% sure what language it is in (Italian?) but I can make out that you can pull 1 metal card or 2 rares. Interesting. The pack is something you don’t see every day so it really piqued my interests.
So I pulled a metal card and the cards in general are wicked cool. The game came out in the late 90’s which is basically when everyone was making CCGs aka TCGs and it really felt like a new one was coming out like every week. The CCGs business model was flaw though. In a nutshell, you really need a large passionate fanbase for the game to be fun (and profitable for the company) but CCGs can be a huge commitment, so many aren’t willing to make the commitment unless they are sure they can play with at least a core gaming group. Spending hundreds of dollars on a game that no one plays is no fun. So there is a bit of catch-22. I know companies tried everything back in the day like ambassador programs, tournaments etc but most are short lived. Everyone thought they can be the next Magic: The Gathering. This is unfortunate because there are lot of CCGs out there that are actually solid games but are largely forgotten nowadays.
Anyways, I was thinking it can be fun to try to find some of the more obscure CCGs and blog about it…