Cheap and Juvenile

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Well, after the whirlwind of pros and cons related to 4e, I had become a definite fan of the latest incarnation of D&D.  I was hoping for a similar reaction to Gamma World - it looked like the transition would work and the prospect of the cards (though I'm not fond of the "collectibility" aspect) seemed to be an interesting addition to the new mchanics.

I am seriously disappointed.  First of all, the rulebook is a joke.  From the box size, I expected a rule book with similar dimension to the D&D hardcovers and content that delivered the same sort of PC choices for character building.  The small, flimsy book is not going to be taken seriously by any of my players - nor I believe anyone over the age of 10.  A choice of up to 6 powers isn't really a choice.  Ten levels, and different character build system?  Why bother?

Second, the box is a more than a bit of a marketing gimmick.  It's easily twice as big as it needs to be and it peeves me as a consumer.  Make the packaging represent the content.  Right off the bat I felt ripped off.

Third, the maps are small and don't have nearly the "general use" purpose as they should.  If they had been coated for use with dry/wet erase markers, this disappointment could have been forgiven.

Finally, I know the price of CCGs have gone up, but $4 for 8 cards?  These cards are not worth 50 cents a piece - with everything else that is wrong, this just added the proverbial final straw.

I am bringing the whole pile of paper and cardboard back to my local store for a refund.  I feel bad for them - they don't deserve having to deal with the hassel.

So, a general warning to anyone expecting a good product - stay away from this green box.
You don't deserve a refund simply because you disliked the content.  That's BS.  You knew what was in the box if you read the box.

The game is goofy.  deal with it.

Booster are $2.35 at our FLGS.  You paid too much.

The binding of my book is poor, but so what.  I guess I deal with that.  I have seen more excitement over GW than any other games lately.
Weird...

Im very happy with my purchase...i actually thought the contents were a bargain for the price.

Each to their own i guess. 
My only gripe with the box is that there are no dice in it. They put some in the Red Box, but not in this one? This is not a big issue, but it's the little things that bother me usually.

Otherwise, the book may be small and with only 160p, but I can see hours of entertainment with it!
.

Booster are $2.35 at our FLGS.  You paid too much..



Dang I want to come to you FLGS, then Id maybe buy the boosters.
3.99 is MSRP, and online the best Ive found is 2.80 a pack. 

I still love the game, but think the boosters are too much $$ for what they do. 
The boosters at my local FLGS are $4 a pack as well, which I found to be a bit steep.
The boosters at my local FLGS are $4 a pack as well, which I found to be a bit steep.

I like the game overall, but I can understand where the OP is coming from.  The size of the box definitely give the impression of getting something a bit more substantive.

I'm not sure why they used the box style that they did. In fact I would say it was a poor design choice. Content wise, they could have fit everything into a red box style container and come away with a slightly better product.

* Character sheets could have been full sized and better layed out (I think the smaller cramped versions suck)

* Rulebook fewer pages and likely better binding (some have had issues already).

I think one of the reasons they went with the bigger, board game style box was risk managment. I think, not sure, there are fewer boxes per case than with a red box style. If so, then it would make sense. If not, then it was just bad design, IMHO.

I'm kind of conflicted on the boosters. For the most part, I think the boosters are overpriced. On the other hand considering how much use you'll get out of the cards maybe not. It all depends on how often and how many cards they release for the game. If it's infrequently, and in very small sets, then the price isn't that bad. Otherwise, I think they are shooting themselves in the foot and will end up alienating their target audience and the game will die.
I like the fact that the box has some space in it.  It holds all my expos and dice and copies of the character origins (so I can just hand them to my players when they roll them).  The boosters are a bit steep in some areas, my local gaming store is running a special on game day 2 for $5 and i'll probably just load up then.  I also (tho maybe i'm unlucky) already bought 3 extra booster packs, but wasn't to impressed with the extra cards I pulled from them....the ones that come with the box set just seemed cooler IMHO.
I don't mind the extra room in the box. I plan on getting Famine in Far-go and Legion of Gold (which I understand are also boxed sets); rather than carry around all three boxes, I'll just add the books, token sheets, and maps from the other two (not to mention my growing set of booster cards) to the core box.
Collecting cards to play a game is childish, IMAO. 

 A real game system suffers when it's design implies that wealthier players have an advantage over poorer ones.
Collecting cards to play a game is childish, IMAO. 

 A real game system suffers when it's design implies that wealthier players have an advantage over poorer ones.




I've already decided that, should I walk away with a warm fuzzy about this game after the GW game day on the 23rd, any game I run will simply include only cards that I own.

You can gen your own characters but gear and whatnot will be limited to my own stock of cards.  As I think the booster format is silly, I won't be investing heavily.

Since this would, at best, be a second or 3rd option game for my group, I don't think anybody I play with would mind.
Collecting cards to play a game is childish, IMAO. 

 A real game system suffers when it's design implies that wealthier players have an advantage over poorer ones.



I don't agree that this argument necessarily applies to Gamma World, or conversely, couldn't be applied to D&D or RPGs in general.

It's entirely possible to play GW without additional cards, it's accounted for and people have already proven it's possible and still fun. There's only a slight advantage to bringing your own decks and one that is mitigated within the rules themselves. Since you aren't competing against other players anyway, it doesn't really matter if there is a slight advantage between them.

Using the same argument, players in my D&D group that invested in Martial Power or Arcane Power or any other book that provides improved powers and equipment are gaining an unfair advantage because they have more money (wealth) to buy the books, or a DDI subscription, alternately.

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There is a lot of truth in what you say, but the model is far more commerical-driven than buying books. 

If you buy an extra book, you can let your friend borrow it and use it, heck you can check it out from the library and copy your little power cards down.  When you play D&D as a player, you really only need the PHB.

Card-collecting is a business/marketing persons dream come true, because they can print them almost like money and obtain a continuous revenue stream.  And I am almost certain that was the logic behind this element of the game's design.

I would love to play a sci-fi D&D, but card-collecting for me and my fellow players is a laughable joke. 

I want to play a game that is complete as is, and not be nickled and dimed to play a game that requires money to achieve balance.
Would you perhaps like the format more if additional cards were available in pre-determined expansion sets? Like with the Cthulhu LCG?

As in you still had to buy cards, but you were buying a known quantity in a larger number?
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An interesting question, I'm not sure, I liked the expansions to Dominion and Call of Cthulhu [EDIT: I mean Arkham Horror] (I haven't played the LCG).

The expansion cards in those games come as large fixed sets, balanced to make one complete expansion, and individual players are not required to provide their own per player.
Once our card list is complete with all the text from all the cards, players will be able to just print and make whatever cards they want for their decks, GMs can create custom decks for each adventure with exactly the combination they desire, and no one has to buy anything except paper and ink.
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
I am disappointed with the cards.  They are expensive compared to Magic.  I believe that Magic boosters come with 15 cards.  With no artwork, I would still expect the same amount of cards for the same price.  For myself, I do not plan to increase the deck.

From the box size, I expected a rule book with similar dimension to the D&D hardcovers and content that delivered the same sort of PC choices for character building.  Second, the box is a more than a bit of a marketing gimmick.  It's easily twice as big as it needs to be and it peeves me as a consumer. 

It is a tribute to wasteful packaging.

A choice of up to 6 powers isn't really a choice.  Ten levels, and different character build system?  Why bother?

Ironically, the system can generate about 400 distinct characters types.  Compared to the 18 Builds and 7 races in PH, that's not bad at all.

As far as 10 levels, I played GW for a long time and never saw a character reach 4th level.  It's always been kinda deadly.

Finally, I know the price of CCGs have gone up, but $4 for 8 cards?  These cards are not worth 50 cents a piece - with everything else that is wrong, this just added the proverbial final straw.

Yeah, the CCG aspect is a non-starter.  If they sell a complete Deck of Omega a Alpha cards at a sane price point, it'd be fine.


Aside from all that, though, the game captures the spirit of the original.  It's whacky fun.  Sure, the book is small, but so was the original - smaller than most magazines, and it's /still/ fun to dust off once in a while. 

 

 

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When I was looking at the contents in the previews I thought, well, I wouldn't mind buying it at amazon.com prices, but FLGS is going to be retail and I wouldn't be happy with paying that much.  

Then comes news that in order to DM the gameday we have to have a copy of the game... and I had already committed to run it.  So yeah, I feel I didn't get the bang for the buck I wanted but it's okay, I am supporting the FLGS ultimately.  Just didn't like having my hand forced like that.

What I would have preferred to see inside the box:

Full size poster maps, or as someone else suggested, some dungeon tiles.
A thicker rule book with more crunchy goodness in it
Dice, while nice weren't needed (but would have added value)
8.5x11 character sheets -- what's with this microprint sheets?
A box to hold your cards in (anyone else notice that you can't really put them back into the space where they came because they slide right into the box?)

-or-

A smaller box.  There was more air than content in that box, and you are kind of left with a disappointing feeling.  :/

As others have mentioned, I'll probably keep the box to store all the expansion stuff (that I won't buy at the FLGS price because it's too high for what you get based on real experience now), but otherwise I could take up minimal book shelf space and save a ton of room in the closet.

 
An interesting question, I'm not sure, I liked the expansions to Dominion and Call of Cthulhu (I haven't played the LCG).

The expansion cards in those games come as large fixed sets, balanced to make one complete expansion, and individual players are not required to provide their own per player.

I for one would prefer this option. While the notion of random cards makes for a more "gonzo" game, I'd rather have standard card expansion sets.

I don't like the idea that a player with more money can go out and buy a better deck than someone without the cash. Especially when some cards are common and others are rare, because now it becomes a game of who can get the right cards. That is one of the features of CCGs in general that has always bothered me.

Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playing 5E D&D and liking it! OD&D player since 1975

The 'build a better deck' thing works fine for CCGs, because they're competative.  RPGs are more cooperative (with some rivalry, perhaps, as everyone wants their time in the spotlight), so it doesn't work there.  'Gonzo Randomness' can easily be achieved by just randomly dealling out some cards from a complete deck and setting the rest aside.  They you're 'not playing with a full deck.' 

 

 

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'Gonzo Randomness' can easily be achieved by just randomly dealling out some cards from a complete deck and setting the rest aside. 

Or maybe use a chart and actual dice instead of those funky cards. Wink

Then you're 'not playing with a full deck.' 

Love it! Tongue out

Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playing 5E D&D and liking it! OD&D player since 1975

Sure, charts and dice work as randomization tools, too.  Cards provide non-repeating randomization, which can be used a little differently than purely even-distribution dice.  And, they have an advantage in that the player just takes the card and has the info he needs to use what it representes.  I was putting mutations on index cards (200 index cards, not a fun job) for that purpose years ago.

There's just no advantage to the blind/random booster distribution model.

 

 

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I would be interested in purchase of a full deck pack, but the random thing isn't something I want to buy into.  I doubt I'll buy any at $4 a pack (what my FLGS is selling them for), but I would pay $20 for a full deck of 120 cards.

The advantage I see with the cards is that you can build custom "tables" on the fly with them instead of a fixed chart.  So if someone wanted to remove all Area 52 from the game you could do so easily. 
Absolutely.  I'd kinda like a separate Alpha and Omega deck, though.  Not that I wouldn't probably buy both, but as a DM I could definitely see wanting to allow Players an Alpha Deck (so they can customize thier character's mutations), but not an Omega (because I want to control what tech people find, to fit what I think 'should' be in a given area).

 

 

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I would be interested in purchase of a full deck pack, but the random thing isn't something I want to buy into.  I doubt I'll buy any at $4 a pack (what my FLGS is selling them for), but I would pay $20 for a full deck of 120 cards.

Pretty much this.  The model works just fine for games like Trivial Pursuit, which has themed decks of questions for players seeking a twist on their gaming experience.  Granted Gamma World is an RPG, but it's being marketed, at least partly, as more of a board game (and neither model really has much to do with TCGs).
I too was disapointed with the box contents.

The character sheet is a waste, and you only get 4 double sided sheets. It looks more like an instuction sheet on how to fill out a sheet which could have been put inside the book in the character creation section. There isnt even enough room to list all the skills. I have already seen better fan sheets on this sight that i would be using in place of theirs.

The book is somewhat of a joke. I was expecting something more loke the quality of the new essentials books. Many of the pages have several inches of wasted space on the bottom of them. They could have easily doubled or tripled the number of monsters even if it added a a few more pages to the ovearll book.

The maps are okay since i use maps from all differnt sources anyway.

A basic set of dice would have been nice as it would at least give the customer the feeling that they were buying a complete game.

The cardboard tokens were as expected as they have gone that way now on all of there game days the past year or so now.

The size of the box is a waste. You could easily fit the contents in a smaller box to make it more transportable and still hold a box or 2 of cards in them.

The collectable card aspect is the worst part. If I want to play an Rpg, i want to play an Rpg, not a collectable card game. Thats why i dropped magic years ago as well as all the other collectible card games i tried. So I doubt i will be buying any booster packs.

As for how the game plays I will hold my opinion till I have actually had the oppurtunity to play several games both as a player and as a GM.

just my 2 cents worth.
The collectable card aspect is the worst part. If I want to play an Rpg, i want to play an Rpg, not a collectable card game.


This just in: Gamma World is not a collectible card game.

The collectable card aspect is the worst part. If I want to play an Rpg, i want to play an Rpg, not a collectable card game.


This just in: Gamma World is not a collectible card game.

(sing-song voice)Youre not helping. (END sing-song voice)
It has a collectable card aspect, and you know it bugs (some) people. Right.
GAMMA WORLD Wuv D&D: Beyond the RPG - Transcript This is a complete transcript. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390668593 The audio file is in this News Archive http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/DNDXP 2010 D&D Product Overview (47 minutes into the Audio) http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390928045
The collectable card aspect is the worst part. If I want to play an Rpg, i want to play an Rpg, not a collectable card game.


This just in: Gamma World is not a collectible card game.

(sing-song voice)Youre not helping. (END sing-song voice)
It has a collectable card aspect, and you know it bugs (some) people. Right.


You're not helping either.

It has a collectible card OPTION
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
I most certainly was helping.  He has not played the game, and is comparing it to M:tG as if having collectible cards makes the games in any way similar.  (HINT: It does not.)

He was making judgments based on faulty assumptions, so I was just making sure he didn't confuse anyone else. 
I can't dispute the CCG aspect too much.  The way the rules are presented, it's assumed that both the players and GM will buy boosters, but the rules do smoothly cover the occassionaly benighted player who is deckless.  To imply that you can't dislike the CCG aspect because it's optional is pointless.  In any RPG that has a game-master as a final rules arbiter, anything and everything is options (Gamma World is as much a CCG with extensive RPG options as it is an RPG with CCG options).  

Even so it's certainly playable smoothly without boosters or player decks.   Actually, I think it would probably play better with a slight variation on the use of cards, with players randomly drawing thier 'Alpha Deck' at chargen (these are your mutations, you just don't get to use all of them in every fight) rather than building one; and similarly, building their Omega Tech decks from items they find that fail thier Omega Charge checks (this way the GM can control what you find as much as he likes, but you can still randomly find a power cell, replacement part, or other bit of luck to get something you already found working again).  That could be done with just the included cards, or with boosters added - but all the boosters would go into the DM deck, initially, with players building their decks randomly.  Thus, you'd get the benefit of the card's randomness, without the issue of power decks.



BUT, what I feel can be disputed is the claim that it's in any way a 'board game,' or not an RPG.  Gamma World is an RPG.  You play a character, you determine his apearance, background, personality, and motivations.  You make his decisions, you interact with NPCs and other PCs in character.   There are no board game aspects to speak of.  Like D&D, Gamma World has it's ancient roots in miniatures wargaming - but those weren't boardgames, either.  You can willfully refuse to roleplay and still use the rules for something, but you're 'discarding a lot of options' to do it.  Tongue out

 

 

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(Gamma World is as much a CCG with extensive RPG options as it is an RPG with CCG options).  




That's nonsense. The cards aren't a game. There's nothing you can do with them outside the framework provided by the RPG elements.  It's like calling the D&D power card sets a "card game."
What?  No dice?

*dutifully stands in line to purchase 1/2 empty box*


:D
"Remember, we are the music makers. We are the dreamer of the dreams." -Willy Wonka
(Gamma World is as much a CCG with extensive RPG options as it is an RPG with CCG options).  



That's nonsense. The cards aren't a game. There's nothing you can do with them outside the framework provided by the RPG elements.  It's like calling the D&D power card sets a "card game."



So the game is playable without any cards?  Cool!

"Remember, we are the music makers. We are the dreamer of the dreams." -Willy Wonka
It's very much playable without collecting any cards.
Gamma World Downloads: Character sheets, GM screen, adventures, monsters, house rules, cards, and more! You can usually find my posts at the Gamma World forum.


So the game is playable without any cards?  Cool!




Yes, most definitely. You'd be missing out on some fun game elements, and PCs would be weaker, but you can completely ignore Alpha Mutations and Omega Tech and still have a completely playable RPG.
I don't mind the cards as tools. They look nice and are handy to reference.

It's the card game mechanics I don't like, whether I can use just the cards in the box or not.

Where this game went horribly wrong for me is in the incessant alpha flux and omega tech, card readying, discarding, and deck building. All are just plain strange and take the focus away from RPG elements.

Fortunately it's not too hard to just get rid of that.

Random I like. Make a character randomly and role play it. But it seems strange to role play a character that just keeps changing like every other player's and just hoping I pull out a fusion rifle.

The RAW card mechanics are contrived and invasive. It's pretty obviously a business model made into a game. Too bad such a legendary setting has to suffer for it.

All that said, we'll hopefully have fun playing a very hybrid version and I hope others enjoy playing how they like. Just my 2 cents.
Random I like. Make a character randomly and role play it. But it seems strange to role play a character that just keeps changing like every other player's and just hoping I pull out a fusion rifle.



"I love randomness! Except when it comes to getting my preferred piece of ludicrously rare pre-apocalypse weaponry! The fact I only randomly get an overpowered item is why I hate randomness!"

Would you be bitching this loud if it was just a table in the book instead of cards?
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
(Gamma World is as much a CCG with extensive RPG options as it is an RPG with CCG options).  

That's nonsense. The cards aren't a game. There's nothing you can do with them outside the framework provided by the RPG elements.  It's like calling the D&D power card sets a "card game."

Yes, it's nonsense, because 'optional' the way it's used to dismiss criticism of the CCG elements, is nonsense.

And, really you could ignore the less mechanical RP elements:  neglect to name characters, not say or do anything in-character (just take actions and resolve them mechancially), run encounters without set-up or story line.  You'd be opting out of a lot more of a game, but I did say /extensive/ RPG options.

The point is that "it's optional" is a meaningless distinction.  Everything is optional.

 

 

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It's the card game mechanics I don't like, whether I can use just the cards in the box or not.

Where this game went horribly wrong for me is in the incessant alpha flux and omega tech, card readying, discarding, and deck building. All are just plain strange and take the focus away from RPG elements.

Fortunately it's not too hard to just get rid of that.

Nod. While it's certainly possible to play it as written, boosters and all, it does take randomness to an extreme (of course, the setting /justifies/ that level of randomness, it's a world of collapsed alternate realities in flux).  A few fairly simple changes to the card mechanics, though, and they can be working for you instead of against you - even if you /do/ use boosters (or the content from boosters, since that's not hard to find, either).

For intance, just having players accumulate discharged Omega Tech into player decks for later re-charging/repair, instead of building decks eliminates a lot of the immersion-shattering silliness the player Deck implies.  Conversely, a player Alpha Deck could make mutations a lot less random, and more customized to the PCs origins and even (gasp) concept.

 

 

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