A Game of Thrones LCG: Chapter Packs
Posted by Denny Koch on August 4, 2010
A Game of Thrones is a Living Card Game by Fantasy Flight Games. This means, it’s a highly customizable dueling card game where players build their individual card decks and battle their opponent’s decks.
Players buy a Core Set or starter pack which provides them with the first cards needed to build their custom decks and then add more cards by buying monthly expansions.
The Best of Two Worlds
The only difference between a “Living Card Game” and a “Collectible Card Game” (Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh) is the distribution model.
While the classic Collectible Card Games add more contents in the form of randomized “booster packs” with unknown contents, the contents of expansions for Living Card Games are public knowledge, you don’t buy the pig in the sack. Many players are addicted to CCG, just because of the thrill of not knowing what’s inside the next booster pack they buy and the adrenaline rush they feel when hunting for an especially rare card. The downside of this is that CCGs are an incredibly expensive hobby because you have to spend hundreds of Dollars if you need a specific rare card while you get 85 copies of the same cheap card by buying randomized boosters. This is the main reason why players drop out of CCGs, they can’t keep track with new rare cards, and if you are a competetive player, you are almost forced to be up-to-date.
Chapter Packs and Deluxe Expansions
LCGs have a different distribution model. They add new content each month (in A Game of Thrones, these expansions are called Chapter Packs), but each chapter pack contains the same cards. There are no more rare cards and all players have access to all cards anytime. It isn’t your purse and hunting skill which decides the quality of your deck, but your deckbuilding skills alone.
Each Chapter Pack adds additional cards for all six factions and neutral cards, characters, events, support cards, plot cards. In addition, they often introduce new effects, new keywords, new mechanics which allow building of theme decks or decks representing lesser houses or groups, for example the Night’s Watch, House Tully, or the Dothraki.
Chapter packs belong to thematic story cycles and are published monthly. The first packs consisted of 40 fixed cards and cost about 6-7 $. Since it is allowed to have 3 copies of each card in a deck, players often bought several copies of a Chapter Pack (which was still cheaper than buying entire booster stands, but not the idea behind the Living Card Game).
In 2010, Fantasy Flight games listened to the player’s wishes and changed the format of the expansions for all three Living card games (Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer Invasion, A Game of Thrones). They now contain 60 cards with 3 copies of each card. This leads to a slightly higher retain price, but with around 10$, they are still affordable once a month.
Besides the monthly chapter packs, once in a while FFG publishes Deluxe Expansions. These are shipped in a larger box (similar to the Core Set) and contain additional factions and larger add-ons for themed decks.
Ownership of the Core Pack is always required.
List of Chapter Packs (CP) and Expansions
- Core Set
De Luxe Expansions
- Kings of the Sea, adding House Greyjoy as a new major faction
- Princes of the Sun, adding House Martell as a new major faction
- Lords of Winter, concentrating on House Stark, adding new characters and deckbuilding strategies
- Kings of the Storm, concentrating on House Baratheon, Storm’s End and the three brothers Robert, Stannis, and Renly, includes two new theme decks (Power Rush and Knights of the Realm) (not yet published)
Chapter Pack Subcollection: A Clash of Arms
- CP1: The War of the Five Kings
- CP2: Ancient Enemies
- CP3: Sacred Bonds
- CP4: Epic Battles
- CP5: Battle of Ruby Ford
- CP6: Calling the Banners
Chapter Pack Subcollection: A Time of Ravens
- CP7: A Song of Summer
- CP8: The Winds of Winter
- CP9: A Change of Seasons
- CP10: The Raven’s Song
- CP11: Refugees of War
- CP12: Scattered Armies
Chapter Pack Subcollection: King’s Landing
- CP13: City of Secrets
- CP14: A Time of Trials
- CP15: The Tower of the Hand
- CP16: Tales from the Red Keep
- CP17: Secrets and Spies
- CP18: The Battle of Blackwater Bay
Chapter Pack Subcollection: Defenders of the North
- CP19: Wolves of the North, focus on Night’s Watch and the Wall
- CP20: Beyond the Wall, adds Free Folk and creatures from the woods beyond the Wall
- CP21: A Sword in the Darkness, new version of Jon Snow, adds Stallward Shield and Orell the Eagle
- CP22: The Wildling Horde, adds forces of Wildlings
- CP23: A King in the North, adds Margery Tyrell (Baratheon), Osha (Stark)
- CP24: Return of the Others, adds Others, Mance Rayder, Melisandre, Old Bear Mormont, Balerion the Black
Chapter Pack Subcollection: Brotherhood without Banners
With this subcollection, FFG changed the format to 60 cards per Chapter pack. The cycle introduces the “Neutral house card” and allows deckbuilding without a house affiliation.
- CP25: Illyrio’s Gift, features characters Barric Dondarrion, Edric Dayne, Rakharo
- CP26: Rituals of R’hllor, Melisandre of Asshai and Stannis, a new sect of zealots
- CP27: Mountains of the Moon, mountain clansmen
- CP28: A Song of Silence
- CP29: Of Snakes and Sand
- CP30: Dreatfort Betrayal
Chapter Pack Subcollection: Secrets of Oldtown
- CP31: Gates of the Citadel
- CP32: Forging the Chain
- CP33: Called by the Conclave