FFG Finally Admit to AH:LCG Stocking Issues

(Cue jokes about how now it’ll just be impossible to find one box instead of 6 packs!)

It’s good to see. Even as a vet, there’s a few packs I’m missing and it’s never easy to work out what each pack is called. The fear of accidental double orders is real.

There’s been a lot of rumours about some sort of ‘revised starter pack’ for Arkham to attract newcomers. This serves the function without being quite so blatant about it. Can see a lot more boardgamers being interested now.

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I wonder whether (as stocks run out) they’ll reformat the older expansion cycles into this same format.

I have similar hopes for Lord of the Rings LCG.

It’s a sticky situation. A lot of packs haven’t been easily attainable for a while now, so there’s probably a fair few people who are missing a pack here or there. How to let these folk get the packs they need is going to be a trauma.

Some transitional period where both formats are available would almost work, but would be even more confusing for newcomers.

And phasing the older sets out completely isn’t great for them since they invested so much in the Return To packs. Maybe it’s just time to retire them and they don’t need 7 sets all out at the same time?

Many completists (including me, though not for this particular game) will pay over the odds to have everything, and I can’t see them leaving that money entirely to the secondary market. If they bring out the “all of expansion cycle N” big boxes and people are missing just one small box of the original release of that cycle, will they complain but pay for it anyway? Probably.

Yeah, I’m definitely making sure I’m filling the holes in my collection this evening. Just two packs for the Dreamlands set and I’m up to date.

Lucky for me, I only have a core set and everything for the Dunwich Legacy (and some stand-alone scenarios), so if they were to convert everything to this new format, it would be a win for me. I could see just skipping everything for the moment and just getting the two To the Edge of the Earth boxes to get a full campaign and a bunch of new investigators and cards. Compared to the old model, it saves about $40 as well overall, as long as the campaigns are of similar length. Then I could wait and see if they do re-release previous campaigns in the new format, and if not go ahead and try to get all the packs needed for a new one.

Of course, I need to actually finish the Dunwich Legacy, as I failed my first try at it. Probably going to need to bring two investigators to really have a chance.

I understand there is a revised Core set coming out at some point as well, which will probably be a great deal of overlap with the existing one, as for the new campaign formats they still say you need a core set to play, and that will need to remain true regardless of which core you have. With luck, it’s just adding more of the cards that only had a single copy in the original core set, which prompted people to pick up a second core for more deckbuilding options.


And now they’ve announced the revised core box! Wow, this is going to be a huge change to the philosophy of the game. It’s like they’ve given up on card gamers and fully swerving towards board gamers.

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What makes you say that? I see nothing in this article that changes anything other than making it so newcomers do not need to purchase two core sets.

The entire format change. Putting everything in one box is a clear marketing shift to board games. It also means they don’t have to stick to any particular release schedule, which is often mandated to keep card gamers interested. It’s all a bunch of small changes, and they clearly don’t want to spook fans with all this “don’t worry it’s not changing that much!”, but together it all screams ‘boardgame’.

Card gamers want a constant flow of content. They see getting everything all at once as stale and static. If a game isn’t constantly growing, it’s dead.
Board gamers want everything in one box for a single price. They see blister packs as death by a thousand cuts, and they hate buying multiple cores.


Well, the original core set was everything in one box (though not enough copies of cards), so the revised core set is really just fixing the issue.

As for the future scenario boxes, they still aren’t quite all in one, since they are splitting the player cards in one box, and then the scenario in another. It does mean the release schedule will change, but I am not hearing many complaints about it as with the current model, it is really easy for people to miss a Mythos pack, especially people who come into the game later.

I really don’t buy FFG/Asmodee doing anything out of altruism!

With all the recent changes at FFG, I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole LCG model is quietly being put to bed, at least in the recognised format of lots of little packs. Marvel Champions is the only one left - keep an eye on what happens to that in the next year.

Oh, I never claimed altruism for this. But even on their end, it probably makes more sense from a logistics standpoint. Rather than needing to make seven different print runs for a single Arkham cycle (not counting any reprints) and handle all the details with shipping, distribution, etc., they only need to make two, one for the player box and one for the scenario box. If they keep pumping out a cycle every 9-12 months, it’ll be the same amount of content they currently have with less logistical overhead, just a little less hype month to month. Though they may still release some standalone scenarios, as well as investigator decks, to help offset the lull.

Out of interest (and because I very much don’t want them to stop making Marvel Champions) is there any way to see if an LCG is actually making money / selling big numbers?

AH and MC are 11 and 13 on BGG at the moment, but I don’t know if that translates to profits.

Unfortunately not. It’d be really interesting to see how sales change between and within each cycle. Boardgame publishers always keep sales figures very close to their chest - when Dicetower comment on sales for example all they can do is use data shared by some online stores.

I don’t know how much something like this would get stocked in general-purpose toy stores (or even if those exist any more).

A thing I’ve heard from industry people is that they love an all-in-one box because J. Random Shop may only order one thing, or not restock until all the things in that line have sold; and/or random buyers may not read as far as the “this needs (other box) to work” notice. Thus expandalones.

My guess is that what Asm/FFG would like is a core product with big-box store appeal, and then once people get hooked they can look out their local specialist games shop (or online shop, but Asm/FFG have been quite down on them lately) for the expansions.

As I keep my eyes open for Lord of the Rings LCG cycles on discount, I only ever want to buy them both on sale and as an entire cycle. It seems retailers always seem to have part of any given cycle… Likely because people will buy extra copies of the adventure packs that have good player cards and they end up with uneven inventory among the products of a cycle

So, I see this as a two-fold move:

  1. Make it easier for retailers to sell the products to persnickety consumers: they only have to stock two SKUs per cycle instead of 7(?)
  2. Make enthusiasts buy more copies of all the player cards for a given cycle, if they want to go that route (which is very common among the diehard LoTR:LCG players… Who knows how that translates to total sales volume)