There are many practical benefits of collectible card games and, if you’re no stranger to them, you know they’re really, really fun too. Here are just some of the reasons people enjoy them, the various types of games people play, and how they’re played.
A Brief History
Trading card games began in 1904, with The Base Ball Card Game, which was published by The Allegheny Card Company. However, the tradable card game format we know today started with Dr. Richard Garfield in 1993. Garfield was a math professor who had been working on a new game design that could be played between game sessions at gaming conventions.
There was a lot of downtime at these conventions, and nothing for players to do. Wizard’s of the Coast was interested in backing a game that could fill that void. But, initially, Garfield’s vision of his game was rejected by WotC, requesting a portable version of the game. The result was Alpha – the code name given to the initial print run of the game.
It proved to be a huge success – bigger than Wizard’s of the Coast had ever dreamed of. The 2.6 million card print run sold out quickly, as did subsequent prints, code-named Beta.
Today, the game is enjoyed by a diverse age range, but the average age of players is just 25 years old. The average age range for all tradable card games ranges, between 17, for World of Warcraft, to 22 for Pokemon to 25 for Magic, with 84.1 percent being male and only 15.9 percent being female across the entire gaming community.
Netrunner is a game for those who love indulging in a dark vision of the future, often high-tech and very sci-fi’ish. Players use “bits” as currency and play as “Runners” (hackers). They must extrapolate secret data from The Corporation before the company can execute their secret, and always diabolical, plan.
Corporation cards include cybernetic defense programs, called ICE, which hackers fight with decryption programs, called – you guessed it – “icebreakers.”
With most tradable games being fantasy-medieval style, this one has a refreshing, if not sometimes dated, cyber-punk feel and the parlance is very 90s. Netrunner’s computer-based card system is sure to make you feel just a little bit nostalgic.
Shadowfist is based on the concept of Feng Shui, a believe that the geographical layout of various objects within an area contribute to positive energy that flows through that area.
The game takes that concept to the next level, where control over the world is earned through controlling major points on a map to promote positive chi-flow on a nationwide scale.
There’s even time-travel and unique types of warfare, built on the back of authentic Asian history.
Middle Earth Game
The Middle Earth Tradable Card Game was released in 1995, and follows on the heels of Magic: The Gathering. The artwork for many of the cards comes directly from artists who did the art for Tolkien’s books. The object is, of course, to destroy Sauron’s Ring of Power and save the world. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Legend Of The Five Rings
This game is built around the concept of a stronghold. It consists of 2 ready-to-play Military decks for the Crab and the Lion Clan. Players have two decks that are kept separate during play. One deck, the Dynasty Deck, consists of black-backed cards. The Fate Deck consists of green-backed cards.
Each deck has at least 40 cards and no upper limit is imposed on deck size. Each player must also choose a Stronghold card to represent his or her faction or ancestral home.
There are several ways to win the game. A player must either have his or her honor score reach over 40, play all 5 of the titular five rings, or eliminate all other players from the game – either by destroying the player’s provinces or reducing the opponent’s honor score below 19.
WoW Trading Card Game
World of Warcraft card game pays homage to the popular online multiplayer version while also differentiating itself from other card games in this niche. Matches revolve around the player’s hero card, which symbolizes the character.
Combat is more direct than in other games, and follows the same format as in the online game. WoW card game also incorporates rare loot cards which allow gamers to unlock downloadable in-game content.
Pokemon cards are made by Wizards of the Coast – the same people behind Magic: The Gathering The game has been popular since at least the late-90s, and is a simple card game aimed at children. The players each build a deck of 60 cards and use various cards, like “Trainer Cards” and “Energy Cards” to defeat their opponent.
A player wins when he or she decreases the opponent’s hit points (HP) to zero. Players can also win when the opponent runs out of Pokemon on the playing field or if the opponent cannot draw a card from their own deck.
Magic: The Gathering
This is the game that started it all. It’s popularity is renowned and it’s often considered the tradable card game, with 20 years of development and unwavering popularity among fans. Tournaments are held in comic shops all over the world every Friday night.
The game is essentially a battle among 2 or more (in the case of multi-player games) wizards, called “planeswalkers.” Each player starts with 20 life points, and draws 7 cards from a deck that is constructed by the player or which is randomly constructed from unopened card packs – the latter is called “limited play.”
The object of the game is to reduce the opponent’s life points to zero.
As far back as he can remember, Benjamin Rockey, owner at CCG Castle has always been obsessed with collectible and trading card games. After experiencing the misery of working in corporate America for 13 years, as Benjamin puts it, he decided that it was time to give full time attention to his budding online card shop and his company began to grow significantly. Fast forward just a few years and CCGCastle has become a leading ecommerce mega-store for trading card games, collectible card games, toys and board games. Each day CCGCastle ships thousands of products all over the world. When Benjamin isn’t researching new games and shipping product to his loyal customers he enjoys wakeboarding, obstacle races, traveling and spending time with friends and family.