CCGaDay Day 10: Favorite tie-in novel/game fiction

(Apologies for the lateness - just finished a two-day Parade of Pain, as I fought with file servers, phone systems, and the furnace at home.)

This is a weird translation from the RPG list to CCGs - often the CCG is the tie-in product itself (licensed from a larger media property), rather than the source material. Magic is of course, the exception that proves the rule, having a line of novels and t-shirts and whatnot. But I've never read the novels, so I can't speak to quality - and obviously it can't be my favorite.

My first thought on this topic was Doomtown, which has some tie-in books. But then I realized that the books are tie-ins for the Deadlands RPG rather than the CCG. And a bit of research showed that the CCG itself is a tie-in for that RPG world (Doomtown being one of the landmarks in the RPG.), so that's out.

Which makes this a very sparse field, and the only game that I can think of that (a) isn't itself a tie-in product (or otherwise licensed from a larger media universe) and (b) has tie-in products of it's own, is WARS CCG.

There's a bit of explanation required here. Once upon a time, Decipher (makers of several CCGs I'm fond of) did several CCGs in the Star Wars universe, the eponymous Star Wars CCG being the original and flagship product. They also did two other CCGs in that universe - Young Jedi and Jedi Knights - and ironically for this story I played both of those more than I did the original. (I'm not sure I actually own any of the original SW:CCG). But the key point is that SW:CCG had a really amazing and elegant mechanic, where your deck also represented your life total and your ability to play cards, and it was very beloved by players and respected by CCG grognards like myself.

Anyway. Due to a variety of reasons unimportant to this story, Decipher eventually lost the license for Star Wars, and thus the game ended. But Decipher had an idea: what if they created their own universe, and launched a new game using the basic Star Wars mechanic? And with years of experience they could fix several mistakes that SWCCG (a first-wave game) had made. Particularly the requirement of light-side/dark-side decks.

Thus, WARS was born. A sci-fi story kept closer to home (various human factions in the solar system, with aliens arriving at Jupiter via a tear in space), they built a world to support their new-and-improved game. And part of that was hiring Michael Stackpole to write fiction in that universe (partly as worldbuilding, and partly to post online as part of the hype building).

Now, I don't recall the fiction being astoundingly Hugo-winning level awesome (after all, we are building game fiction here), but I remember it being good and interesting. Enough that I did go looking for cards at release. (The failure to find any is unrelated to the fiction).

Now, I realize that it's fairly faint praise - my favorite tie-in is something I half-remember from a game I never ended up playing. But it's also a really small field. Like, astoundingly small when you start to think about it...