CCGaDay Day 24: Favorite CCG No One Wants to Play

Given that I have a closet full of out-of-print CCGs, it's fairly easy to find any given game that no-one wants to play.

But I do have one that no-one wanted to play while it was in print: Arcadia

Published by White Wolf, it had the idea of having no starter decks, just two different types of packs. Also, it took the "board game using cards" motif to it's extreme, putting a character card in packs that folded up into a little cardboard pawn (to move around the board).

The basic concept was this: you opened your Character Pack. It has a character card (along with the aforementioned "pawn"), and a bunch of merits and flaws. You built your character by adding merits (and using flaws to offset the point cost). Then, you opened your Story Pack. This one had Leagues (different locations) and Quests (which is how you scored points and win the game). But each player only needed one of each pack to start playing. (Obviously, more packs meant more options.)

It was a cool idea (and probably ahead of it's time, seeing as it wasn't until City of Heroes that anyone else would try a starter-less CCG). The problem came in two parts.

First, it meant that stores needed to stock two *different* types of booster packs for each set. And this is 1996, folks - a lot of comic book stores were carrying these because it made money, not because they cared what was in them. So it wasn't uncommon to find a store that had Story Packs but no Character Packs or vice versa, and the game was unplayable without both.

Second, the sorting in the packs was a bit sketch, and you could end up with characters that couldn't be made useful. Worse, you could get a Story pack with a Quest that you didn't have the Leagues to complete!

Also, while it had some neat ideas, it was essentially a CCG trying really hard to be an RPG and ended up in that terrible middle-ground of not very good. And thus, I'm pretty sure I'm the only guy in the neighborhood who ever bought the stuff.

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