Living card game, sounds strange right?

In short, a living card game is a variant of a trading/collectible card game. 

LCG for short, these card games have regular expansions and deck construction just like their TCG (trading card game) brethren but do not have the “blind buy” (or lucky packet as I like to call it) model that TCG’s thrive on. Trading card games come in many different formats and mainly focus on the collectability factor. 

An ideal candidate to take a look at would be the most popular card game on the planet, Magic the Gathering. For many, the appeal is to collect a set of cards to either complete a collection or for resell. Some cards can be worth a considerable amount of money, and thus many players will keep buying to fuel their hobby/obsessions/addiction. 

Living card games take a very different approach to TCG’s. At its core a living card game comes with everything you need to get into the game. Many of these come in the format of a core set. Inside you will have enough to get you and a friend/friends going in no time. 

Unlike its cousin, the TCG which relies on you feeding it with boosters/card packs. A LCG relies on a slower release schedule that contains a fixed collection of cards (no lucky packet here!) Trust me, there is something refreshing about opening a pack and knowing you are getting exactly what you pay for. 

In many cases these packs will add additional content for you to enjoy & expand your game. Most importantly you are also not forced to buy into these expansions as they can be bolted on at your own pace. 

So now that you have a rough idea of what the difference between a TCG & LCG is, let’s look into some of the most popular LCG’s you will be able to find at your friendly local game store.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

A cooperative Living Card Game set amid a backdrop of Lovecraftian horror. As the Ancient Ones seek entry to our world, one to two investigators (or up to four with two Core Sets) work to unravel arcane mysteries and conspiracies. Their efforts determine not only the course of your game, but carry forward throughout whole campaigns, challenging them to overcome their personal demons even as Arkham Horror: The Card Game blurs the distinction between the card game and roleplaying experiences.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game Tutorial

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is the second edition of a beloved living card game, featuring cunning plots, iconic characters, and deadly encounters for two to six players. Set in the world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, every game invites you to take command of iconic factions and battle for power. You must best your opponents to claim the Iron Throne, defeating them on the field of battle, outwitting them in the intrigues of court, or stealing their power in the political arena. Whether you play a two-player joust or a multiplayer melee, this LCG invites you to battle for control of Westeros.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition Tutorial

Marvel Champions: The Card Game

Jump into the Marvel Universe with Marvel Champions: The Card Game, a cooperative Living Card Game for one to four players! Marvel Champions: The Card Game invites players embody iconic heroes from the Marvel Universe as they battle to stop infamous villains from enacting their devious schemes. Every game of Marvel Champions invites you to play as an iconic Marvel hero, complete with their own 40-50 card deck. Just one Core Set allows four players to team up with their own heroes, and gives you a complete playset of cards right out of the box!

Marvel Champions Announcement Trailer

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative Living Card Game in which one to two players (or up to four with two Core Sets) command some of the most powerful characters and artifacts in Middle-earth. Select your heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and work together with your friends to survive Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. By cooperating to overcome the obstacles drawn from the encounter deck, you will complete the quest before you and claim victory!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Enter the vibrant world of Rokugan with Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, a Living Card Game of honor and conflict for two players! Drawing on the legacy of AEG’s original Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game, and now reimagined with new mechanics, story, and the Living Card Game distribution model, you are invited to join the Great Clans, uphold the tenets of Bushidō, and fulfill your duty to your daimyō and the Emperor in a world shaped and changed by a dynamic, player-influenced story.

How to Play Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

I hope that the above information has opened your eyes to this new & exciting world of Living Card Games

Should you want to jump into any of the above games you can contact your local friendly game store as they will be more than happy to assist you.

Happy gaming folks!