On November 7th, FFG announced how they will be using a recently acquired printing facility.  It turns out they will be  cranking out random packs for two successful living card games, Androind:Netrunner, and A Game of Thrones.  Randomized?  What is this all about?

That’s right, random packs for a special drafting format.  One popularized by magic players, as well as other CCGs.

It will be interesting to see how this is put into practice, and what the reaction of the fan-base will be.   Many of us have embraced the LCG format as a way to control, or at least plan out, our spending.  This new format will work directly against that, as FFG seeks to grab a larger share of the customer’s wallet.

In addition to the players, we would hope that FFG worked with the Friendly Local Game Store to find a slot for this.  While players can draft at home and in dorm rooms, traditionally game stores have been the nexus for community drafting, allowing players who would otherwise never cross paths to come together at a specific place and time to scratch their itch.  Successful planning across metropolitan areas, creates opportunities to draft on many different nights, not just at Friday Night magic events.  Will stores be able to carve out time for two more drafting events, between all the magic events already on the schedule, the minis players, boardgamers, and roleplayers?

I’ll be watching.  Until draft packs start hitting the street, check out FFG’s official announcement here.

Gen Con 2013 logoThe annual In-Flight Report is a Gen Con presentation by Fantasy Flight Games’ Christian Petersen covering the state of the company, as well as previewing some of its upcoming products. After giving away the Star Wars RPG beta free to attendees last time, FFG had to turn away hundreds this year.

Though there were no product giveaways, the presentation was, as usual, highly informative.


Regarding FFG’s business, we learned this year that the company continues to experience strong growth—greater than 25 percent every year since 2000. After the presentation, Christian also told me that FFG was up to 106 employees.

Fantasy Flight Games is in the process of moving its office and consolidating warehouse space in the same building. The Event Center will join them shortly.

FFG experienced its three biggest product launches ever, all in the preceding year: X-Wing Miniatures Game, Netrunner, and Descent 2nd Edition.

By product line, 37 percent of FFG’s sales are board games, 24 percent card games, 16 percent miniatures, 10 percent roleplaying games, 9 percent supplies, and 4 percent other products. Comparing this to last year’s numbers, it appears that as a percentage of the company’s business, board games dropped significantly, while card games, miniatures, and roleplaying games rose.

Fantasy Flight Games has acquired CardGameDB.com, an independent website dedicated to deck-building in FFG’s living card games. All of the website’s tools will be integrated in to FFG’s website. Drew, CardGameDB’s developer, will stay with the project. And all existing data will be preserved when the transition takes place in early 2014.

New Products

For the fans in the audience, the new product announcements were the most anticipated part of the presentation…

For Descent, FFG will be releasing The Trollfens, an expansion with new rumors and a mini campaign, and Lieutenant Packs. The latter will be individual plastic miniatures in the $9-14 range. Each miniature, however, will also come with a selection of Evil Plot Cards, material from which the overlord can choose in order to customize a game.

FFG’s Diskwars game will return as a Warhammer product in December. Warhammer: Diskwars was actually the first idea that Christian Petersen pitched to Games Workshop many years ago, before their licensing arrangement.

The next products in the Star Wars RPG line are Beyond the Rim, an adventure, Enter the Unknown, a sourcebook for explorers, and print-on-demand Specialization Decks, reference cards with specialization tree information.

Eldritch Horror, a “sister game” to Arkham Horror but presenting a “global experience”, will ship in December.

Fantasy Flight is bringing back BattleLore with a new Runebound theme. The rules will be slightly updated, though the game will maintain the same left-center-right and command-card mechanics of the Commands & Colors system. Changes include a fog-of-war element in setup and more objective-based victory conditions. Those pesky banners will be gone from the new edition. And instead of defining specific scenarios like the previous version, BattleLore 2nd Edition will include a scenario generator and rules for army-building.

Several developments are underway for the Lord of the Rings Card Game. Game modes being incorporated in to all new adventure packs are meant to provide better experiences at different levels of play. There will be an easy mode for new players. And separately sold $7 Nightmare Decks will give advanced players new challenges with old adventures. Additionally, while past releases introduced new stories to Tolkien’s Middle Earth setting, future products will give people the opportunity to play out the original adventures from the books. These Saga Expansions will also feature campaign play.

For the X-Wing Miniatures Game, FFG announced the addition of larger ships to the line, starting with the Rebel Transport and the Tantive IV Blockade Runner. Priced at $60 and $90, respectively, their arrival in early 2014 will usher in a new Epic tournament format to accommodate the larger sizes and higher point values.

And finally, FFG is planning the rerelease of Blue Moon. With all the previous products in a single box, they’re calling it Blue Moon Legends.

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Toy Fair 2013—Fantasy Flight Games

Toy Fair 2013 Logo

As usual, Fantasy Flight Games had some amazing looking games on display this year.

Relic: A Warhammer 40k game based off Talisman. Of course there’s some rules tweaks and additions that add their own flair to the game, and seem like it takes the Talisman idea to the next level. 2-4 players, ages 14+

GearWorld: Based off the classic game, Borderlands, GearWorld is an version of the game of negotiation, building, and conquest. In the game you’ll be gathering resources and taking over territories in order to gain the favor of the Sky People. Trade resources and negotiate alliances in this post-apocolyptic world. 2-4 players, ages 14+.

Android: Netrunner: Netrunner is back in boxed form, deviating from its roots as a CCG. The rules have also been updated and streamlined for a much more enjoyable experience. The core set comes with 252 cards, but expansions are already planned to add more variation to the game. 2 players, ages 13+

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