A little background. For the last two years, I've been playing and really enjoying, Warhammer: Invasion. It has become my most played game ever, I've put quite a bit of money into it, and also quite a bit of time. The game play itself is great, but the biggest problem with Invasion, is that out of all the Fantasy Flight Living Card Games, it seems to be in the bottom two as far as popularity goes. In the past two years, despite a meetup.com group, announcing tournaments and Invasion nights at two different local game stores, and trying to convince friends to join me in a more competitive environment, only 4 people have actually gone so far as to purchase the cards. Twice (in 2 years), in tournaments I've run we've had 8 people play, but most nights we've only had 3 people show up (not much of a tournament there). This is all my organizing of course, because there are no other Invasion organizers in Indianapolis that I've been able to find. I've drove twice to Louisville to play in tourneys down there.
Recently, FFG released Android: Netrunner, a redo of a 1996 game made by the same designer as Magic: The Gathering. In the board game world, it has exploded to way higher levels than Invasion ever dreamed of getting to. For example, on boardgamegeek.com where I prefer to go for my gaming news, there is already almost 200 forum pages for Netrunner that just released in August. Invasion has only about 120 and it released in 2009. Obviously that is just people talking about it on a single website, but it also shows the level of interest in it compared to Invasion. If you recall, I wrote a little bit about playing a Netrunner tournament in the World Championship in November, but at that point I was still holding out that Invasion was my game of choice when it came to LCGs and so never got into the game.
So what is this cusp? Well, quite simply do I drop Invasion and play Netrunner? Back in the early 2000s I played the Lord of the Rings: Trading Card Game and really enjoyed it. Partly because it was LotR, partly because the game was good, and partly because of the competition that could be had. Invasion ignited that spark again. I really like the game, the theme is ok, and the competition is great if there is competition. I have a couple friends who I get together with and play one on one, but there just aren't the great weekly or monthly tournaments that I used to enjoy with LotR:TCG and there is hardly anything that I don't have to organize myself.
Though, at least right now, I don't enjoy Netrunner as a game more than I enjoy Invasion, I think as an organized competition I might, because I'm hoping there will actually be organized competition. The popularity of Netrunner could just be a flash and burn out quickly, but then again it could not. Also, my wife will play Invasion with me, even though it isn't her favorite, because of the short play time of 20 minutes. Netrunner, while I think she will like the theme more, does take a little longer and because of the asymmetrical style is more daunting I believe. So on the wife front, we'll see what happens.
So what is my decision? Well, right now I've purchased some Netrunner cards and will probably get cards through the first cycle. I'll probably finish out the cycle that we're currently in for Invasion as well. Then I'll have to make up my mind. I don't have the money or time for two such games, which can easily become a hobby by themselves. However, I still want to play them, because I do enjoy them. Regardless of my decision, I'm sure I'll get my money's worth of play from them, but I'm not sure either one may end up giving me that organized competition I hope for.