By Buz H.– January 18, 2013
Doulos2k has written a great introduction to the major online gaming sites out there for A Game of Thrones: LCG. Here it is: #BOOM
I have been having some conversations with other users out there who are new to the game, from a small, local 'meta' (you know, the one or two player kind……or the one I had before Team Covenant opened up their local retail store in Tulsa) and who might want to try spreading their wings into the wild world of online play. Thus, I wanted to write a short FAQ style entry for those who might want to try out TradeCardsOnline.com for their online play.
1. Why Would I use TradeCardsOnline (TCOL) rather than OCTGN?
Great question. For me, it's the web-based nature. This means no downloads for software and the ability to be played on Mac machines. It's much more portable (meaning you can play on computers other than your one at home)
OCTGN is probably a bit more feature-rich, has better deckbuilder support, and a larger player base, but TCOL is improving quite a bit in these regards.
2. Can I just go to the site and get a game?
Yes! You can! Well, sortof. First, you have to get a free account. Then you can play. To play, go to the TradeCardsOnline.com homepage, and then click on the “Decks” tab on the left (or link here). Then, click on the A Game of Thrones tab (conveniently located on the top of the list of those other inferior games) or link here.
That brings you to a list of decks. Some of them have the lock icon, denoting a private deck. Most of them are public, and you can click on the “play online” text to the right of them to use them in a game. That's right; even without building a deck you can play!
When you click on “play online” you'll be put into the lobby. If someone is there, waiting for a game, you can challenge them by clicking on the “challenge user” link. If nobody is there, just wait a bit.
3. So I've tried to play, but nobody is there. What do I do?
This is a problem becoming less and less common on TCOL, but it still exists. You can wait for a bit and see if someone ambles in there, but I usually go to the Team Covenant site and post in the update box that I'm looking for a game. If you do this ahead, someone can even plan to meet you on there!
4. You've almost convinced me……but it will be my first time. Is the interface hard to use?
No, it's not. And the community on there is quite kind. If you give them a heads up that it is your first time, they'll be glad to help you. And, if not, at least you know ahead of time and you can connect with another user. But here's a quick run down:
You right click on your cards on the tabletop to kneel them; doubleclick to flip them over (like for Shadows or for setup). You right click on your deck or plot deck to search it (for choosing plots or some effect like To Be A Wolf). Elsewise, you just click and drag stuff around and it's very easy to do. There are counters for power (people usually use blue) and places to add gold.
TCOL is integrated with a chat window that you can type in to your opponent to declare challenges, ask questions, or the like. I've also played on there while on speakerphone or by using Skype, but I think most people just use the chat window so be prepared to type a bit.
I'd say a joust on there will last an hour or so, probably longer for your first game.
5. I want to take the next step and build a deck of my own. Can I do that?
You bet! It's easy to do….from the Decks page click “create your own deck here.” It's a bit hard to see, but it's at the top under the header (or link here) If you are new, you might get rolled, but that's part of learning. I'd also suggest it as a means to test out cards you don't own….that way you'll know if you want to purchase them for your decks or if you should just try something else. But be careful….online deck building is addictive!
So what is taking you so long? Go out there, schedule a game, or hop in the lobby! It will be worth it, I assure you! I hope you win, so long as you are playing Targ.