CCGs --> Can you play with only booster boxes?
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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I love buying cheap booster boxes of CCGs and building a few decent decks to play with. It satisfies the addictive collectible buzz of opening booster packs without the large economic drain.

But sometimes it doesn't work. Often times there are some basic and/or crucial cards needed to play the game that just aren't included in some booster packs. Having a whole box of booster packs doesn't help the situation. It's basic math; zero cards of the type needed times X chances of getting this card still equals zero cards of the type needed.

So which of the CCGs can you play with only a single booster box? This geeklist hopes to answer that question; or at least that question to the extent of my knowledge. My reputation might just take a beating if people start associating the length of this list with the breadth of my knowledge, but I'll take that chance for the betterment of society? Maybe some people already have a low opinion of me and this might actually help. Or maybe some other knowledgable people will come to my rescue and add their take on other CCGs (Hint, add to this list if you can.)

Be aware that most of these games I have not played. I have read the rules and built decks out of a vast majority of them. That's certainly enough to answer the question. Also be aware that the nature of CCGs make it so that some booster boxes contain a different mixture of cards than others for the same game. So one expansion might be playable while another one isn't. I can only speak for the boxes that I have in my possession and I will.
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1. Board Game: 7th Sea Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2103]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: No

A key card to play with is the captain of your ship. The booster packs I bought did not have a single captain in it.

Edition: Strange Vistas
 
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2. Board Game: Allegiance: War of Factions [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:7378]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Yes

But...

There is a minimum requirement for certain types of cards in a deck. There were just barely enough of those cards for two decks in a booster box. This game supposedly shines with more players due to the negotiation aspects. While two decks are technically playable it does not allow a full realization of the game. I can't speak for how good the decks would be with this limitation.

If you're going to buy booster boxes I recommend at least two of them.
 
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3. Board Game: Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2386]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Yes No

From what I can tell every card you need is available in the boosters. This is a game that I haven't gotten much further than opening some boosters and printing the rules.
 
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4. Board Game: Buffy the Vampire Slayer CCG [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:8766]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
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Playable: Yes

I don't know of any cards missing that are crucial for play.
 
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5. Board Game: City of Heroes CCG [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:5749]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Yes

I'm talking about the battle packs here. This is simply a brilliant concept. A pack of 30 cards includes everything you need to play as a single super hero. I've opened about half of the packs in a box without encountering a single duplicate. I really like the game too.
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6. Board Game: Duel Masters Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:5238]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
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Playable: Yes

Since every card can act as a resource there are no basic cards needed that might be left out of a booster.
 
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7. Board Game: Galactic Empires [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:10521]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

So far this game has the most types of cards I've ever seen in a CCG. There are minimums and restrictions to each type when building a deck too. I've gotten as far as separating out the different types of cards and it looks like a few decks can be made from a single box. Luckily for me I have 4 boxes.
 
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8. Board Game: Guardians [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:3920]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: No

One of the game mechanics centers on bribing your opponents creatures with beer, babes or gold. There is not a single mug of beer, coin of gold or bosom of babe in the entire box. There's also a serious shortage of guardian cards too although they do exist. The guardian cards aren't absolutely necessary as you can use the default guardian values and keep track of them on paper. The bribing resources are a problem. I intend to use the images here on the geek to print out enough resources to go around. That means that I will have to use opaque card sleeves for this game.

Edition: Dagger Isle
 
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9. Board Game: Harry Potter Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2703]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Yes

This little brother to M:tG plays enough like its older sibling that I imagine a booster draft would be a viable option.
 
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10. Board Game: Hecatomb [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2983]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Yes
 
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11. Board Game: Highlander: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5373]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: No

This game emulates a sword fight between two of the Highlander characters. To attack your opponent you need to have cards showing where, on a grid, you are attacking. These basic cards are not included in the boosters that I bought. I had to borrow a stack of these from a friend to complete my decks.
 
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12. Board Game: Legend of the Five Rings [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:748]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: No

L5R started with the unique feature that the box acted as the fortress for a player. These fortresses do not exist in the booster boxes that I own. Starter boxes or individual cards must be bought to make some decks. I strongly recommend doing so because this is an absolutely awesome game.

Edition: Gold
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13. Board Game: Maelstrom [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2701]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

While this isn't a CCG per se it certainly acts like one. FFG has revised their marketing of this game and packaged the tiles more for the benefit of players of the game instead of collectors of the game. This is another game that I really like.
 
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14. Board Game: Magi-Nation [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2615]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

This has probably the simplest rules set of any CCG I've encountered. It's also one of the most complex. Each card acts differently depending on what other cards are in play at the time. Don't bother trying to remember what they all do either because on your next turn you will have a virtually new set of cards to try to figure out. This is a game where knowing the cards in your deck is crucial to playing it well. The first few times you play will seem very mind boggling.
 
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15. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:123]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes... ok, sometimesNo

The game that invented (among other things) play right out of the booster box with booster drafts. To me that's the best way to play it.
 
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16. Board Game: Middle-Earth [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:685]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes No

My experience comes from the box of ten preformed challenge decks. I see no reason for buying the game in any other way.
 
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17. Board Game: Mitos y Leyendas [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:8772]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: UnknownYes

Since no rules come in the booster boxes and none are available online I'm still waiting to see if I can play this one.
 
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18. Board Game: Mythos [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1665]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

While certainly playable from booster boxes I didn't feel like a got a lot of variety of cards from one box. I suspect the expansion that I got wasn't that large of an expansion.

Edition: Call of Cthulu and Necronomicon
 
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19. Board Game: On the Edge [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3787]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: No

I didn't get a single resource card in my box. These are essential for play.

Edition: The Cut Ups
 
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20. Board Game: Ophidian 2350 [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:7941]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes
 
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21. Board Game: Overpower [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:9121]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Unknown

I know, big help I am.
 
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22. Board Game: Spycraft: Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:5471]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: No

You need to have mission cards to know what missions to go on. M is busy with James so he can't help (or is it she? Where's the continuity movie people?) Luckily these missions are made available by the publisher and can be separate from the other cards. That's read no opaque card sleeves needed.
 
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23. Board Game: Vs. System [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1605]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

Just about any card can be used as resources.
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24. Board Game: WARS Trading Card Game [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:2966]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Playable: Yes

 
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25. Board Game: X-Files [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:10303]
Carl Parsons
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Carrollton
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Playable: Unknown

I've got a couple starter decks to go with my booster box. I haven't bothered to look hard enough to see if just the boosters will work. You do need to have the whole set of suspects so my guess is that a booster box won't work.
 
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