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Best Adventure Variant?


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#1 hawkinslad

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:55 AM

I'm hoping to gather input from forum members on the Runebound Adventure Variant packs.  Does anyone have a recommendation for which ones are best, or which is a good one to start with?



#2 Dam

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:37 AM

I own Cult of the Rune, Avatars of Kelnov and Cataclysm, would like to add Scepter of Kyros except it seems to have vanished from all shelves .

Along with base game ending and Sands of Al-Kalim, I rate them in the following order:

#1: Sands of Al-Kalim

#2: Cataclysm

#3: Avatars of Kelnov

#4: Rise of the Dragonlords (aka base game)

#5: Cult of the Rune

Cataclysm and questing has a similar feel to SoAK, but you also (generally) have a final fight with this ending, SoAK pips it due to other aspects. AoK is basically the same ending as RotDL, kill 3 Avatars or big Avatar, but the Event and Encounter cards add a lot of flavor and the Avatars themselves feel more interesting than the Dragonlords.

Cult of the Rune is a VP-chase, but one that can get bogged down quite easily. If the Cult gets stuck (usually south of the Mountains of Despair) and all the gems nearby have been collected, boy, it gets dull, just waiting for the Cult to move so you might eventually get new Rune Cultists. There is no real feeling of threat either with the Cult, it just sorta roams around pointlessly, corrupting towns but to what end, barring the use of Doom/Threat track, it never accomplishes anything. While in Cataclysm you're also collecting VPs, there you at least have the sense of accomplishment as you beat a lvl1 quest, you gain benefits, lvl2 again benefits. Cult, meh, you're just killing for killing's sake. Something I'm normally not opposed to at all, it just feels like you're going through the motions, no Events/Encounters there to even add any flavor to the story.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 hawkinslad

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:00 AM

Thanks, that's very helpful.  I see that your second choice, Cataclysm, is included in the Runebound Essential collection.  Would you recommend that?



#4 Dam

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:50 AM

I personally cherry-picked my expansions, taking a long look at what they offered before buying them:

fortressat.com/index.php

Looking at what the Essential with Cataclysm has, only one I have no interest in is Rituals and Runes. Challenge card pair is nice, even if Traps and Terrors does often make very little thematic sense (Acid Pit on the plain?), but they are nice Challenges. From what I've read Scions has an in-built timer, which might be a bit on the fast side, but would seem to make for a quicker play time.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Tony P.

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:12 PM

Cataclysm is my favorite of the small variants. The quests are a nice change from just monster killing. Also having no cities to run to can be tough and really changes your strategy. We usually house rule this and leave Tamalir standing un-cursed from the start.

I've had mixed experiences with Cult of the Rune. I've experienced the slow down that DAM mentions, but I've also experienced games where we kept drawing the right cards to cause the Cult to perform its ritual and create new opportunities. In one game a poor sap almost got permanently finished off by the Cult rituals!

The only big box variant I have is Island of Dread. I've heard mixed reactions about this one but personally I like it. The sea voyaging mechanic is fun. My only complaint is that the race aspect is very intense. A player can win the game without anyone else getting a chance if they play smart and get lucky enough. Another more powerful  player might get completely screwed trying to take on the Island.

I haven't played Sands of Al Kadim but have heard many good things about it.



#6 hawkinslad

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 04:45 AM

Thanks for the input, Tony.  Much appreciated.  I'm going to ponder for a while about whether to purchase Essential or piece together my own collection.



#7 Kartigan

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:11 AM

If you're still open to suggestions I would highly recomend the essentials.  It is a really great value for what you get, and all of the decks are fun.  Cataclysm is as others have mentioned, very fun and thematic, but I also enjoyed The Seven Scions adventure variant a lot.  It is pretty tough and challenging, but can be a real blast to play.  And of course the two challenge card and market card small deck expansions are most welcome as well .



#8 hawkinslad

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:40 AM

Thanks, Kartigan.  Still pondering, so I'm still open to suggestions.

 



#9 Tony P.

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:06 AM

Another site to check out if you're still unsure is Boardgamegeek. It's got a lot of info on each of the expansions in the essentials box. Plus its got just all around great Runebound resources.



#10 JCHendee

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 02:52 AM

Another second for the Essentials collection if you're looking for new variants and want extra general cards as well.  The only sub-par pack in the set is Traps and Terrors, as most of those adventure cards tend to be an eyebrow raiser for how silly they are for popping up out in the wild... and that expansion seems to mostly be for the extra gold it dumps into your hands. All the rest in Essentials are good to excellent.






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