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Is Runebound Worth It?


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#1 MinionOfProvidence

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

So i have looked at this game a lot and almost bought it multiple times but i am worried about a couple things. I heard that the game can drag on especially the fighting, also i dont really know anything about the game mechanics. Are there any actual quests? or is it all just battling monsters, also do players work together or share any interaction at all?



#2 The_Warlock

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:12 AM

MinionOfProvidence said:

So i have looked at this game a lot and almost bought it multiple times but i am worried about a couple things. I heard that the game can drag on especially the fighting, also i dont really know anything about the game mechanics. Are there any actual quests? or is it all just battling monsters, also do players work together or share any interaction at all?

Hi,

if you want a closer look at the game mechanics, you can download the rules from the Support page www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp

The Challenge cards are generally monsters to fight, but they may include skill tests; moreover, there are Event cards to bring on a storyline and influence movement/encounters on the board, and finally Encounter Cards which require to perform certain actions or tasks.

Players don't cooperate at all, everybody is on his quest for ultimate victory. They can fight each other but this seldomly happens in Runebound: chasing another Hero requires time and an effort that may result in that player's loss, but someone else may take advantage in the meantime. Expansions bring on some ways to improve player interaction outside combat, but this is not a major need IMO.

Combat mechanics can be repetitive, but people who complain are usually people who don't master the game. If you understand that Runebound is based on Hero resource management, you'll see that dice rolls seldomly decide your fate and that you always have your shot at victory. It's satisfying to see how your character levels up and can take on harder challenges. The storytelling content is flavoured enough to define the setting and the main events, but lets you imagine how the single card happenings can fit into one big story.

It's a quite immersing game, but I strongly recommend to play with max. 4 players. Bigger groups will suffer from downtime between turns and that's a problem that only good mood, sympathy and commitment to games can overcome. If you think that your fellow players don't have at least one of these qualities, never play Runebound with 5-6 people.



#3 Steve-O

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:23 PM

MinionOfProvidence said:

 

So i have looked at this game a lot and almost bought it multiple times but i am worried about a couple things. I heard that the game can drag on especially the fighting, also i dont really know anything about the game mechanics. Are there any actual quests? or is it all just battling monsters, also do players work together or share any interaction at all?

 

 

There aren't really quests, per se.  Most of the cards are effects that take place immediately when drawn (some locally that only affect you, others globally that affect everyone and/or the map in general.)  Most of the cards are monsters to fight, so their effect is to initiate combat.  That said, there are a few cards that say things along the lines of "go to location X and roll something to gain something." or "the first player to do X in location Y gets such and such."  I suppose you could call those "quests."  It's mostly battling monsters and watching the story unfold as you progress toward sbeing able to defeat the primary villain.

Players do not work together, strictly speaking.  Players can fight one another if they meet up, but there's so much ground to cover that even with a full table (6 players) there's still plenty of room to wander around and do your own thing.  Players CAN coordinate and cooperate if they want, but only one person can win at the end.

As far as taking a while, it's not so much that the fighting drags on, it's more that the other players have nothing to do while one player is taking his turn.  Since little if anything affects the other players, there's not much reason to pay attention to what the other guys are doing most of the time.  Hence, if you have more than 3 players or so, many people feel the downtime is too long between turns.



#4 JCHendee

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:23 AM

I'd have to add on something talked about elsewhere. Where story is concerned, no game has the real thing more than just a sequence of events. But along the way imagination can fill in the gaps, so... I think Runebound is more for those players who like to watch what happens to all characters and not just their own.

That's not really a black and white thing, as everyone's in the mood for something different in that from night to night. So if your group is predominantly into processing fast turns and avoiding personal downtime, well, maybe RB still has a place for you and yours... on those nights and afternoons when players are fewer and desire a more leisurely pace... with something where watching the how and why of who did what.  A game with just a little more meat to feed the imagination in play beyond who won.

That's how its played around my place vs such games as say Talisman. And there are even games that go beyond in this.  Maybe there's a slot in you game diet menu for Runebound between the fast meal that satisfies and the four course dining experience requiring a whole night pre-planned.

It should also be noted that the big box (and some small box) variants can change the game in some dimensions. And again how much or how little will partly depend on you and yours and how you play them. There is a tiny bit more "questing" orientation in Sands of Al-Kalim... or at least the win criteria is based on who can complete a certain number of quests first. It's one of the favorites around my place. We recently tried Island of Dread, which is vary similar to the base game and has the standard "kill the big baddy at the end" to win, but it also offers some simplified sea-fairing to access islands in order to level up and find more stuff. Those are the only two big boxes I can speak for at the moment. As to the small box variants, me and mine didn't care for them much.

The point here is that even though there is a base game with a set standard of play that is the same through expansions, the focus of the game does gain variations. Sometimes that can shape variations in mood and attitude in a players group or provide just little flexibility to fit differing moods for the night.






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