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#1 Jabulu

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:30 PM

 So my group and I really like runebound. We added a few house rules to make the skills a little more fun, dc 12 swim to replace a singe movement die with a river, and such.

I'd like it if anyone has anymore good house rules.

 

More importantly I'm worried about the expansions. I was rather sad to see that not all of the additions are still in print like the Weapons of Legend pack. I was more unhappy to see that the big boxes don't combine, like in Talisman. So point being here are my questions.

1. Best big box.

2.Can you combine the adventure decks into the normal games or do you just replace cards?

3.Can you combine the challenge decks into the normal games or do you just replace the cards?

4.How exactly do the character expansions work?

5.Which item and ally is the best?

6.Finally has anyone thought of a way to combine the big boxes. Like maybe the original is lvls 1-10, the next box we go to is lvl 10-20 the next is lvl 30-40, and so on. Maybe you increase all the stats by like 10-20 Greens get +2 hp and plus 4 stats Yellows get +4 hp and 6 stats, and so on along those line. I do realize this would make the actual game take stupidly long, but that doesn't matter to my group.

 

Thanks very much for your help with this.



#2 The_Warlock

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

Hello,

can't tell you anything about house rules, as I never used them in such a balanced game like this, but I've tried almost everything in the Runebound series and have something to share.

Jabulu said:

 

More importantly I'm worried about the expansions. I was rather sad to see that not all of the additions are still in print like the Weapons of Legend pack. I was more unhappy to see that the big boxes don't combine, like in Talisman.

Talisman and Runebound are very different and so are the ways of expanding the game. In Talisman you'll look for variety and surprises; in Runebound, you'll look for environment and storyline. Provided you understand this, you won't be unhappy with Runebound giving you a new map and setting with each big box expansion, as an alternative to the base game "Rise of the Dragonlords" tale and geographical region. This has the big plus of making an expansion wholly enjoyable when played, while games like Talisman (or Arkham Horror) tend to put everything in the cauldron, until you won't "feel" the presence of every single expansion anymore. There's variety and there are infinite funny card combinations, but no coherence, no definite setting. This is not bad, as I also enjoy playing Talisman a lot, with light-hearted spirit; I still think Runebound is an immersive storytelling game, based upon a simple and clear game system that rarely has flaws or ambiguities.

Jabulu said:

1. Best big box.

It is a matter of personal taste. Which is the geographical/thematical setting you like the most? Sea and pirates? Desert and legendary quests? Artic and lost civilizations? Jungle and primal gods trying to awake? Then, there are some considerations that you will make after some games...

Island of Dread (IoD) is my least favourite because it does not change the gameplay too much except for the chance of taking a ship and voyaging the sea. Basically it's the same as the base game with a more challenging Endgame and with a deck of Sea Challenges, whose difficulty is variable. This is the expansion biggest flaw IMO, because it breaks the linear progression of the game adding steps of random difficulty, which can be ridiculously easy (most of the time) or unfair for your level (rarely). The expansion has some must-have parts such as the new Heroes and Market Items, which you can seamlessly include in the base game, but it suffers from a lot of typos and printing errors (fixed by FAQ). Considering the other expansions is absolutely not the best.

Sands of Al-Kalim (SoAK) are an exceptional improvement from the previous expansions and the basic gameplay. They bring the desert environment to life and populate it nicely with myths from the Arabian Nights with Terrinoth Restyling. The idea to win the game not by slaying tougher Challenges but by completing Legendary Quests is far more epic and challenging, but it requires longer gameplay and not everybody has the time for it. There's a bunch of great ideas like Survival Gear, Day and Night rules, Lost Cities, Sandstorm, Story Die. This could be named as the best.

Frozen Wastes (FW) is nicely themed and the artic environment is rendered with accuracy and flavour. The expansion has a nice search and travel objective, far preponderant if compared to the challenges, which are a little bit too lame considering the powerful Legendary Items that you can find around. The final boss can be either redeemed by finding his lost wife (the Princess) or kicked in the ass until he comes to his senses. The second option is by far the easiest. There's also an alien theme in this expansion that may not appeal to everyone. This is a good expansion for many reasons, but not the best.

Mists of Zanaga (MoZ) is the last and surely the less played Runebound expansion. It shines for the quantity and quality of the ideas and the setting is really nice, even though is a lot focused on combat (with Roaming Monsters) and the Rituals make the game harsher to survive and to manage. It is for experienced players, who can understand its subtleties and a couple of critical imbalances which need to be discussed in an appropriate post. Well, I still think this one could have been the best if some mechanics were better devised, but it's still surprising for richness and freshness of its contents. Might have been the best.

Jabulu said:

2.Can you combine the adventure decks into the normal games or do you just replace cards?

I think you're talking about the "Adventure Variants". These are "story-based expansions" and you have to integrate them with the base deck. Most of the AV introduce new rules, winning conditions and endgames, possibly substituting one or more of the base decks. When the AV replaces a deck, you only that for the current game; if a deck is not replaced, you continue to use the base game deck and the integrations you've put into it (see below). The AV cards have different card backs and cannot be combined.

Jabulu said:

3.Can you combine the challenge decks into the normal games or do you just replace the cards?

Yes, Challenge Card Expansions are meant to be shuffled together with the base deck. The cards have the same back as the standard decks and can be seamlessly integrated. I suggest that you remove all expansions after each game, but if you like you can do the same as Talisman with these ones.

Jabulu said:

4.How exactly do the character expansions work?

Now you're talking about "Class Decks"; I admit this is the only portion of the Runebound product line that I've never put on the table. I bought all CDs for completion's sake, but the rules seem a little bit outstretched to me. They add a lot of interaction between players and a sort of meta-game inside the standard Challenge-based Runebound, which I'm not sure I will like. Have a look at the Rules section if you're interested.

www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Runebound/RBCD_Rules.pdf

Jabulu said:

5.Which item and ally is the best?

There are infinite Item & Allly combinations, considering all the expansions. No Item/Ally is good for any Hero, but there are Items/Allies which work very well with your particular Hero. Allies are easier to evaluate, because they help you a lot in the beginning but become dull "meat shields" in the final challenges. For this reason, the best Allies are the ones with abilities that sustain your Hero (Burning Priest, Rune Seeker, Runemaster Baras, Cardinal Koth, Sir Gareth the Black).

Jabulu said:

6.Finally has anyone thought of a way to combine the big boxes. Like maybe the original is lvls 1-10, the next box we go to is lvl 10-20 the next is lvl 30-40, and so on. Maybe you increase all the stats by like 10-20 Greens get +2 hp and plus 4 stats Yellows get +4 hp and 6 stats, and so on along those line. I do realize this would make the actual game take stupidly long, but that doesn't matter to my group.

You're free to do this "stupidly long" thing if you have the time and will, but I don't see how putting different stories and environments one after the other will make for an interesting game. Big boxes are meant to be played alternatively as different settings, atmospheres, regions, quests; each has his own flavour and playing them one after the other, as a single entity, is like mixing different cocktails together and get an unsavory, disgusting mess. Or, if you prefer, it's like reading "Elric of Melniboné", "The Lord of the Rings", "Conan the Barbarian" and "The Chronicles of the Dragonlance" one after the other and pretending they fit together. Some of the expansions (IoD and SoaK) take a longer time to complete; if you're playing with 4 people you still have a 3-4 hour game in front of you, with no need to scale the difficulty to stretch the length for some MORE time.

I hope to have answered to some of your doubts and curiosities, and to others as well.



#3 Jabulu

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:03 PM

 Thank you very much you helped a whole lot. You answered all of my questions. My brother ended up getting the Frozen Waste, he just can't help himself when it comes to frozen north stuff. 

I really only wanted to combine them because even after playing Runebound 4 times I know the cards in the four different categories. By contrast I bought two expansions for Talisman and I still haven't seen all of my huge amount of cards. Hopefully buying some of the challenge decks will make the game seem a little bigger.

It seems the only challenge deck I can still buy is the Shadows of Margath. Actually looking at a lot of the products why are most of the expansion items not being made still. Are they about to change additions, or is this game just not selling well?



#4 The_Warlock

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

Jabulu said:

 

I really only wanted to combine them because even after playing Runebound 4 times I know the cards in the four different categories. By contrast I bought two expansions for Talisman and I still haven't seen all of my huge amount of cards. Hopefully buying some of the challenge decks will make the game seem a little bigger.

 

It surely will, but in Runebound you're somehow meant to know which cards are inside each deck, for strategical purposes. If you know, you know what to expect and whether you have good chances at winning or being knocked-out.

Jabulu said:

It seems the only challenge deck I can still buy is the Shadows of Margath. Actually looking at a lot of the products why are most of the expansion items not being made still. Are they about to change additions, or is this game just not selling well?

 

I hope there are other small expansions available, at least the Runebound Essentials box. The product has been out for sale for a long time now and I think most of the expansions will not be reprinted because of the slowly decreasing interest for this game. It's you and me talking in the forum, with occasional visitors coming once a week. Mists of Zanaga came out but probably didn't sell well as expected (no reprints were announced) and there was not so big discussion on the forums here or at BoardGameGeek.



#5 SolennelBern

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:22 AM

Hey Jabulu!

I'm new to Runebound after a couple of years being on the fence about it.  I bought the base game last month and build up on it really quickly…or as my girlfriend would say "Why the hell do you buy expansions, you didn't even played it once!!!?!?!?" HAHAH!

So, after buying the core box, I quickly found and bought (i'm lucky I guess): Weapons of Legend, Traps and Terrors, The Dark Forest (in french), Terrors from the Tomb (in french) and Drakes and Dragonspawn.  The I bought The Frozen Wastes and Sands of Al-Kalim (25CAD each, new!!).

So, i'll try to help you a bit:

1- Best Big Box:

*What I read: Sands seems to get more votes in all the big boxes.

*What I think: Didn't tried any yet but gonna play Frozen Wastes next week for the first time and Sands in 2 weeks.  Both add soe gameplay novelties and look really fun.  Their endgame goal is fairly different than the base game so it can be a nice change.  Having different adventure card backs is not a big deal for me since I probably won't play FW or Sands as often as the base game so it'll take a while before I feel bored with those.

2- The adventure deck expansions replace the base game endgame.  You simply replace some cards as stated in the adventure deck rules.  They can be cool if you want to still have the base game feel but with a different goal.

3- The challenge deck expansions can be combine with the base game deck.  They are my favortie deck to buy with Items and Allies ones.

4- Can't tell and probably will never buy one of those expansions.

5- Don't know which is the best but I bought Weapons of Legend and am very happy with it.  It add really nice items and allies to the existing ones and they combine really well together.  I heard that Rituals and Runes was really nice too.  If I can find it I might buy it too.

6- Could be cool to play as a "campaign" style of adventure.  One cool thing about this game is that it feels pretty modular.  If you have the imagination you can create whatever you want imo.  Feel free to try some new stuff.  BTW, I really like your DC12 idea to cross rivers, think i'm gonna try something like that in our next games.



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:27 AM

Jabulu said:

It seems the only challenge deck I can still buy is the Shadows of Margath. Actually looking at a lot of the products why are most of the expansion items not being made still. Are they about to change additions, or is this game just not selling well?

I don't think the card expansions sold as well as FFG had hoped they would.  They were released originally in "waves" of 6 or so at a time, which was probably a cost-cutting measure for printing them all.  The problem, I think, is that some card expansions in a given wave sold better that others, leading to scenarios where stores had sold out of the popular ones and had a backlog of the unpopular ones in a single "wave", and they were unwilling to order more since they had to order whole "waves" all at once.

FFG recently released a box set of the first "wave" all packaged together, called the "Essentials" box.  I don't know how well that one is selling, but I haven't seen any sign of a second Essentials box as yet.  There's also the possibility that FFG might start releasing the card expansions using their "print on demand" model, which seems to be doing pretty well in those games its been implemented for.  Again, though, no word on that as yet.

The big boxes are all still in print AFAIK (except Midnight), so I don't think they've got another edition in the wings.  I could be wrong, though.



#7 JCHendee

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:37 AM

I've already got all of the small box expansions I'd want, but the P.O.D. model for RB sounds good.  Hopeful for those who are coming late to the game, like I did a while back.



#8 SolennelBern

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:56 AM

JCHendee said:

I've already got all of the small box expansions I'd want, but the P.O.D. model for RB sounds good.  Hopeful for those who are coming late to the game, like I did a while back.

That would be a really cool idea!

I ended up mixing french and english small box expansions (i'm french canadian so not a big deal for me) when I stumbled upon some rare ones like Dark Forest and Terrors from the Tomb.






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