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FrogTrigger

How popular will Rune Wars be?

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Well, to be totally honest about it, I consider 40K to be a light/introductory level wargame too for all the reasons you listed.  Crappy rules, crappy balance, lack of meaningful in-game choices, wind-up style play where the victor is often already known at deployment time, higher luck factor, etc...  Light refers to the depth of the game, not the cost or number of models or anything else.

 

This game already looks much better than GW's stuff, and FFG does a solid job maintaining game balance so I have no concerns on that front.  My main issues are all to do with things outside the game system itself.  Factions, packaging, setting/theme, that sort of stuff.  Areas where FFG does not have as much of a proven track record.

 

I'd love to see the game catch on, but as everyone here seems to agree, theme is a big factor for minis gamers.  That means multiple things too.

 

1.  You need a compelling universe and compelling factions

2.  You need enough factions that you can pick one that you personally love and identify with.  Note that in order to do this, the factions have to be highly varied, even divisive.  In order to provoke strong positive emotions about one faction, there have to be ones you really dislike too.  No number of bland roughly similar factions are enough.  With colorful and highly distinguished factions, you still need at least four seems to be the rule.

3.  You need stories and characters too.  The Star Wars games have these, when you print "Han Solo" on a card, it comes pre-equipped with all kinds of emotions and attachments because we know who that is and we care what happens to him.  On the other hand, if you make a figure of some fantasy dude with a sword and just write "Heroic Lord Swordguy" on it he's not a compelling hero just because you said so.  He's just a generic hero, we accept that he's going to have special abilities and maybe be a stand by himself instead of a rank & file soldier, but that's all.  Still don't give a crap about him, still don't know or care who he is or what he did to become a hero, and I do not feel any excitement to have him on my team the way I do when I put down Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced.

 

Given that a full game is 200 points and the demo was around 100 without upgrades, I feel that the cost of an entire army will be reasonable, provided that minis are sold in a reasonable manner and you don't have to buy other factions to get your upgrade cards.  Going back to my point about factions, remember that your players should love their own faction and hate others, this is necessary to have the level of emotional attachment to your faction that you want.  People simply cannot buy four or more factions worth of stuff to get their cards for one faction, and if I'm a Menoth or Cryx guy then I'm double dang sure not gonna buy any stupid pansy Cygnar stuff period no matter what cards come with them.  That's like asking me to buy My Little Ponies to get the limited edition rifle I need for my GI Joes.

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OK, so here are some more thoughts...

 

First, for those who don't know - Terrinoth is the setting used by several FFG boardgames including the old Runewars boardgame (confusingly named the same as the new minis game), Runebound (a lighter adventure boardgame), the Descent series, and BattleLore.  You may have heard of some of these, particularly if you're a board gamer.  If you are an LCG/minis guy, you likely know little about these and that's why you've never heard the word "Terrinoth" before.  BattleLore 2nd Edition may ring a slight bell, because it's actually a light wargame based on a version of the Command & Colors system, but even a brief glance will reveal that it's not intended as a tournament strength minis game (boardgame style hex board, lack of unit selection, insufficiently detailed points system, lack of ongoing tuning, etc...), whereas the new Runewars minis game *IS* aimed at this market (you should take this to mean "like X-Wing").

 

Because it's only been a boardgame setting and boardgamers are not known for being sticklers on theme and setting, it's never really had to be fleshed out that much and fairly generic Human/Dwarf/Orc/Elf nations were already more than enough to carry the game.  That world is now getting bigger, and it will need these sort of details to be filled in where previously there was no need.

 

The interesting bit is that I feel this game is in a rather rare position where it's entirely FFG's ball to drop.  That is, with most games it can be hard to predict how well they will catch on.  With this one, I feel like there are very clearly identified criteria that FFG needs to meet which have already been spelled out in several threads.  Do these things, and it will take off.  Fail to do them, and it will be largely ignored and eventually wither.  All of us are here in this forum because we are interested in this type of game and would prefer that it succeed.  Not all of us care about the Terrinoth setting (or even knew what it was before now), but even so we recognize that if this game fails FFG may not be willing to try again with another theme, or at least it may take several years before they are again willing to do so.  So, there is a substantial risk from our side as players.  We want the game to succeed because it's the sort of game we're interested in playing and we're at least somewhat willing to take it with whatever theme we can get.  BUT, whatever that theme is, it still needs to be compelling enough to capture a stable group of players because if it does not then the game will die.  Critical mass is achieved only if you can walk into the game store on Runewars night and there is a group of people playing the game, and all the criteria we've been going on about are centered very specifically on what the gaming community will require in order to make that happen given that this is a previously unknown setting and not something that already has a strong fan following like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or A Game of Thrones.

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OK, so here are some more thoughts...

 

First, for those who don't know - Terrinoth is the setting used by several FFG boardgames including the old Runewars boardgame (confusingly named the same as the new minis game), Runebound (a lighter adventure boardgame), the Descent series, and BattleLore.  You may have heard of some of these, particularly if you're a board gamer.  If you are an LCG/minis guy, you likely know little about these and that's why you've never heard the word "Terrinoth" before.  BattleLore 2nd Edition may ring a slight bell, because it's actually a light wargame based on a version of the Command & Colors system, but even a brief glance will reveal that it's not intended as a tournament strength minis game (boardgame style hex board, lack of unit selection, insufficiently detailed points system, lack of ongoing tuning, etc...), whereas the new Runewars minis game *IS* aimed at this market (you should take this to mean "like X-Wing").

 

Because it's only been a boardgame setting and boardgamers are not known for being sticklers on theme and setting, it's never really had to be fleshed out that much and fairly generic Human/Dwarf/Orc/Elf nations were already more than enough to carry the game.  That world is now getting bigger, and it will need these sort of details to be filled in where previously there was no need.

 

The interesting bit is that I feel this game is in a rather rare position where it's entirely FFG's ball to drop.  That is, with most games it can be hard to predict how well they will catch on.  With this one, I feel like there are very clearly identified criteria that FFG needs to meet which have already been spelled out in several threads.  Do these things, and it will take off.  Fail to do them, and it will be largely ignored and eventually wither.  All of us are here in this forum because we are interested in this type of game and would prefer that it succeed.  Not all of us care about the Terrinoth setting (or even knew what it was before now), but even so we recognize that if this game fails FFG may not be willing to try again with another theme, or at least it may take several years before they are again willing to do so.  So, there is a substantial risk from our side as players.  We want the game to succeed because it's the sort of game we're interested in playing and we're at least somewhat willing to take it with whatever theme we can get.  BUT, whatever that theme is, it still needs to be compelling enough to capture a stable group of players because if it does not then the game will die.  Critical mass is achieved only if you can walk into the game store on Runewars night and there is a group of people playing the game, and all the criteria we've been going on about are centered very specifically on what the gaming community will require in order to make that happen given that this is a previously unknown setting and not something that already has a strong fan following like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or A Game of Thrones.

Regarding the lore, I think FFG is aware of the problem. They mentioned in the In-Flight Report that they are going to start to do more "world of --" books since the Android ones were so popular. Of course, these books could only be about their own IPs, and aside from Android, the only one that is even remotely as large is the Runebound/Terrinoth world.

 

However, it's possible this will be targeted toward the board gamers just as much -- if not more so -- than the miniatures gamers, which may not be what RuneWars needs.

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Rune age card game rule book has a decent amount of fluff in it for the four factions in the core set.

Plus the old disc wars game used the same setting. Not sure how relevant it is anymore or if you ca easily find it at this point.

I fully expect to see a Terrinoth book same as the Worlds of Android book. It's there IP. Might as well use it.

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Rune age card game rule book has a decent amount of fluff in it for the four factions in the core set.

I'm still annoyed they were too cheap to do the same for the expansion.

 

Anyway, IMNSHO those six (once fleshed out through a world book) would be perfect for a (traditional medieval) fantasy wargame - humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, demonic, undead; covers all the classic flavors - and they seriously need to have them all out within two years at most (after having increased to four factions in time for Xmas 2017). At most I'd add one Arabian-themed and one Asian-themed faction later on (although FFG might want to keep those types of settings away from Terrinoth to further distinguish Legend of the Five Rings and Legend of the Burning Sands). You can maybe expand those with subfactions that use mostly the same miniatures but with a couple of unique unit types emphasising different specialisations - effectively lore reasons for different army builds, I guess - but of the content trinity of quantity, diversity and balance you can only ever reasonably expect people to raise to the moon at most two, not all three, so faction bloat is almost as bad as faction dearth.

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The game scales, so a core box will be fine *if* you're fine with small-scale games.

 

While the miniatures are generic fantasy, each type (?) of miniature needs its own card and wheel (?), so the non-miniature components, including movement bases (?) are effectively proprietary. You can't just drop in your own miniatures like Kings of War, assuming the game system has stats for your miniatures. (Songs of Blade and Heroes lets you build your point costs for a miniature.)

 

Asmodee and FFG are moving to support FLGS with organized play. Miniatures wargames and LCG's need this sort of support, and I think RW's popularity will depend on Asmodee's OP.

 

 

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I don't see it being that popular with the people that got into xwing and Armada for the pre painted mini's and for those that hate painting mini's in general. Just don't see it

I too think that the choice of delivering the minis unpainted will scare off some people, mostly from the Only-X-Wing crowd.

 

However, board gamers are used to having unpainted miniatures. Most hardcore tabletop wargamers are too, so I think the market is big enough for the game to succeed. Additionally, the hardcore tabletop demographic does despise pre-painted miniatures for two reasons: Crappy paintjobs and not enough diversity in looks. Keep in mind that painting a humanoid miniature to an acceptable standard is way more time-consuming than painting a ship (two colors, shading, done).This would mean miniatures would be

  • either cheap and looking worse than even a mediocre painter can do, making for less than stellar marketing photos
  • or prohibitively expensive and good looking, but making the price of entry too high.

As someone else pointed out already, some kind of limited (to decrease the business risk) expensive pre-painted deluxe edition may be a good idea - mainly because just giving the miniatures to a painting service would be way too expensive (we are looking at 5-15 USD for a little-better-than-mediocre painted miniature here) and complicated to attract new players who really don't want to paint.

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I feel like this is a great miniatures game that you can play, then play again a month or two later and will find it easy to recall because of how most of the rules are on the cards and dials. Suits incredibly busy people like me who can't play consistently enough to remember the rules.

 

Came to this realisation after trying out Star Wars Armada then another more traditional wargame a day after and I realise how the cards and dials became great gaming aids and I don't have to remember a single stats.

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Most minis games have stat cards now (I think GW is the main exception), and if they don't you can probably make or download ones that someone else made.  They're just a good idea in general to have for convenient reference.

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I don't think you get 40k people to change games.

 

40k maybe not, although people left 40k in droves to play X-Wing and I'm sure you'll see some 40k players here.  But I think you can see a ton of people dropping AoS with all it's issues for this game.

 

AoS is as I understand it not much more than a generic fantasy setting now, and with what a mess the rules are and all... I think this game could draw a lot of people who enjoyed WFB and are looking for a large scale mini's game.

 

A good game needs a good theme, which in this case is up to FFG to create, and I think they can pull it off.  It also needs more factions but those will come.  I don't think it's feasible for this game to release with four factions.

 

But even as important as theme and fluff are, rules still play a huge part and if RW proves to have a solid mechanic that makes for enjoyable casual and competitive games, then I think people will be willing to give the game and lore time to develop, bring out new factions ect...

 

FFG does have to consider though how they do upgrades.  If there's only two factions then generic upgrades isn't too bad, but when you have 4+ factions, you'll not find many people buying everything for the sake those upgrade cards.  But that is also something that may get sorted out in a secondary market or some sort of card swap.

 

If I want to use six trays of elf archers, and they're sold in packs of two, that means I need three packs, and that means three copies of each upgrade card.  So it I only need one copy, I'd be more then willing to swap for other cards.

 

One thing FFG is very good at however is marketing and supporting its games, as well as coming up with good rules.  So I expect that while this game won't be X-Wing big I bet it will sell well enough to keep growing.

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Most minis games have stat cards now (I think GW is the main exception), and if they don't you can probably make or download ones that someone else made.  They're just a good idea in general to have for convenient reference.

I'm talking more about the rules than the stats. I unfortunately can't play any games often enough to internalise the rules, so any games that I can play almost on a "casual" level is fantastic, and this game is shaping up to be that, hopefully.

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Just some insight on the popularity of this game: The last few days I spent a lot of time in gaming forums and youtube trying to get as much information as possible and I did, of course, read the comments. These are right now overwhelmingly positive. FFG seems to do the right thing (rank & file fantasy) at the right time (after the slow death of WHFB).

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Just some insight on the popularity of this game: The last few days I spent a lot of time in gaming forums and youtube trying to get as much information as possible and I did, of course, read the comments. These are right now overwhelmingly positive. FFG seems to do the right thing (rank & file fantasy) at the right time (after the slow death of WHFB).

Still to early to say something and most previews of cool new stuff are received well but that could change once we do know all details, I hope though it does not.

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See, I had no idea before all of this that WHFB had died or that Age of Sigmar (which I only recently heard of) was in trouble.  So good timing on FFG's part, even if it was just luck :)

 

One thing I do know is that popularity is very fickle and being an excellent game has little to do with how much it catches on sometimes.  That, and the hardest part is getting a community off the ground.  Once it's established you're generally good, but there is always an initial stage where a bunch of people WANT to play but none of them are willing to be the first one to buy in out of fear that other people won't and then they're just out the money.  That's where being FFG will help a lot I think.

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See, I had no idea before all of this that WHFB had died or that Age of Sigmar (which I only recently heard of) was in trouble.  So good timing on FFG's part, even if it was just luck :)

 

AoS is doing ok, better than WHf at it's end and it is still new, we just got rules for games with points so we will see if it lives or not and i see some 40K players who would never play WHF playing it.

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Better than AoS for certain.

 

 

 

 

 

So you know, at least not a total failure.

:P

 

 

 

In reality though, I expect it to be less than the other mini games, but remember, this game is expensive. FFG will still make the same amount of money as with Armada, (though not X wing.)

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Better than AoS for certain.

 

 

 

 

 

So you know, at least not a total failure.

:P

 

 

 

In reality though, I expect it to be less than the other mini games, but remember, this game is expensive. FFG will still make the same amount of money as with Armada, (though not X wing.)

 

Well if AoS is a failure or not will take some years to see, it's just to new. But it has is merits, the short rules are nice but of course you have tons of datasheets/battleplans or whatever they are called, it's nothing for me though i like the Iron Jawz and the Sylvaneth, and i think it will survive in the long term, same for this one, which one will make more revenue i don't care as long as they can grow and their players can have fun with thei choosen game.

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I hope this does better than Armada, or rather better than Armada is doing right now.  Currently, there aren't enough players here to support a regular Armada night.  Maybe it will start improving now that the new waves are coming out, but it's got a ways to go.

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See, I had no idea before all of this that WHFB had died or that Age of Sigmar (which I only recently heard of) was in trouble.  So good timing on FFG's part, even if it was just luck :)

 

AoS is doing ok, better than WHf at it's end and it is still new, we just got rules for games with points so we will see if it lives or not and i see some 40K players who would never play WHF playing it.

 

The General's Handbook did indeed apparently rescue AoS from the brink of a quick demise thanks to the once-denounced point values, but that was just the first of many problems that game has - in both crunch and fluff. Well, T9A, KoW, this new RuneWars and Warmahordes profit from GW's blunders, so all's well in that regard.

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RuneWars may rope in fed up WHF players but I do not see this making any recognizable impact on 40K.  Also remember, GW fantasy war gaming was already floundering when they tried to change things up so I think this type of war game may be too cumbersome and dated for today's market.  I admit, 40K has been my go-to miniatures wargame for awhile but when I had the itch to play something fantasy the notion of more long games with large armies that need painting was a non-starter.  When someone turned me onto Frostgrave I knew immediately it would work for me.  Smaller skrimish miniatures warbands seems the way to go.

 

I am curious why FFG has not come up with a Star Wars skirmish miniatures war game.  10-15 figures plucked from Sith, Jedi, lightsabers, blasters, large swinging logs, etc. 

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In my area (Sacramento), I think there's a big space for this game to potentially grow.  Here's why.

 

1. We have a very large Fantasy community (bi-monthly tourneys would attract 20-30 players for WHFB when I played from 2011-2014).  AoS hit us over a year ago and ppl are still trying to find their replacement game.  We just had our 1st KoW tourney and a dozen ppl showed up.  However, not all those players are completely committed to KoW.  Some are still trying out other games, including going back to AoS now that it has pts.  I think this game has the opportunity/chance to capture some of those players, me and my friend included

 

2. We have a very large X-Wing/Armada community.  I'm not familiar w/ the game, but I hear it plays similar.  Maybe the X-Wing/Armada players take a gander at this game and end up liking it enough to invest?

 

Anyway, I'm definitely picking this up w/ my friend (I guess probably 2 copies, ugh...).  My friend (who ran the KoW tournament, but is now getting back into AoS, ugh...) may check this out also w/ a little convincing from myself.  We'll see where it goes from there.

 

I'm personally excited.  I've never played any of the Rune/Terrinoth games.  Now I want to buy a few others lol (am a big board game fan.  It's blasphemous I have not played Descent, I know...)

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I'm personally excited.  I've never played any of the Rune/Terrinoth games.  Now I want to buy a few others lol (am a big board game fan.  It's blasphemous I have not played Descent, I know...)

 

You're in good company. I haven't played Descent either. But I did get sucked into Rune Age and Runewars. Thankfully for my wallet, I was able to resist the urge to buy Descent ... phew! ... oh, but then I bought Imperial Assault anyway.  :wacko:

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