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Moes1980

Learning the Game

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So, my friend and I have played a few games and the more we play it the more we like it. Even in our last game, which was 125 pts, we still got a couple things wrong but nothing that had an impact on the outcome of the game. Just working from what is in the starter game, we have started to notice a few general strategies with the two armies. Again, we have only played a few times and each game we notice something we did wrong, so please let me know if I missed anything. 

Undead: The undead has pretty slow charging capability, and always attack at init 5 with not much flexibility (archers melee at 9, however, and the hero also attacks at 3, if I remember).

                The Carrion Lancer has a powerful ability to damage enemies that have a blight token on them, and the undead hero can use that same ability if he is near the Lancer when attacking. The only trouble is that the lancer can't place a blight token and attack on the same turn. To solve this problem, use the archers and their surge ability which allows the placement of a blight token. Of course, getting everything to line up right and go off in the same order is the real challenge. Rather than a 1 -2 punch with both the lancer and hero, it is probably easier to let the lancer place the blight token and let the hero do the charge attack. 

 

                 The basic skeletons, as I said above, are hard to charge with, so it seems better to just defend and rally for inspiration, and take the hit for the first melee, especially if you have a rune or two available to regenerate lost skeletons. Thier ability to always force a moral check is nice, but it competes with the Daqan's ability to generate inspiration with surges. 

                  For the Archers, they are naturally best at missile combat, and pretty terrible at melee. Their ability to both damage and put blight on enemy units is pretty nice. I also like to give them the upgrade card that lets them act as if they have an extra rank, which rounds the starter army out nicely at 100 points and really enhances those archers. 

 

Daqan: I have not played as this faction yet, so my observations might be off a bit. The main thing I notice with them is that the knights and spearmen can either attack+defend before the skeletons or attack+damage but let the skeletons get first strike. First strike doesn't seem all that important unless you are at danger of losing a lot of figures, so it seems like going for the extra damage is usually the better option. Still, being able to increase that defense can go a long way to keeping your models alive.

Since the Daqan can also charge better than the undead, it seems like they should do better, generally, at outflanking the undead, especially with the way the knights move and charge. 

The Rune Golem is scary but unpredictable. It also tends to die rather quickly, with only having two wounds. If I want it dead, I can usually kill it. This makes me think it works best as a bit of a decoy. I worry about it doing some major damage so I try to kill it quick, which distracts me from taking care of the other daqan units. However, when it does hit hard, it hits really hard! 

The Daqan hero is perhaps my greatest bane. Her range attack at quick initiative tends to force me to drive my units towards the enemy faster than I otherwise want to. She often gets the flank, but I think attacking down the middle is often a better choice for her as she can get better use out of her surge ability. Then again, my friend adds the one point upgrade (to make a full 100 pt list) that lets her jump into my rear flank, so that lets her have the best of both worlds! 

All in all, though, I feel that the Daqan list is a little bit harder to play because of the fickleness of the rune golem. If you get the right runes at the right time he is a wrecking ball. Otherwise, he feels a little bit like dead weight. 

 

Last general comments: I have noticed that mostly the moral checks don't do much (although, in one game, it did end up spinning the golem around, giving my skeletons an extra die for a rear attack, which was just enough to kill it and win the game!). Another surprise was just how much maneuvering goes on. When I played the old WFB game it seemed like other than skirmisher and fast cavalry, there was not actually a lot to do in terms of trying to outmaneuver your opponent. But surprisingly, We do quite a bit of it in our games. Maybe it is because we are often caught off guard by each of our choices, and so we end up having to readjust to some degree. Either way, I am glad that the game is not as static as I first thought it might be. 

The use of scenarios is also key making the game interesting. We used them in two out of three games, and they really make things interesting. I hope to see more scenario, deployment, and terrain cards in the future. 

I really enjoy this game, and it seems to get better with each play through. I am really interested in hearing what kinds of tactics everyone comes up with!

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As far as getting mortal strikes with the Lancer's surge ability, the best way I've seen is to shoot the archers into melee with either Ardus or the Lancer. They all have an attack at initiative 5, so you can activate the archers first, land a blight, and then attack away. This does cause a morale check, but hasn't been very punishing in our experience. The trouble with the Lancer spitting and Ardus charging is the initiative order - Lancer spits at 6, latest Ardus can charge is 5.

The Rune Golem is an odd piece. When it gets Brutal 2 it's obviously quite dangerous (even more so in a unit of two) but Defense 4 and 2 wounds is surprisingly fragile. Its red defense modifier is great, but if you wait until initiative 5 to attack then it comes late enough in the round that most opponents get an opportunity to attack first. A much more defensive option is using the special action at initiative 3, handing out a stun token and armoring up. Modifiers often help with damage output, so canceling that and increasing your armor extends survivability considerably. They might be extremely useful as individuals specifically to act as speed bumps, though of course I'm going to test a larger unit because they're incredibly cool (and the smaller footprint makes them easier to maneuver than the spearman deathstar).

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The Morale system in this game is very exciting to me. It is not as cut and dry in other games where morale tested failed equal routing units. This offers some different levels of morale impact, and you can see the value in developing armies that spread morale tokens or force morale checks.

 

 

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On 22/04/2017 at 10:44 AM, Tvayumat said:

You're mistaken about morale tests. You'll get a feel for it the more you play, but morale tests are HUGE. They can easily swing a game if you get the right one at the right time.

 

 

Care to share some stories of your experience? I now have 6 games under my belt and only twice did moral cards do anything appreciable. One result made a rune golem spin around which gave me a flanking attack that was just enough to kill it. The other was that I had to retreat with my reanimates, but all they were doing that turn was reforming anyway so that I wouldn't be attacked in the flank anymore, so it didn't really change anything. So, only 2 out of 6 games did we see any interesting moral results (there might have been one more, where a stun token on a cav unit was used to cancel its turn modifier, making them charge off straight instead of turning, but I can't remember if that stun came from a moral card or something else. At any rate, they just reformed and charged, and it didn't seem to do too much in terms of slowing them down). 

I would love to hear some stories about how a moral card threw a real monkey wrench into things!

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1 hour ago, Moes1980 said:

 

Care to share some stories of your experience? I now have 6 games under my belt and only twice did moral cards do anything appreciable. One result made a rune golem spin around which gave me a flanking attack that was just enough to kill it. The other was that I had to retreat with my reanimates, but all they were doing that turn was reforming anyway so that I wouldn't be attacked in the flank anymore, so it didn't really change anything. So, only 2 out of 6 games did we see any interesting moral results (there might have been one more, where a stun token on a cav unit was used to cancel its turn modifier, making them charge off straight instead of turning, but I can't remember if that stun came from a moral card or something else. At any rate, they just reformed and charged, and it didn't seem to do too much in terms of slowing them down). 

I would love to hear some stories about how a moral card threw a real monkey wrench into things!


A game in which my opponent and I decided to each run Deathstars (3x3 Spearmen, Frontline Rune Golem, Kari VS 4x3 Reanimates, Support Lancer, Ardus). We each had Terrifying Heraldry and were trading morale checks, but the Reanimates modified panic result put them up to a strength 4 test that let me reform the huge block to face a nearby obstacle.

Flanking, the damage potential of the Reanimates was 34 damage across three red dice and one white with threat 4, so the Spearmen literally couldn't afford to then take *any* action aside from rallying and defending at a lower initiative than the reanimates, lest they be erased in one big attack. Even this block was clinging tenaciously to life until another big morale test hit them with Betrayal, and their Frontline Rune Golem wiped out a couple of trays.

In a smaller game, a 2x2 of spearmen matched up against a 2x2 of reanimates got hit with a "Flee in Terror" that turned a flank toward the reanimates and marched straight into some spikes, to be finished off on the next attack.

There aren't *that* many different morale cards, and hunting for the really powerful ones seems to be worth it. Betrayal, Flee in terror, Loss of Faith are all incredibly damaging effects to suffer on top of an attack. It wasn't until I saw these cards really collapse a flank that I realized how grateful I was for having units with Steadfast.

The morale cards that spit out stun are pretty mean, too. Immobilize we haven't had much of an issue with, but a Stun at the wrong time on the wrong unit can set off a chain reaction of failure.

Edited by Tvayumat

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We had Betrayal deal 15 damage to a 3x3 Spearman unit with Frontline Rune Golem. We have had incoming Cavalry charges turn around just before be able to impact a group of archers and then having to reform and charge over 2 more turns, while being decimated by arrows. Getting stun tokens at the wrong moment can be devastating, missing a turn or a charge is just the worst.

Loss of faith is always a tough one aswell, removing a full tray of units.

Overall I have to say that Morale effects in Rune Wars is far more devastating than critical effects in Armada or X-Wing. Controlling the panic levels of your units is key to victory.

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I've had surprisingly good luck getting the Reanimates to charge. The trick I've used is to keep shifting them away from threats, keeping the charge range long, and better yet, curvy. It makes the charge distance difficult to judge. Once the opponent has failed his charge, then the late initiatve charge of the Reanimates becomes an asset.

I only have 4 games in now, so maybe people will start figuring this out, and it hasn't always worked. However, in four games, my Reanimates have charged Oathsworn twice and a Rune Golem once. Unrelated to this particular tactic, they also once got a late game flank charge into Kari while she was engaged with Ardus. I think that's a pretty good charging record!

Anyway, the key is patience and remembering that your deployment zone has depth to it. This isn't like old 6th/7th edition Warhammer where you have deploy further forward to mitigate the risk of fleeing off the board.

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On 4/21/2017 at 0:14 AM, Moes1980 said:

 The basic skeletons, as I said above, are hard to charge with, so it seems better to just defend and rally for inspiration, and take the hit for the first melee, especially if you have a rune or two available to regenerate lost skeletons. Thier ability to always force a moral check is nice, but it competes with the Daqan's ability to generate inspiration with surges. 

If your strategy with your Reanimates is to rally+defense and wait for an incoming charge then taking the banner that assigns a blight token when the unit is involved with a collision seems like the way to go. Getting +1 defense and taking away an attack die should blunt a charge quite a bit. With Ardus in your army, that makes a 2x1 unit with the the banner a nice little 19 point piece of chaff. 

Upgrade%20-%20Blighted%20Vexillum%20Bear

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@WWHSD... you know I've been dreaming of that banner, right? I can't wait until it's out. Talk about saving actions. That banner is awesome by itself but the real power is that it will free up my blight spitting lancer to be an even bigger pain in the rear :D

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