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I'm considering getting into this game instead of Legion (well, if at all, uncertain about my hobby budget) since generic fantasy just offers more options for customization and mini-reusability (for RPG purposes) than Star Wars. So, as someone with basicaly no knowledge of the game, I have some questions:

  • Is the core set by itself capable of creating fun games? If so I' consider getting just it and be happy with it.
  • I've seen rules for small skirmishes in the rulebook, which I would like well (less models, a space I can actually have at home with just 3x3). Would you say these are statisfying play experiences or are they something the community at large doesn't do?
  • How much would 2 full scale armies of Waiquar and Daquan cost me?

At the moment the skirmishes on a 3x3 area with the core set, expandable by miniatures I like, are very appealing to me. A spectral undead army versus a 30k Deathguard themed Daquan lord army sounds like a fun plan!

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The core set is capable of creating skirmishes. It's not, by itself, what I would consider capable of making fun games, but if you like skirmishes, then yes, it might, by itself, be perfectly fine you... though you probably would want a command pack from each faction if you want more variety. (The command packs can wait for a few games, if you want to make sure that this is the right game for you, first.)

Two full 150 or 200-point armies can be made with two core sets plus command packs, or one core set plus command packs and a few expansions for each faction. 

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The core set is good by itself. The armies are decently balanced, though Waiqar seems to be harder for new people to grasp. The core set gives you 100 point armies for both factions, ideal for a 3x3 game. If you decide you are having fun with the 3x3 skirmish games, you can also just pick up the army cores for the other factions, which gives you 100 point armies for them as well, if you feel you want some extra variety. 

I personally havent played much 100 point games since I got enough stuff to play 200 points, but they are still good, and give you a good sense of how the game plays out, the most limiting thing is you have less points with which to assemble big units or use say multiple champions.

2 full 200 point waiqar and daqan armies can be as little as $200 (2 core sets, 1 of each command pack), but can be more if you want more options. As an example, I have been playing an Uthuk army to good success recently with just 2 Uthuk cores and 2 command packs (that's all that's available right now for them), and winning and having fun, so the cheap option isnt by any means a bad one.

Edited by taylorcowbell
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I’m just getting into the game myself, and one thing I would add is that the numbers of figures in the base box (and indeed a full army) is very manageable to paint.  I have very limited painting time (basically while my daughter is asleep) and I’m mostly done after a little less than a month.

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The game is not fun for very long with only a core set. It's really meant to be played as a full game, not as a skirmish (or only occasionally). Getting 2 cores and a couple of expansions is great, but anything under that will not be a good use of your money as the replay value will not be there

On the other hand with a little more investment you will have an immense amount of fun

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I would recommend 2 cores, 1 infantry upgrade of each faction, 2 cav for each,  2 infantry of undead, Hawthorne hero, and 1-2 crossbows and archers.

if you get maro for undead you will need a lot more reanimates.

the above would be about $500 list price, but you can find cores for pretty cheap online, which cuts a large chunk out of the purchase.

to start though just get two cores and try it out.

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A single core set is fine for an out-of-the-box experience and gives you two 100 point armies to play with.  But like the X-Wing core set, there's little room to customize and change things up, and playing 1 X-Wing vs. 2 TIEs will get old quick. 

At that point you can start adding in expansions, if the core set appeals to you. I'm not sure how staying at 100 points will go.  With more figures and upgrades you could elect to drop a hero and take more rank and file troops, or make a big death star like unit. I suppose there are options there to explore at 100 points.  

At that point, if you're still engaged you have the building blocks to go to 150+ points, but you'll need to grow beyond 3x3' to make that work. 

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Check ebay.  People occasionally sell large lots for a good price.  Or PM me, my local store is selling starters for 40% off (he over ordered due to his excitment when it came out, lol)   I can pick up and ship for you if you prepay for all of it.

 

You can get a 200 point list with a couple variations for about 200-250.  If you only want one list and know what you are going after potentially less. As far as mini games goes this one is very affordable

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I bought the core set and the Latari Elves Army Expansion and Uthuk Y'llan Army Expansion with the idea of having 100 points for four different armies. As it turned out though, I got a second Uthuk Y'llan Army Expansion and the Uthuk Y'llan Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion for Christmas, so I've been playing more 200-point games recently and haven't tried as many skirmish matches as I had planned. I have to say, the one thing I love about the full 6x3 play area over the 3x3 is the different deployments. One day, I'd like to create 3x3 adaptations of the deployment cards.

Another thing worth noting is that the Uthuk Y'llan Army Expansion units actually give you a 107-point army. To make things fair, you'd have to drop the Berserkers to a 2x1 in order to bring it down to 96 so it can be compatible for a 100-point match. Of course, you can always add more points and play with more than 100 points per army.

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I'd recommend getting two core sets to quickly beef up your Daqan and Waiqar.  You can find deals on the core set boxes commonly (I've seen them go for $50).   You can nearly get 200 pt armies from that alone.  I believe if you get 1 infantry command for both sides its pretty easy to hit 200 after that.  That would be a really good starting point and you'd probably enjoy it enough.  

Amazon currently has them for $55 each  https://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Games-RWM01-Miniatures/dp/B01KXPYVLU which is a really good price (normally $100 MSRP)

 

Edited by Glucose98

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My vote:

Buy 1 core set, they aren't going to go up in price, so minimize your investment.

Play a bit, if it is fun, then get another core, I agree with @Daverman that it might get stale with just 1 core pretty quickly - just like XWing or Armada.

Add expansion as budget allows, but no need to rush, you don't need 2 of everything to enjoy the game, but like any good game - your wallet will hate you.

You'll know fairly quickly whether this game is for you.

 

How I got to runewars was through looking at A LOT of different games, miniatures mostly. 

Almost all of them you can download at least starter rules, which, for me were very informative to whether I liked the game.

I also really like the openness of this universe, there is not a lot of fluff, which isn't great, but the great thing is: there is not a lot of fluff

if I want my spearmen in Oregon duck colors and you want yours in Washington - so be it (someone did do their spearmen in Washington colors, with the "W" - they look incredible).

I can't see storm troopers with a yellow "O" on their shoulders - yeah..no.  Legion, not for me.

(Full disclosure - I painted my Daqan and Waiqar pretty much the colors right out of the guides).

Welcome to the game!!

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In re-reading the thread, I realized I didn't adequately address your skirmish question. In my opinion, skirmish matches can be quite fun. However, it can feel boring if you only have the core armies. When you have enough unit variety to customize your 100-point army, it opens the game up. To that end, starting with one core and adding an expansion or two is not a bad way to go. You don't have to buy two 200-point armies to experience what this game has to offer. 

Here is the issue you will run into, though. Let'ssay you are paying msrp for all products. For $100 you get 4 trays of Spearmen, 4 trays of Reanimates, 2 trays of Reanimate Archers, 2 trays of Oathsworn Calry, a Carrion Lancer, a Rune Golem, and 2 heroes. If you were to buy those as seperate expansions, it would cost you about $235 (I calculated purchasing a single siege expansion). That should illustrate what an amazing deal the core set is. If you are going to play at home and just want to be able to play some fun skirmish matches with customized armies, a second core is a great deal. True, the heroes are redundant and unusable, but that's still saving you $85 to get the same number of figures. 

So what's the catch? Upgrade cards. The $25-expansions come with upgrade cards not found in the core set. If you are going to play at the store with a group, you will most likely want to pick up expansions for the upgrade cards rather than getting the second core. One upgrade in particular that you will probably want is Combat Ingenuity, which comes in the Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion. It really helps the undead be able to deal with the humans. Now, if you're playing at home, you could always use proxies for that card. If you don't, though, and if you don't pick that card up through the expansion pack, I think you will find the undead to be lacking a little in consistency. This is just my opinion, though. I never really gave the undead a solid try, so maybe you can do alright without that card, but it looks pretty critical to me.

Again, my point is that you don't need a bunch of expansions to have diverse skirmish games, but it's tough to argue against the diversity of a second core. You just have to decide how important upgrade cards are for your games.

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12 hours ago, Budgernaut said:

In re-reading the thread, I realized I didn't adequately address your skirmish question. In my opinion, skirmish matches can be quite fun. However, it can feel boring if you only have the core armies. When you have enough unit variety to customize your 100-point army, it opens the game up. To that end, starting with one core and adding an expansion or two is not a bad way to go. You don't have to buy two 200-point armies to experience what this game has to offer. 

Here is the issue you will run into, though. Let'ssay you are paying msrp for all products. For $100 you get 4 trays of Spearmen, 4 trays of Reanimates, 2 trays of Reanimate Archers, 2 trays of Oathsworn Calry, a Carrion Lancer, a Rune Golem, and 2 heroes. If you were to buy those as seperate expansions, it would cost you about $235 (I calculated purchasing a single siege expansion). That should illustrate what an amazing deal the core set is. If you are going to play at home and just want to be able to play some fun skirmish matches with customized armies, a second core is a great deal. True, the heroes are redundant and unusable, but that's still saving you $85 to get the same number of figures. 

So what's the catch? Upgrade cards. The $25-expansions come with upgrade cards not found in the core set. If you are going to play at the store with a group, you will most likely want to pick up expansions for the upgrade cards rather than getting the second core. One upgrade in particular that you will probably want is Combat Ingenuity, which comes in the Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion. It really helps the undead be able to deal with the humans. Now, if you're playing at home, you could always use proxies for that card. If you don't, though, and if you don't pick that card up through the expansion pack, I think you will find the undead to be lacking a little in consistency. This is just my opinion, though. I never really gave the undead a solid try, so maybe you can do alright without that card, but it looks pretty critical to me.

Again, my point is that you don't need a bunch of expansions to have diverse skirmish games, but it's tough to argue against the diversity of a second core. You just have to decide how important upgrade cards are for your games.

If you collect two armies (Daqan and Waiqar) at least getting *most* of the good neutral upgrade cards will be pretty easy.  

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Since you mention an interest in picking up the Waiqar and Daqan armies, getting two core sets is the easy recommendation. That will give you a little flexibility to create some different configurations at 100 points to play on your 3x3, and will field a solid 150-175-ish points in a fairly static configuration that will let you assess the difference between 3x3 and 6x3.

I think you'll find most people here prefer standard 200 point games on a 6x3 pretty strongly over the skirmish 100 point experience. The game derives a lot of its variety from the objectives, deployments, and, well, just the breathing room that 6x3 brings to the game, and 200 points is really the sweet spot to bring a variety of tools to the field while still forcing some tough choices in list-building instead of just chucking some of everything in. That variety, coupled with the endless lessons to be learned about deploying, maneuvering, and objectives, combine to form the key for replayability, to me.

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I am strongly resistant to buying one product twice, when I know there are others I don't own. I found a lot of value in buying Reanimates, Reanimate Archers, Waiqar Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion, and Ankaur Maro for some great 150 point games. Problem is, that's $100 just for a single faction. Which works when you are invested in a faction, but maybe doubling up on a Core Set makes more sense for you.

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I like to think that you can get a good number of nice games out of the core set already. Sure it will get a bit stale after a while - but by then you'll know whether you like it overall, what faction intrigues you most and whether you have people to play it with.  I quite like to play 100 to 125 point skirmishes. They are quick, you can easily get two or three games into an evening, and  you can try different configurations of units/upgrades. 

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4 hours ago, Uthoroc said:

I like to think that you can get a good number ofitnice games out of the core set already. Sure it will get a bit stale after a while - but by then you'll know whether you like it overall, what faction intrigues you most and whether you have people to play it with.  I quite like to play 100 to 125 point skirmishes. They are quick, you can easily get two or three games into an evening, and  you can try different configurations of units/upgrades. 

I have never seen a core skirmish game that ended with a victory for Waiqar. I feel that the size and number of models from the core tis fine, but I feel that Waiqar has to play a certain style of game without the supporting upgrades for that style. The first few games are fun, until you realize what an uphill battle it is for the undead. If they had more favorable win/loss ratios, I would feel differently.

But then, maybe my experience differs from the majority? Or maybe I didn't play enough core skirmish games to figure Waiqar out? I just know that when I played Parakitor in Tabletop Simulator to test the system by playing a core skirmish, he got demolished as Waiqar, which felt wrong when he had so much more gameplay experience than I had and played Waiqar from day 1. My concern is that someone new plays the core and is dissatisfied with the experience before they ever play enough games for it to become truly boring. The game really opens up at 200-points, but having played custom skirmish armies, I can say those are really fun, too. I'm just concerned about the first impressions someone may get from playing just the core.

Has somone out there seen Waiqar win the core skirmish scenarios 50-50 with an experienced Daqan player?

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While I would agree that Daqan has the edge, it wasn't as strong an experience for me. I've gone through my BGG playlist and count 6 Waiqar wins against 11 Daqan. Admittedly almost all of these were all learning games one way or another, and when I am introducing the game to new players, I don't play all out. 

So I should clarify when I say "a good number of games", that means about a ten to twelve games or so for me (I have a lot of boardgames on the shelf that have been played less). After that, you'd certainly want to open up the game with more forces. 

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