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Runewars Minor Champions Expansion

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Short version:  My group out here in AZ started playing again after an almost year long hiatus.  In doing so, I decided to design my own expansion for Runewars that converts the champion units from the infantry command packs into cheaper, minor champion units with their own unique upgrades.  The goal is to create more build variety and tech options at a lower, less restrictive cost than including champions in a large infantry unit. We have completed the first half of this expansion (the magic users).  The second half will include the fighter champions and upgrades.  I hope to have those done in the next month.  Currently we are restricting our lists to 2 minor champions per list.  Feel free to bend/break that rule and let us know how it goes!

The below linked PDFs contain the components of this expansion so far.  They can be printed and assembled by either gluing them to existing cards/dials, or by printing them on thick card stock and gluing them to some chip board.  Then simply place the appropriate champion unit in your extra Ardus/Kari infantry champion base and start playing.   

Please download and enjoy!  Any feedback you have is also welcome!  Merry X-Mas!  

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VQiTJ9yKMfeY39WqBFaIXsDWru4oCMh_?usp=sharing
 

Long version:  After coming back to the game, and open lamenting its early demise, my group decided we wanted more options.  I decided to design this expansion to shore up some perceived weaknesses in the game that we all shared.  My goals were as follows.

  • Put the rune wars back in Runewars:  When we first started playing the game we tried out various rune manipulation builds.  While we love the thematic nature of magic users manipulating the energy of the battlefield to tilt the balance toward their army, this was usually disappointing in execution.  You often had to invest a large amount of points into rune manipulation only to lose numerous coin flips in a row.  I decided to design reliable rune manipulation at a reasonable cost for each faction.  I designed it such that it will typically go off during the round.  Anyone who has had a great game with the confluence of magic objective knows how fun this can be.  We have found mid-round rune manipulation to be a lot of fun and adds an extra layer of strategy in how you set your dials.
     
  • Give cheaper tech options:  Similar to the above note about rune manipulation, sometimes you want to be able to include a niche piece of tech, but you can't  justify the cost.  Getting support for something like overgrow or countering cat-bounce often feels too expensive.  This expansion gives some options for tech in the 12-25 point range.
     
  • Rounding out lists:  Sometimes you are building a thematic list that comes in at 180-190 points and your only real option is including another single tray siege unit or reworking your upgrades.  This can be frustrating and push you away from the direction you were originally going.  This expansion gives the option of throwing in a single cheap support unit that includes various builds instead, often supporting the direction your army was going anyway.
     
  • Support for larger units:  In our local meta we have gotten away from large units for a couple of reasons.  The biggest two are getting out-flanked and not having enough units to compensate for various objectives that basically require 4+ dials to be successful.  The ability to include a few very cheap support units makes large units more viable by covering up those weaknesses.

Keep in mind that we haven't done much play testing of this expansion to this point.  There are likely more than a few things here that are over/under costed.  Consider this a beta version.  We have already made a few tweaks to abilities and costs and intend to make more.  I am hoping for feedback from anyone in the community interested in trying it.  Once I finish with the warrior champion units I will get them posted as well.  Then my group will be playing with them all frequently with the goal of doing an update in the next 3-6 months based on our experiences and feedback from the community.

Ultimately I made this expansion because we wanted it locally.  We won't be offended anyone here doesn't like it or want to play it.  However, I thought there would be at least a few players here that might be interested in trying it out.

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22 hours ago, Jukey said:

The link didn't work for me, but I'm very curious to see what you've made.

That's strange... I tested the link under multiple conditions and it always worked 😕. DM me an email address and I'll be happy to send the PDF's directly to you.

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21 hours ago, Merlin1066 said:

Just need to get the printer working.

Nice to have a few other options to use.

When you print it, depending on the printer and program you are printing with, you may find the margins may cut off some of the edges of the cards.  You can shrink to fit in order to fix that issue without significantly effecting the size of the cards.  It shouldn't shrink it to less than 96ish%.  The next release which I should have done by the end of January will clean up the printing so that this is no longer an issue. 

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What other idea's do you have for other characters,units,artifacts and terrain?

I like the idea of having other races available for the game.Dwarves and Catfolk would be nice to see as would a character for the Ventala.

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Hi Quik With!

4 questions arise:

1-Blasting rune: "each unit at 0-1 of the target..."it includes the target too for this surge efect?

2-Nerekhall Hexer: when resolving that morale test, can you spend panic tokens to increase the severity of the test?

3-Drain life: the surge efect range is fom the mage or the target of the attack? it can remove a wound from the mage it self?

4-Call Storm: each surge spend gives you other elegible enemy to assign damage, right? the wording confuse me a litte bit

Thank you very much man 

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20 minutes ago, toriano said:

Hi Quik With!

4 questions arise:

1-Blasting rune: "each unit at 0-1 of the target..."it includes the target too for this surge efect?

2-Nerekhall Hexer: when resolving that morale test, can you spend panic tokens to increase the severity of the test?

3-Drain life: the surge efect range is fom the mage or the target of the attack? it can remove a wound from the mage it self?

4-Call Storm: each surge spend gives you other elegible enemy to assign damage, right? the wording confuse me a litte bit

Thank you very much man 

1 -  Correct, the target of the attack also takes damage from the surge effect. 

2 - Correct, anytime an enemy unit would take a morale test, you may spend morale tokens from that unit to increase the severity. 

3 - The range is from the Necromancer and he may remove wounds from himself. 

4 - Correct, each surge allows you to pick another eligible target to distribute damage to add long as they are at range 1-[Natural] of either the original target of the attack or another target already chosen with a surge. Think of it like chain lightning. If there are 2 Natural runes and you spend your first surge to choose a second target that is approximately range 2 behind it, you can then spend your second surge choosing another eligible target at range two behind that one.  Then, if you have 5 damage you can split that damage any way you want between the three. 

You're very welcome sir! Let me know if you have any other questions! 

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Hey guys!  Just finished the second set of minor champions for this expansion (the warrior champions).  For these I went for a decent mix of combat efficiency and utility.  They are sturdier than the magic user minor champs, with better dials, but cost slightly more and can only field a single unique upgrade.  As such they only have 4 unique upgrades to choose from, most of which are conversions from embedded champion upgrades.  Additionally, they all will make decent cheap blockers if you just want to run them that way.  

As an additional change, I have put both minor champions for each faction on a single page and all the upgrades for each faction on a single page.  This was both more efficient and more convenient.  Apologies to those who have already printed up the magic users as you will get an extra one here.  If you haven't printed any of these yet, however, this will be the best way to do it.  Just grab the two PDF's for your faction, print, cut, paste, and you're ready to play.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Rhwl8g8BZjjHtNdnINgDDGAD6KdLiApQ

As always, feel free to ask any questions!

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Fantastic. Though execute in Waiquar hero  seems terribly strong. I'd nerf it to "when there are 2 blue mana" and it would still rock.

Hero killer, siege remover, combo destroyer. Autokill.

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2 hours ago, Skaflok said:

Fantastic. Though execute in Waiquar hero  seems terribly strong. I'd nerf it to "when there are 2 blue mana" and it would still rock.

Hero killer, siege remover, combo destroyer. Autokill.

Thank you for the feed back! I'm sure some of the upgrades are potentially too strong at their current cost. Consider this the beta version. After testing and feedback from the community I intend to make balance changes. 

My thought process for the current version of the Execute upgrade is that it is strong but requires some support in most circumstances. With threat 1, 2 red dice, and no precise he will have difficulty dealing wounds by himself to anything with more than 2 armor. Most heroes will be able to kill him 1vs1 without taking a wound.  If he turns out to be too strong it will probably be against Uthuk...

Of course if it turns out to be too strong I'll start by raising the cost and am willing to redesign the ability if necessary. 

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The way I read execute is "remove anything". If you touch Hero, he's dead. I think it'd feel right if it was rune dependant. Two blue or two Green runes. Both red would nerf it too much, making the guy too unreliable. Such a skeleton killer would pair well with wraiths to hunt for smaller prey. 

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8 hours ago, Skaflok said:

The way I read execute is "remove anything". If you touch Hero, he's dead. I think it'd feel right if it was rune dependant. Two blue or two Green runes. Both red would nerf it too much, making the guy too unreliable. Such a skeleton killer would pair well with wraiths to hunt for smaller prey. 

I really appreciate the feedback.  That said, I'm curious the way this plays out in your head (not being argumentative, just genuinely curious under what specific circumstances you believe it will be problematic). 

Where my view is coming from:

I've run executioner embedded in a reanimate unit around 10 times.  The only thing I've ever executed (and only once) was a Spined Thresher.  Reanimates are pretty easy to maneuver around and they will often get hit first.  Then expect blues to be re-rolled for accuracy on that attack.  Often he also comes up against a hero with fortuna's, which can guarantee his death.  I designed this solo implementation of him to be stronger than the embedded version, but it still suffers from similar issues.  He will almost certainly be either avoided or focused down by a decent player before he can get a skill off.  While his dial is better than reanimates by a significant amount, it is still no match for any non-Waiqar hero.  Most heroes facing off with him will be able to dictate the distance and round of a charge and then deal at least 2 wounds to him in one attack, finishing him off early next round.  If he manages to get a charge off into a hero, many will have an opportunity to strike back late and deal wounds and his charge will not likely deal more than 2 damage, meaning no wounds on most heroes.  He also has a new weakness that the embedded version does not:  he has a very low capacity to deal basic damage.  Embedded you are looking at threat 3 with a re-roll typically.  Solo, he will be threat 1 with 2 reds and no re-rolls.  If he swings at init 7 he can spike to 3 damage at least some of the time (slightly more often than there will be 2 blue runes). 

When I run every match-up between Fallen Hero and one of his preferred targets, it goes like this:

Basic Heroes with no upgrades (artifact or unique) - With the exception of Ardus and Maro, every other here will be able to dictate the engagement by out-ranging and out-maneuvering the Fallen Hero.  Without a very lucky roll, the Fallen Hero will need help to wound every hero, even un-upgraded, except Ravos, Solo Th'Uk Tar, and Maro.  Ravos can one shot Fallen Hero better than any other hero, so he's probably not worried.

Heroes with appropriate upgrades -  This falls in three categories:  Heroes that don't even care if they have a wound because they can kill the Fallen Hero before he has a chance to execute them, Heroes that should be worried if they have a wound on them, and Heroes who should avoid him at all costs.

Heroes that don't care when they have appropriate upgrades:  Aliana, Maegan, Faolin, Kari, Baron Zach, Ravos, Kethra, Lord V.

Heroes that are in trouble if they have a wound (even with appropriate upgrades): Hawthorne, Th'Uk Tar with Gorgemaw, and Ardus.

Heroes that should just always avoid Fallen Hero with Execute:  Maro (who should avoid melee with anything) and Th'Uk Solo.  Both of these are support pieces that don't really want to be in melee range of anything.

With regard to siege units, I'm not so sure Fallen Hero being good against them is that big a deal.  With the exception of Spined Threshers he still won't excel in solo engagements vs any siege units without help dealing wounds.  

So where will he be broken?  Possibly as a second line clean up unit?  That's how I'm going to try and use him at first.  I'm also interested in trying him out as a buddy to Ardus, making it easier to get him into battle against tough units.  Fallen Hero with Execute would be a priority target who could possibly clean up after Ardus if he gets defeated.

Much of this is obviously theory craft.  I haven't had a chance to put him on the table yet.  He could turn out to be too strong.  I don't believe we know if he is until he gets on the table in many of these match-ups with multiple support units with him against multiple comps across the table from him.  If he is too strong after some play testing I'm looking at the following options for tuning him:

A - Increase cost - This is an easy tweak with a small effect depending on the increase.
B - Increase his initiatives on march, attack, and reform above 3 - This makes it tougher for him to get off an execute early in the round after he gets engaged.
C - Decrease the initiative on his late attack - This makes it harder to stare down a hero or siege unit and get a counter swing off after they charge, putting that crucial wound on them before executing next round.
D - All of the above - If he feels broken, I'll swing the nerf hammer at him and then we'll test some more.

I hope you'll be willing to put him on the table (or let your buddies put him on the table against you) as he currently is and see if he really is as broken as you believe him to be.  Then post a thorough battle report to help us get him balanced right. 
 

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2questions:

1- Reckless geomancy: Each unit at range 1- reds, it includes the mage it self?

2- Execute: you want to writte "a Wounded enemy figure" maybe?

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14 minutes ago, toriano said:

2questions:

1- Reckless geomancy: Each unit at range 1- reds, it includes the mage it self?

2- Execute: you want to writte "a Wounded enemy figure" maybe?

1 - Yes.

2 - Holy crap now I get what @Skaflok was saying 🤭... In my head this has always said choose a wounded figure and remove it. I will fix that as soon as I can. Thank you for pointing this out. 

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Actually he's all right with this wording. More points and rune dependancy would make him very thematic and creepy. Like a fragile but deadly assassin he should be from the beginning

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3 hours ago, Skaflok said:

Actually he's all right with this wording. More points and rune dependancy would make him very thematic and creepy. Like a fragile but deadly assassin he should be from the beginning

I honestly don't think there is a way to balance that... making it rune dependent doesn't work especially you can bring rune manipulation. 

It was always intended to be a solo version of the Executioner embedded Champion upgrade. I'm going to fix it tonight. 

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It has been fixed.  The "Execute" upgrade now reads "[Skill] Choose a wounded figure in an enemy you are engaged with and remove it."  Anyone who has already downloaded the expansion PDFs can re-download the "Waiqar Minor Champion Upgrades.pdf" to get the updated version.

Apologies for any confusion.

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Then i'd recommend putting Banshee. Single tray fragile mobile that has ability to fly and kill any figure with white action. Cost like 30ish. Protected 3. 6wounds 1 Def. No fight. Cause fear on touch. Rock paper scissors Hero repellant

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