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hawkinslad

Why is Runebound Best? Or Not?

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In my quest for a new fantasy-themed board game, I've looked into Runebound, Descent, Talisman, and DungeonQuest.  Runebound seems like the likely choice for me at this point, but I'd like to hear other opinions.  Why should I buy Runebound?  Or why should I buy one of the other three instead?

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Would need more info, particularly about the # of players you're going to have. 2-3, grab RB, 3-6, Talisman (DQ being 2-4 only). While RB and Talisman both have rules to PvP right in the base game, Talisman IMO is much more interactive, probably a lot to do with combat being less deadly/crippling, so attacking another player and taking something from them (unless its their last life), they are still in the race, whereas in RB they lose a card, all their gold and then their highest-cost card to boot. Talisman also gives you spells with which to screw people from a distance. Both are essentially race games (or at least don't drag when played as such).

While I haven't played Descent, you probably want minimum of 4 hours for a game of that, 3 hours is the max for RB and Talisman and DQ is probably max 90 minutes, although can end in about 5 minutes as all characters die partido_risa.gif .

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Runebound: Has high-faluting adventure across a fantasy world map.  The game uses a hex grid which allows for more freedom in terms of where you move and when you attack.  The game also has a strong story that unfolds via challenge cards (specifically Events) as the game progresses.  All the big box expansions and Adventure Variant card expansions add new stories to keep the game fresh and exciting (but they replace the base game instead of adding to it.)  Other card expansions generally add more "meat" to the base game.  The most commonly quoted flaw with the game is the length of downtime between player turns, which is why you'll see people suggesting you not play with more than 3 even though the game technically supports up to 6.

Talisman: Same sort of "across the realm" adventure as RB, but in a more traditional "spaces around the board" format.  It's a good cross between traditional board game and niche adventure game if you have friends who aren't big into board gaming.  It's highly random and movement is more restrictive, which leads to more opportunity for player vs player combat.  RB generally doesn't see PvP unless the players go out of their way to make it happen.  Talisman is also an established classic currently in its fourth edition.

Descent: Highly tactical dungeon crawl.  Kill or be killed, and it can get pretty tense depending on how serious the Overlord player is about winning.  (The Overlord player has a decent shot at winning, by the way, so don't waltz into this one expecting the heroes will always succeed.)  Play time is usually about 4 hours per quest, give or take.  Early on it's a stuggle to survive for the heroes, which gets much easier once they have good gear.  There are two expansions which add an "advanced camapign" overland element to the game, and turn it into a multi-session epic journey.  The AC game adds an entirely new layer of strategic gameplay on top of the highly tactical dungeon game, so it's strongly reccomended that you let yourself get familiar with the base game before dabbling in these expansions.

DungeonQuest: Haven't played the new edition yet, but based on my experiences with the past edition, the word that springs to mind is "roguelike."  It's highly random and there's a very good possibility of your hero dying an inglorious death, but if you manage to survive your story will that much more heroic for the effort.  Also a dungeon crawl rather than an overland adventure.

Runebound, Descent and (the new edition of) DungeonQuest are all set in the same fantasy world, along with Runewars and the upcoming Rune Age games, in case that sort of meta-plot has any bearing on your opinion.

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Awesome :) 
Let us know what you think of it after you've played your first game.

Will it scratch that itch?
Will it meet your expectations?
Was it missing something?
Were there a few surprises?

The whole scoop!

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I'm late to this conversation, but one thing I would add is that Talisman is much more Player vs Player and RB in its more limited interaction is more Character vs Character.  No fantasy game with "characters" is ever purely one or the other, but they do lean to either side. I've noticed that the difference is often inherent in many games where there's a "land" to travel in (physically) with player pieces representing Characters. It's a matter of learning to separate the difference to see it.  Learning this overly simplistic perspective helps in not only finding a game that's more to your taste but picking a game from a collection that fits the mood of the group your playing with for the night.

The harder it is to get your Character onto the same space as that of another player, the more the game has to lean on mechanics outside of the Character for there to be increased interaction. If you are deeply into interaction, then a games that provide such outside of Character will be more to your taste. Spells in Talisman aren't really used by the Characters but rather the Players.  The only thing Characters do in that game is limit how many spells a player can sling around at anyone anywhere.  Talisman's purely random movement requires this, as though the board by spaces is much smaller than RB's, this is the only way interaction can be increased.  Even so, it isn't really interaction as much as affecting other Players through their character, since rarely does a spell allow a counteraction by the target Player.

Runebound is a different paradigm where you have more over Characters reaching each other... if they are in reach of each other.  It avoids using mechanics that are outside of Character, so interaction is more CvC than PvP, but thereby more limited and difficult to execute interactions.

It's all a matter of taste in play for you and yours. And having both is nice for when a different mood strikes you.  Try RB, for that's my preference, but I own Talisman as well for something faster, funnier, more frivolous... and more PvP with more interaction.

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I also own both Runebound and Talisman and they were both good purchases.

They share a Fantasy theme but aside from that they are very different games and each offers a very different experience.

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