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9-Player Rune Age

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 Yes, that is right. With 2 cores and at least 1 expansion, you can have up to a 9-player game of Rune Age.

"Wait, Tromdial! Rune Age is a game for up to 4 players. Putting two cores together would only make 8 players!"

Indeed, but unlike the core stand-alone which has 24 1-gold (that is 20 1-gold split 4 ways and leaving 4 1-gold left over), a second core box would give you 8 1-gold left over. Seeing as you only need 5 1-gold, 8 left over is plenty to make the 9th player!

"Do I have to play 9-Player Rune Age? I don't think I even have that many friends…" preocupado.gif

No, but if you have sometimes an average of 5 or 6 people come over to hang out regularly enough, the base Rune Age will not cover that amount. An extra copy will almost seamlessly (see below about how easy it is to re-implement event cards to accommodate above 4 players).

There is also always the case that some people like to play more than one deck at a time, so multiple decks may be played by one player (assuming it's for co-op or *Allies against Overlord).

"Is gold cards the only reason I'd need to buy a second copy of Rune Age?"

No, there is multiple other reasons.

  1. Gold cards, as stated above.
  2. Neutral piles will be fuller with extra copies that reflect the increased player amount.
  3. Extra tokens needed for extra players and an extra attrition die for the other side of the table.
  4. Extra copies of Dragon Runes for Rune Wars scenario.
  5. Having a second set of each race makes rivalry for favorite race less an issue (duplicate armies: just like Starcraft and Warcraft in multi-player).
  6. Buying a second copy of the core only allows for the base scenarios to be played with higher amounts of players. If you want to play 9-player *Ascent of the Overlord and *The Quest for Power, you will need to buy Oath and Anvil twice too and any other upcoming expansions after this post to play those scenarios with more than 4 players.
  7. Buying a second copy of Oath and Anvil as well is exceedingly important for *Mercenary cards.
  8. Buying more copies of Rune Age is a way of telling Fantasy Flight to make more expansions for this awesome game.

"What won't get used if I buy a second copy?"

  1. Second set of event cards.
  2. Cities and *Landmarks (unless you house rule otherwise, see below for variant of that too).

"Hold up, I have an army of friends, Tromdial! If I keep buying Rune Age, can I supply my 20+ friends with Rune Age gameplay!?"

sorpresa.gif Uh, yeah, sure. Keep in mind though every time you add a player, the game increases its game length by 15 to 30 minutes. If you have 20 friends and 5 copies of Rune Age and its expansion, you are looking at somewhere between 5 and 10 hours to finish one scenario. Beginning with the 9th player below, just continue to add 5-1 gold, 2 2-gold, 2 3-gold, and 1 neutral card to each pile. Definitely bust out extra copies of cities and landmarks. Hope you all packed a lunch.

I recommend playing Rune Age with no more than 2 cores and 2 of every expansion available. This way the max is 9 if it ever came to that. Buy Ultimate Werewolf or another party game if you ever have a line of friends circling your house to come in and game.


Let's begin with Variable Set-Up from 1 to 9 players. This version is my recommendation, eliminating location copies of cities and *landmarks, and as more players enter the game the more competitive the game becomes in acquiring land cards. If you care more about equal opportunity of land cards, neutral cities are always 1 city above the current player amount, and *landmarks are always 2 above the current player amount. Thematically this is okay too, as extra copies of cities and *landmarks is similar to guilds and/or rival ownership while in the same city as an opponent.

1 Player: 9 1-gold, 8 2-gold, 4 3-gold, 2 neutral pile, 2 neutral city.

2 Player: 14 1-gold, 10 2-gold, 6 3-gold, 3 neutral pile, 3 neutral city, 4 *Landmarks (from *The Quest for Power scenario).

3 Player: 19 1-gold, 12 2-gold, 8 3-gold, 4 neutral pile, 4 neutral city, 5 Landmarks.

4 Player: 24 1-gold, 14 2-gold, 10 3-gold, 5 neutral pile, 5 neutral city, 6 Landmarks.

5 Player: 29 1-gold, 16 2-gold, 12 3-gold, 6 neutral pile, 5 neutral city, 6 Landmarks.

6 Player: 34 1-gold, 18 2-gold, 14 3-gold, 7 neutral pile, 6 neutral city, 7 Landmarks.

7 Player: 39 1-gold, 20 2-gold, 16 3-gold, 8 neutral pile, 7 neutral city, 7 Landmarks.

8 Player: 44 1-gold, 22 2-gold, 18 3-gold, 9 neutral pile, 8 neutral city, 8 Landmarks.

9 Player: 48 1-gold, 24 2-gold, 20 3-gold, 10 neutral pile, 8 neutral city, 8 Landmarks.


Continued: event card rules for going above 4 players…

A very similar post can be viewed likewise at Tony P.'s "Ok, I just ordered Oath and Anvil and I want any thoughts on more than 4 players at once…"

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 The mechanics of the event decks cannot be left as is without a few tweaks when playing above 4 players. Below is a listing of cards that need to be tweaked, or do not, under circumstances that I could see when playing Rune Age with 2 cores and multiple expansions (some cards may be from Oath and Anvil, marked with * ; one card may not exist, marked with *** ).

Any event that affects all players affects each and every player fairly. i.e. Mind Riders, Thieves Guild, Restless Warriors, Plague of Vermin, *Dragonlord Baraxis, etc.
Fairly is a rough term and requires some judgement. Any card that would attack a player for each player in play (especially a 1st tier event card), or up the strength of an enemy to make it almost unclearable even toward the end of the game, should be deemed unfair (see below). For example, *Dragonlord Baraxis is still a fair event because each player has the ability to block their own end of damage depending on their deck build and hand. The same can be said with Plague of Vermin. These cards are also 2nd tier cards, which gives players time, and a sense of urgency, to prepare for these events.

Events that gain tokens for each player in play still does so. i.e. Holy War, *Dragonlord's Resolve, *Conflagration, etc. (with the exception of *Dragonlord Kraxonis, see below).

Some cards specifically need fixed to observe the max amount of current players is still 4 even if the game currently exceeds that amount, and why.

  • Reinforcements: each player beyond the 4th receives the same unit acquirement cost the 4th player received: a unit worth up to 6 gold or influence. Any more gold or influence would diminish the value of future expansions that have even costlier units and suddenly they are earned without challenge or consequence from a 1st tier card.
    For example, after the first round the event card is flipped and the card revealed is Reinforcements. The 1st player grabs a Knight, the 2nd grabs a Manticore, the 3rd grabs a *Warchief, the 4th grabs an *Obscene… the 8th grabs a 10-gold unit legendary mythic titled ***Archlich Revik, who has 13 strength and who's When Played reads: "choose any 1 unit in another player's discard pile. Add that unit to your hand." Again, that was acquired before the start of the 2nd round. Keep the cap at the 4th player's acquire.
  • *Dragonlord Kraxonis: the more damage tokens per player this dragonlord has, the more it will be able to dish out. Though more players means more possibility to block the full damage, this is still a tier 1 event card and instead of blocking 9 for a 4 player game, you're looking at 19 damage for a 9 player game on the first attack. Game over.
  • Army of the Possessed: same reasons as *Dragonlord Kraxonis, as a 15 attacking slap on the 1st tier for events in 9 player is very harsh. Keep at 10.
  • *Overlord Enemy cards that have variable strength according to Allied players in play (Sellsword Army, Renegade Oracle, God Ascendant):
    I am still debating whether these cards should stay at 3 Allied player max (4p, as regular max), or bump to 4 Allied player as the max (5p). Leave the Nefarious Schemes card to affect for each Allied player regardless.
  • The Rune Wars scenario must use duplicate dragon runes to exceed 5 players.

If I missed a card, please notify me so I can record it and give my own recommendation. What do you guys think? Eh! cool.gif, or meh serio.gif, or bleh corazon_roto.gif ?

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 Very cool to see such thought put into this. I like what you've done.

Personally, I love Rune Age but I can't see myself buying multiple copies of each box. Not needing to endlessly expand like the LCGs was one major draw for me to get this game. BUT! Now that I think about it, my brother-in-law brought Rune Age after I introduced it to him at the end of the summer, so come Christmas time, we might be able to pool our cards and my copy of Oath And Anvil (that I'm not opening till Christmas) to do exactly what you have outlined above with all of his cousins. There'll be at least 5 players, but maybe more. Hey, now I'm getting excited to try this out!

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 Awesome, but be sure you guys both leave with your even assortment of cards.

I forgot one last thing: you can only use 4-unit armies when playing without a second Oath and Anvil because your duplicate armies from the core will be missing some of the new units Oath and Anvil offers. i.e. *Vampire, *Obscene, *Blood Sister, etc.

This is very important reason why buying two of every expansion is necessary so long as armies receive new units to build with.

One other way you could get around that is have an even split between your other races, limiting new units by half. Likewise, the Dwarfs and Orcs will need to limit the same cost units by half as well. I would recommend the Guardian from Dwarfs be halved and the Lizard Riders for the Orcs to balance things out.

But I'd recommend shelling the $25 and just getting the extra expansion, like me.

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Budgernaut said:

 Good point. Maybe we'll just cap it at 6 players and use the second base set for neutral cards and gold cards.

Correct: if you play only with all 6 races and leave the other copy races in the box, you can play with all 6 units for each race.

As a helpful reminder, the extra tokens will really help too and I just realized myself that there are some enemies that make you reroll the attrition die with varying effects so the second die can be rolled along with the first to save time. Plus, it's useful that one side of the table has an attrition die too.

Also don't forget your extra dragon rune copies if you play Rune Wars; or, if you are playing with exclusively 6 players, you can always throw out the event card "Dragon Rune Discovery" seeing as their will be no more Dragon Runes to choose from in a single core.

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 Just reread the rules for the Resurgence of the Dragonlords cooperative variant that comes with Oath and Anvil, and how I have been making that scenario more difficult than needs be; thus, it has made some rules interpretations different on how to play the competitive versus the cooperative.

Because the cooperative variant is worded in the Oath and Anvil rules booklet as Event cards that would affect more than one player instead only affect one player chosen by the first player, some cards trigger differently with more than 4 players in competitive versus cooperative. The following cards are:

Dragonlord Baraxis: when playing competitive, each player is affected as normally would be performed. When playing cooperative with more than 4 players, the first player triggers the event twice playing 5-8, and thrice when playing with a 9th player.

Dragonlord Phrynelex: activates as normal when playing competitive. When playing cooperative no matter the player size, it is still only activated once.

Dragonlord Tzeitz: activates as normal when playing competitive. When playing cooperative, Dragonlord Tzeitz activates twice when playing 5-8 players, and thrice when playing with a 9th player. Dragonlord Tzeitz may only activate once per valid target.
For example, in a 9 player game, four players meet the requisite of having at least 1 reward to be targeted by Dragonlord Tzeitz. One player has Stalwart Defenders, another player defeated Dragonlord Kalladra as their reward, and two other players each own Promise of Riches mercenary reward cards. The first player will choose three of these four players to defend against Dragonlord Tzeitz, as each can only be targeted once.

Dragonlord Kraxonis: as the previous ruling, but when playing with 5-8 players, a second player is targeted. When playing with a 9th player, a third player is targeted.

Dragonlord Khorgard: activates as normal when playing competitive. When playing cooperative, Khorgard activates twice when playing 5-8 players, and thrice when playing with a 9th player.

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 All activations for the Dragonlord co-op clarified rulings for Rune Age above that go above 4 players are events that may only target each valid target once. No player can be targeted multiple times by the same source for any reason.

For example, Dragonlord Baraxis activates thrice in a 9 player game. The first player must choose three separate players to be targeted by the Dragonlord Baraxis event card. He cannot choose the same player twice or thrice in the same event turn by the same source. However, a player may block damage from Dragonlord Kraxonis while also being targeted by another event source during the same turn (i.e. Baraxis, Tzietz, etc. etc.).

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