Gameday First Play – Runebound (Third Edition)

An Epic fantasy adventure game.

That is and isn’t ‘roll and move’.

Welcome to Terrinoth, adventurer! Runebound is a fantasy adventure board game for two to four players, inviting you to play as one of six heroes wandering the realm and taking whatever quests you may encounter. But all is not well in the realm: evil is awakening once more in the form of Margath the Dragonlord or the Corpse King, Vorakesh. Only you and your rival heroes stand a chance of stopping this threat before all Terrinoth is consumed in darkness.

The game is scenario driven… That means taking certain cards (marked with that Scenarios logo) and shuffling them into their relevant decks along with the generic cards of that type. There is also it’s own Event type deck for that scenario.

While not unique, especially for a Fantasy Flight game, it worked really well.

In the suggested first scenario the ‘big bad’ will be available to kill after 12 rounds. After another 12 rounds it will start to move randomly. If it moves from it’s start location to it’s final destination everyone loses… the player who defeats it will win.

Each player has a character that is clearly not strong enough to kill the big bad… so they have to complete quests and buy gear to become big enough.

Runebound Player Area

Each character has an ability and you can level up by spending cards you gain from quests to get additional abilities. You can also find/buy new gear. Standard stuff really.

Movement is done via dice but they did a really good job of hiding it’s ‘Roll n Move-ness’ by using a fun system.

The board is covered in hexes with the different terrain types, the dice have those terrains on them plus a wild card. You roll a number equal to your movement and ‘spend’ them to move… or you can move one space without having to roll.

Runebound Terrain Dice

You need to move a lot to complete quests. Some are combat, some give you a choice of things to do, others are essentially ‘Pick Up and Deliver’ etc… The colour of the quest you pick up will give you a big hint as to which type of thing you’ll have to do.

The colour  also refers to the card colour you draw which, when complete, becomes a trophy that you use to upgrade things as I mentioned earlier.

Anyway, I mentioned the movement is good but I was unsure if I’d like it… I felt the same way about Combat. This is done by casting tokens and spending them…

Runebound Batle Tokens

You throw them out which is the same as rolling a bunch of D2’s but more in theme… the player to your right rolls for the baddie your fighting. Usually, at the point the next player can start their turn which is great for a 2-3 hour game, helps things move long.

Anyway, so you spend a symbol on all of your tokens to do it’s ‘thing’. An Axe/Burst to deal a Melee/Magic damage, Shield to stop a damage, Blot thing to activate your characters abilities and an Wing ‘agility’ thing to flip one of your tokens over, or force an opponent to recast one.

Fights are to the death! (as they should be) But you can run off in-between rounds if you like by rolling a Terrain die and hoping you can move away!

Runebound Miniature

I don’t have a fantasy game like this as most are miniatures heavy or, 1 vs many. This one gives you one mini each and is fully competitive, for now. Future expansions are sure to add co-op modules, it’s been hinted at already too.

It’s VERY similar to ‘A Touch of Evil‘ in game play and it’s only moderately more complicated… It’s more ‘Epic’, there are more ‘Bits’ and the Art is more serious I guess… The decks of cards are geared towards the story so there’s that too…

But, I enjoyed my first play of this. We played with 3 I can see that being the perfect number. 2 would be OK, and 4 might be a bit slow? We’ll see.

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