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Subject: Thinking about Buying Runewars rss

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Darin N
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So our gaming group likes long epic games...

we've been able to get TI3 on the table a few times, and we've only had it a few months... and it sounds like it's going to be a staple saturday game...

we also play runebound occasionally as well.

we're also planning on getting Descent 2e when it comes out in a few more decades...

But i've heard it has some similarities to A Game of Thrones. That's a game that we have not had much luck with... hard to nail down what it is about it that makes it really awkward.

however mechanically it seems quite different... i can't see the same amount of dickery going on, at least not any more than TI3 when someone gets in the lead.

also i've read on here that it shouldn't really be looked at as an empire building game... so how much does the game rely on building up the cities and stuff...

we will likely play this game with 2 or 4 players.

so my big reservation is related to the reference to A Game of Thrones, is it just a similarity to the win condition?
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Scott M.
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If you like TI3 you will love Runewars.

only drawback being its only a 4 player game , but you build the world randomly every game and i suggest you get the expansion Banners of war for some additional options.
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Sean Shaw
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atraangelis wrote:
If you like TI3 you will love Runewars.

only drawback being its only a 4 player game , but you build the world randomly every game and i suggest you get the expansion Banners of war for some additional options.


Not necessarily.


It's not really a city building game or a game that is like Game of Thrones.

If thinking Game of Thrones similarities is the hold up, you shouldn't let it be. I don't really see that many similarities. I see more similarities between Runewars and Twilight Imperium...but even then...not that many (for example I love TI, I don 't quite love RW).

The closest in feel to it I think is Quest for the Dragonlords...which is unfortunate because I wanted it to be closer to what Conquest of Nerath turned out to be like.

If you like the Runebound/Runewars/Descent world and want more of it, then definately get Runewars.
 
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Adrian Pop
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The only similarity I see with AGoT is the battle resolution. The bigger army wins the battle and the loser has to retreat and rout all of his units.

That's it.
 
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Darin N
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Thanks for the input guys...

this will likely be our next major purchase...

glad to hear the similarities to AGOT aren't as deep as i feared.
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Adrian Pop
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Another similarity might be the bidding system.

You acquire power with a relevant order (Acquire Power or Rally Support). Power may then be spent in blind bids (similar to AGoT), usually in order to receive Dragon Runes but not to gain the advantages you get in AGoT.

Winning bids in AGoT gives you greater power, maneuverability and initiative. Winning many bids in Runewars makes you a very juicy target. devil
 
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Purple Paladin

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I like Epic games too; Runewars is by far my favorite. There were a couple niggles in the game that we really did not prefer, but the expansion pretty much squashed all of those.
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Kiren Maelwulf
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I have owned and sold both Runewars and Conquest of Nerath. I would say if you want an empire building game with a focus on conquest, Nerath is a better choice. My group did not take to either game but out of the two, Nerath had some enjoyment. Runewars is kind of all over the place, like it doesn't really know what it is trying to do. Having not played the expansion, I can not comment on what affect that had on the gameplay, but the base game had some issues not everyone will be able to get past.
 
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David F
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You can definitely see that Runewars was inspired by A Game of Thrones, but so many ideas have been changed and optimized for 4 players that it's a completely different game. Most obviously, player musters, "supply" and acquiring titles are player-controlled, not a result of random events.

Some of the shared heritage:

- Power = Influence, primary function is to collect them for bidding.
- Routing Units = similar idea
- Iron Throne = Primarch of the Wizards' Council
- Fiefdoms = Commander of the Warriors' Guild
- Same victory conditions
- Supply = Winter starvation (checking supply limits in Winter)

It'd be helpful if you could verbalize exactly what you don't like about A Game of Thrones. Random events affecting crucial things like mustering? The House Card play taking too long? Don't like the all-or-nothing bids? etc

Runewars is a bloated monster of a game, cramming a ton of elements. Doesn't do the best job of gluing it all together, and there are many little flaws lying around, but if you can overlook those, you can't beet the sheer epic scale of pushing dudes around and colliding in giant battles every 5 minutes. The highs are awesome and allow me to overlook the lows.
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Darin N
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Purple Paladin wrote:
I like Epic games too; Runewars is by far my favorite. There were a couple niggles in the game that we really did not prefer, but the expansion pretty much squashed all of those.


So is this a case similar to TI3, where in order to make the game enjoyable you need to get the first expansion?

TI3 plays ok without the expansion, but shattered empires fixes what many considered a glaring issue, and i could see why...

Regarding A Game of Thrones, i think it was mostly alot of bad experiences when we tried to play the game... i think i've only actually finished one game, the rest ended before someone actually won...

it gave me an impression that the opening portion of the game is a set of fixed moves, if they don't happen, then a specific team is almost guaranteed victory...
 
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Kiren Maelwulf
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Darin, if you listed what elements you are looking for, it would easier to give opinions around whether or not the game is for you. I can tell you what my group didn't like about Runewars:

-Alot of different gameplay elements that did not really work together.
-Luck based end game can lead to games ending before meeting opponents forces.
-Hero mechanics felt clunky.
-Balance of races were questionable.

If you are just looking for a big map with tons of units to buy and fight with, Conquest of Nerath fits that role better, it is more of a empire building, war game and the mechanics are all built in to mesh with each other. Runewars is closer to a race for runes with a few additional outside elements thrown in. In some ways Runewars feels like playing a dumbed down version of Runebound while playing a few other seperate games at the same time that contribute to a single endgame.
 
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Darin N
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Kirenx wrote:
If you are just looking for a big map with tons of units to buy and fight with, Conquest of Nerath fits that role better, it is more of a empire building, war game and the mechanics are all built in to mesh with each other. Runewars is closer to a race for runes with a few additional outside elements thrown in. In some ways Runewars feels like playing a dumbed down version of Runebound while playing a few other seperate games at the same time that contribute to a single endgame.


That's an interesting view point, and with that brought to light, i think i can see what you're getting at with it...

the empire building is something i'm intrigued in, so I'll take a look at the conquest of Nerath.

I guess the type of game i'm looking for is Twilight Imperium 3, but fantasy... having the Hero questing element seemed like it'd be an interesting addition.

anyhow, i'll take a look at Conquest of Nerath, and see what that one is like.

I watched a video on Conquest of Nerath... first impressions from that, it strikes me as Dungeons and Dragons and Axis and Allies had a baby... which is interesting... but i don't know if it's quite what we're looking for... I think the smarter thing for us to do, is hold off on purchasing either Runewars or Conquest of Nerath, until we've had a chance to play it first... especially with Runewars, cause it's expensive...
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Scott Lewis
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Kirenx wrote:

-Alot of different gameplay elements that did not really work together.
-Luck based end game can lead to games ending before meeting opponents forces.
-Hero mechanics felt clunky.
-Balance of races were questionable.

I guess I disagree on this - all 4 of those points are exactly the OPPOSITE of what I've experienced, and the more I play, the more that solidifies.

IE, we've found the gameplay elements mesh very well together with more experience, and manipulating them all becomes the difference between winning and losing. The rune gathering becomes less luck based as you learn to know when they come into play, and how to predict when they will come up.* The hero mechanic flows well into the game, and the balance of the races depends more on the group playstyle than anything (IE, I've seen races that dominate in one group that tend to suck in another).

Granted, every player's mileage may vary, but with more gameplays, it continues to reaffirm it's place as one of my three "10s", and the expansion only makes that even stronger!

I haven't played Conquest to compare it, though being a WotC game it doesn't exactly scream "play me" for me and those I game with.
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Kantas wrote:
I guess the type of game i'm looking for is Twilight Imperium 3, but fantasy... having the Hero questing element seemed like it'd be an interesting addition.

anyhow, i'll take a look at Conquest of Nerath, and see what that one is like.

If so, then Dungeons & Dragons: Conquest of Nerath Board Game is not what you want. I love CoN, but it's not nearly as epic as Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). The manner in which battles are resolved is the closest thing these two games share. Compared to TI3, CoN does not have resource management, varying game objectives, structured diplomacy, or variable turn order, among other things. Between CoN and Runewars, RW is more comparable to TI3 than CoN.
 
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Darin N
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sigmazero13 wrote:

Granted, every player's mileage may vary, but with more gameplays, it continues to reaffirm it's place as one of my three "10s", and the expansion only makes that even stronger!


Would you say the expansion is something that is "should get" with the game? or is Runewars still very enjoyable for you without the expansion?

if it requires the expansion to fix some issues with game play, it's likely that i'll give it a pass until sometime this summer... when i should have more money (being a student sucks)
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Kiren Maelwulf
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Kirenx wrote:

-Alot of different gameplay elements that did not really work together.
-Luck based end game can lead to games ending before meeting opponents forces.
-Hero mechanics felt clunky.
-Balance of races were questionable.

I guess I disagree on this - all 4 of those points are exactly the OPPOSITE of what I've experienced, and the more I play, the more that solidifies.

IE, we've found the gameplay elements mesh very well together with more experience, and manipulating them all becomes the difference between winning and losing. The rune gathering becomes less luck based as you learn to know when they come into play, and how to predict when they will come up.* The hero mechanic flows well into the game, and the balance of the races depends more on the group playstyle than anything (IE, I've seen races that dominate in one group that tend to suck in another).

Granted, every player's mileage may vary, but with more gameplays, it continues to reaffirm it's place as one of my three "10s", and the expansion only makes that even stronger!

I haven't played Conquest to compare it, though being a WotC game it doesn't exactly scream "play me" for me and those I game with.


Not sure how you can argue, pre-expansion at least (as I've not played that), with the first two. The heroes clearly did very little interaction with the army aspect. Other than a couple of heroes abilities, the only thing the two aspects had in common was they both could achieve the end game mechanic. One friend that tried the game a few times with me said something that I felt summerized Runewars quite well: It was like playing chess and checkers at the same time, a win in either nets you 1 VP and the first to X wins. In other words, placing two games in one, does not make a single game. And no matter how 'good' you get at the game, if you get quests nearby your start, or draw the single tactic card that gives a rune, or certain bids come up at the right time, a player can win without there being ANY mechanical method to counter by their opponent. I'm not claiming this happens all the time, but it can happen. Even fans of the game have admitted to having games end in the first few years.

I am not going to argue that people enjoy Runewars, they obviously do. But I cringe when some fans deny issues with mechanics that continously are the reasons purchasers regret this specific game. I would highly recommend for any potential buyer to read the negative reviews on the forums prior to a purchase. Almost every one makes the exact same complaints. Ultimately, in my opinion, enjoyment of Runewars depends on whether or not you can get past those issues.
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Kiren Maelwulf
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Mysterio wrote:
Kantas wrote:
I guess the type of game i'm looking for is Twilight Imperium 3, but fantasy... having the Hero questing element seemed like it'd be an interesting addition.

anyhow, i'll take a look at Conquest of Nerath, and see what that one is like.

If so, then Dungeons & Dragons: Conquest of Nerath Board Game is not what you want. I love CoN, but it's not nearly as epic as Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). The manner in which battles are resolved is the closest thing these two games share. Compared to TI3, CoN does not have resource management, varying game objectives, structured diplomacy, or variable turn order, among other things. Between CoN and Runewars, RW is more comparable to TI3 than CoN.


I have not played TW3, so I can't comment on that. What I can mention from experience though is the difference between Nerath and Runewars. Runewars has no set map, you place tiles at the begining of the game that create your map, a really nice feature. Runewars also has bidding. Nerath is fairly straight forward in terms of resources. Each territory you hold nets you one gold. You use gold to buy troops. In base Runewars heroes do not participate in battles, they only have seperate limited duals with other heroes, also items generally only affect the heroes. So in Runewars, an item might give your hero more defense. In Nerath, heroes participate directly in battles, items directly affect your army. So in Nerath, an item might give all of a specific troop an extra attack or movement.

I don't know if Runewars ever felt epic, but then I don't really know if Nerath did either. Nerath was probably larger scale, as you usually have a lot more troops on the board, but it is also fairly straight forward. To sum the two up, in Nerath your focus is on combat and questing. In Runewars, your focus is on bidding and questing. In terms of astetics, Nerath has one of the best storage solutions in box I've seen, Runewars not so much. As for components, both games are top notch.
 
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Paul Beakley
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Runewars is just one of many victims of FFG's "curse of the misplaced expectation."
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Kiren Maelwulf
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Just to make a purchase choice even harder, if you are looking for games with more focus on zone control and player negotiation, look at Chaos in the Old World or Cyclades.
 
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Darin N
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Kirenx wrote:
Just to make a purchase choice even harder, if you are looking for games with more focus on zone control and player negotiation, look at Chaos in the Old World or Cyclades.


Fortunately that doesn't make this decision harder... yet...

some friends of ours have Chaos in the Old World... and we're trying not to double up on games with them.

so at least that decision is easy...

I think currently it is coming down to Runewars and Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne

If i can see a game of runewars, i'll likely pick it up if it really looks great for us... but shards of the throne looks like it'll be a good addition for our TI3 days... (i almost said nights HA... TI3 in a night....)
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Scott Lewis
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Kantas wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:

Granted, every player's mileage may vary, but with more gameplays, it continues to reaffirm it's place as one of my three "10s", and the expansion only makes that even stronger!


Would you say the expansion is something that is "should get" with the game? or is Runewars still very enjoyable for you without the expansion?

if it requires the expansion to fix some issues with game play, it's likely that i'll give it a pass until sometime this summer... when i should have more money (being a student sucks)

The game works just fine without the expansion; it would have been a perfectly enjoyable game for a long time even if the expansion never would have come out.
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Scott Lewis
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Kirenx wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Kirenx wrote:

-Alot of different gameplay elements that did not really work together.
-Luck based end game can lead to games ending before meeting opponents forces.
-Hero mechanics felt clunky.
-Balance of races were questionable.

I guess I disagree on this - all 4 of those points are exactly the OPPOSITE of what I've experienced, and the more I play, the more that solidifies.

IE, we've found the gameplay elements mesh very well together with more experience, and manipulating them all becomes the difference between winning and losing. The rune gathering becomes less luck based as you learn to know when they come into play, and how to predict when they will come up.* The hero mechanic flows well into the game, and the balance of the races depends more on the group playstyle than anything (IE, I've seen races that dominate in one group that tend to suck in another).

Granted, every player's mileage may vary, but with more gameplays, it continues to reaffirm it's place as one of my three "10s", and the expansion only makes that even stronger!

I haven't played Conquest to compare it, though being a WotC game it doesn't exactly scream "play me" for me and those I game with.


Not sure how you can argue, pre-expansion at least (as I've not played that), with the first two. The heroes clearly did very little interaction with the army aspect.

I disagree. The interaction may not have been direct, but it was often VERY critical from things to abilities/rewards that affect armies, exploring tokens, Tactics cards that rely on heroes, etc. I think on the surface they look disjointed, but in practice we've found that Heroes and Armies work in tandem, and if you don't manage that interaction well, you'll likely lose to someone who does.

The Timmoran Shards are an important part, sure, but we've found that to only be one part of many. Again, the interaction may seem subtle and isn't always "direct", but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

The game would be very different (and I think in a very bad way) without the Hero aspect of the game.
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Chris Darden
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Runewars is one of the worst games I've played in recent memory.
 
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Kiren Maelwulf
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sigmazero13 wrote:

I disagree. The interaction may not have been direct, but it was often VERY critical from things to abilities/rewards that affect armies, exploring tokens, Tactics cards that rely on heroes, etc. I think on the surface they look disjointed, but in practice we've found that Heroes and Armies work in tandem, and if you don't manage that interaction well, you'll likely lose to someone who does.

The Timmoran Shards are an important part, sure, but we've found that to only be one part of many. Again, the interaction may seem subtle and isn't always "direct", but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

The game would be very different (and I think in a very bad way) without the Hero aspect of the game.


I'm not disagreeing that heros are important as they do contribute to the end game mechanics. But the point remains that the interaction was limited, which is why FFG developers designed an expansion that adds interaction. Look at the heroes in the base game:

Can they attack troops or monsters? No
Can monsters or troops attack them? No
Do they share a movement phase with troops? No
Do they use the same movement mechanic as troops? No
Do their abilities interact with troops? Very Limited
Do the quest rewards interact with troops? Very Limited

You said you have not played CoN. I would suggest playing it, you will see a much more intigrated hero system that directly influences and is influenced the army mechanics. I'm not saying CoN is perfect, I ended up trading it, but mechanicly, it is much more fluid than the base game of Runewars, especially when it comes to the interaction between the gameplay elements.
 
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Scott Lewis
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I think you miss my point. I don't think interaction correlates with integration. The heroes may not work directly with the armies, but their integration in the game is vital, and not just for the end-game. There are too many cards, rewards, and abilities that taken as a whole make them important for almost the entire game.

I may try Conquest of Nerath someday if I can find someone who has it. But I'm not really in a hurry, as Runewars provides everything I want and expect in that style of game. I've read some of the rules for Conquest and while it looks interesting, it doesn't grip me the way Runewars did from the get-go.

I guess maybe Runewars works for me because the interaction that exists works well for what I'm looking for. It may not work for some because they want a different type of interaction, and that's fine.
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