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Subject: Doom Track variation rss

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mike tauman

New Jersey
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I haven't done the Doom Track yet (I will this weekend in solo play) but I read the rules last night and, as has been discussed here already, the solo version obviously makes no sense. It would be maybe 8 adventure cards before Endgame and there is just no way you can fight even a Blue, much less a few reds consecutively at level 3.

Anyway so as I read you can either just not place the starting Doom Track card on the track, or when you place a doom counter you can not put the last card in slot 1 you can just discard it, or you can use 3 instead of 2. Basically the idea is you get 16 cards instead of 8. Still that would be tight but might be interesting.

So then I started thinking about the solo version of the game. And what occured to me was... why have movement dice at all? Unless playing the the Hazard variant as well (which didn't intrigue me at all - fight stuff for no xp all day? I don't think so) as a solo player every other turn I would just "rest" and lose my exhaustion counters, and then every turn where I had no exhaustion counters I could just use the "move 1 space" and go to any hex I wanted, which defeats the purpose of the movement dice altogether.

So I wanted to add a Time element to solo play. Another poster has a thread in this forum using poker chips which is not a bad idea either but I wanted to combine this time element with the Doom Track. Now this isn't tested at all yet but here is my thinking:

First of all, you do not start with a card on the Doom Track, and you do not need to put the "last" doom track card (the one that triggers the Doom Counter) onto the first town spot after placing the Doom Track Counter. Secondly, at the end of every turn, whether you had an adventure, just moved around, went to town, got KO'ed, you place a Green adventure card onto the doom track IN ADDITION to any cards you would normally have to place there.

Now the question is... at what point do you place the Doom counter? For solo play I was thinking maybe 6. The thing is, at some point there may be turns you cannot reach an adventure counter due to bad movement die rolls. That turn you would still place a card. When you spend a turn in town to heal or buy/sell, you place a card. If you took a turn to completely rest and remove 4 exhaustion counters, you place a card.

So even at "6" for the doom counters, which equates to 48 (8 * 6) total cards to be placed, you are not getting 48 turns. Using the regular doom track (modified for solo for 16 turns) you are getting, ideally, 16 adventure cards (discounting discarded events, encounters, which would really speed up the clock unnecessarily, or challenges you defeat and keep the card rather than discarding it). Under this method, even if you had 16 consecutive turns of pulling 1 adventure card, since you are doing 1 per turn, that is 16 additional cards going on to the doom track for a total of 32. 48 - 32 leaves 16 extra turns compared with the regular modified Doom Track scenario. Figure a few turns spent in town healing/buying/quest solving and maybe a couple turns when trying to reach all those Blue adventure counters on the hills you roll poor movement dice, or you are using less movement dice to lose exhaustion counters and get a bad roll resulting in a "wasted" turn, and it may come up about right.

Again this was just a thought for a solo game and I have neither playtested it nor even played a single solo game yet. Perhaps 5 is better and 6 would be too easy. And for each player you add you would have to probably double, or almost double this number (even beyond 8... maybe 9 for 2-player?).

I enjoyed the 1 game I played very much. There was no timer and no doom track and my g/f and I were able to adventure and explore as much as we wanted and build up as much as we wanted before confronting the Reds. Yes it made the Reds a little easier (although still tough) and there was no time pressure but it was a lot of fun. But I do think a timer of some sort, whether Doom Track or combined Time/Doom Track, will get players into a more aggressive mode earlier instead of just picking off insignificant greens it would make players try those yellows and blues a bit earlier, knowing that they will have to be ready when the timer runs out.

Let me know your thoughts. After I try it I will post here on how it went.
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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One other thought - I like everything about the concept of the Doom Track EXCEPT the way they handle the Endgame.

The fighting of consecutive red after red after red sounds WAY too tough, and it also kind of stinks that whoever is the highest level gets first crack at it.

I was thinking, when the 8th Doom Counter is placed, the endgame begins. At this time all green-yellow-blue adventure counters are removed from the game, and all towns become inaccessible (like Tamalir does in the blue event card - forget the name of it). You place a wound counter on each town and you cannot even pass through that space let alone end your turn on it to buy/sell/heal.

And the game progresses as normal, the players going after those few red counters on the board. If you defeat a red, non-Margath card, you get the rune and the XP and you may still "level-up" at the end of your turn. So the flavor of the game remains in that you still have to move and get to the red adventure counters, but at the same time you cannot purchase items or heal. A powerful player, who may be able to rip through any red he faces under the main Endgame, may get to kill his first two reds, but at least another player has a chance to maybe pull Margath and win, instead of watching this other guy fight 3 straight reds without even a chance to win.

Obviously this is not for a solo player game it would be for multi-player. But I like that movement would still matter since some characters/allies have abilities that aid in movement, so that would still count for something (getting to that red counter before the other guy), and if you are playing with PvP you could kill the other player as well even in the endgame. Since there are no towns left, a KO would mean elimination for a Hero.

The only thing I do not know right now, having played just once, is, how many red adventure counters are on the board and how many red cards are there, and are there any red events? Is it possible for every red adventure counter to be taken, and for no player to have come across Margath or gotten 3 dragon runes? Because then some tinkering would have to be done to make sure that the game would end (like when the last red counter is taken, they ALL refresh, so someone would get to Margath eventually).

This I might try with my girlfriend next time we play to see how it goes. Still want to try my Time/Doom Track in solo as well.
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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Not that anyone seems to be interested in this thread laugh but it did work like a charm and I will post a session report now. Will take a bit though.
 
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Justin Robben
United States
Spring Hill
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I am interested, please let us know how it went!
 
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Sam McCanna
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blakjaks wrote:
fight stuff for no xp all day?


as far as i can tell from the rules summaries in the file section, you still get xp for travel hazards...
 
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Mike Daneman
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It's a good idea. The Doom track, as written in the rules, really doesn't work that well.
Another "timer" to try is using the Threat Track from the Midnight expansion. It has a chance to increment every turn, and therefore makes market steps and movement dice relevant even in a 1-player game. It also makes for a pretty tense game as there's some randomness in how it progresses. I made a homemade version of it and posted it, along with the rules, to the Runebound page: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=17296.

As for the Endgame, I agree that the "fighting all Reds in a row" endgame is a bit lame. Your idea would definitely improve it.
Another way that comes to mind (though I havn't tried this) is to remove all the non-Reds from the board as you say, and then at the end of every round have each of the Red markers move towards the closest character. If the marker reaches the character, they have to fight it. This would simulate the Dragons marching to war. The marker movement could be handled a number of different ways. You can roll a D10 each round and set their movement to D10/2, you can use movement dice, you can start with some fixed movement and increase it by one every round, etc.

To answer you question about number of Dragon Runes:
Quote:
The only thing I do not know right now, having played just once, is, how many red adventure counters are on the board and how many red cards are there, and are there any red events? Is it possible for every red adventure counter to be taken, and for no player to have come across Margath or gotten 3 dragon runes? Because then some tinkering would have to be done to make sure that the game would end (like when the last red counter is taken, they ALL refresh, so someone would get to Margath eventually).

Keep in mind that players can attack each other and take away Dragon Runes. So even if all the Reds are gone and no one has 3 Runes, you can PvP to get them.
 
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ruvion .
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I really like that alternate endgame idea. More interesting than the linear arena death match that we have in the original rules.

Below is a variant doom track by a poster from BGG:

Variant Doom Track
Start with all eight counters on the doom track and take one off each time certain number of adventure cards is discarded. Always discard 1 green adventure card at the refresh step of the first player (to account for time running out). Once they are all off, play the end game as normal. When a number of adventure cards equal to the number of players plus the number of doom counters still in play are discarded, a doom track is taken off. For example, with three players the first doom counter comes off at eleven discards, the next at ten, the next at nine, and so on.

[I added my own changes:]
Each time a player dies from attempting an adventure, discard a number of green adventure cards equal to the number of players.
[note: this discourages over rash moves]
 
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