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Subject: The Epic Game of Runewars rss

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Ike Evans
United States
Shakopee
Minnesota
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No thanks needed. I'm just your everyday galactic hero.
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Preamble: When it comes to comparing this game to any other, the first game that comes to my mind is TI3. Despite having completely different themes, it is easy to feel like you are playing TI3's sister game, but this isn't a bad thing.

At the time of this writing, I have played Runewars about ten times, and I own the expansion, which this review takes into account.

Feel free to tell me how stupid my opinion is. If I run into you at some gaming convention in the future, I promise not to harbor hard feelings.

Value:

The base game is currently running just over $60 on Amazon. This is a bit of a steep price point, but it does come with some very cool plastic models, and other components of a very good quality. Yes, it is a bit high, but I think it's worth it.

Artwork:

As with most games done by Fantasy Flight, the artwork is excellent. I think I've gotten to the point that if FF produces a game that doesn't get at least 4 1/2 stars, it is definitely going to disappoint me.

Timeframe: You are looking at at least 4 hours for a three player game, and for four players, games can easily last 6 hours or more. I haven't played under the updated rules to see if this was changed or not.

Gameplay:

There are several factors to the game that are bloody brilliant. I found myself really enjoying how combat is played out, not by rolling dice, but by flipping cards. The defeated army is usually going to be forced to retreat without massive casualties, which encourages players to get in and fight each other. Also, taking time to fight off random monsters provides a lot of great flavor to the game.

On the other hand, the game seems to get a bit distracted by heroes that traverse the board, but have very little to do with the armies. In concept, this is great idea, but in practice I felt like it only bogged the game down somewhat. To be sure, I don't hate the Heroes. For a game that can take as long to play, it just doesn't seem entirely necessary.

Another noted negative is the lack of diverse races to play. I mean, you have a choice of four different races, and each individual race has a beautifully unique feel to it. But I hate playing the Uthuk Y'lann, and I can only hope that there is another player who doesn't mind playing them so I don't have to. If there were, say, another two races to choose from (Orcs and Dwarves maybe?) this problem would be greatly mitigated and Runewars would gain another star for this category from me.

Expansion:

Buy the expansion. It's worth it. The base game works without it well enough, but the expansion adds enough flavor to make it worth the extra money.

Theme:

As with TI3, the theme is spectacular. The Fantasy/Medieval theme works really well. I look at the board and feel like I am really part of the struggle that goes beyond my army's success on the battlefield. I feel immersed into the world created by the story. Where the gameplay gets a bit bogged down, the theme rescues RW and makes it work in the end.

Verdict:

This is not a light game. Like TI3, it is going to take some resolve to be able to take it on. To the timid: don't even bother. To those who can handle the heat: hold on. This is a good game!
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m Vlad
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I recommend playing with the updated rules, Heroes are integrated into battles (They may move along with troops, and also support in battles).
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Jo Bartok
Germany
Zwingenberg
Hessen
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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Immersion leads to Fun.
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Has a lot of bad luck and still very crucial strategy requirements. We did not like it despite the good components and awesome looks. We prefer something along the lines of Starcraft (or Descent 1 if you want Terrinoth)
 
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Tom Stearns
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All my plays of this have been epic and fun. I don't have the expansion, just the base game. I like the hero element. It is yet another way to get Runes. Without the heroes the game would simply devolve into a fantasy war game (which isn't bad), which would only prolong the game. I like alternate paths to victory. The game is well worth the $60 price tag. I got mine used however in a trade. So there are ways to get a copy at a reasonable rate. The game is long. Our most recent 3 player game took 5+ hours, but we were at a con and had multiple interruptions. This is easily one of my top 10 fun games.
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George Ramos
Canada
Montreal
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Great review! I also found the heroes to be an unnecessary extra, but maybe that's because we seem to focus so heavily on the armies.
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Garrett
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Laredo
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I think Heroes are great and add a spin to Runewars to make it that one little bit more epic than it otherwise would be. I also think the Uthuk Y'llan are the coolest guys in the game.

Aside from these two points, your review is spot on! Runewars is the most epic game I own and I love it to pieces!
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