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Subject: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement? rss

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Jeff Khoury
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I've played a few games of this now (thanks TANGA), and I've really enjoyed it. The only major problem the group has had is the MOVEMENT DICE SYSTEM.

PROS:
>Innovative

CONS:
>Random, luck based
>SLOWS things down as players mull over their options
>Can stall out players who have been WAITING for their turn
>Sometimes it takes a LONG time to get from one end of the Board to another
>Little symbols all look alike to those w/bad eyes (esp Mtns and Forests)


I would argue that the biggest detriments, the way it slows things down with analysis-paralysis and turn stalling (when you can't seem to roll what you need and basically, miss a turn) DO NOT outweigh the rather interesting idea behind the dice.

Thankfully, there are a few dice variants listed, and I've got some ideas myself. The purpose of this thread is to ask for input from those who have also played this game (many of them a lot more than I have.) Do you use alternate movement rules? What do you think is the best sytem? Do you think the following ideas have merit?

My own preliminary Variant (really open to discussion on this one)

MOVEMENT POINTS:

Each character starts with 5 MPs, if that character or his/her allies have ANY wounds/exhaustion, then MPs are reduced by 1. A Character may REST to remove exhaustion at the cost of 1 MP per exhaustion removed from that Character or Allies. Terrain costs are as follows:

Cities 1 *
Roads 1 *
Plains 1
Woods 2
Hills 2
Rivers 2 *
Swamps 3
Mountains 3

* Special Rules Apply

CITIES

A City also counts as a Road/River space (for special Road/River movement) IF a Road or River CONNECTS to it.

ROADS

Once per tuen, the FIRST space of Road movement is free. This MUST be Road to Road movement through CONNECTED road spaces. A character may make a LEGAL free road move, as his last move, even if he has 0 MPs left. (1. If a character is moving on a Road, his first movement onto a connected Road space is free. 2. If a character moves onto a Road from another type of terrain, and THEN moves onto a CONNECTED Road space that move is free.)

OPTIONAL ROADS RULE

A Character may CHARTER A CARRIAGE at any CITY for 1 Gold. The Carriage MUST travel by Road and DOUBLES all normal Road movement. I.e. a character may move TWO Road spaces for 1 MP. A character MAY NOT make a Free Road Movement when chartering a carriage (in essence, the CARRIAGE is utilizing the speed of Road movement to MAXIMUM effect already.) Carriages may only be used for that turn, and must be re-aquired on following turns.

RIVERS

The cost in MPs is for moving into a River space, and movement along connected River spaces. Rivers MAY NOT be crossed using MPs alone. It a Character has sufficient MPs to pay for entering the Terrain across the River, a River may be Crossed in one of three ways.

1. Pay one exhaustion to attempt a Swimming Skill (15). Failure results in one Health damage and ends turn.
2. Pay one exhaustion to attempt a Tinker Skill (15) to BUILD A RAFT. Failure results in one Health damage and ends turn.
3. HIRE A FERRY for 1 Gold. This is automatic.


OPTIONAL RIVERS RULE

A Character may HIRE A BOAT at any CITY for 1 Gold.
A Character may BUILD A RAFT -Tinker Skill (15) - at any River space.
Boats and Rafts MUST travel along connected River spaces.
Boats and Rafts may only be used for that turn, and must be re-aquired on following turns.
Boats travel 3 River Spaces per MP spent
Rafts travel 2 River Spaces per MP spent. When Rafting, a character must pay 1 exhaustion for the first space and 1 for every other space after that. (I.e. 1 exhaustion for 1-2 spaces, 2 exhaustion for 3 -4 spaces, etc)


These rules are meant to speed up the game, make it less frustrating to move, and to make overall movement a little more realistic. (It SHOULD cost more to move through mountains, not just a lucky roll of the movement dice.) I struggled with Roads and Rivers because Roads should be the fastest way of standard movement without being ridiculously so, and Rivers should be difficult to move along, and harder to cross, AND be the fastest overall mode of transportation if you use a Boat. I like the idea of Carriages and Boats as a way to speed up map movement, but with a cost.

Of course, all of this may be too much so,

A SIMPLE version.

Each character starts with 5 MPs, if that character or his/her allies have ANY wounds/exhaustion, then MPs are reduced by 1. A Character may REST to remove exhaustion at the cost of 1 MP per exhaustion removed from that Character or Allies. Terrain costs are as follows:

Cities 1
Roads 1 *
Plains 1
Woods 2
Hills 2
Rivers 2
Swamps 3
Mountains 3

* The first move along conncected roads is free.
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Jeff Khoury
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Wait there's more!

Rowan the Wild would have to be changed to (something like)

Pay 1 exhaustion to add one MP.

Magic items like the one that allows you to re-roll movement dice could simply add 1 MP to your pool. And the wings could treat ALL terrain as 1 MP cost.

ETC, ETC.
 
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Rich Moore
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
Personally, I don't see the problem with the movement dice...especially since there is always the option to not roll the dice and move to any adjacent space regardless of terrain. Plus, fatigue removal is tied into the movement dice mechanism...your variant doesn't account for that.

However, if I were you, I'd stick to the simple version of your variant. The other options seem so convoluted that you'll have to spend more time looking up the rules or rolling some skills test every time you want to move. Simple variants are best.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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For one, I love the movement dice.

For two, I think:

>Sometimes it takes a LONG time to get from one end of the Board to another

Is a Pro, not a Con.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
The movement dice are the one thing I really do like about Runebound. I wouldn't want to variant them away.
 
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Swood
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
I have two problems with the movement dice:

1) As you mentioned, the symbols are difficult to read sometimes.

2) I use a dice tower and I hate having to constantly switch out the movement and combat dice with each turn. I guess I need two towers. Or a tower and a box top.
 
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Jim Brooks
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Some are born to move the world To live their fantasies But most of us just dream about The things we'd like to be Sadder still to watch it die Than never to have known it For you, the blind who once could see The bell tolls for thee...
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
Do you let the next player roll the movement dice as soon as the current player determines his move? This should speed things up most of the time.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Skadar wrote:
1) As you mentioned, the symbols are difficult to read sometimes.


1 minute with a fine point permanent marker fixes this.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
Jim,

We bought a second set of movement dice. Yes, there are situations when a move depends on the move of the first mover, but often that is not the case.
 
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Jeff Khoury
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ejamer wrote:
So you've replaced a simple and effective movement system that forces players to make odd-based decisions with a more complicated (and more calculated) process that would require a whole new player aid? And you haven't even accounted for recovering Exhaustion -- although I'm assuming you'd just "buy back" points using available MPs.


So, less is more seems to be the general consensus. That works. Although, I DID say that exhaustion could be bought back on a point for point basis.

I think having the next player roll in advance is a good idea and will implement that when using dice. The only problem being the need for a second set of dice (I'm thinking that the first player might need to mull over his dice without worrying about someone trying to re-roll them).

But, I don't see "Well you can always move ONE space" as a logical alternative when my point is that the dice SLOW down gameplay. I also don't see it as a calculated risk when moving, it's not exactly desicion based to ROLL DICE. OK, you can decide HOW MANY dice to roll, but that's still partially automatic if you have exhaustion. And don't tell me it doesn't feel LUCK BASED when you're forced to move at a crawl to reach that Red encounter in the mountains when another player, halfway across the map, swoops in on one of his own. HIS strategy of rolling four dice was better than YOUR strategy of rolling four dice?

What I'm stressing is the idea of a simple, automatic move system. I threw in all those other ideas as "flavor" but they're not necessary.

Quote:
A SIMPLE version.

Each character starts with 5 MPs, if that character or his/her allies have ANY wounds/exhaustion, then MPs are reduced by 1. A Character may REST to remove exhaustion at the cost of 1 MP per exhaustion removed from that Character or Allies. Terrain costs are as follows:

Cities 1
Roads 1 *
Plains 1
Woods 2
Hills 2
Rivers 2
Swamps 3
Mountains 3

* The first move along conncected roads is free.


The biggest problems I would expect are items and abilities that affect movement dice, but there are few of those and can usually be solved with general house rules. Reroll one die = +1 MP. Reroll multpile (or all) dice = +2 MP, Roll x less dice = -x MP, etc, etc.
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Jeff Khoury
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Thanks for the input so far guys.

There have been a few MP based variants in the past, as there are a few others dissatisfied with dice, so I'm glad that I'm not making this up whole cloth. It helps though, to talk these things over with knowledgeable folks, even those that disagree, rather than just spinning rules around my cranium.
 
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Mr X
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
JVKhoury,

I actually like your idea. I guess we're the minority in this case.

Your variant is easy to learn, easy to implement and adapts well to "reroll X movement dice" abilities found on some cards.

The idea for the hiring of boats and wagons, while adds flavor, is a bit much for wide distribution. Though with the right group of friends I can see it working. But for most people I would try selling them only the simple version of your variant.

One idea I had mulling in my mind as I was reading your movement variant is about fatigue. I read about a diceless movement system in the game "ZOMBIES!!" where you could move the same amount of spaces as you had health tokens. For this game every player would have MPs equal to 5 minus the amount of wound counters they may have. A minimum of 1 movement space would be available, and hero's could always move to 1 adjacent space, no matter what the terrain.

For example, if Ronan of the Wild took two wound counters his movement rate would be dropped to 3.

It may be necessary to increase the base amount of MPs from 5 to something higher such as 7; while still only allowing hero's to use 5 of the seven (the extra two would serve as "padding" for the first two wound counters someone may take). In this case if Ronan took three wounds, he'd be able to use 4 MPs (7MPs - 3wounds = 4 usable MPs [max MPs allowed to be used would be 5]). If he took 4 wounds, he could only use 3 MP, 5 wounds equals 2 MP and so on.

What this variant simulates is the hero's growing more and more tired the closer they are to near death (well, unconsciousness). A hero with full health could travel far and wide, but a hero one wound away from slumber land would be struggling to keep trekking.

If the boats, rafts and buggy ideas are too much...perhaps making a way for rivers to slow a hero down (going upstream) but increasing their speed (going down stream) could work. Or not.

Let me know what you think.
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Mr X
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Re: What do YOU think is the best variant (no-dice) movement
After play testing with my friend I believe allocating 6 movement points (MP) with the following MP-per-hex terrain table:

PLAINS/TRAILS/VILLAGES ... 1 MP
FORESTS/RIVERS/HILLS ... 2 MP
SWAMPS/MOUNTAINS ... 3 MP

is the best choice. With six MP instead of 5 movement is not left with a remainder as often.
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