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Subject: Runebound or Return of the Heroes rss

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Douglas Nicol
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I'm stuck between these two games, both seem pretty similiar, and both come with recommendations.

What is really the best game between the two?
 
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J Mathews
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If you like throwing dice, get World of Warcraft. I found it to be much more enjoyable than Runebound and the play time is similar. If you prefer Euros, get Return of the Heroes. Don't bother with Runebound unless you've played it and really like it. We burned out on it way too fast for me to recommend it.
 
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James Davis
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well i havent played runebound so i cant comment on that. But return of the heroes is a different story. What i can say is its best feature would be replayability. The board is customizable, you can bring exploration into the game. Its very easy to teach beginners. I have heard many people comment on the poor rules, i didnt find this a problem though. Im really trying to think of negative things to say but nothing comes to mind at the moment.
 
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Dan Alban
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I have played both and wasn't particularly thrilled with either, despite a predisposition to liking this RPG-related genre.

I played Runebound several times, hoping that adding various expansions or playing with different numbers of people would improve it, but to no avail. I only played Return of the Heroes once, but had a similar impression. I think Return of the Heroes plays more quickly.

I can't really recommend either, unfortunately.

Descent is better, but is unbalanced with a small number of players. It's more of a tactical combat game than an RPG, though. Dungeon Twister seems fun, but is really a different sort of game that uses an RPG-type setting. Arkham Horror is similar to Runebound in some ways, but I like it significantly better. I wouldn't recommend it without reservations unless you're a Lovecraft fan who enjoys long/complicated games, however.
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Cindy
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I don't think you need to like Euros for RofHs. I will tell you this you get a base character, you know hit points, life, movement, ect. You get a quest you must complete before you go to final battle. You will explore and battle along the way. I LOVE it. Remids of playing D&D Temple of Elemental Evil on the PC. Basically your all on a solo mission on the same board. You can accept quests, shop at the market and battle trolls and the like. I highly recomend it. It's gets lots of play in my house. And if you have kids my 10year old daughter plays very well.
 
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Pete Grey
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Aha! Its a trick question.

The answer is-get them both man!

They're similar theme and have solo play capability. Outside that-Runebound has the cool minis.

For that reason alone-

Advantage - Runebound
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Check out Prophecy as well. I think it is better than both, unless you like extended quests (RotH) or lotsa dice & Magic-type art (Runebound).
 
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Ben Penner
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both are good games for the genre. they both start with a base character that you build up and a "big bad" at the end. ROTH plays quicker and the board varies from game to game. RB's board only changes if you get one of the 3 box expansions, but the card expansions offer a variety of choices to vary each game, and some can be combined.
 
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Sifu
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I've only played Prophecy and RotH, and would recommend them both but for different reasons. Prophecy has much cleaner rules and play, and is a lot of fun but also takes longer to play a "full" game. Prophecy has an excellent implementation of items, but a more spartan implementation of character improvement. It also gives you more options with the use of spells. Rules are amazingly clear.

RotH has a bit more chrome and is just generally better produced, if that matters to you. Item implementation isn't that deep or interesting, but character development is slightly deeper. It also has that customizable game board. And it generally plays a bit quicker. Rules are not well written.

They're both good - it's just going to come down what you like. If you get them both, you can always trade one or both away if you don't like them - you could even trade for Runebound! (or vice versa, of course)
 
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Douglas Nicol
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I could think in Descent or WoW, Prophecy sounds interesting, but seems difficult to get. There's only two sales registering in BGG, both of which will only ship to the US. It doesn't seem the easiest of games to get.
 
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Joel Glidden
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I have both, and I prefer Runebound. In RoTH there is no sense of immersion - no story. Runebound actually creates an enjoyable narrative through the event cards, adventures that escalate in difficulty and scope as the game progresses, and great art / flavor text all over the place. RoTH on the other hand has minimal art (except for the board itself) and zero flavor text. In Runebound you feel like you're adventuring in a world that continually becomes darker and more dangerous as the over arcing story plays out. In RoTH you feel like you're moving pieces around on a board and rolling dice. In Runebound you will have the opportunity to decide whether you should take a shortcut through the mountains and risk an encounter with danger, or if you should stick to the road and risk missing an opportunity. In RoTH simply take the shortest route between two points.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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For games that essentially do the same thing...let you play through your typical epic fantasy quest...they are surprisingly different.

RotH is more Euro flavored, but I think mostly because of it's presentation. It's got that softer, almost fiary tale quality to the art. Very Tolkienesque. But it's not a true Euro...players are not equal (different hit points, movement values, and special abilities), there are a variety of different quests, and you play with a random Big Bad (Nameless). There is a small opportunity for player interaction, as you have the chance to put random encounters for a chance to block or slow down the movement of other players. But generally, it's what some would call a multi-player solo game. I'm not sure why that's used as a disparaging term, but for some reason it is. Personally, I play games to be social, and spend my down time chatting with my friends. I digress.

Runebound is totally in the new vein of so-called overproduced games. Plastic minis, great fantasy (think a slightly toned down Vallejo and you've got a good start) art, and an epic fantays quest. You choose the big bad at the start of the game, and the events you encounter, while random, do have flavor text that tell a story, if you care for that. RotH is all random...you can make up the story as you go, but there's only the most basic of plots built into the game. The Nameless is coming, and the land needs heroes to prove themselves to be able to defeat him and his servants. In Runebound, the flavor text of the events is tied to the adventure you're on. As you encounter them, you'll see events unfold. While cool the first few times you play, the appeal of this dims on replay.

Runebound is a less forgiving game, and harder to catch up if you fall behind. Losing a battle early is not uncommon, and the penalties are stiff. RotH is more forgiving, as it's easier to avoid and survive a failed combat roll. Death is more harsh in RotH, but easier to avoid. For this reason, I think RotH is a better game if you plan to play with younger kids and those adults that don't do well with having their stuff taken away from them.

Both games have high replayability factors. RotH has a modular board that you can arrange in different ways. Runnebound requires you to buy expansions for new adventures, with the larger expansions changing the gameplay quite significantly.

Finally, RotH is a bit less expensive than the base Runebound game, and quite a bit less expensive if you're of the completist mindset that's going to buy all the Runebound expansions just to have a complete set.

Overall, both are good games. I like both, and it's hard to recommend one over the other. If you know you're going to enjoy this kind of game, and don't finr replays tedius, get Runebound. If you're not sure, get RotH.
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Swood
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jmglidden wrote:
I have both, and I prefer Runebound. In RoTH there is no sense of immersion - no story. Runebound actually creates an enjoyable narrative through the event cards, adventures that escalate in difficulty and scope as the game progresses, and great art / flavor text all over the place. RoTH on the other hand has minimal art (except for the board itself) and zero flavor text. In Runebound you feel like you're adventuring in a world that continually becomes darker and more dangerous as the over arcing story plays out. In RoTH you feel like you're moving pieces around on a board and rolling dice. In Runebound you will have the opportunity to decide whether you should take a shortcut through the mountains and risk an encounter with danger, or if you should stick to the road and risk missing an opportunity. In RoTH simply take the shortest route between two points.


Quoted for Runebound truth. I agree with all of the Runebound comments above. While I own RoTH, I have not yet played it. Frankly, I'm not that motivated to play it because of the (in my opinion) lousy art and production. It just doesn't look appealing to me.

Runebound feels, to me, like a combination of Magic and Dungeons & Dragons... which suits me just fine. The art is fantasic. The Item cards are beautifully illustrated and easily evoke that "yeah, I just spent X gold on this frickin' kick ass sword!"
 
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Enon Sci
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Question to the resident thread repliers...

Not to shift the gears too greatly on this Runebound laced conversation, but would you all agree that Arkham Horror taps into the same sense of immersion and "enjoyable narrative through the event cards" that Runebound does?

Does it offer "adventures that escalate in difficulty and scope as the game progresses" in a similar manner?

It was this line that got me thinking:

Quote:
...and the [Runebound] events you encounter, while random, do have flavor text that tell a story, if you care for that. RotH is all random...you can make up the story as you go, but there's only the most basic of plots built into the game.


Would this preceding quotation work if the name "Arkham Horror" was substituted for Runebound?


Just curious, I was torn between the two and eventually went for Arkham (though I have yet to play it).
 
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Paul Kidd
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For more comments see:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/939237
 
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Mark Wilson
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I'm in the minority. I despise Return of the Heroes. The game was way too fiddly and I didn't like the artwork and the game basically felt like more work than it was worth. Fighting creatures really seemed to be a premium, but there was nothing cool about these creatures when you actually fought them. I didn't particularly like the quest system either.

Now Runebound I found needed variants and house rules to be fun. Good game system, but World of Warcraft is much better and fits the same vein. I would go with Runebound though long before Return of the Heroes.
 
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Enon Sci
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aceraxon wrote:
I'm in the minority. I despise Return of the Heroes. The game was way too fiddly and I didn't like the artwork and the game basically felt like more work than it was worth. Fighting creatures really seemed to be a premium, but there was nothing cool about these creatures when you actually fought them. I didn't particularly like the quest system either.

Now Runebound I found needed variants and house rules to be fun. Good game system, but World of Warcraft is much better and fits the same vein. I would go with Runebound though long before Return of the Heroes.


Can you elaborate on what's lacking in Runebound's official rule set to demand variants and house rules? Also, what's so cool about the Runebound creatures when you actually fought them (special attacks?)...?

 
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Stephen Teixeira
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I was wondering myself a few months ago about which to pick up.

In the end it was Runebound and so far everyone who has played the game wants to play again.

There was a geeklist I created on this - it may be worth seeing what comments other geeks added:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16133

I have since also bought Arkham Horror and based on one play so far (with some of the rules wrong of courseblush) this is also well worth considering as the theme stands out and the characters while they do not level up as such do progress with items / skills / magic etc.
 
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Adam Skinner
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I don't know how married you are to the fantasy genre, but you might also want to check out Battlestations.
 
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MGS
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I had the same question a few months ago. I stayed away from Runebound because the rules were a little heavier than my wife would be willing to take and what clinched against it was the time required to play. I bought Return of the Heroes which is now her favorite game and one that I enjoy quite a bit. We are experienced RPG players and have a nice collection of boardgames.
 
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Enon Sci
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Ronaldo wrote:
I had the same question a few months ago. I stayed away from Runebound because the rules were a little heavier than my wife would be willing to take and what clinched against it was the time required to play. I bought Return of the Heroes which is now her favorite game and one that I enjoy quite a bit. We are experienced RPG players and have a nice collection of boardgames.


Your wife is an experienced RPG player yet finds the rules to a board game too complex? That strikes me as odd (note: I've not played Runebound, but am familiar with Arkham Horror's rule set).

Don't most RPGs require far more accounting and familiarity with fiddly rules than almost any (non wargame) board title?
 
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MGS
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Ronaldo wrote:
I had the same question a few months ago. I stayed away from Runebound because the rules were a little heavier than my wife would be willing to take and what clinched against it was the time required to play. I bought Return of the Heroes which is now her favorite game and one that I enjoy quite a bit. We are experienced RPG players and have a nice collection of boardgames.


Your wife is an experienced RPG player yet finds the rules to a board game too complex? That strikes me as odd (note: I've not played Runebound, but am familiar with Arkham Horror's rule set).

Don't most RPGs require far more accounting and familiarity with fiddly rules than almost any (non wargame) board title?


Thanks for quoting me!

I find this to be a misconception. Since I started playing RPGs, back in 92-93, it became clear that only the GM had to know the rules in detail. The other players could know as much rules as they wanted to and would still play well and enjoy the game as long as they knew what their characters were good at.

The other thing is, even though I played quite a bit of Gurps, D&D, Castle Falkenstein, SAGA and several others, I now prefer to play RPGs which the rules seem more sensible to me. They make the game move smoothly and when the "dice" hit the table, you know something big is going to happen and there is no "GM-fudging-of-the-results".

One RPG that I really like is "Prime Time Adventures" which to me is an excellent generic system.
 
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Mark Jackson
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My problem with Runebound is that it was SLOW. Return of the Heroes has very short turns, which allows you to play with 3-4 players without massive downtime. Even with two players, Runebound has a tendency to drag a bit as you work your way through a plethora of die rolls.
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Herb Petro
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gamemark wrote:
My problem with Runebound is that it was SLOW. Return of the Heroes has very short turns, which allows you to play with 3-4 players without massive downtime. Even with two players, Runebound has a tendency to drag a bit as you work your way through a plethora of die rolls.


Yes, I also found that Runebound goes on and on and on. I did not find it very immersive because it takes so long. I have played Runebound, but I own Return of the Heroes, which gets my vote.
 
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Damon Asher
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I surely come down on the side of Runebound here. I owned Return of the Heroes, played it, played it a few more times to be sure, then traded it. I found RotH to be fairly tedious. Once you level up a little bit, every challenge becomes very easy. Then it's just a matter of moving around and flipping tiles. Neither my wife nor I were very impressed.
I find Runebound to be a much more interesting experience, and the expansion decks open up many more possibilities. The class decks, in particular, introduce mechanisms from both World of Warcraft and Dungeoneer to give you new ways to increase your power and to directly mess with your opponents! I think that people who think that Runebound drags may be playing too conservatively. To win, you need to go for the higher level challenges before your opponents. This drives the game to a much speedier and exciting conclusion.
 
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