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Runebound: The Island of Dread» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Landrec leads the way rss

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Jack Wraith
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So, we got together to play some Runebound again. We've played all of the alternate endings multiple times except for Avatars of Kelnov but have only played Isle of Dread twice (once we failed to finish, but I was leading; the second time I won outright with Grey Ker.) Therefore, the Isle was on deck, especially since we hadn't played it with the latest round of expansions to the Market Deck, so it would be interesting to see how some of the newer and more powerful allies and items would affect the difficulty level of IoD, generally believed to be more strenuous than the base game.

We would also be using Martin Wallace's alternate rules for the Market (http://www.martsville.0catch.com/images/FantasyFlight/Runebo...) which we've recently adopted for the base game. I find these rules to be far superior to the standard Market Step approach, as it opens up a great set of options for the players, as well as making it easier to navigate the now enormous Market Deck. So, if you really want to get a weapon or shield or ally, your chances are much improved rather than ending up with yet another Alchemist's Flash Bomb. It does, however, highlight the dearth of armor items in comparison to allies, magic, and weapons.

Leigh was playing Lyssa; Alistair played Ispher; the normally-reluctant Adrianna was playing Bogran; and I tried Landrec. The latter is considered to be the worst of the Runebound characters by our group, as he has to survive until the magic phase to have a solid chance at succeeding (0 in melee) and only has 3 wounds to do it with. Despite his special ability allowing him to get to the Magic phase first, it can only be done once before resting, unlike many other characters' abilities. Since I tend to win most often in Runebound, I figured I'd 'handicap' myself and take the one character that everyone avoids. Quickly, we also noticed that all of our characters were hunched over in some fashion, so it looked kind of comical to be considered the 'champions/saviors' of Terrinoth...

The game started smoothly for 3 of us, as we swept out of Dallak and started knocking off Green challenges. Lyssa even picked up the Black Lotus quest in her first draw (as a side note, I REALLY like the fact that Encounter cards in IoD have themes tied to locations as it provides a great story element with a solid reward for most of them. This is an aspect that I think is really missed in the base game.) However, Ispher went through the most catastrophic luck I've yet seen in a game of Runebound: 3 straight Green challenges, 3 straight knockouts. Of course, you're at least not losing gold or items/allies from suffering in that fashion, but you're also gaining nothing. Despite that streak, Ispher would recover somewhat and be in the running near the end until one fateful moment.

I picked up the Mountains of Ash quest and also was fortunate enough to face challenges that gave me a significant amount of gold to convince me to return to Dallak and Trelton and pick up cheap items and allies (Tallag Beast-Skinner, who later got me a suit of Padded Leather Armor on the cheap, and Winter's Woe) which pushed me forward sufficiently to take on a Yellow challenge first. In many of our games, it's been seen that the first person to take on a Yellow is often the winner. I also continued my trend of the previous IoD game in managing to acquire almost exclusively green Map counters. Bogran countered with mostly Blue counters. Nothing is more frustrating in trying to advance in IoD than drawing only part of the very crucial Maps. However, I did have the forethought to turn in my first completed set for the Book of Korsec-Amin quite early in the game and I held onto it for the rest of the way.

Dry Land was drawn about 2 or 3 turns into the game and remained for the majority of it, so we didn't get to Sea adventures until fairly late into the evening. Also, the dearth of events exposes the somewhat fewer Adventure jewels on the IoD map, making it a slightly more tedious game than the base map. Ispher had recovered sufficiently, picking up the Champion's Plate and the Bow of Fire, to be in the running until Stormy Seas knocked out his Captain and shipwrecked him, costing him the Bow of Fire. Lyssa never really got going, dying once or twice and never having enough gold to pick up decent items. Bogran, OTOH, jumped ahead in leaps and bounds from a fairly mundane beginning. At one point, he was wielding the Touch of Death, Soul Burn, and Immolation, simultaneously, while still being fairly powerful in the Ranged phase. Using that power to knock out 2 or 3 Red challenges and gain the consequent instant levels gave Bogran a giant step ahead of everyone else. With that armament and enough advances, he traveled to the Isle of Dread to open the showdown with Assif Shib-sa. On top of that, he drew the evil god off the top of the Silver deck. However, still needing 16s to make his magic attacks go off, including Touch of Death, and only possessing the Spear of Trelton from the Legendary items proved too much and Assif knocked out his first challenger.

Meanwhile, I managed to work my way up to Reds, as well, now wielding the Rune of Healing, the Shield of Light, and the Elven Wraproot, in addition to two more Wounds. I knocked out the Red challenge that I think is essential to approaching the endgame: Cardinal Thok. The power to do +2 damage in any phase gives you a huge leg up against any of the Silver challenges, regardless of their special ability. Grabbing the Crystal Staff just before I departed (although I was really tempted by Terig, Wyvern Rider), I traveled to the Isle of Dread and proceeded to work my way through the ENTIRE Silver deck, finding Assif Shib-sa on the very bottom (thanks to the ability to discard a couple challenges, I didn't have to fight all of them. I'm not sure I would have made it if I'd had to.) Even with a base 10 in magic, it was no sure thing. However, with the Book and 4 other Legendary items (Helm, Jewel, Sword, Shield), I took 3 of my 5 wounds and defeated Assif Shib-sa in the second round of combat, winning the game with the 'worst' of the Runebound characters. One other positive outcome is that Adrianna actually enjoyed a game of Runebound, so prospects for more plays seem brighter.

Next up: Avatars of Kelnov. Then I'll perhaps finally have enough money stashed aside to pick up Sands of Al-Kalim...
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Mike Daneman
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Great session report. One minor point is that Martsville is not Martin Wallace's website (i.e. Martin Wallace the original designer of Runebound and many other games), but Martin Knight's. And the correct URL is http://www.martsville.co.uk/Fantasy_Flight_Runebound.htm
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Jack Wraith
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Oops. Yeah. Had Martin Wallace on the brain. Wonder how that '0catch' got in that link? Thanks for the link correction, though.
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