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Runebound (Third Edition): Fall of the Dark Star – Scenario Pack» Forums » General

Subject: Multi-Hero Combat rss

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Evan Stegman
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Fall of the Dark Star scenario side 1:

Quote:
"... At the end of Act 2, resolve the prophecy found on the opposite side of this card."


Scenario side 2:

Quote:
"Prophecy: In turn order, each hero heals all damage then moves to the Cursed Ruins. Then, all heroes enter into a final combat. (A hero cannot retreat during final combat. Defeated heroes are eliminated from the game)."


Expansion Multi-Hero Combat rules:

Quote:
"During the Fall of the Dark Star scenario, heroes will enter a multi-hero combat. This combat follows the same rules and phases as normal combat with the following exceptions:"

"- During the Cast Phase, if two or more heroes tie for initiative, the hero earliest in the turn order goes first."

"- During the Action Phase, instead of alternating actions between two players, play begins with the player with initiative and proceeds clockwise to each player in turn."

"- When a hero is defeated, combat does not immediately end. Instead, combat immediately ends when all heroes except one have been defeated."

"- When a rule or ability used by a hero states to be used against his or her foe, that hero must choose one foe in the combat."



I have not played yet but my concern is that there doesn't appear to be anything preventing the players all ganging up on one player until they are eliminated. That sucks if you are the player that gets pounded on by all the other players before you even get a turn.

Makes me wonder if this will only be good with two players.
 
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David desJardins
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EvanMinn wrote:
I have not played yet but my concern is that there doesn't appear to be anything preventing the players all ganging up on one player until they are eliminated. That sucks if you are the player that gets pounded on by all the other players before you even get a turn.


If Alice is almost dead, why would Bob finish her off instead of turning on Carl?

I'd have the opposite expectation: everyone's going to attack whoever has the apparently best position, until they are no longer the strongest.
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Evan Stegman
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If I am playing against my brother and his wife, I guarantee you neither will attack the other until I am dead and there is not a blessed thing I can do about it. Why wouldn't they? By doing that, they increase their odds of winning from 33% to 50% and it costs them nothing.
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David desJardins
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EvanMinn wrote:
If I am playing against my brother and his wife, I guarantee you neither will attack the other until I am dead and there is not a blessed thing I can do about it. Why wouldn't they? By doing that, they increase their odds of winning from 33% to 50% and it costs them nothing.


If two players are going to collude to help each other and keep you from winning, they can do that in almost any game. If that's how your brother and wife play, there's a long, long list of games you shouldn't play with them.

But it's not true that they both get a 50% chance of winning. They will have different positions and one of them is sure to be stronger than the other. It's more likely to be something like 80% to 20% between them. Which is why the 20% player might think this isn't his best plan.
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Evan Stegman
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DaviddesJ wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
If I am playing against my brother and his wife, I guarantee you neither will attack the other until I am dead and there is not a blessed thing I can do about it. Why wouldn't they? By doing that, they increase their odds of winning from 33% to 50% and it costs them nothing.


If two players are going to collude to help each other and keep you from winning, they can do that in almost any game. If that's how your brother and wife play, there's a long, long list of games you shouldn't play with them.

But it's not true that they both get a 50% chance of winning. They will have different positions and one of them is sure to be stronger than the other. It's more likely to be something like 80% to 20% between them. Which is why the 20% player might think this isn't his best plan.


Oh, and there are games I won't play with them (Small World for example).

But that only helps if you know ahead of time the other players will ally with each other. If you are in a game were you don't know that and at th end the other players agree "Hey, let's eliminate Dave first.", there is nothing you can do about it (other than try and talk them out of that. Failing that, you are screwed).
 
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David desJardins
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EvanMinn wrote:
Oh, and there are games I won't play with them (Small World for example).


Then this is another one, at least with this expansion.
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Evan Stegman
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DaviddesJ wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
Oh, and there are games I won't play with them (Small World for example).


Then this is another one, at least with this expansion.


If they were the only people in the world who saw a benefit to ganging up, the problem would be solved. But they are not. And by the time you find out who else does it, it's too late.

And that was the entire point: this game doesn't work for every circumstance.

Most games 'attack' games limit who you can attack (e.g., base on proximity) and/or you get a benefit beyond simply reducing their life.

Games that don't have those kind of things (although I can't think of another) are limited the situations they work in (e.g., player count, types of players).

They could have put some more thought into it beyond a simple free-for-all. Few games do that because it just doesn't work that well.
 
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David desJardins
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EvanMinn wrote:
And that was the entire point: this game doesn't work for every circumstance.


No game works for every circumstance.

Quote:
They could have put some more thought into it beyond a simple free-for-all. Few games do that because it just doesn't work that well.


I think it's reasonable for them to have lots of variety in the different expansions. They want as many different styles of game resolution as possible. That means one expansion might not be to your taste, in fact there will almost certainly be some not to your taste. But you can just play the others.
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Evan Stegman
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You are missing the point: free-for-alls where people stand around punching each other without limitation and no benefit other than reducing the other's player's life is not a good design.

Two players works fine.

Four players they could have had random pair-offs with winners healing then fighting each other.

Three players could have been that attack tokens can only be used on players to your left.

Whatever. There are multiple ways they could have made it work other than a super simplistic "Hey! We'll have people stand toe-to-toe bashing each other until only one is left!"

The reason there a very few games with free-for-all combat like this is that it is not a good design.

But you're right: bad design is not for me.
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David desJardins
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EvanMinn wrote:
You are missing the point: free-for-alls where people stand around punching each other without limitation and no benefit other than reducing the other's player's life is not a good design.


You're missing my point --- yes, it is.
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Fruit Eating Bear
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sorry, but I'm with the OP here. The only way I'm going to play this one is 2-player. Against any other count I'm afraid king-making (of sorts) comes into play in a big way. I've bought it, because I'm a completionist, but I don't like it at all.
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David Williams
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Lots of popular games had king-making. For some people it adds to the game (as it's not all about being most powerful, a good diplomat can swing things in their direction against a more powerful opponent, etc) and for others it is no fun at all and breaks the game.

For the latter, it's pretty obvious just from reading the rules that this will be an unsatisfactory climax for them, and there are some simple house rules already suggested to make it less chaotic (and perhaps longer?) if that's the case:

- For 4 players either 2 semi-finals drawn at random then a final, or 2 teams of 2 with the winning team facing each other.

- For 3 players you can only attack the player to your left, or you all face off (1v2, 2v3, 3v1) and see who had the most health left in total after 2 fights.

The basic scenario is to play the game, get stronger, and then do some in PvP to see who comes out on top. The PvP rules they include are the most obvious, but have acknowledged flaws I'm sure the designers both recognised and knew were easily avoided if people don't like FFA type PvP.
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Troy H
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I think I will just house rule this into a tournament of sorts. 1 vs 1, winner moves on to fight the next hero (going in turn order).

Yea that slows Combat down somewhat but it's the very end of the game and I for one would be interested in watching the other players Combat to see who I'm fighting next.
 
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David Williams
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You could also make a rule that once the end is triggered players are eliminated on defeat, and if defeated by another player the winner heals all damage immediately. You could possibly also give a trophy and/or gold as a reward for doing so.

This way players chase each other around the board trying to finish each other off, and all combat is only 1v1. Could be fun, I think?
 
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Brett Hudoba
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Orion3T wrote:
You could also make a rule that once the end is triggered players are eliminated on defeat, and if defeated by another player the winner heals all damage immediately. You could possibly also give a trophy and/or gold as a reward for doing so.

This way players chase each other around the board trying to finish each other off, and all combat is only 1v1. Could be fun, I think?

Interesting idea, but it could also seriously drag out the game.

While I understand your intent, in this case there's no real incentive for heroes to go after each other right away once Act II ends. Players could technically all agree to leave each other alone until they've exhausted every adventure gem left to maximize their potential before engaging in the battle royale. Or, if players have significantly different movement rates, a faster hero could choose to never get caught until they're ready (if ever), resulting in an annoying cat-and-mouse situation.

Just the devil's advocate view... devil
 
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David Williams
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chindent wrote:
Interesting idea, but it could also seriously drag out the game.


It could, but only if the players play in such a way as to do that.

Quote:
While I understand your intent, in this case there's no real incentive for heroes to go after each other right away once Act II ends. Players could technically all agree to leave each other alone until they've exhausted every adventure gem left to maximize their potential before engaging in the battle royale.[q]

They could agree to that, but would you really risk drawing cards when there is another player within range? If you draw an enemy you're likely to take significant damage if you try to beat it, and if you flee you have nothing to show for it. Adventuring in general costs 2 actions so I think it will be hard to actually avoid players.

But sure, if the players have no desire to end the game then the game then it will drag on.

[q]Or, if players have significantly different movement rates, a faster hero could choose to never get caught until they're ready (if ever), resulting in an annoying cat-and-mouse situation.


To what end? If all they do is run away, then they aren't making any significant progress and are pointlessly prolonging the game. If they are able to somehow get far enough away to repeatedly adventure without risking being caught unprepared (as mentioned above) that might be a bit annoying but it seems unlikely one hero will be that much faster.

Quote:
Just the devil's advocate view... devil


Sure, and it was just a brainstorming suggestion for people looking for ideas. I think it's hard to evaluate how it would turn out without trying it. Ideas for tweaks:

- No more adventuring (remove all gems - then all people could do is try to rest up, complete quests, train or shop).
- No more shopping (not keen on this, might as well let people spend up).

It might be interesting to try it at least.
 
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David desJardins
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Orion3T wrote:
To what end? If all they do is run away, then they aren't making any significant progress and are pointlessly prolonging the game. If they are able to somehow get far enough away to repeatedly adventure without risking being caught unprepared (as mentioned above) that might be a bit annoying but it seems unlikely one hero will be that much faster.


They could certainly finish their quests, at least. I can't see the merit of having a whole phase of the game where you have to chase your opponents down. Also, if you have more than one opponent, you can't chase them all at once, so that's a significant kingmaking issue itself.
 
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David Williams
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DaviddesJ wrote:
They could certainly finish their quests, at least. I can't see the merit of having a whole phase of the game where you have to chase your opponents down. Also, if you have more than one opponent, you can't chase them all at once, so that's a significant kingmaking issue itself.


I don't disagree with your concerns, it's just an idea for people to consider.

I don't see how Kingmaking in the way I understand it could come into it; that usually involves 1 player handing victory to another (either directly by handing them gold etc, or indirectly by virtue of mutually disadvantaging everyone else) and I'm not sure how that would happen here. Whoever wins will need to defeat multiple opponents, it's not like they can both gang up on the same opponent, and there seems limited opportunity for further advancement especially if some actions are no longer allowed.

Perhaps you mean a situation where Alice is Chasing Bob, who is just running away. Meanwhile Charlie is free to rest, shop, train etc? I'm not sure how much of an advantage they could garner here, especially if Adventuring is no longer allowed. And in any case it seems to make more sense to chase down the strongest opponent first, before they can come even stronger. So likely Charlie is the player perceived to be weakest and I don't see that as a big problem.

You could also provide a reward for winning a combat - perhaps as well as being fully healed, they get 1 trophy or 2 gold, and they get to take their turn next? This way the players who engage first get some compensation for their time.

Also I don't think the board is really big enough to avoid people for long - even with just the normal dice a player can move 9 hexes which is enough to get almost anywhere on the board from the centre. You could make it easier to catch people by saying combat occurs if they end their turn in another hero's space, so they always get 3 moves to chase someone down. I can't imagine it ever taking long.

As I said, it's just brainstorming for people who hate the official ending. Personally I rarely play with more than 2 anyway so I'm not likely to ever need an alternative or even get chance to try it out myself. I'm sure it would need tweaking to provide a really satisfying ending, but it seems to have enough potential to be worth trying it once at least. If players find it sucks they can always jump to the usual ending. Or the other way around - do the usual ending, then try this as a 'what if?' and see how it goes.
 
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Brett Hudoba
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Quote:
If all they do is run away, then they aren't making any significant progress and are pointlessly prolonging the game.

I'm totally with you in that philosophy, but at the same time I imagine there are a lot of people who would do it anyway just because there's nothing saying they CAN'T (and even purely to annoy their opponents).

The thing about the scenarios in general is that they are clearly a race against the clock, and you need to do as much as you can within that time frame. It seems like the design of the Dark Star scenario is to initiate the final hero confrontation without allowing any leeway, specifically so the game won't drag out. This is not the same as pushing your luck for potential extra turns in the Margath scenario, because there's still a risk of overall failure if you screw around too long and the dragon reaches Tamalir.

I recently tried this scenario with three players (one of them coincidentally being the OP of this thread), and what ended up happening is that by the final confrontation, the third player declared that based on overall character development felt he didn't have a chance, so simply bowed out of the competition immediately and let the remaining two of us fight it out.

Which got us thinking: with three or four players, what if it came down to needing to somehow qualify for the final battle, with only two spots available and the remaining heroes being out of luck? This way it really becomes a race, but the only question then would be how to quantify the ranking system. Personally, I'd think that dark shards and prophetic visions are the obvious choice, since they're the main impetus of the scenario and would put much more value on attaining them beyond just boosting hit points.

Overall, it's too bad the finale is so glossed over rules-wise because I like the theme, story quests, and all of the other mechanics going on during the regular game (the Starborn Specters are particularly tough to fight).
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David Williams
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chindent wrote:
Quote:
If all they do is run away, then they aren't making any significant progress and are pointlessly prolonging the game.

I'm totally with you in that philosophy, but at the same time I imagine there are a lot of people who would do it anyway just because there's nothing saying they CAN'T (and even purely to annoy their opponents).


I don't have the board to hand, but if memory serves it really isn't that big - if a player is near the centre of the board, then even if they haven't improved their movement (and it would be crazy not to if this was the planned ending) I think it should be pretty easy to catch someone almost anywhere on the board, or at least corner them somewhat so you can get them next turn.

If you are central, 9 dice is in principle enough to get almost anywhere in just 1 turn. So with a bit of forward planning on the Hunter's side I think it won't be as hard to catch someone as you might think. No matter where they go, you have at least 9 dice to get to them.

Quote:
The thing about the scenarios in general is that they are clearly a race against the clock, and you need to do as much as you can within that time frame. It seems like the design of the Dark Star scenario is to initiate the final hero confrontation without allowing any leeway, specifically so the game won't drag out. This is not the same as pushing your luck for potential extra turns in the Margath scenario, because there's still a risk of overall failure if you screw around too long and the dragon reaches Tamalir.


True, and I did give some ideas for players who want to stick with that philosophy. But I think with some tweaking the idea of catching each other could work as well.

Quote:
I recently tried this scenario with three players (one of them coincidentally being the OP of this thread), and what ended up happening is that by the final confrontation, the third player declared that based on overall character development felt he didn't have a chance, so simply bowed out of the competition immediately and let the remaining two of us fight it out.

Which got us thinking: with three or four players, what if it came down to needing to somehow qualify for the final battle, with only two spots available and the remaining heroes being out of luck? This way it really becomes a race, but the only question then would be how to quantify the ranking system. Personally, I'd think that dark shards and prophetic visions are the obvious choice, since they're the main impetus of the scenario and would put much more value on attaining them beyond just boosting hit points.


Yeah that could work. In fact I really like this idea! Whichever 2 players have the most Dark Shards (prophetic Visions as the tie-breaker) get to face-off? This would make everything leading up to that point a bit more interesting, and greatly enhance the value of Dark Shards (though you would still need to be careful as those penalties can be nasty!)

Or, to give everyone a final battle, you could make people play-off, and whoever has the most Dark Shards gets to choose who faces who. So if Alice has 1, Bob has 2 and Colin has 3, Colin gets to choose the matches. He chooses Alice and Bob to fight each other (no reason not to!) then the winner fights Colin. With 4 players he chooses the semi-finals then the winners face off in a final.

Quote:
Overall, it's too bad the finale is so glossed over rules-wise because I like the theme, story quests, and all of the other mechanics going on during the regular game (the Starborn Specters are particularly tough to fight).


Agreed, the Finale could have been made more satisfying. Right now, I think your Dark Shards to qualify idea is the best, and I'd play that myself next time I play this scenario with more than 2 players.
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Brett Hudoba
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Quote:
Yeah that could work. In fact I really like this idea! Whichever 2 players have the most Dark Shards (prophetic Visions as the tie-breaker) get to face-off? This would make everything leading up to that point a bit more interesting, and greatly enhance the value of Dark Shards (though you would still need to be careful as those penalties can be nasty!)

Earning Dark Shards directly during the game can indeed be risky depending on the Corruption card(s) you draw, but there's otherwise really no hurry cash in any Prophetic Visions until right before the finale (unless you want the extra HP insurance in order to go after more Combat quests). But yeah, I was also thinking Prophetic Visions could be a tie-breaker for qualification.

Quote:
Or, to give everyone a final battle, you could make people play-off, and whoever has the most Dark Shards gets to choose who faces who. So if Alice has 1, Bob has 2 and Colin has 3, Colin gets to choose the matches. He chooses Alice and Bob to fight each other (no reason not to!) then the winner fights Colin. With 4 players he chooses the semi-finals then the winners face off in a final.

This is a solid suggestion, too--I like the thematic idea of whomever is "most corrupt" getting to call off the combat brackets, which ultimately provides even more of a risk/reward incentive to go after Dark Shards.

cool
 
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David Williams
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IIRC it's possible to lose Prophetic Visions, while Dark Shards are more permanent. But maybe I'm mistaken there.

Not a biggie either way, I still think it's a good idea.
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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I probably wouldn't play this with 3 players since that is likely to happen, still sounds like it would be good fun with 2 or 4 player counts though. As someone else mentioned, would be very easy with 4 players to have 2 separate duels happen, and then a battle between those winners. Would be pretty epic I think.
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Arash Sanari
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Fall of The dark star scenario with 3 players sucks. IT works beautiful with 4 players, turning the final combat into a tournament. Problem is that Runebound as a game does not, 4 players makes it painfully slow.

Once again it's sloppy design, really. Not realizing that a 3-person random gangup is not a satisfactory way to end a 3-4h gaming experience. Kind of in the same vein as not realizing that the vorakesh scenario is pretty un-beatable with 2, sometimes even 3, players. It' like they're not really playtesting runebound properly.
 
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David Williams
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Platon1 wrote:
Fall of The dark star scenario with 3 players sucks. IT works beautiful with 4 players, turning the final combat into a tournament. Problem is that Runebound as a game does not, 4 players makes it painfully slow.


For 3 players, maybe you could try this: Whoever has the most Dark Shards gets a bye into the final, the other 2 heroes have to face off against each other to get through. Prophetic Visions could be tie-breakers. Unspent trophies then unspent gold could be a tie breaker if it's still a draw.

This way Dark Shards become even more valuable and all the combat is 1v1, which works well and isn't chaotic like free-for-all.
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