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Glorantha: The Gods War» Forums » General

Subject: Of Empires and Runes rss

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Guillaume Andriot
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So, with the recent 5 players gameplay video we saw that Darkness was tinkered a bit, with the Ancestor Worship gift now giving an aditional rune during the power phase as long as the castle of lead is in play. This was apparently done to buff Darkness a bit.

So because I was a bit bored I tought I would compare each Empire ability to draw runes.

-Torment (mad god ability): You should use the ability at least once in a game and maybe up to 3 times.
-The Spike explode (heroquest): +1 rune.
-The Catastrophe (Gift): +1 rune every turn the rift is open. Typically 2 to 3 per game.
-Oblivion: Highly variable, depending on how late you get it. But can easily generate a lot of runes.

So chaos will get something like 5 runes at least every game and then it just depend on how willing the other players will be to let you get some more or lose pieces forever. Either way you win.

-Ancestor Worhsip (gift): 1 rune each time you build the castle of lead +1 per power phase when the castle is in play.So you can expect mabye 2-4 runes from the new ongoing effect maybe ?
-Black Market (gift): You will typically give the runes away here but late in the game you might buy 1 or 2 runes for yourself.

We can see why the buff to Ancestor Worhsip was needed. Without it Darkness could not expect much runes in an average game. Even with the buff Darkness is far from being the top rune earner.

-Sun God exit hell (heroquest): 2 runes.
-Noblesse Oblige (gift): 1 rune each use. I'd say 2-4 rune per game, maybe 5 at best.

Now there is a big caveat with Sky. To get runes you must use and re-use your great decrees. So sky as a single reliable ability to get only a few runes but give as much away to the other players.

-Weather Control (gift): now get 1 rune when you use it, yay ! Only once per game.
-Courage (gift): 1 rune each time you fight against 3+ battle dices. Can be highly variable.

Storm look a bit weak rune wise. If you can manage to fight a lot, you could generate a few runes, but if you can't find 3+ dices opportunities or get wiped on the battlefield, your are kinda screwed.

-Summon the Titans (action): 1 rune for each.
-Pacifism (gift): Get 1 rune when you use it. Once per game.
-Extinction (gift): Behemoth kill stuff, get 1 rune, OR Behemoth die, get 2 runes.
-Divorce (gift): Once per power phase, ditch any earth queen and get 1 rune.

As we can see Earth get as a lot of opportunities to draw runes that are prett much risk free. You've got 3 runes allmost automaticly and you can squeeze a few extra with divorce and extinction. A very reliable rune earning faction.

-Each time you complete a heroquest, you get 1 rune, 2 for the big double quest +1 if chaos is in play. So thats 6 to 7 runes allmost guaranteed !
-The Churner (Magasta's ability): +1 rune during the power phase if you used it. (but why wouldnt you ? its amazing) Depending on how late Magasta come into play you can get 2 to say 4 runes out of this.

Sea is a real no-brainer when it come to runes. This is of course meant to compensate for Sea's weak early game, and make the Empire one of the clear top rune earners.

Invisible God
-Divine Right (gift): +1 runes every council phase +1 more if you are behind 3 others players on the VP track.
-1 rune each time you use one of the "Book" gifts. You have 3 of thoses and can reset them with one of your heroquests. So up to 6 runes.

Like Earth you have very reliable means to get a good sample of runes. You may not be able to squeeze every single rune out of your books every game but thats about it.

-Madness (gift): When the cycle hit full moon if you have a Selene in play you get 1 rune. Plus you get some power but because of this it does not work if 2 players are at 0 power, or if your Selenes are dead.

A single somewhat unreliable ability to get runes. Not very impressive.

Now... The uneven rune distribution is not necessarily an issue. Some empires get more runes than others for balance reasons, that is perfectly understandable. However runes are fun and 2 empires in particular look like they've drawn the short straw: Storm and Moon.

Both have a single somewhat unreliale ability to draw runes. At best they will get only a few, at worse none. At least storm get a freebie from Weather Control now. Once again maybe this is for pretty good balance reasons. Perhaps Storm and Moon don't need the runes at all. But runes are cool and not having any while everyone else is throwing them around could feel a bit frustrating.
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Moshe Saricov
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It so happanes that the two empires most lacking in rune generation are also the 2 empires most likely to get yelm out of hell, so there is a rune in there and another inb a great decree from sky.

it all seems well thought through.
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Guillaume Andriot
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But what if Yelm is not in the game ?

Also I think the Invisible God is actually the best at freeing Yelm from hell. ^^
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Sandy Petersen
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I wrote the first-ever Lovecraft game.
This is a good analysis. Storm and Darkness earn the fewest Runes. On the other hand, they are the best at conquering enemy buildings.

I will just say that if Storm can't find 3-point enemies, this is a sort of First World Problem, because it means he is able to whip up on anyone he fights, since they are only rolling 2 dice. He sails Orlanth into an area teleporting a barbarian or hero buddy, then when he declares combat, a Storm Brother pops in. That's 3 dudes, rolling 6-9 dice against a foe who is only rolling 1-2. Which means Storm is perfectly safe, and will probably capture the Area, planting a Temple.
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