Erik Miller
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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The Gilded Blade is an adventure expansion pack for Runebound Third Edition. It comes with 1 hero, Red Scorpion, 15 adventure cards (5 for each color), 20 asset cards (2 decks of 10), 10 skill cards (1 deck), and 9 tokens (3 for the hero, 6 for the assets). Adding variety to your Runebound Game, is the Gilded Blade worth the $17 price tag, or is it better off being left at the market?


Here’s a picture of everything in the expansion, sans the hero tokens, thanks to CristiQ!





NEW RULES/RULES REFRESHER:

1) When you are making the adventure deck, shuffle all the non-scenario specific adventure cards together and draw 20 of them (you now have 5 additional adventure cards per deck).

2) When making the skill and/or asset decks, you only use 6 of the decks to make each deck. So, now you have 7 skill card decks (6 in the core game, plus the one here). Take 6 of them to create your skill deck of 60 cards, and do the same when making your asset deck. This lets you mix/match at will, and adds variety to what cards you see/assets that are available during the game, though it is a pain to set up and take down.


Ok, so there’s a new symbol type in this box- Tactics. It looks like a 4-sided star, and it is an incredibly interesting ability. When spending tokens, you can spend a tactics to copy any other token that you have access to- so, you can copy a pierce, physical damage, surge, magical damage, or shield- and add the amount you copied to your total. So, if I have a 2 physical attack token faceup, I can spend it and my tactics token to have 4 physical attack damage! Or, if you are attacked by your enemy, you can spend the tactics token in conjunction with or as a shield. You can even copy tokens from your enemy! As a hero, you cannot copy is the skull token from enemies in, whereas your enemies cannot copy the physical damage/magical damage tokens of the heroes since they don’t flip tokens with those symbols on them. Neither side can copy a doubling token with them. I really like tactics. It’s a great token to have, and works well with pierce from Caught in a Web/Mountains Rise. It makes things really interesting, and lets you copy you or your opponents tokens for great effect. Having a couple tactics tokens is a great way to assist you in your fight, since now anything good that is flipped each combat round you can steal for your own use. The opportunities are endless, and I thoroughly enjoy tactics. It’s a great addition to the game, and is extremely useful!


Here’s a picture of Red Scorpion (and an asset) thanks to CristiQ!





Red Scorpion has 2 strength, 2 mind, 2 spirit, 3 movement dice, 8 HP, and a skill hand size of 4. During setup, you draw the top 3 exploration adventure cards, keep 1 Quest, and put the other 2 on the top or bottom of the deck in an order of your choice. She starts with 2 gold in a town, and has a shield/gold initiative combat token, a tactics/2 physical damage token, and a physical initiative/agility combat token. Her first ability is that whenever you spend a tactic, you may exert to remove the copied token from the combat round. Her other ability is a 1 surge ability- deal X physical damage, where X is the number of times you have used this ability this round (limit 3 times per combat round). Wow, Red Scorpion is awesome. She is the perfect upgradeable hero with 2 of all the stats, and she is a beast in combat. Copy your opponent’s surge/shield/pierce and remove it. That’s great. If fighting another hero, take out their 2 or 3 damage tokens instead, and hit them with it! That’s great. She has a solid amount of health, and is a great addition to the game. I really enjoy Red Scorpion- you can customize her however you want with your skills, and she does well in combat from the get go and only gets more powerful as she gets more assets. Plus, starting the game with a Quest can be a huge boon, letting you get a lot of gold and/or a solid asset from the beginning. She’s a solid hero, and definitely fun to play.


I’m not going to give you a breakdown of every single one of the asset/skill/adventure cards, but I’ll give you my general impressions with some pictures!


Here’s a picture of some of the assets thanks to CristiQ!






DID YOU SEE GUARDIAN AXE?!?!?! I mean wow- it may cost 14 to snag, but good gravy- 3 physical damage, a tactics on the flip side, and you may spend surges as magic damage? That is AMAZING. The 20 asset cards in this expansion are definite additions to the game. They run a similar balance of goods/cheap cards to more expensive assets like the sets in the base game, and they are all pretty useful. The new good cards are really helpful (+4 gold for ornaments? Yes please!) and cleverly add new goods to the game, with a cost. These are definitely worth picking up. One of the asset decks focuses on risk/luck to get advantages (like Munitions/Ornaments, or the patchwork wand) while the other focuses on skill boosts to help your character out. Both are a great addition to the game, and add an element of risk or a much-needed boost to heroes who have 0 or 1 in a certain skill.


There are 10 skill cards in this expansion. Here’s a pic thanks to CristiQ!





These skills all focus on giving you some sort of advantage in combat and/or the game> The ones in this image definitely help you in combat, but other skills such as Negotiations give you 1 gold whenever another hero trades a good, or Investments lets you place 1 gold on it whenever another hero buys an asset. You can discard it at any time during your turn to get the gold on it, max 4. This skill deck is all about giving you advantages, be in it movement, combat, or through economic means, and definitely adds some interesting cards and choices to the game. This skill deck is well worth it, and is a favorite of myself and the gaming group I play with since it gives you interesting choices and lets you leech off of your foes for an extra advantage.


There are 15 adventure cards in this expansion, 5 per type. Here’s a couple of pics thanks to CristiQ.







All of these adventure cards are solid, and adding them to your decks is great. It adds variety, a little bit of mystery of what is in the deck, and adds fun to the game. Some of them (like Goblin Raiding Party!) can be veeeerrrryyyy annoying, and Kobolds can take down even the strongest hero! These are great additions to the game as well, adding some much-needed variety to the adventure decks, making the game more interesting, while not adding any new rules. Variety is great, and these cards all deliver.



Final Thoughts/Comments

The Gilded Blade is a must-buy for me if you are a Runebound 3rd fan. It adds a solid hero, some great new asset and skill groups, and the variety in the adventure cards is huge. It brings more variety to the game at the cost of one additional rule, the new token type, and making your setup up/take down take a little longer. Everything here is solid, and is definitely worth picking up. It’s a bit small for the price, I will admit (I’d rather it was 12 or 15), but the variety and the additions here are huge- you now have some additions to help out the heroes in the game, so you can add asset cards that give bonuses to skills for those games when you have a hero with 1 or 0 in a skill, or the risk/luck assets to add some fun to your game, or the skills to make it so that some of the hero choices have a decision- do I trade this good in and give you +1 gold at the same time? Is that worth it? There is everything to love here, and it adds more variety to a game that wasn’t struggling due to lack of variety, but benefits from having more combinations you can play with. Now Runebound is a partial sandbox, letting you mix/match your favorite skill and assets decks together to make the game harder or easier based on your choices!


Check out my other reviews at Reviews by Mil05006
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Robski Horus
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Great review, sounds like more money being spent by me.shake
 
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Scott

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Minor errata I noticed:

mil05006 wrote:
When spending tokens, you can spend a tactics to copy any other token that you have access to- so, you can copy a pierce, physical damage, surge, magical damage, or shield- and add the amount you copied to your total. So, if I have a 2 physical attack token faceup, I can spend it and my tactics token to have 4 physical attack damage!


If you copy something with the tactics symbol, you CANNOT spend it with other like symbols. So in the above example, you would spend the tactics token for 2 damage, and then have to spend the 2 attack symbol as another action.

Not a big deal, but I thought I would clarify.
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