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Subject: I don't understand Runebound rss

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Flohimont loic
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Disclaimer: English is not my native language, I'm sorry for the potential mistakes.

That said, let's go for the review and, as the title will tell you, it isn't a positive one.

So after some thought at our local store, my wife and i came back to house with a new boardgame, Runebound. We played a lot of descent v2 lately, and the perspective of tackling the descent universe from a new point of view decided us to give 60 bucks to FFG (an editor we love, considering we owned all descent, imperial assault, BSG, eldritch and arkham horrors and alots of x-wing and armada models, plus some other games from them.)

When our little boy finally got to sleep, around 21.00 we decided to give it a try, and 3 hours later, oh boy, we were disappointed...

Material


Let's start with the plus side, the material. As always with FFG it's really good. Minis are gorgeous and detailed, the board is solid and beautiful, the cards are high quality and the art is really good too.

I love opening an FFG product, because it is always a pleasure to find this kind of edition quality.

Only one complaint though, the movement dice with stickers are sooooo cheap and considering how much they are used i suspect that some of the stickers will be badly damaged really soon.

Oh, and they should have included at least two cups for the combat token, rolling them by hand make them stick altogether and give a big control on the result if you roll them well.

Despite these little problem it deserve a 7-8 out of 10 because we live in a world were mechs vs minion exist.

Rules


Rules are ok, 'im not a big fan of FFG 2 rulebooks, but in this case it did the job to teach us efficiently how to play the game, at the same time we were effectively setting up the board.

Some exemples were not as expressive as they should and we had to open the detailed book a lot during the game to address specific question though, but for a first game it's not uncommon, and the alphabetic index make it easy to navigate.

Not astonishingly good but okay at least. 6.5/10

Mechanics


Ok, right, we enter in the wild territory there.
The mechanics for mouvement and quest are pretty standard even if i was enthousiast at the reading of the rulebook for two things:
- The 3 types of adventure combined with thematic decks giving you a bit of control on the type of thing you'll encounter, the idea felt good at the time.
- The way the scenario merge into the adventure deck to give it a specific flavor.

The token system for battle made us a bit curious at start but it's it felt fresh comparing to dice roll usually used to manage conflicts in this kind of game.

The comp system were you draw some random shit hoping for something good for your character made me raise an eyebrow though, even if the mechanics of having to decide if you want to keep the comp card, or use it to make you more efficient at pretty much anything seems like a good idea on paper, i was not sure...

For the rest, acquiring gold to buy item that give you more tokens to use in combat, resting to restore HP, moving around the land to fight monster... i was in a known territory.

A 6 out of ten when reading....and a 3 out of ten after playing, but let's shift to the...

Feeling of the game


And there we are, with a pretty game placed on our table with mechanics merging known territory with new flavor and we start the game and...

The soufflé deflated.

We ended the game around midnight with the unpleasant sensation that we lost our evening and should have played to pretty much anything else.
The mechanics felt good on paper, but when we felt them on the table, what an horrible experience.

The lore felt bland. Yes the descent universe is generic fantasy, but where in descent we always feel like courageous adventurer battling against an evil overlord, in runebound we only felt like players running around the board like headless chickens.
"Ok right i go to this place to check this green token....ok now i need to go to the other side of the map to roll die and see if i get something out of it."
In 3 hours of gameplay we never felt hooked in a story.
The events felt bland and generic, with no really meaningful choice, just a decision about what test i want to try.
The quests are just some kind of fedex quest from bad MMO when you just run to the other side of the map and roll dice.
And the worst, is for me the token combat system. Rolling the tokens is unsatisfying and as i said they certainly should have included cups to mitigate that, but there is a more fundamental problem with this system that is flawed at his core for me: it take alot of time to resolve for pretty much not more interesting decisions then rolling dice and calculate a result. This system extend the game time beyond reasonable for no other purpose then trying something different.

The comp system was unsatisfying as i suspected when i read the rulebook. You draw alot of comp in the game but they all felt generic and you have no control at all on the type of comp you'll draw and thats's unfortunate when it's factored with the next point that is:

You can only win by killing a big monster, meaning that if you do'nt draw any good fighting comp, you are going to have a hard time.

The same can be said to the items. The basic token from the char are quite weak, and if you want to stand a chance against the big baddie you need to itemize toward battles. Gaining a bunch of good combat item is mandatory if you want to stand a chance against the boss. Because of the totally random nature of the available items, and the limited time to win the game a lot of items were just dismissed because "we need some big stick to fight"

The ending of our first game was particularly unsatisfying essentially because my second roll for Margath move was 5 joker and that was it, Tamalir destroyed....gross...

And the nail on the coffin of it was that we really felt that we were actually playing the same one player game at the same time, but with no connection between us. It's not only a problem with low interaction game, afterall we play a lot of game with pretty much zero direct interaction ( roll and race for the galaxy, lot of eurogames, ...), but in this game it was unbearable for us.

We tried the game two more times (one time for each scenario) because we really wanted to love this game but with pretty much the same result, lot of time spent for something we agreed to say it was a badly designed game.

Now, i'm facing a big dilemma.

This game has a lot of really good reviews, and a good note overall but i don't really understand why, and as i'm considering seriously a thing i never did (reselling the game after only 3 plays) i'm asking myself what do people find interesting in this piece of boardgame, and what should motive me to keep it in my Boardgame Library?

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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Quote:
The ending of our first game was particularly unsatisfying essentially because my second roll for Margath move was 5 joker and that was it, Tamalir destroyed....gross...

Woo. Harsh.

The multiplayer-solitaire objection to this game is totally legitimate. I like it anyway, but I would never play with more than 3 players (and with 3 only if I was prepared for a game with lots of downtime).

I'm sad you're having a dismal time with Runebound, because I've really enjoyed it. The skill economy ties into exertion, so that you get some value out of the random, unhelpful skill cards; and then training, so that even in a solo play, I often cycle through the whole skill deck in the course of a single game. (I also favor characters like Master Thorn, who get a bigger hand of skill cards.) The item market can benefit from aggressive use of the shopping action, as well as trade goods that not only get you gold, but help to cycle the items on offer in the cities.

A lot of the fun for me comes from seeking and getting skills and items that suit my particular character, as opposed to being generically powerful. See my recent report here.
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Marlene Thornstrom
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soeval wrote:
This game has a lot of really good reviews, and a good note overall but i don't really understand why, and as i'm considering seriously a thing i never did (reselling the game after only 3 plays) i'm asking myself what do people find interesting in this piece of boardgame, and what should motive me to keep it in my Boardgame Library?


It sounds like you just don't like the things that others do about this game.

The combat is boring and draggy to you, while I (and probably others) enjoy it. You don't like that you kind of run around doing random things until somebody wins, possibly because of good luck. My friends and I enjoy running around doing random things and having silly adventures and aren't too invested in winning the game.

The only thing I can think of that might improve the game for you is the cooperative expansion (Unbreakable Bonds) as at least you'd be working together against the game.

I strongly dislike party games and trick taking games. Lots of people like them. People just have different preferences.
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Chad Ackerman
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I think the main question here is:

Are you playing this to have a tight competitive highly strategic experience, or to have fun going on random adventures getting skills and upgrades for your character that can properly challenge the grand finale?

Ultimately, it doesn’t sound like the game will appeal to you, unless you can embrace and appreciate the randomness and learn to make it work for you instead of against you. It is possible.

The cooperative expansion Runebound (Third Edition): Unbreakable Bonds might fix some of the issues for you, but it’s hard to recommend investing more money into something you’re not even enjoying a little bit.
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Juhan Voolaid
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I think the reviewer does not get adventure games in general. Descent is not an adventure game - it's a competitive combat game in a dungeon.

Adventure game is more about ... adventure! See what happens. More an experience. Witnessing the story and chill back. It's not about solving a deterministic puzzle.

The main problem I think is this: "In 3 hours of gameplay we never felt hooked in a story". Why was that? To me it was very thematic and immersive. Perhaps you were too occupied about "solving" this game?

Regarding multiplayer-solitare problem, to me that is not an issue in this game. It's a race game where each of you do your own thing and who is better/faster is the winner, but it's not boring because of that. If opponent gains some good artifact, it affects your strategy so that you must have a competitive gear too, etc.

"And the worst, is for me the token combat system ... it take alot of time to resolve for pretty much not more interesting decisions then rolling dice and calculate a result." -- this is how I feel as well. The only thing that stops it from being a perfect adventure game. We have had many discussions over this in the forums and one thing I took out of this is that, combat is not suppose to be about smart tactical choices. It's about witnessing how your gear works in combat. It still has more flavor, but the down side is it takes more time. Don't like it, but I can live with that.
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Flohimont loic
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Carthoris wrote:

Woo. Harsh.


Yeah, Harsh. and even if i understand that it's just random 1 in 7776 dice roll, we felt that this shouldn't happen in a 3 hours long game to be denied to have any chance to battle the world boss because of a single unfortunate dice roll.

Carthoris wrote:

I'm sad you're having a dismal time with Runebound, because I've really enjoyed it. The skill economy ties into exertion, so that you get some value out of the random, unhelpful skill cards; and then training, so that even in a solo play, I often cycle through the whole skill deck in the course of a single game. (I also favor characters like Master Thorn, who get a bigger hand of skill cards.) The item market can benefit from aggressive use of the shopping action, as well as trade goods that not only get you gold, but help to cycle the items on offer in the cities.


Ok, i understand we should have used the training action a lot more, because we only cycle through 2/3 of the skill deck, but even like that in a two player game, there is a good chance that the skill i want are in the hand of my partner, or in the discard even worse if you play with 3 or 4 players. As a solitary game, the mechanic could be great, but in a multiplayer one, i find it quite lacking despite the fact you can cycle through the deck.

In the same idea, we didn't cycled through the item deck enough, but i'm not really sure that the idea to spend lots of actions trading items hoping for the good one to appear make the game any better for us.
___________________________________________________________


Jux_ wrote:
Why was that? To me it was very thematic and immersive. Perhaps you were too occupied about "solving" this game?


A combination of thing:
- The writing is not really good, or maybe it is the french translation, but we found it quite lacking. I cannot explain really what bothered us but after some times, we didn't even read the flavor text, because it was just plain boring IOHO.
- The fact that for most event card the decision was only guided by which test was the best, and eventually the reward, and not in the slight way by the choice that were offered. (Just to compair, we absolutely love how dead of winter is making each crossroad choice thrilling, and in that aspect, runebound never delivered.)
- The fact that yes, there is a story around a dragon or a necromancer, but the fact the quest or event are dealt hundred percent randomly make the storytelling really lacking too. For instance, we had only 1 thematic social adventure in our first game, all the others were only generic ones. And it reiterate for the combat ones in the second game. I understand perfectly their choice, for replayability value, but then it make the narration pretty weak compared to....let's say Andor (That we love, and i think Andor is quite a good competitor for what a good adventure game should be.)

Jux_ wrote:

Regarding multiplayer-solitare problem, to me that is not an issue in this game. It's a race game where each of you do your own thing and who is better/faster is the winner, but it's not boring because of that. If opponent gains some good artifact, it affects your strategy so that you must have a competitive gear too, etc.


So what?
I need a competitve gear anyway if i want to win in the end, and the fact that my wife gets "the big artifact" will not change my play by any mean. And again, we love some games with very little to no interaction, but in the case of runebound, we had really no interest in each other play, at any point in the game.
But to be fair, it's not the worst bad point, and we could have overcomes it if only the rest of the game delivered, which he is not, unfortunately.
Just a point here, but we felt the game was excruciatingly long with only 2 players, i can't even imagine it with 2 times that player count, with around 2 time the duration and more and more downtimes....
___________________________________________________________

Tikatoy wrote:

It sounds like you just don't like the things that others do about this game.


I agrre, it's totally possible that the problem is just that, but you know....
I totally wanted to love this game, because i loved descent, i loved Andor, i love high fantasy story-telling in my games....

It's kinda disappointing.

Maybe i'll ask in my boardgame club if someone bought the game and the coop expansion, before trying to reselling it, just to try it out in this configuration.
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Chad Ackerman
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You could also try accelerating the game by choosing a skill or two you both want to start the game. It helps avoid bad starts, and it’s kind of fun being able to defeat Margath earlier on in the scenario.
 
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Dan Harrow
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soeval wrote:
Yeah, Harsh. and even if I understand that it's just random 1 in 7776 dice roll, we felt that this shouldn't happen in a 3 hours long game to be denied to have any chance to battle the world boss because of a single unfortunate dice roll.

To be fair, yes, you got unlucky with your dice rolls, but you could've engaged Margath at any point during Act 2. The fact that you both waited until the end of Act 2 and still didn't move to engage him after he started moving is not the game's fault. You had your chances to engage Margath, but procrastinated for too long. In fact, other scenarios don't even give the random number of leeway turns to defeat the boss. Many scenarios end the game at the end of Act 2.

There is a balance to be had where your goal is to become as strong as you can be, but still engage and defeat the boss before your opponents. And if you and your opponents are not playing competitively enough to race to defeat the boss, then the game will end with a loss for everyone.
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Robin Reeve
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Sell your game and stick to systems which you prefer.

I don't think that purchasing the coop expansion will help: if you didn't find the base game immersive, it won't go better.

I think that, however, if you read the positive reviews about the game, you should be able to understand why some people love this game.
Understanding is not sharing other people's tastes.
I understand that some people love basket ball, even though I don't.

If you are implying, however, that Runebound is a bad system, I would suggest you read about how people play it. There is a learning curve (e.g. Quests are not the priority, Social encounters are ; try buying gear asap, as you can resell it at its initial price ; etc.).
This game is not meant to be won systematically.
Luck is clearly involved.
Direct interaction between the characters is occasional - except in scenarios where it is encouraged or with a character like Corbin, who is a bully anyway.

About the dice, I haven't seen significant wear of mine (I certainly would purchase embossed dice without hesitation, though).

About the tokens, use a box lid or any other means where you can throw them in a rather secure way: FFG won't hold your hand to find that type of solutions.

I do understand that you don't like Runebound.
I am not sure that all the reasons that you evoked are objective - as said hereabove, there is a learning curve to be able to play well, and you may have not played optimally, blaming the game for your lack of experience of it.

Again, with the bad start that you experienced and the rather blunt, radical opinion you have of it, common sense would lead you to sell it to people who will like it more than you.
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Enon Sci
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I'd argue that Runebound just isn't your thing if you found it so boring. That said, you've been objectively playing it wrong if your games have ended with both player's failing to defeat Margath. This doesn't mean correct play will make the experience more enjoyable, but it might. I'd at least not judge the overall experience until I had played it in the manner it was intended (i.e. as Robin pointed out above, you were obviously taking your time and not pushing each other to defeat the objective -- that push may very well creates the sense of tension and focus you lament lacking).

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Adventure board games are a genre of their own, and started from the venerated Talisman.

I think in general they're pretty polarising -- people sometimes come into them expecting dungeon-crawlish or pandemic style (e.g. eldritch horror and defenders of the realm) gameplay.

Also, they are very amenable to minor tweaks and houserules.
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William Mcneil
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Hello I just wanted to say I agree with the reviewer 100 percent there are good dungeon crawling games but this isn't one of them. I played this game once and that was enough, we quit about an hour to an hour and a half ways in. Every one was saying what's the point. this is boring and that there's no interaction. Sure an adventure should be a bit random but when all of the actions feel the same or pointless the only way to is to quit. Hope you had a great time with other games 😀
 
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Dragonbuttlicker wrote:
there are good dungeon crawling games but this isn't one of them.


See my post above yours Runebound is not a dungeoncrawler and thinking of it as one will most likely lead to disappointment.
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mydnight wrote:
Dragonbuttlicker wrote:
there are good dungeon crawling games but this isn't one of them.


See my post above yours Runebound is not a dungeoncrawler and thinking of it as one will most likely lead to disappointment.


yeah, my friend wanted to play point sallad euro game and thought this is it and was disappointed as hell.
Same situation.
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Juhan Voolaid
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mydnight wrote:
Adventure board games are a genre of their own, and started from the venerated Talisman.

I think in general they're pretty polarising -- people sometimes come into them expecting dungeon-crawlish or pandemic style (e.g. eldritch horror and defenders of the realm) gameplay.

Also, they are very amenable to minor tweaks and houserules.


Exactly. Check Talisman out - you're gonna love Runebound :p
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OK, you asked why some people like the game despite your criticisms, so here goes - I'll try to address some of them.

soeval wrote:
The comp system were you draw some random shit hoping for something good for your character made me raise an eyebrow though, even if the mechanics of having to decide if you want to keep the comp card, or use it to make you more efficient at pretty much anything seems like a good idea on paper, i was not sure...


I'm not sure why you think most of the skills (comps?) are 'shit'. The vast majority are useful to most heroes at the start of the game. You don't need to immediately focus on combat - you can quite legitimately build your hero in other ways which will accelerate your questing etc and ultimately you will be better in combat (which in the core game, it's true, is the general goal since they both require you to beat bosses).

That said, exerting your skills is incredibly useful and means that even if you do draw skills you can't afford yet or aren't worth it for your hero at that time, they are still very useful. Training is important to build your hand back up as well as to find skills which are useful at that moment.

Quote:
A 6 out of ten when reading....and a 3 out of ten after playing, but let's shift to the...


Just an observation, but it's a bit weird to be giving a game marks out of 10 purely on the basis of reading the rules. But, whatever...

Quote:
[center]We ended the game around midnight with the unpleasant sensation that we lost our evening and should have played to pretty much anything else.


Like its predecessors and similar games like Talisman, Runebound is largely about the story. Stuff happens which is fairly random, but have some limited control over (more so in Runebound than many similar games, I think) and you deal with it as best you can. The fun is mostly in the journey, not the destination. In that regard, I have never found the game to feel like a waste of time even when we did fail.

I do appreciate that not even trying to fight the final boss would feel anti-climatic. That's never happened to us though; more on that later.

Quote:
The lore felt bland. Yes the descent universe is generic fantasy, but where in descent we always feel like courageous adventurer battling against an evil overlord, in runebound we only felt like players running around the board like headless chickens.


In the core scenarios it's players vs the game. There's a threat to Terrinoth and you need to be fast to address it. If you were really running around like headless chickens, seemingly at random, then it just sounds like you were playing badly. Yes stuff is random, but you can also plan a lot how to be most efficient. Maybe you didn't 'click' the strategy early on but it 's definitely there.

If you can get even a bit ahead of the curve, then your power will increase exponentially and it makes a huge difference to the amount of control you will have throughout the game.

Quote:
"Ok right i go to this place to check this green token....ok now i need to go to the other side of the map to roll die and see if i get something out of it."


Trying to do 1 thing at a time is inefficient and bad strategy. You pick up a quest, then head towards that location whilst also doing other adventures, maybe shopping on the way and so on. The game will try to throw you off your strategy - but part of the skill is in knowing what to prioritise.

Quote:
In 3 hours of gameplay we never felt hooked in a story.
The events felt bland and generic, with no really meaningful choice, just a decision about what test i want to try.


This is sometimes true. For some characters many of the event choices are fairly obvious. But sometimes it's a risk assessment; maybe the reward for the tougher test is far better and worth the risk. A lot of this game is like that - I like it, for what it is. But I can see why some players wouldn't find this interesting.

Quote:
The quests are just some kind of fedex quest from bad MMO when you just run to the other side of the map and roll dice.


You roll dice but you also can exert, choose whether to settle for a result you have or keep exerting for a better result. You prepare for questing effectively by investing skills and assets which aid exploration. There's still strategy in giving yourself the best chance for a good result. And even if you get unlucky - you have the option to spend another action and try again.

Quote:
And the worst, is for me the token combat system. Rolling the tokens is unsatisfying and as i said they certainly should have included cups to mitigate that,


I don't know why you're rolling the tokens; we shake them in our hands then toss them and it seems to work fine. I know some people like to use cups; I think FFG were right not to inflate the price of the game to include those as components which many people wouldn't want.

Quote:
but there is a more fundamental problem with this system that is flawed at his core for me: it take alot of time to resolve for pretty much not more interesting decisions then rolling dice and calculate a result. This system extend the game time beyond reasonable for no other purpose then trying something different.


The combat rounds that really are obvious (and they do happen sometimes) really don't take long at all. But I think you're plain wrong in suggesting that's always the case; in most test combats I have run, I have either made errors which were not obviously so at the time, or had to make risk-assessment calls on how to use my tokens. So, I disagree that the combat actions are not interesting. I think it's way better than using dice, and still without taking more than a few minutes.

Quote:
The comp system was unsatisfying as i suspected when i read the rulebook. You draw alot of comp in the game but they all felt generic and you have no control at all on the type of comp you'll draw and thats's unfortunate when it's factored with the next point that is:


This is why you can exert and train; exert the cards you don't want and train to build a better hand or find skills you can afford. I would generally warn against digging for specific skills though, unless it's right at the end of the game and you have time to spare.

Quote:
You can only win by killing a big monster, meaning that if you do'nt draw any good fighting comp, you are going to have a hard time.


If you don't draw any good combat skills throughout the entire game, then you did something very wrong. Probably just not training enough. There are loads of skills which directly help in combat, and many others which help indirectly by accelerating how fast you can acquire trophies (for other skills) or gold (for better assets).

Quote:
The same can be said to the items. The basic token from the char are quite weak, and if you want to stand a chance against the big baddie you need to itemize toward battles. Gaining a bunch of good combat item is mandatory if you want to stand a chance against the boss. Because of the totally random nature of the available items, and the limited time to win the game a lot of items were just dismissed because "we need some big stick to fight"


You don't need a single strong token though. Adding 2-3 tokens of low-medium cost can be more than enough if they compliment your heroes basic abilities. Focusing on getting a single weapon of uber-death can be a huge mistake, and is extremely inefficient. You look at what's available, plan around that, and if something better turns up consider it a bonus (again, some skills can help here, I think).

Quote:
The ending of our first game was particularly unsatisfying essentially because my second roll for Margath move was 5 joker and that was it, Tamalir destroyed....gross...


Well, that's certainly very unlucky. But firstly, Margath can be attacked any time during Act II and if you play well it's entirely possible to kill him before he can move at all. Again - it's a risk assessment of your chances to kill him (in your first game you probably have no clue here) vs the risk of him reaching Tamalir. Ideally you kill him before he can move.

Now, for your first game and since you're playing competitively (assuming you don't have the expansion for co-op) you could just ignore the fact he can end the game and attack him anyway. House-rules are fine in a game of this sort when it comes to how it can end.

(and actually for Vorakesh with 2 players, I'd say necessary as he's extremely difficult for 2 players to beat without house-ruling. This is definitely a legitimate criticism of the game; Margath plays fine at all counts, however)

Quote:
And the nail on the coffin of it was that we really felt that we were actually playing the same one player game at the same time, but with no connection between us. It's not only a problem with low interaction game, afterall we play a lot of game with pretty much zero direct interaction ( roll and race for the galaxy, lot of eurogames, ...), but in this game it was unbearable for us.


It's true that unless one of you plays Corbin, or you get the PvP expansion Fall of the Dark Star, there isn't much interaction. There is also the co-op expansion which would fix this for you if it's such a big issue. For us, there's enough interaction in the combat system and the occasional strategic buying of assets etc that we still enjoy the game.

Quote:
We tried the game two more times (one time for each scenario) because we really wanted to love this game but with pretty much the same result, lot of time spent for something we agreed to say it was a badly designed game.


You seem to be stating this as objective fact, which I think is completely unjustified. There are many reasons why some players can legitimately not like the game. But for the amount of choices and how streamlined the design is, I think it's simply incorrect to say it's 'badly designed'. It does a lot with relatively simple rules and makes efficient use of components.

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This game has a lot of really good reviews, and a good note overall but i don't really understand why, and as i'm considering seriously a thing i never did (reselling the game after only 3 plays) i'm asking myself what do people find interesting in this piece of boardgame, and what should motive me to keep it in my Boardgame Library?


The only thing that should motivate you to keep it, is if you bring yourself to play it again and find that you actually enjoy it. I feel some of my post comes across as "You're not playing it right!" but I hope I have given some reasonable justification that you didn't quite approach the game in the way it's easiest to enjoy.

But ultimately, the game has some features which it is very legitimate to dislike. And if you really dislike those features, I'm not going to tell you you're wrong to trade/sell the game off.

Hope that was of some interest, even if it's not really that helpful. But to be fair - you did ask.
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Carlos Pérez Cantalapiedra
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I agree in many points of your review, although in my case most of them are not the major caveats, since I still can enjoy the game.

If you are really looking for more interaction maybe you could try the expansion of the Dark Star, although I cannot recommend it since I have not played yet. Also, as other mention, maybe with the Unbreakable bounds you could play coop. However, I am not sure whether I would buy a medium-sized expansion from a game I dislike.

Also, I think the game could change for you trying some of the fan-made scenarios, which are, in my opinion, better written than the original (The Goblin Horde), cooperative highly thematic scenarios (Chaos and Corruption), or do not involve finishing a final boss (The Crystals of Might). Just a biased opinion of one of the authors.
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David Williams
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I have one more comment regarding quests; the OP mentioned getting them and, apparently, going directly there. Someone else said they think it's a mistake to focus on quests early on. There wasn't much detail in either case but I think I disagree with both ideas.

The Exploration (green) deck is, in my view, the best one to hit first. It has some enemies but they tend to be weaker than those in the Combat (red) deck. I'm not sure if the events are easier but my suspicion is that they are also easier than Social events. The rewards are lower too, of course. But the point is the green deck is low risk; that means it's a good deck to go for early when you're not particularly strong in any area.

Of course, most of the exploration cards are quests. And this is the other reason - quests can be a really efficient way to level up since they give both a trophy (unlike events, by default you keep any completed quest card as a trophy) plus some other reward for exploring successfully. And some of those quest rewards are amazing.

The downside of course is that you might need to go to the other side of the map to complete the quest - hence why I advise getting 1-3 quests early in the game. Then you can plan around them and work out how to complete them efficiently.

Conversely I would advise against hitting the Exploration deck late in the game unless you have really good movement and/or nothing better to try. Odds are if you pick up a quest in the last few rounds, you won't have time to complete it. Or if you do, you don't have time for anything else.

Late game is when I try to focus on the combat and event decks. Combat deck is also a good option towards the end of Act I since you have likely powered up but the enemies don't yet get their extra token.
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Carlos Javier
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Well, my first attemps were like a headless chicken. I though "wah, there´s no time to do all i want".
But the game is not about what you want to do, it´s about what you CAN do.

Now I use to go first to the social quest cos they can be solved inmediately without moving (most of them). At the same time I try to always have cards that i can sell ina Village, in a Fortress...etc. And get a weapon (no need to be a super powered one) as soon as possible.

And there are the history cards too, that force you to move through the map.

So it´s a waste of time moving to the other side of the board just to solve an exploration quest.

It´s efficient to have multiple options at the same time: things to sell, history cards to solve and exploration quests at the same time, so you can do a lot of things as you are on your way. Getting habilities (again no need to be the best ones) is an extra bonus and many of then are not expensive in trophys.

Maybe pepople try first to do combat quests to get money to buy the stronger weapon....etc. This is not an euro, do what you can with what you´re given, don´t try to do perfect optimization cos randomness can throw your strategy away....and therés not much time.

And of course....DON´T WAIT UNTIL MARGARTH START MOVING, YOU CAN PUSH YOUR LUCK IF YOU HAVE TIME, IF YOU FAIL THERE´S NO HARD PUNISHMENT APART OF LOSING A COUPLE OF ACTIONS. Edited: this is only true for normal enemies, if the final boss defeats you, you die, if I am not wrong, you cant heal from that damage. You are out of the game.

About combat tokens...I think it´s a great idea that you can have a mini-game instead of just rolling dices.

My two cents
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Alon Tkach
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I still really enjoy playing Runebound Second edition. I have 21 expansions for it. I find it to be an excellent fantasy adventure game. Also, there are some really good house rules that I enjoy playing, which add more variety, flavor and challenges to this game.
I enjoy picking up the cards, reading the names of the characters and admiring the art. I guess I just really like what this game offers and you don't, which is ok. Just move on and play other games that suit your preference.
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I read your review a long time ago, but never commented even though I really wanted to. Because like you, I really like the Terrinoth universe games, so I felt a knee-jerk response when you so disliked this game as a fellow Terrinoth fan. But OTOH, Runebound was sitting unopened on my shelf so what right do I have to jump to its defense?

Now that I have played this game (solo) 6 times, and tried 3 expansions along the way... I can come and say that my subjective experience of RB3e is directly opposite of your subjective experience: To me, RB3e gives me an experience that sometimes borders on near-mystical. While playing, I literally get the sensation that those tiny plastic minis start to come alive and hold my hand while I help them live an adventure. It was almost spooky; I have not felt this sensation since I was an over-imaginative 10 y/o boy playing with my He-man toys. I thought humans needed drugs for this kind of head trip.

When someone offers me a mind download of a golden childhood dream which I thought my adult brain could never revisit again, I'd gladly pay the paltry $50 USD asking price.
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Carlos Javier
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I made a mistake when I said that you can heal yourself I margath defeats you. Its when a normal enemy defeats you when you can get delayed and then roll to heal.

Anyway, getting weapons is important for the margath scenario but in the others, its more important to move fast, for example the scenario that is a sort of pandemic.

Anyway, as I said, after many games you are able to get several extra discs and cards. May look simple, but good decisions must be taken to upgrade your character.

In Unbreakable bonds you can send things to other characters and believe me that its sometimes a sort of puzzle, cos maybe one guy needs two coins or you have a card that ts great for other guy, so you have to plan when to send them and it can make a fast upgrade for them. More important than it looks like, in my last game it became a constant.
 
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