This would be the first time playing all of these games back to back. What Runesaga does is tie the games in because you are trying to collect runestones each game to become the epic victor and Chieftain at the end of the saga. Each game there will be 3 common goals to try and accomplish and whomever does a goal first will claim a runestone. In the first 2 games if you get one then you will get a small bonus in the next game when taking an action you might get a reward of sorts.
The Runestones also have symbols on them and if you collect 3 identical symbols then you will get to claim a special inscription runestone. There is one for each of the 3 symbols to be claimed as soon as someone manages it.
At the end of each game the winner will get 2 face down runestones to add to their pile and second place might get one if it ended up being a "close" second. These runestones all add up at the end and whomever has the most will win.
In Shipwrights of the North Sea, Star was learning it and Ron and I had just played recently so it was easy to teach and play. We played with the mini expansion board which you are supposed to play with. This board certainly helped the game out a lot and offers some more actions you could take on your turn. Definitely use it if you are playing the game. It should be apart of the basic rules.
the game went on longer than it should for sure. I was not getting the materials I needed to set my sail out, and I was focused on trying to get the building runestone which worked out. If you are working to get builds though you are not working to get ships and ships is how the game ends. So, while you don't have to focus on ships it might make the game last longer.
Ron won this game and got a bunch of Runestones. I got one and the benefit for the next game was when going to the treasury I could draw a card after I take the action which works out since you are discarding a card at that location in Raiders. It was a cool power I used several times.
These expansions were new to everyone and I read the rules to Hall of Heroes and Ron read the rules for Fields of Fame. Both expansions add in quite a bit of material and now this game plays up to 6 players adding 1 additional play with each expansion. Wow that is a lot of people and I would probably not suggest playing with so many people. The expansions add in lots of col features, like in Hall of heroes once a space is raided a quest gets added and on the new board you can go and claim the quest by spending cards from your hand and there is a small set collection element and bonus end game scoring for the quest tiles. I actually liked this expansion quite a bit, but will tack on a good chunk of time to the game play. Fields of Fame brings new tokens to the bag called Jarls and you will have to have a face off with a Jarl after you do a raid at a site with one. This can be a bit of push your luck and I was super unlucky. It is a cool expansions that adds another fame track which will get you a lot of end game points. There is also a few more spaces to raid. This expansion doesn't tack of as much time as Heroes did.
We were all relearning this game, but once we got going it was all very familiar. It was over a 2 hour game though and for 3 players that is quite a lot of time. It was because no one was really focused on raiding as much as other things. I was doing a lot more quests and exploring the new expansions than I was at raiding villages. You need to raid villages to progress and end the game!
I ended up losing pretty badly. This was because I was terribly unlucky with the Jarls and kept losing to them and it was just not good for me. I should have been more secure when taking a space with the Jarl tokens. Star was going to win but then Ron FORGOT that he was going to win and actually won that game. Ron was a jerk :P Star still managed to get the close second place though.
Ron actually had to leave for a family get together but Jess showed up for the final game in Ron's place. Ron was already at 7 runestones and far in the lead in the epic game.
Jess showed up and we got right into Explorers of the North Sea. I ended up teaching the game to both Star and Jess and we got right to it. This is a pretty easy game to pick up and play so it was all pretty natural for them to understand and play.
I did much better this game than the last game so that worked out. i was just trying to get a 3rd outpost on an island for the last runstone so I could then get another runestone for the set collection. NOPE I was just a tile short of this and man I was SO CLOSE. It wouldn't have meant becoming the ultimate chieftain but it would have been a lot closer in the end. I also got SUPER ripped off in the end with the tie breaker of Explorers. Start and I tied for 55 points but because he had killed more vikings he won the tie breaker. I think that is super dumb because those viking ships are all random and to kill off your guy isn't always an option. Ugh that was annoying. Cost me a runestone!
Jess didn't managed to help Ron's Runestone score but Ron still managed to win the epic game with his 7 runestones.
I had a great time playing the saga and I have to say I quite enjoyed the runestone expansion. The Riaders expansions were nice addition. I have to play the game more often and not in a long epic sitting like this. I think everyone had fun so many I can do a live playthrough of it all one day with Ron could be interesting.