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Runebound: The Scepter of Kyros» Forums » Reviews

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John Farrell
New South Wales
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Averagely Inadequate
Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
The Scepter of Kyros is a Runebound adventure variant expansion, meaning that it replaces the Rise of the Dragon Lords story with one of its own. The heros no longer fight Margath in the final showdown. The mechanics of this particular expansion is that it replaces the green and yellow events and encounters, completely replaces the blue deck, and there is no red deck.

The game proceeds as normal, which means during the green and yellow challenges you'll be fighting ferrox and Vorakesh and Farrow as usual. Personally I think of Vorakesh and Farrow as being co-conspirators of Margath and hence belonging to a different story, so I replace the green and yellow decks entirely with challenge deck expansions such as The Dark Forest and Terrors of the Tomb. The event and encounter cards do explain how Vorakesh is involved in this story, but that seems a little forced to me.

The point where this expansion really starts to shine is in the blue cards. There are 18 blue giant cards, from Gort the Feral to Nadara the Ice-Blooded to Onvere the Arcane. These are typically blue challenges - intimidating by themselves, and it feels like an achievement to overcome one.

After you've destroyed 8 giants the end-game starts. The giants start to occupy the towns in the north. However these are not just the easy blue challenges you've been fighting up till now, they're pumped up by the town's market stacks. For each card in the market stack the giant gets an experience counter AND to use the item. Kyros the Mighty plus a magic weapon and a couple of other cards is a very intimidating encounter indeed. Once all of the occupied towns are liberated the game is over.

Of course the players can try to buy those towns which are going to be occupied out of items. I think next time I play (solitaire) I'll make the Giant Lords occupy the towns with the largest market stacks no matter where they are.

I like this expansion a lot. Although (in my opinion) the green and yellow cards are a little weak, the blue cards are great and the end-game is exciting. As such, it's a worthy replacement for the original quest.
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