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Subject: Classic multiplayer wargame issues? rss

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Neil Carr
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How is the:

Turtling?

Three player game?

Kingmaking?

Diplomacy between players?

Downtime?

How quick can it be played?
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Scott Lewis
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echoota wrote:
How is the:

Turtling?

You turtle, you will likely lose, as you can only turtle so much and still be able to get runes.

Battles favor the attacker, as they can overstack during the attack, too.

Quote:
Three player game?

Have only played one partial 3-player game, but while there could be ganging up, I don't know how long it would last before one side starts taking advantage of it and backstabs.

Quote:
Kingmaking?

I'm sure there are situations where a player is stuck in such a position, but I think based on the way the game works out, those things are rare since once you have enough Runes to win, you win instantly; IE, there's no cases where a player has to choose between "attack here to let Player A win, or don't attack to let player B win".

There may still be situations, but I don't know how you could completely eliminate them from any multi-player interactive game.

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Diplomacy between players?

Nothing binding, but there are some Tactics cards that would be useful in making agreements with other players.

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Downtime?

Overall, VERY LITTLE downtime. Most order selection is simultaneous, and while resolution is sequential, most orders don't take much time at all to resolve. Battles/Moving may take the longest, but even those generally don't take much time at all.

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How quick can it be played?

This seems to vary by group. I've mostly played 2-player games, and our average game has been about 2 or 2.5 hours, with one "Epic" game that took a little over 4 hours. But as we've played more, our time went down.
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Drake Coker
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Most of the "classic multiplayer wargame" issues are minimized in this game, primarily because military domination is not the primary path to victory. So, things like turtling or ganging up do occur, but it doesn't have the same impact as in most wargames.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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echoota wrote:
How is the:

Turtling?


I turtled one game as the humans (they have a bonus where forts give +2 defense if you choose to build it). I won, but just barely. Turtling meant I could only keep small armies. Luckily for me I had enough iron so I could build a lot of my big guys, while being forced to kill off a bunch of my little ones. It worked but I took two big risks, either which would have lost me the game, and I won only by striking out in the last turn. So... it's a viable strategy but it is not a winning strategy.

You need to have 6 runes to win. That means three in your home area, three outside, at least. In the last turn, somebody played a card that made me move a rune they picked to another friendly or uncontrolled place. All my places were filled with runes, so I had to move it outside a place I controlled, effectively giving it to another player. This is where limited territory can hurt. However nobody was able to physically take mine, either.

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Three player game?


Can be very bad if people don't realize it's the runes that determine who's winning, not territory or something else.

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Kingmaking?


Every game has a kingmaking problem. This isn't a function of a game. Actually I'd say this game even minimizes it because almost anybody can win. In the last turn when things get desperate, I've seen people go from 2 to 5 runes as the other two players tear each other down.

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Diplomacy between players?


Excellent, especially with strategy cards that let you give an opponent something along with yourself. You can make a deal then "back it up" by playing a card useful for both of you.

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Downtime?


Almost non-existent. I can't recall any, everybody's order takes about 5 seconds to resolve unless it's an attack, then we're talking 5 minutes for the biggest battles I've seen. A lot of times everybody takes their actions all at once.

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How quick can it be played?


2 hrs by our second 3 player game. 2.5 for a 4 player game that went to the last turn.
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Neil Carr
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With the focus on the runes as the key to victory, what is the overall feel of combat?

That is, since you are really looking at 24 turns, does the whole thing ultimately collapse into the feel of another euro efficiency engine, or do you really get the effect of it being a slugathon military game?

Can you, like in the game Shogun just try to avoid combat save for a few choice surgical strikes and win? Or are you rewarded with fighting, such as with Nexus Ops?

I guess that's what I should really be asking. How does it compare to Nexus Ops, which had a system that basically cheered to the players, "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!"?

And how does it compare to Shogun, with it's overall seasonal turn structure and very selective and prudent use of military?
 
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Mike Betzel
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echoota wrote:
With the focus on the runes as the key to victory, what is the overall feel of combat?

That is, since you are really looking at 24 turns, does the whole thing ultimately collapse into the feel of another euro efficiency engine, or do you really get the effect of it being a slugathon military game?

Can you, like in the game Shogun just try to avoid combat save for a few choice surgical strikes and win? Or are you rewarded with fighting, such as with Nexus Ops?

I guess that's what I should really be asking. How does it compare to Nexus Ops, which had a system that basically cheered to the players, "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!"?

And how does it compare to Shogun, with it's overall seasonal turn structure and very selective and prudent use of military?


From the few games I've played, Runewars feels much more like Shogun than Nexus Ops. Compared to Shogun you generally need to be more aggressive but unlike Nexus Ops you need to be very mindful of when and where you attack because you actually need to hold ground. How much you attack or don't will depend on how you use heroes, what resources are around you and what other players are doing.

I think the comparison to Shogun is actually quite good but Runewars really evokes the theme. Having armies made of different units (and the plastic to represent them) makes a big difference. Or if you think of Twilight Imperium, armies there are simply a tool at your disposal to help you earn victory points. In Runewars they are critical to your success because again you need to hold ground to win the game. I think more experience with the game leads to more aggressive play as it becomes not just how can you earn runes but how do you prevent others from doing the same.
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Chris Orszak
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Played my second game at the local game club Friday night with 2 new players.

Turtling really didn't occur. Stacking and winter food rules make it difficult to do and objectives force you out.

Three player game was not ideal. In my game, one player got out to an early lead with 5 runes. The other player and I ganged up to prevent the victory, but in doing that, I was able to take advantage and get the win. I think with three experienced players, it will balance out okay, but I'd still rather play with 2 or 4.

Kingmaking - as in any multiplayer game, there is kingmaking by ommission - focusing on one player at the risk of ignoring another. Playing with the right folks can prevent this.

Diplomacy betweem players - my experience was that this is limited to typical mid-game pointing at the perceived leader, or realization that the current war has hurt two parties to the benefit of those who've stayed out. I don't think the game is long enough to have any sort of lasting alliances.

Downtime - the game handles this well. Most player actions take only a few minutes to conduct. Movement is pretty quick and combat is about the only thing that takes any substantial time to conduct. Since it lasts only one round, 5 minutes is still about the longest combat you'll get.

Gametime - the three player game took about an hour to explain and complete set-up. It ended after 3 hours of play time with a turn 5 victory at 6 runes. Play time included a lot of thinking by the new players and revisiting the rules. I would say that with some experience, play time will be a little less than 1 hour per player.
 
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Anthony Pham
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You can't turtle in the classic sense of extreme fortification and defense. But you can do a decent job of building a defensive line that will make it very inconvenient for anyone to push into your territory.

A stronghold in and of itself will deter units since they mean your opponent has to have 5 more units than you survive at the end of battle. So even though the attacker can bring in as many units into the battle as he wants, it's still a significant number to beat, and any units that participate are done for the turn unless you have certain tactics cards.

Add to that the ability to buy defensive developments for each army, and a stronghold becomes an almost insurmountable obstacle unless someone is willing to throw practically his entire army.

In one game, I had two strongholds protecting a stretch of land into my territory. When my opponent tried to take one, he would try and leave enough units back to make a follow up attack and punch a hole through my line. Sadly, some of the times he did this meant he ended up with not enough units to take the position.
 
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