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Subject: Is Collecting Runes Too Random? rss

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Kevin Brusky
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I played my first game last night, and thought the territorial control portion of the game was really fun. I carved out my portion of the board so that I'd have room to place my runes, but unfortunately the runes never came. And there's my problem with the game. It seems that collecting runes is a hit-or-miss proposition:

As I see it, here are the ways you can collect runes:

1) Heroes complete quests and collect rewards that can turn into Runes. I completed six quests, but never saw one of those items.

2) Complete objectives. I completed my objective pretty early on and collected the only extra rune that I got during the game. There are seasonal events that can give you new objectives, but at the time that came up I still had my current objective I was working on.

3) Conquest. Players runes are kept pretty far back to protect against other players taking them, so it seems you need to decide early on that you're going after someone for their runes. Being my first game, I didn't do this - my bad.

4) There's a title that let's you trade in rewards for runes. Another player had this, and I didn't realize the power of this. In fact, the person who had it won. Maybe this one card is the holy grail of the game?

Toss into this randomness the fact that 2/3 of the Fate cards have negative results, which makes it that much harder to complete quests successfully, and it just seems too random.

But it was my first game. Is there something that I'm missing?
 
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Matthew M
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You said yourself that you didn't realize that there was a title that could have earned you two more runes. You also said you didn't make an attempt to conquer for runes. And you didn't mention any influence bids for runes, which come up in over half of the winter cards.

So it sounds like you know what you were missing in the first game. I suspect that if you play again keeping all of the above in mind you will have more focus in your endeavor to gain dragon runes.

-MMM
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Michael Denman
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Yeah, those winter season runes had to account for at least half of the new runes in my game. The lesson I learned there was to keep a decent supply of influence handy. My heroes never found a rune in their quests either. I didn't see much of that though, so I didn't worry about it. For us it was a matter of carving out a big enough empire to hold the runes, fill them as you can, and then make a drive into enemy territory to grab the last one or two that you won't have to stress over holding.
 
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Brent Lloyd
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This random Rune element is why I got rid of the original Battlemist. I was really hoping they would fix this, and this is not the first thread complaining about this aspect.

The random Rune element, that was so prevalent, in Battlemist was the exact reason I did not rush out and buy this game. Looks like this one is moving further down my "buy" list.

Thanks for the comments.

Peace
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Scott Lewis
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Octavian wrote:
And you didn't mention any influence bids for runes, which come up in over half of the winter cards.

To be precise:

4 of the Winter cards GUARANTEE at least 1 Rune will be added to the board; one of them (Power of the Pious) puts X-1 runes on the board (where X is the number of players).

3 of the remaining 4 ALLOW one or more runes to be added; the aren't guaranteed, because something has to be spent (for 2 of them), or the influence bid has to be more than the number of players. All of these allow for up to X Runes, if the criteria are met.

So even apart from questing, objectives, etc - there will often be a new rune added every year, as well!
 
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Joshua Harris
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Interesting that I also read posts where people complain because you can win the game without any big battle happening, and to them, that was the drawback.

How odd that people are finding the exact opposite problems with the same game. This seems to me to be more of a problem with players and play styles than the actual mechanics of the game.
 
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Drake Coker
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I suspect the title card that allows you to trade in rewards for runes is there to be a balancing mechanism against the randomness of the reward draws turning up rune shards. Part of the general strategy for winning is that your heroes need to get something like 1-3 runes. You can do this by questing, but if you get unlucky, you can still win by grabbing the title (from another player if you have to) and turning in your other rewards.

 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Olvenskol wrote:
Part of the general strategy for winning is that your heroes need to get something like 1-3 runes.


I have won about half our games with only one Rune from a hero every game (generally through the title card). I save my influence that others spend buying heroes for the bids, instead, and get almost all my runes that way. That's the cool part about this game: there are so many different ways to win, so neither conquest nor turtling nor hero spamming nor any other crazy strategy is superior to another.
 
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David desJardins
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apegamer wrote:
it just seems too random.

Is there something that I'm missing?


No. This type of game has a lot of randomness. People who want less randomness in their games won't like it.
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Tiago Nunes
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There are random elements (such as the dragon throne encounter), but most winter cards provide rune tokens (I think there is only one that does not provide one instead providing a reward). And there is a title that allows you to gain a dragon rune for 3 rewards and there is your objective card that also allows you this.

All in all the random ways to get them are a minority considering all the other ways.

 
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Shelton Windham
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While there are certainly random elements to the rune collection in Runewars, one of the things that I appreciate most about the game is that it is super easy to adjust that randomness. If you want to, you can totally remove all of the Timmoran shard rewards and the dragon thrones. This nearly eliminates the random rune distribution problem. If you further want to reduce randomness, I recommend removing the hidden objectives and playing the epic variant, but (one of) the great thing(s) about the game is that you can turn all of these various dials as you wish to adjust the game from a game in which no player is ever really out of the game (you could always find that your objective is completed, discover 2 dragon thrones, and gain a Timmoran Shard reward card (belonging to a hero currently at one of your strongholds) to gain 4 runes in one turn) to a game which has very little randomness and relies almost solely on player skill, but is very frustrating for less skilled/knowledgable players.

The game relies on the complex interactions of a multitude of very simple systems, which makes for an incredibly versatile game which is easy to pick up, but harder to master. It really is a very well designed game platform.
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Thel Schuhart
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So far, through my plays, I have noticed that usually winning the game is not done in a climatic way. The first few years are about positioning, board control. Usually after that someone has either 4 or 5 runes. Then it is a race to either take from the leader, or the person in the lead figuring out how he can get that last rune. Through aan objective card, title card, or conquest. I feel like it sets up an amount of unknown to the game. You can't tell for sure what your opponents have up their sleeves.

I agree that sometimes, you can win, and it almost feels anti-climatic. In my most recent play through, I had sort of battled for domination in the center of the board. (It keeps people from getting into your home realm. Through these battles, I acquired some Runes.I had one enemy on the ropes and another was just not close enough to really threaten my `juicey Dragon Rune hoem realm. I realized I needed one more Rune to win. I pulled a Tactics card that let me steal a title. I stole the title that allows you to turn in Rewards from a Hero into a Rune. It was game. We had been having a game filled with epic battles in the center of the board. Then I pull a card and win. It seemed...??
 
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Christopher Donovan
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Try the Epic version...
 
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Thel Schuhart
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What people are calling random, in my mind is just a steady stream of Dragon Runes hitting the table. You cannot sit idly by in this game and win. You have to be aggressive on some venue. Aggressive with influence, aggressive with conquest, aggressive with questing. The Runes are going to hit the table and you have to secure yours and stimy your opponents. Its not an easy thing to do.

Since the game has a nation building element, its easy to get blinders on and not see what your opponent is really doing. You see his troops ad strongholds and fail to notice his rune tokens. Since this part of the game is somewhat hidden, when runes come onto the board it can feel sudden or random.

In my first couple of games, I felt similiarly. Now, I know better. The teat of the Dragon Rune is constantly dispensing Runes. You gotta go get yours one way or another or you won't win. There are so many ways to win the game, its almost anti-climatic. You can have a vicious battle for the board, smashing armies against each other, get that one Rune and then win the game with a lucky influence bid.

Its a cut throat game, and the myriad ways to win. It makes it end after a reasonable amount of time, and makes you think about your decisions.

 
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