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Played a 2P game of Dragonlords with all the recommended cards. I was undead, wife was elves. Start off, buy a Necromancer with my 3 Gold and Stronghold with my 2 Strength. Basically rinse & repeat then. Now I'm getting income of 2 influence every turn already by turn 3, and I have Necromancers and Skeletons so I'm able to start taking Cities very easily (I know the Undead start a little faster than Elves) and by Turn 6 or so I'm getting 6+ Influence income every turn to the point where by turn 8 Influence is basically worthless (at least in that quantity) and with Reanimate, Dark Knight, and Battle Cry I can get to 15+ Strength seemingly every other turn. My wife's faring just as well by this point and is able to knock off the Big Bad one round before even our first run through the event deck. By this point I've taken 5 damage to my Realm and she's taken 2, but neither one of us is in much danger of ever losing given the strengths of our armies.

We actually did attack each other a couple of times, but maybe not enough? What really threw me off was:
-It seemed like the worthwhile gold and influence-cost cards ran out incredibly fast. It seemed strange sitting around with all this worthless influence by midgame. And with a bunch of worthless gold very shortly thereafter. We bought up basically everything because we didn't know any better but it hardly seemed to hurt us.
-A few things I noticed that weren't evident from the rules (or my browsing the rules forum): (1) you don't draw up after defending an attack? i can see how this might make the game more tense then if you start having dead hands because you've dumped everything into defense. (2) you can't play units that have when played abilities except in combat, but easy workaround here is just attack anything that doesn't have an attrition die. is there really no penalty for losing other than you spent an action?

That all sounds a bit skeptical but I really think the game concept is cool and I enjoy all the different types of currency (strength, influence, gold) to wrap your head around, which is why it threw me that influence especially and to a lesser extent gold became null pretty fast. The manual isn't the greatest so I'm thinking I may have missed something really obvious or maybe it's just a case of we should be slugging it out every turn.

Hope BGG can help us enjoy this game!
 
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I think the idea is that sometimes, some units get destroyed (sent back to where you bought them from) and you need to buy them back (either with influence or gold). Also, you can spend influence to hold on to cards at the end of your turn, in an effort to manage your next-turn hand. I've only played Cataclysm and Dragonlords though; I'm not sure how this works out in the other two scenarios.

You draw back up to 5 at the end of every player's turn, and at the end of the event phase - not after defending from each attack (any player can attack you multiple times during their turn). You can play units for their "when played" abilities outside of combat; it's a unit action instead of a combat action.

And try the Cataclysm scenario, if you want some challenge
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Thanks for the insights.

WizardHowl wrote:
I think the idea is that sometimes, some units get destroyed (sent back to where you bought them from) and you need to buy them back (either with influence or gold). Also, you can spend influence to hold on to cards at the end of your turn, in an effort to manage your next-turn hand.

True -- I wonder how common that is though. I mean strongholds are so cheap you're basically guaranteed 2-3 influence for the entire game (seemingly the most you would need for any card-retain costs, and then the cities seem really easy to take over at will.

As to the point about using units as action cards for When Played abilities, guess I need to dive back in and re-read the rulebooks. I try to do that for every FFG game after the first play -- no reason to make an exception here I suppose.
 
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So just a few quick follow-ups, although I don't think either of these are material to the central issue raised:
-I was under a mistaken assumption that you only drew up to 5 after event and end of your turn, but it's end of each player's turn everyone draws up.

-It seems to me that Units with "When Played" abilities can only have those abilities triggered in a Combat. You can play Action cards ex combat but they must actually state Action on them.

-It's weird, I don't see anywhere that states that your Rewards are refreshed each turn. It's sort of implied in a few places, but the rules always just state "cities & strongholds." Hopefully I'm not misreading it by refreshing rewards in this phase as well.
 
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Well I have to admit I didn't learn the game from the rulebook - I was taught by a friend, so any questions I had were answered immediately. I'm looking over the rulebook now, and you're right - I don't see anything about refreshing Rewards. Add that to my list of textual complaints about this game. Bad FFG! shake

So regarding your other comments:
- Yep - strongholds are cheap, but the higher tier neutral units may not be. And during the early and mid game, there are times you do want to hold on to some cards in between turns. I've sometimes had to choose between spending 3 inf to buy a 2-gold card, or spending 2 inf to hold on to a combat card "just in case". The cities are generally easy to take over, but other players can take them away from you as well you are correct though, there does come a point when you don't need much influence. Towards the endgame, you'd be wanting to trim down your deck and get rid of gold as well.

- I'd say that units with "when played" abilities can be played at any time, since I don't see anything in the rulebook to the contrary. However, many of those abilities are only useful in combat, so while it's not illegal, it may be pointless to use them ex combat
 
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WizardHowl wrote:

- I'd say that units with "when played" abilities can be played at any time, since I don't see anything in the rulebook to the contrary. However, many of those abilities are only useful in combat, so while it's not illegal, it may be pointless to use them ex combat


I believe this is incorrect. The rulebook states that a player can only perform 'Actions' during his turn. The definition of what is and is not an Action are quite clear - an Action is either Gold Action, an Influence Action, a Military Action or a Card Action. You can not simply throw cards at the table and perform their text outside of the structure of an action

In regards to the original question:

Quote:
Played a 2P game of Dragonlords


Here's your problem. The Dragonlords scenario is, simply put, bad. I think that this is one of the reasons that Rune Age didn't make that big of a splash - the 'recommended introductory scenario' is simply boring, so people move on. It does a good job of showcasing the mechanics of the game, but does not showcase what is actually fun about the game.

The three main problems with Dragonlords are:

- Influence is largely useless. Once most of the neutral cards are bought, cities and strongholds become dead weight. Other scenarios include more neutral cards and events that destroy other cards. Since destroyed neutral cards return to the market, they are open to be bought again - thus, Influence is crucial throughout the game.
- The victory condition requires the player to draw one hand made up of (more or less) specific cards. Mid to late game, when most of the rewards and neutrals are taken and there is no point in fighting over Influence, each turn consist of drawing up to 5 cards, counting up the total power, and either winning the game or passing your turn. This is simply tedious and boring.
- There is little player interaction, if any. Since you are only aiming for an ideal hand from your own deck, attacking and eliminating other players is pointless. Fighting over cities is also mostly pointless, since Influence is only crucial for the first four or five turns.

The Dragonlords scenario gives the image of Rune Age being a repetitive, tedious 'just another deck builder'. That is simply false. I think that even calling Rune Age a deck building game is a kind of misnomer. This is not a deck building game in the sense that Dominion or Thunderstone are deck building games. Rune Age is more like a card game version of Runewars that just happens to include a deck building mechanic.

Try the Runewars scenario with 4 players. I do believe that the game is at it's best when played that way, the other scenarios are just icing on the cake. Failing that, try the Monument scenario, though I think that scenario is very luck-based. Heck, I don't like the cooperative Cataclysm variant, but I'd even play that over the Dragonlords scenario!
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Awesome insights -- that's exactly how I felt! (And turns out we were playing about 95% right on the rules so it wasn't a rules issue). Glad to see we didn't really miss anything.

Is Cataclysm the only one worth playing with 2? Are any decent with 2?
 
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AstroLad wrote:
-It seemed like the worthwhile gold and influence-cost cards ran out incredibly fast. It seemed strange sitting around with all this worthless influence by midgame. And with a bunch of worthless gold very shortly thereafter. We bought up basically everything because we didn't know any better but it hardly seemed to hurt us.
Sure the cards run out quick, but it is intensional. Maybe it didn't appear to hurt you to buy that many cards without a thought but it did. I have (together with a few friends but also solo) played all the scenarios except the rune war one, and by now we are (in a two player game) able to kill of the 18-power dragon about 0-2 rounds after the last demon is bought.

The key is having small decks (unless you are undead (or a human who managed to get all 3 war cries)) and never to underestimate card draw effects.

AstroLad wrote:
-A few things I noticed that weren't evident from the rules (or my browsing the rules forum): (1) you don't draw up after defending an attack? i can see how this might make the game more tense then if you start having dead hands because you've dumped everything into defense.
As you stated later in this thread you noticed that you redraw your hand after each players turn and after the event phase.

AstroLad wrote:
(2) you can't play units that have when played abilities except in combat, but easy workaround here is just attack anything that doesn't have an attrition die. is there really no penalty for losing other than you spent an action?
Yes, thats right. You can't play any for example archers or knights out of combat. But you are free to attack any cities (or enemies or whatever) that you can't beat.

Simply remember that by doing so you finish an buy action (if you were in the middle of one) and started an attack action. So you can't buy a demon (a 6 influence card) with 2 archers and a 2-influence city, but you can buy 3 2-influence cards.
 
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I have played a 2p game of Cataclysm only once. Didn't like it. Then again, I don't like cooperative games in general, so I guess my opinion might be slightly biased whistle

I played a 2p Monument game twice. It's nice and quick and relatively bloodless. I do believe that it is a bit luck-driven. If one player gets a good hand the first few turns and can get the Mind Control cards early, the other player might have a hard time catching up, though that would also depend on the factions involved and the amount of military in that player's deck.

I haven't played the Runewars scenario with two players yet. I do anticipate it to be very quick and very bloody. I'm a bit worried about faction balance when playing that way - some factions have a much faster and more agressive early game (the undead) than others (the elves), so I guess that it would be possible to take a beating before you even get your deck running...
 
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DonSilvarro wrote:
WizardHowl wrote:

- I'd say that units with "when played" abilities can be played at any time, since I don't see anything in the rulebook to the contrary. However, many of those abilities are only useful in combat, so while it's not illegal, it may be pointless to use them ex combat


I believe this is incorrect. The rulebook states that a player can only perform 'Actions' during his turn. The definition of what is and is not an Action are quite clear - an Action is either Gold Action, an Influence Action, a Military Action or a Card Action. You can not simply throw cards at the table and perform their text outside of the structure of an action


Let me rephrase that - I meant that as I understood it, "when played" abilities could be played from your hand as card actions, outside of combat. For example, the Deepwood Archer could be played to refresh one of your cities or strongholds without you needing to declare combat against someone or something.

HOWEVER - I'm looking over the rules again, and now I see I was wrong. I was basing the above interpretation on the wording of "Card Actions" on page 7, where it says "Unit card abilities cannot be used during combat." I took this to mean that you *can* play units with card abilities outside of combat; when else would you have a unit with an ability in play?

However, now I see that on page 14, "when played" says it's triggered at the moment the card is played in combat.

I think that's a little disappointing...suppose that I'm playing solo, I've taken all cities and strongholds, and there is no enemy card in play - no valid target to declare combat against. This would mean that the Deepwood Archers could not be played to refresh my cities or strongholds.

Anyway, to get back on topic: I've only played the Dragonlords scenario once, and most of the pressure on players was from the threat of direct player confrontation - not from the Event cards. The rest of my plays have been against Cataclysm, in which the Event cards are much more of a threat. Give it a try you might have more fun!
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Quote:
-It seemed like the worthwhile gold and influence-cost cards ran out incredibly fast. It seemed strange sitting around with all this worthless influence by midgame.


Yes the cards run fast, in fact, they run out even more at 4 players (Less cards per player) But consider it as a good thing, because it prevent decks from getting fat. I added 2 neutral cards to the board in one of my game and people just compulsively by cards which makes deck more fat. My deck had 30 cards at the end of the game.

I agree that influence is useless after the first half of the game. This is why I want to make a building expansion where players can spend gold and influence to buy exhaustible building cards. I posted my ideas here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/741604/expansion-idea-ho...

Since these cards does not go into the deck, they should not make the deck more fat.

Else, at the end of the game, the primary use of influence is to hold cards into your hand. Very essential to get a winning hand. Still you do not need 8 influence to keep like 2-3 cards in your hand.
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AstroLad wrote:
So just a few quick follow-ups, although I don't think either of these are material to the central issue raised:
-I was under a mistaken assumption that you only drew up to 5 after event and end of your turn, but it's end of each player's turn everyone draws up.


Oh! We've been doing that wrong. Well, that'll make the game a little easier.
 
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i believe (rules not in front of me right now) you cannot use the "when played" outside of combat, correct. But, you can use a card with the keyword "action" outside of combat.
 
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