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Runebound (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Deebs' 2 player co-op variant rss

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Daniel B
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FOREWORD
My main gaming partner is my wife. While our taste in game differs slightly we both enjoy the challenge of managing risk with dice and we like fantasy themed games. A few years ago I wrote about our 2 player co-op variant for Prophecy (where I also explained why we usually play co-op games). Looking back at it now, it seems like a lot of people enjoyed that variant (at least it accumulated a fair amount of thumbs in the Prophecy forum) so I thought it would be worthwhile to also share our Runebound variant.

After writing the Prophecy article we bought Runebound for Christmas (three and a half years ago). We played the base game several times before we decided to attempt some of the variants found here and eventually it evolved into our own 2 player co-op variant. Just like in the case of Prophecy, our variant has borrowed most bits and pieces from others. All credit to them for their great work!

STORY
Evil is spreading in Terrinoth and all kinds of different monsters are menacing the land. The dragons have been long asleep but there are rumours that they have returned and wish to claim dominance over Terrinoth. Your task is to prepare for the imminent attack from the dragons and stop them from destroying the land.

RULES
All the original rules to the games are used with the following exceptions;

Additional Setup
* Both players randomly draw two heroes each and select one of them to play with (in secret, without discussing with the other player).
* Randomly select the starting player. This player will from now on be referred to as the first player.
* Place Deebs' Awesome Play Mat™ on the table (see below).
* Place the Experience Counters on the play mat. Place a wound counter on the top left, this will be used as a turn marker. Place the Doom counters next to the play mat, they will be used for the end game. Cover number 19, 20 & 21 at the end of the turn track with exhaustion markers (the first game will be played with 18 regular turns).

Get play mat here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1293669/runebound-second-...
The play mat consists of a turn track (hearts with numbers), a doom track (skulls), a probability reference table and it holds the experience counters.


Gameplay rules changes
* Only 3 XP is required to level up.
* At the start of each of the first player's turns, move the turn marker one step. (At the start of the first player's first turn, move it to the space marked with a '1'. At the start of the first player's second turn, move it to space '2' et.c.)
* If the turn marker is already on the final space of the turn track ('18' for your first game) at the start of the first player's turn it does not move any more. Instead, the first player must add a doom token to the doom track at the start of each of his/her turns.
* If there are any doom tokens on the doom track, each player must roll a dice at the start of their own turn. If the roll is equal to or less than the number of doom tokens, the end game is triggered. (the first player adds a doom token before rolling the dice)

End game rules - The Dragons Attack
* As soon as the end game is triggered both players may refresh all cards they have. From now on the players do not take turns as normal, instead they only have one step: The active player draws red cards until he/she draws a dragon, which he/she must fight and cannot escape from. If the player is defeated by the dragon he/she is killed.
* The players keep taking turns, encountering one dragon at a time.
* A player reaches the victory condition if he/she has either 3 Dragon Runes or if he/she has defeated Margath. If one player has reached the victory condition, the other continues to take turns until he/she also does so or dies.
* Note that the players no longer can refresh cards once the end game has been triggered. It is also no longer possible to level up (no adventure counter is rewarded for these encounters).

Campaign
* If both players achieved the victory condition, the next time you play, you get one round less (cover the turn track so that it only has 17 turns before adding doom tokens)
* If only one of the players achieved the victory condition, you get the same amount of turns before adding doom tokens the next time you play.
* If both players die during the end game, you get one more turn before adding doom tokens the next time you play (next time, cover the turn track so that it has 19 turns before adding doom tokens).

END COMMENTS
* Note that you are allowed to take a red encounter before the end game if your hero is ready for it. Any Dragon Rune you get from such an encounter does count to the three you need to achieve victory. Doing this also has the additional benefits that you get XP and you will also refresh any exhausted items before the end game.
* When we play, our heroes usually split up in different directions to go on adventures and level up. Usually we try to get back together twice per game so that we can trade items with each other.
* We really feel like it's a co-op experience even though we sometimes never get back together for trades. We discuss strategy and our moves all along the game. At the same time though we're both trying to do slightly better than the other since we don't want the other to get more wins on the record.
* We love this variant because it feels like a race. We're both trying to level up as quickly as possible to prepare for the end game.
* We enjoy the doom track aspect since you never know towards the end if you should head back to a city to heal wounds and buy stuff before the end game, or if you should press your luck and keep adventuring one more turn...
* We also really like the end game part. Typically, I will defeat two dragons and then draw Margath as my third dragon, and my wife will mock me slightly as he takes me apart. (Remember if I defeat him I would achieve the victory, so it would have been better to draw him first since I've probably exhausted most of my stuff during the first two encounters...)
* We like the campaign aspect because it balances out the difficulty from game to game. We keep track of which heroes we played, and how many turns we had. In total we've played this variant 81 (!) times and during our worst streak we were up to 20 turns but we've also had one game with only 13 turns (and where I rolled a '1' after adding the first doom token, not giving us any extra turns before the end game). We were killed mercilessly by the dragons...

Feel free to use this as you like, adapting it to how you enjoy playing. This variant has brought us MANY hours of fun!
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Daniel B
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I need to get some sleep, please ask if anything was unclear. I will most likely do some edits when I re-read the entry tomorrow. I will also upload a printable version of the play mat.
 
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Brian
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That sounds like a very nice variant! How long would you think this takes to play, on average, with this variant? My son and I enjoy Runebound quite a bit and might check this out. :-) meeple
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Daniel B
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Bilson wrote:
That sounds like a very nice variant! How long would you think this takes to play, on average, with this variant? My son and I enjoy Runebound quite a bit and might check this out. :-) meeple

We finish a game in just over an hour, but remember that we've played 80+ games... It probably takes 1-2 hours.
 
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Butlerian Atreides
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Is there a downloadable file in the files section?
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Daniel B
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Butlerian wrote:
Is there a downloadable file in the files section?

I have uploaded it as an image, I will update the post as soon as it is approved.
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Butlerian Atreides
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Daniel B
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Deebs wrote:
Butlerian wrote:
Is there a downloadable file in the files section?

I have uploaded it as an image, I will update the post as soon as it is approved.

And here it is: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1293669/runebound-second-...
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Shane Hoopfer
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My wife and I tried out your variant tonight and it was very good!

Nice job on this!
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Tom Zebro
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When you use this variant, do you still follow the armor and weapon limit? (2 weapons and 1 armor).

That could make the end game difficult if you do not refresh items between the red challenges.
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Daniel B
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tazbro wrote:
When you use this variant, do you still follow the armor and weapon limit? (2 weapons and 1 armor).

That could make the end game difficult if you do not refresh items between the red challenges.

Yep, we still follow the armor/weapon limit. The end game is difficult, but that's intentional. For us it hits the sweet spot of being challenging but still quite possible to win.

Remember that most of the time when you defeat a dragon you get a really useful rune to help you out in the next battle.
 
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