Peter Neely
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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This is my first session report. I didn't take notes, so a lot of the finer details are missing from my non-photographic memory. I hope that I can remember enough to make this engaging.

I recently acquired Runebound (2nd ed.) and convinced my girlfriend to give it a try. Friday evening we started. Me: Spiritspeaker Mok. She: Red Scorpion, or as they are henceforth known, SM and RS.

After a little rules explanation and discussion we decide to just start playing and see how things goes. Since neither of us have played before, it seemed like a good idea to just go ahead and start doing stuff to understand what's going on in the game.

RS rolls first and determines her terrain types and moves out from Tamaril (sp?) It takes us a couple of rounds to roll to a first encounter, I think RS makes it to a Green encounter on round 2 so cue battle music! The first battle takes some time to get through as we experience a bit of rules consultation to verify what numbers mean what. Eventually, RS is victorious, removes the counter for the experience and claims her reward.

Turns continue to go back and forth, with each of us either moving, attacking green or visiting towns when we feel like inspecting the market stacks that are slowly growing. As I understand it, each time you enter a town, you add a new item/ally card from the market deck into that town's market stack. Unfortunately, we're mostly pulling stuff that is in the 8+ gold range, with a few lower priced items. I snag an ally at one point and RS snags a dagger that will giver her a +2 bonus to her melee combat roll.

Then, the dice curse SM. By now, we're getting pretty low on green's, we haven't drawn any cards that will allow us to replenish the board with green counters yet either. So, RS feels confident enough to start in on yellow and does alright, avoiding a few close calls, but managing to pull out ahead. SM on the other hand, spends a lot of time rolling slowly to eventually mop up the last green counter, which leaves a few cards left in the green adventure stack (some of which happened to be all of the encounters that allow adventures to be replenished). So, with green out, and SM bleeding profusely, there are a quite a few rounds with SM either not moving or moving with only 1 or 2 dice in order to play his special ability. SM can pay 2 exhaustion to remove 1 wound before moving, so essentially a round would consist of paying 2 exhaustion, or in some cases, 4 and remove 1 or 2 wounds and then either rolling 2 or zero movement die, to offset the cost.

By this point, Green's are gone and yellow is being confronted. I managed to have SM KO'd no less than 4 times during my first 4 encounters with yellow (I went back twice to attempt the undefeated challenge and failed). Luckily we both have at least 1 level gained with some bonuses (mostly to our combat mod's). We finally draw a yellow card that will allow us to add adventure counters back to the board. However, in a moment of rules confusion, we only add yellow counters back to the board, erroneously believing that we could only replenish the corresponding colors.

At this point, it's getting late and we've played for a few hours and decide to quit for the day.

The next day, things improve. RS is doing great, she's accumulated several cards that she can discard at several points during the game to give her an advantage, such as the Ferrox card that will cancel a combat situation, allowing her to defeat it. Also, she manages to pick up the white sword which is an amazing item. She can roll a before combat test roll and, if successful, can inflict 3 wounds. That's crazy as it instantly kills on almost all yellow and seriously harms purple.

SM gets a soul burn and an ally and starts leveling up like mad. By the time we hit purple, we're both raking in levels and making a mad dash for red. We get our cardboard butts handed to us a few times, especially in one instance where the final boss (margath?) is drawn early in the red game phase. He becomes an undefeated challenge so we focus elsewhere for the time being. I should also mention that at this point, there is NO money left in the game. By the time we have started early on the purple adventures, we just were not getting money rewards, which really hurt us bcause there was all this cool, high priced stuff in the towns and none of us could buy it. I only had one item that could be sold, and it would only net about 4 gold so I didn't sell.

Anyway, SM manages to do pretty well with red, securing about 3 or 4 kills and getting the rune cards. However, the final challenge was just too much. I was knocked out around 4 or 5 times before RS stepped in and gave it a shot. She too was KO'd 4 or 5 times. At this point, it's late again and we decide to break the rules and co-op it and do a joint battle, basically treating each other like allies. That didn't work either so at this point we just said 'screw it' and decided to become undead warriors, intent on Margath's destruction. After about 7 failed attempts, we successfully whipped his reptilian butt.

Phew!

This game was a lot of fun, and I think my girl friend had fun as well. I'd like to play it with 3 and I don't think I'll play as Spiritspeaker Mok again, his 0/1 ranged is a huge detriment, making the two levels I put into it feeling like an unnecessary move that still did not prepare me enough for many challenges, including relatively low level challenges.
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Butlerian Atreides
Netherlands
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Great review, guess it is exactly like that the first time around.
Have 2 comments though.

1. How is it possible all the replenish sunburst cards were on the bottom of the deck? Didn't you shuffle enough?

2. How is it possible that there is no money left in the game and you still can't buy the items you want? Or did you mean there wasn't any money left in your possession?

Now go for the expansions.
 
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Peter Neely
United States
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Missouri
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Thanks! Here are my answers:

1.) I must have not had the decks shuffled well enough, although I shuffled and then had my girlfriend shuffle as well. Perhaps it was more of a fluke than anything. I'm looking forward to the next play in the hopes that we'll draw more cards that will allow us to replenish the adventure counters.

2.) I just meant that there was no money in our possession. There were plenty of gold bits floating around in the 'bank', but we didn't have a means of drawing from it (other than selling items, and I had relatively few items/allies).

It's possible that we weren't playing entirely correctly, we sure weren't by the end
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aaron lynch
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Another thought if you were not already using it is to try leveling up using the varient rules. the first counter costs 1 xp the second 2xp. and so on..
This helps you level up early in the game but by the time you hit your 7th level the amount of spent xp is the same. and by this time you should be close to ending the game.
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Vernon Evenhuis
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Illinois
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I'm pretty sure Margath never becomes an undefeated challenge. If you fail to defeat him he gets shuffled back into the red deck.
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Andrew Klotz
United States
Gresham
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My girlfriend and I just had our first play of this last night ourselves, and it sounds like it went about the same Not quite so unlucky with the lack of events to replenish the Adventure counters, but lots of slow moving with checking the rules every few minutes to make sure things were going okay. We started too late at night and in retrospect, I should have spent my time earlier in the day on reading the rules. We got about 2-2.5 hours in and were barely making progress, so we called it a night and decided we would just start again with more knowledge the second time around.

I tried my first solo game today, and it was pretty fun, except the standard Doom Track rules left me way too underpowered by Endgame, and got stomped before I could even roll for anything.

Also, we will have to try that EXP variant. By the end we basically were saying we could just level after each encounter because we just weren't getting beefy enough and moving along. That scaled version sounds good though.
 
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