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Runebound (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Two newbs get frustrated rss

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Jesse Steinfort
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Embarrassingly, I've had Runebound sitting in the back of my closet for years. I finally found the opportunity to get it to the table for a 2-player session, but the experience was less than stellar.

I've read through the rules a couple of times and we repeatedly consulted them during gameplay. We are wondering if we missed something obvious about the rules...

We ended up playing the game for close to FOUR HOURS without getting to where we could take on the blues. Yellow was still knocking us out over and over again. The game was fun but it started to feel like it should be done and became a bit frustrating.

My character was Mad Carthos (0/1,3/1,4/2) and my friend had Silhouette (2/2,3/1,1/1). It seemed like we were getting knocked out way more often that we should have. It is hard to get new weapons and allies when we keep losing all of our gold. I joked at one point that I wasn't sure what the rules said about running out of undefeated slots. :-)

After we finally called it quits, I went though and examined the Market deck and found that there was only one ranged weapon that could be used to increase our damage. I also looked at the blue and red decks and found very tough stuff that did lots of damage.

How on earth are we supposed to be able to survive more than a couple rounds against these things? The most damage that it appears that we can do to the monsters is 2 without a weapon and 3 with a weapon.

Are we missing some way to do more damage? At what level should we be able to start taking on what colors typically? Is it not about dealing damage but rather surviving attacks? Maybe we just were getting lousy rolls all night, but that seems statistically unlikely given that we played for almost four hours.

I feel like a doofus because I see play accounts here that describe finishing in 3 hours or similar. We've got to be doing something wrong. We just don't know what to adjust in our gameplay. So many people like this game and I don't see a bunch of people talking about how difficult it is.
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William Miller
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My first game went five hours! We were too hesitant to take on the bigger challenges although with hindsight we probably could have finished in three hours or so.

Allies help a lot. They can soak up enough hits to allow you to survive and level up. If the allies happen to die, well they don't call them "meat shields" for nothing.

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Mike Daneman
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Two player game shouldn't take that long. You were probably too conservative. The best strategy is to get some money from a few greens and as soon as possible buy and ally and/or item that can make it easier to kill monsters. Get more money and then repeat.
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Simon Harris
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My group play this quite a bit and I'd estimate roughly 1 hour *per player*. That said, we play with slightly softer knockouts (all your gold OR your most expensive purchase, which ever is the greater) and quicker power-ups (3 experience counters, not 4). I don't think it detracts from the experience at all and makes it easily playable in an evening.
Plus, as the previous poster says, never under-estimate the value of minions allies to take the hits for you!

Simon
 
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Peter Kossits
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Umm....were you leveling up? That's an easy way to increase your damage.
I typically move up to the next level of challenge after two levels up.
Once you're at L8-10 you can start thinking about the reds and ending the game.

The game has a very nice unofficial solitaire system. Maybe fool around with it a bit before the next multiplayer game.




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Rauli Kettunen
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peterk1 wrote:
Umm....were you leveling up? That's an easy way to increase your damage.


Levelling doesn't boost damage, just your stats. True this does increase damage in a way, but not through increasing damage but improving your odds of successful attacks.
 
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I find it curious that you were dying so often on the early encounters. They usually aren't that hard, and often can't attack in more than one or two phases. If you've played for hours, there is no way that you should be having such a hard time with Blues... although I suppose getting knocked out and losing everything might explain some of the problem.

This sounds foolish, but let me confirm: you were rolling two 10-sided dice and adding that number to your hit value for attacks/defense, right? And counting 0 as 10? Someone posted a while ago who was only using a single die - and that would make the game much harder. Checking whether you levelled up correctly is also a good idea. Levelling up doesn't let you deal more damage, but it does allows you to deal damage (and avoid getting hit) more consistently. Without knowing how you were playing, it's hard to make many other recommendations.

Players I've gamed with usually stick to green encounters until levelling up twice, making sure to have an ally in tow as soon as possible. Then we start knocking on yellows - taking time to heal between battles if necessary - to level up quicker. Weapons and items can be useful (decent armor is well worth chasing down at this point) but meat shields can still be more valuable if they have special skills outside of battle.

The game is always long and a bit slow. There is no getting around that. But five hours in with two players and only being halfway done sounds like there was something amiss...
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Dave C
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I bet you were using 1d10... rather than 2. I did the first time I played.
 
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Eat2surf wrote:
I bet you were using 1d10... rather than 2. I did the first time I played.


It's the kind of mistake that is easy to do. Afterwards it might seem obvious... but the first time you are playing it's a complete mystery why everything seems so much hard than it should be.
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Ian Noble
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newuser wrote:
This sounds foolish, but let me confirm: you were rolling two 10-sided dice and adding that number to your hit value for attacks/defense, right? And counting 0 as 10? Someone posted a while ago who was only using a single die - and that would make the game much harder. Checking whether you levelled up correctly is also a good idea. Levelling up doesn't let you deal more damage, but it does allows you to deal damage (and avoid getting hit) more consistently. Without knowing how you were playing, it's hard to make many other recommendations.


I'm going to totally get made fun of for this, but 0 is actually 10??

While I only played a few turns this weekend with a borrowed copy, I was also wondering why the Greens were knocking me out. I figured I should have been able to get through them pretty easily. Counting 0 as 0 would probably be the reason, then!! And yes, I was using both dice but rolling a 0 and a 2 was being counted as 2, not 12.

blushblushblush
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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ianoble wrote:
newuser wrote:
This sounds foolish, but let me confirm: you were rolling two 10-sided dice and adding that number to your hit value for attacks/defense, right? And counting 0 as 10? Someone posted a while ago who was only using a single die - and that would make the game much harder. Checking whether you levelled up correctly is also a good idea. Levelling up doesn't let you deal more damage, but it does allows you to deal damage (and avoid getting hit) more consistently. Without knowing how you were playing, it's hard to make many other recommendations.


I'm going to totally get made fun of for this, but 0 is actually 10??

While I only played a few turns this weekend with a borrowed copy, I was also wondering why the Greens were knocking me out. I figured I should have been able to get through them pretty easily. Counting 0 as 0 would probably be the reason, then!! And yes, I was using both dice but rolling a 0 and a 2 was being counted as 2, not 12.

blushblushblush


While it's not intuitive, it is, however, in the rules:

p.2:
Ten-sided Dice
You use these dice for any required roll other than movement.
Roll the two dice and add the results together. Treat a result of 0
as a ten. Thus, if you roll two 0s, your total is twenty.
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Ian Noble
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Thank you, I obviously missed that. Probably should have known better, since they are 1-10 dice, not 0-9.
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Jesse Steinfort
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peterk1 wrote:
Umm....were you leveling up? That's an easy way to increase your damage.


Yes. In my case I started with my magic, which was already the larger stat. I gather that isn't the best way to do things? Since ranged and melee get hit first, they probably need to get buffed first then.

In my particular case, I buffed magic 1st and 2nd, ranged 3rd and 4th, and melee once in 5th. At this point, I could finally start to hit yellows better. However, this was at about 3.5 hours at that point.
 
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Jesse Steinfort
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Eat2surf wrote:
I bet you were using 1d10... rather than 2. I did the first time I played.


We were using the dice correctly (both with 0==10).
 
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Jesse Steinfort
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Mishenka wrote:
Two player game shouldn't take that long. You were probably too conservative. The best strategy is to get some money from a few greens and as soon as possible buy and ally and/or item that can make it easier to kill monsters. Get more money and then repeat.


I think a combination of this and buffing the wrong attributes first, might have been the problem for me. However, my friend was Silhouette and had high ranged and started by buffing high ranged... so not sure why he was also having trouble... though, he was hitting yellow a bit before me.

I'm going to simulate the battles later by skipping movement and simply performing the adventures. This might help me understand what went wrong.
 
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Jesse Steinfort
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Thank you everyone for your replies. :-)
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jsteinfo wrote:
peterk1 wrote:
Umm....were you leveling up? That's an easy way to increase your damage.


Yes. In my case I started with my magic, which was already the larger stat. I gather that isn't the best way to do things? Since ranged and melee get hit first, they probably need to get buffed first then.

In my particular case, I buffed magic 1st and 2nd, ranged 3rd and 4th, and melee once in 5th. At this point, I could finally start to hit yellows better. However, this was at about 3.5 hours at that point.


This doesn't help me understand what your problem was when battling yellow encounters. Buffing magic is a good idea with Mad Carthos because of his Before Combat ability.

Give Mad Carthos 2 magic upgrades. During the magic phase he now hits on an (4+2+2=) 8 plus whatever dice you roll. The lowest possible roll is a +2, while the most likely roll is +11. (I checked the base deck: enemy magic stats for yellow encounters range from 10 to 16, which requires a roll of 2 to 8, respectively. A roll of 8 or greater should occur almost 80% of the time with 2d10.)

Even without any items or weapons boosting damage, you would kill any yellow encounter with two magic hits... which is nice since your Before Combat special ability allows you to take a free magic shot for the cost of 1 (easily and freely retrieved) stamina point. This same Before Combat ability should have helped you one-shot a bunch of Green encounters earlier, before they had the chance to fight back.

The trick is skating by to the magic round without taking too much damage - which probably requires a "meat shield" ally or some armor, although Mad Carthos does have one other respectable starting attribute that might help avoid hits if you get lucky.

Does that sound like what was happening? If not, what did you do differently?
 
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Jesse Steinfort
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newuser wrote:

Give Mad Carthos 2 magic upgrades. During the magic phase he now hits on an (4+2+2=) 8 plus whatever dice you roll.

I went and looked at the yellow deck. I guess I only attempted 4 yellows: Their stats were (15/12/11, 14/10/16, 12/16/10, 13/11/15). A couple took me out and a couple were beat.

newuser wrote:
...your Before Combat special ability allows you to take a free magic shot for the cost of 1 (easily and freely retrieved) stamina point. This same Before Combat ability should have helped you one-shot a bunch of Green encounters earlier, before they had the chance to fight back.

Actually, it's not one fatigue, it's one health. So, I was often reluctant to use that.

newuser wrote:

The trick is skating by to the magic round without taking too much damage - which probably requires a "meat shield" ally or some armor,

I gather that...

newuser wrote:

although Mad Carthos does have one other respectable starting attribute that might help avoid hits if you get lucky.

I was not lucky. My friend had the opportunity to laugh at my double 1 roll a couple of times.

It seems that I was just too conservative and didn't buff the range/melee first.

 
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Vernon Evenhuis
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When playing one of the magic-using characters in Runebound. it's really important to:

A. Level up your Mind & Body stats to stay alive long enough to use your magic attack. The Spirit stat on most of these types of characters is usually high enough to let you "hit" often at the beginning of the game.

B. Buy a cheap ally or two, specifically ones with their highest stats in Mind or Body.

C. Buy some armor!

The magic-using characters are at a disadvantage early in the game, but given a bit of luck and the ability to buy some specific items (take a look through the Market deck for items that require Spirit checks), they can be real power-houses later in the game.
 
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jsteinfo wrote:
...
I was not lucky. My friend had the opportunity to laugh at my double 1 roll a couple of times.
...


Well, not much can be said about it then. Odds of rolling a pair of ones aren't high... but it does happen, and there isn't much you can do when it does. Especially when it happens more than once.

You are also right about the health hit instead of stamina - didn't have much time when checking earlier and that's clearly my mistake. A pretty big difference too. I'd still take the hit at least some of the time for the free magic strike - risky in some cases, but if it prevents a second round of combat it could be worthwhile.
 
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Andrew Klotz
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Some of the suggestions regarding "just buy allies" or "just buy armor" are a little hard to follow if you don't House Rule the Market Deck/Phase at all.

Vanilla rules, you can end up bouncing around towns just to slowly fill the market and find there are still a lot of expensive items, or items you just don't need/want. It takes a little more set-up, but I would probably suggest the Market Phase mod where you separate out the Item types, so you at least have some idea what you are buying. Though it still may be too expensive, at least you aren't risking it being expensive AND of a type you aren't interested in.

Possibly also something like "Roll and draw 1/3 the roll, rounded down to fill the market, minimum 1" or something. Or if you don't separate or roll, at least draw 3 new cards instead of 2

There are a so many market cards in the game you don't get to see or use otherwise (especially after a few expansions), at least this would give you more options, as I imagine an item shop would have. "Oh, I'm sorry, we only have one sword out of your price range in stock right now"

The Cities of Adventure mod tends to help me get items and fill the Markets as well. It also brings some other interesting factors into play, making towns a lot more fun.
 
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Gesine Stanienda
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ajklotz wrote:



The Cities of Adventure mod tends to help me get items and fill the Markets as well. It also brings some other interesting factors into play, making towns a lot more fun.

Thanks for mentioning the City of Adventures mod. It is perfect and a great addition to Runebound. I would have suggested that too.
Also, I always fill up each city with 3 "shops" each: a tavern with one ally, one weapon/piece of armour at the blacksmith's and one general item at the "grocery store" upfront (call it a preload). Much more thematic. Then, when I get into that town, I make a call as to which place I will go to, and add one more card to that "shop". Experiment with it. Runebound is a game that lends itself to being houseruled. Enjoy!
 
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