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Runebound: Crown of the Elder Kings» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Crown of the Elder Kings Review rss

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Jon Dockter
United States
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In writing this review, I assume the reader already knows how to play the basic Runebound.

You are an Elder King who is reborn, your goal is to gather the Vassals to defend your throne!

This expansion introduces a new endgame variant and includes 30 new cards: 9 new Encounter cards and 21 new Challange cards, 12 of which are blue Challanges that represent the Vassals.

Setting up the game is the same as the orginal game, but the blue Runebound Encounter deck is replaced by the blue Crown of the Elder Kings deck. The green and yellow Kings decks are placed beside the Runebound decks. During gameplay, if an event is drawn from the Runebound adventure deck, it is resolved and then an event of the appropriate color is drawn from the Kings deck and is resolved next.

The object is to collect a series of Vassals. Doing so allows you to become the Elder King. There are four different types of Vassals and each has a rank: Secrets, Hate, Blood; and a house: Knight, Knave, Lady, and Duke. The endgame begins when a player collects a set of Vassals. A set consists of three of a kind of any rank or three Vassals from a single house. The red dragons represent "wild cards" and can act as any Vassal.

This expansion is very PvP oriented. Some of the Vassals may be taken from a player if they are defeated in combat by an opposing player. Most of the Vassals are quite difficult so PvP is a viable option. Many of the Vassals force players to make several Before Combat skill tests that can easily cause a knockout. Others make players use their damage values instead of their normal modifiers when attacking while others gain attack boosts by rolling terrain die and adding a bonus depending on the number of terrain symbols showing.

The endgame is all about PvP. Once a player has become Elder King the other players attempt to dethrone him. The Elder King selects three of his Vassals and then the player with the highest-level Hero makes the first attempt, followed by the player with the second highest-level Hero and so forth. The player must enter combat with the Elder Kings Vassals. Once, and if, the Vassals are defeated the Elder King enters combat with his allies. If the Elder King is defeated he is eliminated from the game and the conquering Hero then becomes Elder King and must defend his throne from the next player.

My biggest gripe with this expansion are all the misprints. I have counted 3 out of the 30 cards so far that are misprinted. These aren't small typos or grammatical errors, but complete texts that are supposed to be on other cards. It is very disappointing that something like this could slip past quality control and it's frustrating to have to explain to new players that the text is actually supposed to read like "this" and not "that".

Aside from the annoying misprints there really isn't a reason Runebound fans shouldn't pick this up. Those that enjoy more player interaction with PvP will really enjoy this one. My personal favorite is still The Sceptor of Kyros since I'm not too much of a fan of PvP. Overall it's a challanging expansion that adds a new endgame variant if you are growing tired of killing Margath.
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