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Subject: Revised setup imbalanced? rss

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Mike Carr
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I haven't read the original rules but I recently acquired the revised edition of Runewars and the setup seems to favor the second player. Setup states that after home realm markers are placed, players place rune token in reverse (counterclockwise) order, starting with first player. Then the players choose one realms, starting with the second player. It seems that the second player can decide which starting location looks best to him, and then improve it further by placing a rune nearby. Since he places runes last, the other players have no chance to balance this out.

It would be most pronounced in a 2-player game. The first player has 3 options:

1) Place both runes nearer to one start. Then the second player places a real rune near that start and claims it himself. He now has better access to both real runes.

2) Place one rune near each start. Then the second player guesses which is the real one, places his real rune nearby and claims that location. If he guessed wrong, then each player starts near a real rune. If he guessed correctly, it's as bad as above.

3) Place both runes in the center of the map. Then the second player places a rune near the start of his choice and claims it. In this case the second player is closer to one rune, while both players are equidistant from the other.

So my questions for more experienced players:

1) Am I misunderstanding the rules in some way?

2) Is rune placement insignificant enough that I shouldn't worry about this? (or are races so imbalanced that picking first outweighs a weaker start location?)

3) Can anyone think of a better fix than the obvious one: to change the order in which runes are placed. I'd probably have the second player place runes first but otherwise proceed counterclockwise as suggested.

Thanks!
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Scott Lewis
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In our two player games it wasn't much of a problem. I think more often the runes end up in the center; sure, the second player could put his real rune nearby and claim it, but that's only one rune, and with the Road to Victory, it's going to be fairly minor.

In practice, we never really noticed this just because the starting runes ended up being pretty minor compared to the runes added later.
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Mark Bauer
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Oxeter wrote:
3) Can anyone think of a better fix than the obvious one: to change the order in which runes are placed. I'd probably have the second player place runes first but otherwise proceed counterclockwise as suggested.


I have another obvious solution:

First player places ONE token, not both. Then continue counterclockwise. For the second round, begin with the player who placed the last token and continue clockwise. Therefore, the first player has the first and last placement.
As there are fake and real runes it's much harder to predict a home realm with more runes close. And after all, as already mentioned: It's not that important
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Mike Carr
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sigmazero13 wrote:
the starting runes ended up being pretty minor compared to the runes added later.


That's good to hear. I guess it just strikes me as odd. The rest of setup conforms to the "I cut, you choose" model of fairness. This part would too, it the order were different. I think I'll probably house rule this anyway. I like the idea of people trying to build a balanced board, lest they find themselves in the weakest position.

After some thought, the best way to do this is place runes in the order that people will choose starting locations. That way the people most able to create balance (those who place later) are the same people that have the most to gain from balance (those who choose later).
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Scott Lewis
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In the original rules, we didn't like that player 2 always picked starting position; it gave him the motivation to make a map as lopsided as possible, because no matter where player 1 puts the Home Realm tokens, he gets to choose.

We mitigated that by simply randomizing who picks starting realms - after the map is built, we drew cards again and whoever got the lower number placed home realm tokens, higher number picked which one they wanted first. Makes more evenly balanced maps.
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Mark Bauer
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sigmazero13 wrote:
We mitigated that by simply randomizing who picks starting realms - after the map is built, we drew cards again and whoever got the lower number placed home realm tokens, higher number picked which one they wanted first. Makes more evenly balanced maps.


I like that
might inspire me next time whistle
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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sigmazero13 wrote:
In the original rules, we didn't like that player 2 always picked starting position; it gave him the motivation to make a map as lopsided as possible, because no matter where player 1 puts the Home Realm tokens, he gets to choose.

We mitigated that by simply randomizing who picks starting realms - after the map is built, we drew cards again and whoever got the lower number placed home realm tokens, higher number picked which one they wanted first. Makes more evenly balanced maps.

Do the revised rules address this, or is this just fixed by house rules?
 
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Scott Lewis
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Three Headed Monkey wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
In the original rules, we didn't like that player 2 always picked starting position; it gave him the motivation to make a map as lopsided as possible, because no matter where player 1 puts the Home Realm tokens, he gets to choose.

We mitigated that by simply randomizing who picks starting realms - after the map is built, we drew cards again and whoever got the lower number placed home realm tokens, higher number picked which one they wanted first. Makes more evenly balanced maps.

Do the revised rules address this, or is this just fixed by house rules?

It's a house rule, and to be honest it was only needed one out of every dozen or so games, but we liked it so we just keep on using it.

I'd be happy to play the rules as written, too, but I think it can just help make sure that the maps don't get too lopsided
 
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Three Headed Monkey
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Three Headed Monkey wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
In the original rules, we didn't like that player 2 always picked starting position; it gave him the motivation to make a map as lopsided as possible, because no matter where player 1 puts the Home Realm tokens, he gets to choose.

We mitigated that by simply randomizing who picks starting realms - after the map is built, we drew cards again and whoever got the lower number placed home realm tokens, higher number picked which one they wanted first. Makes more evenly balanced maps.

Do the revised rules address this, or is this just fixed by house rules?

It's a house rule, and to be honest it was only needed one out of every dozen or so games, but we liked it so we just keep on using it.

I'd be happy to play the rules as written, too, but I think it can just help make sure that the maps don't get too lopsided

Ok, fair enough.
 
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