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Subject: Runebound with the five small expansions rss

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Jack Wraith
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Ypsilanti
Michigan (MI)
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We decided to give Runebound another go, now that I had all 5 of the card expansions for the basic game (Shadows of Margath, Relics of Legend, Artifacts and Allies, Terrors of the Tomb, The Dark Forest.) I had already modified the Shadows cards for 2nd Edition based on Torbal's helpful guideline and examples here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?num=...
(scroll down a bit)

So, the cast was as follows:
Nathan: Mad Carthos
Brett: Bogran the Shadow
Rob: the Red Scorpion
Me: Battlemage Jaes

We split up in almost 4 directions from Tamalir and the game proceeded something like this-

Green adventures: We were gifted with two excellent Events very early on, the first being Defiance in the Face of Darkness, followed quickly by Bountiful Harvest, keeping the Market stacks loaded from the get-go. We ran into every Green Razorwing card possible, including Razorwing Mold and several of the tougher cards like Temple of Margath, Hill Troll, Berzerker Ent, and the Drowned. Carthos decided to be hostile pretty much out of the gate, after having gotten some Chainmail for free at Nerekhall, and attacked the Red Scorpion. Carthos proceeded to get knocked out by the Scorpion and lost his Chainmail to her. He then went to the NW corner and found an Assassin... who also killed him. The Assassin would hold the Undefeated Challenge counter #1 for the rest of the game. A Green Hero of Old Awakened, bringing forth Spiritseeker Mok, who wandered the land for the rest of the game, doing nothing. One interesting adventure quite late in the game saw the high-level and armed-to-the-teeth Scorpion blow a Resist check and be forced to flee from a Restless Shade...

Yellow adventures: Jaes was the first to take on a Yellow card, encountering the Storm Walkers and defeating them after a couple rounds. He ended up keeping the card for its reward function until the Endgame against the Skeleton of Margath. Bogran slew Lady Vorakesh and Carthos eventually slew Lord Vorakesh himself, making it mildly amusing to read much of the flavor text from then on, knowing that he was not doing everything everyone thought he was (why would you make such an integral character to the story such a weak Challenge?) Jaes also bested the Question of Honor Encounter (also keeping him until the Endgame) and the Tomb Kings, while the Scorpion took down yet another Razorwing, a Spectral one this time. We ended up with no Yellow Events.

Blue adventures: Mad Carthos Encountered Ransacking the Ashes but failed a test. Otherwise, he likely would have teleported to another player's space and attacked again (bloodthirsty, that Carthos.) Jaes defeated Hybrid Berzerkers and Runestorm, but was brought as close to death as he ever came by the latter (1 Health) and later defeated Kraxonis the Old. The Scorpion was knocked out by Hybrid Skystrikers (losing her prized Orcish Boarbracer) but picked up Unnatural Transformation (the text for which I think is flawed, as the drawback is actually quite the bonus against many Challenges.) Also, a Blue Hero of Old Awakened, giving rise to Silhouette, who attacked Jaes at the behest of Bogran, but was swiftly defeated.

Red adventures: Guardians of Doom came into play quite quickly, adding another layer of difficulty to every counter. The Scorpion defeated Lord Fromax while Jaes bested the Unliving Rune. The Scorpion went on to tangle with Lord Boraxis and avoided the crippling 7 Exhaustion because of Unnatural Transformation (it would have been anywhere from 1-4 Wounds on the rest of us), but was eventually knocked out by him, losing her equally prized Staff of Light.

Bogran: This was Brett's first game and he had a bit of a rough time (similar to my experience with Bogran in our first game, which seems to run contrary to the opinions of many on the Geek who seem to think that the 3/2 Ranged Heroes are the ones with the edge.) He ended up getting knocked out the most, but ended the game with a Potion of Strength, Rune of Healing, Cloak of Deception, the Helm of Frostgate, and the Thief Lizard, who 'obtained' the last two items for Bogran. He also had been carrying the Shield of Light that he got from Defiance in the Face of Darkness until Jaes had hunted him down and knocked him out for it.

Mad Carthos: This was also Nathan's first game and he didn't have quite as bad a time of it as Brett. His unfortunate challenging of Red Scorpion in the 2nd or 3rd turn for her gold and the subsequent loss of his gold and his Chainmail didn't help, nor did his death to the Assassin a turn or two later. He used his special ability a lot which meant he was frequently low on Health and had to spend what little money he had on getting healed. He eventually got rolling with the aid of a Burning Priest, the Lantern of Revealing, and several high gold reward Green Encounters. That enabled him to purchase the Ghost Armor, which was the opening item at Nerekhall, and he was ready to dive into the Red adventures when the Endgame arrived.

Red Scorpion: This was Rob's second game, so he had a better handle on things and started out very strong, leaning on the excellent balance of his character and leading the game for much of the way. After having the north pretty much all to himself for several turns, he had racked up enough gold to purchase the Orcish Boarbracer and the Staff of Light (the opening item at Frostgate) and used his Chainmail and Eyes of Avra, as well as several Encounter and Challenge cards to good effect. However, being knocked out by the Hybrid Skystrikers and Baraxis really hurt him and he was in nowhere near as good a position when the Endgame took place.

Battlemage Jaes: This was my second game, as well, so I used my knowledge of the previous effort to end up with a better result this time (I was last in our previous game with Bogran.) I picked up the Belt of Strength at Tamalir thanks to Defiance and that sent me on my way. I stole the shield from poor Bogran and purchased the Fetch Imp in Forge soon after. The familiar was awesome, allowing me to clean up on all of the Yellow and Blue adventures a couple spaces from Forge in a very efficient manner: kill monster and spend gold for items and/or heal all in one turn, then move on and do it again. I soon had the Bow of Bone to complement the Belt and also picked up the Immolation Rune and received the Sphere of Vision from an Encounter card, although I never used it. Running into the Dance of the Dead gave me an extra use of Jaes' great ability in combat and shortly before the Endgame started, I hired the excellent Runemaster Baras.

Other items of note that showed up in the stacks were things like Rune Plate, Elven Wraproot, and the Ring of the Arcane. The latter two were very tempting, but something better always came along. Other notable allies included Brother Frakas, a Sister of Mercy, the Healing Toad, and Cardinal Koth (who was also tempting, until I noticed that he only helped Skill checks and not combat rolls.)

The Endgame: The Doom Track woke up the Dragon Lords and the Red Scorpion, at level 9, was the highest character. She ran headlong into Lord Margath and was slain. So, it passed to me and I ran into the Skeleton of Margath and defeated him by exhausting my Immolation Rune and throwing Storm Walkers at him, before winning in the second Magic phase. The 'reward', of course, is to go straight to Margath. With the aid of Runemaster Baras, my attack and defend rolls were solid. Immediately, I tossed my Dwarven Fire Bomb to take him down to 5 Health, then discarded Runestorm to Refresh my Immolation Rune. My Question of Honor Knight scored a hit (rolled an 18!) and I dealt out 3 more in the Magic phase with the Rune. I then proceeded to fail my defense roll in the Ranged phase and activated my Shield of Light to do the last point of damage, defeating Margath in less than two rounds of combat for the win.goldencamel
 
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