Runebound: 2nd Edition
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- Includes 12 finely detailed plastic hero miniatures
- An expandable game of fantasy adventure
- For Ages: 12+
- Number of Players: - 6
- Playing Time: - hrs
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From the Manufacturer
The marketplaces are quiet; the streets deserted. The rumors in the taverns and the whispers in the inns all suggest the same the evil necromancer Vorakesh is raising undead legions to help him bring back Margath, the High Lord of All Dragonkind. If the realm has ever needed heroes, this is the time! In Runebound, up to six players can adventure in fantasy realm full of danger and peril. Travel down raging rivers, explore dark and mysterious forests, and fight all manner of heinous beasts intent on stopping you from your goal destroying the great dragon Margath before he destroys the land! Runebound Second Edition, the new standard in adventure board games, is all you liked about the original best-selling game and more. complete revision of the original, Runebound Second Edition has an updated game board, revised rules, new and more challenging monsters, and twelve plastic figures to represent the stalwart heroes of the realm. This epic game of high fantasy is now better than ever! Runebound is fantasy adventure board game for 2-6 players.
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This item Runebound: 2nd Edition
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||11.75 x 3 x 11.75 in||5 x 6.75 x 1.75 in||5 x 6.75 x 1.75 in||11.75 x 3 x 11.75 in||10 x 14 x 3 in||2.8 x 11.6 x 11.6 in|
|Item Weight||3.4 lbs||4 ounces||4 ounces||2 lbs||—||4.8 lbs|
Top customer reviews
Suggested Players: 2-3 (supports many more)
In this game, by Fantasy Flight Games, you are one of 12 heroes with different powers and abilities, attempting to stop the evil dragon lord Margath. Along the way events will happen which will change the face of the game board and how it is played, monsters will be slain, experience earned and levels achieved. Items will be bought, found and used to help ease the bloody work of slaughtering monsters, advancing to ever increasing challenges until you can step toe-to-toe with the dragon lords and Margath himself. This is the basic premise of Runebound. Now, lets break it down.
The artwork is generally good. The game board is attractive enough with various types of terrain divided hexagonally. Hero artwork is fine, though some is better than others. Monsters are generally great with a few exceptions and items are as good as can be expected. Nothing stands out as "ugly" and almost everything appears professional, note however that little of it is terribly memorable.
Runebound will last countless play sessions due to it's durability (and I must note that Fantasy Flight Games has top notch customer service if something does break on you). The board is of heavy card board stock and is highly unlikely to break, the counters are made of the same stuff, very thick and heavy. The hero figurines are made of tough high grade plastic and the cards are almost so tough that shuffling the (many, many) quests and items can be somewhat laborious.
Your turns consist of the follow: Roll movement dice (depending on whether you're hurt or not, you'll roll 4 or 5) and based on the dice move your hero. This is one of the more unique aspects of Runebound because the dice do not have numbers, instead they have images of terrain often 2 or 3 per side and you may move your character based on what types of terrain you rolled. For example, Jimmy rolls his dice and gets one with roads-plains-hills so he can move onto either roads OR plains OR hills with that die; on another he gets rivers-mountains so he can then use that to move onto rivers OR mountains; etc. down the line. Some terrain types are more common than others, such as roads vs. mountains.
The goal of movement is obviously to get somewhere. You'll be headed either to quest markers (green, yellow, blue, red; in order of difficulty from easiest to most difficult) or one of the 8 towns on the game board.
Towns are where you go to heal and buy items or allies. On the right side of the board is a series of "market stacks" one for each town. When you arrive in a town you may choose to spend gold to heal damage of fatigue on your hero; you may also shop for items. When you do this, an item is drawn from the market deck and placed in the appropriate market stack, then, you may choose to buy one or more items or allies (who help you in battle) from the stack.
Quests are the heart and soul of Runebound, they involve you resolving encounters with enemies and challenges which may involve your character performing physical or mental feats, delivering a merchant to a town, collecting fungus in a swamp for gold or any number of other things; however, monster encounters are the most common. Once a monster has been defeated the quest token is taken from the board, and added to your experience pool, and gold or items are awarded.
Finally, at the end of your turn (if you can) you can spend your experience points.
If you're looking for a laugh riot of a game where your actions heavily influence the actions of the other players... well, you're looking at the wrong game. Runebound has been called a sort of fantasy solitaire. Sure, you put pressure on the other players by trying to advance the quickest and kill Margath and you CAN attack each other (though I do not recommend it), most of the game is about moving and fighting and neither involves much interaction from the other players. Also, I don't suggest playing this with more than 3 people (including yourself) as it can get very lengthy otherwise and people will begin to get impatient and disinterested in the game if they have to wait forever for their turn unless you have a dedicated and patient gaming group. Interestingly, this game also lends itself well to solo play, so, if you don't have anyone to play with and wish to go dragon slaying, you can and it's almost as much fun.
Overall, I'd suggest this game if killing monsters and collecting items is your type of game and if you know other people who feel the same. This is NOT a game for the impatient, unimaginative or time pressed. It can take 3-4 hours to complete a game, more if you choose to play with more than 3 people and you're inexperienced. Also, you may wish to play the game in segments, that is, play some one night and finish it the next, it lends itself well to that as well.
For the most part, I'm in agreement with everything everyone else has said about the game so I will skip the details and will instead give a brief summary of the main bits before delving into my personal impressions.
I really like it, plain and simple. I feel that its quite good and captures my imagination without any difficulty and I really have no complaints. A point has been made in other reviews that its generally unmemorable and that's a reasonable claim, but just because its not necessarily super unique doesn't mean it can't still be stylish and fun to look at and I get a good dose of both.
The miniatures are very nice and I was impressed by the quality. Others have pointed out that they're perhaps not as detailed as they could be, but this hasn't been an issue for me. Each figure is easy to identify and suits their purpose just fine. The cards are very durable and after playing the game every day for a couple of weeks, they're still pristine. The cardboard bits work great and the board does too. Everything feels solid and high quality all around and I couldn't be happier.
I love the presentation of the game. Everything is bright and colorful, there's plenty of room for everything on the board, and it just looks great. There's really not much else to say.
Yes you do roll 4-5 movement dice to get from point A to B and no, they are not always your friend, but this just adds to the magic of the game I feel (which I will cover in more detail later). Playing with two people means downtime between turns is minimal. Once you become familiar with the game, this is mitigated even further. It helps to have extra D10s and I'm fortunate enough to have two sets of movement dice so my friend and I can effectively take our turns simultaneously which helps keep boredom out in the cold.
All in all I really like the movement dice system. It makes planning your movement more dynamic than other games and having to make the best of a bad roll adds an element of excitement and I've had more than one game's winner be determined by luck (or lack thereof) in moving at the last couple of turns which has been quite thrilling for all involved.
I likewise really enjoy the three phases of combat and being able to only attack one. Sure, if you build your hero to dominate in one phase things can get samey, but you better have equipment and/or allies to make up for your deficits. I find that the blend between strategy and luck is a fairly successful one, although its ALWAYS irritating when you roll a 3 on your dice roll when you needed a 4, but its likewise ALWAYS thrilling to roll an 18 or a 19 when you had no hope of success otherwise.
Story Telling and Magic
Runebound is a race game dressed up in fantasy setting mixed in with RPG trimmings and it works very well I feel. More so than that however, its a game about story making and this is where the game really succeeds for myself as well as my roommate. Because there is little player interaction and the game is effectively multiplayer solitaire as others have mentioned, most of what goes on between Runebound is between you and the game. As a result, each time you play you end up with a personalized story of your character and there's a lot of laughs and fun to be had.
As an example, the other night my hero wandered into a town upon hearing rumors that they were in need of heroes and offering gifts to those who heeded the call (an event card from the main game). Expecting perhaps some snazzy armor or a sleek new weapon, they boldly walked into town and was promptly presented with...a cat (a familiar from one of the expansion market decks). Then they were sent on their way. This cat then proceeded to assist the hero admirably against hoards of ghouls, and powerful swordsmen which it had no business tangling with. This lead to much hilarity as the cat would roll 18s and 20s on a constant basis whereas my hero was struggling to tie her boots correctly.
Another example from the same game is later on, my hero wandered into another town, also offering a gift to the first adventurers to heed their call (still the same event card in play from before). She was then presented with a whip sword (another expansion item) that was neither impressive nor terribly useful, but was promised that "she would need it in her darkest hour" by the town's elder. Accepting the gift with quiet grace and dignity (and irritation and dismay at how cheap the thing was) she thought little of it.
Fast forward to the end of the game. My hero has one wound left before passing out, but so does Lord Margath thanks to some great rolling and not-so-great rolling. A new combat round begins, and its the phase in which she is the weakest, but if she can just get past this one, she'll be able to best the beast..but how to do it? Fumbling around for something, anything to throw at the beast as it rears its head for a fireball attack, she finds the whip sword she received some time ago (you can activate it during the ranged phase to use your melee value instead of your ranged for purposes of hitting). Recalling the elder's words, she lashes out with a last ditch effort to slay the beast and catches it just as its about to spew fiery death, causing Margath to slump to the ground dead and disintegrate as the foul magics that resurrected him pass into the void and the land of Terrinoth knows peace once again.
Needless to say, This was an awesome climax to a very fun game for both myself and my roommate, who was playing a frail old wizard out on his final journey, braving the countryside and finding his physical body to be failing, but his mind sharper than ever, as he gathered his power and amassed some allies. If I hadn't defeated Margath on that turn, he most certainly would have on the next which made it very tense indeed.
The best part is, these kinds of stories happen EVERY TIME WE PLAY. Its absolutely fantastic and one of the most pleasant surprises I've discovered about the game.
Replay, Expansions, and Customization
The other best part about Runebound is the mammoth amount of expansions available for the game and the amount of replay the game affords. I bought the main game and played it a bunch of times by myself and then immediately sought out every single expansion I could find. I now own everything except for the character decks and the Midnight expansion and its A LOT of stuff.
By itself, the main game is quite fun and I enjoy it. However, once you get some of the market expansions and challenge card expansions it really takes off.
I've played every single big box expansion (minus Midnight) and all but one of the small adventure variants and they're all flavorsome and solid good fun. I love that each big box expansion is a smaller cardboard map that seats on top of the main Runebound map to completely change the landscape, but retain the edges for market stacks and adventure cards.
Likewise, each of the big boxes gives you a whole new adventure and really changes the feel of the game from a thematic point of view. Sands of Al-Kalim is an Arabian Nights adventure in the desert and is definitely our favorite. Frozen Wastes is an arctic treasure hunt for lost artifacts and a lost princess that's a lot of fun, Isle of Dread is high seas nautical adventuring and treasure hunting, while Mists of Zanaga pits you against an angry primal god and all sorts of mystical rituals in a monster-filled jungle.
They're all a lot of fun and I'm happy to have all of them to play.
The adventure variant decks have also been surprisingly a lot of fun and have the added bonus of being compatible with any of the challenge card expansions, something that the big boxes replace entirely. Each of the adventure variants changes the way the game is played. Avatars of Kelnov for example, plays very similar to the base game, but has an apocalyptic the-end-is-nigh atmosphere that was really intense. Cult of the Rune becomes hide-and-seek as you must chase down an evil cult while avoiding their foul magic. Scepter of Kyros has giant lords besieging towns. Cataclysm has the towns taken over by curses that you must then lift by completing several quests. Seven Scions is a mad scramble to gain enough power and equipment to take on a series of storm lords coming from the horizon to lay waste to the world, and Crown of the Elder Kings has you attempting to solidify a power base and then defend it from other players until only one remains.
Finally, there's quite a lot you can do to customize the rules. Don't like the market system? There's several different ways to change it. Don't like the movement dice? There's ways to change it. Don't like the end game? There's ways to change it. Run a search for Runebound on [...] and check out the forums and files sections for lots of awesome suggestions and additions, namely the Cities of Adventure, and Mr. Skeletor's Threat Track variant for solo play.
Overall I really enjoy Runebound. The main game is great by itself, but gets taken to a whole other level with the expansions that exist. If you enjoy a mix of light strategy with a fair degree of luck coupled with RPG elements, seeing a story unfold itself over the course of a few hours, and a fantasy setting then you really should pick up Runebound. It plays very well solo and is even better with a second person to share the experience with. There's plenty of expansions for it, although some of them are hard to find and/or out of print but all the big box expansions are still in print and easy to get so give it a try.