I had an opportunity to teach Runebound to three new players on Sunday. Nelson, Patty and Jeff came over and we played for about 5 hours before finishing the game. I added in 4 small expansions to add additional flavor to the market and adventure decks since I’d played several times before. This game was a little strange in that we did not draw an event card until the game was about half over. This led to adventure counters being quite scarce. Fortunately one was drawn but it was the only one for the entire game!
The artifacts and runes in the expansions allowed us to create a couple of combos that made the more difficult challenges significantly easier in the end game. Nelson had a rune that he could power by taking points against his stamina characteristic. If he passed a skill check, it prevented all damage for X rounds where X was the number of points taken. This usually meant he had 3 or 4 rounds of combat with no threat of damage. Very powerful! He also had an artifact that removed the points during his next movement step allowing the cycle to occur at the next adventure. It was a nice setup.
I also had rune that could be powered using my stamina characteristic and if I made a successful magic attack, would damage the opponent with X damage where X was the number of points I took against my stamina. I could easily do 6 to 8 points of damage before going into combat usually defeating my opponent before the battle had even started. Another very nice combo.
In the end, I was able to defeat 3 of the dragonlords before anyone else did. Jeff ran into the big bad guy, Margath, but wasn’t at full strength when the battle began and was unable to defeat him for the win. Nelson had defeated one dragonlord and was ready for his next when I defeated my third.
Everyone enjoyed the game even though it is long. Jeff particularly liked the theme and the feel of the game. He thought it would be a great game to play with his son. I certainly agree since my boys like it a lot.