SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 2) - Miscellaneous

SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 2) - Miscellaneous Hot

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This section covers all of the ‘odds and ends’ Runebound expansions which don’t fit into any other section.

Class Decks

Battlemage

Wildlander

Runemaster

Shadow Walker

Blade Dancer

Spirit Bound

 

Class Decks were Fantasy Flight Games attempt to add a lot more player interaction into Runebound.

The Class Decks can best be described as 'advanced Runebound' – each comes with a 24 page rulebook which despite its small size easily doubles the number of rules in the game. The increased player interaction also makes the game a lot more nasty and brutal; your character will die more often with these decks in play especially if you have not mastered the art of escaping. Because of this Character decks are not recommended for new players; everyone at the table should know the basic rules backwards and be quite good at Runebound strategy before using Character Decks. Also note these decks are totally unsuitable for solo play.

Unlike the other expansions for Runebound, EACH PLAYER will require their own Class Deck, and it is for this reason that I recommend that if you choose to get this type of expansion you simply purchase all 6 at once. Alternatively you can get your regular players to buy their own copies(after all they will be using them) and it is worth noting that having multiplecopies of the same Class Deck is perfectly legal. Personally I just broughtone of each and left it at that.

Each Class Deck comes with 2 different types of cards,each of which forms their own deck – the Talent Deck (5 cards) and the Class Deck (25 cards).

The Talent deck is simply 5 additional abilities you can purchase with experience points rather then buying experience counters. These abilities are similar to the ones each character starts with, allowing you to spend fatigue to do additional damage and the like. You may only have one Talent at a time, so buying a new one will replace one you already have. Also Talents have levels, so if you want a really good one you have to first purchase the weaker ones moving up one level at a time. Talents cost the sameamount of XP as experience counters do.

The Class Deck is a lot more complicated. You shuffle these, place them in front of you and draw cards to make a hand. You then may play the cards in your hand to either give your hero a temporary boost or to hinder one of your opponents.

Each time you play a beneficial class card on yourself yougain 'menace' (a new statistic you keep track of). Other players can then spend the menace you have accumulated in order to play nasty class cards on you. You also gain menace when you attempt a challenge, so even if you are not usingclass cards on yourself your menace will quickly rack up through the normal course of play. Beneficial cards include things like healing you or boosting your stats in combat, detrimental cards include impeding your movement, powering up monsters you are facing or even throwing additional monsters at you. Even players still taking on green encounters may suddenly find themselves confronted with powerful dragons, so as I stated before this is not an expansion for those who aren't ready for a much harder game.

There is also the option for 'deck customization' for thosewho are into deck building, allowing you to chose cards from all of the different Class Decks in order to form a killer deck. I have never tried this so I don't know how well it works, but the option is there for those who are so inclined. Unfortunately all 6 decks are printed with the same expansion icon, meaning if you want to separate them back into their original decks it will be bit of a pain (you can find a checklist of which card belongs in whichdeck on Fantasy Flight Game's site.)

Overall Class Decks add a lot more challenge and complexityto the game. They do make the game last longer (I highly recommend reducing theXP required to level by at least 1 when using them) but do help kill downtime since you now can effect other players turns directly. Those who want to keepthe game simple or don't like direct conflict with other players should look elsewhere, those who like additional complication and variety in their games should check these out.

 

Battlemage

Recommended for: Melee focused heroes.

The talent cards in this deck concentrate on turning your hero into a combat monster, culminating in 'deathblow' which can instantly kill any creature if you can pull it off. The class cards are involve giving and receiving damage, with a few nice monsters and cards that screw with your opponents hand sprinkled in. This is a direct hard hitting deck for people into brute force rather than subtlety.

 

Blade Dancer

Recommended for: Ranged or Melee focused heroes.

The talent cards here should benefit anyone who is not magic orientated, but they do require good items and allies to get the most out o fthem. The class cards form bit of a trickster deck, relying on weird specia leffects and abilities to screw your opponents over; for example there are lots of 'discard' effects in this deck. The monsters it contains are quite powerful and include a dragon, which can net your opponent a Dragon rune if you're not careful when playing it. This is for people who like to be nasty and cunning.

 

Runemaster

Recommended for: Magic focused heroes

This deck, oddly enough, focuses a lot on the class deck itself. Most of the talents focus on class card or menace manipulation (with the exception of the awesome level 3 talent "bolt of agony" which allows a player to attempt to reduce a monsters damage in the first round of combat to 0), and many of the class cards follow suit. The remaining class cards are amixed bag with a bit of everything, with a very large spell count (spells are atype of class card which many other class cards can affect.) This deck is for those who want their strategy to focus on playing class cards during the game.

 

Shadow Walker

Recommended for: Ranged or Melee focused heroes.

The talent cards in this deck focus on assassination, with lots of bonus damage and the like. "Shadow walker" the level 5 talent isprobably the oddest in the game, but is very powerful if you can pull it off.The class deck concentrates on the theme of dragons; making it a little weaker if you're not playing the Margath (base game) adventure. It seems to contain themost powerful monsters within it, and lots of locations (a type of class card playable only on certain spaces). It's a deck that rewards smart combination play, and as a result is probably the hardest deck to use effectively, but if you can your opponents best watch out!

 

Spirit Bound

Recommended for: Magic focused heroes

The talent cards here make a nice progression, starting with allowing you to travel to green challenges easier, to powering up your magic attacks and to ultimately having the ability to heal yourself. The class deckhas a wide variety of effects, with bit of a focus on damage, though the monsters found within it are a bit weak. Overall this deck is for players whowant to use brute force with a magic oriented character.

 

Wildlander

Recommended for: Any type of hero (movement based)

The talent cards in this deck are at odds with the others,since rather than focus on fighting they focus on movement. This may initially seem 'weaker' when compared to the other decks but the reality is that the power of movement tends to be quite underestimated amongst Runebound players – never forget that at it's heart Runebound is a race game. The class cards are a mixed bag with a bit of everything, with a focus placed on the board itself – many cards give you bonuses for being on or next to certain terrain and the like.Overall this deck is for the player whose strategy is to race ahead of theothers and win by staying a head of the pack.

 

For more information on other Runebound expansions:

SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 1) - The Basic Expansions  - Part 1 deals with the basic expansions

SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 3) - Adventure Variants - Part 3 deals with Adventure Variants.

SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 4) - Big Boxed Expansions - Part 4 deals with the Big Boxed expansions.

SHOPPING GUIDE TO RUNEBOUND (PART 2) - Miscellaneous There Will Be Games
For more information, reviews and articles on Runebound: Second Edition click here
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