Runebound (Third Edition) Review

runebound third edition

Runebound (Third Edition) was published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2015. The game was designed by Lukas Litzsinger. Illustrations were done by WiL Springer. The game reimplements Runebound and Runebound (Second Edition) and belongs to the Realms of Terrinoth family.

The game was released in November 2015.

runebound - board game

Game Components

  • 1 Rule Book (Learn to Play)
  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Rules Reference
  • 6 Plastic Figures
  • 6 Hero Cards
  • 20 Story Cards
  • 120 Adventure Cards (40 Social, 40 Exploration, 40 Combat)
  • 60 Asset Cards
  • 2 Scenario Cards
  • 60 Skill Cards
  • 27 Adventure Gems (9 Social, 9 Exploration, 9 Combat)
  • 5 Terrain Dice (5 Blank Dice & 1 Sticker Sheet)
  • 1 Time Token
  • 60 Combat Tokens (18 Hero, 34 Asset, 8 Enemy)
  • 6 Story Quest Tokens
  • 2 Villain Tokens
  • 36 Damage Tokens (25 “1” Damage, 11 “3” Damage)
  • 24 Gold Tokens (14 “1” Gold , 10 “3” Gold)
  • 24 Story Tokens

Gameplay

Runebound is a dice-rolling deck-building strategy game for two to four. Each player chooses one hero out of six to play for. You and your friends are in Terrinoth and you are wandering, completing quests, and enjoying yourselves. You encounter Margath the Dragonlord and the Corpse King who represent evil in the land of glory. You have to defeat them or happy days of Terrinoth will be over.

There are two scenarios you can follow: either battle undead or fight with a dragon. All players have the same goal: defeat the enemy but they aren’t working in a team – they are competing against each other. Every hero wants to be the one to slay the dragon.

runebound - heroes

Runebound has come a long way since its first edition was issued in 2004. Gamers met the third edition with enthusiasm and joy.

Differences from Second Edition

Both games take place in the land of Terrinoth. The new edition covers up less area but shows it zoomed in a more detailed scale. The new map’s terrain is easier, “more forgiving” compared to that of the second edition. One side of a die in the third edition can match any terrain type, which makes travelling a lot easier for heroes.

Those who loved the second edition for its travelling mechanics, won’t enjoy this in the third edition. Those who hated it may prefer the new version.

Setup

  1. Place the game board in the center of the play area. Place one adventure gem faceup on each of the matching hexes on the board.
  2. Sort the remaining tokens by type to create the token bank.
  3. runebound - item tokens

  4. Players agree upon one scenario to use this game. Shuffle the corresponding story deck.
  5. Put 60 non-scenario adventure cards into three decks based on their card backs. Shuffle in the adventure cards associated with the chosen scenario (as indicated by the art located on the bottom right of the card). Every adventure deck will have 30 cards in it.
  6. Choose Heroes: Players randomly choose one player to be the first player. Starting with the first player and proceeding in turn order, each player chooses a hero.
    Each hero card is double-sided and starts the game with the side that has a setup ability faceup. Each player takes gold from the token bank equal to their starting gold and the combat tokens associated with their hero.
  7. Shuffle the skill deck. Each player draws skill cards equal to their hero’s maximum hand size.
    In turn order, players place their heroes on a shrine, stronghold, or town (depending the hero) of their choice.
    Hero Setup Abilities: In turn order, resolve the setup ability on your hero cards. Then flip your card over to the opposite side.
    Populate Markets: Deal three asset cards from the asset deck faceup into each of the four markets.
    Place the time token on the first space of the time track.

runebound - gameplay

Rules

Starting with the first player, take turns. When everyone has taken their turns, move the time token one space down. Rounds continue until a victory condition on your scenario card is fulfilled.

On your turn, you can spend three actions. Actions are:

  • Move
  • Shop
  • Adventure (counts for two actions)
  • Rest
  • Train

Move

runebound - movement

You can move to an adjacent hex or roll terrain dice to move to a different hex (Wild, Hills, Forest, Mountain, Plains, Water).

You can move any terrain symbol to move into one of four cities (Tamalir, Riverwatch, Forge, Dawnsmoor).

If you are in a hex with a bridge or a road, you can move with any terrain symbol into another bridge or road. To cross a river, you need a water symbol.

Shop

You can shop if you are in a city. City market has three available asset cards. To shop, you draw another one. Then you either buy one of the four cards or discard one card. To buy an asset card, you pay for it in gold.

You also can sell assets – discard one card and get gold for it.

runebound - elder mok vs lyssa

Adventure

You can choose adventure if you are in the same hex as a faceup adventure gem. Flip it facedown and draw an adventure card. There are three types of adventure cards: exploration, combat, and social. Among social cards, you will find events – they provide a choice between two options. Among exploration cards, you will find quest cards – they are resolved in special hexes. Among combat cards, you will find enemy cards that provide you with an enemy you can fight.

When the time token reaches a Gem refresh space, flip all adventure gems faceup.

runebound - lord hawthorne

Rest

If you choose rest, it heals all your damage.

Train

Training allows you to draw skill cards.

Each scenario has its victory conditions. The game ends when a condition is met. For example, if you are playing the Ascendance of Margath, you will have to collect lore tokens. If you defeat Margath, you win. If Margath destroys Tamalir before you slay him, then all players lose.

runebound - two player game

Download rules in PDF here

Similar Games

Runebound vs Talisman

talisman

Talisman is a fantasy adventure game. You choose your character from a massive list of heroes, monsters, thieves, wizards, etc. Your goal is to complete the Talisman Quest and break into the inner world (escape from the outer world). Runebound gives you more freedom in where you can go.

Talisman is very much luck-based.


Runebound vs BattleLore

Battlelore

BattleLore puts history and fantasy together. Goblins and Dwarves participate in the Hundred Years War. Again, you choose your helpers from a spectacular range: Clerics, Warriors, Rogues, and Wizards.

BattleLore is a game for two.


FAQ

Q: Are there any expansions for Runebound (Third Edition)?

A: No, not yet. But the first edition has one expansion – Runebound: Shadows of Margath (First Edition). And the second edition has tons of expansions you can enjoy!

Q: Is there an errata for Runebound (Third Edition)?

A: No, there is not.

Q: Does Runebound (Third Edition) support solo play?

A: No, there are no official rules to provide solo play. Maybe later on, FFG will release an expansion for solo players.

Q: Is there an app to play Runebound (Third Edition) on PC, iOS, or Android?

A: No, there isn’t.

YouTube

Conclusion

Runebound (Third Edition) is a colorful adventure fantasy game. It could become the gem of your gaming collection!

Its rules are relatively easy but if you are looking for a game where you can apply your strategic thinking, there is something to think about in Runebound (Third Edition). Every turn, you have to choose three actions you will take. Choosing wisely will lead you to victory over your friends and evil monsters!

Buy Runebound (Third Edition) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Runebound-Third-Edition-Board-Game/dp/B0145GLJU4/