AAR- Runewars: Round 2
Tim and I met on Thursday for our second go at playing Runewars. This time, my figures were nearly painted and his were basecoated so we're mostly back on track for CSW's usual painted minis standard. We fielded 180 point forces. We could probably have hit the game-standard 200 if we'd stacked a lot of upgrade cards on our units, but we decided to keep it fairly straightforward. We both fielded the entirety of 2 Game boxes of our chosen faction with a few upgrade cards and minus the extra "unique" characters.
We followed the standard rules for setup, selecting scenario and deployment, placing terrain, etc. The "Bounty" scenario had us each select a target unit for the other team to defeat for extra victory points. I choose Kari and Tim chose a Reanimate unit. I choose the "Careful Approach" deployment card which put us in opposite corners of a 6x3 (recommended size) table.
The first few turns were almost entirely maneuver. Opposite corners on a 6x3 is pretty far apart.
The terrain in the center of the table is a Crumbling Wall. I moved to occupy it, forgetting that my large blocks of spearmen with 4 trays in each were too large to fit in the 2-tray-capacity terrain.
Tim then moved his archers in and immediately found himself in contact with my spearmen who were halted at the terrain edge.
My 3 units of Oathsworn Cavalry charged along the flank.
and after failing in their first attempt...
The first unit eventually made contact with the Reanimates.
Finally getting around the Crumbling Wall the Second unit of cavalry found it'self mis-maneuvered against a rock. By the time they got themselves turned about and engaged, they had taken heavy casuatlies from reanimate archers and were then dispatched by the commander Ardus.
The First unit of cavalry had hit the Reanimates pretty well but the arrival of a Carrion Lancer turned the tables.
They were eventually worn down to just one tray and in the following turn the last horseman fell.
By this time we were at turn 7 of an 8 turn game. The Archers in the crumbling wall (not pictured) had been defeated, but the spearmen were slowed moving around it and were clearly not going to make contact with any enemy units by games end.
The Rune Golems finally made contact with Ardus and began to wear down the undead leader.
It looked like the battle would end up a tie...Suddenly, though he was down to one wound and facing two Rune Golems, Ardus broke away in the very last turn and denied me the kill.
With that the battle was over. Both of us had left our target unit in the rear far from the fighting, but Tim had clearly defeated more of my army than I had of his, and he took the day.
I'm really enjoying this game. In this game I learned the importance of deployment. Making sure that your units who will activate first are in the front is essential. I had positioned my troops in almost the exact opposite order they would need in order to all advance every turn. I still might not have been able to reach Tim's target unit in the far corner almost 6 feet away, but I certainly would have gotten more units in melee combat sooner.
Starting 6 feet away in an 8 turn game and on a table that has some blocking terrain and is only 3 feet wide makes for a very tough advance. Both of us came significantly short of our target unit by games end. I wonder if a table that is 5 feet wide would be better than 6 for these corner deployment scenarios?
Using my own terrain worked ok. I'm going to make some terrain templates and possibly entirely new pieces to better match the standard terrain shapes. Should be a good subject for a future blog post.
Runewars is definitely an interesting game. I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of it in the future. With this larger game, we were both stretched thin and probably using a larger number of small units than we might otherwise have chosen. I think once we have the options and figures to make a full 200 point battle it might run even better.
The battlefield set up and scenario we chose both made it hard to come into a conflict and rewarded holding your forces back. This made the game go pretty slow and we did not get into much other than maneuvering until turn 4 or 5. Even in the early stages of the game there were interesting choices to make and once the fighting did get going, it played well.
It is lacking in variety at this point but I am looking forward to seeing what happens with Runewars. For fantasy battle games of this size, I still prefer Dragon Rampant. It is possible that many interesting options will be added to Runewars, but I think the flexibility and creative application of an open game will be hard to beat in the long term.
I think terrain in the game works really well. We did run into a little difficulty in that the big piece in the middle didn't have a clearly defined outline. it might have also taken up a little too much space. We'll make a base for it and problem solved!
I'm looking forward to playing Runewars again. Two FLGS's are actively promoting the game and another is open to it, so maybe I'll start visiting local shops regularly again.
Stay tuned for more Runewars Hobbying. For this battle, my Daqan Army was almost completely painted. As of publication, it's complete. Also, I've nearly competed a set of 3d replacement terrain for the flat terrain templates that come with the game. Posts about both coming soon.
Thanks for reading!
Founding Member, Chicago Skirmish Wargames