So last night I had my first real taste of the new Runewars Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games. Having received a copy in my Swag Bag from Adepticon, we were all eager to try it out. As with most new games from FFG, there’s a “Learn to Play” section in the rulebook, so we headed there. We set up a 3×3 area and laid out the minis as suggested in the rulebook and went at it. Even though we did a demo at Adepticon, some things were left out and others were slightly less than correct, but at any rate we pressed onward. I played as the humans while Kyle played the undead.
It didn’t feel like either of us had any real strategy other than LEARN TO PLAY, but why not have fun, right? I began by charging my horsies straight at Kyle’s archers. They can move really fast with a double move. By doing this, it really limited where he could move his archers and set them up to be charged the next round. I slow rolled by golem and my infantry in to engage his worm and hero while flanking his infantry with my own hero.
Turn 2 saw some decent action. That’s where I charged into his archers and put the hurt on them while flanking his infantry with my hero and dealing significant damage to both. My infantry engaged the worm and began working on it. My golem unfortunately had nobody to play with and did nothing. Turns 3, 4, and 5 were more of the same with my horsies finishing off the archers and dying to Kyle’s hero when they got flanked. My own hero did more good work to his infantry and he eventually turned to face me… so no more extra die. 🙁 My own infantry finished off his worm and then moved in to finish off his infantry while my golem slowly made his way towards Kyle’s hero. Depending on where the runes land, the golem can pack quite a punch. But that’s only true if you can actually roll a damage. Having missed at that attempt, my golem quickly died to his hero and my own hero and infantry could not make their way to land the remaining 2 wounds to his hero to finish off his team.
As with all “Learn to Play” scenarios, there’s no real balance and the overall goal is to learn the rules, figure out how things move, get a handle on the actions, and understand the interactions with the other models. From this single event, I learned that my hero unit is very powerful with some good mobility. She can fire at ranged at very low initiative and is an excellent flanker. My horsies are pretty powerful but I should probably flank with them instead of running straight in. An extra rank would help me a lot since I don’t tend to roll very well and re-rolls would surely help. The golem wasn’t the big tanky unit I thought he would be. He can only charge straight forward and can’t actually turn on the move. He’s really slow, but has the potential to be super strong depending on which runes are up. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got 4 armor so it takes a lot to land a wound, but he can only take 2 wounds. The infantry are the work horses of the team, though. They have decent charge, decent attack, and with the second rank have a re-roll which helps.
All in all, I really enjoy the humans. Normally I prefer having some ranged models like the archers, but I don’t really care for how the undead look. The undead have some nice mechanics but everything seems to balance out so far. The calvary unit is my favorite so far. They’re super fast and can hit like a truck. My second favorite turned out to be the hero unit. She’s a lot stronger than I thought she would be. At first I only wanted to pit her against soft units but she can probably tank anything (released so far). Plus her mobility is only second to the horsies. I thought I would like the golem more, but his limited movement and rune dependant defense/attack made me re-think his rank. Still a solid unit, though.
This weekend, Kyle and I plan to expand our armies and play an actual game! Stay tuned for the battle report!