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Game review: Runebound caught in a web and the gilded blade scenario packs

Posted August 7

The first two expansions for the fantasy board game Runebound by Fantasy Flight Games offers a variety of new ways to play. There are new heroes, adventure cards, skill cards, equipment cards, rules and a whole new scenario. Adventure awaits.

Fantasy Flight Games has selected to expand the third edition of Runebound with small and medium-sized adventure packs. Each pack offers some similarities and differences. For those trying to decide which packs to get, this review will be helpful.

The medium-sized pack, Caught in a Web, contains a whole new scenario adventure for players to enjoy. The base game contains two adventure scenarios so this expands the game quite well. In this new scenario, the spider queen Ariad is slowly taking over the world of Terrinoth. If she captures each of the four cities on the game board, the game is over. Characters will need to act quickly to win.

New scenario-based adventure cards that go along with the spider queen theme are mixed into existing adventure decks to add flavor and danger. A host of venomous spiders now crawl the realm and some are very dangerous. Also included in this pack is an entirely new set of event cards that unfold the spider queen's story to bring Terrinoth to its knees.

Caught in the Web also introduces a new hero to the game named Jonas the Kind (new miniature sculpt included too). He has an unblockable doublestrike charge rune that is quite powerful but by using it, he leaves himself open for counterattacks. In the reviewer's game run-through, Jonas almost defeated the spider queen but fell to her mighty poisonous venom.

The Caught in the Web scenario pack is the one I would purchase first. The addition of the new scenario gives Runebound added life and keeps gameplay fresh and exciting. It is a little more expensive than the Gilded Blade expansion but offers more new content.

The small expansion, Gilded Blade introduces fan-favorite character Red Scorpion into the mix of heroes. She is well-balanced in all skills and has a surge power that gets progressively stronger each time it's used. The plastic miniature included in the box is a different sculpt from any previous versions.

Gamers will find a whole new set of skill cards to add to the game as well. This is a wonderful addition because a game of Runebound usually uses up the skill card deck and this adds more depth. For example, the new Victory Foretold skill allows a character to remove an enemy's rune token from play in the middle of combat.

There are also new goods available for the cities. One called contraband ties in with a character's ability to explore new locations and when done effectively, yields a handsome profit. And, of course, there are new equipment asset cards along with the appropriate runes. A new weapon called the Guardian Axe costs 14 gold pieces but gives the player a three-attack rune or a rune that can copy another rune in play, even if it belongs to an enemy.

There are also a variety of new adventure cards for the three adventure decks. They are not scenario specific, so they can be shuffled right into existing decks to add variety. A new card encountered during the review of this expansion had my character surrounded by highway robbers. Unless I paid one gold each turn, I was attacked for my noncompliance. Red Scorpion sent them packing.

Both expansions make great additions to the game. For fans of Runebound, third edition, just purchase them both. The amount of new content will keep things interesting for many games to come. There are also additional expansions on the horizon so this game will have support far into the future. Find out more here.

Email: rmorgenegg@deseretnews.com

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