After retiring from the Yugioh Tcg Competitive scene, I looked to the board game environment to fulfil my gaming needs. Only to find the board gaming community totally unprepared for my aggressive, win at all costs attitude. Even after being reported on Board Game Geek as a despicable player and continually forcing house rules to be implemented in my gaming sessions – I continue totally unrepentant of my ruthless gameplay. As they say in Yugioh – ‘Play to Win or go home early.’
Runebound… Dancing with Dragons!!!
Tonight was one of our two player nights. Myself the Unrepentant Yugioh Player against Jace the Ace, self confessed Board Game Geek – there is no cure for both of us. There was one game remaining in the Realms of Terrinoth which I had yet to play and that was Runebound. Of course this wasn’t a basic edition, no it was with Jace’s elite edition with about 9 expansions included. He never likes an easy game.
The Extra expansions add a lot more equipment, spells and rituals card to the game, as well as monster encounters. The game can be largely played without conflict between the players, but victory can only be claimed by the first player to defeat the Dragonlord Margath, so the players are actually in a race to level up and acquire powerful weapons, armour and allies in order to take on the final adversary.
An Old Game… With Game Play that is Timeless!!!
Runebound board game looked old style, I mean the 2nd edition is nearly ten years old now. However, the play is fresh and as such I can easily state that this game is timeless. There are no deck building mechanics, this is a straight out adventure game and the theme really grabs you. As an adventurer you roll dice and they dictate which terrain you can use on your movement, deciding which objectives you are going for. The objectives will be encounters, levelled one to four, the higher number being the hardest encounters. When Jace was explaining the game play he picked out the Hoary Pig as the first monster encounter and explained that perhaps we should leave it on top of the pile, as it was an easy encounter. I wanted no favours and shuffled it back into the level one deck.
The encounters will give you experience and a reward if the beat them, usually gold, but higher levels will give you equipment and spells. The other objective is to buy equipment or spells at the cities with the gold you have accrued. One of joys of playing at Jace’s Gaming Room is that all his games are fully loaded with player aides, etc. Jace had printed out and laminated play-mats for this game, along with condensed rules-sheets for each player. The play-mat just makes it easier to make order of your cards and tokens, utilizing it made the game run quicker and smoother.
Scooping… It has Taken Awhile!!
In Yugioh – a duel consists of the best of 3 games. If the first game is going really badly, the best option is usually to scoop up your cards, adjust your deck and strategy from your side deck and look to win the next two games. This concept seems completely alien to Jace the Ace, maybe his board-gaming experience tells him that most games will balance themselves out. Personally I think he likes to bask as long as possible in the knowledge that he is going to win. However, after a couple of encounters he pulls out the Hairy Hog as an encounter, throws unbelievably bad dice and it kills him. I found this hilarious, but it only spurs Jace to try harder to recover, as my character’s skill levels increase dramatically quicker after his restart. His efforts only get him killed again and I finally here those magical words – “I scoop!”
I liked Runebound a lot and would definitely play it again, the problem is as other games in this Epic board gaming category, such as Mage Knight, it just takes too long to play.
Core Worlds… Do you want Cheese with Your Brain Melt!!!
I had purchased Core Worlds as an alternative to Race for The Galaxy. While I like Race for the Galaxy, I don’t love it and after a number of plays, I don’t want to invest any more time in learning the inner scope of the game. Core Worlds is similar in feel, it is also spaced themed, but in my opinion is a far cleaner game to play.
There are five eras in the game, each lasting two turns. Jace had played a number of games with his brother, who is something of a Twilight Struggle expert and they had both enjoyed, so I was expecting a nice fast game, as Jace had announced it to be.
When Time stands Still…The Core Worlds Fuse!!
Each Era in the game has a deck with new worlds, armies and equipment which you buy or conquer with you armies and energy. You place your armies on the table using action and energy costs and you can either use them that turn or keep them to invade on future turns. So each turn you are conquering new worlds, which give you extra energy and purchasing new forces to make your armies stronger.
The first few turns raced away, but with the foreknowledge that the last two turns are just core worlds and ambassadors, your choices of what forces, equipment you are going to buy and which worlds to conquer become more and more important. Especially since they start to be used in combination with each other. In the end it came down to the last turn of the game. Jace was not looking so much the ace, as his face was turning a purplish colour as he tried to computer how he would win the game.
The thing is I already knew he had won the game, but by stating that there was only one of the three Core Worlds I could conquer, if he took it I would scoop. Thirty minutes later, purple faced and on verge of tears, after much baiting by myself, he made his final move and conquered the wrong world. I grinned like someone was about to watch my deadly foe turn into ash. Jace turned white as he saw I wasn’t about to give in yet, complaining I had RUSHED him into making his move.
Space Wars…The Final Verdict!!
So there was only one Core World that I could conquer, but a strange thought came into my head, could I possibly conquer another and actually win. I had a card that allowed me to recover one card from my discard pile and it was all so close. I found myself in Jace’s earlier predicament, mind locked in calculating and re-calculating all the possibilities, I felt parts of my brain going numb. Eventually I made my move and drew the extra cards, just to wind Jace up, but failed to take the second Core World. We counted up and the victory went to Jace. He wasn’t jubilant though, he looked exhausted and he had that look on his face of, yeah that’s Core Worlds. For the first time ever in playing a card game I felt exhausted, I believe I won’t feel the same on the next play. Believe it or not, I really want to play this game again and I would definitely play it over Race for the Galaxy anytime. Now I will have play Eminent Domain, Galaxy the Dark Ages and Space Mission, to find out, the best Space Card Game.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.