I'm an avid Runebound player...I own everything except the elusive Midnight expansion and Artifacts & Allies deck. I have a gaming group of 4-5 players that plays Runebound 2-3 times a week on average.
We are really enjoying the new Mists expansion....but last night the final boss was Set the Deceiver. He gains +1 to his Life for every ally that he has on his card, and by the time we were ready to fight him, we had 30+ allies on his card! When he takes every Ally from every stack every time you turn in a Skull ritual AND you add more tokens to the ritual track for every Ally he has on him at that time (not to mention his Sun Omen is to add 3 cards to each market stack for each Sun ritual you turn in), it's not hard at all over the course of a 4 hour game to have 30+ allies on him by the time it's time to fight.......and this of course makes him virtually unbeatable.
Now granted, we play with a Market Deck that has almost every Ally card that exists, but still...
What were the designers thinking here??? Am I missing something???
For now, this Primal God is in the bottom of the box. Any official answer to this issue would be appreciated. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks! (First time post! Long Live Runebound!)
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I've noticed several of the final bosses in MoZ are very brutal. There are some that 4 skull omens = players all lose the game. I played my first game of this expansion the other night with my girlfriend and omen/rituals knocked her out on my turn three times, from full health(4 damage inflicted to all non-"active" players and such). We had the boss that activated off all three types of rits, and inflicts damage and spawns wandering monsters off of any type. What we realized is that avoiding the wandering monsters was killing us, because they kept getting forced out to make room for more, which was completing rituals, which was making more monsters. Once we got the wandering monsters down to about 2-3 at a time, we had a much easier going. It juts seemed counterintuitive to want to fight the "random encounters." I looked at the Set one - my thought would be, shop. A lot. Your character can make a ton of money in this scenario, so keep buying all the allies when they appear. Control the wandering monster track so you have chocie of where to place counters, buy allies, and ditch them and go buy more. One of the interesting things I've noticed here is that this game is a bit more cooperative than normal Runebound - you have to work together just a bit to keep the primal god from hurting everyone too much. Sometimes you have to do thing that have less immediate benefit to you, but help keep the "plot" under control. Also, buy those shaman things that let you redraw ritual tokens, so you get more control over when rituals do go off.
Whew, sorry about the wall of text.
Ryric, thanks for the post! You make some very interesting points that I hadn't considered before....hmmm, working together in a more co-op way to help handle the plot? That's a great idea, but it makes for a very delicate dynamic because in the end it's still a solo race to win...very interesting. Controlling the market and the random monster track in a semi-co-op way IS the answer. I'll put Set the Deceiver back in the deck and give our gaming group another shot at him. We'll see if I can convince them to help me control him next time! :)
Yeah, we got Set the Deceiver on our second game and we were both sort of bummed about all of the allies he was racking up. I was really doubting it would be possible to beat him with 30HP, but I was able to build up a nice combo of cards and allies to beat him pretty comfortably. So, he's not impossible to beat, you just can't take forever to confront him or he will be impossible. Overall, I like the Arkham Horror-like punch some of the gods are packing.
Ryric, thanks for exposing some of these subtleties. Haven't bought Mists yet, and am new to RB, but I am lurking about to follow what's up. I find it quite interesting that this expansion may introduce some need for interactive tactical choices for when and if one does something cooperative. Typically that doesn't go over well with most players who want a clear / clean / cut game either cooperative, team, or solo competitive... but I like it when a game can effectively implement something inbetween on the edge between. You never know when an opponent will become an ally of the moment or when you'll have to do likewise and hope it's the right choice for your own good fortune.
Hopefully I've not overestimated this potential, but it seems that Mists has this potential hidden within it, should players take note and use it. And it only happens when a game (or scenario) has the potential within it for all players to lose, which isn't popular for games built for solo wins. So I'm wondering something more...
For those who've seen excessive build up on Set, does the number of players in a game appear to affect how much?
I played a two-player and got set. We didn't follow the variant for two players, which would have made it much worse. Set was revealved fairly early on, seems to be the standard for creature reveals. A sun ritual completed and the markets got filled, we saw what would happen if the skull got completed, so we did our best to avoid the skull. We failed, can't account for a bit of bad luck. So set got 27 allies, yes 27. Plus we had to place a ritual token for each ally. Great.... During the token placement, the sun ritual got set off again, and about half way though that a skull ritual got set off. We didn't even bother counting, we packed it up. Vowing to never allow set in the game again. our characters would have died over and over again, as the ritual deck would have quickly progressed to the red and an infinite loop would have occured. The rules say place one ritual counter for each ally on set, so we would have had to place 27 plus the extra allies that got added.
No, I would say this is broke. It wasn't like we had any chance of buying the allies out, money is hard to come by, we were only at the yellow monsters. If you play with set, remove all the extra ally cards from the expansions. Even then I think it would cause a problem. I can see it if you only had to place three market cards for each sun ritual, but three market cards per stack was way to much. The ritual tokens being added per ally on set just compounded the problem. This isn't something that players can reasonably avoid in my opinion. If anyone has beat set feel free to tell me. As I see it, this card is a sure fire way to drive people away from playing this game.
In the two player game I played, I did beat a 30HP Set. My character (the woman with the spear) had the ability to do an extra attack before combat. I had a couple allies (one low level, one high level) that soaked up and dealt out some initial damage. I had an armor item that whenever I was dealt 3 or less damage, it would cancel that damage and deal 2 damage that I used once. I had a bomb that dealt 3 damage before combat. I had an artifact that did a few damage and soaked up a few (that orc gauntlet I think). I think that's the majority of it, but I was able to half Set's life within a few turns and then grind out a win over 4 or 5 more turns. The key is have items to soak up damage and buy you some time and a good ally or two to deal out and soak up damage. One tip is to take advantage of the sun ritual when 3 market cards are added to every market deck and shop around for the right items and allies to beat him.
Hmmm... we've found Runebound doesn't play well when the count of players goes above 4. But that said, has anyone played with Set at 3 players or above? Please understand that I don't own this expansion, so I'm not fully familiar with all of the triggers and mechanics... I'm just curious about Set's potency vs count of players. And it seems two can be enough to push Set's boosts into overload.
27 allies at once? Ouch, yeah that does sound like a nasty bit of bad luck. There do seem to be some situations you can get into where you get a large chain of rituals going off repeatedly, and those can be very painful. I'd remember that you have some limited control over whichever boss awakens, because you can use those survival gear to change ritual tokens. You can also use wandering monsters for this, since you can see ahead of time what ritual tokens they have. Heck, you can even run away from encounters once you see the token type. It's not worth killing that green monster if it's going to make the rest of the game impossible. So I'd say, that if it looks like Set is going to bloat into Godzilla, do your best to not have him come up, make sure some other ritual types happen first if you can. It seems to me that a group of players could, with care, "aim" towards the primal god they want to have in their game. Letting it just happen randomly seems to be asking for trouble. I think it might have been wise to state something like this in the rules, because previous Runebound expansions have been about reacting to the environment instead of trying to control it, and this new idea seems counterintuitive to veteran players.
Thanks for the post on this. I've actually posted a thread over on www.boardgamegeek.com relating to a similar issue I'm having with the Bird goddess, Harridan.
We've played both a 2 player and a 4 player game, and she came up both times. We effectively were getting killed repeatedly, as she simply cascades rituals, adds a challenge, it falls off, more rituals, etc. We couldn't keep any money or items on our heroes in either game, and it became very frustrating to try to stay in it.
She seems pretty punishing, but the Primal Gods seem to come online very quickly. In a multi-player game, they are easily awakening by turn 2 or 3, especially if you're unlucky and get rituals with low-token counts.
Anyone else experiencing this issue with her? In general? We'll definitely be adopting the soft knockout rule from the manual. Thanks!
This also is my first post on this forum; guess why....
First time we play the new Mists of Zanaga expansion, we run into Set the Deciever as our Primal God.
First we triggered a sun-based ritual, resulting in all the markets being fattened with items and allies; quite nice, really..
A little later, we triggered one Skull-based ritual while there were another two skull-based rituals waiting to be completed still left on the ritual-track. This had the fun effect of adding a total of 16 allies onto Set the Deceiver in one go (so that's 23HP in one fell swoop). Ofcourse, since each ally on him causes on ritual-token to be added to the ritual-track. This, ofcourse, finishes the whole track in short order, resulting in a ton of effects being thrown on the players after eachother. I don't remember the details, but we ended up getting tons of damage, causing all players to die 5 times over. No allies, gold or items left.
Ontop of that, the markets got replenished another time by the sun effect halfway, adding yet more allies for the next skull-ritual...
Final score: he ends up getting 34 allies (all of them in the market-deck) added under him; 41Hitpoints...
Players have no items; no gold; we can move with only two movement-dice, get one damage at the begin of each movement phase...and the last ritual left on the track was another skull-ritual, just waiting to go off..... and when it does, we get to resolve the effects of 34 ritual-tokens added to the (reshuffled) red rituals left in the red ritual track deck..
You can understand... we removed Set the Deceiver from the game...
I wonder how anyone, ever, managed to defeat him, unless you try to kill him really early in the game. Once you trigger one skull ritual, you're most likely waaaay too late.
The thing with Set is he (like most of the primal gods) is actually pathetically easy to beat early in the game. Which is not to say you can't get a game where he goes hogs wild, but he is trying to destroy all civilization so I wouldn't expect the villains to always play nice.
That said, if he just brings a playing group frustration, then by all means remove him from the game, or better yet, just play without his special ability to feed off of allies.
To attempt to stop the Set infinite loop we changed it to only add a ritual token for the allies that were put on Set by that skull ritual. We played a game where set ended with 59hp. The gods are easy to beat if you have the items and levels so that you just don't miss; On Set you would need a ranged value of 15 a melee of 11 and magic of 16. I have actually played Set twice and beat him both times. This last time my character only had around 11 levels.
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