News for October 2009
Through the Mists of Battle 54
FFG proudly announces Runewars
Runewars | Published 14 October 2009

In the distant origin of FFG, three games were published in the “Hexplay” series. The first, FFG’s very first game, was Twilight Imperium (1997), the second Battlemist (1998), and the third Thunder’s Edge (1999).

Twilight Imperium would come to enjoy three editions, a profound gaming legacy, and remains one of FFG’s best-selling active titles today. Thunder’s Edge sold out quietly only a few years ago, never receiving the attention of its predecessors. The first (and only) printing of Battlemist sold out about 20 months after its release, sometime during the year 2000.

At the time the last copy of Battlemist left our warehouse, FFG was embroiled in the (for us, at the time) huge success of our Diskwars game and the creation of the new edition of the Blue Planet role-playing game. Except for working on the second edition of Twilight Imperium and a few small games such as Drakon, and Orcz, we were not very focused on board-games during those years. Thus, Battlemist was forgotten. 

The players, however, would not let us forget. Battlemist has over the years been one of the most requested titles stemming from FFG’s early years. It seemed that no other publisher would rise to the occasion and scratch the itch of a fantasy empire-building, battles, quests, and resource management romp.

So, a little less than 3 years ago, I drew up early plans to resurrect Battlemist. It would be a completely revamped game using the modern game-design principles FFG has followed and developed since the release of A Game of Thrones in 2003 (If you play the 1st edition of Twilight Imperium and then 3rd edition of Twilight Imperium, I think you will be able to see how our game-design philosophy has evolved).

With the publication of Battlelore, however (which we later acquired from Days of Wonder), we became concerned that the title Battlemist would be confusing, or even seem contrived, to a marketplace in love with Battelore (even if our title originated years earlier). With that in mind, we decided to directly make the game fit within FFG’s Runebound universe, which also encompasses our Descent: Journey’s in the Dark game. What was to be entitled "Battlemist 2nd Edition" was instead re-named Runewars

In many ways this was a wonderful development, as we could now finally tell the story of how the world and background of Battlemist (which was also shared in Diskwars) tied into that of of the Runebound universe, something that you’ll hear more about in the months ahead.

When it came to designing a new Runewars game, it was clear that few-to-none of the original Battlemist mechanics should remain, but that we wanted to retain the emotion, style, and fun that had been at the heart of Battlemist (which has often been described as a “Fantasy Twilight Imperium”). To forge it, there were none better than FFG’s own Corey Konieczka. From Corey’s brilliant work on Warrior Knights to Battlestar Galactica, as well as his work on the Twilight Imperium: Shattered Empire expansion, and the A Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords expansion, Corey has time-and-again proven to clearly understand FFG’s vision for games, and that he could bring his unparalleled design and development acumen to great effect in our re-envisioning of Battlemist.

I’m therefore proud to officially announce the spiritual successor to Battlemist, Corey Konieczka’s newest design: The fantasy empire-building board game Runewars

Runewars is the sixth game shipping in FFG’s massive “epic” size box, and embodies all the love, craft, and gaming excellence that FFG knows how to place into a board game. In the weeks ahead we will provide you with detailed previews of the various parts of Runewars, which I hope you’ll find half as exciting as I do.

Your’s Truly,

Christian T. Petersen
CEO and Founder
Fantasy Flight Games

Runewars is an epic board game of conquest, adventure, and fantasy empires. Two to four players raise armies, gather resources, and race to collect the elusive and powerful dragon runes in the high-fantasy universe of Runebound.

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Comments (54)

Published: 10/16/2009 5:33:37 AM

Looks amazing..... must put this on my birthday list for February 2010 and hope that's not too


Published: 10/16/2009 5:24:33 AM

Well...I'm a big fan of Descent. And I ask myself....shall Runewars take the place of Descent in my own personal ranking of "best fantasy boardgame dungeonthemed-crawling ever"??

My (personal) answer is: no, it can't! Simply 'cause Descent remains basicaly a "Dungeon-themed fantasy boardgame" (with a lot of strategy), while Runewars will be a "fantasy wargame" (very big, I presume, maybe the biggest ever...).

So I see Runewars more than an alternative for "Warcraft the Boardgame" than for Descent...

Do you agree?

Published: 10/16/2009 3:49:15 AM

Can't wait. I haven't played TI but it looks like a game I can play and have fun. I'm a big fan of Runebound and I love the mythos and the gameplay. I'm sure I'll love this too.

Published: 10/16/2009 2:27:38 AM

"in the listing of components, runewars boasts a whopping 13 game tiles..."

From the pictures in product description, the tiles are made of 2 or 3 hexes and the board seem to contain up to 36 hexes.

Published: 10/15/2009 10:57:08 PM

This cannot come out soon enough! I am already sold on it!

Published: 10/15/2009 7:06:46 PM

Just because our store still has a copy of Battlemist in the shelf doesn't mean I wont' carry this one. What I've seen so far looks beautiful, and Corey is such a great designer that I'llplay anything that man creates. Forget Christmas looks like the best gifts this year will be in January!

Published: 10/15/2009 5:45:21 PM

Boy, FFG is going to milk every last bit they can out of the art they commissioned for Runebound. Hopefully the artists are on a per-use contract and not a flat fee! :)


Published: 10/15/2009 1:49:51 PM

in the listing of components, runewars boasts a whopping 13 game tiles...

maybe i don't understand; do you not move around very much in this game, or in similar games?  did the heroes get fat, and thus are forced to roll dice that have fractions of movement points on each side?

i guess you could look at my list of games and tell that i don't own any "hexplay" games.  i just like the feeling of traveling great distances to get to a desired location.

fill me in.

Published: 10/15/2009 12:22:37 PM

Well... let's hope it's not a 'mammoth' game. Twilight Imperium 3 is a truely fantastic game, but I only get to play it once or twice per year.

As RussWakelin's put it, *please* make it shorter than TI (and Descent).

Published: 10/15/2009 11:54:16 AM

Looks wonderful!  Can't wait to see the previews...

Published: 10/15/2009 11:44:07 AM

Very, very intrigued by this one. Looking forward to more info.

Published: 10/15/2009 11:41:11 AM

Must have, I guess...

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