The Corpse King
Preview the Second Scenario for Runebound
Walk the roads of Terrinoth and take the part of a legendary hero in Runebound, a board game of epic fantasy adventures for two to four players. In every game, you and your rival heroes race to claim victory by destroying a nemesis from Terrinoth’s dark past. Along the way, you’ll experience countless other quests, destroying fearsome monsters, exploring lost and ancient locations, and interacting with the denizens of the Free Cities.
In previous previews, we’ve explored the distinct aspects of gameplay in Runebound. Our first preview provided an overview of the adventures you’ll undertake and the actions you can perform on your turn. Next, we explored the heroes you’ll play and the ways you can customize a hero with skills and assets to make every game provide a different experience. We also delved deep into the battles of Runebound with a discussion of the combat tokens and a thorough example of combat. Finally, last week we faced the wrath of Dragonlord Margath as we looked at one of the two scenarios included in the game.
Today, we turn our attention to the second scenario included in Runebound: The Corpse King!
A Rising Tide of Undead
Like The Ascendence of Margath, The Corpse King scenario invites you to begin by studying the appropriate scenario card. In this scenario, you and the other heroes are pitted against Vorakesh, a powerful necromancer who once served Waiqar the Undying, but now pursues his own ends to claim the throne of Terrinoth.
Vorakesh is far too strong for any one person to battle alone. Fortunately, when you play The Corpse King scenario, every hero begins the game with a companion token. These companions are crucial for lowering Vorakesh’s health in the final battle, and you can gain more companions through a variety of adventure cards and story cards associated with this scenario.
Yet even as you gather companions, Vorakesh spreads the influence of the undead by creating zombies across Terrinoth. These zombies are placed around the board by certain effects, and whenever a hero enters a hex with a zombie, he must immediately take two damage. Once you’re in the same hex as a zombie, you can spend an action to kill it and gain one gold. Killing zombies is vital for all the heroes, because every zombie on the board at the end of the game increases Vorakesh’s health in the final battle.
At the end of the game’s first act, Vorakesh arrives on the board in the Cursed Ruins with a single zombie. When you think you’re ready to best the master of the undead, you can travel to the Cursed Ruins and spend an action to engage Vorakesh in battle, but as with Margath, you’d be unwise to delay too long. If no hero has defeated Vorakesh by the end of Act 2, his hordes of undead sweep over the realm, covering the land in darkness, and all heroes lose the game together!
When you do engage Vorakesh in battle directly, you’ll quickly find that this villain will not die easily. As discussed above, Vorakesh begins with ten health, and he gains health for every zombie on the board. The heroes can reduce his health, however, by entering battle with plenty of companions alongside you. In addition, Vorakesh boasts his own unique combat token that can greatly increase his number of available surges or deal more damage to you in battle.
Vorakesh’s surge abilities offer even more trouble for the hero that dares challenge the might of the Corpse King. For a single surge, Vorakesh can Raise Dead—randomly selecting a discarded enemy from discarded combat adventures and triggering any surge ability on that card! Though the exact effects of Raise Dead vary every time Vorakesh uses it, this surge ability is almost always a powerful tactic. Vorakesh can also spend a single surge to use Drain, dealing one enemy damage to his foe and healing a damage from himself. Finally, Vorakesh may Curse his foe, spending two surges to flip all of his opponent’s combat tokens, potentially leaving a hero with a ruined position.
Battle the Horde
Even more than The Corpse King scenario card, the new adventures and story cards associated with this scenario communicate a sense of rising dread and terror as more and more undead foes appear across Terrinoth. As you engage in your adventures, you’ll quickly see the dark form of Vorakesh’s influence made flesh. You may battle an Undead Horde —a fearsome enemy that gains health for each zombie on the board and uses its relentless swarms to overwhelm you by sheer weight of numbers. Alternatively, you may be unlucky enough to come face to face with a Barrow Wyrm ! This Undead Dragon can spend its surges to negate your physical damage and repair its own wounds with dark magic.
Not every adventure you encounter involves combat, of course. You may seek to uncover the Secrets of the Dead , tracking down a zombie and examining it in order to gain two trophies. You might join The Resistance : fighting the undead invaders, leading a raid to destroy zombies, or using the training of others to learn any skill in your hand for free. You may attend a morbid Shadow Play performed by uncanny mummers or help to Evacuate the Area surrounding the great fortress of Sundergard. Whatever part you play in the unfolding saga of The Corpse King, you’ll need to improve your powers if you plan to ultimately test your might against Vorakesh and emerge victorious.
A unique deck of story cards also accompanies The Corpse King scenario, driving events forward, spreading zombies across the map, and offering you opportunities to claim new companions. You may head to the Free City of Dawnsmoor to enlist the aid of the Nameless Warrior , a champion of the fighting pits, as you drive zombies from the land. An unstoppable Undead Assault may place a zombie in every stronghold on the map, which prevents heroes from trading goods in those locations and potentially endangers your companions when you kill the zombies there. You can even gain unexpected benefits from story cards like Friends and Family . This story card grants a trophy to each hero with a companion, and each hero without a companion may become delayed to gain a companion. Ultimately, these story cards move the story forwards, providing threats that you must constantly battle alongside unexpected benefits as you struggle to defeat Vorakesh before his power grows too great.
Dark and Foul Magic
In the second Runebound scenario, a deadly necromancer attempts to subjugate all Terrinoth to his will. If you do not stop him, the realm will fall to darkness. Rise above your fellow heroes to become a living legend in this epic board game of danger and fantasy adventure!
Pre-order your copy of Runebound at your local retailer today and join us next week for a designer diary from Lukas Litzsinger.