Claim Your Objective
The Struggle for Victory in Runewars Miniatures Game
“Break through the enemy line! The area they hold is a linchpin in this war, and we must take it at any cost!”
You’ve taken your place behind your forces, the battlefield spreads out before you like a map scroll. Your orders are to hold this narrow pass, and the undead legions are marching closer with every moment. You have only a few short hours to array your forces, take stock of the terrain, and discuss tactics—yet the way you spend those hours could make the difference between victory and defeat in the battle to come.
Runewars Miniatures Game invites you to become the commander of a fantasy army, and just as in a real battle, some of your most important decisions may be made before your army ever enters combat. In our previous articles, we’ve looked at command tools, movement, and combat—all the ways that you can shape the battle as it rages around you. Today, however, we look at the very beginning of the battle: the decisions that you make during setup and the ways your objectives can change the entire game!
The Lay of the Land
A game of Runewars doesn’t begin when the first arrow is loosed, or when your units first charge into brutal combat. It begins as you start to deploy your units onto the battlefield. Of course, before you reach that point, you’ll build an army from your available figures, crafting a fighting force that you can lead to victory against any foe. We’ll take a much closer look at army building in the future, so for now, we’ll pick up with you and your opponent about to deploy your units onto the battlefield.
Runewars is played on a 6’ by 3’ battlefield, but that doesn’t mean you have free range to deploy your units wherever you choose. Before any units are placed, you’ll need to choose deployment zones for both players.
At the beginning of setup, three deployment cards and three objective cards are revealed at random. The first player (the player who spent less points while building his army) can choose a deployment card or an objective card that will be used for the game. Then, the other player can choose a card from the remaining set. In other words, if you are the first player, you have the potential to determine the deployment card or the objective card, but not both. One card will always be chosen by your opponent.
Deployment cards serve a crucial function in determining exactly where you can place your units during the game. For instance, if the Head-to-Head deployment card is chosen, both players will have equal deployment zones at the center of their respective sides. However, not all deployment cards feature equal deployment zones. The player who chooses the deployment card gets to choose whether he prefers the blue or red zone, which can have potent consequences. If you catch your opponent Unprepared, for example, and take the red deployment zone for yourself, you may severely hamper your opponent’s ability to deploy his army.
Deployment cards do more than simply determine deployment zones, however. They also decide what types of terrain will mark the battlefield. In the upper right corner of every deployment card, there are a number of defensive terrain pieces and dangerous terrain pieces that will be used in this game. For instance, if the Head-to-Head deployment card is chosen, it will result in one defensive terrain piece and two dangerous terrain pieces being placed on the battlefield.
Terrain cards are revealed at random for defensive terrain and dangerous terrain, and players take turns placing the terrain on the battlefield. If your units can occupy terrain during the game, it can offer potent advantages, such as a Forest that increases your defense against ranged attacks or an emplacement of Spikes that damages any unit unlucky enough to collide with it. Terrain is placed before any units enter the battlefield, giving you time to take the terrain into account in your battle plan.
Bring Them Down
A game of Runewars immediately ends if one player destroys his opponent’s entire army, but most games do not end in total annihilation. If both players still have forces on the battlefield at the end of eight rounds, the game ends, and you must determine who wins by scoring points.
To start, you gain a number of points equal to the point value of the units remaining in your army. In other words, if your opponent only manages to destroy 50 points of your 200 point army, you’ll have 150 points when scoring begins. Importantly, each unit has a range of values, based on the number of trays in the unit. If your unit has suffered attacks and reduced in size during the battle, it may be worth less points than it was at the beginning of the game.
Destroying your opponent’s units is an excellent way to rob your opponent of points and pursue victory, but keeping your units alive isn’t the only way to score points—you also have to consider the objective card chosen at the beginning of the game. Every objective card offers a new way for your forces to earn points during the game. For example, there may be a Bounty placed on a specific unit from each side. When this objective is chosen, both players must choose one of their units and place an objective token on it. If your chosen unit is destroyed during the game, your opponent will score the objective token and the seventy-five points shown in the upper right corner of the objective card!
Other objective cards offer you an opportunity to score more than one objective token. For instance, you may be charged to Demoralize Their Forces. With this objective in play, you score an objective token (and twenty points) every time one of your units collides with an enemy unit’s side or back edge during a charge—a fact that could dramatically alter the way that you approach maneuvering your units into battle. With every objective card and deployment card offering dramatically different approaches to the game, you’ll soon find that the replayability within a single Core Set of Runewars is nearly limitless.
Deploy Your Forces
The fantasy battles of Runewars Miniatures Game will soon be yours to experience. Pre-order your Core Set at your local retailer today, and check back next time for an overview of the lore of Terrinoth, focused on the Daqan Lords and Waiqar the Undying!