23 June 2017 | Runebound

United Against the Swarm

Previewing the Locust Swarm Scenario from the Unbreakable Bonds Expansion

#runebound

Long ago the world met darkness
Beneath red banners, horror gripped the land
Wandering, thirsty, and bloodied by rage
They swarmed the land like locusts

Rumors have reached the adventurers of Terrinoth that an ancient evil has returned to terrorize the Realm. The Uthuk Y’llan, commonly called the locust swarm, have awoken from their slumber. Their violent warbands have gathered and are riding out of the wastes to attack shrines, towns, strongholds, and cities of the Baronies. If the realm’s heroes wish to push back the locust swarm, they must set aside their differences and work together… even if just this once.

Today we'll look at a preview of the Locust Swarm scenario from the Unbreakable Bonds  expansion for Runebound Third Edition!

Locust Swarm

The Uthuk Y’llan are a race twisted by their unholy alliance with the demonic realm. They have not been seen in Terrinoth since the First Darkness, when a horde led by Llovar Rutonu rampaged across the kingdoms of Elves, Dwarves, and Men. They came from the Ru Darklands, where their foul touch turned what was once green brown and sere. They did the same to the lands they conquered, turning them into blackened wastes, slaughtering or taking prisoner any who dared cross their path. It was only the heroism of Timmerran Lokander that saved the world, when he slew Llovar at the Battle of the Locusts. The threat of the Uthuk soon faded into memory, and memory into legend.

But the Ru Darklands stir once more, and the Uthuk warbands venture forth from the Black Citadel to bring nightmares to life. Woe betide anyone who falls beneath the grisly cut of the Uthuk’s curved blades, but a worse fate awaits those who are taken alive.

Demonic Destruction

Now, the Uthuk warbands rampage across Terrinoth and leave destruction in their wake. At the beginning of the Locust Swarm scenario, players place one random warband faceup on the first space of the story track, and then spawn that warband in Outlaw’s Glade. To anticipate the growing horde, players must also place one additional random warband facedown on the story track for each player; these will reveal themselves as the Story Quest progresses.

Each of the five Uthuk warbands gains units throughout the story, either through events or when gems are refreshed. These units make the locust hordes more powerful, with their growing power determining their next target. At their weakest, with one unit, the warband can target shrines only. But as their forces grow, they progressively become equipped to target towns, strongholds, and eventually cities. Whenever a warband enters a civilized hex, they ravage the area beyond repair, and players must place a scorched earth token in that hex. Civilized hexes that bear the scorched earth token are considered empty and have the wild terrain type.

The Uthuk Y’llan are an opportunistic race, taking advantage of those they know they can dominate. As such, they will never engage in a fight they cannot win and cannot enter a civilized hex they cannot target. Instead, they must maneuver around these areas, keeping to the shadows until they find a weaker target they can strike. If a warband does not have a target, they gain a unit on each of their turns until a target is acquired. The moment that the Uthuk Y’llan learn of a target ripe to pillage, they move in its direction no matter how far it takes them.

Unlikely Partnership

The only ones standing in the way of the Uthuk Y'llan's unopposed victory are the heroes of Terrinoth. Unbreakable Bonds changes a core element of the original Runebound game by introducing both solo and cooperative combat experiences. Now faced with their most difficult task to date, heroes will have to put aside their differences and fight alongside those who once acted as their rivals.

To defeat the Locust Swarm, up to four heroes may form a Party. A party allows players to achieve more by sharing the cost of learning skills, and trading across the realm using envelopes to share gold, quests, rumors, or skills. However, old rivalries die hard, and working together may not always go smoothly. If tensions rise among the group, a hero may leave the Party at any time, regardless of whose turn it is. This can increase a single player's opportunity to gain wealth and glory, but also costs them any skills they learned as part of the team. Should a hero decide their abandonment was folly, they must reach a hex occupied by the rest of the party and likely make a humble apology to rejoin the group. 

Infiltrate the Horde

To combat the Locust Swarm, heroes may find that brain is more effective than brawn. With the right clothing, makeup, and stench, even a human can pass for an Uthuk. With the Infiltrate quest, a hero may test their mind against the cunning of the Uthuk and hopefully gain entrance into their ranks. In order to invade the warband and gain their trust, a hero will have to take damage by donating blood to sell the illusion. However, once they have successfully penetrated the Uthuk’s ranks, a hero has the opportunity to falsify orders. This can weaken the warband by moving their units to another locust horde. Ultimately, the hero may steal from the warband’s pillage hoard, using the demonic foe’s ill-gotten gains to benefit themselves and act toward the warband’s ultimate destruction.

To win, heroes must defeat all the Uthuk warbands, a task only possible by banding together to push back the mighty locust hordes. The demonic foes are daunting, but the power of heroes fighting side-by-side may be enough to drive the monstrosities out of Terrinoth.

Push Back the Swarm

Can the heroes of today live up to the greatness of the past, or will Terrinoth itself fall into legend, granting Llovar his final revenge?

Battle the Locust Swarm in Unbreakable Bonds (RB06) at your local retailer in Q4 of 2017!

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