War and conflict grip the lands of Terrinoth. While battles wage between four different factions, even more deadly storms brew on the horizon, threatening to demolish the rivaling nations. Prophets look to the sky and speak of a coming doom. Some say that if the warring armies do not come together and face the foretold Cataclysm, all hope for Terrinoth is lost. Others surmise that a victor must be named, or the wars will never end. Regardless of who is right, an age of uncertainty is upon us. Whose side will you join?
Set in the vibrant fantasy realm of Terrinoth (popularized by Runebound, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Runewars, and BattleLore Second Edition), Rune Age places players in control of one of four warring factions, setting out to build up their armies, take control of cities, and obliterate their foes.
Designed by Corey Konieczka, Rune Age is unique in that it is driven by scenarios, setting the parameters of the game. Each of the four included scenarios presents different objectives for players to construct their decks around, ranging from competitive to fully cooperative. Will you wage war against each other in search of the legendary dragon runes? Or will you pull your forces together and face the deadliest storm Terrinoth has ever seen? The choice is yours.
Gameplay in Rune Age centers around players working to develop their individual deck of cards. At the beginning of the game, each player begins with a small assortment of cards in their deck, drawing five cards each turn to carry out their actions. Each player’s deck represents their faction’s military strength and capabilities. These decks will be formed with their faction-specific Unit cards and a central collection of Neutral Unit cards, Tactics cards, and Gold cards.
While players begin with limited cards in their deck, through cunning and strategic use of their available cards, players can expand their deck to create a destructive force of their own clever design. Will you create brutal deck of formidable units? Or will you rely on gold and influence to acquire neutral forces and powerful tactics?
Forge Your Own Destiny
With Rune Age, fans of deckbuilding games will find a refreshing new take on this popular genre. The core deckbuilding mechanic is present in Rune Age, with players purchasing or acquiring new cards by effectively using the cards they currently have in their decks. Each turn, players use a hand of five cards from their deck to carry out their actions, consisting of purchasing new cards with gold or influence, attacking opponents or Enemy cards, or carrying out other scenario-specific actions.
Rather than only building your deck from a central pool of cards, Rune Age gives players access to an array of Unit cards specific to their faction. It is from these cards that they can train new units to add to their deck and bolster their forces. In addition to these Unit cards, there are also Neutral Unit cards, Gold cards, and Tactics cards placed in the center of the table, available to any player with the necessary gold, influence, or attack strength needed to claim them. This gives players a wide variety of strategic and thematic choices when constructing their forces.
Choose Your Battles
The four different scenarios included in Rune Age present alternate win conditions for players. Whether you want an all-out war to determine the victor or a cooperative game experience where players all win or lose together, Rune Age gives you several different reasons to build the best deck you can.
Scenarios not only dictate the win conditions, they also determine which card types will populate Terrinoth (forming the central card pools) and which Event cards will form the Event deck. The Event deck contains thematic challenges, enemies, and happenings that are tied to the chosen scenario, creating a new play environment each turn.
The addition of scenarios ensures that players can choose the parameters of their game. Unlike many deck-building games that focus on acquiring victory points, Rune Age challenges you to be the first to defeat an all-powerful enemy, earn the most renown for your faction, or survive the devastating storm that is the Cataclysm.
Old Enemies Forge New Rivalries
Veterans of Runewars will find their favorite factions taking part in the conflicts of Rune Age. The Daqan Lords take up arms against those who threaten their realms, while the Latari Elves emerge from their forested haven to find the savage Uthuk Y’llan marching upon their beloved lands. Meanwhile, Waiqar the Undying continues his campaign to enslave the mortal world to his will. Each of these factions has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and each offers a wealth of different deck-building options.
Stand Together or Stand Divided
Rune Age gives players the opportunity to play the game either competitively or cooperatively. One of the included scenarios tasks the players with building an elaborate monument dedicated to their faction. The first player to gather the resources necessary to build their monument wins the game. Another scenario pits players in a bloody conflict over the mighty dragon runes, with victory going to the most cunning war leader. Alternatively, players looking for a cooperative game can choose to stand together against the Cataclysm, which threatens to engulf you all!
Epic Combat in the Blink of Eye
During competitive gameplay, Rune Age features an intuitive combat system that will have players laying siege to cities and confronting opposing armies before they know it. While combat in Rune Age primarily focuses on Cities and Home Realms, players must pit their armies against each other to lay siege to their opponent’s holdings.
Each player controls a Home Realm for their faction, represented by a Home Realm card. In order to eliminate your opponents, you must bombard and lay waste to their Home Realm, reducing its strength to zero. This is done through player vs. player combat.
Player vs. player combat is fought by each player alternating playing cards until they both pass, either by choice or by running out of cards. After both players pass, the strength of their played units is added up and a winner is determined. The winner applies damage to their opponent’s Home Realm, driving it one step closer to elimination!
Sometimes players will be forced to band together (either agreeably or reluctantly) to fight a common foe. Enemy cards present dangers to all players, and they must be encountered to be defeated. This is done through player vs. enemy combat.
Player vs. enemy combat is carried out by the attacking player choosing which units to send into battle, attempting to overcome the Enemy card’s strength. However, victory is not always assured. Even if the attacking player sends in enough units, the enemy attacks first, potentially wiping out some of the player’s units. If the attacking player still has enough strength after the enemy attacks, he wins the combat.
Rune Age is a quick and engaging deckbuilding game that will take you on a variety of adventures in Terrinoth. Do you have what it takes to lead your faction to glory?
20 – 60 minutes
2 – 4 players