Runebound! What a name. Does it make anyone else think it’s some fantasy parallel of being eggbound? Some poor adventurer squatting unsuccessfully in the woods, trying to expel the consequences of an evening spent chomping down runic tablets? No? Oh dear.
FFG revealed at Gen Con this year that a third edition of Runebound was in the works, following up on 2005’s second edition of the fantasy adventuring board game. As usual they’ve been pummelling us with regular previews ever since, covering gameplay, the heroes and changes to the combat system from second edition. We’re now getting highlights of the two scenarios due to ship with the box when it hits the shelves next month, so if the idea of traipsing round a giant fantasy map zapping creatures and levelling up heroes sounds like you’re bag, this is the place to head.
The new edition is being overseen by Lukas Litzinger, the design brains behind FFG’s hugely successful relaunch of cyberpunk corporate hacking card game Netrunner, as he transitions over into the company’s board game department. I’ve been a bit lukewarm about Runebound in the past, primarily because it sounds like there’s not a lot of interaction between players – I get the distinct impression it plays a bit like several people each having their own individual adventure around the same table, and I’m not sure that’s quite my cup of tea. Maybe Lukas’ involvement means we might see new mechanics letting players affect each others’ games more, given that premise is so central to Netrunner’s gameplay. I’m excited to find out.
If it’s up your street, there should be plenty in third edition to keep you interested – second edition had five big box expansions and a whopping 30 smaller add-ons covering new adventures, items, characters, allies and challenges. If there’s one thing FFG are supremely good at, it’s getting you hooked on a game and then crushing the life out of your wallet with expansion after expansion. Start saving those pennies.