GENCON 2016: FFG’s Runewars Gameplay

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BoLS visits the FFG Booth for an introduction to Runewars – the latest fantasy rank and file mini wargame!

Hey BoLS Readers! We just got back from GenCon 2016 and we had a blast! If you get a chance to go, you should make the trek – it’s a mind blowing site to see. One of the great things about GenCon is that manufactures love to show off new products. This year Fantasy Flight Games was there to showcase their new fantasy miniatures wargame Runewars. Take a look at FFG showing BoLS the game and taking us through gameplay and the minis.

Now, we covered the initial announcement a few days ago so if you wanted to read-up on all the details you can do that. Fantasy Flight Games also has a fantastic primer for you to read at your leisure as well.

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In the video we get a quick demo/overview of the game and we get a first-hand look at the miniatures (which are supplied unpainted). Runewars looks like a pretty solid entry into the miniature wargame market by industry veterans Fantasy Flight Games. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for this when it hits shelves – the tentative release date is the first quarter of 2017. I’m sure we’re going to be hearing more about this game as the release date gets closer!

RuneWars: The Miniatures Game $99.95

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For years, the armies of Waiqar the Undying have stayed within their borders, launching only minor raids across the border. But now, a nameless threat stirs within the Mistlands, and legions of undead cross into the realm of Terrinoth under Waiqar’s command! The Daqan Lords have sounded the call to war, and their finest generals lead armies of warriors and golems to take up defensive positions in the border territory of Roth’s Vale. The first battles of the next great war are about to begin. 

RuneWars: The Miniatures Game is a two-player miniatures game of battles between the great powers of Terrinoth. In each game, you and your opponent will gather armies of miniatures and lead them into battle—blocks of infantry will maneuver for position, cavalry wings will wheel and slam into a weakened flank, and monstrous rune golems or carrion lancers will smash through formations of lesser warriors. Innovative command tools, two distinct factions, and countless ways to customize your experience combine to offer an unparalleled miniatures gaming experience in RuneWars. Finally, with forty-eight beautifully sculpted, unpainted figures, you’ll be able to paint and customize your armies to bring an entirely unique touch to your games and enter the hobby of miniatures painting!

The First great battles of Runewars are coming in 2017 – get your wallets ready now!

  • Zethnar

    I’ve watched a few runthroughs on youtube and the game looks really fun. With any luck it will take off and we’ll see some more factions from FFG.

  • CthulhuDawg

    Well I’m good for at least 1 starter, if the game is good probably another. I think it’s a great deal as I would also use the undead for AoS.

  • ZeeLobby

    Definitely keeping an eye on this. Not a big fan of KoW, though it is popular, and I have trouble signing on to 9th age, as fan-run gaming systems just have a history of slowly disappearing. Would be nice to have a new option to get my fill of fantasy ranked combat.

    That said, I’d love if specialist games brought back Warmaster in the Old World.

    • zeno666

      Yepp, block formations with modern rules. Very interesting.

  • nurglitch

    Interesting-looking bases there. Anyone know what’s up with that?

    • OldHat

      They lock together.

    • ZeeLobby

      My guess is they allow easy expansion of a unit, either by depth or width, or maybe the possibility of having joint supportive units. It’s definitely interesting. I’m glad that the minis are individual, and those bases are more like “movement trays”.

      • twincast

        Depth and width give different bonuses to units (one multiplies damage, the other allows rerolls) which are lost once the final respective tile is removed, each tile being removed once it’s emptied. Heroes and other upgrades replace minis in the front row.

        • ZeeLobby

          That sounds awesome. I’m so happy this is coming out.

          • GulMek

            Also read somewhere else(he touches on it for a second in this vid) that some heroes and large units can attach to your rank and files to boost them. I like how the trays get smaller as you play…though the type of plastic might not hold basing material as well as styrene (on top of making it more difficult to customize)

          • ZeeLobby

            Hmmm. Yeah. I could see that. I also think it’d help to come up with a new way to detach trays. They seem to be a challenge to remove at times.

          • GulMek

            You could probably just trim the tabs or something to make them easier to release

  • Richard Mitchell

    X-Wing is a blast, so FFG into fantasy miniature gaming is a pretty big deal. Especially for a company that is not based in the U.S.

    • ZeeLobby

      As other’s have commented about X-Wing, I just hope they don’t struggle with distribution.

    • Sebastien Bazinet

      They are US based though, no?

      • WellSpokenMan

        Asmodee, which I think is French, merged with FFG a while back. That might be causing some confusion. FFG still runs their operations from Roseville, Minnesota in the US.

        • Sebastien Bazinet

          Yeah Asmodee are french

    • Severius_Tolluck

      FFG before being aquired by Asmodee are from USA, Minneapolis Minnesota infact

  • krisbrowne42

    I was one of the demo-runners for this at GenCon… I think universally the only complaint I heard was from the occasional person who wanted pre-painted/modeled minis for a faster startup.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. I could see how that definitely appeals to some people. While FFG did good with their X-Wing/Armada pre-paints, I also have less faith that their fantasy equivalents would come out looking as good. it’s a totally different realm. The demo models they had at GenCon were clearly professionally painted. The production runs wouldn’t look nearly as good, or if they did, would have a price hike attached to them.

    • Zethnar

      How did you find the trays? From what I saw in the videos I watched they looked like they could be a bit fiddly when removing them mid battle. Not that moving 16 miniatures individually wouldn’t be.

  • twincast

    From all I’ve seen and/or heard throughout a handful of gameplay presentation Youtube videos by now, it sounds like a fun game, as is to be expected from FFG.

    I have four (potential) quibbles, though:

    The rune-casting at the beginning of each round (and to a lesser degree the morale effect cards) adding additional randomness.

    This likely being the death blow to BattleLore 2nd Edition. I am one of those – apparently many – who kept delaying purchasing the (physical) game till it would finally have a 4th faction (elves).

    The uncertainty of when we can expect factions number 3 through 6 to get a release (and whether they will be treated as equals or still require the completely unrelated humans vs. undead core set).

    The fear of this sharing the same release scheme as FFG’s LCGs and Star Wars games, i.e. (upgrade) cards you need for “your” faction being spread throughout “enemy” products. The former have the excuse of CCGs being worse at this, and the latter the three excuses of being primarily targeted at completist boardgamers, only having two factions, and it being frickin’ Star Wars. Veteran wargamers won’t stand for such shenanigans across multiple factions in a largely unknown fantasy universe.

    • ZeeLobby

      I can get over your last quibble assuming the price is still cheap. If it ends up being a 4 faction game, I have 4 close gaming buddies, so we’ll just trade away what we don’t need.

      • twincast

        Well, lucky you.

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha, I mean it’s just a different way to generate sales. And clearly it works for FFG. Obviously the majority of gamers don’t mind either, and just like x-wing, i’m sure most gamers and even local events will simply let you print the cards you want. It’s just one of those things that people tend to emphasize the implied cost over the reality.

          Now if you have no one who trades, have no gaming pals with other factions, and play in an area that requires physical official cards at all times, that just sucks. But I’ve never seen that actually happen in practice.

  • twincast

    On a probably final note for now: I feel weirdly torn about there not being any sprues. On the one hand, cutting out all the fiddly parts of more than a handful of miniatures at a time does get tiresome fast, and not having to worry about ruining any models is a blessing, but an irrational, conditioned part of me feels kind of deflated by not having the excitement of unboxing prolonged that way.

  • ZeeLobby

    Honestly the only thing I’m not a fan of is the rune tossing. I don’t really understand why they felt that addition of randomness was necessary. i mean it’s kind of like winds of magic, and it benefits both sides, so it’s not that bad. Just seems odd. I’d probably prefer if they were dice as well.

  • SupPupPup

    Minis look a bit uninspired, but serviceable enough.

    Why do so many rank and flank games go for skellies as their start up baddies? At this point its a bit repetitive.

  • Agent OfBolas

    OMG my wallet …. I love FFG for their games, but I hate FFG in the same time for making each new release stronger than previous waves.

    Like X-wing … game is ultra fun to play, but each anouced wave makes previous ships poor choice.

    Playing with devil 😀

    • Zethnar

      It’s not like power creep is unique to FFG.

      • Agent OfBolas

        yes, but the force is strong in this one!