FFG: Runewars Command Dial Breakdown

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Fantasy Flight Games shows off how the dial system works for Runewars!

Runewars is an upcoming Miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games. They first debute it at GenCon 2016 and we got a quick overview of how it works:

Recently, FFG has written up an article explaining in more detail how the Dial system will impact game play.

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The basic command dial is composed of a two-dial system. This command tool is unique for each and every unit in the game. Players will set the command tool to determine exactly how each of your units will act during their activation. These commands can range from shooting arrows, to spell casting, to ordering a might charge into close combat.

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On the left is the action dial and the right is the modifier dial – both feature a wide variety of symbols.

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What really makes things interesting is that the Command tools must be set at the beginning of the round before units have activated. If you’ve played X-Wing you know where this is going – because that means you have to develop the ability to accurately estimate your opponents moves as well as visualize where your units are going to end-up. This is quite an important skill to develop. You’ll either get better at it quickly or your army will collapse into chaos. Watching your army carry out a strange dance of orders can be quite entertaining…for your opponent at least.

Aside from the actions, you also have to consider your stance. The stance of your unit will impact which modifiers you can choose. The cool part about this relationship is that everything is color coded. If you want to do a “blue” action, you have to choose a “blue” modifier. White modifiers typically work with any action. Note that the dials are also labeled for the colorblind – nice touch FFG.

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This example has the “blue” march action and must have a blue modifier to match – this is known as the unit’s stance.

The last key thing to note about the dial is the initiative value on the action dial. During the activation phase the lower numbers activate first. This is where things can get complicated really quickly. Is it worth trying to hold back a charge until later in the round when you opponent may move up or do you want to try to beat them to the punch – but you might open yourself up to a counter-charge!

If you’re looking for a rank-and-file fantasy game that’s going to be tactically challenging as well as rewarding I’d keep an eye out for this one. Runewars is expected to launch later this year.

Runewars 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!

Runewars: The Miniatures Game – Epic Battles in an Age of Heroes!

  • Hedwerx

    Wouldn’t mind some of those undead for Dragon Rampant.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Kind of cool. I just hope this game is not as token dependent as other FFG games.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      It will be from the looks of it, just I hope it doesn’t make you buy everything to enhance specific units. Ala Armada or Xwing.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        ” Upgrade cards can be assigned to your units, giving them special abilities as you raise the heraldry of your nation or equip better armor.”

        Nope, looks like it is going to be the same business model as Armada and X-Wing.

        • ZeeLobby

          Pretty sure Severius was talking about having to buy units you don’t need for cards to use elsewhere. All Festus was saying was that buying a unit gets you the upgrades for that unit. So it does sound different. You at least won’t need to buy non-faction units to get upgrades.

          • OldHat

            We hope. But X-Wing and Armada started turning me off a bit when I had to drop $100 on a ship for some cards or alternatively pay a ludicrous amount for the cards on their own from a third party. That took the wind out of my sails for those games, for sure. No reason at all not to sell decks in addition to ships. People will buy ships without needing cards to force them into the purchase.

          • ZeeLobby

            True that. We’ll see I guess. If they pull over just a fraction of the X-wing players it’ll be a pretty big win for them

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Big fear there. Someone just said those upgrades come in the core of that faction though… Which I hope, but “I have a really bad feeling about this”

      • It’s been confirmed that upgrades will be faction specific and you’ll get everything you need by collecting a single faction. It’s in the forums at FFG.

        • OldHat

          Good. They learned from Xwing then that it was not particularly popular that you had to buy from three factions even if you played only one.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Thank god for that, I may look into it then.

    • euansmith

      There does look to be fair amount of clutter on the table top with the dials and turning circles and the like; but the minis looks quite fun at a distance.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Yeah… I am seeing movement sticks, dials, unit cards, unit upgrades, action tokens… So its basically Fantasy X-Wing.

        • The designers of Xwing and Armada made this game so there are a lot of similarities, however the token bloat is much reduced. There currently is 1 token type per unit (moral) that can accumulate and be spent by opponents to cause negative effects on units when they are attacked and those tokens are hard to get.

          There currently is only one other token and its faction specific to the undead. It’s like a blight token. All the actions are contained within the dials on the units and do not carry over turn to turn like Xwing/Armada.

  • Matt Razincka

    Definitely sounds interesting.

  • ZeeLobby

    Gotta say, I love all the companies entering tabletop gaming with modern and interesting mechanics. I’ll keep an eye on this one.

  • BaronSnakPak

    This looks really cool! The minis are fantastic, and Im a fan of xwing gameplay, so itll be interesting to see how it translates to a rank and file type of game.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    So looking at the article, I can say something I really like is the movement templates. They simplify and standardize what was once a less than ideal movement system (i.e. using a tape measure).

    • ZeeLobby

      My only issue is the trays. Supposedly they weren’t finalized yet when they did the demos at Gencon, but removing trays and moving them around definitely looked difficult at times, especially when going over a hill, etc. But they’ll probably work it out. My favorite part is the hidden actions. A unit may move forward to draw a charge in anticipation only to see that charge come short when they don’t move the next turn. Definitely going to be some mind games going on.

  • SupPupPup

    This is dull. Why not just swap out these relatively boring skeleton and human man guys for Game of thrones or some other hack license?

    At least it would have some pop cultural thing going for it.

    • Aezeal

      Yeah I’d like to try and play AoS models with this system though

    • OldHat

      I thought this exact same thing! They have the Game of Thrones licensing! That would have been an absolute slam dunk! Missed opportunity, really. Not that the game won’t be awesome, but the tabletop world desperately needs a GoT mini game.