As a member of the press at Gen Con, I rarely get to play games. Most of my days are spent photographing the fun and excitement others are having with the new and shiny products. So I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to play Rune Age, a new deck building game by Corey Konieczka this year. Dan, Jeff and I sat down in hall G on Thursday evening and got our first impressions of this highly anticipated game.
What makes this deck building game different from all the others are its "modes" of play. There are four scenarios in the base game and each is arranged to give you a different type of play experience. Our table was set up for the first scenario, Resurgence of the Dragonlords. This particular scenario is a race to defeat a specific foe, but also has the option to directly confront your opponents. The first player to defeat the enemy is declared the winner.
The other three scenarios allow for outright confrontation and player elimination (Runewars), cooperative play and survival (The Cataclysm), and parallel play with little player interaction (The Monument). Therefore, you should always be able to find a mode that suits your groups style of play.
Once everyone has had their turn, an event card is drawn and you resolve its effect immediately. Sometimes this is an ongoing effect and sometimes it will effect one or multiple players. One particularly helpful card, for me in particular, was Rally Support. This is a reward card that the first player gives to the player on his right (ie. the last player). This turned out to be extremely helpful since as the last player, I had a bit of a disadvantage in the game. You see, there are a static amount of certain cards, and each player before you has the opportunity to try to gain them. This extra boost of influence helps the last player gain momentum and actually have the chance to obtain some cards before others are able.
Dan and Jeff never stood a chance!