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FAQ for Rune Age
Info taken from FAQs in file area and various forum threads, consolidated into a Wiki page so that people can more easily find all the info in one place and update it.
Table of Contents
The rulebook PDF has no indicated version, alas, but apparently has some corrections, so it is a little bit different from the printed rulebook.
Many game rules are described on the cards
If you've read the rules and don't understand how something could happen (e.g. "How could a unit get wounded? The rules don't say!"), remember that the game has various unit, neutral, and event cards with special effects on them. Look through your cards before posting such a question to the forum... :)
Select random cities for setup
The rules say "Individually place the city cards (not in piles) faceup in the central play area." but forgot to say to select random cities.
Presumably players could of course set up with specific cities by mutual consent...
No more cities appear during play
There is a deck of 8 city cards, but only the ones placed during setup are used in a game.
A Player's Turn
Do as many actions as you like in any order
There is no requirement to do all purchases before combat, for example. You can do actions in any order.
You can not play an "action" card in the middle of combat
You must complete an action before beginning another action, therefore you cannot play (e.g.) Storm Sorceress as an action in the middle of a combat. (Of course you can play Storm Sorceress as a unit like any other in a combat.)
After a player's turn, everyone draws to have 5 cards
(And similarly after the Event Phase, everyone draws to have 5 cards.)
After your own turn, you must discard all unused cards from your hand before refilling to 5, unless you pay influence to keep some (spend 1 influence for each card you keep).
Note that your exhausted cities, strongholds & rewards only become refreshed at the start of your own turn.
You can spend as much gold as you like in a single action, then use the total amount spent to buy possibly several cards whose total cost does not exceed the gold you spent. Thus you could spend two "3-gold" cards (for a total of 6) and buy a card costing 2 and a card costing 4. (The example shows this.)
Gold spent could come from your hand (going to your discard pile afterward) and also come from exhausting reward cards. You can't get gold cards for the not expended gold neither cold add it to another expend action. For example, if you use 2 3-gold cards to purchase a 4 cost unit, you don't get a 2-gold card in return and neither can attack and, after it, purchase a 2 cost unit with that 2 gold of surplus.
Works the same as gold. You could exhaust two "3-influence" cities to spend 6 influence, using it to buy a card costing 2 and a card costing 4.
Influence spent could come from exhausting city, stronghold, and reward cards.
After each player in turn has done their player turn, an Event Phase occurs (i.e. after the last player's turn). You draw & resolve the top event card.
Draw an event card every event phase
Even if there are previous event cards still on the table causing some ongoing effect, you always draw a new event card and also resolve it.
"Enemy" events simply go to the central area
"Enemy" events do not immediately attack; they are simply available as new targets of combat during a player's turn. During a player's turn later, a player may do a combat action against such an Enemy. The motivation for doing so is typically to gain the card as a Reward.
Enemies are not Units
Various rules and cards have effects on "units". Enemies are not units.
"Instant" events are immediately resolved
If it's an "Instant", then immediately apply its effect (e.g. attacking the home realm of one or more player, or automatically doing damage, or whatever the card says).
Instant events which attack
If an instant attacks a player (or players), then each targeted player in turn must immediately play a combat versus the described event (which has some specified strength) by playing cards from their hand, just like playing a combat during one's own turn. Note this is a combat, so you don't get to play "action" cards in the middle of combat!
A reward is a card in front of a player, continually available to that owner (analogous to a city or stronghold). Commonly they are acquired by successfully attacking an Enemy event card, or sometimes given by an Instant event to a fortunate recipient. Like an owned stronghold, an owned Reward cannot be attacked by an opponent.
All players refill to 5 cards after the Event phase
All players with fewer than 5 cards in their hand refill to 5 after the Event phase. They don't discard first, just refill.
Conduct a Battle (attack a neutral target)
You may make multiple attacks in your turn, but versus different targets
You can attack as many targets as you like in your turn, but you cannot attack the same target twice in one turn.
Each stronghold in your barracks is a different target & separate combat
I.e. you may attack more than one of your unbuilt strongholds in one turn to add more than one of them to your realm. Unlike spending gold and influence, each attack is still a separate combat, however, so you cannot e.g. attack with a single strength-4 unit to "buy" 2 strongholds.
Valid targets are stronghold in your barracks, neutral city, Enemy, or Instant
You can "attack" your own unpurchased strongholds. If you do so with at least 2 strength add them to your realm, as an alternative to purchasing them for 4 gold.
You can attack a neutral city. If you do so with at least as much strength as is printed on the bottom of the city card add it to your realm.
You can attack an Enemy (which appeared during some earlier event phase). If you win, then it may become your Reward (if the card says so) or go to the Event discard pile.
You may be obliged to attack an Instant event during the Event phase (e.g. if it attacks your home realm).
You can attack the Home realm of other player (in versus scenarios).
You can attack a city owned by another player. If your attack is greater than the attack of the other player plus the bonus of the city (the upper left number) add it to your realm refreshed.
You must declare your target first
Combat is versus one target, which you declare at the start of combat.
You cannot start playing your cards and then decide what you want to attack.
You cannot add an additional target to your attack.
Neutral cities use only their bottom printed strength
The target number you must meet or exceed versus a neutral city is in the shield at the bottom. The upper white auto-defense only matters when the city is owned by an opponent.
Play your cards & apply special effects one after another
The order in which you play your cards can matter. If a card says "When played", then you may choose to apply its effect when you play it in combat.
"Action" units have no special effect when played in combat
If a card says "Action", it has no effect when played in combat. You play it as its own action during your turn, not during a combat action.
You may attack a target knowing you won't win
Making a hopeless attack can still be a rational tactic, e.g. to apply some unit's "When played" ability, or to hope that an Attrition die roll will destroy some of your unwanted units.
Assault (playing your cards in combat)
During Assault you play unit & tactic cards, until you are done playing cards (i.e. you pass).
You must play at least one card when you attack
You cannot attack and play zero cards.
Then you might need roll the Attrition die (if required by the target, e.g. many Enemies). This will perhaps cause you to eliminate 1 or more of your played units (thus reducing your total strength).
There is no requirement that units eliminated by attrition must be unwounded. You can choose to eliminate wounded units from attrition.
Then you resolve the combat, i.e. see whether your total is high enough to win. Any "resolution" unit or tactic cards which you played before passing have their effects applied now.
The attacking player wins ties versus neutral targets
If the total strength of the cards you played in combat equals or exceeds the target's printed strength, then you win.
End of Combat
Then at the end of combat, wounded units are destroyed (return to their barracks or neutral stacks) and all other units go to the owner's discard pile.
If you beat a stronghold (in your own barracks) or a neutral city, then you add it (refreshed and immediately usable) to your realm.
If you beat an enemy, you do whatever the card says (typically add it as a Reward to your realm, or put it on the event discard pile).
If you beat an instant, then you simply survived the attack with no damage. Otherwise your home realm takes damage.
Conduct a siege (attack a target owned by an opponent)
This works very similarly to attacking a neutral target. You must declare your target at the start of combat, you cannot attack the same target twice in a turn, there is card play, then resolution, then end of combat.
Valid targets are an opponent's city or home realm
Note: you cannot attack an opponent's strongholds or rewards.
Assault (playing cards in combat)
Both players will alternate playing cards, starting with the attacker (who must play at least 1 card).
After one player passes, the other may still play cards
After one player passes, that player can not play any more cards, but the other player may still keep on playing cards as desired. Only after both players pass does battle resolution happen.
Any "resolution" unit or tactic cards which players played before passing have their effects applied now.
Defending city's strength comes from defending cards + auto-defense
The printed strength on a city card has no meaning. The defending player's played cards determine the defense strength (just like the attacker's cards determine the attack strength), and the city's printed white auto-defense is added to the defense.
The defending player wins ties
Unlike combat versus a neutral target, when attacking an opponent, the attacker must exceed the defender's strength to win.
End of Combat
All played units are resolved just like versus neutral targets: wounded units are eliminated, others go to the owner's discard pile.
If the attacker wins vs a home realm, then the home realm takes damage (equal to the strength difference).
If the attacker wins vs a city, then the attacker takes possession of the city (in refeshed state).
Things might be destroyed by various causes, e.g. units destroyed by attrition, or by a unit's special ability. Destroyed units return to the origin (their faction's barracks, or their neutral stack). A unit destroyed in combat during "Assault" (card play) is immediately removed from the combat, so it won't exist in the combat during "Resolution" or "End of Combat" and thus can have no "resolution" or "end of combat" effect.
Wounding happens only in combat (there is no concept of a wounded unit outside of a combat), typically as a result of "when played" abilities by certain units. It still exists in the combat and contributes its strength during resolution. A wounded unit is eliminated during "end of combat".
A wounded unit can be eliminated, but not wounded again
It is perfectly legal to destroy a wounded unit. But you cannot wound a wounded unit.
Resurgence of the Dragonlords
Note that being the sole surviving player does not suffice to win this scenario. You must conquer the objective. "It is possible for all players to lose."
(Otherwise playing it solitaire would be trivially easy...) :)
A player can own only one Dragon Rune card, and it is always faceup.
"Tact & Diplomacy" can be used when defending or attacking a city.
"Holy War" causes drawing up to 4 cards (instead of 5) not only at the end of player turns but also at the end of the Event Phase. Note that you dont need to discard to 4 when it enters play, it only affect the refill.
Thieves Guild: A player can choose either option, but then resolves that option as fully as possible.
Change of Seasons causes counter-clockwise turn order, not reversed turn order. I.e. later appearances of the card have no effect.
Dar Hilzernod: When Dar Hilzernod is drawn, it goes to the first player who owns a city. If no player owns a city, it goes to the highest influence neutral city. If a player successfully attacks and takes a city with "Dar Hilzernod" on it, then "Dar Hilzernod" stays on the city.
Note that its ability is "When played", i.e. during a combat. You cannot play this card simply as an action during your turn. (Note that you can start some "dummy" combat which you won't win, just to play this card for its "when played" effect during the combat.)
Flesh ripper can wound itself.
The card means what it says: if the top card of your deck is a unit with strength 3 or higher, discard it. "Otherwise" (if it is a unit with strength 2 or less, or if it is not a unit at all!) it goes to your hand.
If there is no Reanimate in your discard pile, then the "When played" ability has no effect. Note that before you start a combat in your turn, you could buy a Reanimate, thus ensuring that there is a Reanimate in your discard pile, but of course you cannot perform a "spend gold" action in the middle of a "combat" action.
Storm Sorceress has a special effect when played as an "Action" (i.e. not when played as unit in combat). The effect is that the card becomes a reward in front of you, with your other rewards, cities, strongholds. You may exhaust it to spend 2 influence. Whether or not you exhaust it, the card is destroyed at the end of your turn.
The card's text is confusing, but the intent is that you can place one friendly card (which might be the warlock chieftain itself, or might be a different card) onto your deck.
Note that more than one can be played in a battle resolution, with cumulative effect.
You can take another faction's unit with mind control. It functions as your card from then on, except that if it's eliminated later, it returns to its original barracks.
"Any player" means any player, so it could be an opponent or you yourself.
It is not required that you or your opponent have units in combat to play the card.
The card has 2 effects which are applied if possible:
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