After several play-throughs I decided to pick up the Caught In a Web expansion for Runebound. Here are my first impressions and a few notes on single play.
Margrath, the dragon, has been my main opponent so far in Runebound when doing single player games – having had a go with most characters successfully at least once in this quest. The Necromancer, the second mission in the core set, I have admittedly faced only a handful times. But this scenario I also look forward to facing with company – it seems well suited to that with a very dynamic map.
It was very easy to pick up an expansion just as the price point is rather low for all of them – at 20.40 € RRP. In this case, going for an expansion with a new mission, you get 50 per cent more content, translating into 12 hours (2h x 6 old characters) plus 6h with Jonas, the new character in the case of Caught in a Web. And that’s playing everything once.
The choice to go for Caught in a Web was not an obvious one. The Gilded Blade was always another option for the sake of a more interesting character to play and the fact that this expansion includes more loot. On the contrary, Fall of the Dark Star never felt relevant as it requires two players or more turning the game into a player versus player game, rather than the usual beat the board type of play. My intent is still to play this as a single-player game, primarily – the peeps of course invited to join if they feel so inclined.
Fantasy Flight Games have now also revealed the release of co-op/single player expansion for the game – Unbreakable Bonds. This sounds like something worth looking into later on…
But now the Unboxing of Caught in a Web
↑ The box in all its unopened goodness. A nifty sized box, not excessive, but enough to give the customer feel its more than a few slices of paper and 20 grams of some plastic.
↑ The contents. Jonas the Kind is packed into a plastic shell good for storing if nothing else. A sheet of the new rules for the expansion, with some fluff on the spider queen and the contents pictured. But what about the cards…
↑ These are all related to the scenario. The event cards and a few opponents for the quest decks – all suitably spidery. The scenario works around the mechanism of webs that get placed, as events occur, around the board on cities, towns, shrines and fortresses. These make it difficult to move and take an action to remove. The game is also quick with the boss appearing from Act II and quickly moves around until, finally, Tamaril is hit.
As the boss is also very hard hitting, although without any heals, I can see that this scenario is considered hard by many.
↑ Jonas the Kind. A nice looking mini; Neat yet evocative. This might actually one of my favourites, and while the first impression of the character was bordering on “Meh” (Paladin Mary Sue), the mini changes it up a bit. Jonas has the ability to ignore armour on some occations, the boss in the associated scenario is not very defensive though, so the pairing is not intuitive in that sense – probably a good thing.
↑ Trials. We managed a few trials with Mμ, this after a few trials on my own. The fast speed in the spider scenarios actually pulls out one of the parts I like less with the game. You need to quickly get a good set of equipment to stand up to the boss, and the most reliable way to do that is with trading.
A common House Rule for single play is actually limiting the available Goods in the markets either straight in the asset deck or by simulating other player action at certain time points – perhaps randomly. This certainly would make Margrath a bit more challenging to face, a boss that I seem to be able to beat regularly. Doing this might on the other hand hamper the player’s chances with the Spider Queen.
When fighting Margrath some players also shorten game time, which, contrary to the Caught in a Web scenario might extend quite a bit. This is something I will also look into. But a slightly increased value for questing seems to be to the taste of both me and Mμ.
One critisism I have for the expansion is the lack of assets. I see that they split them up to keep them cheap. Now, I think I would have preferred the Gilded Blade with loads of assets and skill and a character but no scenario. Nonetheless, its still a nice scenario and the challenge is welcome.