Runewars Available For Pre-Order

This is one that people have been waiting for since it was announced last year at Gen Con. Fantasy Flight Games has started taking pre-orders for their new rank-and-file fantasy war game, Runewars. Get your name on the list and be the first gamer on your block with the new figures when they’re made available. Also, we get a look more at the lore behind the game in this preview.

From the website:

In your games of Runewars Miniatures Game, you become the general of a fantasy army, battling to decide the fate of Terrinoth. But what is Terrinoth? Who are the peoples that fill this realm? What are the stories behind Waiqar the Undying and the magical runebound shards? How did the Daqan Lords fall so far from their once-proud origins of their great nation? What part will the Latari Elves or the Uthuk Y’llan play in the unfolding wars?

Fortunately, you’re not without a guide to this realm. In addition to everything that you need to become a general and lead your massive armies into battle in the game, the Runewars Miniatures Game Core Set contains a Lore Guide to give you a glimpse into the realm of Terrinoth and the forces of the Daqan Lords, Waiqar the Undying, the Latari Elves, and the Uthuk Y’llan.

You’ve already had the chance to learn about the gameplay of Runewars, as we looked at the command tools, movement, combat, and your objectives, but today, we’ll give you just a taste of the tales you’ll find within the Lore Guide.


  • Davos Seaworth

    Reasons I am not confident about this game:

    1) It’s a boardgame company attempting to pull off something resembling a pure tabletop minis game. People have dozens of choices in tabletop games, why choose this over what they’ve already invested in playing?

    2) Trying to port over X-Wing characteristics to a mass battles game. This seems somewhat funky, and I’m not sure it works well.

    3) FFG’s Terrinoth world is dull & boring, and always has been.

    4) It’s expensive

    5) It’s neither pre-painted, nor pre-assembled, which would seem to run counter to the boardgaming audience that FFG is courting.

    6) Kings Of War already has a great, affordable mass battles game

    This feels like the sort of game that becomes “the new hotness” for a season, until the boardgamers wander off once the next CMON product hits, or until they realize they don’t really want the investment of money & time that a hobby game requires.

    • Kirk Mathes

      Point 3 heartily seconded.

    • DB

      For #1, IF they distribute it to retailers as they have X-Wing (in bookstores, toystores, etc), they’ll have a big advantage in getting people to buy. This advantage is still worth a bit, though it’s slowly getting eroded by digital distribution.

      #2 might be interesting, and only useful in massed actions. I think it’ll fall apart with a mix of massed groups and skirmishers…but who knows.

      I agree with your other statements, though.

      • Davos Seaworth

        I can totally see the diehard FFG fans (and there are many) carrying the banner for this one, but I’m just not sure a game like this survives unless it “breaks huge” with the masses. And I just don’t see it. I could be wrong, and if this had a better theme, or a better price-point, or better minis, or a unique gameplay aspect, then maybe. Otherwise I just don’t see it.

    • Richard Brantley

      Well…there’s another factor and it’s really rather simple. FFG has the worst case of ADD at times. While I don’t blame them for BattleLore failing *before* they acquired it, they did burn me badly by simply abandoning the game with no official announcement, leaving players with three factions total (2 in the starter and one expansion a year later).

      They carried Confrontation and AT-43…before their distribution deal ended.

      They carried DUST…before their distribution deal ended.

      They tried a pre-painted collectible game for Mutant Chronicles…and abandoned it.

      Hell, they did Warhammer Discwars….before they abandoned it (long before the GW license was terminated).

      Now the one thing they have going for them that all these other failures did not is that Runewars is their own property. But really…Terrinoth is not a compelling setting and isn’t fleshed out in an accessible way in the manner that Warhammer used to be, or Warmachine/Hordes or Malifaux are.

      From where I sit, this looks to me like they’re doing the Warhammer RPG all over again – they’re taking a miniatures game and piling on a bunch of dials, counters and do-dads usually used in board games because that’s their hammer.

      In the end it looks like this is aimed purely at FFG’s existing customers, but those customers have already been burned by any miniatures game that isn’t called “X-Wing”. But X-Wing is exactly what this game isn’t: affordable, with no hobby element of assembling and painting models (though you can if you want to).

    • VanosOfManos

      Gotta agree with just about everything you’ve said here. It was floated around the gaming community at the LGS I work at and pretty quickly shot down due in no small part to your 4th and 5th points. Kings of War would have scratched the fantasy mass battle itch cheaper, and with a ton of already existing options.

      Really though, it’s the price that gets me. It appears as though you’d want to buy multiple copies of the core set to fill your units out to max size, plus buy the individual expansions for some of the core set units for the special upgrades. Even splitting it with another person, that’s going to get pricey quick. I actually saw a comment elsewhere suggesting one could get in to Age of Sigmar for about the same intro price, and while there’s some hyperbole there, I’m not sure how far off that actually is. You know you’re looking expensive when a person suggest that Games Workshop might be the better deal!

  • Ghool

    Of course FFG being who they are, have entirely focused on the rules.
    It is a miniatures game? Is it not?
    Hardly any good photos of the minis are being circulated outside of the few promotional images I’ve seen.
    For trying to sell a minis game, the focus sure seems to be off of the primary component.

    I wonder if this will be in the bargain bin in a year or not? There’s just way too many choices on the market for yet another generic fantasy, mass battle game.

  • Samiel Ebersbacher

    This was demoed at the Las Vegas Open. Full game will include Elves faction and Orc faction as well. The X-Wing characteristics generally worked well. Getting used to template movement was different, but not necessarily bad. I liked the simple elegance of how additional ranks of troops wide multiplied the die results, while additional ranks deep added rerolls. I also liked how the interlinking bases locked together when you got into melee. Things that did feel a little weird or funky what that if your opponent got initiative and charges your unit first, and that unit reveals it was going to charge, your order that turn is wasted because you can’t charge something you’re already in melee with. Also, the random runes that change every turn to modify units in different ways will appeal to some general board game players, but be a point of contention for the more hardcore hobby mini gamers. For instance, the human four armed golem thing can be a speedy murder machine that will thresh through entire units some turns, and other turns be slow and a pretty average combatant for his cost, and the Skeleton Warriors might die quickly, or enough green runes show up a few turns in a row and they repopulate themselves. The materials were good and the presentation was there. The modifiers dial gives some tactical flexibility to your options, allowing you to partner a combat action with things like additional attack to go all out, or additional defense to suffer less losses from the retaliation, or more a focus on status effects. Overall I think the experiment works and is functional, but climbing out of today’s giant Miniature game market to stand out, as others have said, is going to be the big hurdle.

  • frankelee

    I was interested in this game, but it just seems too expensive. I know relative to other miniature games the prices aren’t bad… too bad it isn’t one of those other games.