Fantasy Flight Games Previews Expansion Packs for Runewars

By Polar_Bear
In Fantasy
Mar 6th, 2017
31 Comments
2360 Views

Runewars is getting closer to its release date. We’ve seen what comes in the starter boxes, but certainly people are going to want more than just that, adding to the units that they will initially get. Well, that’s what Fantasy Flight is showing off here. They’ve let us know about expansion packs for those units.

From the preview:

Battles continue to rage across the ancient land of Terrinoth, as the Daqan Lords and Waiqar’s Undead Legion expand their armies, new powerful heroes join both sides. The fires of war rain upon both factions and new reinforcements are vital to victory.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce six upcoming expansions for the Runewars Miniatures Game:

Lord Hawthorne Hero Expansion
Ankaur Maro Hero Expansion
Rune Golems Unit expansion
Spearmen Unit Expansion
Reanimates Unit Expansion
Carrion Lancers Unit Expansion

Each expansion offers a unique way to continue to grow your Runewars Miniatures Game army. The Spearmen Unit Expansion and the Reanimates Unit Expansion offer identical sculpts to those found in the Runewars Core Set, but offer new upgrade cards and enough miniatures to field another version of each unit in your army. The Carrion Lancers Unit Expansion and Rune Golems Unit Expansion offer two sculpts each, one identical sculpt to the version found in the Core Set and one new sculpt, as well as additional upgrade cards. Finally, the Lord Hawthorne Hero Expansion and the Ankaur Maro Hero Expansion introduce two brand new heroes to the world of the Runewars Miniature Game, each with their own unique upgrades and sculpts.

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  • Ghool

    I still find it odd that they’re only producing this with 2 initial factions.
    I doubt it will suffer from lack of sales. But, it does seem a bit strange that FFG is selling this more as a board game like X-Wing, than a full-fledged miniatures game.
    It makes me wonder if that will make any difference? I’d check it out if it wasn’t so limited….and the paint jobs (that blue scheme is an eye-sore) were better.
    You’d figure with the pull that FFG has, they’d have hired the best painters. That said, people will be buying this for the rules, and not the minis.

    I still find it a strange way to market a miniatures game.

    • ZeeLobby

      Many companies, in an effort to appeal to younger audiences, have chosen to go with simpler, brighter and non-complex paint schemes to showcase what is possible for an average person, and to give entry level players something to aspire to that’s obtainable. Internally GW has done this as well, many of their current paint team avoid many of the higher level tecyhnicques (wet blending, airbrushing, etc.) that their older heavy metal team used to produce.

      Not saying one way is right over the other, but making any game seem more approachable to the average person raises it’s appeal.

      • odinsgrandson

        I didn’t buy it from the GW speculation. Yes, their painters are capable of a LOT more than they do, but that’s true of a lot of studio painters.

        What it domes down to is time=money. Even with the most skill painting team, you have to give your painters a LOT of time for them to come out with Crystal Brush winning material. If you want to pay them less, or if you want to spend less time at that part of the development cycle, you get some lesser paint jobs done.

        • ZeeLobby

          Right. And I think it’s unrealistic to expect crystal brush quality for promo material. Especially when what the game is lacking most is more factions. I mean when it was demoed only months ago they were using some non-finalized tokens. Not to mention a tabletop wargaming with minis you build and paint is somewhat of a first for FFG. I don’t know. This game seems more like a see if it works project than a huge FFG moneysink go big offering. If it was I would have expected 4 factions at start. I’m sure they’ll see what the buy in is before expanding/enhancing the team. I’m honestly kind of shocked they went into this market to begin with, and it looks like they’re pacing.

          • Ghool

            The fact that there’s only two factions is definitely a sign that it’s a test. If it does well, they probably have a ton of material waiting in the wings.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I have to say. FFG does their games right. I hope this one picks up cause I’d love to see more tabletop games from them outside of their board games.

          • Ghool

            The other two are probably correlates from the board
            game – elves and chaos/demons.

          • odinsgrandson

            I do wish they were less generic, but I guess that is sometimes the appeal.

            Descent had some cool dragons as minions- I bet they would do well as a faction (you know it would be awesome).

          • ZeeLobby

            That would be pretty sweet. I’d love some greater diversity, and some weirdness to be thrown in.

          • Ghool

            That’s the inherent problem with the Terrinoth world – there’s nothing unique or weird about it.

            Now, don’t get me wrong I love FFG games and one of my faves is Runebound.
            I just don’t expect to see anything new or ground-breaking as far as concepts go when they’re designing the minis.

            Also X-Wing is a great game. But I don’t think it would have sold nearly as well if the minis didn’t come pre-painted.

          • ZeeLobby

            X-Wing in any comparison is a challenge. I doubt it would have sold as well if it wasn’t also a Star Wars game. It also entered a dogfight genre with very little competitors. Etc.

            I mean this would be the chance for FFG to completely rewrite anything in the Runebound world though. The initial playerbase is small enough that loss due to retconing would likely be insignificant to the playerbase they hope to gain. I doubt they’ll take those risks but they are (were) an option.

          • odinsgrandson

            Yes- they’re definitely testing the waters. They’ll have plans waiting if the game does very well.

            I guess FFG doing a game like this has an advantage and a disadvantage.

            They’ll have the support and distribution of FFG

            FFG don’t need it to survive, and can cut their losses and walk away if it is poorly recieved. (GW can’t cut and run, so they release things like the General’s Handbook to fix their unpopular game).

          • Cergorach

            There are four factions in the works. Just two currently on the release schedule with actual minis.

            My biggest concern is actual availability, currently my boardgame store is listing it as april with a discounted price of €95.

            The AoS box I can get for about 30% cheaper… FFG products are quite expensive compared to GW prices in the EU…

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I guess it just depends on how much you value models over content. I’m not an expert on AoS, so I could be totally wrong, but with hidden commands effecting initiative order of activation, as well, as other bonuses, etc. and ranked combat, I feel like this game just looks much more tactically deep than AoS. On the other hand the AoS miniatures are much more detailed, but they’re also sold knowing that most people will be playing games that require 3/4 starter boxes worth of models. Not sure about runewars scale yet, but it looks to offer pretty decent gameplay at all sizes.

            Will have to wait til I get a chance to play it, but the demos so far look great.

            Do you know what the other two factions are? I remember seeing them announced/leaked somewhere, but can’t find it.

          • Cergorach

            Orcs and something else, was pretty generic 😉

            I agree, sounds like a more interesting game the AoS… But AoS is still WFB imho and I’ve been a fan of that for 30 years, I can play many other games with my WFB minis…

            But spending that much money on a new game for ONLY the gameplay it needs to be better then good, it needs to be incredible…

          • ZeeLobby

            Well, there are definitely FFG haters out there, but imo they put forth some of the best games in the industry. Minus their sales schemes, X-Wing is considered to be a pretty awesome game by a huge player-base. Net-runner is great and Descent is widely popular. And that’s not considering the large number of other board games they’ve produced that have gotten pretty high marks.

            That said, there’s always room for a dud, but I have more faith in FFG generating interesting game mechanics and balance than I do in GW, and once you get past GW starters, the individual purchase get exponentially more expensive. The expansion for this seems to be on a pretty standard curve. They just seem to be selling the starter to generate a profit to keep the new game going, whereas GW can rely on individual unit sales later.

            That said, it is a pretty high price point to stomach, so I totally get people’s hesitation. I’ll definitely demo it several times before buying, but I think it fills an official gap left by the death of rank and file combat. KoW just isn’t the same, and 9th age just doesn’t have the official support. It’s probably why FFG decided to try and fill that gap. Now if General’s Handbook 2 offers ranked combat (GW’s post of some playtest images looked to have ranked units in the background) as an option, I think this game might be sunk on arrival.

          • odinsgrandson

            I hadn’t realized that ranked combat was a possibility from the General’s Handbook 2.

            But it makes sense- the GH was designed to fix the things that alienated their player base.

            The momentum that Warhammer has would put it back on top of the ranked combat game, no matter how good this game is.

          • ZeeLobby

            It’d def give them a boost. This is all just wild speculation of course. It’s possible that that is just how the player plays AoS (since you can put things however you want them), or that he was simply setting up and had just put the units down like that.

            And through sheer player base alone it would dwarf this game instantly. That said, if the mechanics of ranked combat are over simplified or super generic (KoW comes to mind), I don’t know how much better GW’s new version would be. The hobbit had a great system for ranked combat in a game that focused on round skirmishes.

          • odinsgrandson

            Well, if GW releases it, it wouldn’t need to be very good in order to be successful. If the rules are very good, then the game will start to really get massive.

            But that’s not the best example ever. I mean, if GW dwarfs your game, that doesn’t mean that the whole thing is a failure.

            I’d be a bit more concerned that FFG aren’t invested enough to keep it going while it builds support.

            Momentum is such an important thing in tabletop miniatures war games.

          • ZeeLobby

            Agreed.

          • Cergorach

            I’m not a FFG hater persé, I have too many of their good games 😉

            But I’m seeing standard 4 horse cavalry for €26 (discounted) from FFG, GW has a lot of 5 creature cavalry that sits around €14-19 (discounted). Of course you have exceptions like the €56 3 ‘horse’ Varanguard from GW, but those are exceptions and certainly not standard cavalry…

            Not only that, GW has some pretty good deals, the Start Collecting boxes are essentially three units plus characters, that’s essentially four FFG boxes for only €46, priced lower then two FFG boxes…

            If FFG ever produces a Lord of Change like model in plastic for €65, that certainly would have my interest…

            Now, if people I know, really want to play this, the game is exceptionally good, I’ll probably buy this. I’m also not the target audience. It’s all those yunguns that go with the flow and sell their previous acquisitions to fund the next ‘big’ thing and migrate from system to system…

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. I’d argue that GW sells to that same target audience just as much as this game does. I don’t think either of us are the target audience of either of these companies to be frank. GW has constantly been pushing towards the younger end of the spectrum to get new players (after all, their main focus is yearly increasing profits, so you need to grow the fanbase). This game will most likely be targeting X-Wing players for the majority of it’s playerbase.

            And I’m not saying that GW doesn’t have good starter sets, but to go beyond that most things are priced at a much higher cost-per-model than anything in their starters, or any offering outside of this. Most of that cheap cavalry offered by GW is also older miniatures for older factions. Most of their new stuff, even beyond the varanguard, is quite pricey. Especially when considering a cost-per-points value in a standard game. Not sure where this game will fall as far as that goes, though most of the time it has been demoed on a 4×4, so I’m not sure they’re going for the same scale that is expected of AoS.

          • odinsgrandson

            Whoa- expensive compared to GW? That’s not a good place to be.

    • Davos Seaworth

      The minis are not pre-painted. They aren’t even pre-assembled.

      • ZeeLobby

        Right, I may be wrong, but I think he means just for the promotional shots. But I may actually just be completely wrong.

        • Ghool

          Yes. Just the promo shots.
          I know that a better painted mini will sell better. Always.
          It doesn’t matter if the appeal is for more mass market or not – better paint = better sales.

          But yes. I meant the promotional shots. They don’t put the quality of the models in the best light. And I understand what they’re trying to do here to appeal to new players.

          But, the miniatures game market is a crowded place. Not only do you need great rules, you need great models. FFG isn’t a small company. In order to pull this off, they need to compete against some of the biggest and best in the industry.

          This isn’t a small start-up operation. It’s FFG, and this has to pay off big time or it’ll crash and burn.

          I hope it does well. It’s not for me though, and I’m interested to see how it does and read some reviews. And see some better shots of the models.

    • Cergorach

      FFG is marketing it as a hybrid so it can be sold to both worlds, getting mini gamers into boardgames and board gamers into minigames. X-Wing did that exceptionally well, FFG is trying to go a step further with unpainted minis that need to be assembled.

      • Ghool

        Yes, I understand how their marketing is supposed to work. You’re also comparing apples to oranges.

        Let’s also do some comparing a Star Wars IP vs. generic fantasy (and let’s face it, Terrinoth is as generic and boring as it gets) AND the fact that X-Wing is pre-painted.

        First, Star Wars easy for anyone to recognize and thus it’s easy to get into. Second, it’s easy for anyone have the game look good on the table due to the pre-paints.
        Both of these things contributed to a market that was saturated with games that had nice minis, weren’t pre-painted, nor was there a Star Wars mini game before X-Wing.

        Runewars has none of those things.

        Personally, I think they’re making a big gamble and it might not pay off as well as they hope.

        • Cergorach

          Yes and no. Look at their staple board games (Descent, etc.), those are unpainted as well and still made FFG great. Nothing will sell as well as a SW property, but eventually the license will run out and FFG won’t renew it (like they have always down). This is a property they own and doesn’t have to sell as well as X-wing. No other mini wargame is painted either, so they aren’t doing anything unusual there…

          It’s not a ‘gamble’, it’s a risk of course, but FFG is pretty good at analyzing the market and feeding it. FFG isn’t known for keeping loosing properties around…

          That said, I’m interested in the mechanics of the game, just not that interested in the EU pricing compared to the 40k/AoS/Warmahordes/etc. I suspect I’ll buy it eventually, but there are so many other things that have been around longer, I’m interested in and are relatively cheaper…

          • Ghool

            The reasons neither of us will buy it at first are the reasons I believe it’s a big risk.
            It’s interesting enough but there’s not much to it that isn’t already out there….with better sculpts and presentation…..and cheaper.

  • PRAY FOR MOJO

    I am concerned they will justify prices even worse than Games Workshop with the upgrade cards and other accessories.