In Norse mythology Ragnarok is the event that will bring about the end of the world as we know it. The events that lead up to actual Ragnarok will see a great battle that will eventually see the deaths of many of the great Norse Gods including Odin, Thor, & Loki. The world will eventually be submerged under water, afterwhich, the world will reemerge fertile. The Gods who survived will return & two humans will begin to repopulate the world.
In Runes of Ragnarok, from Windborn Games, Ragnarok has started. The “Allfather” Odin has disappeared. Without Odin protecting the Nine Realms, the remaining Gods have begun to fight amongst themselves for the right to rule. As the Gods fight to rule the world tree Yggdrasil is dying.
Runes of Ragnarok is a two to four player game, for ages fourteen years to adult, & may take anywhere from forty-five to ninety minutes to play.
In Runes of Ragnarok players will attempt to eliminate each other by playing spells & using ancient Norse relics. Players will also be able to elicit help from their horde of minions to combat the armies that the other players will use.
After players choose a hero the Minion deck will get shuffled. Four unique minions will be chosen for the entirety of the game. The number of minions that are involved in the game will increase by how many players there are in involved in the game. Minion dice should be added to the cards before play.
Next players will decide if they want to play with the relic cards. It is recommended that relic cards not to be played in the first few games. Spell tokens & Rune dice are placed in the center of play.
Next each player will randomly receive one of the four Norse heroes that comes with the game: Thor, Freya, Heimdall, & Sif. Players will also receive a player card, a focus token, hero token, a d20, plus two attack & two vitality tokens.
Players will then roll their d20. The player with the highest number will be given the First Player token.
Runes of Ragnarok is played in rounds. There are three phases to each round.
In the first phase, the Ready Phase, players will build up their armies, gain spells, & power up their Norse Heroes. The current player will flip their Hero token to its active side & return any minions from the Exhausted Zone to the Summoned Zoned. Next that player will cast five Rune Dice, unless they have unlocked more. After cast the Rune Dice that player may use the runes on the dice to gain spells and/or gain Focus from the unused Rune Dice.
That play may then use their Focus to purchase Minion cards. That player will then roll the minion’s dice that they just purchased to determine what level that minion will be. That minion die will be placed into the player’s Summoned Zone. A player may only control five minions at maximum. Minion dice are limited. When a minion card is out of dice then there will be none left to purchase.
At the end of the Ready Phase a player may then use leftover Focus to improve their Heroes rank or gain a relic. Players can do one or the other but not both.
After all players have had their chance getting ready in the Ready Phase, the second phase will begin. In the second phase, the Combat Phase, each player will engage in battle. The Combat Phase must be played in the order of each subphase.
Spells may be cast as soon as the round begins. This occurs even before player’s declare attackers & blockers & continues throughout the entire Combat Phase. Each turn, the attacking Hero may cast spells first then each player will follow thereafter.
The active player may declare their attack against another player. That player will move any number of minions from their Summoned Zone to the front of their player card. The defending player will do the same when declaring blockers. Each minions attack value & vitality value are combined to form a unit. The combined attack value will subtract from the defending player’s vitality value of its defensive unit. Any leftover attack will become “splash damage” & will subtract from the vitality of the defending Hero.
If the damage is equal to or more than their opponent’s unit then they may kill one opposing minion. Only one minion my die in battle. More minions can be killed through spells & abilities. Any minions that attacked will go to the Exhausted Zone. Minions that block which were not exhausted will return to the Summoned Zone.
The third & final round of the game is the Turn Order. At the end of combat the first player will pass the First Player token to the next player on their left.
Heroes will start out with 20HP at the beginning of the game. In a four-player game, each player will start out with 15HP. When a player is eliminated from the game they will return each of their tokens to the table. The last player standing wins the game.
Runes of Ragnarok is a fun game. For several years now I have been playing Dice Masters & it’s predecessor Quarriors. Runes of Ragnarok has the same feel as both games. There are a ton of dice in this game.
I like how game designer, Christopher Davis, whose first game this is, has done an amazing job using Norse mythology as the theme of the game.
The only complaint that I have is the lack of additional heroes to choose from. There are so many more to choose from the story books. I wouldn’t mind seeing some additional relics added in as well. Other than that, this is a well thought up game & definitely worth checking out when it comes to Kickstarter on November 7th, 2017.
You can check out this Kickstater project here: Runes of Ragnarok. Even if you just back the $10 digital download, then you will enjoy playing. Runes of Ragnarok is definitely worth the cost of $40.
On top of it being well designed I will have to say that the artwork from Seta Triandi is really good. I love the fact that Thor is wielding Jarnbjorn instead of Mjolnir.
If you like dice games as much as I, then this is one game to add to your collection.
Get ready battle the Norse Gods & game on!
(Please note that these components are prototype pieces that I was playing with.)
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