Runebound is one of my favorite games of high-fantasy, an amazing narrative, with some deep strategic decisions to make.
The primary tactica to keep in mind, and its easy to lose in the narrative, is that the game is on a timer. After each turn the counter advances, along the way revealing narrative events based on the chosen scenario, and at the end of the second time track the end game begins- usually a final show down, winner takes all battle with the narrative.
What this means, is your character has to get things done.
There is no grinding or power leveling- you have to commit and make decisions.
First decision point begin after the initial town markets have been populated- three cards at the start of the game, new cards every time you visit a town to shop. Based on the initial draw of cards, is there something there you want to grab? If so, what are the adventure gems in the area to encounter- can you get enough coin in time?
In my recent game, one of the market decks drew a steel greatsword- one of the most powerful items in the game- giving unblockable damage, and the ability to trigger more damage with a thrust if you ware playing a warrior class build- which I was.
But it costs 12 gold- could I loot that much gold during the game, from fighting monsters and running quests while making sure I level up some other actions with my character?
There are lots of ways to earn gold in the game- beating monsters, completing quests, and resolving social interactions. Being a warrior class, fighting was going to be my preferred method of earning coin- but all that ideally needs to happen during ACT 1 on the event track- as soon as ACT 2 begins the monsters get even tougher to fight.
I was able to but the sword, and pick up a suit of armor by running a mix of combat and social quests.
Turns in Runebound need to be optimized against where the game timer is, while not getting totally lost in the strong fantasy narrative of the game…