Drawing Balance?

By kerserv, in Rune Age

I played rune age for the first time today, it was the runewars scenario and I found something about the rules simply feel right.

I'll start with an apology for my English is not perfect as it is not my primary language.

Lets say, for example, that you have four players, each of them is with a full 5 card hand.

That hand could be anything depending on the player but we'll assume that all of the players are of equally good at deck building know how to play.

Now that we have established that, lets see the turn -

first player plays his turn, maybe attack other players, maybe not, by the end of his turn, he'll have 5 new cards to defend against the other 3 players, these are the only cards that he'll have for defending.

Second player plays his turn, he might have been attacked by 1st player and thus have a weaker hand, and maybe he wasn't and all is well, but he has to worry from one potential attack.

after his turn he has 5 new cards to defend against 2 potential attacks before the event phase starts and he'll draw again.

Third players turn, he had 2 potential attacks against him, with whatever is left of his hand he needs to play and after his turn he draws again to defend against one potential attack.

Fourth players turn, he had to defend against 3 potential attacks and after his turn, he'll draw again to defend against 3 potential attacks.

So to summarize, the first and fourth players has 3 potential attacks between their drawings, and the second and third has 1 and 2 potential attacks between drawings.

that gives the 2nd and 3rd players an advantage.


Any player gets to draw twice, once after his turn by discarding all his hand, and once at the event phase, which is fine except for two things.

the first player gets to draw right before his turn starts, and also after his turn ends. That means he'll have no problem using all of his troops to defend against other players because he'll draw up to 5 anyway at his own turn, and afterwards he'll draw again.

That gives the first player a very big advantage, but the 2nd and 3rd players have another advantage on their side, it may not be ideal but there is some sort of balance between them.

The 4th player, however, draws ONLY at the end of his turn, that's right, not only he suffers a disadvantage from having 3 potential attacks between draws, he is also the only one who only draws once. Every other player can draw once at the end of their turn, and also once when they are drawing up to 5, the last player at any group will only get one chance to draw .

That means that one simple "bad hand" for any player is bad, but for the last player it is catastrophic.

This is true at any number of players - the first one gets the advantage of drawing up to 5 and then playing, other players get advantage of less potential attacks the closer they are to the middle, and the last player gets one less draw.

When you eventually get to only two players, it gets ridiculous -

1st player draws up to 5, attacks, discard/draws 5

2nd player used his troops to defend 1 players attacks, now needs to attack with leftovers, and 1st player defends with a fully refreshed hand. After that, both of them draws so 1st player can attack with a full hand.

If at any point player one gets a bad hand, he will draw more after one attack (either his or his opponents) and if 2nd player gets a bad hand, he is screwed for 2 attacks.

This simply makes no sense to me and I couldn't find anywhere any kind of reference to this problem, or any balancing or advantage that a player gets for being last and having all those disadvantages.

When I play with my friends we use a house rule that last player get to draw up to 5 like in the even phase at the start of his turn, thus making himself virtually like the first player in the advantage/disadvantage of drawing

Edited by kerserv

Any player gets to draw twice, once after his turn by discarding all his hand, and once at the event phase
First of all, conratz on your choice of game. I am quite new to the genre, board games as whole etc. if you don't count chess, backgammon and others.
To answer your question, check the rules again. There it says that the player discards his hand after his turn (I am not sure if there were other cases when this occurs) but refills his hand to 5 whenever one of the following happens:
1) At the end of each player's turn;
2) After an instant event card that requires cards to be played from the players.
What I get from your description you play like this: player one attacks player 4, he uses 2 cards, 3 are left, player 2 attacks player 4, he uses 3 more cards, none are left, player 3 has a free attack on player 4. As you can see above, after player 1 attacks, he draws 2 cards, after player 3 attacks, he draws 3 more and before every siege he has 5 cards. Actually, attacking early someone with weak forces allows him to discard troops he does not want, draw into his gold (or other "card draw" cards) and take minor Home Realm damage in exchange for huge tempo boost.
TL,DR: After the end of anybody's turn or an instant event ALL players fill up to 5 cards. If a player attacked another, they both refill their hand, the rest of the players change nothing, as they have not played anything.

Thank you, Valdmart.

If that is the case, I have indeed misunderstood the rules.

With this change, I can see that no player gets an advantage over any other player

But remember that you cannot discard cards except at the end of your turn. So let us say that you ended your turn and drew 5 gold. You cannot spend gold in a combat (except for the War Chieftain) so if you don't defend, it's a tell-tale sign to the next 2 players that you have a bad hand, so you are likely to get beat up pretty badly.

I'm happy to see someone else playing Rune Age!

That is true, but if we assume for the sake of the conversation that I don't know that every player draw up to 5 at every player turn and my original point is still relevant, that still puts the last player at a disadvantage.

We can argue that discarding and then drawing is better than drawing up to 5, but it doesn't matter because every player gets to do one of each except the last player who gets only one. it may be the better one, but still only one.

A bad hand is something that happens to everyone, and it is bad for everyone, but it matters even more for a player with less drawing options.

Fortunately, I now understand that every player gets the same drawing chances and everyone suffers the same for a bad hand.

It is good to see other people play this game, it is a good game in my opinion, that's why that one problem bothered me so much.

You are most welcome, kerserv! It is an awesome game indeed and I am extremely happy for having it. Not to mention the fact that once you have learned the rules you can carry it with you everywhere - just a small pile of cards and a dice!

And regarding the 5-gold hand, yes, it would be quite awful, but on the other side that is what the beauty of deck-building games is - you plan so that such things should (almost) never happen. Who knows, you might be playing the Monument scenario - let them attack as much as they want, you have your monument gold in hand!

Also after playing for a while, I can say that each scenario is carefully planned and created, yet as I only have the original game (planning on grabbing the expansion as soon as possible) I like to throw an additional pile or two of the neutral cards to promote diversity. It can actually slightly blur the disbalance between fractions and promote new strategies (instead of Uthuk's going for turn 3 double cities and turn 4 triple Demons (in a 2-player game) during Resurgence :D ). Just make sure that the total number of neutral cards is roughly the same as the game suggests (3 types x 3 cards ~ 5 types x 2 cards).

Happy playing, guys! See you around.