Rune review: a modern domino… even a little bit magical

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Steven L. Ken
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A modern domino with a slightly magical theme in which you will have to conquer as many Runes as possible to win the game, read its review

Rune is a strategy game where you will try to summon Zemilio from another world! Gather mana from runestones to complete the ritual!

Rune is a two-player game from Little Rocket Games; a small game of strategy, a modern domino, in which the goal that the players have to achieve is to conquer as many runes as possible and make the highest score to win the game.



Materiali | Review Rune

In a box that fits right in the palm of your hand we find everything you need for a face-to-face game full of bite. The components are:

  • 1 Starting card
  • 16 Runa cards
  • 3 black Master tokens
  • 3 red Master tokens
  • 2 Rune Tokens: on one side they have a blue Rune and on the other side they have a green Rune

Setup and how to play | Rune Review

For setup, place the Initial card in the center of the table, shuffle the Rune card deck and also place this face down in the center of the table and it will be the draw deck. Each player must have 3 Master pawns of the same color, a Rune token and must draw three cards.

How to play

During your turn, you must place a card from your hand and then draw a card or place a Rune Master. Let's look specifically at these actions:

  • place a card: this action must be done at the start of your turn. The cards are divided into 6 sections and each of them contains a Rune. The card can be placed on one or more cards and must cover at least one Rune of the underlying card. Placements of a card can be done in two ways:
    1. Runes overlap on top of other Runes of the same color
    2. Runes are placed adjacent to other Runes of the same color (in this case it does not matter what color the Runes are covered)
  • Rune Master placement: this action must be done after placing a card and as an alternative to drawing one. The Master must be placed on a Rune to be able to control all those same colors that are connected to it (except diagonally). For the placement of the Master you must keep in mind the following rules:
    • you cannot place a Master on Runes already controlled by another Master
    • a card cannot be placed on top of the Master
    • if the cards in the draw deck run out then the players must place their Masters after placing one of their cards
    • You can increase the Runes controlled by a Master by linking other Runes to them with the placement of other cards
    • a player may place cards on top of the runes controlled by the opponent
    • A player cannot link Runes controlled by their Master to Runes of the same color controlled by an opponent's Master

In the first two photos you can see two examples of how Rune cards are placed and in the third photo an example of Rune Master placement.



End of the game and scoring | Rune Review

When a player places his last Rune Master, his opponent can no longer draw any more cards, but he can continue to place the remaining cards in his hand and the remaining Masters. The game ends when all the Masters have been placed and vince who has scored the most points.

Score calculation

The values ​​of the Runes to calculate the final total score are as follows: 

  • blue = 1 point
  • green = 2 points
  • red = 3 points

Micro - Expansion: Grand Master | Rune Review

To play with this micro-expansion you need to use the Rune token, the one with double face, which is used in the following ways:

  • after placing your own Rune Master, you can place a Token on an adjacent Rune even diagonally
  • a Token cannot be placed on a Rune Master
  • a card cannot be placed on top of a token

Conclusion

Rune is one of the two-player titles that I like best for its compactness and very strategic nature, practically a big game in a small box. I also like its being similar to the classic domino in the placement of cards (although in the domino the tiles are placed next to each other, while in Rune the cards overlap), but at the same time offering a different game thanks to the placement of the Rune Master and the Grand Master micro-expansion. The only two flaws of this game are the material with which the cards are made, because they tend to be easily damaged on the edges even after playing a little, and the placement of the cards that during the first matches raises doubts about some moves.



To fully appreciate this game it is advisable to play a few test games, before embarking on serious challenges. Also regarding the games, on the box it is marked that a game lasts about 10 minutes, but it could also last longer if the moves take more time to think about it. Finally, the game is perfect for two people, but it is also true that in some situations I felt the need to be able to play at least 4 because I would have liked to offer it to the family and to be able to play it all together. So I hope that in the future an expansion will be created that will allow us to expand the number of players, a bit like what happened with Sagrada. 


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Technical details

  • Name: Rune
  • Authors: Zemilio and Joe Slack
  • Publishing house: Little Rocket Games
  • Players: 2
  • Age: 8+
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Price: 11,90€
7.8 A magical domino!

Points in favor

  • Compact
  • Strategic
  • Great game for two players
  • Meeple and Tokens done well

Points against

  • Easily worn cards
  • The placement of cards in the first few games creates doubts
  • It is a game for 2 players only
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