SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY – RONE: Last Stand – GREIFERISTO – Preview

SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - RONE: Last Stand - GREIFERISTO - Preview 1

Players need to decide when to invest water into higher level heroes, when to burn discard pile resources to recycle cards, when to play more cards onto the battlefield, when to hold resources to play tactics cards during an opponents turn, and also when to adapt to environmental hazards. RONE has no shortage of critical and exciting decision making space for players to explore.

Joseph Summa

MeepleGamers

9/10
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Theme and What is it?

9/10

RONE (Races Of New Era) is a post-apocalyptic universe where players lead a group of survivors in a dominance battle for the few remaining resources.  A global nuclear war has devastated most of the world. Technology is now at a premium and will play a vital role.

RONE is tactical battle card game system.  It provides card management in hand, deck, and discard pile in unique ways.  It provides resource management, battlefield management, and ultimately the greatest strategist will totally eliminate opposing bands of survivors.  

Last Stand brings two new ways to play to the world of RONE.  Environment mode makes players find the time to balance dealing with ever-changing conditions or suffer the consequences… repeatedly.  This mode is now mandatory for all games I play.  I highly recommend you pick it up as you will probably do the same.  

It also brings Radiation mode where more cards will come into play but constant damage will bring tension to the game even during the early rounds and make the late rounds a sweat-soaked battle of tough choices.

The RONE: Last Stand Kickstarter went live 10/17/2019.  Check it out before the campaign ends or look into late pledge options if you didn’t make it in time.

Kickstarter Link

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Gameplay Mechanics

9/10

RONE is a deck construction and hand/discard management game.  The deck construction can be done with the standard rule set to randomize each player’s pool of cards or experienced players can choose to intentionally construct some or all of their decks to increase their control over how the deck will play.  Unlike most tactical card games, RONE’s primary resource to pay for cards, water, is not reset before or after turns are done.  

Water management is just one of the interesting things players have to consider in RONE.  The recycle mechanism is even more unique.  Cards go to a discard pile as players play their cards, have them removed from the battlefield, or take direct damage.  You can place these cards on top or the bottom of the pile which is the first interesting decision players have to consider.  

The second really interesting thing is when to pay the recycle cost to play the top card of the discard pile again.  To pay the recycle cost, the player permanently removes a specified number of cards in the discard pile from the game.  

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Initial Impressions

10/10

The Last Stand expansion offers some exciting new ways to play.  We were particularly excited about the environment mode.  Even new players didn’t find it hard to include in the game and found it offered compelling choices.  Radiation mode seems to be an interesting twist on the game and really enhances the important of the recycle mechanic.  We are looking forward to experimenting further with the new mechanisms and cards.

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Game Build Quality

10/10

The second edition of RONE includes the New Forces and Awakening expansions.  It has a very solid card quality that can stand up to repeat play.  With 360 cards to work with and 27-32 cards in play per player, the game can will never look quite the same.  

Even with the exact same decks, the draw order and use of recycle powers and technology cards will still play out differently.  Given the total card pool diversity, I have no fears about the replay value of RONE will stand up to 100s of games.  

The water dials spin smoothly but don’t get knocked out of alignment when set down on the table.  They have the hard to hit production quality I want in a wheel counter.  The components I have for Last Stand are prototype components but even these are high quality.  I expect everything to match wonderfully in the Kickstarter.

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Artistic Direction

10/10

RONE has artwork focused on making the post-apocalyptic world come to life.  Gas masks, mutants, and burnt husks of a world are common themes.  It really enhances the feel of the theme to the gameplay.  I couldn’t be happier with how RONE portrays its world building within the artwork.

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Fun Factor

9/10

For me, RONE is such a wonderful game because of the agonizing tactical decisions.  You have several good cards that do different things and can only afford one of them.  You could leave yourself some water to respond to your opponent’s turn or you could put out another strong unit.  

Do you recycle the current top card and burn the entire pile?  Or do you wait till a cheaper card goes on top and burn down to expose another good card you now qualify for?

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Age Range & Weight

8/10

14+ is a fair rating.  Not just for the thematic violence, desolation, and post-apocalyptic elements either.  RONE is a direct combat style game where a well-played card can devastate the opponent’s strategy.   This is not the kind of feeling younger players will be equipped to deal with and enjoy.  Players mature for their age when it comes to direct conflict in gaming can ignore this rating.  

The complexity to learn, setup, and play RONE the first time was misleading.  It looked at first glance like it would be intense to learn everything needed.  Players who are experienced with games like Magic the Gathering, Hearthstone, and other games with this core style of play will find it easy to learn.  It took very little time for me to teach new players and were shockingly few questions and misunderstandings during our initial plays.  

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Conclusions

9/10

The Last Stand expansion brings new re-play to RONE for experienced players.  Even new players should immediately use the environment mode.  I am very pleased with the game and the expansion is a must have for my collection.  

There are a lot of reasons to recommend RONE.  The resource management aspects are chief among them.  The recycle system is one of the most unique and interesting parts of RONE. It offers wonderful choices and makes even an early disadvantage turn back into an advantage.  The longer the game goes, the more critical recycling will become in determining the victor.  

Speaking of all these excellent resource management aspects of RONE.  I haven’t talked about one of the most important ones yet.  Players start with a level 1 hero with some unique differences between them. The way players invest water to level up their heroes is incredibly compelling.  

Players cannot play cards of a level above their hero.  Higher level heroes get extra water and draw resources each turn.  Investing early gives new opportunities and resources but might cost you too much battlefield presence if done poorly.  

Players need to decide when to invest water into higher level heroes, when to burn discard pile resources to recycle cards, when to play more cards onto the battlefield, when to hold resources to play tactics cards during an opponents turn, and also when to adapt to environmental hazards. RONE has no shortage of critical and exciting decision making space for players to explore.

The RONE: Last Stand Kickstarter went live 10/17/2019.  Check it out before the campaign ends or look into late pledge options if you didn’t make it in time.
Kickstarter Link

SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - RONE: Last Stand - GREIFERISTO - Preview 125
SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - RONE: Last Stand - GREIFERISTO - Preview
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