I broke down and purchased Runewars a few weeks ago when I had bonus points to spend at The Game Shoppe. Saturday gaming has been hit and miss with events and schedule, but I was able to get Rob, Steve, and Team Chaos (Eric & Mark) to play last week. The box says it takes 3 hours to play, I assume that means when you have experienced players. It took us about an hour to set up the board and read the rules to get us all on the same sheet, then playing took us about four hours. Now, those turns did pick up steam the further we went along and we all started to understand the finer points of the game.
The turn order the first round also includes race selection. Rob took the Elves, I took Humans allowing Team Chaos to have the Demons and Steve the Undead. Wouldn't have been natural if they hadn't. :) The random board construction was an interesting add, allowing each game to be a bit different as home realms and map tiles used alters for each game, let alone how they are placed together. Rob's Elves got 'stuck' way out on a lonely limb and Steve's undead were on the low side of the other side behind some defendable mountains. Eric's forces and my Humans were squared across from each other pretty tightly.
One of the nice features to this Fantasy Flight Game is that they built in an end-state vice 'total dominance'. You have to collect Dragon Runes and have control of six of them or six 'years' in game time pass with the winner being the player with the most Runes. In the end, Eric and I were racing to get the Rune's in place, but Eric and Team Chaos was able to get their hero into town first. The turn went five full years plus a spring and summer.
Everyone seemed to like the game, I would like to see a 6 player expansion with Dwarves and Orcs as the new races so more folks can play.
I need to record the audio for the unboxing, so I'll post that up as soon as I can get to it.
Defend the Realm!