The Morale Deck – An Analysis of Panic Cards

Today I’d like to talk a bit about the Morale Deck.

Hello Rune Warriors!

Today I’d like to talk a bit about the Morale Deck.  Unlike other Fantasy Flight Games, Runewars: The Miniatures Game does not have a “critical hit” damage component. In other miniature games FFG has produced like X-Wing and Armada, the critical hits force additional penalties or damage onto other players. My experience is mostly with Armada, and I’ve seen a ship take 3 additional damage a round from critical effects. To make up for this, Runewars has a 30 card panic deck. Panic is generated by certain effects ( like Impact), upgrades ( like Terrifying Heraldry), and red and white dice faces. It is represent on a target unit by panic tokens.

As a unit amasses panic tokens, you can choose to draw cards equal to the panic spent. The caveat is that when you choose to inflict a morale test on your opponent all panic tokens morale die faces on that unit must be spent, as well as any number of panic tokens (rules 10.11 and 53). Of the cards you choose you can only pick one. That spent panic also limits what card you can choose to use. You can only choose a card with morale icons equal to or less than the panic spent. The panic deck comes in four categories and three intensities. For example if you spend two panic tokens, you draw two cards, you can use one card costing up to 2 (yes there is a keyword, Steadfast, that may change this example and that will be discussed later).

There are 15 (half the deck!) single cost cards. They’re all about giving stun, immobilize, panic, or having your opponent discard their boons. It’s worth noting that a 5 of those cards give double panic to the target and is, overall, your most likely pull from the deck.

There are 8 two cost cards. The effects are: perform a reform on your enemy, causing your enemy to lose trays if they have more than one tray left, and giving your units within 1-3 an inspiration.

Lastly, there are 7 three cost cards. These hurt a lot. You can cause a unit to attack itself or turn around and run away, or discard any upgrade card they have.

As far as keyword composition goes:
1/5 of the cards are Doubt
2/5 are Confusion
2/5 are Fear

The costs break down as:

15 (50%) of the cards cost 1, 8 ( 27%) cost 2 and 7 (23%) cost 3.

The Waiqar have Steadfast, which is a keyword making a card with the listed keyword cost 1 more token. The core units are all Steadfast Doubt, so for example if you spent three and Betrayal (a morale card with the doubt keyword) comes up, it costs 4 and you can’t use it. At first glance it seems much less useful when your chances are 1/5 of even pulling a doubt. It’s the 3rd most frequently pulled card but it’s also worth noting that all the doubt panic cards are terrible (Lose trays and attack yourself). The cheapest one is already 2 tokens.

Hope you guys can use this breakdown to help you game plan and list building.  Please leave comments below on what you think, and share some of your experiences drawing or receiving panic!  Expect the a post about the dice in a few days! I promise.