Red Book of the Elf King is a new game produced by Lucid Eye Publications and written by Rick Priestly, to accompany Lucid Eye's line of miniatures.
The game is set during the Fae Revanche - the great civil war between various Circles of the elves, after the Elf King left his throne for the Outworlds.
Players chose a Thane and a number of Companions (units of three Elves each), along with their Glamours (powerful spells that only the Thane can cast) and then attempt to assert their supremacy and claim the vacant throne!
This was our first game, using the special introductory scenario in the rulebook. Two Thanes and their Companions find themselves at an impasse - while traveling through a mountain pass, both sides block the way, and neither Thane will back down and allow the other to continue on.
We used Vachel Goldenhand and Saylian Trollblood for this game, with Sam taking Vachel and the set of Glamours with lower casting value, while I played with Saylian and the Glamour set with higher casting values.
The objective was simple - either kill the opposing Thane or cause the most wounds before the end of four turns.
The Thanes and their Companions deployed on opposite sides of the pass, taking cover in the shade of old ruins.
Both sides spent the first turn advancing, out of range for either charges or Rhud magic (shooting attacks, which all elves can cast).
The second turn saw all the action. Combats between Companions sprang up across the ruins, with Vachel's warriors of the Throne of Towers easily thrashing Saylians supporter from the Sarlant March. It didn't help that Vachel's Companions were immune to Courage tests from Shooting attacks, which Saylian's Companions favored.
In the midst of battle, Vachel was able to charge Saylian, and caused three wounds - leaving Saylian with only a single wound left! Saylian's attacks were unable to pierce his opponent's defense.
A unit of Saylian's Companions, seeing their Thane in mortal peril, managed to charge and force Vachel to retreat. However, this left Saylian open to a charge from one of Vachel's Companion units. While Saylian's blades did their work - leaving only a single, wounded Companion left - one elf's spear managed to find its mark, striking Saylian down.
The Lord of the Sarlent March's beaten and bloodied body was pulled from the field by his Companions, while Vachel led his victorious warband through the mountain pass.
This was a fun, if quick, intro scenario. I'm looking forward to playing more and larger games, where both sides have a Thane, six units of Companions, and seven Glamour spells to cast. The rules are fairly simple, with a unique activation mechanics (both sides roll a d6 to determine how many activation tokens are placed in a bag, along with an amount equal to a neutral d6).
The Glamours are interesting, and can be fairly powerful, if they go off right. For example, I used Red Death during the game, which causes a chain reaction of Defense rolls with a penalty. Any model that fails a Defense roll has takes a wound, and the spell jumps to the next elf in the unit. If a unit all fails their Defense roll, the spell then jumps to the next closest unit. With enough poor rolls, an entire warband can be affected.
Of course, Sam managed to save on the first warrior, and my spell sputtered out.
I'm looking forward to playing more games of RBotEK, and to seeing what releases lie in the future. Lucid Eye has already released Trolls and Humans (with only the Trolls having rules in the game thanks to a scenario in the back), and there are rumors of Goblins and Dwarves.