Rivenstone Gameplay Part XV: Core Rules Wrap Up

Rivenstone Gameplay Part XV: Core Rules Wrap Up

Welcome to the final installment of our introductory Rivenstone gameplay series. These blogs covered some of the basic rules of the game, with our video battle report providing a deeper look into the gameplay overall.

If you’re just joining us, you can find previous blogs exploring the gameplay as well as the fiction of Rivenstone on our website.

In the near future, we will be producing a pre-release plain text version of the full Rivenstone rulebook. We’re in the process of adding some key diagrams that we feel are necessary to help explain some of the more important rules properly. 

Since the launch of the Rivenstone Kickstarter (which is still live right now), we’ve had some specific questions come up regarding rules for the game. In today’s blog we’re going to cover those odds and ends, hopefully shedding some light on these game mechanics before the pre-release rulebook goes public.

Anatomy of a Round

We’ve had a few questions regarding the round structure of the game, and how turns differ from rounds. The rulebook covers each of the phases of a round in much greater detail, but let’s take a look at the basics.

A game of Rivenstone is played over the course of multiple rounds. During each round, players take turns activating models during the Clash Phase. This is when models will move around the battlefield, attack opponents, and collect shards. Each round has three phases, which occur in order: the Lull phase, the Clash phase, and the Flux phase.

  • Lull Phase
    1. Players determine who has initiative this round. For the first Lull Phase this is randomly determined at the start of the game, afterwards it is the player who did not take the last turn in the previous round’s Clash Phase.
    2. Players remove some exhaustion tokens from models in their warband.
    3. Players spawn some of their models destroyed in previous rounds, then this phase ends and the Clash phase begins.
  • Clash Phase
    1. Players alternate taking turns in which they activate a limited number of their models by performing maneuvers.
    2. At the end of each turn a player takes, they roll the shard die to resolve rivenstone eruptions and event deck progression. Event deck progression determines when a Flux trigger occurs.
    3. When a Flux trigger occurs, this phase ends. Remove all shards from the event title card, and the Flux phase begins.
  • Flux Phase
    1. Players resolve special rules on event cards that take place during the Flux phase. 
    2. Players resolve scenario scoring that takes place during the Flux phase.
    3. Players recharge all of their burned vigor, then this phase and the round ends. 
    4. A new round begins, starting with a Lull phase, unless the game has ended.

    If a special rule or ability states that it occurs at the beginning of a phase, resolve those effects before step 1 of each phase listed, if a rule occurs at the end of a phase, resolve it after step 3.

    Clearing Exhaustion

    During the game, models gain exhaustion tokens each time they complete an activation. Sometimes they can gain them or lose them through the special rules of other models as well! 

    A model cannot be chosen to activate if it has a number of exhaustion tokens on it equal to or greater than its Stamina stat, so clearing those tokens off is very important. 

    You normally clear exhaustion tokens from your models in two ways: a full clear and a partial clear. 

    During the Lull phase, if every hero and follower model a player has in play has at least one exhaustion token on it, the player performs a full clear by removing all exhaustion tokens from all of their hero and follower models. Remember that barracks models can never gain exhaustion tokens for any reason.

    If a full clear is not possible, you can instead perform a partial clear during the Lull phase. When you do, choose one hero and one follower type in your warband in play. Then remove all exhaustion tokens from the chosen hero and a number of models matching the chosen follower type equal to that type’s Muster stat.

    Full clears can also occur during the Clash phase! If a player begins their turn and every hero and follower model they have in play has at least one exhaustion token on it, they perform a full clear. This means you’ll never have a turn where you cannot activate some of your models.

    The player with initiative for the round clears exhaustion tokens first, regardless of which kind of clear they perform.

    Note that this clearing method is only for models in players’ warbands. Rivenstone deposits have special rules to clear exhaustion, and scenarios may contain special rules for clearing exhaustion from objectives. 

    Ray Attacks

    Many of you have noticed that some models’ missile weapons are noted with a Range of “R:M”. The “R” indicates that an attack is a ray attack. 

    This is a special kind of attack that functions slightly differently than other missile attacks. These weapons have only a normal range and no extreme range—and because they affect an entire area, they damage friendly models as well as enemies.

    When performing an Attack action with a ray weapon, place the measurement tool matching the weapon’s normal range with the Tight end centered on the edge of the attacker’s base and the rest of the tool placed over at least one enemy model in the attacker’s LOS. If there are no enemy models under the tool, the Attack action is sacrificed without benefit. Models cannot be obscured from a ray attack. 

    Make a separate attack roll against each enemy model under the measurement tool that is in the attacker’s LOS. These attacks are resolved one at a time in whatever order you choose. 

    If the attacker is destroyed during this sequence of attacks, the attack is over. Do not resolve any remaining attacks against models that were originally under the measurement tool; they are not attacked. 

    If the attacker is moved during this sequence of attacks, you need to determine which models are still eligible to be attacked. After moving the attacking model, place the measurement tool next to it at the same angle as the original attack and determine if any models that were originally in range are no longer in range or no longer in the attacker’s LOS. Any models that are now out of range are no longer eligible to be attacked. 

    Example 1: The Iron Guard Tunnel Sweeper has a Heavy Flamethrower missile weapon with a Range of R:M, indicating a Medium Ray. This weapon has a special rule that if the attacker die result on an attack made with the weapon is a Misfire, the Tunnel Sweeper is destroyed after the attack is resolved.

    John’s Tunnel Sweeper performs an Attack action using the Heavy Flamethrower, placing the Medium measurement tool and covering three enemy models. John will potentially make three separate attack rolls, one for each enemy under the tool. He makes his first attack roll against one of the enemy models, rolling well and destroying the enemy. On his second attack roll, he rolls a Misfire. This means that not only is the second attack unsuccessful, but the Tunnel Sweeper is also destroyed. 

    John does not make a third attack roll against the last enemy model, as his Tunnel Sweeper is no longer in play. 

    Example 2: Another one of John’s Tunnel Sweepers performs an Attack action using the Heavy Flamethrower, and after he places the measurement tool, it is covering one friendly model and two enemy models. Before making any attack rolls against the enemy models, John first must resolve the hit and damage against his friendly model that was under the tool.

    After John performs the first attack against one of the two enemy models, a special rule triggers that pushes his Tunnel Sweeper backward Medium range. The second enemy model is now out of range for the Tunnel Sweeper’s Heavy Flamethrower and therefore is no longer eligible to be attacked.

    Because ray weapons blanket a whole area, they affect more than just enemies. Friendly models (other than the attacker) that are under the tool and in the attacker’s LOS are hit by the attack as well. They suffer only 1 damage, however, regardless of the weapon’s Damage stat. No attack or defense rolls are made for friendly models under the template. Resolve all hits and damage against friendly models first before performing the first attack against an enemy model under the tool.


    We hope this blog helped answer some of the more common, and intricate, questions you’ve had about the game. Thank you for joining us for this week’s installment of the gameplay blog series. Join us again next week as we discuss more Rivenstone!


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