Rivenstone Gameplay: The Tale of Beasts

Rivenstone Gameplay: The Tale of Beasts

Welcome back to our Rivenstone gameplay blog! Originally, these blogs introduced everyone to the rules of Rivenstone as we led into the Kickstarter launch. Going forward, our gameplay blogs will be focused on previewing rules for new releases (when that time comes), as well as having tactical discussions on list building and in-game strategy. 

NOTE: A quick heads up that late pledges are now available for Rivenstone if you missed your chance to back the first time! You can find out more by clicking here.

Today, we’re looking at the fourth event deck launching with Rivenstone. Three of the event decks come in each faction starter box: Tale of Storms, Tale of Shadows, and Tale of Winter. The fourth deck — Tale of Beasts — comes packed in every Terrestrial Fiend Hero Expansion box.

Don’t worry though, if you aren’t picking up a Fiend, we plan on making all of the game’s rules available online for easy access.

Tale As Old as Time

The Tale of Beasts introduces a concept that we will be exploring in future event decks and scenarios: independent models. The baseline rules for independent models are covered in the Rivenstone rulebook, while each event deck or scenario that utilizes them covers the specific behaviors of those models.

Before we take a look at the event deck itself, let’s review the independent model rules again:

  • Models that are in neither player’s warband, such as a wandering creature used in a specific scenario, are independent models. These models are enemies to all player-controlled models unless their rules specifically state otherwise.
  • The rules of an independent model may state that a particular player is its administrator. An independent model’s administrator makes all choices for it but is not its controller.
  • Either player can make dice rolls for an independent model.
  • At the end of each Flux phase, remove all conditions from independent models.
  • Independent models cannot score victory points. The bounty for a hero destroyed by an independent model goes to the hero’s opponent as normal.
  • Independent models cannot harvest rivenstone shards and ignore rules that would affect the number of shards in an opponent’s reservoir.
  • Independent models cannot use special rules with the words “can” or “choose” in them. They cannot gain exhaustion tokens and cannot burn or recharge vigor.
  • Whenever an independent model attacks, it uses the weapon in range with the highest Strength. If multiple weapons in range have equal Strength, the administering player chooses which weapon to use.
  • When an independent model rolls a cleave result on the attacker die, it attacks the nearest enemy model with that attack if possible.
  • When an independent model rolls a push result on the attacker die, it pushes the target of the attack as far as possible, then follows up as close as possible to the target of the attack. The independent model’s administrator decides the direction of the push.

    As you can see, while the administrator makes all the choices for the independent model, those choices are still restricted by the core independent rules as well as the specific behaviors dictated by the event deck or scenario. A good example of how an administrator could make a choice for an independent model is movement. Imagine that a scenario states that during each player’s turn they become the administrator for an independent model, and that model must move towards the nearest rivenstone deposit. The player whose turn it is would decide exactly how that model moves towards the deposit, choosing its route and final position, and ensuring that the required behavior of the independent model is achieved as best as possible. Let’s take a look at the Tale of Beasts deck for a more thorough example of how this all works.  


    The basic gist of this event deck is this: there is an independent Wild or Beast hero running around the board trying to kill things each turn. If you kill it first, you score bonus VPs based on its rank. There are four possible behaviors the beast can follow, and you don’t know which behavior it will have until after it has spawned. The beast changes behaviors each time it is destroyed and respawned.

    When Rivenstone launches, there are three potential heroes you can use as your beast for this event deck: Tor the Hunt Master, Sabrefang Dragoon, and of course, the Terrestrial Fiend. 

    When playing this event deck, there are a few strategies to employ to achieve victory. First, if you are the one deploying the beast, don’t always deploy it as close to your opponent as possible. If you do, there’s a chance the beast rushes straight over to your opponent’s side to kill something, and then sits there as your opponent beats on it until they score some free VPs.

    This plays in the second strategy to consider: goading the beast. Once you know what the beast’s behavior is, you want to try to goad it into range of your heroes’ attacks as soon as possible. This strategy minimizes the damage it will do to your own forces, while also getting it into an advantageous position to make some attacks.

    Third, and most important, if you are going to commit to killing the beast, make sure you have the resources to get the job done in a single activation. Don’t let your opponent “kill steal” from you. If you spend a hero activation trying to kill the beast and fail, only to have your opponent come in and deal the last 1-2 points of damage to destroy it, you’ve handed your opponent a massive amount of tempo with very little cost to their own resources.

    We hope you enjoyed this look at the Tale of Beasts. Join us again next week as we discuss more of what’s happening at Broken Anvil Miniatures. In the meantime, head over to our BackerKit page to place your late pledge for Rivenstone!