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Jon Horne
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Okay, that’s definitely hyperbole, but it gets your attention and it sums up my overall feeling of Rex.

Goal

You and your allies must capture a set number of stronghold spaces.

Setup

Setup is quick and relatively painless. Everyone gets their starting dudes and money, the Sol fleets is more or less randomly deployed, and the Sol player drops off his troops. The rules aren’t clear whether players start with their leaders in their reserves or in casualties, but the game board picture displays them as already mustered. Nitpicky, maybe, but in our first game it took up 5 minutes of rules reading and arguing before someone saw the leaders in the picture and settled the issue.

Influence Phase

Two regions get money on them. Sometimes ships come in and eradicate everything on the spaces that spawned money last turn. Sometimes you have a negotiations phase where alliances are formed/broken and bribes can commence. Mostly, this phase just makes it so that two spaces out of the 75% of the board that is useless have an incentive for you to visit. They also might get you killed if one of the two random, instant-death mechanics decides it to be so.

The alliance mechanic is probably the best part of the game. Allies give each other bonus powers and make it easier to achieve a sudden death victory by capturing that last stronghold. This is arguably already too easy to accomplish solo, but I’ll get more into that later. The Betrayal idea is really neat. If you meet the requirements on your secret Betrayal card, then you steal joint victory away from your allies at the end of the game. Unless one of them also qualified for his Betrayal card... and it’s a higher numbered card… Nah, never mind, it’s dumb.

Anyway, alliances can only be forged or dissolved when a Temporary Ceasefire card is pulled from the Influence deck, so you can’t punch your friend in the wiener on a whim. This is a good thing.

Bidding Phase

In this phase, players make blind bids on random strategy cards. Yes, blind bids. Jol-Nar gets to look at each card before it comes up for auction, so other players can judge how much to bid based off of his behavior. Unless he goes last, in which case, maybe the start player who probably bid only 1 or 2 might still be in it. Everybody who passed rather than bid 4+ on a random card is SOL (and I don’t mean an Earthling). Really, though, unless Jol-Nar is telling people what the cards are (truth or fiction), how much can you really glean from his bidding behavior? “Ooh, the Hylar bid 2 instead of 1. I’m all in!”

Oh, by the way, if you didn’t get any attack or defense strategy cards from your blind bids, you will lose every fight. And all money spent by other players goes to the Lazax player. This auction sucks.

Recruiting Phase

Here you get a number of free troops back from the dead, the number depending on your race, and can buy a few more for two bucks apiece. A dead leader can also be revived. Hacan and Lazax, flush with everyone else’s money, can typically get full up every round. There is nothing particularly innovative or stupid about this phase. It gets the job done.

Maneuvering Phase

In turn order, you move 1 army two spaces (4 if you control a spaceport), and then you drop off 1 army somewhere else. If you are the start player, you are forced to play defensively, so turtle up! The last player gets to make a push for the win on this phase. Sol has weird rules for deployment, so my next complaint doesn’t apply to him.

This is the phase where you bankrupt yourself and make Hacan rich. Troops cost 1 to deploy, 2 if that area contains an enemy. Ironically, you cannot coexist with your allies. Jol-Nar and Letnev are forced to capture spaces that conjured money this turn so they will have cash for next turn. Everyone else either gets free deployments (Sol and Xxcha) or a big payout in another phase (Hacan and Lazax), so harvesting Influence off of the board isn’t as critical for them.

The purpose here is to: 1) protect the strongholds you have; 2) start a fight over strongholds you don’t have; 3) gather influence to spend later; 4) sit on your ass because you are too far away to do 2) or 3).

I’d just like to reiterate here that most of the board is completely useless when it hasn’t gotten a random Influence injection. It is just a path for travel.

Battle Phase

Here it is, kids: the absolute worst part of the game.

First, the Xxcha player gets to flip one or more of his armies into UN Peacekeeper mode. These fellows hid in their shells for the turn and cry silently until all the explosions go away.

Next, you resolve battles in turn order. You and your opponent decide secretly how many troops to sacrifice. The loser is wiped out utterly regardless, so don’t be shy. You each pick a leader and stick him in a slot that will determine which cards you must then play. The settings are revealed, and then you choose cards from your hand that match types to the ones you committed yourself to playing. At this point, you know who is going to win the fight, barring some kind of trump card, because your army strength is your troops sent to their deaths plus the value of your leader.

Now for the trump cards. Attack cards and defense cards have a rock/paper/scissors relationship, except that there are only two kinds. So, it’s more of a rock/some-kind-of-rock-cutting-scissors relationship. If you play a card for which your opponent doesn’t have the counter, his leader dies, likely making you win. Unless he has an attack card that you couldn’t counter, in which case your leader dies as well. Or maybe one of you has your opponent’s leader’s traitor card, in which he loses everything and you lose nothing. There are only a few cards in the game, so these scenarios come up constantly.

If all of this sounds like a great thrust/counterthrust interaction of dueling minds, then all I can say is that I clearly cannot choose the cup in front of me. By the way, spoiler alert: both cups are poisoned.

Jol-Nor and Xxcha get to demand some information up front, so they are not totally in the dark about the card interactions, nor is anyone who is fighting with someone who already revealed what he’s packing in a previous fight. For me, though, the player choice often feels like eenie, meenie, miney, moe. I’d rather just roll dice.

The final conclusion to this mess is that combat odds are so unpredictable that on any given turn (even the first!), the guy who goes last in turn order can make a big push for the win. He may even achieve it, despite everyone at the table seeing it coming from a mile away and doing everything in their power to stop it.

Collection Phase

Assuming someone hasn’t proven that they’ve already won, this is the phase where the ragged survivors of the previous phase’s bloodbath pick up Influence tokens from the areas they control. The manual says you get 2 from an area, but the errata says you get 2 per soldier. Thanks, manual, that typo doesn’t fundamentally change the entire economy of the game. Oh, and tearfully salute those troops that heroically plundered on your behalf, because one of the two AI fleets will likely send them to Hell in the next two phases.

Bombardment Phase

The Sol dreadnaught fleet rolls a 1d6 and moves that many spaces, carpet bombing as they go. Except that it’s cards instead of a die, so the Sol player can peek at the number ahead of time and get out of Dodge before the sky starts falling. Planetary shields protect all of the stronghold spaces, as well as a few useless regions that no one cares about.

That’s the game in a nutshell. Time to list the things I hate about it.

1) Memory component – Jol-Nar, and to a lesser extent, everyone else, must remember who has what strategy cards. If you can’t keep it all in your head, then you will lose to the players that can. Oh, and the rulebook says you are not allowed to write anything down. That’s an awesome idea. The next time I play Clue, I’m implementing that as a house rule.

2) Turn order – There is no way to influence turn order; it just passes clockwise every turn, which would be fine if turn order wasn’t absolutely critical in every phase of the game where you make decisions. The game can be 8 rounds long, so the first two players might get extra opportunities to push for the tactical win. Player number six gets hosed. He gets one shot, and it’s after players one through five have already taken theirs.

3) First turn wins – Yep, Jol-Nar and Letnev can win on the first turn if one of them goes last. All they need is the right cards. Jol-Nar gets to look at the cards, and Letnev gets a bunch of them. First turn wins happen in Rex way more often that they should. Which is never.

4) The combat circle jerk – You carefully calculated your odds of winning, the costs incurred, and the benefits of victory. Your opponent had one of several win cards. Nice try, butthead. Have fun getting those casualties back on the board if you are Jol-Nar.

In conclusion, I want to say I was really excited to play Rex. After two plays, though, everyone in my game group loathed it. In fact, there was so much excess hate in the room that Rex couldn’t absorb it all; it started to spill over to into other games that we had always liked, souring our entire game night.

If you played Dune back in the day and loved it, then I can see how a beautifully reprinted, if rethemed, release like Rex will be a wonderful treat. From my perspective, I can see how she was a real beauty back in her prime, but these days she’s really showing her age.
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Christopher Halbower
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This game is like herpes: annoying but not fatal.
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Martin Presley
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
1) Memory component – Jol-Nar, and to a lesser extent, everyone else, must remember who has what strategy cards. If you can’t keep it all in your head, then you will lose to the players that can. Oh, and the rulebook says you are not allowed to write anything down. That’s an awesome idea. The next time I play Clue, I’m implementing that as a house rule.


To be fair, Clue would certainly be a better game if you weren't allowed to write anything down. Then again, you can't throw a stick without hitting a rule change that would improve Clue somehow.
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I'd really love to try Rex, but your review did confirm some of the worries I got when I read the game's rules myself.
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Jeremy Laverty
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Tell us how you really feel
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tom moughan
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The first turn win by Letnev was both startling and seemingly preventable. Then the allied win on turn 3 by Lazax/Hacan was completely unpreventable after we mulligan-ed the first win for the sake of "this game must take longer than it took to setup". I must say that I wanted to love Rex, and its not to say I am not anxious to try it again, but I fear it will have the stick for me like, Cosmic Encounter for instance.

I fear a certain sameness will arise and the ally advantage cards have a nature to them that can really make allied forces unstoppable in certain combinations.

I really enjoyed it none the less after the play and I am still intrigued, but...I am weary to say the least.
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Dan Williams
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I dunno, as I read your itemized complaints, they seemed to have the opposite effect on me. But, I'm a jaded originalist, wading in the warm soothing waters of nostalgia...

Sometimes I feel like a board game pioneer. You know, the one with all the arrows in his back.
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Ian Allen
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I could go into about a 4 page defense of Dune, but I don't have the energy. I'll just make a few, hopefully brief comments.

All of the things you don't like about Rex are things that I just consider subtleties in the game of Dune.

The main problem you seem to have is that everyone doesn't get an equal shake at things.

Dune is an asymmetric game where different characters have different advantages.

I don't know the Rex name equivalents of the Dune characters, having only played Rex once so far, but the Harkonen player gets tons of special cards and should be good at winning battles. The Emperor gets lots of cash and can ship to strategic locations in a hurry. The Fremen get lots of free movement and should pick up lots of Spice/Influence. etc. etc.

You have to play each factions angle appropriately, as well as work to minimize the other factions against you.

Then, around mid-game, the alliance combos are really important. Dune allows for lots of clever, sneaky, and subtle play. It's not about game balance, like power grid or something, its about using strengths and exploiting weaknesses.

If you go into Rex/Dune thinking it should be fair and balanced you will be disappointed. I can't speak as much to Rex as I can to Dune, but it is a great game. There are tons of balanced euro games, but not that many 6 player epic asymmetric games that drip with theme like Dune does.

If you would rather be playing Nexus Ops or El Grande or something, then play those instead.
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tom moughan
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I will come out and say that this is a game that seems like you will be rewarded with some insight after a few plays as some strategies develop. Did Letnev win on turn one? sure. Is it ever going to be allowed to happen again? Absolutely not.

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Sean D.
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Man, I thought Rex was great fun. Like a 'knife fight in an elevator', I guess our group was playing it wrong.
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Jon Horne
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glookose wrote:
I could go into about a 4 page defense of Dune, but I don't have the energy. I'll just make a few, hopefully brief comments.

All of the things you don't like about Rex are things that I just consider subtleties in the game of Dune.

The main problem you seem to have is that everyone doesn't get an equal shake at things.

Dune is an asymmetric game where different characters have different advantages.

I don't know the Rex name equivalents of the Dune characters, having only played Rex once so far, but the Harkonen player gets tons of special cards and should be good at winning battles. The Emperor gets lots of cash and can ship to strategic locations in a hurry. The Fremen get lots of free movement and should pick up lots of Spice/Influence. etc. etc.

You have to play each factions angle appropriately, as well as work to minimize the other factions against you.

Then, around mid-game, the alliance combos are really important. Dune allows for lots of clever, sneaky, and subtle play. It's not about game balance, like power grid or something, its about using strengths and exploiting weaknesses.

If you go into Rex/Dune thinking it should be fair and balanced you will be disappointed. I can't speak as much to Rex as I can to Dune, but it is a great game.

Oh, I expect the factions are balanced when you take into account their various advantages. I never claimed they weren't. I claimed that it has a memory component, turn order is critical, yet uncontrolled, and the combat is often arbitrary, leading to sudden, unpreventable victories.

Absolutely nowhere did I say that Rex (or Dune) is imbalanced.

glookose wrote:
There are tons of balanced euro games, but not that many 6 player epic asymmetric games that drip with theme like Dune does.

I guess that depends on your definition of "many." Off the top of my head, Twilight Imperium, A Game of Thrones, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Republic of Rome, Arkham Horror and Chaos in the Old World all feature rich theme, 6 players, and asymmetry.

glookose wrote:
If you would rather be playing Nexus Ops or El Grande or something, then play those instead.

Okay, I will. If you prefer reviews that tell you what good taste in games you have, then read those instead.
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David Stahler Jr.
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I don't know what this says about your review (or about me) but reading it really made me want to play the game.

On a related note, I like the idea of a game that evokes such strong feelings that even someone like you who hates it is moved to write such an indepth review!
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Jon Horne
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lengthtoavoid wrote:
I will come out and say that this is a game that seems like you will be rewarded with some insight after a few plays as some strategies develop. Did Letnev win on turn one? sure. Is it ever going to be allowed to happen again? Absolutely not.

I agree. I expect I would get better at fending off some the more annoying outcomes with experience.

I don't really see much strategic potential in Rex, though. It seems to me to be a game of sudden, tactical power grabs, not long-term planning. Again, that could be my inexperience talking.

Ultimately, though, I'm not going to invest hours of playtime in a game that gave nothing but frustration the first two times I played it.
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
Absolutely nowhere did I say that Rex (or Dune) is imbalanced.

But there is indeed imbalance, which was by design from what it seems. Not all the factions are completely evenly matched. Jol-Nar and Letnev have chances to win first turn. Hacan maybe if they are lucky, and POSSIBLY Sol. Xxcha and Letnev cannot win alone in Turn 1 unless I'm missing something.

When you factor in alliances, there are certainly alliances that overall are stronger than others, but the game situation can determine how much that actually helps.


That all said I appreciate the review - having another side presented is always good for prospective buyers. I disagree with a lot of it, as the things you don't like are things I *DO*. For instance, the battle mechanics. Unless I'm misreading, you claim that it feels very arbitrary and rock-paper-scissors-y. While I guess at it's core that can be true, in practice I've found that to be only a marginal factor. Some racial powers tweak that basis, and learning what is effective when can help. For instance, if you see a player use an Energy Rifle against another player, and they only have 2 cards, if you have a Shield, there's a good chance your leader could be safe.

There are unknowns, but they can be mitigated. Plus, at its core this isn't a "military" game. It's a diplomacy/negotiation game with a heavy combat mechanic built in. If you took out that part, it would be much more boring (which is why I don't like the 3 player variant - it's too dry).


Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and I hope you do find a game that better suits your own personal tastes. (I admit, I don't care for the TITLE of the review, as it's definitely not "globally" bad, as that would imply nobody finds it good But that's neither here nor there).
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Dan Williams
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I second the appreciation for your taking time to articulate your thoughts. Who knows, after I assemble 6 people to play several times, which should happen within 20 years, I may come around to agreeing with you.
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Jon Horne
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sigmazero13 wrote:
That all said I appreciate the review - having another side presented is always good for prospective buyers.

Thanks!

sigmazero13 wrote:
I disagree with a lot of it, as the things you don't like are things I *DO*. For instance, the battle mechanics. Unless I'm misreading, you claim that it feels very arbitrary and rock-paper-scissors-y. While I guess at it's core that can be true, in practice I've found that to be only a marginal factor. Some racial powers tweak that basis, and learning what is effective when can help. For instance, if you see a player use an Energy Rifle against another player, and they only have 2 cards, if you have a Shield, there's a good chance your leader could be safe.

There are unknowns, but they can be mitigated. Plus, at its core this isn't a "military" game. It's a diplomacy/negotiation game with a heavy combat mechanic built in. If you took out that part, it would be much more boring (which is why I don't like the 3 player variant - it's too dry).

Fair enough. I don't like memory components in games, so remembering who had the Energy Rifle and who had the Shield from turn to turn felt like a chore to me.

As far as rock/paper/scissors goes, I thought it worked well in Fury of Dracula and Middle Earth Quest, but those games have more than one combat round, making the timing of those cards more important than who randomly drew what. Their cards also had multiple effects, rather than just being a silver bullet for another card.

sigmazero13 wrote:
Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and I hope you do find a game that better suits your own personal tastes. (I admit, I don't care for the TITLE of the review, as it's definitely not "globally" bad, as that would imply nobody finds it good But that's neither here nor there).

I meant "globally" in the sense of "all of this game's mechanics" rather than "everyone on earth," but your point is taken. Like I said, it was shameless hyperbole to get folks to click.
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
Fair enough. I don't like memory components in games, so remembering who had the Energy Rifle and who had the Shield from turn to turn felt like a chore to me.

I think someone did create a file that you can use if a particular group is OK with houseruling away the "no writing stuff down" bit, one that allows you to keep track of who has what card pretty easily.

A few of the people I've gamed with also don't like this aspect (and apparently it wasn't in the original Dune), but it is easy enough to adjust.

Of course, that would only solve the issue if that was your ONLY problem with the game
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Dustin Shunta
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lengthtoavoid wrote:
I will come out and say that this is a game that seems like you will be rewarded with some insight after a few plays as some strategies develop. Did Letnev win on turn one? sure. Is it ever going to be allowed to happen again? Absolutely not.



Happened twice in a row to us. First game he won a bunch of cards in auction and decimated the fights. Second game he only won a single auction but was able to deploy with the extra cash.

I am sure that both times it was completely preventable if the other five players work against him. It feels to me like there might be more strategy underneath the hood if you can get to the good parts, but man I'm not sure many groups will get there because it takes a lot of work to play that much cowboy.
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AxleKerrigan wrote:


That’s the game in a nutshell. Time to list the things I hate about it.

1) Memory component – Jol-Nar, and to a lesser extent, everyone else, must remember who has what strategy cards. If you can’t keep it all in your head, then you will lose to the players that can. Oh, and the rulebook says you are not allowed to write anything down. That’s an awesome idea. The next time I play Clue, I’m implementing that as a house rule.

This is minimal. Just because someone has something doesn't mean they are going to play it. You also have no idea what the Harkonen character has since he draws a 2nd card every time that no one gets to look at, or what cards people start with or what they take from an auction unless you just happen to be the Atraides player. I tried one time to write down every card that I saw someone use during the game and my list was hard to keep up with, innacurate, and in the end mostly unhelpful. There are too many variables for this to be a serious factor in the game.
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2) Turn order – There is no way to influence turn order; it just passes clockwise every turn, which would be fine if turn order wasn’t absolutely critical in every phase of the game where you make decisions. The game can be 8 rounds long, so the first two players might get extra opportunities to push for the tactical win. Player number six gets hosed. He gets one shot, and it’s after players one through five have already taken theirs.

Minimal. Going last in a round gives you a slight advantage, in that you see where everybody else has gone, but just because you see where people have gone doesn't mean you can always do much about it. You still have to have the troops, cards, leaders, and win the battle while hoping your leader isn't a traitor.

The mechanic here has actually been improved in Rex, making it similar to most other games out there. In Dune you can get "stuck behind the 8-ball" frequently since turn order is decided by where the storm ends. In Rex, everyone gets a chance to go first. Even then, the Guild player can go last whenever he wants to. There is nothing game breaking about each player going first in order around the table.
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3) First turn wins – Yep, Jol-Nar and Letnev can win on the first turn if one of them goes last. All they need is the right cards. Jol-Nar gets to look at the cards, and Letnev gets a bunch of them. First turn wins happen in Rex way more often that they should. Which is never.

I've played enough Dune to know that a 1st turn win can only happen if pretty much no one at the table has any clue what they are doing. I can't speak to Rex as much, but I would imagine it to be the same case. There is no way a group playing this game for the 2nd time would let that happen. If you know that the goal of the game is for a single player to occupy 3 "bases" by the end of the turn, don't move all your troops out and leave a base undefended - seriously...
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4) The combat circle jerk – You carefully calculated your odds of winning, the costs incurred, and the benefits of victory. Your opponent had one of several win cards. Nice try, butthead. Have fun getting those casualties back on the board if you are Jol-Nar.

If you think your opponent has a weapon, then only attack if you can bring more troops to the table to cover the loss of your leader if that happens. Or only attack when you have acquired a shield ...or a weapon of your own ... Or even attack with a small force just to cost your opponent enough troops to still win even if you surprise kill his leader (you can whittle down a powerful opponent this way - I call it "poking the bear").

I see how combat could be frustrating if you go in without considering troops, leaders, weapons, or shields every round, but why would you? This calculation is what I consider the heart of the game.

You of course have the right to your opinion, but I agree that the title of your posting implies that everyone dislikes this game, while that is just not the case. If you had called it "Why my group bungled a couple of games of Rex, allowing a 1st turn victory and decided we hated it", I think it would have been a bit more appropriate.
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I must say I agree with the reviewer on this one. Rex disappointed the first time I played it. It will for sure be better if it gets played alot, but, when there are so many great games around I honestly don't know if I will put the time and effort into it
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Xaykev wrote:
I must say I agree with the reviewer on this one. Rex disappointed the first time I played it. It will for sure be better if it gets played alot, but, when there are so many great games around I honestly don't know if I will put the time and effort into it


Dune has been around forever. You could pretty much always find at least a players copy for about 40 dollars. If you have not made an attempt to track down or play a copy of Dune in the last 30 years, this game may not be for you.

The strong representation of Theme adds a few points to Dune for fans of the Dune Universe. I don't feel the same connection with the universe that FF was unfortunately required to throw into the new version when they couldn't acquire the Dune rights from the Herbert estate.

I like a few of the changes that might streamline gameplay, but dislike the theme change and the new abstract board.

I guess the idea is that this reprint of Dune will be for the mainstream, but I think this will still appeal to more of a niche market and a lot of the mainstream folks will find this too much for them.

Taking the theme out of Dune is kind of like playing chess with various mixed nuts. It can be done, but the end result is not nearly as cool.

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glookose wrote:
This is minimal. Just because someone has something doesn't mean they are going to play it. You also have no idea what the Harkonen character has since he draws a 2nd card every time that no one gets to look at, or what cards people start with or what they take from an auction unless you just happen to be the Atraides player. I tried one time to write down every card that I saw someone use during the game and my list was hard to keep up with, innacurate, and in the end mostly unhelpful. There are too many variables for this to be a serious factor in the game.

I think you are understating this a bit, but then, you clearly have a lot more experience with the game than I do.

If I don't bother to remember at all what my opponents have, then combat is a crapshoot. Pick a card and flip a coin. If I do remember, then maybe I have a counter of some kind to play. Maybe he only has the one combat card, or maybe he has three. In any case, if I can't memorize what belongs to who, then I am going to lose combats that I could have won. That's just a fact. Can you afford to throw away potential victories in any competitive game?

glookose wrote:
Minimal. Going last in a round gives you a slight advantage, in that you see where everybody else has gone, but just because you see where people have gone doesn't mean you can always do much about it. You still have to have the troops, cards, leaders, and win the battle while hoping your leader isn't a traitor.

The mechanic here has actually been improved in Rex, making it similar to most other games out there. In Dune you can get "stuck behind the 8-ball" frequently since turn order is decided by where the storm ends. In Rex, everyone gets a chance to go first. Even then, the Guild player can go last whenever he wants to. There is nothing game breaking about each player going first in order around the table.

If that's the case, then yeah, Rex does turn order better for sure. Still, I think you again understate the advantage of going last in a tactical game. Your opponents can't defend everything, and you get to hit them where they are weakest or take advantage of their turtling to grab some Influence off of the board uncontested.

glookose wrote:
I've played enough Dune to know that a 1st turn win can only happen if pretty much no one at the table has any clue what they are doing. I can't speak to Rex as much, but I would imagine it to be the same case. There is no way a group playing this game for the 2nd time would let that happen. If you know that the goal of the game is for a single player to occupy 3 "bases" by the end of the turn, don't move all your troops out and leave a base undefended - seriously...

It was our first game, but I don't think that it really mattered. Letnev moved all but 1 guy to Jol-Nar's stronghold via spaceport. He spent all his money deploying troops to Hacan's stronghold. He had a card to do a second deployment for free, so he dumped everything remaining on Jol-Nar. With his attack and defense card, he killed their leader while protecting his own. He won the first battle, then had the traitor card for the Hacan leader that the defender was forced to play to have a shot at winning the second battle.

That perfect storm scenario may be unusual among veteran Rex players, but I think that a turn 1 victory that everyone sees but can do nothing about is a game flaw. My understanding is that movement was more limited in Dune, so maybe this is a new problem.

glookose wrote:
If you think your opponent has a weapon, then only attack if you can bring more troops to the table to cover the loss of your leader if that happens. Or only attack when you have acquired a shield ...or a weapon of your own ... Or even attack with a small force just to cost your opponent enough troops to still win even if you surprise kill his leader (you can whittle down a powerful opponent this way - I call it "poking the bear").

I see how combat could be frustrating if you go in without considering troops, leaders, weapons, or shields every round, but why would you? This calculation is what I consider the heart of the game.

There is definitely a lot going on in the combat system. My gut feeling is that you are 100% correct on this point.

Our attackers were outfitted just fine. It was the defenders who kept getting stomped. Would they be better in the future now that we have a better sense of the relative value of things? Presumably, but we'll never know because our first two experiences were so miserable that we intend to move on to other games.

glookose wrote:
You of course have the right to your opinion, but I agree that the title of your posting implies that everyone dislikes this game, while that is just not the case. If you had called it "Why my group bungled a couple of games of Rex, allowing a 1st turn victory and decided we hated it", I think it would have been a bit more appropriate.

I will do exactly that.
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Quote:
He had a card to do a second deployment for free


You know what - after seeingyou write that and looking at the new deck, there are cards that let you deploy again - still costs one per unit though - and cards that let you move again for free ...

Those didn't come up during my initial play of Rex - or if they did, I didn't notice them.

I guess those would make it much easier for a 1st turn victory, so I apologize for my tone.

In Dune that would be highly unlikely - in Rex ...looks like much more likely.

hmmm...

It may be that i am not a fan of Rex after a few more plays either. But I will always be a fan of Dune.
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For what it's worth, I think the thing is that if Jol-Nar or Letnev go LAST, players need to be aware of this potential. If they plan for it, it's preventable. (Not guaranteed, as a bad battle or two can still turn things). But I've also found that even with games where it ends first turn, it's easy to just get things set up for another go.

In the non-3-player games I've played, only once has the game ended in a first turn victory so far, so I think once players are aware of it, it becomes much harder for it to happen.
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It might have been two cards used in combination. I can't remember exactly, but I do know that he pulled it off despite defensive play by everyone else.

Apology accepted.

Um... Let me apologize in advance for my snarky second thread that is even now being reviewed for posting. It's not real bad, but it is a direct response to your "Me and my friends are dumb, so we hate Rex." suggestion. Sorry. Friends? blush
 
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