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Subject: First Game tips? rss

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Ian Toltz
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Just put in an order for this. I've never played Dune, and have only the vaguest sense of what this game's about.

I'm trying to organize a 6-player game at my next game day, and I don't know if we'll have anyone with any experience with it or with Dune. I've asked people who are interested to commit to up to 4 hours for this first game, in the likely case that a game with a bunch of new people will take a while longer than the box says.

I was hoping to get some tips for this first game. Rules that are easily missed, things the rulebook might not spell out well or clearly (an unclear FFG rulebook? Perish the thought! whistle), things like that.

Additionally, I'd like a breakdown of how the 6 groups in this game correspond to the 6 groups in Dune and just a basic gist of each group's strength and weaknesses.
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If you've never played this or Dune before, I strongly recommend against starting with 6 players. I was roughly in the same boat as you and we didn't finish our first two games, which were 6p. In the first game (all newbs), we got lots of rules wrong (something that was definitely exacerbated by the number of players because there were 6 different powers to figure out and keep straight), and stopped after round 4 and about 2.5 hours. The second game (also 6p, mostly newbs) took ~4 hours and 6 rounds before someone had to go. The third game (all newbs except me) was 4 players, and ended in round 7, taking ~2.5 hours, and was an absolute blast and by far the best of the three, I think because there were fewer players. I know that this game is supposed to be best with 6 and supposed to suck with 3, but I think this applies only to experienced players.

Rules we got wrong the first time, in order of impotance:

1. We were gathering two influence from a controlled area regardless of number of units (as it says erroneously in the rulebook), rather than two influence per unit (as it says in the errata sheet included in the box, which we apparently didn't pay enough attention to). This is a game-breaking rule to get wrong.

2. A player cannot participate in more than one alliance. (In other words, if you exchange both your alliance cards with two players, then those players must also exchange their alliance cards with each other). Another game-breaking rule to get wrong.

3. The way Xxcha and Jol-Nar powers interact with each other, which is explained in the errata sheet I think but we did it wrong.

Have fun, this is really a great game!
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Matt Epp
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4. It is possible for the Letnev or JolNar to get a first turn win with 3 strongholds. Either make everyone aware of this or let it fly under the radar. They're unlikely to notice it, and it doesn't take very long to set up a second game.

5. The more players the better. Make sure that all the temporary ceasefires a well shuffled and NOT all clumped together at the bottom.
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Stephen Williams
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6. If you win the battle, you lose the number of troops you dialed. If you lose the battle, you lose everything.
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Travis Dean
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Asmor wrote:
Additionally, I'd like a breakdown of how the 6 groups in this game correspond to the 6 groups in Dune and just a basic gist of each group's strength and weaknesses.


Jol-Nar = Atreides - Has knowledge of players' strategy cards and part of their battle plans (good luck with that kind of memory). Has a difficult time collecting influence.

Letnev = Harkonnen - Acquires a lot of Strategy cards and many traitor cards. An excellent House for battles, much like the Jol-Nar, but also suffer from being influence poor and having a hard time acquiring influence.

Lazax Empire = Emperor - Rich. They get all the influence from strategy cards (except what they bid) so they are rich. They also have some stronger than normal units. They don't start on the board and recruit their mechanized units more slowly (one per turn), so getting on the board and recovering is much slower for them.

Hacan = Guild - Also rich. They get the influence from deploying onto the board, and they also deploy at half cost. They also have high maneuverability with their racial abilities, and they can usually afford it because they are rich. No battle advantages though, but mobility is awesome. They also have a good end of game win condition.

Sol = Fremen - Free deployment and mostly free/cheap to recruit new units. They just keep coming, and they survive sol bombardment cards and know when the bombardment fleet is coming to avoid it (they don't survive the fleet). They're influence poor and have to collect influence from the board. The Sol also have a good end of game win condition.

Xxcha = Bene Gesserit - Their combat ability, voicing which card your opponent will not play, is very powerful. This makes them a highly desirable ally, and their ability to predict a winner allows them to potentially steal a win from another player, especially the Hacan or Sol's special win condition.


I'll post rules gotcha's in a second post.
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Ian Toltz
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Thanks for all the tips, everyone. These are going to be very helpful. Can't wait to play this!
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Travis Dean
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Easily overlooked rules, and some rules we overlooked or mis-interpreted in our game (in addition to what's already been said):

READ the errata sheet. It has a lot of important information that may contradict the rulebook. The errata sheet is correct.

If you reveal a traitor card, that traitor card is discarded. Your opponent's leader, strategy cards, and ALL of their units are discarded, even if they played a tactical retreat. You don't lose any units or strategy cards, or leader, no matter what you committed. If both players reveal traitor cards, units, leaders, and cards are discarded for both players and there is no winner.

If you use a leader in a space for a round, you CAN'T use the same leader in a different space in the same round. If you're fighting multiple battles in that space, though, then you may use that same leader in that same space. The following round, your leader becomes available to use for battles again.

If you don't have any legal leaders to play due to all of your leaders either being dead or already having performed in battle that turn, then you must declare that you can't play a leader card. This also means that you can't play any strategy cards this turn.

Determining a winner (1 player holding 3 strongholds, 2 holding 4, or 3 holding 5) is checked at the end of each round except for a 3 player alliance. This is because if a stronghold's shield is blown, the bombardment fleet might pass through and destroy all units in that stronghold. So for a 3 player alliance, if they hold all 5 strongholds during the collection phase, they win.

Know and remember that your movement is 2 spaces, or 3 for the Sol, or 4 if you control the Navy Base or the Spaceport. Also remember that control of either of those two regions is by having units there at the start of the round and that any of your units can move 4, not just units moving out of those strongholds.

The Galactic Council space is neutral and any number of races can co-exist there or deploy for only 1 influence per unit.

Deployment costs are 1 influence per unit unless deploying into a space with any enemy units, in which case it costs 2 influence per unit. Remember that you may never deploy or move units into a space that your ally has units in. Also, if a temporary ceasefire comes up and if for any reason you are sharing space with somebody (Xxcha co-existing units excluded), then you are not allowed to ally that player.
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Brad Johnson
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Dolus wrote:
Determining a winner (1 player holding 3 strongholds, 2 holding 4, or 3 holding 5) is checked at the end of each round except for a 3 player alliance. This is because if a stronghold's shield is blown, the bombardment fleet might pass through and destroy all units in that stronghold. So for a 3 player alliance, if they hold all 5 strongholds during the collection phase, they win.


Hi Travis:
I'm confused on this one. I didn't think the rules made any special case for 3-player alliances like this. Was there some sort of errata or ruling that I missed?
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Travis Dean
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Brad,

The reasoning behind it is my own, but you can find it in the Rex rulebook on page 13.

Winning the Game:
An unallied player wins the game if he alone controls at least three strongholds at the end of a game round.

An alliance of two players wins the game if they control at least four strongholds at the end of a game round. Each player in the alliance shares the win.

An alliance of three players wins the game if they control all five strongholds during the Collection Phase. Each player in the alliance shares the win.

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Brad Johnson
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Hmm, you're right. Thanks for pointing that out. I just ran to check my published copy of the rules, and that is what it says. But I did check the online PDF version of the rules on the FFG website before I posted that question to you, and interestingly, it says that three-player alliances also check at the end of the game round (not at the end of the Collection Phase.) I wonder how many other differences there are between the two versions??? (And which version takes precedence??)
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Travis Dean
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Interesting, I didn't check the PDF version of the rules. I'm curious too about the differences...
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Here's my big suggestion:

Accept the fact that Game #1 (and quite possibly, #2 and #3) is going to be a Learning Game.

There is a LOT to Learn in Rex/Dune, and it won't come across in the rulebook. Every faction has a distinct advantage that's not immediately understandable. For instance, new players mock the Federation of Sol because of what they perceive as a lack of cool abilities. They get people on the board for free -- you don't understand how valuable that can be at first glance.

The various ecosystems for skirmishes come off as chaos until you understand how to analyze them. For example, you (Jol-Nar) and I (Letnev) are about to fight. You've got 8 men, I've got 6. And the Federation are within striking range of both of us, with a group of 5. Anyone we commit to battle will be lost, unless we commit a traitorous leader. I definitely have the advantage there. But you've been seeing the Tactics cards all game, and you know exactly what I have. And no matter how this battle goes, the victor will probably be facing the Federation next turn, so we can't overcommit to this battle and lose the war. Decisions, decisions.

Seriously, Rex is not Carcassonne. Expect the first game to be the game where the rules start to "make sense". Expect Game #2 and #3 to be the games where tactics and strategies, respectively, start making sense. It will not sit you down and explain itself to you, but instead will slowly reveal itself. Go in with those expectations, and you will find one hell of a game waiting for you.
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Ian Toltz
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I finally got the game a couple days ago and sat down and read the rulebook. The actual rules are a lot more straight forward than I expected; I feel much more confident now. I'm sure that there are going to be subtleties to the strategy in the game that aren't apparent at first glance, but I was worried that this would be the kind of game that takes an hour just to explain how to play.
 
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Alessandro Maggi
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Asmor wrote:
I finally got the game a couple days ago and sat down and read the rulebook. The actual rules are a lot more straight forward than I expected; I feel much more confident now. I'm sure that there are going to be subtleties to the strategy in the game that aren't apparent at first glance, but I was worried that this would be the kind of game that takes an hour just to explain how to play.

We tried our first game today, and while I didn't had time to have an in-depth look at the rules I managed to explain them quickly enough. Of course I got so many things wrong that while we actually enjoyed the game it was far from being REX! whistle

Good luck with your first game! I can't wait to try it again with the proper set of rules!
 
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Travis Dean
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tempus42 wrote:
Hmm, you're right. Thanks for pointing that out. I just ran to check my published copy of the rules, and that is what it says. But I did check the online PDF version of the rules on the FFG website before I posted that question to you, and interestingly, it says that three-player alliances also check at the end of the game round (not at the end of the Collection Phase.) I wonder how many other differences there are between the two versions??? (And which version takes precedence??)


Got my replies from Corey. The three player alliance victory condition is checked at the end of each game round. So apparently the rulebook included with the game is wrong and the copy online is correct. I don't know all the changes, or if there are any other changes, though.
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Ian Toltz
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Hadn't managed to play Rex, but I brought it to the game day again today cause, y'know, why not, and actually got to play it!

Guess which major rule we got wrong, though?

rbelikov wrote:
1. We were gathering two influence from a controlled area regardless of number of units (as it says erroneously in the rulebook), rather than two influence per unit (as it says in the errata sheet included in the box, which we apparently didn't pay enough attention to). This is a game-breaking rule to get wrong.


whistle
 
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Our game group meets tonight and I expect to have our first game of Rex.. really excited about it ninja

I'll post my first play experiences and hiccups, this thread is very useful.
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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rbelikov wrote:
1. We were gathering two influence from a controlled area regardless of number of units (as it says erroneously in the rulebook), rather than two influence per unit (as it says in the errata sheet included in the box, which we apparently didn't pay enough attention to). This is a game-breaking rule to get wrong.


Wow, I definitely got that rule wrong also, good to know!
 
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