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TOPIC: Rex is actually pretty awful

Rex is actually pretty awful 11 Mar 2012 15:54 #118870

I got to play last night, and I am stunned just how terrible Rex is. The gmae ends up feeling like such an arbitrary and random set of rules just thrown together to produce a game. Trying to explain how all the pieces and powers work was a TOTAL FREAKING NIGHTMARE.

People who had played (Rex) before had been getting rules wrong during their 2-3 plays.

One other MAJOR blunder is that the very thorough strategy card summary from the old AH Dune is waved at in a single card that doesn't really provide any detail at all on the cards themselves.

The new board actually portrays movement easily, but makes it hard to discern the movement of the storm. And the board itself is huge, which suddenly almost requires an extra table to set up the game. There are some rule tweaks here and there which actually seem quite nice, and I think provide enough of the optional rules and collected house rules from the original game to be a nearly perfect set of rules, but everything else left me with an overwhelming sense of "why bother?"

I mean anyone who really likes Dune has it. Anyone who has heard of that legendary game is pretty likely to be turned off by this one.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 11 Mar 2012 16:01 #118872

Ha!

I just booted up F:AT to ask what folks thought of Rex.

I played Dune for the first time this week and it instantly shot into a top 10 slot, if not top 5. I was curious if Rex is a good substitute or should I track down Dune itself.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 11 Mar 2012 16:09 #118873

Jeff White wrote:
Ha!

I just booted up F:AT to ask what folks thought of Rex.

I played Dune for the first time this week and it instantly shot into a top 10 slot, if not top 5. I was curious if Rex is a good substitute or should I track down Dune itself.

I haven't played it yet, and I will soon enough. But so far from the few of my friends who played it recently all seemed to say that it was a decent game, but they'd rather play Dune.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 00:43 #118890

Can you use the game to just play DUNE though? Or did they fuck that up?
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 02:10 #118897

jeb wrote:
Can you use the game to just play DUNE though? Or did they fuck that up?

Definitely not. You can pretty much use it to play Rex; you can't "undo" very many of the changes.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 11:39 #118911

Sigh. I'd been picking up a negative vibe about Rex from other people who had played. It's a shame. People's main complaint about my copy of Dune is against it's old artwork, crappy chits and slightly battered state. I was hoping for FFG to work their magic on it. I can still see myself buying Rex but I'm not rushing out to buy it now.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 13:20 #118920

We played last night, and I do like it. Having never played the original Dune, and having been outbid on numerous copies on eBay, Rex was high on my list. After two games, I'm willing to say it's quite good. It hasn't yet been extraordinary or anything, but I wouldn't pronounce it one way or the other until I've had a chance to play it with six people. Both the games I've played started with that many than gradually fell apart until I could barely scrape together five.

My only real complaint about the game is that the combat is kind of complicated from what it was in Dune. FFG likes to break things into steps, even if they weren't in steps to begin with.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 14:34 #118934

"...and I do like it. Having never played the original Dune..."
You're dead to me, Nate.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 14:35 #118936

SuperflyTNT wrote:
"...and I do like it. Having never played the original Dune..."
You're dead to me, Nate.

Not for lack of trying dude, believe me.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 15:12 #118941

So you've been actively seeking to be dead to me? LMAO
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 16:09 #118947

I definitely don't think it's awful, but after another game I'm definitely more critical of it than I was after the first.

It's actually not hard to explain...provided you're playing with people who have played Dune. Then you just refer to everything in Dune terms.

The map is a fucking mess. The circular Dune map made so much more sense and it was easier to visualize everything.

Taking out the worthless cards is my pick for the MAJOR BLUNDER. It makes Atreides' prediction ability pretty much pointless, particularly with the strictures against secret communication.

The combat is overcomplicated more in the explanation than the execution. It's still not particularly elaborate, but it's overexplained and over developed. Having to "lock in" cards by selecting a spot on the wheel for your commander is kind of dumb, it's a fix to keep people from whining more than anything else, it seems like.

There are definitely places where the themes and setting don't connect with the rules, which isn't an issue in Dune. The story in the rulebook seems like it's there just to try to justify the game. Why do the Xcha win if they predict the winner? It doesn't make sense. It makes sense that the Bene Gesserit do.

One sentiment I am starting to agree with is "why bother". Rex is a good game, but it's good because Dune is a good game. I've been trying to work out how to appreciate the game on its own merit, but it's just not possible. Everything about that's great is because of EON. Everything about it that's not great is because of FFG.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 16:21 #118951

So, Rex is actually the first planet whose inhabitants coined the phrase, "Who Is John Galt?"

Got it. :)
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 16:48 #118959

Michael Barnes wrote:
I definitely don't think it's awful, but after another game I'm definitely more critical of it than I was after the first.

It's actually not hard to explain...provided you're playing with people who have played Dune. Then you just refer to everything in Dune terms.

The map is a fucking mess. The circular Dune map made so much more sense and it was easier to visualize everything.

Taking out the worthless cards is my pick for the MAJOR BLUNDER. It makes Atreides' prediction ability pretty much pointless, particularly with the strictures against secret communication.

The combat is overcomplicated more in the explanation than the execution. It's still not particularly elaborate, but it's overexplained and over developed. Having to "lock in" cards by selecting a spot on the wheel for your commander is kind of dumb, it's a fix to keep people from whining more than anything else, it seems like.

There are definitely places where the themes and setting don't connect with the rules, which isn't an issue in Dune. The story in the rulebook seems like it's there just to try to justify the game. Why do the Xcha win if they predict the winner? It doesn't make sense. It makes sense that the Bene Gesserit do.

One sentiment I am starting to agree with is "why bother". Rex is a good game, but it's good because Dune is a good game. I've been trying to work out how to appreciate the game on its own merit, but it's just not possible. Everything about that's great is because of EON. Everything about it that's not great is because of FFG.

This really shows just how much of a bind FFG was in with this game. I can't disagree with anything you wrote, having not played Dune. But also having not played Dune, most of these things don't bother me very much. It really does feel like an FFG game to me, which maybe shows how pervasive some of Eon's design philosophy has become in modern board games.

But yeah, the whole "Dune-but-not-really-Dune" thing is confusing all around. Is this supposed to be a completely new game? Becuase it really isn't from what I understand. Is it supposed to be Dune in new clothes? Because it isn't that either. I like the game a lot after two plays, but this one might be doomed to failure. The tragedy of it is that I bet FFG would have been glad to just republish the original game if they could have finangled the rights.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 17:21 #118965

The game is still VERY much Dune. The changes FFG made in terms of overall rules and content are pretty small. Most of those are actually good. (There seems to be more money in the game, and the special powers have been mucked with slightly to create a set of powers that feels somewhere in between the Basic and Optional rules in the original boxed set. That mix seems nearly perfect.

My biggest problem is the theme change. That really does destroy what makes Dune great. That did surprise me, because I thought that Rex should be fine without it and was planning to buy a copy.

Behind that is the board. It looks like a crazy mess of connected areas. It is easier to figure out how to move armies, as there are no ambiguities, but the storm movement is sacrificed in turn. And the actual game information is in tiny little icons that are easily covered and hidden behind stacks. It also makes it hard to see where the sietches are.

I didn't know about the useless cards being removed. In there place are some cards that do some minor uninteresting things, which is not a bad substitute really. They still suck, but they aren't awful.

Removing the full card summary is a major blunder. Especially in a game where each card and combat is critical.

I do really like the Ally card summaries. And the larger counters for the mechanized units.
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Re: Rex is actually pretty awful 12 Mar 2012 17:44 #118969

In thinking about it a little more, it's a little like if someone gets the rights to Battlestar Galactica in 30 years, but can't use the original IP for whatever reason. I think that if someone was really attached to the original game, no amount of solid gameplay could really replace the original setting. Obviously, mileage will vary for different people, but I totally understand how some people just couldn't get past that. I know a re-themed BSG would be anathema for me.
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