House Atreides, House Harkoonen, House Corrino, chances are you know the names well and can pronounce Kwisatz Haderach without any difficulty or a throat full of phlegm. It’s unfortunate that Fantasy Flight didn’t get the rights or didn’t want them or I don’t know why but they didn’t republish the original game DUNE as DUNE they rebooted the game as Rex – Final days of an empire.
Now if they HAD rebooted it as DUNE then it would have been near perfect, definitely in my top ten. Not that I have a top ten but I’d start one if, well you get the idea.
As it stands Rex is not a bad game at all and after last Thur it went up in my estimation. Rex Final Days of an Empire is a game we’ve spoken of before. Indeed what is this WE business pale face, well this blog is fed by a lot of things not just my ramblings but the ramblings of other gamers so it will always be the royal we. Rex is a remake of the 1976 game DUNE (which was actually made in 1979, I looked it up and my guess was off, but there you go). Rather than the aforementioned houses we have six factions from the Twilight Emperium universe which are all fine and dandy and a bit Disney. Turtle and Tiger people, very original, top marks FF.
The game itself is good BUT it does need the full six players to make it work IMHO and it does take a bit of playing to get the most out of it. You need to invest a few games in this before you get into it. It was only through playing a Study in Emerald a number of times that I realised that this game is better than it had seemed in the past. I’m sorry to admit that I had come this close to trading it away as it wasn’t proving that popular.
There are a few bits in the game that are very similar to a Study in Emerald and ASIE is a cracker of a game so by extension we could really be at the races with this game if we invest more time in it. The setting is interesting. A besieged future city, under constant bombardment from orbit is ruled by six factions all vying for power by capturing and holding key points. So all in all dung beetles fighting over a big pile of …. burnt out city.
What makes the game different is all of the races play in a different way. One faction is very sneaky and all about spies and backstabbing (yes I like them), another are peacekeepers (boo hiss), some are weapons dealers and so on. There’s a nice bit of variety in there and the game is different for each player when they replay. Now not as different as a Study in Emerald but it’s fun to play a different faction each time as they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
After a random draw I wound up with the tiger men guys (not the actual name) whom are effectively arms dealers and gain influence (let’s just call it gold) when anyone buys troops. So I reckon I was on the pigs back from the off (please note there are no actual pig people in the game so get that image out of your head). There are five key points on the map which if captured and held win the game for the holders. If it’s a one player win they need to hold three points an alliance of two players they need to hold four points and a shower (the correct multiple term) of three players they need to capture and hold all five points between them.
I like the way the alliances work. Normally an event card with pick the next spot for a bombardment to happen however a few lull in bombardment cards allow players to quickly make alliances with others and gain some of the traits of the players they’ve allied with. More interestingly an alliance formed during a lull in bombardments HAS to be kept until the next lull, no if buts or maybes. The first lull brought about two unusual occurrences. Three players teamed up together and in desperation I allied with Drax. Yes that’s right you read it right I co-operated with the devil for which there must always be a price. In this case the loss of the game. BUT I had fun and this game has gone up a couple more notches in my likey meter. This will hit the table again soon
After that is was … Modern Art
I may not know much about art but I know what I like, in this case Karl Gitter. Modern Art is an old enough game by Reiner Knizia. It’s been reprinted a few times and I have the …. (Looks up boardgamegeek) …. the 1996 version. It doesn’t matter I think they’re all the same. The game involves buying and selling paintings by a number of artists in the hope of upping their value and reaping the rewards of ownership. It’s a strange game. I’m damned if I can come up with a strategy to win but then again I can’t get my head around certain games like Power Grid either so don’t be put off.
It’s a fairly quick game, say an hour plus and it is good fun. It’s Reiner Knizia but don’t let that put you off :), this time it’s theme does match it’s mechanics and I’ve yet to play a bad game of it. In the same was as Catan is a solid enough game so is this. If you’ve played it a few times you’ll want to rest it before playing again but it will hit the table again and again.
I lost btw. I told you I’m damned if I can get the hang of this game
Oh and we played HEY! That’s my fish and wrung €13 of value out of it