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Rex: Final Days of an Empire - Board Game Box Shot

Rex: Final Days of an Empire

Rex Twilight Imperium

The final days of the Lazax Empire began in the seventy-third year of the Twilight Wars, when without warning, the Federation of Sol led a deadly assault directly on Mecatol Rex, the capital planet the empire itself. A climactic struggle for control of the imperial city followed, fought as much with diplomacy and deception as with troops and starships. This is the story of that struggle.

REX cards REX game board

Rex: Final Days of an Empire is a board game of negotiation, betrayal, and warfare in which three to six players take control of great interstellar civilizations, competing for dominance of the galaxy’s capital city. Set 3,000 years before the events of Twilight Imperium, Rex tells the story of the last days of the Lazax Empire, while presenting players with compelling asymmetrical racial abilities and a myriad of opportunities for diplomacy and deception. Based on game rules originally designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, and Peter Olotka, Rex was developed for a new audience through the collaborative efforts of Christian T. Petersen and Corey Konieczka.

REX race sheet
images © Fantasy Flight Games

User Reviews (6)

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Gamer - Level 6
56 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Rex after 10 Plays”

Do you lust for power? Crave bloodshed and the chance to make your enemies squirm? Do you have a taste for trickery and double speak? If you answered yes to the above questions or if you just want to play a kick *** board game, I implore you to continue reading. Rex: Final Days of an Empire is an area control game with a lot going on, you will have to use battle tactics, politics, hand/resource management, bidding/bluffing and just the right amount of backstabbing to win.

Go to my blog for a full review complete with full sized image ***isted explanation of the gameplay, for now I just included my thoughts

My Thoughts: Everything written above are merely technicalities to give you an idea of how Rex is played, its hard to convey in words the elegance of this game. I good write pages and only scratch the surface, if you enjoy a deep game, Rex is for you. Although I have only had Rex for a week or so I can already tell you my favourite thing about the game, you have to really play your opponents and not just a game. You often hear people saying that board games are great because they encourage people to actually interact with each other rather than just stare at a screen or to actually get together, however you want to put it, some games just don’t give room for that deep of interaction. Because of the mechanics of Rex you don’t have a choice, you will have to interact with your fellow gamers, think like your enemies, backstab your friends, take risks and bide time. We have got 6 or 7 games in now and there really is endless strategy to how you approach each game, I love how the combat is not luck driven and I really like how every race has their strengths and their weaknesses, often you will think you have the win in the bag only to find out due to some loophole someone else win before you.

One of the other enjoyable parts of Rex is the time requirement.

Components: For the most part, the components are awesome. Before buying Rex I had read a lot of complaints about the functionality of the board, the quality of the battle dials and a few other component complaints which I thought was odd for an FFG game. Thankfully the board turned out to be functional and visually attractive, you could hang it as a decoration. The battle dials were a pain in the *** to put together but once they clipped in I haven’t had them ‘fall apart’ like some forum posts lead me to believe. The rulebook was a bit of a struggle though… I will cover some of what I thought were confusing parts of the rulebook below.

Betrayal Cards should not be optional, the game felt lacking something our first play (we did get a couple rules wrong but I dont think that was it) they add so much to the game play with them its only 1 more little rule.

Rules Complaints: So even they know their rulebook is terribly written I found this insert starring at me when I first opened the box.

By far the most confusing part is the influence spawn, there are some wrong player aids on bgg that definitely added to my confusion.
1. You can only get influence from spaces on the map where there physically are influence tokens
2. Influence tokens only appear based on the card revealed every turn.
3. If a ceasefire / sol offensive card is revealed, resolve them and then turn over cards until you reveal one that spawns Influence.

These were very important and combined lead to our first two games being played slightly wrong.

Battles: You have to commit a leader, I mentioned this above but I missed it and a friend caught this one before we played our first game. Also tricky to find in the book is that your leader only dies if a strategy card or traitor card is played.

Also mentioned above, but one cannot simply discard strategy cards at their leisure.

There were a few other small confusions but they were cleared up by this fantastic player aid, it helped me a lot, this is the one I would recommend using out of ones that exist on bgg

Who would enjoy Rex?

Gamer Gamers – With a play time of at least 2 hours, Rex doesn’t leave much room for casual or family play, here are some reasons you should add Rex to your collection if you are a “serious” gamer.

– Very political with tons of player interaction
– Endless number of strategies
– Minimal Luck and no dice combat system
– Many ‘different levels of conflict’ direct combat, blocking, negotiation, economic, betrayal, secret victory conditions
– Infinite replay

Usually when games approach the 3 hour mark they have no chance of seeing my gaming table, however despite Rex not being my group’s “type of game” everyone has been dying to play again and we met up twice extra last week to play.

After finishing my review I decided that really the rules are simple enough that a casual gamer could play and I believe would thoroughly enjoy the mechanics since Rex is an awesome experience that differs from most games. I would recommend having mostly experienced players if you are going to teach a casual friend though.

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Amateur Reviewer
56 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“The questions isn't IF you should betray, but WHO you should...”

The basic concept of this game is that you are deploying units around the map trying to hold 3 specific cities (out of 5) to win the game solo. There are 6 different races and each one has different abilities that change how you will play the game. You can ally with up to 2 other people which makes it easier to win right? Wrong! If you ally with 1 person then you have to hold 4 of the main cities to win and if you have a 3 way alliance then you have to hold all 5 while everyone else is trying to take away everything you own. Also, if you win as a part of an alliance you can still lose the game as there are betrayal cards that your allies can play to claim the victory for themselves. DON’T TRUST ANYONE!!

Replay Value: There are so many different things that could end up happening in this game that I find the replay value to be huge. I couldn’t imagine a game going the same way twice for this same reason.

Components: Mostly Cardboard, but they are all thick and seem like they will last a long time. The box isn’t very well laid out and there are a LOT of pieces so I organized everything using baggies to help keep some order to it.

Ease of Learning: No, this game has a lot of rules. The instructions do a really good job laying out all of the rules, but it is still a lot to learn and our first game took 5 of us a little over 4 hours to play.

Overall Impression: I thoroughly enjoy this game and beg my group to bring it to the table whenever we get together. It is a HEAVY game though and some people don’t like it because of that. Or some people get their feelings hurt due to all of the backstabbing that can take place. I recommend this for a gaming group that meets on a regular basis that is looking for something on the heavy side. It is a game that creates stories and makes people not want to trust you when you play other games.

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I Own a Game!
55 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Finally, a decent game for backstabbers!”

I suppose there has been a lot of buzz about Rex, from both lovers and haters of the original Dune, and finally the game is here so everyone can see what’s it all about.

I can’t say I enjoyed the original Dune, but I played it only once, long ago, didn’t own the game, rules explanation was a bit *******, needless to say the circumstances easily conspired against it. Despite owning it only for a couple of weeks, I’ve already had 4 games of Rex under my belt and everybody in the gaming group is asking for more!

The game itself is pretty easy to learn, you get to play one of the pre-emminent races in the TI universe around the fall of the Lazax empire, and you are trying to grasp control of the key strongpoints of Mecatol Rex while those lovely Terrans are spending some thousand tons of ordinance in a pro-bono urban renewal project (i.e. the Dune sandworm equivalent).

Although it seems like a wargame, it’s really not, since most of the time the death toll is so extensive (whether through bombardment or conflict) that your graveyard is often much more populated than your reserves. The core concept is area control and resource management through a complex web of diplomacy and intrigue. Did I say intrigue? Oh yes!

I’ve been jonesing for a decent betrayal oriented game since the days Junta, Illuminati and Colonial Diplomacy where the favorites of our playgroup. It seems there are so many chummy-chummy eurogames out there now, that people have forgotten how to lie. Success in Rex depends mostly on your skill to forge, betray and break alliances in a timely fashion, while plotting the demise of your opponents. It’s not a game I would recommend to people that get easily upset or feel bad when their tokens are swiped off the board, but the rest of the world will probably it enjoy it to some level or other. On an even brighter note, the duration is at worst two hours (more often than not 1), so you can have multiple sessions in a gaming night and have revenge on those pesky traitors!

The race powers are not balanced, but since the core of the game is diplomacy they don’t have to be. You just have to make your perceived strengths or weaknesses part of your diplomatic arsenal.

The components are top notch FFG quality, the rulebook is a very decent read with clear examples. Overall, an all-star game!

Player Avatar
Rated 5 Games
55 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“The ongoing question: Does your knife go in your enemy or your ally? In the end, probably both.”

One of those brilliant but chaotic games where you and your rival are facing off, but win one battle too easily and the other 4 onlookers may just gang up on you. Instead, if you barely win the battle, they won’t even need to team-up to kill you, and you’ll likely see yourself annexed quickly. If you like games in this ‘Keep the Balance of Power’ vein, then you’ll enjoy Rex.

I tend to stay away from dice-rolling games, which is why the battles in Rex are perfect for me. Chaos has no place in them, and instead they are based on straightforward numbers and some bluffing between you and your opponent. But the game is far from entirely predictable as the Dreadnought fleet still seems to make the rounds impossibly fast, just in time to decimate that tile where all of your units are garrisoned. On our first time playing, the Fleet killed about the same number of men in total as we had.

I enjoy it because there is no player elimination, you can always just drop more men down onto the field, and your men will revive slowly over time if you are financially starved. However, we have found that if you have less than 5 players, there is a likely chance that two players can opportunely make an alliance that will monopolize all the wealth on the board, meaning that the game can be won with a kind of economic victory easily enough if one team suffers misfortune.

Therefore I recommend always playing with 5 or 6 players if possible. The game really comes into its own with this number, as 6 players makes it much harder to secure any section of the board for long. This also allows for every race to be played, which only heightens the excitement as they are all assymetrical, and thus play off of each situation in different ways.

An example of a situation that one will face in Rex:
You have just won a Pyrrhic victory, spending 7 of your 10 fighters in a space (the men you commit to a battle will all die, so you want to commit as little as possible to beat your opponent), to kill the enemies 6 attackers. Now you both need to jetpack a bunch of new fighters into the battle as reinforcements. But doing so gives the Hacan (The trading and supplying race) a virtual truck of cash to spend on beating you down. So when you both deploy these newly-landed fighters, to continue your battle, do you once again turn them on each other, or on the Hacan player, who continues to grow more prosperous as a result of your own battles.

Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys strategy games that feature politics and diplomacy, as long as your friends are the type to forgive and forget the disgusting acts of betrayal that you will surely commit against them.

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4 Beta 1.0 Tester
Gamer - Level 4
55 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Nice Fleet You Got There”

FFG done it again. What a remarkable implementation of a great game (Dune). They re-implemented it with style. The Artworks are undoubtedly awesome as usual, same like the components.
Just receive my copy last week, played it once and won the game in alliance at round 3. At first the races were kinda unbalance but after a game, it’s quite balance.
The miniature is eye catching, standing vigilantly in the middle of the board really caught anyone’s attention.
Great game, with powerful conflicts. Can’t wait to play it again.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
55 of 114 gamers found this helpful
“it's ok i guess”

using the old system of dune…. ok components ok art works…pick it up if u have extra money …. if not you didn’t miss anything special


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