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Why no 2-player?


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#1 KingTut

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 08:15 AM

 Hi all,

I've been looking at Dune content on Board Game Geek and it looks like a lot of fun, so I'm definitely considering buying Rex. Unfortunately, it says it's for 3-6 players, and I would really like to play it 2-player. Do you think it's because 2-player doesn't allow alliances, and FFG is trying to encourage alliances, or did the Dune mechanics not work very well with two players? I'd really like to try this, but I'm just not sure about it if it doesn't play well with two players.



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:33 PM

Having played the original Dune, I can say with some certainty that the game is just not as fun with fewer players.  Personally, I would be loathe to play it (or Rex, if it's as close a match as it sounds) with fewer than 6.  The lack of alliances is one thing, but so much of the actual game play hinges on the politics between players and it just isn't the same with fewer people at the table.

Having said that, there are variant rules for 2 and 3 that can be found on the Dune forums at BGG.  If Rex is as similar in structure as it sounds to be, I'm sure those rules would work just fine to let you play Rex 2-player as well.



#3 KingTut

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 06:54 AM

 Thanks! I'll read those and see how they sound.



#4 Sluggonics

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 04:25 PM

Alliance games tend to favor more players, because by nature, that provides more variability, and more interesting possibilities for betrayal.  While I'm a little disappointed FFG couldn't acquire the Dune license, the Twilight Imperium IP is actually pretty good, and I think a good choice for this type of game, rather than trying to shoehorn in some other licensed property.  This gives FFG a lot of flexibility for how they want to represent the "lore" of the game.



#5 SolennelBern

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:03 AM

Since I sold my copy of TI+SE I've been crying to find a game as comlpete and fun as this but for fewer players.  Having players too lazy to read rules before playing their first game is just frustrating, that one of the reasons I sold TI, I didn't wanted to teach the rules to 3+ other players...

I had hope for Rex but it looks like i'll have to pass on this one too.  I like reading rules and trying to decipher everything before playing for the first time, it's part of discovering a new game but i'm the only one in my group who thinks that way.

I'm a sad boardgamer :(



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 12:45 PM

SolennelBern said:

I had hope for Rex but it looks like i'll have to pass on this one too.  I like reading rules and trying to decipher everything before playing for the first time, it's part of discovering a new game but i'm the only one in my group who thinks that way.

I've never tried to read the rules to a friend's game in advance - I expect him to explain them if he wants to play it.  Likewise, I expect to need to explain the rules of my games to them.  Perhaps you just expect too much of your fellow gamers and need to loosen up a bit.  No one wants to play a game that comes with homework beforehand.



#7 SolennelBern

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:19 AM

Steve-O said:

SolennelBern said:

I had hope for Rex but it looks like i'll have to pass on this one too.  I like reading rules and trying to decipher everything before playing for the first time, it's part of discovering a new game but i'm the only one in my group who thinks that way.

I've never tried to read the rules to a friend's game in advance - I expect him to explain them if he wants to play it.  Likewise, I expect to need to explain the rules of my games to them.  Perhaps you just expect too much of your fellow gamers and need to loosen up a bit.  No one wants to play a game that comes with homework beforehand.

I know Steve-O and it's a good point but in a game like TI, i'd hope that those interested in the kind of "epic" games would at least be willing to read part or all the rules prior to the first game.

I never forced my friends to read the rules of my games before playing and TI was the only exception...



#8 corkysru

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:58 AM

Steve-O said:

SolennelBern said:

 

I had hope for Rex but it looks like i'll have to pass on this one too.  I like reading rules and trying to decipher everything before playing for the first time, it's part of discovering a new game but i'm the only one in my group who thinks that way.

 

 

I've never tried to read the rules to a friend's game in advance - I expect him to explain them if he wants to play it.  Likewise, I expect to need to explain the rules of my games to them.  Perhaps you just expect too much of your fellow gamers and need to loosen up a bit.  No one wants to play a game that comes with homework beforehand.

HAHA. I never even try to teach an epic game like TI to my friends without asking them to read player aids or how to videos or reading the rules. If its a simple game(20 pages or less) then its not a big deal.. but once you hit 30-40 pages in a rule book most times its just too much for one person to remember.



#9 Julia

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 04:15 AM

That's an interesting point. How to handle rules of new games. I usually tend to read the rules of new games I have to play with friends, but most of the time (since our company is rather small and we've been knowing each other for a while) a new game appears in a friend's collection, I've been said something like "hey, Julia, considering the fact you'll read the rules in any case, then read them and explain them to us" (even if the game isn't mine) ::facepalm::

I *do* really appreciate people reading rules before playing, but it's something not happening very often. So most of the times the first plays are destined to make people learn. All my comprehension and support to the above posters


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#10 Julia

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 04:16 AM

As for the game.. yeah, I'm very curious too, and I'd love to try it, but I'm kinda reluctant in getting it. Most of the times I play alone or with one person; I love TI, but often it stays on the shelf, and it's a pity, since it's a great game


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#11 Steve-O

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

Julia said:

As for the game.. yeah, I'm very curious too, and I'd love to try it, but I'm kinda reluctant in getting it. Most of the times I play alone or with one person; I love TI, but often it stays on the shelf, and it's a pity, since it's a great game

If Rex is anything like Dune, it's definitely a game best played with 6.  It's an amazing experience, but you really need a group to make it work.



#12 Julia

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:18 PM

Steve-O said:

If Rex is anything like Dune, it's definitely a game best played with 6.  It's an amazing experience, but you really need a group to make it work.

Yep, I got the point. Other games will have the priority then. Thank you Steve!


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#13 Tromdial

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:08 PM

corkysru said:

If its a simple game(20 pages or less) then its not a big deal.. but once you hit 30-40 pages in a rule book most times its just too much for one person to remember.

Though the pdf is 30 pages long, this is one of the only games I know where 20 pages is actual rules; the other 10 pages are in-depth story.

Also, this game, I assume (haven't read the pdf) is like my recent purchase of Android: there will be some cards and mechanics that demand the third person. If it's written on the box as such, it will probably be a given the game is intended for the said amount of players.



#14 Geistwandler

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:23 AM

But their are absolutely no restrictions for playing only with two players? Same game rules as for three players? I think it is possible with lesser players besides of being "funnier" with three and more.



#15 Steve-O

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:34 PM

Geistwandler said:

 

But their are absolutely no restrictions for playing only with two players? Same game rules as for three players? I think it is possible with lesser players besides of being "funnier" with three and more.

 

 

You could play it that way if you want, although it would boring as all get out.  In addition to having no use for alliances, a significant number of faction abilities become trivially predictable if there are only two players.  Odds are at least one of you would be stuck in a no-win scenario, or else fighting tooth and nail merely to avoid imminent defeat.

- My opponent is Jol-Nar.  He knows most, if not all, of the cards in my hand because he can peek at them before I buy them.  Remembering what I have can't be too hard when I'm the only other player.  Plus he can peek at one of the things I'm using in each battle.  It would be very difficult for me to surprise him in combat, which gives him a powerful advantage throughout the game.

- My opponent is Letnev.  He either has a mitt full of my traitors, in which case I won't be winning any strategically important battles this game, or he has a mitt full of his own traitors, in which case one of his most powerful faction abilities is neutered.  One of us will be hating this game from the word go based solely on the luck of the draw.

- My opponent is Lazax.  If I want to buy cards I have to give all my money to my only opponent, which means he gets spend all of the influence he can gather plus a healthy chunk of what I can gather to rebuild his losses from any battles we may fight.  He can also easily bid up the price on cards because he knows how desperate I'll be to have them, and with only one opponent to deal with, he needn't worry about blowing all his cash on accidental wins.

- My opponent is Hacan.  I can't control strongholds without landing troops, and I can't land troops without paying my opponent.  My opponent can focus on slaughtering my troops and make a profit on my efforts to stay in the game.  To make matters worse, he wins if time runs out, so he has no reason to go for strongholds himself.  (Unless I am Sol, in which case I'm laughing and Hacan struggles to stalemate the game without letting me meet my own special victory conditions.)

- My opponent is Sol.  He can land troops for free, he's immune to offensives and can predict the bombardment, so the only thing he fears losing troops to is me.  On the up side, his special victory is easy enough to block.  Of all the possible opponents I might face, this is the least depressing.  And, of course, if my opponent is Sol that means that HE is facing one of the other five scenarios described here, so even if I'm happy with this situation, my opponent likely isn't.

- My opponent is Xxcha.  Gee, I wonder which faction he'll predict for victory?  The only variable to consider is what round I might win on, and even then, predicting turn 8 and then doing everything in his power to delay me isn't a difficult strategy.  His ability to coexist limits my ability to strike back at him or make pre-emptive attacks.

---

I've said this before and I'll say it again:  the thing that makes this game such a gem is the interaction between players.  Wheeling, dealing, bluffing and flat out lying.  The mechanics are good, but they're nothing special.  This game truly is the more, the merrier.



#16 Geistwandler

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:34 PM

Very nice summary. 






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