The first is a game they’re calling Rex, which is set in their Twilight Imperium universe (albeit 3,000 years in the past). It’s essentially a reworking of Avalon Hill’s game Dune (which was itself based on a Roman-themed game called Tribute), taking out the Frank Herbert IP and replacing it with that of Twilight Imperium. It sounds like the basics have been kept, however; specifically, the notion that each of the factions vying for control of the empire are asymmetrical in terms of their powers. That is, each has a unique power (or powers) that is not on the face of it a direct counter to anyone else’s power. That’s a bit misleading, however, as in actual play the six factions balance one another perfectly. Dune was one of our standard go-to games back in the day, and I’m glad it’s seeing the light of day again, even if it’s in another wrapping.
The second is a straight re-issue (with new components) of a terrific little game called Wiz-War. Originally published by Chessex, it’s a wonderfully light game of wandering through a dungeon (which is created with various tiles), scooping up magic items, fighting monsters as well as the other wizards, and trying to be the last man standing. It’s great fun, played with hundreds of cards to represent the various spells, creatures, and so forth. It’s pretty much a quintessential “beer and pretzels” game and another that I’m glad to see in print once more.
I make no bones about not being a particular fan of the “Euro-Games” that have come to dominate much of the board game hobby over the last few years. I personally find them a bit too abstract for my tastes, and the themes that are slapped on seem just that– completely superfluous to the mechanics of the game itself. I’m both impressed and personally pleased that a major player like FFG is bringing some of these great old games back, and I’m definitely going to be getting both of these. Seeing them with the usual astronomically great FFG graphics and components is going to be a pleasure.