Crusader Rex Cover

What is Crusader Rex?

Crusader Rex is a wargame of the 3rd Crusade. One player plays the Christian Franks, the other, the Muslim Saracens. The objective of the game is to control important Victory Cities such as Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, and Antioch.

The “Columbia Block System

Crusader Rex is a Columbia Block System game. The game information for each piece is facing the player, but not the opponent! This allows a “fog-of-war” aspect of play that allows an extra layer of subtlety to gameplay. It allows for feints, bluffs, and outright surprises! 

Also, it has a step reduction system built into place as well! As units take damage, they simply are rotated to show their new strength. It is an innovative design that has been a fan favorite of gamers in the know for years!

Watch a video about the Columbia Block System here!

A card-driven game!

Crusader Rex is also a card-driven game. You use cards to move or play an event. 7 victory point cities are depicted on the 17″x 33″ (43 x 84 cm) game board.

This keeps play slightly varied and not as predictable as other games can be. It keeps players relying more on instinct rather than knowing the results before the turn starts.

Crusader Rex Rules

Download the Rules!

Want to dive into a little light reading? Then download the rules! It is an easy read and only 8 pages long!


Learn the “Columbia Block System” right now!

What makes Crusader Rex also special is that it uses the “Columbia Block System“. It’s a system with the fog-of-war built into it that keep each opponent guessing! The combat system is simple and easy adapted for other genres with simple tweaks.

Go ahead and watch this short video that will get you up to speed in a matter of four minutes.

Afterward, be sure to download the rules to read the rest.

What do the Experts Say?

Dont take our word for it…

What others say about Crusader Rex

Crusader Rex is even better than its predecessor Hammer of the Scots. It retains many elements of the earlier Jerry Taylor game but small changes to the rules as well as a different map and force pool impart a noticeably different feel. Furthermore, the luck of the cards and the draw pool has less of an impact than in HoTS and player strategies are less constrained. Playing Crusader Rex again after a break of several months, having played a number of more complex wargames in the meantime, I am struck by how a block wargame with only 8 pages of rules can be so tactically rich and provide such a convincing narrative.

janos_hunyadi Comment on BoardGameGeek

This edition of Crusader Rex has honed an already good game into an excellent one. I own most of the Columbia games range and this comes to the table more than any other. It has the perfect mix of tough decisions and fun. Is much deeper that Columbia’s latest offering Julius Caesar and as a result is infinitely more rewarding. For those who have the original? The second edition is still worth the money. Better Maps, unit tweaks, card changes and streamlined rules. The second edition is head and shoulders above the original and most important of all the play balance is now spot on. Enjoy 🙂

padster comment from BoardGameGeek

Update 2021, still love this game. I can’t praise this game enough. 12 plays (Second Edition. Great replayability. No game has been similar to the others. Light on the rules, heavy on tough decisions and strategy. From my experience 3-5 hours depending on if either player is AP-prone. However, as play time is prolonged due to agonizing decisions, I view this as a positive aspect of the game. I can’t complain about game balance. A personal goal of mine is to conduct a succesful campaign to sieze Damascus, as the Latins. Negative: I had big trouble with the stickers, nearly ripped every sticker I tried to remove from the sticker sheet. Have not experienced this problem with any other CG-game so perhaps I just got the odd bad set. What a great, great game. Always willing to play. Have both editions. Only played second ED. AND this game raised such an interest in the period that I’ve read 10 books on the topic.

viktorforsbergcomment from BoardGameGeek

Great game! The only other Crusades game I can think of is “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” although I bet the rules are five or ten times longer. In my opinion, the thing that probably makes it better than “Hammer of the Scots” is that it seems that the game is always close near the end. The Franks have to be very defensive in the beginning while the Saracens have to be very aggressive. The Franks must protect one additional city at the start of the game with essentially weaker forces. In my first game, I thought I was going to win the battles I lost and lose the battles I won. I remember in that game my Saracens attacked Jerusalem with double the force and half my force was gone before I even got to roll the dice! I like the fact that Tripoli and the non-objective city of Tyre both have a special peninsula defensive property. The Saracens also generally have a better movement rate and typically attack earlier in the combat round. It seems that the game is often determined by when the Franks decide to use their knight’s charge ability. I’ve found that the knight’s charge can be rather ineffective with anything other than the B3s and Richard the Lionhearted who is a B4.

sikeospicomment from BoardGameGeek