Dune Imperium: A spicy battle of will and wit.
When I first heard about the game Dune Imperium, and saw that is was based on the new film coming out, I was intrigued, but definitely wanted to wait to see the film first, just in case there were spoilers. The film is absolutely fantastic and the reviews for the game led us to believe the game would be the same. They were 100% correct.
Theme: You are a member of one of the great houses of Landsraad vying for the most power on Dune.
Specs: 1-4 Players. The box suggests 60-120 minutes play time. I don't think we've ever had a game play out in less than 90 minutes, absolute minimum. We also have played the last several games with the expansion, Rise of Ix, which I do think can make the game a little longer.
Recommended for ages 14+. A 12 or 13 year old who likes challenging games could definitely play. Solid mid-level difficulty.
Mechanics: Variable player powers, worker placement, open drafting, take that/conflict, and deck building.
Designed by Paul Dennen
Art by Clay Brooks, Raul Ramos, and Nate Storm
Published by Dire Wolf
So, as previously stated, we waited until seeing the movie (which was AWESOME!) before diving into the game. You don't need to worry about it. While the art and actions do relate to the movie/book to an extent, there aren't any details that would spoil either for you.
The object of the game is to have the most victory points. In order for the game to end, one or more players has to reach 10 or more victory points OR the combat card deck needs to run out.
To start, each player is given a character. These can be chosen either at random or as you please, but no two players can be from the same house. Each character has a different special ability as well as an ability that can be activated when that player plays their signet ring card.
Each player also starts out with an identical starting deck, two agents (with a third set aside and possible to acquire during the game), a set of troops, resources based your character as well as one water, and if playing with Rise of Ix, dreadnoughts.
Players then go around in turn order playing cards, placing agents, and taking the corresponding action. Actions can get you water, spice or solari (currency), allow you to put troops in play, and increase your influence with different factions, among other things. When a player is out of actions they take what is called a reveal turn. This is when you have the opportunity to purchase more powerful cards than your base deck starts with. Once all players have taken a reveal turn all players with troops in play participate in combat and then the board is reset. The first player token is passed clockwise and the next round ensues.
Dune Imperium is a great game in its own rite. There are a lot of different action options in the game, it is well designed and a lot of fun to play. It also has one of my favorite features for when playing two player; a deck for a third auto player. I love games that have this feature. It prevents the game from getting routine when you regularly play the same person. And then there's the expansion, Rise of Ix, which only increases the level of strategry necessary, which I, personally, love. It also includes little wooden dreadnoughts that throw a curveball in combat. We also got the big box which houses all of the components PLUS came with wicked cool mini figures to replace the tokens for the factions, agents, and troops. Also, a slick first player token and a wicked cool set of organization boxes with an awesome design etched in the top. Again, these things are nice upgrades, but not necessary as the game and components hold their own just fine.
Have you read the book? Seen the movie? Or played the game? What are your thoughts on Dune?!