The 1965 Frank Herbert book Dune takes place on the planet Arrakis, a harsh desert planet. Arrakis happens to be the only place you can get Melange (The Spice), a very valuable substance that extends life and gives the person consuming it enhanced mental powers. There have been a couple of Dune related games that have popped up in the last year or so. Last year I picked up the reprint of Dune the board game from Gale Fore Nine and this week I sat down to Dune Imperium from Dire Wolf Digital. So lets dive into Dune Imperium...
Dune Imperium is a 1-4 player game, the box says it should take 2 hours. I think 2 hours is about right after you play through it one or two times to get the hang of the rules. We played on Tabletop Simulator and as it does it too Rick and I much longer for our first go at it. Dune is an interesting mix of worker placement and deck-building. You deck determines where you can place the Mentat, Swordmaster or the Agents (these are the worker bees for you in the game).
When you place your agents on the board you have to have play a card that matches the symbol for that place on the board. Sometimes you'll have to pay in addition to the card resources like water or spice. Then the space offers you some sort of action or resource in return. When we were playing I got my deck to allow me to pay 2 water to collect 3 spice (which I was able to double to 6 with the card I played) then I would take that spice and use it to collect 2 water and 5 military units. This happened several turns in a row and allowed me to collect the winnings from the battle(once per turn after everyone has played all their agents) often. Once we got a feel for it the turns went pretty fast.
"I would say its a decent AI system as far as they go in board games. "
One part of the game that we included (for 1 and 2 player games) is the AI cards to simulate another player. The AI was ok it was annoying enough that you had to deal with it occasionally in the game. The AI tied me one turn in the battle and I ended up losing out on a victory point. I would say its a decent AI system as far as they go in board games. Speaking of AI but not really the Tabletop Simulator module that Brickhouse posted is great there is a lot of scripting that helps set up and run the game and tons of shortcut buttons to reset the board after every turn. I highly recommend using it especially if its your first go at Dune Imerium.
Rick and I got pretty deep into the game but I had to cut out before the game finished because my daughter was having a rough night sleeping. I think we played through enough to enjoy the mechanics and get a great feel for the game. I will defiantly be wanting to play this with the full complement of 4 humans sometime soon. I think the game would likely be played best with all four players it would make competition for the resources much more difficult. This game should be on your shelf and hopefully on the table often. The mechanics are fairly simple and work well the game is beautiful and who doesn't like the Dune setting? Is it you, if it is get over it and get this game cause its a good one.
Stop waiting and start clicking and buy your copy here
Designed by: Paul Dennen
Published by: Dire Wolf
Year Published: 2020
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 120 minutes