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Subject: A MASTERPIECE rss

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Mark Stevenson

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This won't be your typical review, in fact, I wouldn't even call it a review, but a message to those who haven't bought or played the game yet.

DUNE is probably THE best SCIFI board game ever made. The only game that comes close to it in my opinion is Twilight Imperium!

DUNE's rating? 10/10 and you can read several other reviews to find the reason why. I won't get into the details because so many have done so already, but it truly is a one of a kind game.

My friend brought this game to my attention a year ago. He never played, but heard good things, so being a DUNE fan I decided to take the plunge and purchase a copy on eBay. My first DUNE party was a success, the other 5 players who took part all loved the game and have been back to play it many times over. It seems to be the go-to-game now with my group. I'd also like to note that others have played it and all have loved it, but unfortunately there's only room for 6 at the table

Why do people love the game so much?

two words: THEME & TREACHERY!

The game is packed with both, to the point where you get giddy when playing. You can't trust anyone, and why should you? It's DUNE, where allies are merely used to get what you want and then stab them in the back on the last round, or hold onto them, hoping they don't turn on you!

Also, the cards and NO DICE rolling really make the game come to life. At no point is anyone really in control of the board, because in one swift move and with the right card, you can crumble an empire. Having no dice is also a perfect mechanic. No more lucky dice rolls in battle, just pure strategy to overtake your opponent.

The bidding rounds for cards, Traitor Cards, making and breaking Allies, the movement of the Storm, the Worm Nexus, blowing down the Shield Wall, choosing when to sacrifice troops in battle for Spice, each Houses special Abilities (and man they are great), the list can go on.

So. If you haven't played the game, I implore you to do so! You won't regret it!


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Brad Johnson
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Your passion for the game shows, and I completely agree!

I've always said that the genius of Dune is the combat system. The various factors that enter into making a winning battle plan are perfectly combined to make each battle a super-tense sub-game with a strong puzzle-solving feel and minimal luck. Most of the rest of the design of Dune is not actually particularly noteworthy, but the combat system is so innovative and inspired that it alone is enough to make Dune a legendary game.

It's a shame that this mechanic has never been elaborated and adapted to other games.
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George Ramos
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Keep in mind that FFG's recent game "Rex" tried to re-make Dune but didn't completely succeed. This was because (in my opinion) Rex changed the theme, and changed the board. So the brilliance of the original Dune was in the combat mechanics, but also in the game's physical design.
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Ian Allen
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Not only did Rex change the theme and mess up the board, but the disrupted a lot of basic elements that were well balanced before.

They added in a lot of extra money as well as a lot of extra movement.

The first 3 times I played it - 2 out of 3 of those times we had a 1st turn win, which is not very exciting when expecting a full game and would never happen in the original.

Rex was a mess - DUNE is a timeless masterpiece for exactly the reasons the OP stated!
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Chris Turner
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And Rex has space kitties.
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Ian Allen
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Judging from the fact that you don't appear to own a copy, have listed Dune as a game you have played, or have rated it - like you did with Rex, as well as the fact that you said that you thought the "battle dials were innovative" on Rex ...

I would conclude that you have never played Dune.

If I had never played Dune, I would think Rex was pretty fun too, but trust me, there is an ambiance, beauty, and a flow to the original that is truly unique despite any half-baked clones that try to "improve" upon it.

The remake of Dungeonquest is another example of where FFG got it wrong. They also messed up Wiz-War, but thankfully they left all the old rules in as options, so people could do away with the changes.






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Kolby Reddish
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glookose wrote:
Judging from the fact that you don't appear to own a copy, have listed Dune as a game you have played, or have rated it - like you did with Rex, as well as the fact that you said that you thought the "battle dials were innovative" on Rex ...

I would conclude that you have never played Dune.

If I had never played Dune, I would think Rex was pretty fun too, but trust me, there is an ambiance, beauty, and a flow to the original that is truly unique despite any half-baked clones that try to "improve" upon it.

The remake of Dungeonquest is another example of where FFG got it wrong. They also messed up Wiz-War, but thankfully they left all the old rules in as options, so people could do away with the changes.

:)






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Klaude Thomas
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Horrid Beast wrote:
I love Rex for the very reasons you dislike it

glookose wrote:
Not only did Rex change the theme and mess up the board, but the disrupted a lot of basic elements that were well balanced before.

They added in a lot of extra money as well as a lot of extra movement.

The first 3 times I played it - 2 out of 3 of those times we had a 1st turn win, which is not very exciting when expecting a full game and would never happen in the original.

Rex was a mess - DUNE is a timeless masterpiece for exactly the reasons the OP stated!

Well, they changed the wheels-within-wheels mechanic so that the specific attack or defence is chosen after revealing, which is quite impactful IMO. And they added unnecessary battle cards that dilute the tension.

FFG also diluted the value of tempo and board position by making restocking of materiel more forgiving and base movement faster. My thoughts on the board I have given elsewhere.
 
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Abdiel Xordium
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vonklaude wrote:
Well, they changed the wheels-within-wheels mechanic so that the specific attack or defence is chosen after revealing, which is quite impactful IMO.

Really? That's outrageous! Dune, in my opinion, is just a mediocre game (Cosmic Encounter is better than its re-themed counterpart) but the combat resolution mechanism is the best combat resolution mechanism in all of board gaming.

That's like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
 
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Klaude Thomas
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abdiel wrote:
vonklaude wrote:
Well, they changed the wheels-within-wheels mechanic so that the specific attack or defence is chosen after revealing, which is quite impactful IMO.

Really? That's outrageous! Dune, in my opinion, is just a mediocre game (Cosmic Encounter is better than its re-themed counterpart) but the combat resolution mechanism is the best combat resolution mechanism in all of board gaming.

That's like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

I saw that artwork in Japan at the Ohara Art Museum. There is a companion piece 'the lady, shaved' which removes it. The change to wheels-within-wheels lacks such neat irony.



I did write that Dune is the better game. But came back and edited. IMO Dune is the better game in the way it brings together all the elements into a beautifully coherent whole. But CE is the more seminal I think, in the way it freely deconstructs and reassigns game mechanics. The both point in the same direction, but CE more overtly: making it more significant in its influence.
 
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Sean Shaw
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Ironically, I like Rex more than Dune. Dune is still good, but Rex seems quicker, which is probably the only real point I have to like Rex more.
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Ian Allen
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if quickness is your top priority in a game, then Rex should do it for you

you can have a turn one win and get a game of Rex over in 20 minutes if conditions are right ...

why spend 20 minutes cooking a t-bone on the grill when you can heat a hot dog up in 30 seconds?
 
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Klaude Thomas
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glookose wrote:
if quickness is your top priority in a game, then Rex should do it for you

you can have a turn one win and get a game of Rex over in 20 minutes if conditions are right ...

why spend 20 minutes cooking a t-bone on the grill when you can heat a hot dog up in 30 seconds?

That's a fair point, but to concede the other side it's true that many are the times we have rued agreeing to a second game of Dune after a quick first game, and gone 6 hours into the night...
 
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Ian Allen
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Dune can, on occasion, run to a 6 hour game. The fix, howerver, is as easy as saying - lets play to 8 or 10 turns max instead of 15.

I think the last game I played 3 weeks ago, the group agreed to play to 10 turns and it was over in 2.5 hours with a turn 7 alliance win.

I was the Bene Gesserit player and I was trying to steer it to a solo win on round 8, but I couldn't pass up the sure thing to join in on the winning alliance on round 7.

Absolutely the only positive thing I can say about Rex after having played it 3 or 4 times is that it can end quickly, so I am not disagreeing with that guy, just saying that is not something that outweighs fun, beauty, elegance of design, interaction, balance, and smoothness of gameplay for me - especially when adjusting game length is super easy.

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Mark Stevenson

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For the most part, our games run about 5 hours. Our longest was a 7 hour game, but that's because it was our first time and we all were learning the rules. We now can squeeze in a Spice Harvest and still manage to finish a game under 6 hours.

For the most part it really comes down to who is controlling what House. Some people who control Harkonnen may not be as aggressive as another player. Or someone might be a battle oriented Emperor, but I prefer to hoard as much spice as I can and dictate battles by buying the right allies.

I wouldn't want this game to take 30 minutes or just over an hour to play. I enjoy the games that take several hours or day to play (TI3) because in that time, you see empires expand and crumble. Usually with quick games, its the person who gets the strongest, the fastest that ends up winning 90% of the time. Don't get me wrong, those types of games are also incredibly fun. It's all a matter of taste. And right now my palate prefers something Spicy haha
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Ian Allen
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Well said .... I agree.
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Matt Musselman
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marksmen006 wrote:
Also, the cards and NO DICE rolling really make the game come to life.


It's amusing. I finally found a used copy of the game on eBay at a not exorbitant price, and it included two (mismatched) dice. I have no idea why they were in there, but wondered if the seller was simply a used toy dealer / garage seller rather than a gamer, was auditing to make sure the game was complete, and thought, "Dice! There are no dice! They must be missing! I'd better throw some in!!!"
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Brad Johnson
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mussels wrote:
marksmen006 wrote:
Also, the cards and NO DICE rolling really make the game come to life.


It's amusing. I finally found a used copy of the game on eBay at a not exorbitant price, and it included two (mismatched) dice. I have no idea why they were in there, but wondered if the seller was simply a used toy dealer / garage seller rather than a gamer, was auditing to make sure the game was complete, and thought, "Dice! There are no dice! They must be missing! I'd better throw some in!!!"


We used to use a d6 for the Fremen to randomize the storm movement each turn (rather than drawing a counter.)
 
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Kolby Reddish
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I guess the groups I've played with have always played quickly, we took 4 hours on the first game and are at about 2.5 now.
 
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