Deal the Cards, Win the War – The New Indian Express
Express news service
BENGALURU: The Expanse might be the new trend and Star Wars is still going through the buzz, but when it comes to sci-fi, Dune is still considered one of the biggest. With high hopes for the next film, people were nonetheless somewhat skeptical when a card game was announced, tentatively based on Arrakis de Villeneuve’s vision.
Well I finally got the chance to play it and here’s how it goes. In Dune: Imperium, 1 to 4 players embody various leaders and luminaries of the Dune universe.
Your goal is to have the most points at the end of the game, which is triggered once a player has 10 or more points at the end of the round. Two of my favorite board game mechanics are deck building and worker placement, and Imperium is a wonderful hybrid of the two. During most of your turns, you will deploy one of your agents on the board; however, you must play a card next to each deployment.
This card will give you certain benefits but, more importantly, each card also determines where the accompanying agent can be deployed. Already you have to think about a few levels here and that’s without taking into account where your opponents might want to go on their own. Of course, maybe they don’t have the cards to go there and everything is going in circles. Spicing things up is what happens when you run out of agents to deploy or choose to drop in early.
You then reveal the remaining cards in your hand, getting their “reveal” perks (which are different from the perks they offer when you play them – which makes that decision even trickier!), And then make your final decisions for the turn. , which have ramifications for the rest of the game. First of all, you can buy new cards that will go into your deck and give you additional powers and opportunities, and some of them become more and more powerful as you go. you make alliances with certain factions. Second, you will prepare for conflict. The conflict, as anyone who knows the source material knows, is an integral part of Dune’s story and continues all the way to Imperium.
Each turn, players will have to decide how much of their military force they wish to devote to the conflict that is brewing in the hopes of earning certain rewards at the end of the turn – resources, control of certain areas of the board, or even a valuable point. of victory. Remember you are only playing at ten points and if that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s because it really isn’t. However, what makes it more painful is that any troops engaged are lost once a conflict is resolved, whether you win or lose; so aggression at full speed may win once or twice, but you have to think about your opponents if you want to win the war.
A word about the artwork – many licensed games at least suffer somewhat from having to use stills from movies / TV shows as card art or the like, like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle or Firefly: The Game . Immersion suffers a bit when you primarily look at photographs of famous actors, which is why future games of this ilk have to take a look at how Dune: Imperium did it. The characters are recognizable, and yet the stylized treatment only elevates it a notch; that should really be the benchmark for the future.
When released in December of last year, Dune: Imperium was met with near universal reception. When the hype around a game is so strong, people almost always react with extreme excitement or extreme suspicion – luckily there’s a lot of fire here under all the smoke because it’s a truly phenomenal game. We’re not even halfway through 2021 yet, but I really don’t think I’ll be playing a better game this year than Dune: Imperium.
(Arjun is a gamer, book lover, and Renaissance man on every level)