Board Games 1979
Dune the Right Thing
Rare: a uniquely happy marriage of narrative and mechanics. I can't imagine what it would be like to play not knowing the Dune universe. Overly complex. Over a dozen plays in and we still get the rules wrong. Six players all but mandatory. But the design keeps giving (and giving in, to story). Here imbalance is virtue. Six factions that resist and enable each other in delightful ways. The Bene Gesserit may never win, but never-winning has never been so fun. Defeat here has the glow of defeat in narrative: somehow it's more interesting, more vital. Games need drama. The story of numbers adds up to nothing. Full disclosure: I hated math until I discovered it had imaginary numbers.