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Board Games 9268
THE INFLUENCE MUST D'OH!
Rating 
 
3.0
tl;dr — A solid 4 stars in the world where Dune never existed; a weak 3 in the timeline where it does.

Thoughts after first play:

Rex, AKA "Wrecks"

Really, very nifty. The wildly asymmetrical player powers make for interesting combinations during alliances, the whole thing being a variable machine the players can construct as they go—a machine that spends most of the time shuddering sideways while gloriously out of whack; much of the experience is spent desperately trying to get everything back in balance, only to have it veer madly into crazyland again. But that's what makes it memorable—it's rife with delicious quintuplethink and opportunities for clever play.

The shoehorned Twilight Imperium IP, which is, according to FFG's marketing, "rich, vibrant, and evocatively adjectival", is okay, I guess, though it does end up making it feel more like David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of Dune—a familiar thing bent in weird ways. It's definitely in the "milk the cat" category.

After 3 plays: So far this is a "birthday game" where I can only manage to get it played once a year by forcing everyone to do so on my birthday. This is unfortunate as it's clear this relatively straightforward experience requires constant contact in order to mature into what it's supposed to be. You're playing learning games until all six players are intimately familiar with the various powers, which means it's not the Real Deal until that seventh game. If we're only playing it once a year it's going to be a very long time before that happens—and even then, blowing the dust off it annually leads to victories that hinge on the losers' ignorance of the rules, which aren't really victories after all.

THE END: Splurged for a PnP copy of Ilya's Dune, making this superfluous.

STRIPPED FOR PARTS & RECYCLED
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