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17 Sep 2021 22:45 #326587 by ubarose
@jekix

You know what, I’ve only played Dune Imperium once with more than 2-players, and that was the first time I played, so honestly I don’t know if it feels more random and chaotic as as a multiplayer, or if It was that I was just unfamiliar with the game.

As a two player, once I was familiar with the cards and the player powers, it really clicked for me, and felt far more calculated and like there is a depth there want to explore. Being more choosy about what cards to buy and which conflicts to engage in. With only one opponent you can be much more aware of what kind of deck they are building, their strengths and weaknesses, anticipate their probable agent placements, what points they are going for, which conflicts they are in the position to win and which they are likely to ignore.

I think you are correct that it has that Accession feel in you need to decide what color deck you are going to build, but with the additional consideration of what plays to your character’s ability.

I’m not really good at it yet, but I am enjoying exploring different strategies and improving my game.
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17 Sep 2021 23:27 - 18 Sep 2021 17:01 #326591 by Jackwraith

Jexik wrote: I almost wrote a review of it called “One and Dune” after my first play, but decided I should give it a bit more time. It’s riffing on Ascension and Lords of Waterdeep, and is better and more interactive than either game… I just don’t like either of those games.


I sympathize with the frustration, as I can see how you could feel that way after a couple bad experiences. My games have been "good", but not quite "great." I can see how good it is and I'm continuing to play it because I can see that. There are some really, really cool things going on. But the greatness is just out of reach for me. At times, it's simply too mechanical. It also irks me that the game is over so quickly that you often can't make regular use of those really cool cards you bought. The other reason you can't do that is that there are so, so few ways to trash cards from your deck. One of the best things about Tyrants of the Underdark is how easy it is to clear crap out of your deck just by promoting it. No more Nobles and Soldiers when you're 15 turns in. You've promoted them and turned them into single VPs (VP totals, of course, scale much higher in Tyrants than in Dune.) That way, you can get a ton of use out of those demons and elementals and other cards that do much more interesting things than simply give you 1 point of Influence like Nobles do.

Dune: Imperium has that major problem because a) you're only going to 10 points; b) there's only one spot on the board and a few cards that let you dump that crap out of your deck; and, c) because of both of those factors, you'll often feel like your draw of a bunch of starter cards gets blown out of the water by an opponent who drew a hand of every cool card they've bought over the preceding five turns. Surprise. You lost not only because they simply drew a better hand, but you drew one that didn't let you do shit 15 turns into the game.

So, yeah. I get the frustration and disenchantment. There's a lot of cool shit happening in D:I and you can see how those wheels within wheels are turning in almost every game. The problem is the turn when you can't get them to turn for you because your deck is still full of starting hand trash. That's what's keeping it from getting to "great" from "good" for me, at the moment.
Last edit: 18 Sep 2021 17:01 by Jackwraith.
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18 Sep 2021 13:30 #326595 by ubarose

Jackwraith wrote: [..you'll often feel like your draw of a bunch of starter cards gets blown out of the water by an opponent who drew a hand of every cool card they've bought over the preceding five turns. Surprise. You lost not only because they simply drew a better hand, but you drew one that didn't let you do shit 15 turns into the game.


Yeah but your opponent is in exactly the same position regarding culling, so over the course of the game, you and your opponent are probably going to get a shitty hand the same number of times. And being able to save up resources turn to turn allows you to mitigate those shitty hand draws, especially late game when you tend to have acquired a pile of water, spice or money. So even if you pull all starter cards, you can pay to use the more powerful spaces.

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18 Sep 2021 17:03 #326596 by Jackwraith
Right. No one can dump cards unless they jump on the BG spot every round, which isn't always viable. That means that the shitty feeling that you get is shared by everyone else, which isn't ideal design, IMO. And it's true that you can save up for the cool spots, but I've found resource generation to not really be an issue in most of our games, such that if you really want those spots, you can get them pretty regularly, whether you drew a decent hand or not.

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18 Sep 2021 17:30 #326597 by southernman
I have to agree that just because everyone gets shitty hands does not make up for a shitty mechanic :whistle:
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18 Sep 2021 19:06 - 18 Sep 2021 19:08 #326598 by Jexik
I never really felt like I had a useless hand until the end when the scoring methods dried up. I had basically one way to score my final point and I was going third and then second and it was pretty easy to block me. By my understanding of how end game scoring would work, I made a bad call because an intrigue card stole the win.

But I recognize that “I lost; therefore game is flawed,” is a shitty take, so I didn’t end up doing a big write-up.

I think it’s great if you like Lords of Waterdeep and/or Ascension. If someone came to me and said, “I haven’t played a board game in fifteen years, what’s new?” I’d probably direct them to Dune Imperium.
Last edit: 18 Sep 2021 19:08 by Jexik.
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18 Sep 2021 19:45 #326599 by Gary Sax
We're starting to play Roll for the Galaxy again and it's just such a great game. I finally beat my spouse at this, I don't think I've beat her in the last year or two, though that isn't a ton of plays (maybe 8-10?).
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18 Sep 2021 19:47 #326600 by ubarose
In Dune Imperium you start with 10 cards. 1 of which is culled the first time you play it. Of the remaining 9, 4 are cards you probably never want to cull - your ring which allows you to use your power, the card that lets you play on any faction, and the two that give you 2 towards buying a card. (Even among the cards you purchase there aren't many with more than a 2 buy, and the 9 cost cards that give you a point are always available).

So this means you have 5 "meh" cards, 2 of which allow you to place on the cull cards action. In the event you draw all 5 "meh" cards, you take the "cull a card and draw two cards action", and are guaranteed to to pull at least one more powerful card, and for the rest of the game will never draw all 5 of those "meh" cards again. Do that twice, early in the game, and you are in a pretty good position to for the rest of the game.
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18 Sep 2021 19:53 #326602 by Gary Sax
Sounds like a game I would like, tbh. If I regularly played with more than 2 I'd almost certainly have it already.

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18 Sep 2021 20:53 #326603 by Msample
FWIW, previews of the expansion sound like trashing is going to be made easier.

One deck building mechanic TIME OF CRISIS ( GMT ) introduced was that you CHOOSE your cards every turn . This greatly decreases the early game hand of junk problem. You still discard them after you play, so you can’t spam the same cards all the time.
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18 Sep 2021 22:04 - 18 Sep 2021 22:06 #326604 by Ah_Pook
Tried out Massive Darkness today, and it was pretty fun and fine! It's very much like Zombicide with leveling up and loot and whatnot. I very much appreciate the one shot nature of it, and you put lots of minis in the board and roll lots of dice at them and get lots of loot. There definitely is some difficulty scaling issue, where things are hard at the beginning but the enemies don't seem to scale correctly with the heroes so by the end you're just massacring everything in front of you. That's not bad per se, but it feels kinda anticlimactic to get to the end of a dungeon and have a giant crazy spider show up and you just smash it no sweat in one or two attacks. Presumably you could amp up the difficulty in various ways if you wanted to, but I think it's still mostly fine? Just gotta know what you're getting into I guess (ie roll tons of dice, ascend to godhood, destroy). I'll tell you I would have been sad if I had spent $KICKSTARTER$ on it. It's a dead simple game with very limited tactical decisions and piles of loot to pick up and use to become wildly OP. So yea I dunno, not a glowing recommendation but it's pretty fun.
Last edit: 18 Sep 2021 22:06 by Ah_Pook.
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18 Sep 2021 22:40 #326605 by ubarose

Gary Sax wrote: Sounds like a game I would like, tbh. If I regularly played with more than 2 I'd almost certainly have it already.


It’s a really good two player game. As I said earlier, except for once, I’ve only played it with two.
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18 Sep 2021 23:20 #326606 by Jackwraith

Msample wrote: FWIW, previews of the expansion sound like trashing is going to be made easier.


And, by all means, I'm not trying to "trash" Dune: Imperium. I do like the game. I just think the hand-cluttering thing knocks it a step below a couple other deckbuilders. Like Tyrants.

Msample wrote: One deck building mechanic TIME OF CRISIS ( GMT ) introduced was that you CHOOSE your cards every turn . This greatly decreases the early game hand of junk problem. You still discard them after you play, so you can’t spam the same cards all the time.


Yes. I think that's a real upside of Time of Crisis, in addition to the fact that the pool of cards is effectively quite limited, so the crux point for a lot of new players will be in deciding which cards to take, which then passes in that game as they become accustomed to what works and what doesn't, and not "what cards are good" which will generally only be learned by playing the entire game repeatedly.

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18 Sep 2021 23:22 #326607 by Jackwraith
Incidentally, Gary, if you and your spouse like Eric Lang's designs, I think you'd really like Ankh at 2-player. It's a bit on the pricey side, but it's a great game that will have a lot of replayability for the two of you, even with just the five gods in the base set.
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20 Sep 2021 06:42 #326627 by Ah_Pook

Ah_Pook wrote: Tried out Massive Darkness today, and it was pretty fun and fine! It's very much like Zombicide with leveling up and loot and whatnot. I very much appreciate the one shot nature of it, and you put lots of minis in the board and roll lots of dice at them and get lots of loot. There definitely is some difficulty scaling issue, where things are hard at the beginning but the enemies don't seem to scale correctly with the heroes so by the end you're just massacring everything in front of you. That's not bad per se, but it feels kinda anticlimactic to get to the end of a dungeon and have a giant crazy spider show up and you just smash it no sweat in one or two attacks. Presumably you could amp up the difficulty in various ways if you wanted to, but I think it's still mostly fine? Just gotta know what you're getting into I guess (ie roll tons of dice, ascend to godhood, destroy). I'll tell you I would have been sad if I had spent $KICKSTARTER$ on it. It's a dead simple game with very limited tactical decisions and piles of loot to pick up and use to become wildly OP. So yea I dunno, not a glowing recommendation but it's pretty fun.


I was curious so I went and looked, and an all in pledge on MD1 was $400+shipping (probably another $70+)... Yea the appeal of these big Kickstarters is mystifying to me.

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