Dune - Wheels Within Wheels

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02 Sep 2019 01:21 #301324 by san il defanso
Designed by the same team that changed gaming forever with...

Unlike a lot of other pillars of nerd culture, Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune is still waiting for its perfect adaptation. The 1984 David Lynch film is kind of a slog with amazing art direction, and the Sci-Fi channel miniseries reduced the scope of the novel lower than it could really bear. But if we expand the search to include other media, Dune has received two of the most important games of the last forty years. Westwood Studios’ Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty essentially codified real-time strategy games in the video game world. But Dune’s greatest adaptation might just be the classic board game, published by Avalon Hill in 1979.

 

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02 Sep 2019 14:34 #301325 by Jackwraith
Nice work, Nate. I have always agreed with people that it's a great design. I have also agreed with those that suggest that it's a great game if you have the right group to play it with. I have an old AH copy that I've played many games with before, but it's seriously showing its age, so I picked up one of the GF9 versions. I'm bringing it to my SF book club, whom I encouraged to read Dune (only one other person aside from me had read it before) last month, with the idea that, having been exposed to the setting, they might be interested in a game. A successful session of Dune with five newbs? Not likely. But maybe it will plant the seed (with beer! Will it grow on Arrakis?) for future attempts.
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02 Sep 2019 14:51 #301326 by Shellhead
Dune is the archetypal DOAM with variable player powers. Quite a few modern games owe a debt to Dune. All of these games, including Dune tend to require some repeat play to really explore the game, at least until players become sufficiently familiar with the various factions to really engage with the game.
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02 Sep 2019 15:29 #301327 by Gary Sax
Great article.

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03 Sep 2019 08:28 #301328 by charlest
Great job, Nate.
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03 Sep 2019 16:30 #301342 by Malloc
Replied by Malloc on topic Dune - Wheels Within Wheels
Dune is getting so much hype with the long awaited reprint.

My prediction, no one will care in a year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and think it is great. I own the AH version and still shelled out big bucks for a PnP version.

Thing is, I love this game for what it is, a dirty down in the weeds f’ everyone else game. Its full of hidden i formation, if you’ve ever lost to the Bene Gesserit due to the prediction, you know how frustratingly fun it can be.

But most of the modern gamers i know, suckled at the teat of friendly co-op games, weened on the snoozefests that are multi-player solo engine builders, well they don’t like being kicked in the jimmies by a traitorous leader. They are uncomfortable with hidden information and they hate it when they can figure out the paper puzzle placed in front of them.

My guess is that those who play Dune regularly now will be the same group still playing in 24 months.

-M
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03 Sep 2019 16:43 #301343 by Sagrilarus

Malloc wrote: My guess is that those who play Dune regularly now will be the same group still playing in 24 months.
-M


I suspect the same, though it will certainly find its way to new people that are predisposed to like it.

I'll be curious to see reviews come out. I think many will be positive, but there's bound to be some whiskey-tango-foxtrot in there as well, largely due to the game's play time, it's chaos and opacity, and even things like "setup time" which seems to be remarkably important to some people.

Granted, I think most will defer appropriately to its legendary status. But I think a fair chunk of "ymmv" will be in the mix.

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03 Sep 2019 22:07 #301352 by Jackwraith

Sagrilarus wrote: Granted, I think most will defer appropriately to its legendary status. But I think a fair chunk of "ymmv" will be in the mix.


SUSD did one for the new edition which basically added up to that. "if you can handle a game anywhere from two hours to six, where it's possible to be a player who made an early mistake and is sitting on the sidelines for much of those six hours, GREAT! This is for you. If not, then probably not." They did point out that the "advanced" rules do carry a lot of the thematic elements from the story (BG advisors, Kwizatz Haderach, etc.) but they also bring in stuff like half values for troops without spice (ugh) and if you're already trying to teach the game to new people...

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03 Sep 2019 22:56 #301353 by hotseatgames
I'm planning a game for Saturday. It had better not go to 6 hours.
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04 Sep 2019 01:19 #301359 by san il defanso

Malloc wrote: Dune is getting so much hype with the long awaited reprint.

My prediction, no one will care in a year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and think it is great. I own the AH version and still shelled out big bucks for a PnP version.

Thing is, I love this game for what it is, a dirty down in the weeds f’ everyone else game. Its full of hidden i formation, if you’ve ever lost to the Bene Gesserit due to the prediction, you know how frustratingly fun it can be.

But most of the modern gamers i know, suckled at the teat of friendly co-op games, weened on the snoozefests that are multi-player solo engine builders, well they don’t like being kicked in the jimmies by a traitorous leader. They are uncomfortable with hidden information and they hate it when they can figure out the paper puzzle placed in front of them.

My guess is that those who play Dune regularly now will be the same group still playing in 24 months.

-M


In broad strokes I think you're right. The conversation moves very fast these days, and even really good games get left behind after a year or so. I do think that Dune is a unique enough game that it will find at least some new people. I already know several people for whom the game didn't live up to its reputation, so I suspect there will be more of that. But I've not yet played anything else that really comes close to the same experience. That's why I push against the idea that this is a traditional dudes-on-a-map design. The combat is so punishing that I think it ends up being a game that takes place outside of combat far more.

I actually think that Dune is one of the few games that actually seems to understand the huge resource cost of warfare. It's one of those things that happens sometimes, but I observe that experienced players tend to avoid it if possible. It's just so costly.

For whatever it's worth, I think GF9 has done some things right. It looks like they are trying to make a product that will be as approachable as it can be, from quick start guides to price. Let's also keep in mind that for a while it looked like this game would never get a reprint. I think it's alright to get excited, even if a lot of people don't really get it.
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04 Sep 2019 05:53 - 04 Sep 2019 06:51 #301360 by Erik Twice
Duplicate
Last edit: 04 Sep 2019 06:51 by Erik Twice.

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04 Sep 2019 08:19 #301362 by Malloc
Replied by Malloc on topic Dune - Wheels Within Wheels
Combat in Dune is something that needs to be planned out carefully. It is not a DoaM game at all. You will remove yourself from contention if you fight a stupid battle. You should be negotiating spice etc, not just fighting over it.

For what its worth I am happy with the reprint. It looks great (not as good as my pnp version but better than my AH one) and it will get more people to play and possibly like the game (I just feel this will not be your average gamer).

I will continue to use the rules we have been using for years regardless of what GF9 puts in their version. (We use the wbc rules/house rules).

Also all the original expansions for this game suck so I hope they don’t mix those rules in.
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05 Sep 2019 10:47 #301404 by JoelCFC25
It's just the base game, none of the old Duel/Spice Harvest expansion stuff was included.

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05 Sep 2019 15:42 #301448 by drewcula

JoelCFC25 wrote: It's just the base game, none of the old Duel/Spice Harvest expansion stuff was included.


Nor will they. GF9 does not own the rights to the expansions. That could change of course, but the rep I was speaking with said there was no interest.

And that's fine.

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