Dune Is The Mind-Killer

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03 Sep 2019 08:20 #301335 by Matt Thrower
Anticipation was such that it was almost inevitable that the...

The hunt is always better than the kill. And the hunt for a sensibly priced copy of Avalon Hill's Dune was about the longest of my collecting career. The quarry I tracked down proved to have a very battered box but pristine contents. To these I added a set of the redrafted rules and then five other friends, ready to fight for the Spice on Arrakis.

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03 Sep 2019 10:25 #301336 by engineer Al
Replied by engineer Al on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
Great read. Thanks, Matt!

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03 Sep 2019 15:16 - 03 Sep 2019 15:38 #301338 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
Dune is one of those games where I have to remind myself (often out loud) that I'm not playing for money. Not knowing if your chosen leader is a traitor is pretty unnerving, especially if you're making a bold move. You really want control, but it ain't available for purchase!

And yeah, I've explained to my buddies that reading the book really enhances the game for the reason you mentioned above. The factions are really well painted in the book, so it adds a level of emotion to the game that you don't get with others. "You can't let the Harkonen win" has probably been said 10,000 times since this game came out.

I'm rereading it for the first time since '85 because I'm pretty sure someone in my group will buy one of the fresh new copies of the game.
Last edit: 03 Sep 2019 15:38 by Sagrilarus.

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03 Sep 2019 15:36 #301339 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
I really enjoyed seeing two articles on Dune pop up close together. The multiple perspectives is interesting and your writing is always a pleasure to read Matt (as is Nate's).

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03 Sep 2019 15:55 #301341 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
TWBG Dune week continues!
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03 Sep 2019 17:05 #301344 by Greg Aleknevicus
Very nice article, thanks! I agree with almost everything you said but came to the opposite conclusion -- I love the game. There are many reasons for this, but amongst them is that Dune has the courage to let you fail spectacularly and is unafraid to punish you for doing so.
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03 Sep 2019 18:39 #301348 by san il defanso
The game is extremely unforgiving in the way Matt says. I think that's just fine, but its appeal is more limited than a lot of the fans realize. Most games with no luck also have very low ambiguity. Dune is not like that. It has no luck, but its ambiguity is through the roof.
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04 Sep 2019 05:59 #301361 by Erik Twice
Replied by Erik Twice on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
One of the things I always stress when teaching the game is that big fights with 10 troops on each side are suicidal and will make you lose the game. I specially point out to Harkonnen or Atreides attacking each other on the very first turns as an example of what not to do. After all 10 troops is half of your troops. You wouldn't bid half your money in an auction game, better not to do it here.

If one keeps that in mind, the game is punishing but it's hard to be out of contention.

Matt has mentioned Fremen, which actually subverts this somewhat. Their troops are free, unlike those of other factions, and they regenerate 3 of them for free each turn so losing 10 of them on the first couple turns is fine.
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04 Sep 2019 11:16 #301365 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
Yeah, the last two or three times I've played I've ended up being the Fremen (by random draw . . . it's getting stale) and the one thing I can say is that those troops just keep on marching in from that one side of the board, and I don't have to pay anyone anything for them. A nice feature of that particular faction.

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04 Sep 2019 16:53 #301382 by Erik Twice
Replied by Erik Twice on topic Dune Is The Mind-Killer
A note: The new edition has also changed Fremen's and Emperor's alliance powers in a way that makes the game more forgiving in these situations:

Fremen now awards his ally 3 free revivals.

Emperor can now pay to make his ally revive 3 extra troops.

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04 Sep 2019 19:51 #301385 by Greg Aleknevicus

san il defanso wrote: It has no luck...

It has less luck than you might think for a game of this nature, but it does have its share: the traitor draw, the auction cards, and the spice cards* .

Noteworthy is the fact that all three are what I refer to as "German-style" luck: they randomize the situation rather than the outcome (i.e., "American-style" luck).

(* and the storm movement in some versions.)
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04 Sep 2019 23:41 #301386 by san il defanso
Greg, you make an excellent point. Elsewhere in these forums, Sag has pointed out the difference in luck that comes before a decision is made, and luck that comes after. It seems like your distinction between German and American luck is similar.

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