Just got back from a long day of board gaming. Played a number of good games, including an excellent 5-player game of Eclipse + Rise of Ancients.
But the star of the day was a game I first purchased 38 years ago, and haven’t played for probably 36 or 37 years: old school, Avalon-Hill published-in-1979 Dune. Dune, folks, Dune.
It was echoes of my degenerate gamer friends and I 38 years ago playing D&D and Avalon Hill games in my basement-equivalent outdoor storage shed like those kids in Stranger Things.
As to the game itself, it’s a truly interesting design. A 1970s game published by Avalon Hill, with NO DICE. The only luck is some card draw but even the cards are largely skill based as you have to bid for the cards. Also, the game features some heavy asymmetrical factions, some brutal card combinations that can destroy a whole army (don’t play the Las-Gun with the Projectile Shield, don’t do it!), and a truly nasty “Traitor” mechanic with your leaders. It also features some elements that feel decades ahead of their time like a battle wheel ala Scythe, as well as playing cards during battle like Scythe or Blood Rage. At the same time that I admire the brilliance of the design, it’s also an anti-Euro design in many ways. The elbow throwing in the game can be savage and some of the mechanics can be incredibly abrupt and brutal. You can’t really call it elegant, but you can call it savage.
Bottom line: old school goodness. I loved it. 5 stars. (4 stars if you are not a child of the 70s or 80s.)