Episode 186: Dune: Imperium

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Expedition: Newdale, Etherfields and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Dune: Imperium; and

3) Look back at Taverns of Tiefenthal.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild.

Show Notes

00:00:50 – David Waybright Sells us Snake Oil


00:03:40 – Welcome guest David Waybright

00:05:30 – Winner of the Cull Collection Contest, data results from both Cull Contest and the Top 3 Games Frosthaven contest

00:11:30 – Patrick is Fearless Spider Monkey

00:17:44 – Rolling Dice and Taking Names gets Rolled out of D&D


00:28:27Expedition to NewdaleLookout Games; Designer: Alexander Pfister; Art: Klemens Franz

00:36:58Dice Throne AdventuresRoxley; Designer: Gavan Brown, Nate Chatellier, Manny Trembley; Art: Gavan Brown, Damien Mammoliti, Manny Trembley;

00:43:06 – A Word from Our Sponsor, Queen Games

00:44:03Blue SkiesRio Grande Games; Designer: Joe Huber; Art: Todd Sanders;

00:54:11EtherfieldsAwaken Realms; Designer: Michał Oracz; Art: Ewa Labak, Michał Sałata, Piotr Gacek;


01:15:57 – Awaken Realms, Gamefound and ISS Vanguard

01:20:29 – Root Expansion

01:24:44 – Marvel Unmatched by Restoration Games

01:24:44 – Marvel Unmatched by Restoration Games

01:26:56 – Groundhog Day: The Boardgame

01:31:55GeekOn Ultimate Boardgaming Backpack

01:37:11 – Meeple Design Board Game Posters

01:43:10Meeple Cufflinks

01:44:22 – And now, a word from Grand Gamer’s Guild

REVIEW: Dune: Imperium

01:45:58 – Rules Breakdown

Dune: Imperium is a 2 to 4 player worker-placement, deckbuilding game designed by Paul Dennen, with art by Clay Brooks and Nate Storm, and published in 2020 by  Dire Wolf.  In Dune: Imperium, players take on the roles of major figures from the Dune universe, gaining influence in various Houses, collecting and managing resources including the infamous Spice, and carrying out battles against their opponents.

Players will start the game with an initial, identical set of base cards for their decks, and a unique character.  Each character will provide a special benefit that could be a one-time use or an ongoing bonus, as well as a power that is triggered any time a particular card is played.

Starting with the first player, each player will then play one card to take an action.  Every action space on the board is associated with a particular faction or location indicated by a unique symbol.  To place a worker on this space, a player must play a card from their hand with a matching symbols.  Cards will have various combinations of these symbols – and often, no symbols at all.  When played to place a worker, many cards will give an additional benefit, such as gaining a resource, placing soldiers, or some other power.

When taking an action in one of the four House areas of the board, the player will also advance in influence in that house.  Advancing on the influence track for each house will grant bonuses and points, but more importantly the player highest on the track after a certain threshold received an Alignment token with that faction.  Possession of this token will give the player access to special powers on cards as well as a point.  Note, though, that this token might be passed around the table, with points being lost and gained appropriate, as players lose and gain position on these tracks.

After a player has taken all their available actions, indicated by placing all their available workers on the board, or earlier if they choose, they will then take a Reveal action.  Here, they will reveal all the remaining cards in their hand.  Revealing cards in this way may provide currency with which the player can buy new cards from the market into their deck.  It may also provide additional battle strength to be used in the upcoming Combat phase.  Some cards may give additional special benefits during the reveal phase as well.

When all players have Revealed, the round then moves to the Combat phase.  At the start of every round, a Conflict card is revealed, indicating the rewards that will be gained this round for placing first, second, or third in combat.  Many of the actions players will take over the course of the round will also involve placing soldiers on the board – either in the player’s Garrison, a reserve area where soldiers may be stored until future combats, or directly on the field.  Combat itself is a simple affair – during the Combat round, all players with soldiers on the field will add of their battle strength – 2 points for every soldier cube, and any additional points gained from the Reveal phase or other special cards or powers.  The player with the highest strength gains the top benefit, with other players gaining lesser benefits depending on where they place.

Then, the first player token is passed, a new conflict card is revealed, and a new round begins.  As in most standard deckbuilders, any time a player goes to draw a card from their deck and can’t, they shuffle their discard and draw from the new deck.

If, at the end of a round, a player has acquired 10 or more points, the player with the most points is declared the winner.
So, do the Pegs think that playing Dune: Imperium will make you feel like the Kwisatz Haderach, or is this game going to leave you feeling more like Baron Harkonnen’s royal pimple popper?  Find out when we return to the studio with the rest of the Pegs to review Dune: Imperium.

01:49:27 – Review

02:22:56 – Ratings


02:33:26Taverns of TiefenthalNorth Star Games; Designer: Wolfgang Warsch; Art: Dennis Lohausen;

Check out our original review for Taverns of Tiefenthal during Episode 161.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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