Any thoughts on Dune:Conquest and Diplomacy?

It seems a very simplified version of the game with no Bidding and less players, but it also has got a lot of good reviews.

Particularly interested in the two player version as would like to know how the game works only as a two!

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Welcome to the site, @misomiso!

Unfortunately, I, myself, don’t have any insight as I’ve never played either game.

I like the idea of it, anyway. Having never played the original game, it sounds like something I would have fun with, but would probably be impossible for me to really get to the table. A slimmed down version which gives the same overall feel and similar gameplay might have a chance.

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Hello @misomiso and welcome to the forums.

I have Dune sitting on my shelf since slightly before the lockdowns—I had a group all lined up to give it a try and … now I need to reschedule that 2 years later.

I am afraid though Dune might end up a similar experience as my personal encounter with Cosmic Encounter which was not quite as brilliant as the internet had made me expect.

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I have the Gale Force 9 Dune on the shelf, as I managed to buy it just after lockdown and will need a group before I can get it to the table :slight_smile: I’d been waiting for the reprint for years, though.

A quicker, 2-player friendly version with no bidding actually sounds amazing! You can find youtube vids of people playing the original GF9 Dune (such as “MCDM Plays Dune”) and might be able to work out from that if the changes would be something you’d like. I haven’t seen any reviews of Dune C&D itself yet.

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So I seem to be in the minority here in that I have played Dune about… a dozen times? Four or five plays of the original (super ugly, cardboard chit) version, about six plays of Rex, and then another four or five plays of the new Dune version by GF9.

The idea of a slimmed down version definitely appeals. I love Dune, but it’s not well balanced… and, much like Cosmic Encounter (which I do not like, although I get why others love it) a lot of that has to do with the metagame more than the game.

Just in case: “Metagame” is the game that happens around the game. If I play with the same 4 players every time, and I know that Tory always plays Bene Gesserit and refuses to support the Harkonen player regardless of who is playing them then I can safely know that any support she offers to the Harks isn’t going to result in the Bene Jedi winning due to their special condition. It can also include stuff like “Dan bought pizza so everyone is being nice to Dan tonight”, or even “Gabe is Martin’s older brother and so if Gabe loses his last stronghold to Martin he’s going to physically flip the table and storm off.”

Yes, that happened. No, I don’t play games with Gabe any more.

Anyway. I’m not sure I would play a 2 player version of Dune as it stands because the game is poorly balanced at 4 players and impossibly badly balanced at 3. It’s all about checks and balances: the counter to the super powerful Atreides ability is either the fistful of traitors the Harkonen command or the Emperor’s Sardakaur troopers. If neither of those factions are in the game, the Atreides are going to run roughshod over everyone. But the counter to the Emperor is the Spacing Guild, who the Emperor has to pay to land his valuable troops… and the counter to the Guild is Atreides, who have their own sub-economy… etc… etc…

I love that element of the game, but if they can figure out a way to actually balance the armies… man, that would be a helluva thing.

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Ah so you have actually played Dune! Ok here are some questions! -

  1. becasue of the way you buy treachury cards, does an alliance with the Emperor mean you’ll almost always win!? The Emperor seems to have so much money!
  2. Did you play with advanced combat rules? The Fremen seem to be very weak without them.
  3. What did you think of ‘Rex’? Was it a better implementation of the game? What were the main things they streamlined?

Yes I definately agree that at two players the game would seem strange, but apparently in the new version it works! We shall have to see I guess.
Mny thks!

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Happy to help however I can! The biggest caveat I can give is that despite playing it about 10-15 times, I haven’t played it in the last two years. Yay pandemics.

Anyway! To your questions!

  1. The Emperor’s giant stacks of cash rely very heavily on the Space Guild (and vice versa) for useful applications of that cash. And the Atreides ability to barter their knowledge of the auction is also incredibly powerful, albeit more luck driven. The main economy of the game should always be driven by the spice on the board, and then how that spice is directed after it is hoovered up by whomever gets there drives the secondary economy of whichever factions are in play.
    In summary: No, an alliance with the Emperor doesn’t always result in victory. In fact, the Emperor is often one of the harder factions to win as, because they’re very blunt-instrument. Unless the Bene Gesserit are backing them, in which case… things get interesting…
  2. Gosh, that is a good question. I don’t think Rex has “advanced rules”, or if it does I don’t recall which I used, and the original Dune didn’t. I’m pretty sure yes, we play with most (although not all) of the advanced rules… the old Dune had this idiotic “Dueling Space” mini-game that my group loathed so we never used it. The Fremen have never seemed particularly weak to my group, but again, the meta is going to determine a lot of their power.
  3. I love Rex, but I understand why others don’t. It’s almost exactly the same game, but it’s harder to remember that the Xxcha are the “Jedi” of Rex, or that the Letnev are the Harkonen (thematically it doesn’t make sense, but the head of the Letnev government is a Baron, so…). They streamlined a few things… some of the fiddlier powers for the Emirates/Spacing Guild, I think, and the deck of Spice cards was tweaked slightly, but nothing that confused my playgroup. The components are way better, and I love the idea of an orbital bombardment fleet instead of a sandstorm. But otherwise it’s the same game… the map is a little harder to read until you get used to it, but it’s also not beige, so swings and roundabouts.

Oh, and I haven’t tried the 2 new factions for the New Dune yet, but I am excited to do so! The very idea of new armies/powers in a game I’ve owned for over 20 years… glee!

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