Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dune Express: really digging it

(Get it? Digging? You know, sand? Desert? Bah, never mind ...)

I've been playing a lot of Dune Express lately, and my initial skepticism has been replaced with a healthy dose of respect. There's a lot of game there, man. And my biggest complaint — essentially, lack of movement — isn't nearly so important now that further plays have revealed more about the mechanics of the game (not to mention that the entire board only has six spaces; "movement" really isn't that necessary).

The game bills itself as a fast-playing version of the classic Dune boardgame from Avalon Hill, which is reasonably accurate. The only two major things that are missing are rules for leaders and storms, but both of those have been covered with fan-made variants. The basic game also doesn't include faction powers, but there's no shortage of variants for those, too.

I really heartily recommend Dune Express to fans of the original boardgame, those looking for a quick Dune-themed dicefest, fans of print-and-play games, or fans of the Dune series looking to play their first game with an Arrakis setting. And you can't beat the price; if you own a printer and some 6-sided dice, you're ready to go.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

BoardgameGeek: always good for laughs

So it looks as if BoardgameGeek's relentless quest to turn every single aspect of gaming into a piece of quantifiable data has reached another milestone. In addition to the ongoing controversial attempt to marginalize all games that aren't brown-cube-shuffling, penguin-moving, bishop-influencing Euros, the site now features rankings broken down by mechanics. Jesus wept.

So did you know that Cosmic Encounter is, apparently, the 13th-best theme-driven game ev-AR? Did you realize that CE was, in fact, "theme-driven"? Yeah, neither did I.

That place is a real head-shaker, I swear. So much data ... so little thought.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I have thoughts. Often, on games

And here's the proof:

So ... anyone desperately bored enough to see what I'm thinking about the world of gaming — definitely including my perpetual favorites, Cosmic Encounter and Dune — is invited to follow along. I'll even provide a convenient link!