Deep Board Game Strategy in the World of Dune

I saw the original “Dune” movie in 1984; I didn’t know anything about “Dune” at the time, and to be honest, afterwards I didn’t really understand what I’d just seen. But it piqued my interest enough that I read the book and fell in love with Frank Herbert’s tale of grand conflict, interwoven plots and prophecies, and – of course! – massive sand worms.

Forty years later, with a new “Dune” film in theaters from Denis Villeneuve and Legendary Entertainment, tabletop strategy gamers around the world have given Dire Wolf’s board game, Dune: Imperium, a tremendous reception since its release, with numerous awards and recognitions. And now we’re expanding the conflict on Arrakis to a whole new world of gamers in a crossplay digital adaptation on Xbox.

Dune screensghoty

Dune: Imperium combines deck-building and worker placement to deliver a highly thematic board game experience, where leaders plot and scheme to maneuver their pieces into appropriate positions in a complex world of intrigue. Our game welcomes each player to portray a leader of a Great House of the Landsraad, fighting over control of Arrakis and the spice trade.

Each player is not only waging a land war for precious territory and resources, however. They must also court the key pillars of the Imperium – the Emperor, the Landsraad Council, the Spacing Guild, the Bene Gesserit, CHOAM, even the Fremen – all NPC factions offering strategic advantages to any House who earns their favor. In one game, you might play as Duke Leto Atreides and befriend the Fremen and make an alliance with the Spacing Guild. In another, you might be Baron Harkonnen, exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses with the Bene Gesserit’s secrets and schemes, while tying your destiny to the Emperor.

Dune screenhot

We take a “what if?” approach to gameplay, staying true to what each faction should feel like within the context of the game, but allowing players to divert from the specific political alliances and events in the book allowing a new, yet authentic, “Dune”narrative to emerge in every playthrough.

This “what if” approach goes even further. In the book, one of the reasons that Duke Leto becomes a target is that the Atreides family has attracted some of the best allies in the Imperium. Thufir Hawat is a celebrated Mentat, Gurney Halleck is an inspirational military leader, while Duncan Idaho is an unrivaled swordsmaster. In Dune: Imperium, all of these powerful figures who loyally served House Atreides in the books are now available to any House to recruit. What if the Beast Rabban rose to power with Duncan at his side? Or if House Richese aligned with Lady Jessica? You get the idea.

Dune screenshot

Finally, the story of “Dune” is not only about politics. Why would you be recruiting swordmasters and military geniuses if there weren’t wars to be waged? So, we obviously had to inject a healthy dose of military conflict into the game. Every round, there is a conflict that players can engage with, a skirmish or battle to be won. You’ll have to decide whether to use your cards to send your agents into battle or toward other endeavors. Keeping a watchful eye on your opponents is key; if a battle is heating up between two of your rivals, perhaps it’s better to sit it out and instead muster some troops for future conflicts. Much like the films, we’ve made a game where the fate of the Imperium is determined by the choices you make. What strings will you pull? Who will you trust or betray? How much will you claim, destroy, or sacrifice? With every card comes another choice and challenge that takes the story in a new direction, making each game an epic and memorable adventure.

Dune: Imperium launches today on Xbox!

Xbox Live

Dune: Imperium

Dire Wolf Digital


Experience the ultimate blend of strategy and intrigue as you navigate the treacherous landscapes of Arrakis in the award-winning board game Dune: Imperium!

* Battle online, locally with AI, or against the formidable House Hagal.
* Earn Achievements that showcase your prowess as a leader.
* Embark on more than a dozen Challenges that will test your wit and cunning.
* Compete for badges in the rotating Skirmish Mode where no two games are the same!

Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet. Raise your banner above the vast wasteland before you. As the Great Houses of the Landsraad marshal their forces and their spies, whom will you influence, and whom will you betray? A tyrannical Emperor. The secretive Bene Gesserit. The shrewd Spacing Guild. The ferocious Fremen of the Deep Desert. The power of the Imperium can be yours, but war is not the only way to claim it.

Dune: Imperium blends deck-building and worker placement in a deeply thematic new strategy game where the fate of the Empire hangs on your decisions. Will you seek political allies or rely upon military might? Economic strength or subtle intrigues? A council seat… or a sharpened blade? The cards are dealt. The choice is yours. The Imperium awaits.

In Dune: Imperium, you’ll step into the role of one of the leaders of the Great Houses of the Imperium in a struggle to control the planet Arrakis and the invaluable Spice it provides.

The game plays out in a series of ten rounds, each of which is defined by a new Conflict on the surface of the planet; some award critical resources, and some provide Victory Points that will propel you to dominance. But choose your battles wisely: spread your forces too thin, and you’ll find your enemies growing too strong to oppose.

Each round, you’ll draw a hand of five cards from your deck, which will get stronger over the course of the game as you acquire new cards. Each card can be played in one of two ways: To send an Agent out into the Imperium to gather resources, or to Reveal at the end of the round to purchase new powerful cards. You must maintain a careful balance to get the most of the resources available to you. How will you find your path?

As your game progresses, you’ll vie for Influence with four factions of the Imperium: The Emperor, the economically powerful Spacing Guild, the mysterious Bene Gesserit, and the ferocious Fremen of the deep deserts. Earning Influence among the various groups helps you to earn the Victory Points you need…but will you compete with your rivals for their favor, or abandon alliances to pursue other opportunities?

Many strategies are at your disposal, and many paths to victory. The cards are dealt. The choice is yours. The Imperium awaits.

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