Gale Force Nine confirmed that Dune: The Movie Board Game is expected to hit shelves in the first half of September, several days before the movie’s international premiere on September 15. First announced at the 2020 AwSHUX digital convention, this movie tie-in board game—featuring characters and assets from Villeneuve’s Dune—is designed for two to four players, with games running for around one hour.
This “Movie Dune” release is actually the second Dune board game to be published by Gale Force Nine, with the first being the 2019 reissue of the classic Dune: The Boardgame. The latter is best experienced with a group of five or six players, with captivating sessions sometimes filling up a whole afternoon.
At AwSHUX Spring (April 23–25, 2021) the creative team explained that, with the movie edition, they’ve built a more accessible Dune board game—one that’s easier to learn, while retaining the spirit of the original. “It has all the great strategy, tactics, and game mechanisms that people who play [the classic Dune board game] know and love, but maybe not quite as complex,” said Jack Reda.
The new board game features the four key factions of the Dune movie. With groups of three or four, players take the lead of one faction—each having its own distinct advantages and starting resources. In two-player mode, House Atreides teams up with the Fremen natives to go head-to-head against the combined forces of the Imperium and House Harkonnen.
Gameplay centers around the map of Arrakis, with factions fighting for control of territory and engaging in spice mining operations. Players leverage battle and market cards during their interactions. These add another dimension to the game’s strategy and an element of unpredictability, make each session feel different.
Games are predetermined to end after five rounds, with players having two separate routes to victory. The winner is decided either through conquest of strongholds (three needed for the win) or by ending the game with the most spice their possesion (economic victory).
The team shared a taste of feedback from early play testers, providing a sense of the type of experience that we can expect:
I love that in “Movie Dune” every player is in the action every turn. And there are only five turns, so you have no choice but to be aggressive. So it is very action-packed.
I love how quick and simple the game is, while still [involving] complex strategies and great moments.
While the board game was initially planned for release last year, with the Dune movie’s delay to 2021, the team has taken advantage of additional time for tweaking and, based on the reactions, believe this has improved the final product.
Watch the full stream below (1 hour, starting from 5:02:22). The creators—Bill Eberle, Greg Olotka, Peter Olotka, and Jack Reda—get into the game’s background and gameplay mechanics in more detail. Q&A includes whether there would be expansions to accompany an eventual sequel to 2021’s movie.
Update (April 27): Gale Force Nine provided corrected information. The actual release date for Dune: The Movie Board Game will be in September (before the movie releases) and not October, as previously stated during the April 24 live stream. This article has been revised to reflect this.