The wonderful digital version of the wonderful Dune Imperium will receive its first expansion in July


Dune Imperium is a fantastic strategy game about becoming the biggest spiced boy on a sandy planet that I believe is called Dune. I love this book even though I’ve never read the Dune books or watched the Dune movies because the digital version taught me everything I needed to know about Barry Harkonnen, Oscar Isaac, the statuesque guy from Guardians of the Galaxy, and their insatiable pursuit of space nutmeg.

Now the first expansion for the board game is heading to the digital version of the game, and it’s called Rise Of Ix for reasons I definitely understand.

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Rise Of Ix adds three recent Great Houses – Moritani, Ecaz, and Vernius – which each have two recent playable leaders, all with unique special abilities. It also adds a recent technology track to develop, similar to the relationship tracks in the base game, as well as dreadnought ships, which add a recent level of complexity to military conflicts.

Dune Imperium is a deck-building and worker placement game in which each player starts with two agents, which they can deploy each turn using cards to gather spice, money, water, or military power. The goal is to accumulate victory points over a maximum of ten rounds of play, by forming alliances with different factions (Fremen, Emperor, red teleportation, purple), winning battles against other players, or purchasing them through the card shop.

I spent fifteen minutes playing half of the tutorials in the digital version, and then started real matches, both against the computer and against a friend. Even as a complete newbie, Empire is basic enough to understand that I was able to figure out and implement a basic strategy from the first match, which is all I need to have fun even if I lose. As it turns out, I lose a lot, but the matches are usually close, with dramatic twists and comebacks in the last round.

I’m not sure how the Rise Of Ix expansions will interact with all of these systems, but I can’t wait to find out. The expansion is set to release in the second half of July, as announced.

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