Dune (card game)

Dune CCG
Name: Dune
Genre: Card Game
Created in: 1997
Production Company: Last Unicorn and Five Rings
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Listen, friend. Times are hard, but the winds of change are in the air, brought about like you and I. Look at this planet, Arrakis. The people here are oppressed; abuses are so commonplace in the Imperium that they are no longer noticed. Only we can make the changes that are so obviously necessary. Support our motions before the Landsraad, and we will use our influence to secure your admission to the High Council.

-Inscription on the Atreides Starter Deck

Game Information

Dune
Insignia on the back of all non-imperium cards.
Dune was a CCG (collectible card game), created by Last Unicorn and Five Rings Publishing Group in 1997. Originally known as Dune: Eye of the Storm, the game featured well known characters, locations and items from Frank Herbert's Dune Universe, and combined these things together to make a card game as versatile as players wanted it to be. Five Rings was later purchased by the world's leading CCG manufacturer, Wizards of the Coast, and the game production method underwent major changes.

Sets

Dune
Sandworm adorning the cover of Eye of the Storm Starter Decks and booster packs.
Originally, Five Rings and Last Unicorn published a single set of 301 cards. These could be purchased in boosters and starter packs, with major cards such as Allies and Homeworlds (for example "Paul Atreides, Son of Duke Leto" or "Dune, Center of the Universe") being available only in the starter sets. In addition to these cards, several promotional cards, identical apart from the word "promo" on their sides, were also released. When Wizards purchased Five Rings, it did not continue to make a second 301 card set, but instead began to release the cards in "chapters", as part of the "Rolling Thunder set". These chapters were released every two months, with a set of new cards in each. This did not bode well however, as high duplicate percentages made the game near impossible to collect. Wizards then released two more complete sets; Dune: Judge of the Change and Dune: Thunder at Twilight. But it was already too late for the Dune CCG, as over complex rules, the "Rolling Thunder" backlash, and the failure of a sub-game, The Water Sellers Strategy, forced the company to cancel the game, and pursue other initiatives.

Gameplay

Chani
A breakdown of a card using Chani, Daughter of Liet.
As a player of the Dune Card Game, you represent a minor house of the Landsraad trying to get a place in the high council and become a great house. One of the factions of the high council has agreed to be your sponsor and assist you in this quest, provided you assist them in turn by getting charters and fiefs on Arrakis under your control. In order to achieve your goal, you must acquire both wealth (in the form of the spice melange, which is the only substance valuable enough), and favour, before making your pledge to the High Council. Using the resources from your sponsor and from other sources such as mercenaries, you must try to conquer Arrakis and its valuable spice, whilst eliminating your enemies by force or with arbitration tactics.
The game features five basic types of trading card, each with its own Dune-relevant gameplay action:
  • Holdings (Orange-Red faced cards that represent charters, fiefs and homeworlds which you may have presence in or control over).
  • Personae (Yellow faced cards representing key characters from the Dune books and from the improvised card game universe, come in two categories: nobles and vassals. Nobles are esteemed or privileged individuals such as Dukes and Lords, whilst Vassals are simply individuals that have made a name for themselves through skill.
  • Resources (Green faced cards that serve as your means of war, arbitration and the tools that your forces have available. They come in four categories, Personnel, such as soldiers and delegates, Equipment, such as lasguns and shields, Enhancements, such as a new skill or title for a persona, and Decrees, meaning enhancements that are granted to you by a great house.
During play, all these cards are used to a player's advantage. Each card is designated as having come from the Imperium (blue-backed), or from your own House reserves (red-backed). Each is organised into a separate deck respectively.

Factions

Before beginning play, each player would first select one faction from the Dune Universe to be their "sponsor". Having a particular faction as a sponsor, such as House Atreides, gives access to various personnel, characters and abilities related to the sponsor. Nine factions existed in the Dune CCG, some on which were memorable organisations from the books and others that had been improvised.

House CorrinoHouse Corrino

The ruling Imperial House under the command of the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, House Corrino's power and influence stems from their control of the Imperial Sardaukar Legions. They have the largest number of Imperial links available, and have a great deal of intricate strategies open to them.

House AtreidesHouse Atreides

House Atreides, a great house of the Landsraad, though not the richest or most prestigious house, has none the less acquire great reputation for nobility and compassion to both its subjects and its peasantry. The Atreides acquire their wealth from the profitable pundi rice trade on their homeworld of Caladan, and are the sworn adversaries of House Harkonnen.

House HarkonnenHouse Harkonnen

The evil House Harkonnen, lead by the vile Vladimir Harkonnen, have acquired a reputation for despotism and villainy across the Imperium. The employ questionable tactics to turn a profit, and will not hesitate to murder, bribe or enslave their enemies. The Harkonnens have been the fief owners of Dune for some years now, and are greatly despised by the native Fremen.

Spacing GuildThe Spacing Guild

Using their unquestionable monopoly on interstellar travel, the Spacing Guild, represented by the Third Stage Guild Navigator Oberon, have become one of, if not the, most powerful forces in the Universe. Though they possess little or no weaponry, their control of the Guild Navigators and their prescient abilities make them formidable in every sense of the word.

Bene GesseritThe Bene Gesserit Sisterhood

A mysterious and covert religious cult of women, the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood have entwined themselves tightly around the pillars of society in their quest to control their breeding program and create the Kwisatz Haderach. They have their hands in almost every every important event, and even have sisters that serve the Padishah Emperor himself, giving them great prestige.

FremenFremen

The feared and nomadic forces of the Fremen, once known as the Zensunni Wanderers, are scattered across the desert planet of Arrakis. Hardened by their inhospitable homeworld, the Fremen are mighty warriors, even the young, and are far more organised than the Imperium would like to think.

The Spice Miners Guild

Veteran spice workers, who are none the less a powerful fighting force, commanded by Director Omri B'rrican. The Spice Miners Guild possesses the same level of expertise about the deserts of Arrakis as the Fremen, and are the most important element in Spice Production, whithout whom the spice flow would stop.

Water Sellers UnionThe Water Sellers Union

An underhanded union of water sellers on Arrakis lead by Lingar Bewt. The Water Sellers Union takes advantage of Arrakis' natural heat to ensure profit, whilst using methods such as murder and theft to acquire water. The center of every community on Arrakis revolves around them.

Dune Smugglers

A totally serve-serving force of smugglers on Arrakis lead by Esmar Tuek, the Dune Smugglers do not, unlike other factions, answer to no great house or Imperial force, and choose to make their living by smuggling spice off-world.

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