So we’ve been able to get a few more games of Dune in, and it is still fantastic. I’ve now been able to play as Harkonnen and the Spacing Guild, and the strategy/gameplay felt completely different each time due to the different rules for each faction.
Playing the Spacing Guild was a closer match to my personal preferred strategy, I think. The Guild’s goal for Dune is continued instability in the region, so people keep paying them for transport and so nobody (except them) gains a monopoly on the spice. So just mess with people here and there and tacitly fund insurgency (the Fremen player, chronically strapped for cash) and you will reach your goal of continued instability in the region. What are they going to do, not take the money? Of course if the Fremen start getting too powerful, then just say you can’t spare anymore spice until they’ve been knocked down a peg.
Contrast that with the Harkonnen, where you want to play aggressively and violently, and try to sweep the board as early as possible. Fortunately, I was able to drag it out and play the long game. After a while, the Guild and the Emperor were incredibly wealthy while everybody else was scrounging around in the dust after spice blows or leader assassinations. Playing the game as a wealthy character this time around felt suuuuper different, and certainly made a lot of the strategy different. I remember at one point in the game, Atreides said to Harkonnen, “We gotta watch out for these rich assholes over here,” indicating of course the Guild and the Emperor. The Fremen also felt very Fremen-ey, with their ability to just surge out of the desert, seemingly from nowhere.
I’ve just been getting a whole bunch of Romulan headcanons lately, I don’t know why. Here’s another one:
Vulcans probably have hundreds of languages and dialects spoken, since they’re inhabiting the planet where they evolved for bajillions of years. However, since the Romulans seemed to be a somewhat unified group (perhaps a single nation or single ethnic group of Vulcans, or perhaps a cross-section of Vulcans unified in their rejection of theocratic rule), I think it is likely Romulans speak only a single language, or a handful at most.
Since the Romulans left in an era of modern-ish technology (they had space travel), I’m assuming that they had also invented audio recordings and writing by that point, which would have slowed linguistic drift. Thus, I think Romulans likely speak a language that is intelligible on Vulcan, despite the Sundering being ~2,000 years ago. I believe the Romulan dialect sounds particularly sing-song and lilting, even to human ears but especially to the ears of Vulcans who speak in a very deliberate monotone. I mean, all languages probably sound lilting to Vulcans, but I think Romulan does especially, since they’re speaking familiar words but in a strange sing-song manner.
The lilting accent is the first thing undercover Romulan agents and spies have to lose if they’re assigned to Vulcan. Of course they also have to learn Vulcan’s conventions and face culture. I think Vulcans, socially, would have endless Byzantine rules, unwritten expectations, and social conventions that you must follow perfectly, else you commit social faux pas and are considered weird or even become ostracized.
Ever since they announced that they would be reprinting the classic Dune board game (from the folks who brought you Cosmic Encounter!), I have been incredibly stoked for it to ship. Well, that time has finally arrived! And We’ve been having a ton of fun with it.
The special win conditions and advanced rules make the game feel especially Dune-y to me. I’m looking forward to playing it with 6 players!