Dune: Imperium – Rise of Ix Expansion

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Conflict spreads across the Imperium in Dune: Imperium – Rise of Ix, the first expansion to the award-winning board game. Contents: CHOAM board overlay Ix board 4 Conflict cards 17 Intrigue cards 18 Tech tiles 4 Snooper tokens 35 Imperium Deck cards 6 Leaders 9 House Hagal cards 2 Rival reference cards 1 Freighter token disc 2 dreadnoughts 1 starting card Rules. Experience the new…
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Dreadnoughts!
  • Tech tiles are powerful and make you feel unique.
  • More choices and variety.

Might Not Like

  • Some pieces look basic, especially if you have the Deluxe Upgrade to the base game.
  • The board additions look a bit weird on the table.
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Description

Conflict spreads across the Imperium in Dune: Imperium – Rise of Ix, the first expansion to the award-winning board game. Contents: CHOAM board overlay Ix board 4 Conflict cards 17 Intrigue cards 18 Tech tiles 4 Snooper tokens 35 Imperium Deck cards 6 Leaders 9 House Hagal cards 2 Rival reference cards 1 Freighter token disc 2 dreadnoughts 1 starting card Rules. Experience the new Epic game mode for a longer, high-stakes challenge. Let your fortunes ascend with the Rise of Ix.

• Enter the fray as one of three new Great Houses with exceptional leader abilities.
• Acquire technological innovations from the planet Ix for a lasting strategic advantage.
• Deploy fearsome dreadnoughts to rule the skies above Arrakis.
• Dispatch subtle infiltrators to outmaneuver your opponents.
• Dominate the Imperium in the new Epic game mode for a more intense, high-stakes challenge.

Players: 1-4

Playing Time: 60-120 Min

Age: 13+

Hot on the trail of one of 2021's best-loved games comes Rise of Ix, the first expansion to Dune Imperium. While promising all the normal stuff, like more cards for all decks and improved variability. The Rise of Ix adds a few new systems and wrinkles to make even the most seasoned Dune Imperium player think twice about where to place his agents.

Firstly, there are tech Tiles, these tiles, which can be bought with Spice and give you either one-off powers, passive bonuses or endgame point dividends. Not only are these tech tiles great for making you feel different to everyone else but how you earn them is sumptuous, you can get discounts depending on which space you go to or even commit troops as negotiators, leaving them in the tech area to offer future discounts. It's all rather tasty!

Fill Your Opponents With Dread!

As well as the sought-after tech you can also commission Dreadnoughts to fight in your battles. They add a combat strength of three to your battles and are much more agile than your ground troops.

Rather than returning to your supply they stay on the board forever and can be used to hold spaces on the board if you win, drip-feeding your resources throughout the game. These Dreadnoughts really alter the battles and see's players rushing to build them and dominate the battlefield.

Rise of Ix included a new shipping track too, you can move up the shipping track and whenever you see fit recall your marker, gaining all the rewards you have passed. This creates a nice little mini-game of trying to stay there as long as you can for the higher rewards but also offers you the chance of taking little bonuses when you need a resource bump or even a few extra troops for a significant battle.

Both the shipping track and the tech tile/Dreadnought sections of the board come on new board pieces that you slide over the top and next to your original board. It does look a bit higgeldy piggeldy but I suppose it's worth it for these fancy new systems. I would have preferred a different solution but what can you do.

Additions To The Old Stuff.

Along with all these fancy new mechanics, you get new cards for the main deck that include nods to the new systems. Along with that, you have Infiltrator cards which let you send your agents to spaces already occupied by other players. Which is awesome!

You have new 'unload' cards that give you reveal rewards even if you don't use them on your reveal turns as long as you discard or trash a card instead. These cards are very powerful and did allow me to create a few little neat combos previously unseen in Dune Imperium.

The conflict deck has been spiced up with new rewards and goodies that feed into the new parts of the game. I even had a card yesterday that gave me a victory point if I won and a further two victory points if I had enough Solari and Spice. It gave me three victory points total and won me the game. It was awesome because I was getting thrashed by the AI up until that point and ended up winning on a Spice tiebreaker. Get in!

There are also extra leaders and intrigue cards to spice up the game-to-game shenannigans. All in all, I would say this expansion adds a desert-load of new content, and new systems and adds further wrinkles into every game of Dune Imperium. I also really enjoyed how easy it was to understand it all and add it straight into the base game, nothing is too complicated, even though it adds a fair amount of player choice. There are also a few new cards and rules to have an epic game, which goes up to twelve points instead of ten. All good stuff.

Components.

There's not a lot to speak about components really, everything is roughly the same as the Dune Imperium base game. The cards are of good quality, as are the art and design of the cards. I do wish the Dreadnoughts and markers looked a bit better, especially when playing with the Deluxe Upgrade, the Dreadnoughts look a little basic next to the other Deluxe components. (I am looking forward to upgrading those too, shhh, don't tell anyone!)

Rise Of IX, Final Thoughts!

I will say this right off the bat, I will never play Dune Imperium again without Rise Of IX. While it does not change too much the things that are added are brilliant. The Tech is exciting and powerful, the Dreadnoughts add a lot to battles and all the new cards and systems add more variety and decision space for very little overhead.

I wish the Dreadnought pieces were better, I wish the board overlays were done differently but they are small prices to pay for an expansion that adds so much to one of my favourite games of last year. Let the Spice flow!

Setup

Most apparently, Rise of Ix comes with two additional boards. The first is an overlay for the Landsraad and the Choam area in the top-right quarter of the board and the second is the eponymous planet Ix which sits alongside the upper right side of the mainboard.

The overlay has a freighter track and once placed each player then puts one of the new extra cylinders in the bottom space of the track. There are spaces for the new technology tiles; once punched, they need to be divided into three equal piles, each pile placed in one of the marked spaces and the top tile on the deck turned over, face up.

Additional cards need adding to their respective decks: the main Imperium deck, intrigue deck and conflict deck. Dreadnought meeples need adding to players' supplies and the additional House cards can be added to the range for dealing out / selection. If you are playing with one or two players, you need to add the new cards, but to be honest I'd just use the updated phone app to remove the need.

Play

The CHOAM overlay has simplified the Landsraad section and reduced it to High Council, Mentat and Sword Master, but no rules change for any of these. More significantly, it has completely re-engineered the CHOAM spaces, so the easy spice to solari trade is gone. Instead, there are two Dune suit spaces that allow you to interact with the three-tier freighter track.

Each freighter symbol on a space allows you to either move your cylinder up a tier on the track or remove it from the track and gain the current, tier reward. Tier one, gain 2 spice or gain 5 solari (while all other players gain one each); tier two, add two troops to your garrison and increase one faction influence marker one tier;  and tier three, buy a technology tile with the cost reduced by 2 spice.

Onto The Board Of IX

With its three stacks of technology tiles. This has two spaces: once costs 3 solari to build a dreadnought in your garrison, and also gives you the option to buy a technology tile for its displayed spice cost. The second gives you 1 influence that turns and also allows you to either buy a technology tile for 1 fewer spice or move a troop cube to the tech negotiation area on the board.

Here they will stay until you choose to use one or more in a future technology buying action at which point they discount the cost by 1 spice per cube used with the cubes returning to your supply.

Dreadnoughts

A great addition to the combat mechanic. You can buy up to two dreadnoughts from the Ix and once purchased they are deployed to your garrison. When you deploy a troop to combat you may choose a dreadnought meeple instead, and these will each provide the strength of 3 in the combat phase.

Should you still lose, the dreadnought is returned to your garrison rather than the supply. However, if you win you must move the dreadnought to one of the command spaces on the board for the duration of the next round, where it supersedes any command flags for that time and diverts the command bonus to the dreadnought's owner.

The other principle of mechanical additions is some of the rules on the new cards. There are three modifications. One is the inclusion of a shadowy figure next to the faction/location symbols on the left-hand edge of some cards, which signifies that for this location a player's agent may be moved to that location even if an enemy agent is already present.

The second is the addition of a discard icon, usually as a cost to be paid as part of the work placement consequences. Finally, there are unload symbols at the bottom of some cards which indicate that if the card is discarded or trashed the player gets the same benefit as they would have done were it played normally in the Reveal phase.

Finally

The expansion provides for an Epic game mode, with a 12 VP target, 5 garrisoned troops, a starting influence card and 5 tier II and 5 tier III conflict cards. It also replaces one of your starting deck with an upgraded alternative, which includes a trashing mechanic.

I am hugely impressed with Rise of Ix, although it breaks my usual maxims for what makes a great expansion. I think that the removal of the original CHOAM mechanics makes the game far more nuanced.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Dreadnoughts!
  • Tech tiles are powerful and make you feel unique.
  • More choices and variety.

Might not like

  • Some pieces look basic, especially if you have the Deluxe Upgrade to the base game.
  • The board additions look a bit weird on the table.