A new board game based on the Dune franchise has been made by the creators of the novels’ original tabletop adaptation.
Arrakis: Dawn of the Fremen is an upcoming board game that takes place before the events of the main Dune novel series by Frank Herbert. According to a PR representative for the game’s publisher – Gale Force Nine, the studio behind the recent remake of the original Dune board game – Dawn of the Fremen is inspired by the second entry in the Legends of Dune trilogy that was co-written by Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert’s son, and Kevin Anderson. Called Dune: The Machine Crusade, the book focuses on the civilisation of Fremen who existed before the arrival of House Atredes on Arrakis.
The upcoming game sees players becoming leaders of the tribes of Fremen who lived 100 generations before the events of the original Dune book series, all attempting to make lives for themselves amongst the harsh sands of the planet. The Fremen, are a collection of people who have learnt to survive on Arrakis by recycling their own bodily fluids for water and avoiding the dangerous sandworms that populate its deserts. As leaders of different tribes, players will need to make choices on behalf of their citizens to ensure that they can stay alive. Resources are essential to surviving on Arrakis, meaning that leaders need to compete to acquire whatever they can from the scarce pool available.
Gaining resources will sometimes require tribe leaders to negotiate with other leaders and do trade with them, or could see players making harsh choices to keep their own people alive. Finding shelter within Seitches – or caves created within the cliff-sides of Arrakis – will be necessary in order for players to protect their tribes, with disputes over the land needing to be settled before the Seitches can be made. Players can also attempt to acquire and develop weaponry, should they ever get into a disagreement with another tribe leader. Even Arrakis’ sandworms can be utilised as threats against potentially warring tribes, should players be able to harness their power.
Arrakis: Dawn of the Fremen was co-designed by Peter Olotka, Jack Kittredge, Bill Eberle, Greg Olotka and Jack Reda, the creative team behind the original Dune board game released in 1979, as well as its recent revised movie board game version Dune: A Game of Conquest and Diplomacy and the original version of Cosmic Encounter released in 1977.
Apart from Arrakis: Dawn of the Fremen, Gale Force Nine is responsible for releasing the aforementioned Dune: A Game of Conquest and Diplomacy, as well as Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery – based on the popular television show about the lives of Roman gladiators – and Firefly: The Game.
Arrakis: Dawn of the Fremen is set to be released in June 2022, with a retail price yet to be revealed.