In 1979, gaming company Avalon Hill (since bought by Hasbro) released a board game based on the popular science fiction novel Dune. Regarded by many as a masterpiece of the form, it is an asymmetrical wargame designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge and Peter Olotka, the people who created Cosmic Encounter. Six different factions vie for control of the desert planet Arrakis. As WickerNipple notes in his Everything node on the game, “Instead of giving subtle differences to the various factions like most games, Dune gives huge differences and advantages, that don't over-balance things only because every faction receives them.” The thing is, each player has special rules that give them very different options and abilities compared to the other sides, and yet the game remains balanced (especially when played by a full six players). The game has been long out of print due to the Frank Herbert estate refusing to re-license. Fantasy Flight Games is rumored to be working on a release of the game without the Dune license. Importantly, all the necessary files are available on the game's BoardGameGeek page to construct a copy of the game. (Homebrew game board - Rules, cards, counters and extras - Windows freeware game client and server) [more inside]
DowntimeTown is the boardgame review site of Scottish comedian Robert Florence, previously of Consolevania and Videogaiden [and previously on MetaFilter]. The heart of DowntimeTown are the wonderful video reviews, recommendations is a better word, where Florence explains why he likes the games under review so damn much, in an irreverent but loving fashion. There are plain ol' text reviews too, besides a whole host of other goodness. Links to individual videos below the cut. [more inside]
For all of you who remember Cosmic Encounter, a java version of it has been released. Of course, this happened several years ago, I just forgot about it until now. It's a fun game, if you can find the people to play it with!