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Games Announced at Gen Con 2023: Dune: Imperium – Uprising, Hasbro Crossovers, and More Marrakesh

by W. Eric Martin

• A number of publishers announced new games ahead of Gen Con 2023 to draw attendees to their booths, but I feel that few publishers announced new games at the show itself. One that did, though, was Dire Wolf, which announced a standalone sequel to Paul Dennen‘s Dune: Imperium for release in Q4 2023:

In Dune: Imperium – Uprising, you want to continue to balance military might with political intrigue, wielding new tools in pursuit of victory. Spies will shore up your plans, vital contracts will expand your resources, or you can learn the ways of the Fremen and ride mighty sandworms into battle!

Dune: Imperium — Uprising is a standalone spinoff to Dune: Imperium that expands on that game’s blend of deck-building and worker placement, while introducing a new six-player mode that pits two teams against one other in the biggest struggle yet.

The choices are yours. The Imperium awaits!

I asked Dire Wolf for more details on how the two games connect, and Scott Martins told me that the expansions Rise of Ix and Immortality both work with Dune: Imperium — Uprising, as do almost all of the cards from the Dune: Imperium base game. Adds Martins, “[E]lements of i]Uprising[/i can be used in the base game (though less so than the other way around), such as leaders and imperium cards.”

• Publisher Renegade Game Studios has integrated many Hasbro games and product lines into its line-up over the past few years, such as Power Rangers, Acquire, Diplomacy, G.I. JOE, My Little Pony, and Transformers, with the last two worlds coming together in the My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria Deck-Building Game – Collision Course Expansion due out in September 2023 and with the latter three worlds mixing in the “Worlds Collide: Battle for the Multiverse” RPG event at Gen Con 2023 that pitted heroes against Lord MindWaveZ, an amalgamation of Joe, MLP, and Transformers villains.

During its media night event, Renegade Game Studios announced two new crossovers, starting with Transformers Robo Rally, which blends the gameplay from Richard Garfield‘s Robo Rally — which Renegade re-issued in mid-2023 — with Transformers characters such as Optimus Prime and Megatron. The short take:

Players can choose between six Transformers robots, each with their own upgrades that give them unique advantages and identities. Players can convert between bot and alt (or vehicle) modes to better navigate the many roads, buildings, and obstacles that make up each race. The game will feature four new double-sided game boards, representing the city and desert landscapes of Velocitron.

Another 2024 crossover release will be G.I. JOE: Battle for the Arctic Circle, which is described as being “powered by the Axis & Allies gameplay engine”.

In the game, you play as the G.I. JOE or Cobra in a fight for control of the Arctic Circle. The game will feature more than 110 figures, including the Snow Cat, W.O.L.F., Skystriker, and Rattler and “introduce new strategic options that commanders may employ, such as using the Weather Dominator to freeze the sea to block pathways or create strategic land bridges”.

You can be sure that more Hasbro crossover games are in the works…

• At Gen Con 2023, Queen Games had a mock-up box and small sign to announce Marrakesh: Camels & Nomads, an expansion for Stefan Feld‘s Marrakesh that will be crowdfunded in August 2023 for release…some time.

Interesting to see solo designer Dávid Turczi show up in this release. I imagine that publishers just say, “I wonder whether this game could include solo rules”, and Turczi pops into the room like a genie.


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