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Dune» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alliance Auction Variant rss

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AJ
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Here is an auction variant in case you find yourself playing with less than 6. The idea is to use all 6 factions and to bid for control of the remaining factions (which also operate as allies). Note: I use big blue gems from Sultaniya to represent the conspiracy points...maybe they are faction heirlooms or something:

At the beginning of the game, each player chooses a primary faction which they control for the entire game. The remaining factions are auctioned to determine who they ally with until the next Nexus. Importantly, players will control the actions of these allied factions. The bidding process occurs in a similar way as in the treachery card auction, however instead of spice players bid using conspiracy points, and this bidding occurs during the Nexus phase.

In a two player game, each player receives 13 conspiracy points to start the game
In a three player game, each player receives 7 conspiracy points to start the game
In a four player game, each player receives 4 conspiracy points to start the game
In a five player game, each player receives 2 conspiracy point to start the game

Conspiracy points may be traded between players in the manner that spice is traded, however emperor abilities do not affect conspiracy points. When spent, conspiracy points are removed from play.

A player may only bid if they do not yet have an allied faction (in a 3-5 player game) or if they do not yet have two allied factions (in a 2 player game). If a player is the starting bidder and meets this criteria they must bid at least zero on a remaining faction. In a 4-5 player game, players may negotiate additional alliances with other players after the alliance auction, but a two faction limit to alliances is in effect.

An opening bid may start with zero or more, and may be won with zero if all other players pass.

If the player was allied with that faction the last time the alliance auction was held (does not apply in auction at beginning of game) then each bid for that same faction receives an automatic +1 value to the conspiracy point bid.

A maximum of three spice total may be transferred from the Emperor or the Guild to other factions in the alliance that are owned by the same player at the beginning of each control phase. In addition the Emperor ability may be used to transfer a total of three spice immediately to allies of the same player during bidding phase. Outside of this no faction may transfer spice to allies if they are controlled by the same player. Allies controlled by different players function as normal.


And this is an unrelated variant, but another house rule I like to use is to give the Fremen an additional maneuver if they have ornithopters:

When Fremen control ornithopters, instead of a shipping action they may take an additional maneuver action. The first maneuver action uses the ornithopter limit of three regions, and the additional maneuver action uses their typical limit of two regions.

-AJ
 
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Matt Smith
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I'm not sure I understand what you're intending here. Are you playing with all factions, but some factions will be "floating factions" whose control can be bought by a player during a nexus (so some players are controlling multiple factions)? Or are you just bidding for their alliance powers?

I mean you cover in detail how to win an Alliance bid, but not what it means or what happens afterward. What do you get out of it?
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AJ
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Hi, the idea is to use all six factions, so players are bidding for the factions both as an alliance to their primary faction, and to control that allied faction until the next Nexus (nextus?)

I've edited the original post to hopefully clear that up for the next passer-by.

Sometimes I can't see Arrakis for the melange

Thanks for the response!

-AJ
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Matt Smith
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OK, cool. Some thoughts that comes to mind:

I don't think the owning player should get the +1 Conspiracy when bidding--DUNE is all about changing alliances and backstabbing, and the opportunities that pop up when the balance of power is upset. Making it easier for an alliance to stick together goes against that principle, I think.

Especially since I assume that when a new player takes possession of a faction, their Treachery cards and spice are transferred as well. So the old player has an advantage over the newly traitorous ally since they still know what cards they had. This makes a Nexus very dangerous indeed, and I like that!
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AJ
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Yes, the treachery cards and spice transfer over. Getting +1 Conspiracy makes it more likely for a player to keep the same ally and encourages them to think longer-term for the ally they control. Otherwise the ally might be used and abused - some factions can't recover from that.

True, it's not as back-stabby as with an 'independent' ally, who would act in their own interest and stab you right back. This variant can't re-create all of the intrigue that the full six players would have, but it does give each player a greater amount of control and scope while keeping all six factions and their abilities on the table.
 
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