Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Dune» Forums » Sessions

Subject: He Who Controls the Spice Controls the Universe... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe V
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

The first time I played, it was with six players. As the Spacing Guild in my first game, I quickly convinced the Emperor to side with me and not House Harkonnen. I made what I thought was the valid argument that it was the only alliance where both of us were virtually guaranteed to benefit. As the Emperor he had to transport guys to the surface constantly (he didn't have the luxury of starting with troops on Arrakis) and my discounted rate would help him in this. The Guild isn't military oriented and the Emperor is (also his auction discount helped). So we both benefited quantitatively. He wavered at first, but eventually relented. We pretty much agreed that he would be responsible for H/A and that I would deal with the Fremen. The Fremen player wasn't very good so I was able to hold him off/be victorious. The H/A players, despite being very good, were absolutely BACKHANDED by the Emperor. We basically cleaned up despite the presence of a counter-alliance.

So tonight I played my second game of Dune. I played as the Spacing Guild for the second time (I love the idea of not having to worry about money, I love their discount AND special ability of planetary transportation, and I love that they can pull a delay tactic).

Me: Spacing Guild
Harrison: House Harkonnen
Brent: House Atreides
Ezra: Emperor

Right off the bat, we unanimously decided to forego alliances because we were playing with only four players and Harkonnen and Atreides couldn't ally. Both myself and the Emperor player were good enough to openly admit that we would ally the first chance we got. I outright said that it would be unfair to have alliances in this setup. So we did not play with alliances.

Things started off neat for me. Tuek's Sietch was protected by the storm on the first turn. There was a spice blow next to Sietch Tabr, so I Guilded may way to first shipping phase, beamed in some Guildsmen, and then moved some to the Spice Blow. I went unopposed. Later, after I realized that I was losing money transporting soldiers to spice blows, I decided to attempt a new strategy. I transported some men to the Polar Sink and then moved some to a nearby Mesa. I also had soldiers on the mesa near Sietch Tabr. I think I have basically pinpointed the usefulness of non-spice blow, non-stronghold territories: When there is a spice blow, it's great to have guys nearby because you can just move them in there for free. That started paying off really fast because it cost me nothing to move three guys one space, but for someone to confront me they would probably have to pay to beam the soldiers there (which would be giving me potential mobilization money) and also pay to mobilize the soldiers AND lose soldiers in the process AND risk losing the remaining soldiers to a storm. So I had four or five nice spice blows to myself for almost no cost. This was over the course of about eight turns, mind you.

The Emperor attacked me in Tuek's Sietch. He currently occupied H Sietch with two regular soldiers and one S. So instead of losing to his ten troops in Tuek's Sietch, I did the sneakiest, Guildiest thing ever. I used my turn after his to retreat them to H Sietch and take it from him. I had a good flow of money and wasn't worried about losing the Industrial Proceeds. He later attacked Sietch Tabr (this guy usually goes after me for some dumb reason) and I totally caught him off guard by beaming in eight Guild Armies to supplement the four there. I ended up losing ten units to kill eleven. And he spent more money to launch his attack than I did to put up my defense. Atreides took H Sietch from me and Tuek's Sietch from the Emperor.

This is where I started running out of men AND money. But there was a nice spice blow on the other side of the board and the storm was five away, nobody even tried to collect it, so I went for it. I wanted as much spice as possible so I risked it. I transported my men from Sietch Tabr, leaving it empty, to collect the spice. I was chancing that I could send them back next round. The storm didn't kill me and neither did the players, but... MMMMMmmmmmmMMMMM Shai-Hulud. Yes. My men were wiped out by a worm. Harkonnen went first next round. I only had three men. I could, in theory, occupy Sietch Tabr before him. But, oh no, I had a better plan. I got the Emperor to fight him. And he did. Both sides thought it was more important that the other side be wiped out than that they have a presence, so BOTH were wiped out and Sietch Tabr was still unoccupied. Confident that Atreides was spread too thin to take the place from me, I then beamed in my three Guild Armies. He sent two armies to my Sietch, making a bid for the win. This was when I turned to the Harkonnen. I told him that he had to take Arakeen or Atreides would win because I couldn't defend Sietch Tabr. I claimed that I knew what he was "going to do" or something like that. He looked at me, called me a bastard, and proceeded to attack Arakeean because he was unwilling to take the risk. He won. Ten Harkonnen troops and eight Atreides armies wiped out with one Harkonnen army remaining and two armies in Carthag.

Oh and do you know what turn it was? It was turn nine. I was three turns away from victory by stalling. This was followed by a turn of each side licking its wounds. I had a decent army by now (six more guys) and placed them in Sietch Tabr. The exact same thing happened once more. Tuek's Sietch and H Sietch were now controlled by Atreides so he needed one more to win. He attacked Sietch Tabr with an army. So I beamed them out and took H Sietch (almost entirely undefended) from him. This Guild tactic was starting to annoy my fellow players.

On turn twelve the final bid for the win occurred. Harkonnen controlled both cities. I controlled H Sietch and Atreides controlled the other two sietches. Harkonnen attacked me in H Sietch and Atreides attacked him in Arakeen (which was now slightly better defended) so both made bids for the win. While the Harkonnen would successfully defend against the Atreides in Arakeean, I managed to convince the emperor to attack Carthag for me. I made a kind of meta-game argument. I said that I had worked really hard to get the game here, manipulated the crap out of players, and had exploited Guild advantages very nicely so that in an arbitrary condition of which players won and which players lost, I should be the winner. I think I would have been able to fight off Harkonnen in H Sietch, but I didn't want to take the chance if I didn't have to. The Emperor ensured that I wouldn't. I won with the end of game, Spacer's Guild Monopoly scenario.

I do think that the Guild is kind of overpowered. They just have SO MANY bonuses and advantages. The discount is nice, the constant flow of spice is also nice, the ability to intra-planetary transport is OUTRAGEOUS, and their discount to allies always finds them friends. They are the only faction that passively contributes to an alliance even if they don't actually do anything. To boot, they have an alternate win scenario. A scenario that they are DESIGNED to bring about. As the Spacing Guild it is SO EASY for me to delay the game by hopping around and trying to restore balance, etc. And of course if the Spacing Guild wins in this fashion, the Bene Gesserit cannot link into it for their victory (because it happens AFTER turn twelve, not on turn twelve). The Spacing Guild aren't as militarily-oriented as the other factions, so it's harder for them to tussle over spice blows. But the discounted transportation and moderately steady flow of income from fees make them less reliant upon Spice Blows altogether.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Silver Samurai
United Kingdom
Belfast
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Been on my wishlist for a few years, and so i keep tabs on Dune. This is one of the best, most compelling, session reports i've ever encountered. It reads like a story, and you keep up the momentum throughout. Thank you and WELL DONE on a comprehensive (if manipulative) victory!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ze Masqued Cucumber
France
flag msg tools
Protze et Chniaque !
badge
C'est le Gomazio à crête mordorée, dont le cri annonce le soir...
mbmbmbmbmb
Guild is quite a powerful faction indeed, but this was only your second game. After more games, once players understand the strengths and weaknesses of all the factions, it will become much more difficult to win with the Guild
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You did a wonderful job manipulating the other players Well played!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe V
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Roolz wrote:
Guild is quite a powerful faction indeed, but this was only your second game. After more games, once players understand the strengths and weaknesses of all the factions, it will become much more difficult to win with the Guild

I will play with it regardless. If nothing else, I like the flavor.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe V
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jormungandr83 wrote:
You did a wonderful job manipulating the other players Well played!


Thank you. It's funny you mention that. One player commented that I would probably do well playing as Bene Gesserit since I successfully manipulated two enemies into attacking two OTHER enemies. To be fair, I'm usually never this good at manipulation. Also, I don't like not having money. And the Bene Gesserit seem to have a problem in that area. Even with the constant charity.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I wonder what would have happened had you played with the Fremen instead of the Emperor?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe V
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I can tell you right off the bat that it would have been bad. For me. The Fremen would have less money and probably wouldn't have been able to attack Carthag. I still think I could have won though. Because if Fremen were playing they wouldn't have attacked me at Tuek's Sietch, vastly improving my ability to stall.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ty Hansen
United States
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Enjoyed the session report a lot!
Curious about a few questions.

1) Why only Turn 12? Is that a special house rule or other version I'm not aware of? Games are supposed to go 15 turns, no?

2) Were there no traitors?
Often, the Guild can get leaders picked off by the card advantage of Hark/Atr, even though the Guild wins the battles. This is a normal tactic of Harkonnen to then line up a Guild traitor, when they are making the Guild 'Goalie-stop' to prevent the win.

3) Why weren't the Hark/Atr fighting for your spice blows?
They usually can out muscle the Guild, as they have more/better cards, and can usually get a +5-7 strength advantage, where it's just not possible for the Guild to continue to dial that high...
Were players conservative in their attacks? (though it certainly didn't sound that way)

Thanks for sharing the game and best of luck the next go around!
Cheers,
Ty
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe V
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ty,

1: I've noticed that. The person who we play with does modify the rules a bit, this may be one of those modifications. Honestly, if the game had gone on longer I think I still could have won.

2: Funny you mention that. I had only one traitor card that was not my own (I had Dr. Huey or however it's spelled) and that character was suicided against me in a battle that was so forgone that I figured it was more worthwhile to keep him secret and allow the possibility to exist in other players' minds that I had one of their leaders. What can I say? I had very loyal leaders. I never had to stray from those three leaders, so I always knew that my leaders were loyal (even though two of them died). I did very well in the battles that I chose to fight. I believe I only lost one and that battle was a throwaway battle (I invaded a stronghold with one unit to keep it from being attacked by someone else).

3: Like I said, it would have not been worthwhile. They were mostly smaller spice blows and I got there for free by simple movement (like I said I spread some armies out). They would have had to spend enough money in getting troops there, mobilizing them, losing many in battle, and risking losing them all to storms or worms to make it undesirable for them to confront me. I was like the runt of the litter, I gobbled up the stuff nobody else wanted, like 5/6 blows if I recall correctly. I only ever got my hands on one larger blow and that was because I waited to go last and nobody else went for it for some reason. Also, when one of them was contemplating MOVING to one of my blows (they were in range), I implied that I had a Karama card and would use it against him in an inopportune moment if he attacked me. I don't think he WANTED to challenge me in the first place, but I think that my threat gave him a good excuse not to. I think it was Harkonnen.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ezra Nothing
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Why did you have to report this one. That was probably my worst game of dune ever!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Armin Sudhoff
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
First of all: Nice review!! I really enjoyed reading this... it remembered me on our first Dune-games... very intuitive and therefore more lifely!

The guild isn't as strong as you think...
The major advantages you had in this game were:
a) ALL other factions had to pay shipment (no Fremen, no BG in game)
b) "only" 12 turns at all... you needed emperors help in the end... are you sure you could go on that way 3 more turns? Maybe it had been a Harkonnen victory in turn 12 then...
c) As long as alliances are forbidden the guild has of course a much easier job and doesn't have to stop victory every now and then.

Nevertheless: Play on those games and learn to know all the other advantages... and exploit the disadvantages angry

I am happy to see this community grow

Greetz, HivedOne
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.