GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!

9,822 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
15 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
26 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Dune» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Why you should be playing the Advanced Rules! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Unless you are new to the Avalon Hill game Dune, or you have some new players trying to learn the game you should not be playing the basic rules. If you are, then you are missing out on some real fun options, and you are missing out on the nuances that make Dune such an exciting game. In fact it is still a terrific game even in this age of XBOX, because it never plays the same way twice, even if you have the same players playing the same characters. But I digress. The following are reasons why you should up your game to the advanced rules.
1) The Karama Card options. If you are playing straight basic rules, then you are missing out on the awesome Karama card options each Dune player has. Harkonnen has the best one, since he can use a Karama card to trade up to four worthless cards with any player. Usually it is best to trade with Atreides since he rarely buys bad cards, but imagine someone boldly attacks you because they feel they have the cards needed to defeat you. You simply pull out your Karama Card give him your trash and take his cards and boom, battle won. One of the great things about being Harkonnen is that there is always a possibility you get the chance to do this. Or hey what if your Guild? This is the turn you intend to go for the win, but you know that Emperor could ship enough armies to stop you, or that Harkonen could have you for a traitor. You take out your Karama card and tell them they cant ship down to planet. Problem solved. And let's face it, if you are Guild it is always good to hold onto a Karama card for as long as possible to keep someone else from shipping down at guild rate, or forcing you to move in the normal sequence. The Fremen option is weakest, but still making sure a worm comes up in a territory you are in, so you can ride it somewhere else, isn't too bad. In fact it could be a game changer. In fact the advanced rules Karama card rules are six reasons in one to be using the advanced rules.
2) Starting with one guy in the polar sink sucks if you are Bene Gesserit. Especially, if you have to ship all other spiritual advisors there too. Really, what's the point? They can't get anywhere without ornithopters and so are basically useless, which may be why BG got the rap of not being that strong of a character. Under advanced rules, BG is the third strongest character behind Guild and Emperor. In the Advanced rules, BG starts with one army in any territory they wish, and all other spiritual advisors can go there for the rest of the game. Huge difference. I start with one guy in the pasty mesa, and after the first turn I usually have four guys there. I can then move them to Red Chasm, South Mesa or Minor Erg when the spice blow hits there, and very few opponents will dare to try to take the spice from me there. Other people play that you start with one guy anywhere and then ship down wherever the opponent ships. It takes longer to get started this way, and is only a good idea if you just want to watch other people play for the first few rounds, but still better than basic rule option.
3) Spice is important to everyone in the Advanced rules game. If everyone has to back up their armies with spice, then everyone needs spice. Again, maybe the reason some people consider Atreides a contender, is because in the basic rules they do not need much spice. Although my friends and I don't do alliances anymore, the game was designed that Atreides and Fremen would need to be in an alliance to have a better than average chance of winning (if not in alliance with each other then someone, although Fremen is not much of an ally in my opinion).
4) Basic Rules are for babies! The basic rules were designed to get people used to the mechanics of the game, but once a group of players has played a few times, it is time to grow up and play by the grown up rules. You won't be sorry you did. Sure computing how much spice to back up your men can be confusing at times (and I have seen people lose because they did it wrong), but if you don't get "out of your gourd drunk" you should be able to handle it. (side note-If your intention is to get out of your gourd drunk, then you shouldn't be playing Dune. Dune will interfere with your drinking, and your drinking will interfere with your game playing.)
I'm sure there are other reasons I am forgetting, but let's face it, you are not enjoying the fascinating game of Dune to its fullest if you are playing by the basic rules. In this game, the creators came up with a masterpiece. Even after all these years, my friends are finding new ways to use character abilities to get that little extra bit of treachery that means winning the game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Bredon
United States
Jersey City
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TheDuneDude wrote:
Unless you are new to the Avalon Hill game Dune, or you have some new players trying to learn the game you should not be playing the basic rules. If you are, then you are missing out on some real fun options, and you are missing out on the nuances that make Dune such an exciting game. In fact it is still a terrific game even in this age of XBOX, because it never plays the same way twice, even if you have the same players playing the same characters. But I digress. The following are reasons why you should up your game to the advanced rules.
1) The Karama Card options. If you are playing straight basic rules, then you are missing out on the awesome Karama card options each Dune player has. Harkonnen has the best one, since he can use a Karama card to trade up to four worthless cards with any player. Usually it is best to trade with Atreides since he rarely buys bad cards, but imagine someone boldly attacks you because they feel they have the cards needed to defeat you. You simply pull out your Karama Card give him your trash and take his cards and boom, battle won. One of the great things about being Harkonnen is that there is always a possibility you get the chance to do this. Or hey what if your Guild? This is the turn you intend to go for the win, but you know that Emperor could ship enough armies to stop you, or that Harkonen could have you for a traitor. You take out your Karama card and tell them they cant ship down to planet. Problem solved. And let's face it, if you are Guild it is always good to hold onto a Karama card for as long as possible to keep someone else from shipping down at guild rate, or forcing you to move in the normal sequence. The Fremen option is weakest, but still making sure a worm comes up in a territory you are in, so you can ride it somewhere else, isn't too bad. In fact it could be a game changer. In fact the advanced rules Karama card rules are six reasons in one to be using the advanced rules.


That is not from the Advanced Rules, that is from the Optional Rules.
Many people like them, but that is not a reason to play the Advanced Rules. They are not fully playtested, but don't seem to be massively unbalanced in most cases.

TheDuneDude wrote:

2) Starting with one guy in the polar sink sucks if you are Bene Gesserit. Especially, if you have to ship all other spiritual advisors there too. Really, what's the point? They can't get anywhere without ornithopters and so are basically useless, which may be why BG got the rap of not being that strong of a character. Under advanced rules, BG is the third strongest character behind Guild and Emperor. In the Advanced rules, BG starts with one army in any territory they wish, and all other spiritual advisors can go there for the rest of the game. Huge difference. I start with one guy in the pasty mesa, and after the first turn I usually have four guys there. I can then move them to Red Chasm, South Mesa or Minor Erg when the spice blow hits there, and very few opponents will dare to try to take the spice from me there. Other people play that you start with one guy anywhere and then ship down wherever the opponent ships. It takes longer to get started this way, and is only a good idea if you just want to watch other people play for the first few rounds, but still better than basic rule option.


That is not the Advanced rules, that is the Optional rules.
You also got the Optional rules BG free shipping wrong - BG may place their first token anywhere, but have only 2 choices of where to send their free spiritual advisor: wherever the opponent ships, or the Polar Sink.
To be specific, the rule states: "Whenever any other player ships tokens to Dune from off-planet, you may ship, free, one token from your reserves (spiritual advisors) into the same territory (instead of the Polar Sink)."

TheDuneDude wrote:

3) Spice is important to everyone in the Advanced rules game. If everyone has to back up their armies with spice, then everyone needs spice. Again, maybe the reason some people consider Atreides a contender, is because in the basic rules they do not need much spice. Although my friends and I don't do alliances anymore, the game was designed that Atreides and Fremen would need to be in an alliance to have a better than average chance of winning (if not in alliance with each other then someone, although Fremen is not much of an ally in my opinion).


Here we get to the ONLY Advanced game rules - Double Spice blow and spending Spice for combat. These rules were NOT created by the designers and were NOT tested enough to be balanced.
In fact they are very unbalanced - they tilt the game against factions weak in both Spice income and alliance power (esp. Fremen) and towards factions that don't need Spice or with strong alliance power (primarily Bene Gesserit) - for proof of this look at the history of the WBC tournament rules - year by year, the Fremen have had to be massively buffed to bring their win ratio back in line with the other factions.
Only this last year, after many years of tweaking, have the Fremen finally had a win ratio comparable to the other factions.

TheDuneDude wrote:

4) Basic Rules are for babies! The basic rules were designed to get people used to the mechanics of the game, but once a group of players has played a few times, it is time to grow up and play by the grown up rules. You won't be sorry you did. Sure computing how much spice to back up your men can be confusing at times (and I have seen people lose because they did it wrong), but if you don't get "out of your gourd drunk" you should be able to handle it. (side note-If your intention is to get out of your gourd drunk, then you shouldn't be playing Dune. Dune will interfere with your drinking, and your drinking will interfere with your game playing.)
I'm sure there are other reasons I am forgetting, but let's face it, you are not enjoying the fascinating game of Dune to its fullest if you are playing by the basic rules. In this game, the creators came up with a masterpiece. Even after all these years, my friends are finding new ways to use character abilities to get that little extra bit of treachery that means winning the game.


The Basic rules were the game designed by the designers, thoroughly playtested, and balanced very well. They make for a very challenging game that can still be learned and played acceptably by someone who has not played the game before. (Although the Bene Gesserit are harder to play well than most other factions)

The Optional and Advanced rules were added by other people at Avalon Hill, and weren't tested very well.
The Additional Character Advantages (Optional rule) are thematically appropriate, and help make the Bene Gesserit easier to play well.
The random Storm movement is appropriate and gives the Fremen a slight boost.
The Additional Karama powers are interesting, but situational.
Increasing the number of strongholds needed for an alliance to win is necessary (otherwise the game easily becomes 2 3-way alliances with an immediate end of game after the first nexus).
The additional Spice for Carthag/Arraken/Tuek's Seitch is only really important with the Advanced rules.
22 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Albritton
United States
Tupelo
Mississippi
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wish I could thumb Aaron's post more than once. Spot on, sir.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samy
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Chaaaarge!!
badge
First Image Ever of a Hydrogen Atom's Electron Cloud
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TheDuneDude wrote:
Although my friends and I don't do alliances anymore

I'm curious about this. Is this because you don't have enough players, or do you play with 5-6 players and still not play with alliances?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
United States
Dayton
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Moving my blog to sofrankly.com!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We play with the Karama powers, additional Spice for Carthag/Arrakeen/Tuek's Seitch, and "spiritual advisor" transporting. In our six games, the win's went:

1.) BG win on prediction, stolen from Fremen/Emperor alliance
2.) BG win on prediction, stolen from Atriedes/Emperor alliance(?)
3.) Atriedes/Emperor win?
4.) Atriedes/Fremen win?
5.) Harkonnen/Emperor win
6.) Atriedes/BG win

The strength of the Emperor in the first three games has more to do with the fact that the best player in our group (who wins close to 75% of our games) played the Emperor for the first three games.

My point in all of this is that we have not really felt the game was unbalanced with those optional rules, but they do move the game along a little more.

We actually are thinking about how to speed it up further, so that we can play more often. Two ideas:

- Limit the game to 10 turns
- Allow alliances (which we limit to two factions) to win with the normal three strongholds.

I would be interested in where this might go wrong, or other ideas on speeding up the game.

-
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
My bad, I should have said Advanced and optional rules, because I can't imagine doing one without the other. I hear people say they play the basic rules and I assume they mean they don't use the optional rules. So I guess I should have titled this why you should use the optional rules.

As to Bene's shipping, the problem with the rules is that they can be interpreted different ways. In the basic rules, it states that they have to go to the polar sink, but in the advanced/optional rules BG can start anywhere. What point is there in BG starting in one territory and then putting all others in the polar sink. It says all additional advisors go to the same territory which suggests the same one they start out in (which is how I play) but could also be interpreted as the same territory in which the person shipping ships down in, which is how others sometimes play. I don't have a problem with either, but think sending tokens to the polar sink is a monumental waste of time, and it should only be done if you are learnig the game under the "basic rules".
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
We almost always play with six, but sometimes have to settle for five, and on rare occasions bring in IX or Tleixu for a seven or even eight player game. Mostly it is a time constraint thing. Alliances can cut a game short but most often in our experience leads to mumerous long talks with allies that end up prolonging the game. Also we have a trophy to the winner of the game for that month, and only one person can take it home.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Now this must be a newer version of the game. There is no stolen from other opponent option in the original game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I have to say that I have been playing the game since it first came out around 1980. We have play tested the heck out of the optional and advanced rules, and find them to be mostly workable with a couple of house rules due to some rules being ambiguous.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
United States
Dayton
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Moving my blog to sofrankly.com!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TheDuneDude wrote:
Now this must be a newer version of the game. There is no stolen from other opponent option in the original game.


By stolen I mean that the BG correctly guessed the turn on which one of those factions would win, thereby "stealing" the win.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Of course. That makes sense. Winning by prediction is sometimes more fun than outright winning by battle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Our games usually go four turns or less, but one of the players we had was a total mess. We replaced him with a newbie but quick learner, and our last game went nine turns before we had to call it a night with no winner.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
george glass
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been playing Dune since it came out in the early 1980s from way back in college. I prefer to play with all the optional rules and advanced rules except the battle spice rule with two spice blows. I find that it really unbalances the game's finely tuned balance with the all the factions towards those who are spice rich. The only tweak that seems to have fixed that is to allow the Fremen to always fight at full supply, spice or not.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
The guys I play Dune with seem to like to follow the rules as laid out as much as possible. It is hard to win a six player game as Fremen but quite an accomplishment if you can do it. Still Atreides has the toughest way to go. They have to have both weapons and both defenses, and the Kwisatz Haderach to stand a chance. We are toying with the idea of letting Atreides get the KH after losing seven tokens regardless if they were lost in battle. But even that doesn't help them much.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
flag msg tools
www.cascadecon.games
badge
Cascade Games Convention: Bellingham, Washington's premier tabletop board game playing event
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
otheym6 wrote:
I've been playing Dune since it came out in the early 1980s from way back in college. I prefer to play with all the optional rules and advanced rules except the battle spice rule with two spice blows. I find that it really unbalances the game's finely tuned balance with the all the factions towards those who are spice rich. The only tweak that seems to have fixed that is to allow the Fremen to always fight at full supply, spice or not.


Agreed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sam newman

doncaster
south yorkshire
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I play the game with advanced traits and sometimes an additional faction or two. You can see my rules for other factions in the variants section of the forums. But never with any of the other rules. (edit i also play with the stronghold requirement increase for alliances)

The double spice blow and paying to support troops just sounds like it would imbalance the game considerably, especially towards the guild since the guild start with troops close to some of the largest spice blow locations in the game and also due to their ability to make a lot of spice from shipping. Where as atreides would be weak as well as bene gesserit. In the base game i would argue the bene gesserit to be the most powerful faction if used correctly. Their voice ability is by far the best combat ability. This change would make them the weakest since their ability to gain spice is very limited early on.

I suspect however that this rules change would make the game slightly more thematic however, but at the cost of any real balance testing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Backing up players with spice doesn't cause an imbalance in my opinion. The game was skewed to other factions in accordance to the book, making alliance the most likely option for Atreided and Fremen just like the book. Still a win is possible for Fremen without alliance if there are two spice blows. Atreides sucks eggs but even they can win if Emperor doesn't take them out the first turn. Strangely enough a lot of people who play Emperor don't take them out. Guild doesn't need the spice blows near Tueks usually, but if Bene is placing spiritual advisors in the Pasty Mesa, then those spice blows go to her or Harkonen. But if you don't have Fremen back armies with spice, that cheapens the Ix advantage when they play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Ok so let's revisit this. The only rules people object to are the advanced rules where there is a double spice blow and everyone has to back up their armies with spice. The reasons for objections are 1) the original designers did not say you had to do so, and 2) it causes and imbalance in the game?
The original designers may not have required spice to back up armies, but when Avalon Hill bought rights to the game and sold it these were the advanced rules they came up with, and I agree with them because...
the double spice blow gives Fremen plenty of opportunities for spice and balances the powers as much as they should be balanced. The game like the book it was based on, gives unequal powers to characters and that is what makes it great. Even without alliances, opposing players will team up to prevent a win by one if they see it and are able to do it. When my friends and I play, if we see someone has two sietches and are likely to go for a win, everyone attempts to do their best at stopping them. Sometimes we are successful, and sometimes the rabble falls under the boots of superior might. That's the way of it in Dune and life.
Fremen has an opportunity to get spice from whatever spice blow Harkonen is not going for, or even both spice blows if they play big like others have suggested. Two big stacks of ten armies with star tokens to boot, is enough to give Harknonen or Atreides difficulty, and Fremen can afford to lose armies more than they can.
So why are people against using the advanced rules?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sam newman

doncaster
south yorkshire
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
ssurely haveing 2 spice blows occur per turn is a better solution than having double spice blows.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samy
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Chaaaarge!!
badge
First Image Ever of a Hydrogen Atom's Electron Cloud
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gorkel wrote:
ssurely haveing 2 spice blows occur per turn is a better solution than having double spice blows.

That's what double spice blow refers to, two spice cards per turn.

I like to do double spice blows on odd turns, and single blows on even turns, even without advanced combat (5-6 players). Gets things going faster in a 10 turn game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
There is always the chance that one of the spice blows ends up in storm but there is only one section where both spice blows could be obliterated by storm. It seems to work well. If Harkonen moves before Fremen then Fremen can choose to move to the other spice blow, or even both. Depending on how much spice Fremen gets, one good round of spice collection and he is a power to be dealt with, even backing up his armies with spice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
flag msg tools
www.cascadecon.games
badge
Cascade Games Convention: Bellingham, Washington's premier tabletop board game playing event
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The only reason that double spice blows were added was to accommodate the advanced battle mechanic of supporting troops with spice. Without double spice blows, advanced battle would be a nonstarter.

The major problem with the advanced battle mechanic is that it increases the complexity of the game theory without much benefit. Yes, it makes the battles even less predictable, but with the disadvantage that the monied factions have a greater advantage in battles, especially if they do a good job of blocking spice collection (using the threat of battle). The other disadvantage is that the greater number of variables to consider increases the length of each battle, contributing to overall game length.

The Fremen do have an easier time getting spice, but I've seen confident Fremen players acquire sufficient spice in the so-called basic game with correct play.

However, I do agree with you that the game does not have to be perfectly balanced between the asymmetries of the factions to be satisfying. The recent tweaking in recent years of the WBC rules to improve the Fremen's chances on an aggregate basis leave something behind—the joy of taking a harder faction to win and attempting to overcome the challenge to win.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
10 turn game? Do you determine how many turns before hand? Most of the time our games go 4 turns, but I don't think we have ever had enough time to play a ten turn game. If a game isn't finished by the time people need to leave, we just start over the next time we play.

How do people determine the character they play? Do you pick out of a hat, or do you generally agree upon who will play what character?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raithyn
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
A 10 turn game means everyone at the table has agreed that the max of 15 is too long. Often the Shield Wall will be considered a stronghold after a certain point to break the gridlock which has probably set in by then. If that doesn't work, the game ends at turn 10 and Fremen and Guild special win conditions will be assessed as normal.

My group generally picks factions based on skill level and mutual agreement. We typically only play over holidays when we're all in town together, so we play as long as necessary to finish the game length we've agreed to. Both of those points vary by group though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Reinert
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb

However, I do agree with you that the game does not have to be perfectly balanced between the asymmetries of the factions to be satisfying. The recent tweaking in recent years of the WBC rules to improve the Fremen's chances on an aggregate basis leave something behind—the joy of taking a harder faction to win and attempting to overcome the challenge to win.

Totally agree. You win with any character, you feel good, but if you win with Fremen or Atreides you know you earned it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.