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Subject: What makes The Bene Gesserit so cool.. rss

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Charles Reinert
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I often see people comment on here how they do not use the Bene Gesserit character if they are playing with fewer than six players. Granted, the BG are nuanced, and it takes an experience player to play it, but who wouldn't want to play BG? BG is way cool! Why? For several reasons. Besides getting to predict a winner, the voice is devastating in battle. Sure you can use the voice to kill an opponent's leader, or save your leader from being killed, but there is more to the voice than that. The voice allows you to bluff. I guess any character can bluff, but not with the conviction of BG. No matter what card they get dealt (with the exception of the Hajr & Weather Control) they can use said card to devastate another player. Cheap hero? Ship on down to Tuek's Sietch with one token, or ship one token to wherever Emperor is hanging out, and voice them not to play a certain defense. Doesn't make a difference what defense, because now they think you are going to kill their leader and will play their lowest leader against you. They will back up five armies thinking you are going to try and beat them with your leader. Nope, just a bluff to get them to lose five armies and five spice, while you only lose a cheap here and a token to be revived next turn.
Worthless card? There is no such thing. Bribe Atreides to give you the head's up when any weapon comes around, and then buy it with the worthless card. Then ship one token to Tuek's Sietch, and beat Guild with just one army and your leader. If he ships extra men in there to ensure he wins the battle, don't play your card, and take Tuek's next turn.
Ghola? Fight anyone you want with one token, if they call traitor, you can revive that leader knowing who you can use it against four other players.
How cool is that? Very few players can be consider a true threat with just one token, but BG is always a threat. They can be overwhelmed by superior forces, but that can be a pyrrhic victory for the opponent. If BG has a defense, let the other player dial high and beat you. You may lose a defense, but they will not gain any spice in the battle, and they will have lost a great deal of armies and spice for having the audacity to test you.
Because of the dangers involved, BG is second only to Harkonnen in deterring others to battle them for spice.
Add to all that, that you never have to battle anyone if you don't want to because you can choose to coexist, plus collect two spice for choam charity whether you need it or not every turn, and BG is one of the coolest characters to play.
If I could choose a character to play, I would choose BG every day and twice on Sunday!
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Dave Sexton
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I kind of agree. I think the BG are one of the most interesting characters in the game. They only seem weak but can be ruthless when you have the right player. I've seen newcomers to the game wreak havoc with the BG.
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Geoff Speare
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tee hee, that tickles!!!
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Aaron Bredon
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not to mention that the BG with the Lazgun is absolutely frightening.
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Brad Johnson
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abredon wrote:
not to mention that the BG with the Lazgun is absolutely frightening.

Ditto the BG when they know *you* have the lazgun.
If you've never had a smiling BG player voice you "Play Your Lazgun", well then you've missed a special brand of despair.

PS - I think BG are also my favorite faction to play.
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Randy Brown
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I thought that the BG were generally accounted the strongest faction (highest win %). I've always thought of them that way.

I assumed the reason you drop them from lower player counts is that they get stronger with fewer enemies, and have improved prediction chances.

RB
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Charles Reinert
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discoking7 wrote:
I thought that the BG were generally accounted the strongest faction (highest win %). I've always thought of them that way.

I assumed the reason you drop them from lower player counts is that they get stronger with fewer enemies, and have improved prediction chances.

RB


Well you would think that because that makes a lot of sense, but in a five player game it wouldn't be that much of a difference because you still have to pick the round of victory. No, when I see people say they drop it from a five player game, it seems to due to a consensus opinion that it is hard to play.
It isn't really though. An inexperienced player could just coexist and ally with someone who knows they are doing and win. All the better if they ally with the person they predicted for the win.
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sam newman

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Bene Gesserit are long game winners and fewer factions more chance of an early game win

Also the bene are easily best combat faction


If game does go long enough for the bene to make an impact then they usually end up winning.

I think biggest reason though is that the bene seem the least impactful in terms of the dynamics of the game and tend to awaken late on. If you werent to remove the bene then who would you remove?
 
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Randy Brown
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Odds aren't my specialty, but my rough estimate is that a skilled BG player playing with skilled friends has about a 5% of correctly guessing the winning player and round. I assume a 6p game with 2p alliances. I think that goes up to around 9% in a 5p game.

Naturally, those odds get a lot lower without alliances, and if you do not know your opponents very well. YMMV, but I think the bump is a non-trivial boost to an already strong faction.

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Brad Johnson
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TheDuneDude wrote:
discoking7 wrote:
I thought that the BG were generally accounted the strongest faction (highest win %). I've always thought of them that way.

I assumed the reason you drop them from lower player counts is that they get stronger with fewer enemies, and have improved prediction chances.

RB


Well you would think that because that makes a lot of sense, but in a five player game it wouldn't be that much of a difference because you still have to pick the round of victory. No, when I see people say they drop it from a five player game, it seems to due to a consensus opinion that it is hard to play.
It isn't really though. An inexperienced player could just coexist and ally with someone who knows they are doing and win. All the better if they ally with the person they predicted for the win.

I'm not sure why BG really became the "default" faction to drop, but I think it's for a variety of reasons, at least among the groups I play in -- they tend to be viewed (correctly or not) as a more "passive" power, but also I think because people are generally happy to NOT have the Voice in the game because it's so powerful. Games without Voice and/or Prescience generally seem to be much more free-wheeling affairs, I think. Among my groups, I would never say it's because the BG are too "difficult" to play.
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Noel
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If you are playing BG and think you are “guessing” the winner, well... you aren’t doing it right.
That “guess” is your target to get that person to be the winner on the turn you chose, by any means necessary.
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Brad Johnson
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n815e wrote:
If you are playing BG and think you are “guessing” the winner, well... you aren’t doing it right.
That “guess” is your target to get that person to be the winner on the turn you chose, by any means necessary.

Totally agree! This is what makes the BG *really* fun when you can play at this level. Doesn't always work out, but when it does....

I still have memories of a game where I *really* was working hard on my prediction as my top priority. This was a (very rare for me) email game, so my tactics included surreptitiously influencing people to get the alliances that I wanted together at the Nexus that came up right before my prediction was due. Everything was falling into place. It's been a long time, so the details are foggy now, but I definitely remember it came down to a battle I had to throw, and in this case, the Voice actually worked against me -- the way the battle was set, I had to allow my opponent to kill my leader. But everyone "knew" that I knew what weapons my opponent had, and when I "muffed" (purposely) giving the "correct" Voice, everyone was on it in a heartbeat. The very next email was my opponent saying "What kind of Voice is that? Uh oh, does anyone have a Truthtrance, I'm worried I'm about to step into the BG prediction." (I didn't think it was *that* obvious, but when you play against 4-time world champions....) So someone Truthtranced me, I had to confess yes, my prediction is for this turn, and my opponent was able to throw the battle to me to avoid winning my prediction for me. Argh! If only I had had a Cheap Hero at that particular moment....
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Dave Sexton
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Honestly if there is a faction that is less interesting it's the Emperor. Its necessary to keep spice in the game but otherwise the emperor is pretty lame. Even the special powers aren't very special. At least compared to....everybody else.
 
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Aaron Fleming
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The BG are fascinating but the game doesn't get to our table very often and I'm the only one with any Dune lore knowledge. It's hard to explain the BG to people who know nothing of the universe and will have trouble wrapping their heads around the strategy. It's easy with the Emperor; he's rich - you don't need to understand the lore to get that. It's much harder with the BG and since we rarely have more than 4 players, it's just easier to leave them out. I agree that they're cool and if I could get the game out more often they wouldn't bother me so much.
 
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Charles Reinert
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Neckbeard wrote:
Honestly if there is a faction that is less interesting it's the Emperor. Its necessary to keep spice in the game but otherwise the emperor is pretty lame. Even the special powers aren't very special. At least compared to....everybody else.


True. And a game without Emperor means everyone has a decent chance at Cards. Of course you can take out Atreides, and then everyone is bidding blind, and that's not bad either.

To Brad's point about BG seeming to be passive, it can be depending on how you play it. No reason why they can't be aggressive though, and that's the way I like to play them. If I get a weapon as BG, everyone better watch out, because some leaders are going to die.
 
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sam newman

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TheDuneDude wrote:
Neckbeard wrote:
Honestly if there is a faction that is less interesting it's the Emperor. Its necessary to keep spice in the game but otherwise the emperor is pretty lame. Even the special powers aren't very special. At least compared to....everybody else.


True. And a game without Emperor means everyone has a decent chance at Cards. Of course you can take out Atreides, and then everyone is bidding blind, and that's not bad either.

To Brad's point about BG seeming to be passive, it can be depending on how you play it. No reason why they can't be aggressive though, and that's the way I like to play them. If I get a weapon as BG, everyone better watch out, because some leaders are going to die.


The BG is certainly the faction that new players struggle to play the most. When playing with mostly new player i will typically play the BG or if we have less than 6 i will leave out the BG. Typically a new player playing the BG sees everyone else having fun early on and fails to understand why BG are an exciting faction and typically get bored and confused with them.
Whilst the Emperor is the least exciting faction to play for an experienced player, i would say the BG is the least exciting faction to play for a new player.
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Glenn McMaster
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tempus42 wrote:
n815e wrote:
If you are playing BG and think you are “guessing” the winner, well... you aren’t doing it right.
That “guess” is your target to get that person to be the winner on the turn you chose, by any means necessary.

Totally agree! This is what makes the BG *really* fun when you can play at this level. Doesn't always work out, but when it does....

I still have memories of a game where I *really* was working hard on my prediction as my top priority. This was a (very rare for me) email game, so my tactics included surreptitiously influencing people to get the alliances that I wanted together at the Nexus that came up right before my prediction was due. Everything was falling into place. It's been a long time, so the details are foggy now, but I definitely remember it came down to a battle I had to throw, and in this case, the Voice actually worked against me -- the way the battle was set, I had to allow my opponent to kill my leader. But everyone "knew" that I knew what weapons my opponent had, and when I "muffed" (purposely) giving the "correct" Voice, everyone was on it in a heartbeat. The very next email was my opponent saying "What kind of Voice is that? Uh oh, does anyone have a Truthtrance, I'm worried I'm about to step into the BG prediction." (I didn't think it was *that* obvious, but when you play against 4-time world champions....) So someone Truthtranced me, I had to confess yes, my prediction is for this turn, and my opponent was able to throw the battle to me to avoid winning my prediction for me. Argh! If only I had had a Cheap Hero at that particular moment....


I believe that was Dune Game 10 on BGG, with embedded commentary for anyone that wants to check it out...
 
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Charles Reinert
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[/q]I believe that was Dune Game 10 on BGG, with embedded commentary for anyone that wants to check it out...[/q]

Is that in the strategy section? Or where can we find Dune Game 10?
 
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The Play by Forum... forum.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/708690/dune-game-10-now-com...
 
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Charles Reinert
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Paul Harding wrote:


Thanks Paul
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Charles Reinert
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Well I'm reading through the game 10 notes, and this seems pretty cool. I am wondering what year this took place. I am also wondering if I could get into one of these gaming sessions sometime. I am experienced in playing all characters of Dune, although the rule set and game procedures of my group are somewhat different. I'd be willing to take whatever character a group wanted to throw at me. So if you need someone, please let me know.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Game 10 was about 2011 or 2012. The players are from the World Boardgaming Championships. There are online games on BGG, but they don't yet approach the competitiveness of the WBC tournament, overall. (More laid back). Best way to experience DG10 is to play at the WBC this July at Seven Springs, PA
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John David Galt
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Quote:
I thought that the BG were generally accounted the strongest faction (highest win %). I've always thought of them that way.
How is that possible? In my experience it's only ever possible to win with the BG if you broker the predicted truce -- and since that is obvious to everyone, the only way it can happen is if you wait until everyone is dead-tired and then browbeat the other players into going along with it.

I will not play any game with any person who thinks that browbeating other players into doing what you want is an acceptable practice.
 
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Aaron Bredon
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jdgalt wrote:
Quote:
I thought that the BG were generally accounted the strongest faction (highest win %). I've always thought of them that way.
How is that possible? In my experience it's only ever possible to win with the BG if you broker the predicted truce -- and since that is obvious to everyone, the only way it can happen is if you wait until everyone is dead-tired and then browbeat the other players into going along with it.

I will not play any game with any person who thinks that browbeating other players into doing what you want is an acceptable practice.


The BG is the faction that is in most winning Alliances - the Voice is a very strong combat power, and if the BG have good weapon/defense, they can often fight as well as any other faction.

The BG prediction works mainly to make other players worried. Working towards winning by prediction is one of the hardest things to do, but you can mess other players up by encouraging them to do something now - they will doublethink, and possibly delay for one more turn.

The BG is also a strong endgame faction. The fact that their leaders are interchangeable and strong makes them more dangerous with fewer troops than any other faction. And you can't just kill of their best leader, either.

The last thing you want to see after a bunch of players deplete their armies going for/blocking a win, is the BG going out of coexistence in all 5 strongholds.
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