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Subject: Atreides and Harkonnen Alliances? rss

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Neil Christiansen
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I imagine this has been debated some, but does anyone else disallow these two factions to ally?

We always have as a house rule, considering it anti-thematic.
 
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Erik Nicely
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It's heresy.

But I wouldn't disallow it in a game.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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chris1nd wrote:
We always have as a house rule, considering it anti-thematic.


Nonsense. Last game I played was won by a three-way alliance between the Atreides, the Harkonnen, and the Bene Gesserit (me). Clearly, Lady Jessica had repented her earlier waywardness in giving birth to Paul and returned to the grand plan of melding the two houses into an unstoppable force under the sisterhood's command.
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Michael Lavoie
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I've never played with any kind of house rule to that effect, but I also cannot remember playing a game in which House Atreides and House Harkonnen were allied. In fact, the more I think of it, the more I realize that every game of Dune that I've ever been involved in has found those two Houses actively battling each other. It would appear that we're either traditionalists, too familiar with the book, or perhaps we simply lack imagination.
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Neil Christiansen
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I should say that not only do I think that such an alliance makes little sense from the perspective of the story narrative, but I also do not like how it plays. At the first worm, the two players with thopters can team up and have quite an advantage in terms of harvesting spice.

Disallowing it prevents this.

Of course, I should also say I HATE allowing three-way alliances and actually prefer a 5-player game without the BG to playing with 6 and including them.

With that said, whatever you folks enjoy is fine. I just wondered if anyone else had similar sentiments.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Hark and Atreides need that harvesting advantage in order to be viable.

I don't think forbidding them to ally makes sense in game terms, especially since one of the early exits for one (or both) is too much fighting between themselves.

Leaving the BG out in a 5-player game seems to be most common. However, I've never heard where anyone prefered 5-player to having the BG in the game. I have reservations about the Voice more than just about anything else in the game, since it's just brutal in the hands of a good player.
 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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GLENN239 wrote:
I have reservations about the Voice more than just about anything else in the game, since it's just brutal in the hands of a good player.

...if he can get his hands on a couple of good cards. Otherwise, even the good player is hosed...

 
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Jeffrey Vaca
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...but to stay (or get back) on topic...

Although I tend to avoid the Atreides / Harkonnen alliance when I'm playing one of them, I have seen no reason to prohibit it balance-wise (I agree that it only punishes them early on).

Thematically speaking, Dune is a world of uncomfortable alliances. Within the game, factions/players often find themselves in the position of having to seek an alliance with the very group (or individual) who had recently betrayed them. Since the game of Dune isn't simply a re-play of the original Dune story, I can imagine situations wherein the Atreides and Harkonnen would have to form an alliance.

Purists who do not want the Dune universe violated are always going to find aspects of the game that they find uncomfortable, erroneous, or otherwise distasteful.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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In a game where 3-player alliances are disallowed, I think this early alliance can be pretty devastating. Between them, they have an early spice advantage with thopters. The Atreides can point the Harkonnen to cards to fill his hand to 8. And the traitor thing. And the number of troops on planet.

Early in the game, no other 2-player alliance seems so powerful. Once this becomes known, it seems like a recipe for short games.

As far as being a purist, I am not sure I really ever thought of myself that way. But in a 3-player game of War of the Ring, as a game designer I would not allow the Fellowship and Sauron players to ally against Saruman either. But he might ally with either.

I see it that way. Sure, alliances shifted lots among other factions, but I do not see Paul Atreides ever seeking a mutual victory with the Harkonnens.

The minor limitation seems to make the game more fun, not less. They are the core of the conflict on the planet. Which is not to say an alliance without one or the other cannot win.
 
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Armin Sudhoff
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chris1nd wrote:
In a game where 3-player alliances are disallowed, I think this early alliance can be pretty devastating. Between them, they have an early spice advantage with thopters. The Atreides can point the Harkonnen to cards to fill his hand to 8. And the traitor thing. And the number of troops on planet.

Early in the game, no other 2-player alliance seems so powerful. Once this becomes known, it seems like a recipe for short games.

C'mon... they have to spend their spice... if not for cards, then for shipment. Having still the Fremen onboard, a Guild/Emperor-alliance (cards, shipment, Sardaukar) with a "non-official" Fremen "add-on" (They are paid, to bid high on cards (money is returned to emp) and for harvesting/battling) is capable of beating such an alliance back.

Also, if the AT leaves the good cards to HK, before their alliance, the Baron could easily backstab the AT, allying with the guild (or emp) instead, winning an early game with one of them

So far my opinion... don't restrict it, but kick it back, if it happens

Greetz, HivedOne!
 
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