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Subject: Ideas for Adjusting the Fremen and BG rss

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Zenjoy
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First of all, I am new to this game. However I am VERY passionate about what I've experienced so far and would like to add this to my list of favorites. As such I am considering making some effort to find a means to make all 6 factions balanced and enjoyable unto each other to further improve the enjoyment my group will have at playing this game.

That aside, I have some ideas for adjusting 2 of the factions (as the title suggests - the Fremen and the BG/ Female Faction). These are only thoughts and are welcome to critisim with the intent of finding a means to adjust each faction to a level desirable to each other. I am not seeking to make any faction OP; so if my ideas do this, it was not intentional.


THE FREMEN - Boost
As I understand, the Fremen can get butchered/ bullied early in the game which can put them at a notable disadvantage for many turns as they require time to rebuild their forces. Some ideas to help them out:

- Fremen loose only 1/3 of their forces to the storm (rounded down) making them even MORE resilient to the Storm.

- The Fremen may EITHER move a group of their tokens two territories, or move two groups of tokens twice. This increases their mobility and helps them muster quickly groups together.

- Fremen may play a Karama card to revive 3 additional tokens this turn, and may place them in any reigion. Thematically this represents the Fremen from the far side of Dune "riding the worm" over to the side of conflict.


THE BENE GESSERTI (BG) - Nerf
Due to their 'Voice' they are very powerful allies, and due to this can assist many factions win the game. They are also very hard to get rid of due to their co-existance. A simple idea to help reduce them:

- The 'Voice' may only be used on an opponent (of the BG or their allies) if the BG have a token present at the Battle. I don't think it needs to be Thematically explained. It does disperse the BG's forces somewhat, but makes them less powerful as an ally while still very dangerous.



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Brad Johnson
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zfairborn wrote:
First of all, I am new to this game. However I am VERY passionate about what I've experienced so far and would like to add this to my list of favorites.


Any chance you might be able to make it to the US in August for the WBC? Best Dune tournament in existence! Plus you could have some really good conversations with my friend Glenn, the master of Dune variant suggestions! (You out there, Glenn?)

I love thinking about tweaking Dune, but you should be careful about making many significant changes -- the balance in the game can be very subtle. That being said, I do agree that the Fremen could generally use some help...

zfairborn wrote:
Fremen loose only 1/3 of their forces to the storm (rounded down)


I have nothing against such a suggestion, but I don't know if it would really have all that much of an impact. It might save an additional half a dozen Fremen tokens over the course of a typical game...

zfairborn wrote:
The Fremen may EITHER move a group of their tokens two territories, or move two groups of tokens twice.


I was just thinking about this same idea recently. Kind of a weaker version of the Hajr card, but reusable. Might be useful several times a game. (Every once in a while you can get a situation where you really wish you could move 2 groups, but it wouldn't really be all *that* often.)

What happens if the Fremen have ornithopters? Can they split a move of 3 among 2 groups? 3 groups? Can they move 2 groups 3 each? Or what?

zfairborn wrote:
Fremen may play a Karama card to revive 3 additional tokens this turn, and may place them in any reigion


Since the Fremen already have their special Karama power of summoning a worm, and if this is used, it's most likely for an emergency worm-riding movement, the main change you're proposing is adding in the ability to suddenly teleport in all 3 Fedaykin from the tanks in addition to what's on the board. I think I like it!

I think I still prefer some version of allowing the Fremen free (or reduced) battle support costs. Simple, thematic, and (hopefully) just the right amount of extra threat for them.

zfairborn wrote:
The 'Voice' may only be used on an opponent (of the BG or their allies) if the BG have a token present at the Battle.


I think someone (Glenn) proposed this before... It makes sense, but in practice, I don't really know if it'd be all that much of a impact. Typically, the BG like to have at least 1 token in every stronghold at all times anyway, and with the use of spiritual advisors, that's frequently in place by turn 2. It'd be worth trying to see just how much of a limitation it would really be. In practice, it would probably just mean that the BG's ally would never get to use the Voice in a non-stronghold combat.
 
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Zenjoy
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tempus42 wrote:
Any chance you might be able to make it to the US in August for the WBC? Best Dune tournament in existence! :) Plus you could have some really good conversations with my friend Glenn, the master of Dune variant suggestions! (You out there, Glenn?)


Would love to but due to living on the otherside of the world [Australia - which is kinda like Dune :D ] don't think I'll be able to. Cheers on the offer mind. I do have relatives in the US and may one day choose to move there (seems a lot more fun things happen over your way than here!)

tempus42 wrote:
What happens if the Fremen have ornithopters? Can they split a move of 3 among 2 groups? 3 groups? Can they move 2 groups 3 each? Or what?


I didn't realize there WERE rules for Ornithopters! (shows off my noobness clearly!). I think I did hear that if you control Carthag or Arrakeen that you get them. I just assumed they only acted as reminders that, while you control either of these x2 locations you harvest 3-spice/ token in any reigion instead of 2.

What else do Orinthopters do? I'm assuming these are tournament rules?
 
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Brad Johnson
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Standard rules - If you start the turn controlling Carthag or Arrakeen, 'thopters let you move 3 spaces instead of 1 (or 2).
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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My 2 cents :
The Fremen might indeed need a bit of boost (your movement idea sounds nice).
But I don't think the BG should be weakened. Sure, BG is a powerful ally, but they rarely "lead" an alliance, and it's even more rare that they win alone. I think they're overall balanced. Try playing them several times : at first glance you think that the Voice is enough to kick ass, but you'll quickly realize that BG has several major weaknesses, and it's your ass that ends up kicked (IMO, BG is one of the hardest factions to play, but one of the most interesting).



 
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Zenjoy
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Roolz wrote:
My 2 cents :
...don't think the BG should be weakened. Sure, BG is a powerful ally, but they rarely "lead" an alliance, and it's even more rare that they win alone. I think they're overall balanced....you'll quickly realize that BG has several major weaknesses, and it's your ass that ends up kicked (IMO, BG is one of the hardest factions to play, but one of the most interesting).


They seem it too. Fun though being the "whispering woman" behind the throne I'll bet. And cheers on the advice.

In curiosity, what would you say are their major weaknessess? From a glance they don't look very capable of gathering spice (due to co-existence), which I assume is quite a big blow to them as it prevents accelerated mustering of Tokens and the purchase of Treachery cards. What else would you say holds them back from being magnificent?
 
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Zenjoy
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tempus42 wrote:
Standard rules - If you start the turn controlling Carthag or Arrakeen, 'thopters let you move 3 spaces instead of 1 (or 2).


Found the rules. So if the Fremen have Carthag or Arrakeen, they can move token groups 3 reigons FROM the Great Flat [no where else]. Any other faction may move a group of tokens 3 reigions from ANY reigion. Is this right? Seems a bit unfair. I'd have assumed the Fremen should be allowed to use the Ornithopters like anyone else!

That question aside, to answer your question, I think that if the Fremen are controlling Carthag or Arrakeen that they may move 1 group 3-reigions and the another group 1-reigion, or may move 1 group 4-reigions. That way it gives them a boost but without changing their mobility too much and doesn't make them as mobile as the Guild.

Hows that work?
 
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B C Z
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Anyone starting in those two cities gets a movement of three which replaces their standard movement.

If you depart Carthag/Arakeen, you get the movement 'away', but don't get it later.
 
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byronczimmer wrote:
Anyone starting in those two cities gets a movement of three which replaces their standard movement.

If you depart Carthag/Arakeen, you get the movement 'away', but don't get it later.


Is that a varient or house rule? I'm just confused as the original rules imply the 3-territory movement becomes global to your faction while you control either Stronghold.

The example in the orginal rules reads:
"A Player with one or more tokens in Arrakeen would be able to move tokens starting in Tuek's Sietch through Pasty Mesa and Shield Wall to the Imperial Basin where they must stop"

Do correct me on this. I am still learning.
 
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B C Z
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At the start of your turn you either
HAVE Ornthopters
DO NOT HAVE Ornthopters

If you have Ornthopters, you have a movement of three.

What aren't you understanding?
 
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Zenjoy
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Ah. Nothing now. I get it. I just misread your previous post. I thought you meant you only get 3 movement if the unit STARTS in either Stronghold. I realize now you were just saying that if you only group of units move away from either Stronghold - they get their 3 movement but, having left the Stronghold, will not have it the following turn.

Just a mild misunderstanding.
 
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Dan The Man
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zfairborn wrote:
tempus42 wrote:
Standard rules - If you start the turn controlling Carthag or Arrakeen, 'thopters let you move 3 spaces instead of 1 (or 2).


Found the rules. So if the Fremen have Carthag or Arrakeen, they can move token groups 3 reigons FROM the Great Flat [no where else].


Incorrect.

The Fremen get a special case of Off-Planet move which is to bring units onto the map anywhere within two spaces of Great Flat. All other faction need to pay to be shipped from space onto the planet (BG get to bring units down with others' shipping).

Separate from that is On-Planet movement: for most factions one territory, for the Fremen two territories, and for owners of Carthag/Arakeen (including Fremen) three territories.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Quote:
Plus you could have some really good conversations with my friend Glenn, the master of Dune variant suggestions! (You out there, Glenn?)


Hey Brad! Coincidentally, lately I’d been going through the wreckage of that Dune variant playtest from 2009 these past couple days, and was about to post the stripped-down list of variant powers from it – I’ve already done so with some of the variant cards.

You getting pumped for 2010 yet, or is it still too snowy and bleary out there?

Quote:
The Fremen may EITHER move a group of their tokens two territories, or move two groups of tokens twice.


What if the Fremen could move all their token groups?

Quote:
The 'Voice' may only be used on an opponent (of the BG or their allies) if the BG have a token present at the Battle.


Kicked this one around a couple years back. Helps the enemies of the BG in desert battles where there isn’t likely to be a BG token, but in the strongholds it won’t have much effect. The version I went with said that the BG had to provide one of their named leaders to give the voice for themselves or for their ally, and if this leader turned out to be a traitor, the opponent could call traitor and use the voice against the BG’s ally!
 
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Glenn McMaster
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One other way to reduce the power of the 'voice' without altering the BG's powers is to have more variety in the types of weapons and defenses that available.
 
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B C Z
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There comes a point where messing with a classic just doesn't work.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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Best addition to a classic ever: Jar Jar Binks.
1 
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Jay Sachs
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GLENN239 wrote:
Best addition to a classic ever: Jar Jar Binks.


Presumably he'd be a new Guild leader? Value, oh, say -2?
 
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Randy Brown
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No Jar Jar's powerful.

A Jar Jar token should work like this: The other leader immediately dies (hara khuri), but you automatically lose the battle (as your troops do the same). The other side still loses whatever they dialed in. You are forbidden from directing any sequels. You may talk like Jar Jar, but only if you want to be killed, "No me-sa stay! Me-sa--" [Bang]...
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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zfairborn wrote:


In curiosity, what would you say are their major weaknessess?

To me, the low revival rate is main weakness of the BG. They're typically not very wealthy either. And their starting conditions are not terrific.
 
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only takes one token and a cheap hero to hold the lazgun and a shield.
 
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Jay Sachs
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byronczimmer wrote:
only takes one token and a cheap hero to hold the lazgun and a shield.


I think Jar Jar is incapable of even that.
 
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Glenn McMaster
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To be fair, Obi Wan never strapped explosives onto Jar Jar before sending him to 'negotiate' with the Chancellor. Would have been a better movie if he had.

Relying on the voice makes BG strategy pretty pretty one-dimensional.
 
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Dan Freedman
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In my experience, the Fremen suffer the most in the early game because they have difficulty in getting treachery cards. Having only 3 spice, they often get shut out of the bidding. And if the spice blows somewhere near the Harkonnen's they can be shut out again. Matters can be made worse if the Harks are positioned on the dot after the Fremen as it makes just about any spice gathering precarious.

Combine that with the fact they can get all their troops onto the board early and for free, they are sometimes put in a bad position of having to stop the Harks from winning...with no good treachery cards! Their leader advantage becomes worthless because they are getting poisoned or stabbed. They have to win based on numbers. So in many games, by the first couple of turns, the tanks have distinct yellow color.

Luckily they come back for free...but so slowly.

I'd start them off w/more money (for bidding) or an extra card to give them a boost. Or maybe let them revive 4 free per turn...so a human wave against the Harkonnen's isn't as debilitating.

Not sure any changes are needed, but these were what came to mind if I had to change anything.



 
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Dan Freedman
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In our games, the Emperor usually respawns as fast as the Fremen. Paying 4 spice is nothing to the Emperor. Almost always he's willing to do that for full (3) revival. Granted, there have been a few games with a poor emperor, but they have been the exception rather than the rule.

The emperor can only hold 4 cards. That's 3 cards at a minimum for other races to pick up in round 1. If the Harks get 1, they get a bonus card. So it's not uncommon for the Harks to attack Fremen in the desert with their 4 or more Treachery cards to the Fremen's 1. The idea being..either mine the spice..or kill the Fremen leaders for spice. Add in the fact that the Fremen could lose a very powerful leader (captured) when the Harks win the battle. The Fremen advantage of having powerful leaders can be quickly neutralized.

I'm not saying they must be bumped up. But I can understand those wanting to give them a boost. They have a tougher road to get the win.
 
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