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Dune» Forums » Rules

Subject: Allies "defraying costs" rss

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Will Fogg
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Hello all Dune players!

Though I realize that no two groups play Dune alike, I am going to throw this question as it popped up during our last game of Dune, qhich I am trying our group to play regularly.

We play advanced game with optional rules (double blow, advanced combat).

The question is about allies defraying costs of bidding and shipping in to planet. We find in the rules that it is allowed for allies to do this. Then we are using the house rule about Bribes and given spice only being collected in the Collection round, except the Emperor that can give and receive spice at any time.

But if ALL allies can pay for the costs of bidding and/or shipping in to planet, we find there is a way to "transfer" funds from player to player to use with other ends both in the bidding round and in the movement round. Say "I will pay for your 10 troop assault on Carthag so you can use your 10 spice fighting the Harkonnen". Also, If the Guild is able to give spice to his ally for shipment, spice that inmediately comes back to him: it really looks as the Emperor special ability being used.

But that is the problem: the Emperor's ONLY ability (except the Sardaukar, which are not much of an ability) is to freely give and take money, which is mostly useless if anybody can do it in a little tricky roundabout way.

So in our last game we houseruled that NO ONE can pay for another player expenses (movement or bidding), except the Emperor of course who can transfer money freely to his allies to use in any purpose.

How do you play that? opinions? how does it work for you and your group?

Thank you!

W
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Brad Johnson
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The house rule that you're referring to (about spice only being transferred between players during the Collection Round) is one I developed for use in the WBC tournament. It's been very well-received there, and it's interesting that the use of it is slowly spreading to other groups.

Your final interpretation of it is the way it was intended: No spice can physically transfer between players except in 4 very specific instances:

1) Spice paid for treachery cards during the Bidding Round is immediately transferred to the Emperor. (Normal bidding rule.) Note that combined with #3 below, this means that the Emperor's allies CAN essentially buy cards without paying.

2) Spice paid for shipping during the Movement Round is immediately transferred to the Guild. (Normal shipping rule.) Note this means that the Guild's allies still have pay for shipment, but the Guild's half-rate for allies special power still helps.

3) The Emperor may transfer spice TO an ally at any time. (Emperor special alliance rule.)

4) Any player may transfer spice to any other player during the Collection Round. (Bribery house rule.)

We play that if spice is promised as part of a binding deal between players (e.g. "I'll pay you 2 spice now to see how far the storm is going to move."), the paying player places the spice on the receiving player's dot, and then the spice is picked up during the Collection Round. It's a nice convenient way to manage it.

It's true that the rules as written are ambiguous about how bribery is handled - one rule (I forget the exact citation right now) says it can only be done between allies for certain purposes (shipping, buying cards, etc.), and another rule at least strongly implies that you can give to anyone as part of basically any deal.

Before we started using the house rule, we played that spice could be transferred between players completely freely (e.g. "I'll give you 10 spice to ship enough tokens to beat the Harkonnen in Carthag."). This meant that stalemates were pretty easy to create, because money was essentially never an issue when it came to preventing someone else from winning the game. Players would always pool their money to do whatever needed to be done to stop the win. With the house rule, you have to plan ahead a little more for such maneuvers, and money management becomes a lot more of an interesting factor in the game.
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Jeremiah Lee
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We play that spice can only trade hands during the spice collection phase, as otherwise (as you noted) the Emperor's ability it giving to everyone.

The Emperor's ability might seem a bit weak at first, but if it's used to get the most out of these transfers (they have a monopoly on instant-loans) then it gets more useful. Does the Harkonnen need another three spice to fund a battle they didn't think they were going to have to fight? Your good buddy the Emperor will gladly pay, in exchange for four spice later.
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Will Fogg
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Thank you for your answers and opinions.

After trying two games with these 4 rules Brad mentions (thanks brad for that houserule, I read it from you somewhere over the forums)I think we are going to keep them: the feeling is that the Emperor's ally power is useful and at the same time, deals and bribery can be done (though my group is still shy of information-bartering. In out last 4 player game I as the Atreides only managed to get 4 spice out of them for treachery card info.

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Klaude Thomas
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Have you tried playing without Alliance and Bribery rules, or do you always use them? If you have played without the Alliance and Bribery rules, what was your experience?
 
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James
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Sorry to play necromancer with this thread, but it was useful to me and I always think it's preferable to starting a redundant thread.

In Ilya's build there is player aid which includes the text, "Allies may help each other to pay Spice for cards in Bidding round, or for shipment in Movement Round." This confused me as nowhere in Slev's rules (also in the Ilya build) could I find this rule. In fact, my reaction was identical (though I do not anticipate using Advanced Combat), that this really weakens the alliance power of the Emperor and makes Spice flow too easily.

My first game of Dune is imminent and I'm confused. For those who know that aid, is there a disconnect between it and Slev's (outstanding!) rules set? Is there relative agreement on whether or not to use the "defraying costs" rule? Like the OP, just having played Rex and not Dune, I'd be much more inclined not to allow allies defraying costs and have bribes collected only in the Collection Round. Thanks, all, for your collected wisdom in this forum!
 
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