This collection is assembled by mentat Carazvan in the year 10192 for the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. It comprises our best intelligence on the Dune Spice Wars without setting foot on Arrakis. Take care when using this information, as the spies are unreliable and provide contradictory at times. As new patches of knowledge are acquired data may need be updated.
Arrakis, Dune, one of the most desolate places in the universe …
…and at the same time the most precious planet. Because it is here, and only here, that the spice mélange grows. The spice extends life, expands consciousness and is vital to space travel. This has been the central pillar of our civilization for millennia and its mining is the key of the Imperium.
The dangers of the planet are many, as the desert provides constant hazards like storms, worms and hostile locals that attack with little warning.
How frequent these hazards are in their actuality is probably something that can only be experience first-hand upon arriving on the planet.
Due to its slow rotational speed and axial tilt there is an exact day-night cycle every 15 standard days with 10 days sunlight, 1 day dusk, 4 days nighttime. It is rumored certain factions and rebels can use this to their advantage to gain benefits.
As more first-hand reports are included in this report, I should mention to your highness that many reports seems be using the guild navigators trance-like perception of time and mixing it with human scales. To avoid confusion, the space navigator’s perception of time is 30 seconds equaling one day (15 mins equaling 1 month, 3 hours equaling 1 year).
This perception of time can also be frozen, sped up by 50% (20s/day) or even by 100% (15sec/day).
The surface of Dune is currently battled over by 4 factions with more potential candidates being rumored to exist.
While the exact methods for determination the supremacy is up to your highness, as well as who should even be considered a candidate, I will strive to present a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses as well as all the trials they will face.
Your majesty’s cousin, Duke Leto Atreides, seems poised to seek the Landsraad’s backing to become governor of Arrakis. His likely strategy will be to use their army and skills to expand and take as much territory as possible, not seeking but neither avoiding conflict with other factions, and then use their Landsraad connections to request recognition as Dune’s official governor.
His reputation, or hegemony as your majesty prefers to call it, seems to grow with every successful appearance in the Landsraad council. My sources tell me that once he reaches sufficient hegemony he will be able to get financial or military support based on resolutions affecting them. There’s even talk of him avoiding the requirements normally placed on houses for the charters.
The Atreides skilled diplomats seem to be able to convince rebel towns via negotiation to join their cause in 15 days in a peaceful annexation trading only some meager political influence. While this might seem like a trivial bonus, since troops can clear and annex a town in 1-2 days, there are three points to consider.
The village’s rebel troops will join his faction, meaning even a very large militia town can be a target early on. Secondly, since there is no necessity for owned territory to be anywhere nearby, their diplomats can conquer far away valuable lands. And lastly, since these negotiations are secret, the other factions often don’t see this until the day the village announces their new allegiance.
Their fair practices in trade mean that other factions do not need to give up authority for their purposes. While at the tactical level this seems like a loss of authority, the strategic benefit is they can make research and trade deals instantly with all factions (as long as they are not strong-willed humans and most adversaries today seem like the tired old thinking machines of the Butlerian Jihad).
This focus on fairness also comes as a disadvantage as the Duke has forbidden the pillaging of neutral villages, which is likely to limit their initial growth.
There are multiple councilors around the Duke which can give him extra benefits but I think he only tends to listen to 2 of them at any time:
It’s believed Lady Jessica uses the power of the voice in treaty negotiations since all that go there never deny her and a faction has to spend much authority to override and discredit their trade representative.
Duncan Idaho’s is rumored to be spending time among the Fremen, which is likely to give the Duke better knowledge of the hidden sietches locations and make the rebel villages more likely to accept his rule.
Thufir Hawat’s meticulous recruiting practices for agents seem to allow them to develop skills in two specialties. Whenever a province is dedicated to a single purpose he also seems to personally oversee it’s development generating bonuses in its production.
Gurney Halleck’s recruitment and training program generates superior fighting forces from the earliest levels. When applied to village militia ,while more expensive in terms of both men and costs, it generates fighting forces unrivaled by any faction.
The Attreides military focuses on united cooperation and protection of their units in frontal assaults
The main weaknesses for House Atreides is their lack of ability to pillage early on until they have contact with enemy factions as well as a relatively slow pace of hegemony production since it depends on waiting for council sessions and desired outcomes. Other factions will likely be able to outpace them and enable their own plans before the Duke can bring his power to bear.
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen brutal tactics and demeanor are infamous, but I think it leads many people to overlook his ruthless cunning and scheming. My spies tell me it is these constant plots and operations that are increasing his hegemony daily. I think the Baron will aim to expand carefully fully building up a few towns and squeezing all he can out of them while he plots away at removing his opponents either militarily or with a few expendable agents.
The state of constant unrest makes most villages under his control perform their tasks less efficiently but this is usually balanced out by the fear of their militia class which act like overseers at local areas
Their Oppression of the local population in their villages is impressive. It has the ability to squeeze resources out of a village with tripling production for a period of 2 days with the loss of only a few workers which are replenished in about 10 days, there is also the remote possibility they would rise up to fight him but troops are usually stationed close-by to deal with such discontents.
I think if it becomes widely known it could also be that this will help his forces and recruiting ability.
His constant use of spies also gives the baron full knowledge of the influence gains enemy factions have on Dune letting him plan his steps in the Council in advance.
In my calculus I believe the Barons lack of value for human life will likely lead to him sacrificing many agents to achieve his goals if he feels he has a grand enough hegemony. This would seem trite for most type of operations, but a well timed traitor could be undetected, much less expensive and facilitate the death of an enemy leader.
If forced into a corner I believe he might even risk deploying part of his atomic arsenal to prevent another faction from achieving victory and bear the brunt of the uproar in the Landsraad. While any house could potentially use their atomics, his ability to sacrifice agents to deploy them all in just a few days could be crucial.
The Baron likes to keep his circle of trusted advisors very small and will likely only select 2 councilors to fully bring into his plans, what is likely to happen to those not selected doesn’t bear thought:
Feyd-Rautha, the nephew of the baron is becoming well versed in the act of political discourse. His ability to argue opposite sides resolutions in the Council make it so that even if a faction wins a vote they lose standing.
Piter De Vries’s twisted thoughts are recently turned to stealth intelligence gathering with Ornithopters and Drones, no doubt to support the barons devious plots
Raban’s lives up to his moniker of the beast. He’s found new and cruel ways to oppress the locals enabling the tripling of production to increase by the use of the local militia. He might even convince the Baron to hire more militia. This is likely to enable a full town to add a day to the resource production.
Iakin Nefud’s semuta trances seem to have given him new ideas on how to both recruit new forces and provide them with combat drugs cheaper.
Harkonen units focus on damaging the opponent with little care for their own safety and take pride in the injuries and kills they inflict
While the Harkonnen have some of the strongest troops on the battlefield of Arrakis they also require them in many locations and their expansion will be hampered by the necessity to keep troops in all town. I think they are the most likely to suffer from guerrilla attacks and disruptions to their towns can likely lead to spirals of deficit problems forcing them to contract their reach.
Esmar Tuek is a man that would be beneath even minor houses on other planets but his ability to gather important people around him and be present in all important discussions on Arrakis should not be overlooked. I would reckon that he’ll continue to avoid any confrontations, ambush and sabotage other factions plans, and continue to build up his dominion until his hegemony of the planet is uncontested.
It’s rumored that the hegemony Esmar has achieved is mainly funded by the pillaged goods from villages on Dune, but no-one looks to closely when the solari and spice flows.
The smugglers are so good at hiding their tracks that it seems they can install a full underworld village in opponents regions. These can be used for financial or political gains or even as a staging ground to prepare for the villages invasion.
Since they live in the shadows it should come as no surprise that unlike other factions they don’t need to send units to negotiate with found Black Markets being able to use them instantly to sell a full spice load at outrageous prices. I’d be surprised if they ever interact with CHOAM to sell their spice they gather like other factions
My spies tell me their bribes have even made it to the Landsraad Council with bounties being placed on resolutions.
I fear that if he continues to rise his hegemony even to moderate levels he will gain recognition in the the Landsraad as a viable option to the official houses. Such recognition would probably open up even more ways for they to ship contraband spice off-world.
If his hegemony rises even higher I believe he will be able to attract better equipped merceneries from off-world directly into his ranks. Knowing his methods these merceneries would like be used to pillage even deeper into enemy territory.
In these days it’s said that Tuek uses two assistants but their identity hasn’t been found out. His known associates are
Staban Tuek is his son and specializes in running the networks in the villages to maximize cooperation and profit.
Lingar Buet is the famous water-trader of Arrakis and if he’s working with Tuek it will be certain he will brag about the vast stores of water to help bring villages and underworld agents to his cause.
Drisq is Tuek’s quatermaster who’s surprisingly adept at gathering information without any other human sources from all factions. This is likely linked with her desire to only have agents that can bring a direct financial benefit to the faction
Bannerjee is the head of security for Sietch Tuek and as such knows all the places people hide their goods. He could be teaching the smuggler forces to ransack and gather even more when pillaging enemy villages.
The smugglers units look to be focused on sneak attacks, ambushes and pillaging villages rather than true fights. They tend to prey on troops on low supply and avoid direct fights.
The smugglers are likely to suffer greatly if any of the houses start focusing on them directly. Their troops while having the firepower don’t have the health to stand up to direct assault and will likely lose many towns on front lines with the enemies.
While most of the indigenous population of Arrakis can be considered Fremen, a particular leader is arrising in the person of Liet Kynes. Their leadership from Sietch Tabr is uniting more and more people under a single unified goal of liberating Arrakis from Imperium forces. As such I doubt there will be any quarter will be given to enemy factions and they are the most likely to push for completely wiping out all enemy resistance.
The Fremen’s obsession with water and it’s preservation is well-known in the universe and my spies tell me that they’re using it’s production rate to expand their hegemony.
The Fremen seem at home in the desert being able to use their stillsuits to limit their needed supplies.
While they are not known for using shuttles there are some very troubling reports that they ride the giant worms to get around between locations. I believe these require skilled worm-riders that are exhausted upon its use thankfully. However, as they get more hegemony, I fear that they might get even more skilled worm-riders that can call even larger worms to travel up to 50% further.
One aspect to be thankfull for is that while they may use their influence in the Landsraad they will never be recognized by the other Houses and given votes and no charter will be possible. Grudgingly your highness may have to resort to calling them ‘Arrakis Governor’ if they conquer half of available villages and have stronger sietch allies.
When my spies hear of Liet Kynes four other names are usually mentioned but it is my understanding that Liet send two of them away on special missions so those are unlikely to help the Fremen’s cause in this conflict.
Chani Kynes is the daughter of Liet and seems to be a natural troublemaker. Even in villages that haven’t sworn their allegiance to Sietch Tabr she can get intelligence to further the Fremen cause. She also specializes in inciting villages to rebel at the slightest hint of a succesful Landsraad resolution, no doubt my making lies that it will impact them negatively.
Mother Ramallo is one of the oldest truth-holders or Sayyadina for the Fremen. Her knowledge of the olden ways is likely to enable Liet to build shrines much earlier to their so called ‘Shai-Hulud’ god. She’s also said to be able to posses some intrinsic connection to the spice-mellange being able to detect it all over the planet at the slightest trance in the wind.
Otheym is one of the fiercest known warriors that would likely be able to impart his knowledge of desert warfare to all Liet’s troops. His knowledge of solo ambush combat will likely make single Fremen fighting troops even more effective.
Stilgar_Ben_Fifrawi is one of the most trusted sietch Naib’s on Dune and his swearing allegiance to Liet’s cause would likely increase their authority on the condition they can prove they have the spice reserves to back up their unknown plans.
Their individual units are incredibly strong with anecdotal evidence of single troops engaging whole villages or even enemy sietches succesfully but training of such strong warriors likely requires massive resources
Note the Kulon Caravan is thought to be a mobile supply base which transforms into a Hiereg that can heal, hide and replenish their troops.
While the Fremen are strong warriors and powerful enemy their power is almost entirely dependant on their ability to continue expanding and wining fights. If hit with economic attacks via negative resolutions and enemy spy operations they are likely to fair much worse and can be brought down from the inside.
At this date 01.01.10192 all factions find themselves in similar strategic position on Arrakis. They control only a main base and Ornithopter with the knowledge of the direction of one spice province resource.
The main base provides an initial level of resource gain and is the bastion they must defend at all cost.
Any leader’s first task should be to investigate the surrounding provinces. They can likely get reports on province outlines and rumored locations of interest simply by entering the province. Finding and identifying the exact locations and types can take them about 2/3rd of the day (or 20 seconds in the tracelike time).
Each location rumored on the map can become a village, province resource, or a point of interest. On average each province has about 3 potential initial locations with one village, resource and point of interest. A clever duke, baron or naib will soon learn to generally gauge which locations to investigate first as spots near rocky outcroppings tend to be villages.
A leader can also gain ideas if a province contains a village and resource from the descriptions of provinces. Although they refuse to name the locations, the locals that put these reports together give clues in the number of shields. 2 shields indicating a region with both a town and a resource and 1 shield for a single town.
The description also include an estimate of the average wind produced in the region which is a key to both supply loss suffered by troops and to determining yields for water production.
The province resources that can be found usually can improve existing yields for village buildings
Or even allow new industries to be built, like the all important spice gathering.
Separate from the resources one might find via the reports the locals provide there are some provinces that are famous for various geographical locations, or are known to provide great places to build up centers of research or recruitment. Since these locations are known to all on Arrakis they usually also provide a hegemony bonus to the faction that controls them.
After a factions military has beaten the local militias there are usually 3 options to be considered
Some of these options can be improved in their results via technologies as it is known that newly liberated towns sometimes pay solari to fremen leaders which have invested in those contacts.
There are multiple aspects that impact the annexation costs for a village but can be broadly broken down into base costs and bonuses/maluses.
The base costs for taking a village are split up into 4 parts:
- flat village cost of 20 authority
- Distance based cost of between 5-100 depending on distance from main base
- Owned villages cost which can be computed based on T – number of towns owned and D-Distance cost mentioned above. Owned village cost is ~ T * (3.5 + D/6)
- Enemy village cost which can be computed based on T – number of towns owned and D-Distance cost mentioned above. Owned village cost is ~ 15 + (D/20) * T
These 4 costs added together gives the leaders the base authority they’ll have to spend to conquer these villages.
After that most leaders invest in bonuses that are applied as a percentage reduction to the base costs, which can range from exploration fame, water propensity, cruel reputation or many other options.
Villages start with 2 buildings slots available for buildings with 3 more able to be expanded for 100,300,500 Plascreen. With very limited exceptions no 2 buildings of the same type can be placed in provinces.
Most of the buildings are seen among villages from all factions.
Some buildings are present in villages belonging to all but the Fremen.
The Fremen present some of the more interesting buildings both for their spice gathering and economy and for their avoidance of fuel cells.
The Smugglers underworld HQ ability can be almost thought of as a village within a village with 3 separate slots available for buildings and 6 options available (Esmar Tuek is thought to be thinking of even more ways to exploit enemy villages so more options are likely to come)
While the resources and strategic locations have the largest impact on which targets are chosen by the factions an interesting aspect is the bonuses some of the villages provide which helps set them apart.
It seems the factions start focusing on research after they discover the hardships of conquering their first village. Beyond improving abilities certain technologies also unlock buildings, treaties and units.
The opportunities are split into 4 branches and each faction modifies the main tree a little while they share most technologies. To better allow your highness to compare their choices I am presenting them together with alternatives into a single tree.
The times that my spies mention the factions spend on research makes me believe the Ixians or Tleilaxu are interfering and changing their results as the costs seem to keep increasing not with difficulty or time but simply with every succesfull technology.
While the specifics are still eluding my calculations (the spies used insist on providing only round estimates in days) the main characteristics of the research system are as follows:
- research cost start per level at 20, 30, 40, 50 knowledge.
- knowledge costs increase by between 10-20% every new research is completed
- knowledge costs depend only on the number of technologies researched.
- Main base research reductions (20%) improve the cost of a technology as if 1 less was researched
I will update this report once further data studies are performed to find exact costs.
The Research can be sped up in 2 ways: by increasing daily knowledge gain and by getting bonuses to the rate of research. As the research bonus rates only increase the costs partially I think they should be secondary and a research institute should be first goal for any
Research by other means
One thing that can potentially help the factions speed up their research is the existing knowledge scattered around the map. An entreprising leader can have his agents gather information from wrecks on the map that give him 2 days worth of expansion, economic or military knowledge.
A lucky leader might even find some old crashed spaceships which have 15 total days (10 statecraft, 5 military) of knowledge.
The Landsraad assembly of great houses is supposed to be one of the steadfast pillars of the Imperium besides your highness’s imperial throne and the Spacing guild. It’s standing impacts all recognized houses and those that may gain recognition by a strong hegemony.
The council of the Landsraad is a political entity that has sessions running every 20 days. The council seems to be on hiatus so the first one of year 10192 will start on day 21. Each session is divided into 4 stages and presents 3 resolution to be voted upon.
First stage lasts 6 days and is mainly for the Speaker of the Council to decide if they wish the Council to reroll any of the proposed resolutions.
Second stage lasts 6 days and is supposed to be for thorough reading of the resolution texts but more recently factions have started using this time to place bounties, corrupt officials and incite rebellions on these resolutions.
Third stage lasts 6 days and represents the actual voting on the resolutions with use of Landsraad votes and accumulated influence.
The final stage lasts 2 days and shows the voting outcomes. The resolutions come into effect at the start of this section instead of as the next session.
Charters are special roles in the Landsraad that grant a faction special powers or via the governorship a victory opportunity.
There are two types of requirements on charters, Unlock requirements which must be met for anyone to be considered for the charter and election prerequisites which one must satisfy at the start of a new session.
An example in the above situation shows various combinations of if the position is unlocked (lighter color and lock missing), election options if a resolution were to be propossed (the sheilds below the charters) and who holds the position currently (Solid color and faction icon in charter).
The types of resolutions are varied and can range from economic, political, military and votes on charters. Additionally they can be general applying to all parties equally or targeted on a single faction.
The espionage system relies around agents who unlock levels of infiltration for enemy factions, counter-espionage, as well as the planet neutral parties like Arrakis, Spice Guild, CHOAM and Landsraad
Agents are generated continuously starting from day 15 and their recruitment time depends on how many other agents the Factions Master of Assassins needs to juggle. This time can be improved significantly with technologies or Information center.
The following are the approximate times in days needed to recruit spies at various boost levels
|Number of Spies||Normal||x2 , +100% agent recruitment||x3 , +200% agent recruitment||x4 , +300% agent recruitment||x5 , +400% agent recruitment|
Recruitment times per each level for normal speed are listed below:
(note the italic times are there for computation of higher levels only as at least x3, +200% is required to have more than 10 spies)
It also seems that that the prestige of Eye of the Council makes two agents join the faction without any influence to this recruitment time.
Each agent that is on assignment to an infiltration level manages to produces some resources for their faction beyond their primary task of infiltrating
Each agent generates +10% infiltration per day which and increases level if a new agent is placed.
Each infiltration level applies a -10% infiltration penalty per day which decreases the level if an agent is not present to counteract it. This means that over the long term infiltration levels will always equal number of agents placed in a category.
A shrewd Master of Assassins can therefore maintain a true level 1 infiltration of all factions with 1 agent moving them around between factions as a single tick will be needed to move the infiltration back to 1.
The infiltration levels allow the development of various operations which can be used directly on the map. These operations fall into categories of difficulty with varying costs and risks. Some of the operations are faction specific or limited for some factions.
A faction’s infiltration level gives increasing details on their resources, inflows/outflows, councilors, military command points used, agents.
Arrakis infiltration level allows for interacting with certain points of interest on the map discovered by the Ornithopters.
CHOAM Infiltration level 1 also gives information about the future spice trade rates allowing extra planning if storing or selling current stockpiles.
It seems when recruiting these agents there’s focus on using their unique skills to benefit their faction more than the usual resources provided.
Operations are the main way the leaders use their intelligence on Arrakis to further their goals.
They range from simple probes to scout a location, to Atomics use which can devastate a province.
The simplest only take intelligence points, low levels of infiltration and carry no risks and tend to be focused around combat. As they gain in difficulty they have extra complications and chance for agent capture.
Beyond the common operations above each faction has a special operation they can set up
In certain cases a faction might decide spending resources to eliminate a faction via subterfuge is preferred to direct confrontation.
Since these operations are very dangerous they always involve complications and setup considerations.
As this does seem to be one of their favored tools I would be remiss to not mention the Harkonnen’s ability to sacrifice agents which makes these operations that much more terrifying.
The political landscape of Arrakis is filled with intrigue and jostling for position between even minor houses and actors. Such people sometimes give interesting events that last 20 days for a faction leader to consider.
Not all events are beneficial with deadlines and potentially disastrous consequences happening for ignoring some for 20 days
The smugglers also seem even more apt at finding special ways and events to use their contraband supplies
Points of Interest
As one explores the map of Arrakis it becomes clear that it has many riches available for those know to search it. A clever leader might also stockpile these locations and only resolve to use them at strategic times instead of keeping the data available for other spies to see.
The smugglers have an even better deal with the Black Market not needing to send any troops to make contact and being able to sell a full load (~200 spice) at outrageous prices of 4-4.5 Solari/spice.
Constant exploration of these Points of Interest can generate a good source of research, intel, or direct resources depending on the need of the player
Once sufficient ranking is achieved (via 2K Hegemony) the main base can be developed further to improve its characteristics. Here we also encounter differences in the layout of the bases and the maximum number of buildings they can hold.
Main base bonuses
The district bonuses are almost universal and can be stacked multiple times. The only slight variation is in political forum. Since no building can be built more than the faction leaders will be forced to make decisions about which areas to prioritize and build up accordingly.
Most buildings available for the main base seem to be present among all faction:
The last statecraft building seems to be specific to each factions focusing on their stregth:
Additionally the Fremen switch out the Harvester works for the Al Gaib Temple and the Smuglers switch out the enhanced fortifications for weapons facility
Littered around the map of arrakis are many sietches that harbor the rebels which plague most houses with constant attacks. These locations can be found via investing in Arrakis infiltration or by investigating the relevant points of interest on the map.
If the constant attacks have made a leader angry he can try and wipe out the sietch to stop risks of future attacks for a short time as well as receive a decent plunder of 1.1k-1.4k Solari.
A smarter approach is to trade excess water which the Sietches value dearly for resources.
The trades seem to be overall fair with 10 Water giving valuable resources and also slowly increasing relation with the sietch. At 100 relation this trade value is increased by 50% further improving the trade.
|Initial||+1 +4 +1 +20 +4 +10|
|100 Relation||+2 +6 +2 +30 +6 +15|
When reaching 100 relation the local naibs share the sietches secret specialty with the faction.
Most factions need to station an agent to facilitate this trade but I’ve heard report the fremen only give up some authority for the same privilege and don’t even need to share a province.
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Taxes and Upkeep
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This is all about Dune: Spice Wars – A Mentat’s guide to Arrakis; I hope you enjoy reading the Guide! If you feel like we should add more information or we forget/mistake, please let us know via commenting below, and thanks! See you soon!
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