Dune: Spice Wars – Smugglers – Early Game & Walkthrough

Dune: Spice Wars – Smugglers – Early Game & Walkthrough 1 - steamlists.com
Dune: Spice Wars – Smugglers – Early Game & Walkthrough 1 - steamlists.com

I wanted to make a guide on Smugglers in Spice Wars, even though I only played one 11h long round with smugglers on hard – but I think I have some good tips.
Please note that I played blind to not spoil myself and figured out some stuff on the go and some other stuff only late into the game 😀 For me that is part of the fun. Ultimately I lost the game but that’s ok, because applying those tips I totally dominated in the next one.
Update: Added sections for Atreides.
Update: Added sections for Harkonnen.


my alias is SirCake and I’m a serious fan of Dune. I even created a mod of D2k in the past and read all the books.
I wanted to make a guide on Smugglers in Spice Wars, even though I only played one 11h long round with smugglers on hard – but I think I have some good tips.
Please note that I played blind to not spoil myself and figured out some stuff on the go and some other stuff only late into the game 😀 For me that is part of the fun.
And ultimately I lost the game but that’s ok, because applying those tips I totally dominated in the next one.
So I suggest you only read this if you have difficulties with the game or want some hints how to get better or just an oppinion of what is “good” and what is “bad”.
The Atreides and Harkonnen sections build on top of the Smugglers section, so I suggest you read this from top to bottom.
Lean back and enjoy a spice coffee with me, as I have a lot to say…
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Smugglers – Early Game

Because this is such a long game, it is important to have a good start – and a bad start is not worth keeping. I restarted several times until I had a feeling that I had done a good, smooth start.
You don’t want to lose any units to sand worms or sand storms, in combat or to supply shortage – activate “automatic retreat” on your harvester and when attacking a city, first move your units (even ranged) onto the rock ground, then attack and never look away after clicking “raid” on a village – almost a guarantee you will forget your units and have them die to supply shortage.
To manage all this use the pause button. Excessively! Once you see a unit idle or new event – PAUSE, sort things out and continue.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Smugglers - Early Game - ECD52D9I started off with two additional scavenger and one additional ornithopter, immediately. The orni, because scouting is very slow and with smugglers you want to set up an underground headquater fast – I sent it across the map revealing terrain and looking for the spice field of the other factions – here you can establish a underground HQ and steal the spice with the “Bootleg Market” extension. Then return and focus on revealing villages, its really easy – the rock ground will reveal the locations where to scout. Focus on finding villages to raid, initially.
The three militia are for crushing and raiding villages, the first capture should be your Spice field’s village and after that raid a lot of villages – it generates so much money! You don’t need to worry about the other factions for a very long time because supply is so limited on units. Don’t walk into deep deserts EVER, those will consume supply way too fast.
You actually can’t have a lot of villages in the beginning, because they cost water and authority and both of those are very limited, so choose your second village wisely and pillage all the rest.
For buildings in villages, there is only one building which is “free” and that one is the plascrete factory. It will produce plascrete and pay it’s own upkeep.The only no-brainer building. So you always want that one – it effectively grows your domains potential. Build it first. On top the city extensions also cost plascrete, so if you don’t build it early, you may be stuck wanting to build a plascrete factory but having no slot but having no plascrete to pay the extension slot etc.
Trade with the other factions is always a way out, of course, for balancing your economy. Choose the other buildings for “managing your demands” in water, manpower, money. Stay away from energy cells, influence, intelligence and hegemony. Buildings for those are expensive and not that useful. I think research is useful, hard to say, because the building only grants +1 research.
Don’t build any military buildings besides the recruitment office – they are all useless and expensive. On the other hand, really good is the processing plant, which turns rare metals into money (+30), really worth it. But you need an economy research for it.
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For research there are multiple good options – “underworld contacts” which allows the processing plant building (I went for it first), “survival training” which allows training of the really good sniper unit and “spying logistics” and “countermeasures” because those give you more agents quicker which generate more free (really without any cost 😉 ) resources.
Landsraad is not important at the start. As smuggler in the beginning you can’t do much anyway so don’t put any bounties (I think you have to pay those out of your own pocket!) choose what doesn’t slow you down and hope for the best.
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For spies, put at least one on arrakis, one on spacing guild and one on any faction. Arrakis because the benefits of the random “points of interest” are really worthwhile and you want authority for annexing villages. The spacing guild to unlock the uber awesome “support drop” spying mission (unfortunately I realized this only late into the game 🙁 ) and the faction because a spy there will generate +5 intel, which you need for supply drop and is generally a very valuable resource for trading. Don’t waste influence on any other “easy” mission.

Smugglers – Mid Game

After your initial villages you want to look for a cluster of villages which will make up your empire core – those 4-5 villages you will want to stuff with buildings. In the center region build the maintenance center to optimize it’s effect. Optimally that cluster is behind your main base so it is not easily attacked.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Smugglers - Mid Game - A592908Besides that, don’t invest too much in other villages. The “local hubs” research is helpful here to optimize output of remote villages which are hard to defend. Losing such a village is not so bad and you don’t need to abort whatever ou are currently doing just to save one village which is miles across the map.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Smugglers - Mid Game - 9E71D25To reduce the pesky raids try to find a sietch, trade with it and capture the village of the region. You can also simply capture all villages in your back alley. Generally, only militia is not enough to protect your villages from raids, but if you add one sniper on guard duty it should be enough. Militia is still good because they do not cost upkeep and are cheap. buy the ranged and two close combat ones.
It is quite difficult to build a big army (more than 4 or 5) and you should always think before ordering a new unit – will you be able to sustainably pay its upkeep cost in solari and manpower? If not, then don’t hire! The best units for the smugglers are, in order: the snipers, the free company, the drone, the scavenger. The back bone is always the sniper. Those things have so much damage output and for that they are really cheap and with low upkeep.
Therefore, half your army should be snipers. The other half is needed because snipers are immediately really, really bad if they get attacked, especially by melee units. RUN FOR THE HILLS if you lose the tanky units in front, because you’ll lose all the snipers in a moments notice.
Drones are really good if you need to hire units in defence, because they only cost money in upkeep and no manpower. In need, I often could not hire more units, because my manpower was low – here the drone jumps in.
The free company is good because of the useful trait it has and is stealthed. Together with snipers you have a completely invisible army 🙂
Wreckers are bad. Their attack is low and all their traits are useless if you think about what and where you are attacking 99% of the time. Merchenaries are prohibitively expensive in upkeep for their attack power, didn’t try them.
There is quite some micromanagement potential with snipers and units in general: Pull almost dead units back and send them the close to your village. Back to full health in no time. The snipers you can “stutter step” or move and shoot – especially when attacking villages. The AI is too dumb and you can get away with no damage on your units. Of course sipers are very prone to being eaten by worms because they tend to shoot far from the desert, always keep that in mind. You can move the snipers just barely into a region when attacking and if the worm signs appear just walk over the border – the worm will not attack across regions! Must be cop worms – not my region not my responsibility 😉
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Smugglers - Mid Game - E85D34FBy now you should have researched “stealth gear”, and use “gear sabotage” and “supply drop” whenever you need it in combat. The tactical gear effect from stealth gear when using a mission seems very useful (+10% attack power).
In the mid game you can start thinking about the landsraad – here is how you do it correctly: Utilize your underground headquaters network with “Whisperers lair” to generate a lot of influence. Staban Tuek, which I chose is a useful leader to increase this income even more. If you see any resolution your really want (especailly “facion X gets Y”) dump ALL your influence on that one. Spending some influence here or there is a waste, because if you don’t get the resolution it’s totally wasted. All or nothing.
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If there are no good resolutions, instead spend your influence on “political audit” spy missions – to open up the really good Landsraad council positions like judge of the council (really good because of the awesome “landsraad guard” unit – basically “free” in upkeep and powerful, get as many as you can while elected Judge) and Eye of the council (more free spies). I did not get a chance to try water seller union, but that one seems very powerful as well.
For buildings: Basically the same as early game, most military buildings are still bad, except maybe “military base” on a frontier with some other faction or “Airfields” if and only if you can afford a bunch of them. Demolish a military base once the frontier has shifted. You are generally better off with military units. Some of the statecfraft economic buildings are really powerful, but also damn expensive – choose wisely. Crafts workshop(+2 hegemony – we want those faction bonuses at some point) and Listening post(+2 influence) seem very good, while research hub, as mentioned, is weak and data center as well, because (free) spies on factions generate +5 Intel, in comparison.
If you conquer another factions village I found it useful to demolish everything except one building in most c ases, again – to maximize output and lower risk in case of counter attacks.
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The really powerful buildings are in the HQ, if you can use a “architecturaly survey” landsraad resolution to get those cheaper. Spend your money and upkeep here. Almost every building there seems really powerful. I’ll list the weak bonuses here: “Senate Envoys” (you will want to spend all influence regularly, so a max storage increase is really poor) and all the research speed ones (+20% research (speed) is about +2-3 research, and then only situational. Weak.). On the other hand statecraft 3 (“political forum”) and military 3 (“master armorer”) seem most powerful.
Hiring crews for harvesters is good if you can afford it, especially if you only have one spice field (remember Auto-recall ON!). Research the crew technologies. “Spectral Imaging” is more late game to support your harvesters, when your ornithopters don’t have any other tasks or you have a lot of them in the mid game already.
I tried to fulfil all the special events like contraband and also the spice bribes, there seem to be some kind of positive effects like or “Dealmaker” or “Underworld Bribes” which randomly varied between +20 and +60 solari (so really important) but I did not understand how this works.
I’m also not sure if it is that important to fulfill the spice bribes or if the emperror will come with his sardaukar if I don’t pay :’D
Generally it seemed my income in all materials throughout the game was very volatile, at one moment all was fine, positive income everywhere. On other moments for some reason I could not really figure out everythig went to hell and I was counting my last solaris to somehow balance out the economy.

Smugglers – Late Game

I’ll make this short. This game is too complex to mention everythig I learned. By now you should have everything to win. But which way is the best?
Well the assassination one is not my top favourite – you better get a ton of money and prepare to lose most your spies, so it is like shooting yourself in the foot but hey you can go for it. To complete all three levels of assassination you need about 8-10 k of solaris, 12 spies minimum (remember, you will lose some, so better max out with 15+2) and 1,5k of Intel (which is not so much). I’m not sure if you have to be “successful” in those missions or just need to complete them (albeit losing a lot of spies to counter intelligence) and what the consequence of a successful assasination is – I assume the player is eliminated. That would be really powerful, of course. I dont know. I went for the second, easy way because my spy network was severely shaken after two assassination attempts on the fremen and unable to continue on for a third.
Attack the HQ. That is pretty easy. Just keep pushing, conquer all the land bit by bit and then attack the HQ. The HQ is surprisingly weak. On my attack on sietch tabr I did not lose a single unit ! It takes forever to destroy a HQ so your troops are bound there, unable to defend your realm. So you might be unable to complete the destruction on your first try.
I lost some cities, a spice field etc while someone (probably fremen) instilled a lot of rebellions everywhere and some random atreides units attacked me. The good thing is that you can afford to lose some cities doing this military push, because you just conquered a lot of land as well.
Poltical Victory. Can’t say anthing about this, did not have to defend from it nor attempted it.
Hegemony. I lost to this one. I was second to Harkonnen in hegemony but it seems like this is a way to win the game just by playing it. If you are already very powerful you probably have a lot of hegemony. Tons of money and spice to buy CHOAM shares and for contraband events helps, I guess. So while you are first in hegemony you can feel great and accomplished 😉 (And even more frustrating an unexpected assassination would be 😛 )
So thats it. My wisdom from stop-motioning a 11h long game with Smugglers on hard difficulty with Staban Tuek, who is also rated “hard” for the first time.
One day I will be able to play this in real time… maybe. Great game, great potential.
Thanks for reading.
— SirCake
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Atreides – Intro

After writing the guide for the Smugglers I played another match, but this time with Atreides. The good and righteous ones (as good and righteous as it get’s in Dune…with all the drug addicts). I followed my own tips, adapted here and there to the atreides strength and the result was quite convincing!
No one could stand against the green and black banner, the tide of atreides forces! Again on hard difficulty with Jessica, who is also rated hard, probably because she is basically useless in single player, right now. More on that later…
This is only an additive guide to the smugglers, so I will be omitting topics I discussed in the smugglers secions already.
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Atreides – Early Game

I could not have played a faction more fundamentally different from Smugglers. The Atreides can’t raid villages! Also the Atreides are arguably the “Landsraad faction” because they start with the highest Landsraad standing. Are all my tips for smugglers then useless for atreides? – No, on the contrary, most is still true.
This time I started with one trooper (close combat) and two rangers (ranged) and no additional ornithopter. Though I eventually did order the second ornithopter and ended up short on money later when I lost one ranger to supply shortage :S
With Atreides you are probably fine with just a ranger and a trooper. The units benefit from each other and focussing one unit at a time is really powerful with this faction. An atreides dream is encountering an unordered army coming at them one by one – focus down the front one in a few seconds and engage the next. Against Atreides, first form a battle line, then engage.
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One word on the ornithopter. You can optimize it’s use at the start if you aim for the inetrsections of regions in the fog. One wiggle left and right, and you have revealed two regions. This way it takes only about 15 seconds to reveal all regions adjacent to the starting base.
No change in the building and village conquering department – do as mentioned before, especailly building plascrete factories on every. single. village. Even in the late game.
Also it turned out very useful to really focus on conquering all villages to the edge of the map first (in my case only one or two), and not those towards the middle. Reduced raids a great deal.
With atreides you will be doing a lot of “standing around idly” waiting for your authority to fill up for capturing the next village, so that time may be well spent exploring points of interest with your army whenever you can, which is not often and requires attention (remember I lost one ranger to supply shortage, yeah..).
Also Atreides can annex villages peacefully by spending influence so in theory you don’t need a strong army to capture a 3-unit-village. I ended up capturing everything with army still, because it takes quite a long time (15 days!!!) to annex peacefully and I preferred to use all influence on the Landsraad instead.
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For research I started with spying logistics and counter measures, which was a great idea (more authority over arrakis via spies), but I should have continued with “local dialect studies” to lower the authority cost. The unit you get from “survival training”, the “heavy weapon squad” is not that great, so don’t hurry to research that one. I instead went for the research again which grants the processing plant, that solved my first financial crisis just in time.
Put the spies to duty as mentioned before. Though with more forcus on arrakis. I ended up with no hard battles and tried probe setup – which is a great tool to reveal all points of interest on a region you just discovered. I sent the orni to a round trip across the map and could use probe setup to reveal those quickly, creating new tasks for my arrakis spies.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Atreides - Early Game - 4D36B2FThe start went really smooth for me and soon I was bathing in plascrete and spent the surplus resources on recruitment offices and listening posts (instead of reserach hubs) for more influence. Influence is a prevalent theme here for atreides 😀
..which brings me to the Landsraad. With the highest starting vote count atreides have de facto the strongest Landsaad start. You can use it very effecitvely in the early game! Proceed as mentioned before in smuggler mid game. I managed to extremely exploit the landsraad almost consistently throughout the game to the atreides benefit.
One more thing you should do right away are contracts, because they improve relations and later in the game you want good relations with other factions. Not too many because those cost authority. Two agreements maybe, one in trade, one in research or however you prefer it. They really make a difference.

Atreides – Mid Game

It is especially important to fulfill spice bribes with Atreides, as they gain Landsaad standing with this. I made sure of this by building recruitment offices and equipping my harvesters with one, then two and finally three crew, researching the neccessary technology and focussing on finding and capturig more spice fields.
“Energy markets” is also a technology which solved my mid game monetary problems, very powerful.
In general, you can go for specialized technologies, so ones which are deep down the tech tree in mid game, because with every research completed it gets harder to complete the next. (I think). Choose wisely what to research first.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Atreides - Mid Game - FAE1624The “harvester works” building was my first building in the HQ, which I got discounted 50% (saved 750 solaris!) because the landsraad granted me “infrastructure control”. How convenient! 😉
Basically you want to build the HQ extensions every time you have this, you can build two buildings in the 20 day period. This way I managed to max out my HQ before the game ended.
To further maximize those almost certainly in your favour Landsraad resolutions, hold off on buying military units or HQ buildings and bulk purchase once you have beneficial resolutions active. Always support restircting resolutions if the pain is manageable for YOU currently, and if there is nothing else good to spend influence on.
It is always better to target yourself with something beneficial than to target one other faction with something negative because there are two more opponents you are not targeting.
Always target the most powerful opponent if you have to target someone and avoid benefitting them (with trade agreements etc), trade with the weakest faction(s).
For units, I think the support drone is quite good (have one) and also the warden (have at least one) and create a heavy weapons teams whenevery you lose a ranger, they are OK in general and really good vs the HQ because they break the armor of the HQ! In general I tried to have 1:1 ranged and close combat, but ranged is not that important as atreides. No unit really stands out or is outright bad.
Build up to 25 used command points as soon as you can afford it (you can increase your command points with spies on counter intelligence) and get the “Judge of the Concil”. I think one has to maintain 25+ used cp for one whole landsraad period for the election choice to come up. With your hopefully high influence production this is so awesome (“Landsraad guard” spam)!!
Airports, I have to revise what I said earlier, are quite good, IF you can afford them. But don’t build them directly on spice locations, because of the “harvester works” bonus if possible. It allows you to resolve threats in quick succession – provided you win every fight.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Atreides - Mid Game - 243DE79Well Jessica …
In mutiplayer, I can imagine that Jessica will be quite powerful. She has the ability to force other factions to accept a treaty. So players planning to attack the Atreides should get ready to take a serious a hit in their Landsraad standing – Jessica will force a non-agression pact on them just in time and then Leto in the Landsraad will argue with the rage of the righteous how “outrageously, xyz broke the peace treaty!” and how dishonorable all that is – A reminiscence to one of the books 😉
But in single player, I did not find a use for her. The AI will accept your treaties all the time anyway.
Once you hit 10k hegemony, Atreides gets really ridiculous…

Atreides – Late Game

With 10k Hegemony you can take any “Charter” or council position, without having to fulfill the requirements for it. Usually it is really difficult to fulfill these – and you have to maintain the requirements as well. But Atreides doesn’t care – just get elected everything and collect all the bonuses! I can’t understate how powerfull this is. It’s too good. Your job is to produce so much influence that no one can deny you those positions.
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Luckily atreides also has a very powerful HQ building, the “council chamber” which increases influence production by … 30%!!!! … AND allows you to cancel any negative resolutions active on you in the landsraad screen. You really can’t compete with the atreides in the landsraad. O.O Get this building and don’t miss out on the statecraft 3 bonus.
With all this in place I had an easy time in late game, except for the “idling and waiting” part mentioned earlier which slowed me down in crushing my enemies and driving them before me. Basically I could often do nothing more than wait.
Once I was worried though – My army had just captured a spice field from the smugglers and my close combat units ran out on the sand to meet some insurgents. I don’t know what I was thinking to look away, but when I then saw ..and clicked ..and responded to the worm sign event ..and ordered my units to move for rocky ground it was already too late. I just saw 6 (six!) of my nicely bunched landsraad guard/warden army get swallowed by a worm…. you can probably imagine my horror!
But why am I telling you this? Because of course immediately the formerly friendly Fremen attacked with a big army (must have been 10 units or so) and I scrambled to rebuild some troops and sent everything else in my realm via aircraft. Did not look good. But the Atreides/Landsraad army with all their stacking bonuses plus “gear sabotage” and “supply drop” absolutely whiped the floor with the Fremen fighters, was not even close.
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Atreides late game armies are gooood.
If you have to face an Atreides opponent, don’t attack into this Atreides body of steel. Try to split them up and attack in small groups where their bonuses do not stack as hard.
So this time I am able to share some knowledge on political victory because that is how I won that game. Basically you need a very high landsraad standing (“easy” for Atreides) and when you get elected “Dune Governor” a 30 minute timer starts to tick down. You only need to avoid the “loss of rights” resolution, which cancels all charters, or a governor re-election.
I’m not sure what happens if regions are returned to neutral state or losing Landsraad standing, because that is one of the preconditions for Dune Governor to be electable, but I assume it is irrelevant once you are elected.
I decided to play on a little after victory and found another interesting fact – mercenary fighters you get from the “economic lobbying” research or for beeing Smugglers with 10k hegemony have almost instant training speed and have 750 supply. That is five time the amount an normal army has! You can send those across the map deep into enemy territory and capture a bridgehead for your airfields and then resupply with more instantly trained mechenaries. It’s a little bit pricy though.
This swarming of unrelenting Atreides forces reminded me of another passage in the books 😉
So that’s it, another bunch of tipps – and this time it’s proven that if you master them a victory on hard mode is definitely possible. 🙂
Thanks for reading.
For your statistics: Game time was about 3.5h, real time about 7h, so I have to ramp up my APM by at least +100% to be able to play this in real time. 😀

Harkonnen – Intro

this guide extension for Harkonnen, again, builds on top of the other two.
Because my reader GhostLight mentioned that Smugglers was his/the most difficult faction and I had not much difficulty with Atreides I thought that maybe I could try to play this game without the pause button this time – like it would be in multiplayer.
…the result being that I wanted to quit the game multiple times (and also did) due to stress overload 😀 I won’t focus on giving tips for the RTS mode. I just advise to not play in RTS mode, it is in my oppinion not as fun as stop-motioning with the pause button 🙂
This took multiple attempts and unfortunately I am not 100% sure I had hard difficulty selected on the try I finally won (I don’t know where to look it up when in-game), I suspect it actuall was not hard difficulty :/ But from the games I played (at least most were on hard) I can share some knowledge.

Harkonnen – Army Inventory

I want to start with the army of Harkonnen. For me, the whole concept of their army doesn’t make a lot of sense – they actually benefit from taking damage and losing units and have some units and abilities explicitly forcing that issue. The “gunner”, the “stealth probe” and the “combat drugs” spy mission. The gunner damages friendly units while attacking and the stealth probe can hardly be considerd a combat unit at all because it has very low health and “wants to sacrifice itself” to place a 20% damage buff on friendly units.
When multiple of your units are starting to die, 99% of the time you are going to lose the whole fight anyway and units are not exactly free to re-train either. It takes time to re-train them and also even more time to get them to the location where they need to fight. The problem in Spice wars is often that you cannot move your army away for a location, because if there was no army there, the opponent would conquer it. So what is the point of burning through your units just to get a 20% attack bonus or similar, and then lose one or more locations to the inevitable counter attack? And if you manage to anihilate the enemy army, then also probably the masochistic traits did not play a big role in the fight either.
If you can follow me through on those arguments, stay away from building your strategy around sacificing units: Don’t choose the advisor Iakin Nefud, don’t use combat drugs on your main army, don’t build and throw away stealth probes just for the bonus, don’t use the gunner to damage you own units if you could avoid it.
Harkonnen, however, have one of the best early game and late game regular units while the choices in mid game are not so great. The “Trooper”s trait is awesome and ensures that you will always win your fights vs village milita and the “house guard” is just a better version of the trooper. They are “automatically good” when it is a close fight.
The “vanguard” is just a merchenary without the useful instant build ability and reduced command point requirements and has instead low health and low armor. Not that great.
Engage ranged units in close combat so they cannot focus down your low health units and pull low health units or units under focus fire to the back lines. You actually want almost no ranged units in your army because this means less units to be able to hinder the enemy ranged units from focus firing your own units. Stealth probes are not close combat!

Harkonnen – Early Game

Build two troopers at the start and add more troopers so that when attacking a village you always have equal count of units, always operate on the bare minimum – remember – it benefits you to have close fights. Annex, build buildings and pillage like a Smuggler and always max out on militia. With Rabban as advisor your economy will quickly boom.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Harkonnen - Early Game - 1D7FF08I picked Piter de Vries as second advisor and he gave me some headaches and also influenced in a major way how I played the Harkonnen. I think Piter is a great choice.
Here is how you utilize him: At the start also build a stealth probe and an ornithopter. This will almost bankrupt you, so you have to pillage somewhere (use your first orni to look for villages). Send the probe and second orni across the map and look for non-village and non-region-resource points of interest. Collect them all with your stealth probe/orni. You will find spice, solaris, ornithopters, hegemony, plascrete long before any other faction can recover those resources.
The strong point here is that you can collect the stuff requiring “send your army to investigate” with your stealth probe! ANYWHERE ON THE MAP, with no risk of sand worms involved.
This of course also opens the ability to do a classical RTS “rush” on an enemy village across the map – buuuut it doesn’t work 😀 I tried it. You need too many stealth probes (around 6) and lose too much health on the first attack and they are too slow and basically your opponent would have to be the “peacfull annexation atreides without army strategy” player for this to work..
The headache comes from what to research. Because, with Piter, you want all of it at the same time. I went for “spectral imaging” first to further boost and utilize my many onithopters, then, again,” structured warehouses” or money and “defense sysems”, because of the harkonnen economic bonus for militia.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Harkonnen - Early Game - 6D82660
For that same reason I decied to build mostly “research hubs” as my rare and expensive buildings.
I did not pay too much attention to the Landsraad with Harkonnen, I just did it “quick and dirty” with the tips already given in the Atreides section. Choose one, dunk all. With moderate success. Harkonnen also gain Landsraad standing from sucessful spice bribes.

Harkonnen – Mid Game

There is not much to add in mid game which I haven’t said elsewhere already.
Harkonnen should have a very strong economy, because of the militia bonus and the oppression ability.
With the ornithopters and stealth probe collecting resources all over the map you’ll also have a considerable second income and shloud be fairly rich (but only in the mid game).
Because you have 4 or 5 militia on every village, you don’t need to worry about raids and even attacks are difficult for the opponents. So you can concentrate on attacking, pillaging and expanding your empire. 🙂
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Harkonnen - Mid Game - 77149CA
I don’t think the “Instill fear” research is working properly right now, so you can skip that one.
It is important to get the “house guard” unlocked quickly, because all the Harkonnen mid game units are so bad and the power of your army will quickly diminish in comparison to the other factions.

Harkonnen – Late Game

Unfortunately I did not have the time (literally) to try the spy missions while sacrificing a spy. It seems really good for the “CHOAM share”(8k solaris less!) and “political audit missions”(240 influence less!). Not so much for assassination, unless you really have 15 spies already and are spy focussed. Because you need to maintain the requirement for executing the assassination missions still. The missions are certain to stay undetected, so the final assassination can be really surprising (->multiplayer).
Because I researched a lot of dune enviroment developments (the green ones) early, I felt much less restricted by authority than in the Atreides game. Though I still had to choose my acquisitions wisely.
Dune: Spice Wars - Smugglers - Early Game & Walkthrough - Harkonnen - Late Game - 4D42EAC
My victory was acieved by using fremen mercenary points of interest I had revealed earlier to attack from many angles and also using them together with my army to conquer a base near the opponents HQ. I established an air field and military base as well as a full stock of milita + oppression for quick building before starting to attack the HQ from there.
Noone could escape the crushing power and wealth of the Harkonnen…
— SirCake

Written by SirCakealot

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