“The House that controls the most spice will control Dune”
An early access guide to the new Dune.
If anything here helped you, or made you laugh I would appreciate a thumbs up.
If you’re reading this guide to decide if you want to play this game then you need to realize Dune: Spice wars is not a traditional RTS. This will make some people angry.
Unit caps overall are very small and you need multiple towns and research to be able to afford the upkeep of several units. You need research to get more military units (more command points = higher unit caps).
The game is pretty unique in that the political aspect of the game can greatly hinder or help your efforts. Every so often there is a “vote” with three aspects that are chosen. One of these is a construction reduction cost by 20% but makes your HQ unable to attack. You might want to select this to change a building from 1500 “gold” to 1200 but in so doing the enemy can assault your HQ.
Normally it is extremely difficult to kill your main building. You must have a town nearby so your units can refill their supply and health. The only times I have made it easy where when I owned a town directly adjacent to a HQ and attacked with about 8 units (several of which were the max tier).
Picking this political event on an enemy could let you kill them after a half hour of gameplay instead of three to four hours.
There are four factions and they are very different in how they play.
Atreides- “Nice guys” who benefit from treaties.
Harkonnen- “Bad guys” who are basically conquerers.
These two factions have an advantage in the Landstraad resolutions (vote system). These factions start with free “votes”. To make a long story short the Landstraad system gives you votes based on your standing. The other two factions dont start with standing so they have to get all their voting power from influence.
The Smugglers – stealthy faction (think Ordos if you are a Dune II fan)
The Fremen – Native faction
These two factions can eventually get 500+ influence per vote cycle via tech/ HQ buildings or other mechanics (sietch alliences with fremen). They are “slow start / strong finish” when it comes to vote power.
For whatever faction you pick you will select two bonuses for that house. Each faction has radically different options to pick from. Note : if you spy on an enemy faction you can see which councilors they selected.
The councilor you pick is not an arbitrary opinion. Hard with the best councilor will feel more like easy while medium will feel like legendary with a councilor that doesn’t do much for you.
1. Lady Jessica : can force factions into treaties for influence but the opponent can spend authority to refuse.
This is useful to hurt enemy Landstraad standing if they want to attack you (breaking the treaty). If they decline it will sap their authority which is vital for military expansion. This is more valuable than it seems because the Atreides benefit from treaties (with research).
2. Duncan Idaho: You get 100% faster trading benefits with Fremen (once befriended and allied they stop attacking you). He also grants a 10% reduction in annex cost for villages.
This seems like a bad choice but might be the best “least bad second option”. Stacking annex cost is important for late game so that villages dont take forever. Also trading with Sietches takes a long time and getting them to max faster is really good because you can spend more time attacking and less time defending against raids.
3. Thurfur Hawat: Your agents (spies) get +1 trait. Villages targeted by operations give +20% production for two days.
The spy bonuses range so much that this can be very minimal.
4. Gurney Halleck: Unlocks Veteran Militia unit. Military units start with +1 experience level.
Always take this councilor. He is that good. Veteran military units are insanely strong and otherwise take a long time to keep alive. This also lets you train T4 units at level 2 veterency.
1. Feyd-Rautha : can corrupt a Landstraad voting option. You gain +10 influence by killing rebels.
This is an “always” pick option if you ask me. If someone is beating you in Landstraad standing you can corrupt an option and force them to take it. Later when MP is a thing you can let someone win an option and they won’t know they are voting to lose Landtraad standing (which is very hard to get overall until late game you only get it from paying taxes). You can also cheese influence by making your cities rebel and giving you free influence. If you control the vote then you win the game.
2. Piter De Vries: Unlocks the stealth probe (which you get from research anyway). Makes your Ornithopters generate intel in enemy territory and disguises which faction they belong to unless close.
Intel is not very good currently (except when you play Hard/Insane). Maybe it will be better later. It is a “dump” currency I use to trade the AI my intel for his “concrete”. This could be valuable to do that faster. The real value here would be to have invisible spies and extra intel. Maybe when intel means more this would suck less.
Late game when you have 5x idle Ornithopters and money becomes no object this becomes a lot more valuable.
Overall the Probe droid sucks as a unit. Its saving graces are stealth, no supply, and no manpower. The most useful thing it can do for you is finish a cap while you move your army back to heal. It is a pretty good little spy.
3. Rabban Harkonnen : +1 Militia slot. Increases the duration of oppression by the number of militias (making it better).
Never play Harkonnen without this councilor. Why? You get extra production based on how many militias your cities have. You also get more duration for oppression – meaning you can get spies faster.
4. Iakin Nefud: refunds 50% of unit prices on death. Makes the combat drugs intelligence option cheaper.
I’ve never bothered to use combat drugs and instead won fights with micro/tactics as it has a huge problem of draining their supply. Making that better is nearly pointless. Getting lots of “refunds” on death should not happen often vs AI. This might get much better in a year when MP exists.
Smugglers: Overall they have very nice well rounded options.
1. Staban Tuek: Makes underground HQ better.
This is why you play smugglers – to leech off enemy villages. When MP rolls around this will let you “leech” from the “winning” players. It wont do a lot vs the AI when you can easily push their territories.
2. Lingar Bewt : Makes annexing villages cheaper if you have extra water.
This will help you grow larger as you control more territory; it will be more valuable as you control more land. Local Dialect research is a -15% annex bonus. Trying to annex a 94 cost village we get : -18 authority from Dialect, -6 from water production (21).
3. Drisq: gives your spies the “merchant” attribute. All infiltration levels are set to 1 (even with no spy).
The infiltration level bonus is an “early game” boost. If it were +1 that would be crazy powerful but that is not the same. The merchant attribute gives you +1% Solari global production per Infiltration level. All of your spies will have this trait with no variation unless you get “event spies”. So you will make more Solari than other factions but less “other things”.
This seems “ok” except that spies are slow and you can’t slot them quickly. Eight spies in two of each main infiltration will give you an 8% production increase. Money is the only infinite resource but I would rather have something else.
4. Bannerjee: Gain 30% more from pillaging villages. Gain plascrete (concrete) when you pillage a viillage.
This is how the AI funds its wars. I was wondering how this faction was getting nearly infinite concrete as the AI.
This would be my second “always pick”
1. Chani Kynes : Like the Harkonnen corrupt power this will link an election result with a rebellion.
If you give the AI intel an they have this option they will cause rebellions. You can potentially milk this if you are playing the Harkonnens.
2. Stilgar : +1 Authority per spice field exploited.
Authority is hard to get, caps at 500 and since spice fields are limited this would be hard to make good use of unless playing on a large map.
3. Mother Ramallo : Starts with the temple unlocked and reveals all spice field locations.
You can find them fast with an extra flying scout (Ornithopter) so the vision aspect is not that great. Picking this lets you make the temple early on so you can make extra resources faster but it does not give you the other benefits of the tech (liberating a village gives +1000 Solari). This is a really good option because the temple lets you get more money a lot faster.
4. Otheym : +10% unit speed and units gain 20% power/armor if alone.
Unit speed is good because nothing else in the game gives that bonus. The “lone warrior” trait can decide battles and is a lot better than it sounds due to how melee units work.
This can combo with the stealth unit to deal extra damage on the first attack from stealth.
Default bonuses :
- Peaceful Annexation allows you to annex far away locations without connectng “trash provinces in the way”.
The problem with this is that you can already use the support drone to help you get to far away places. The annexation process also takes 15 days which is a really long time.
- Other factions lose no Authority when they have treaties with you (but you still lose the Authority). So you’re really helping the enemy with this trait.
- Get more votes with a high Landstraad standing.
Finally – here’s a reason to play this faction. If you control the vote then you can use that to win the game.
- Cannot pillage neutral villages.
After playing the Harkonnens first I realized this was a very strong penalty.
5k Hegemony Bonuses:
- Positive resolutions give +10 credit income.
- Negative resolutions give +10% unit power.
Useful but not game changing.
10k Hegemony Bonuses
You can ignore the necessary requirements for charters except for Landstraad standing. In short this means you can take Landstraad positions when they randomly appear without filling the requirements.
This is powerful because you can always hold every office if you are in high standing. And you will be by playing house good guy – right?
House Strategy / Breakdown
The game was simple with this faction. Eliminate the Harkonnens and then you control the vote. You can have such a voting advantage that you can choose everything once the Harkonnens are gone. Your next biggest threat are the Smugglers who can be siphoning income from your expansions.
The “no pillage” penalty makes you poor. Expand towards someone you want to fight and chain pillage them. You might want to “treaty up” until you unlock the better units.
Veteran AI units make you really tough to beat in combat.
Your top tier unit (warden) gives all nearby units +2 armor. There is a research option to make it have an extra level of experience. So you can be popping these out with +2 levels of XP. This is hard to beat once they are on the field.
Troopers have better damage but low survivability. If you did a 2 trooper opening you can later make 2 wardens and split them into a new force. Now you can have tanky troopers that do tons of damage. Troopers with a mixed unit force do a ton of extra damage.
Warden+ trooper+sniper+heavy weapon+ support drone = GG. The support drone is the last part I add so they have better mobility in deep desert. The drone will heal them after defeating city militias meaning if a counter attack comes they will be full health.
If you replaced a trooper with Landstraad guard then you would have an 8 armor unit.
Special Faction missions
- Arrakis Diplomacy – Disbands the fremen raids and increases relations with Sietches in the region (200 Solari / 200 intel ; requires infiltration of spacing guild :1 and Landstrad : 1)
When I tested this faction I was using the councilor for +1 trait on my agents. It just so happened that I later became Eye of the Council and got two special agents from that position. I am not sure if they always spawn with 2 traits or if I got a second trait because I had made that selection.
Overall the extra trait does almost nothing. Even if I got an extra trait from that position on those two special agents it was not worth selection that option.
Default Bonuses: Overall very strong base bonuses
- Can use Oppression on Harkonnen Buildings
Gives you bonuses to production and build speed. Keep an army between three cities and cycle the ability. One army of 3-4 units can handle revolts for three nearby cities.
- +5% village resource production per active militia.
- -10% village production
This means you start with -10% production on villages. You can eventually go up to +6 Militia slots. This means you can have +20 production when you have a city with 6 filled militia slots.
This means you have a slower start but a stronger late game.
- Always know the influence gain of other factions
Without spying you can know how much voting power the other factions have. You can win the vote system without save scumming because you know their income and influence totals.
5k Hegemony bonus
- If any village is oppressed you gain +10% unit power. You gain +100% agent recruit speed.
Oppress a village right before you fight. They won’t potentially revolt until later anyway. Cycle this bonus and you can get agents much faster than the other factions. This is a very strong mid game bonus.
- Kill a friendly agent to reduce mission cost and preparation time
This is something I have never used because of the whole “kill an agent” aspect. No thanks. This could maybe be viable when you have max agents and you want to “reroll an agent”.
House Strategy / Breakdown
Find a village you never want to own and pillage it as often as possible. You will suffer a 5% annex penalty if you decide to take it later. Eventually you can get a bonus for having pillaged a village several times through research (there is a several minute cooldown timer between pillages).
Use the corrupt ability to lower the Landstraad standing of House Atreides. Then the voting becomes simple because you can have about 120 “free votes” and everyone else has 50-60 or 0 votes.
Revolts can be your friend. You can cause your city to rebel and get experience/influence from killing the rebellion. If people coordinate and use multiple revolts on you at once you could be in trouble.
Never build the Vanguard unit. It has terrible armor but can gain power based on the number of kills it gets. It has the same upkeep as a trooper/gunner and is far worse.
Troopers are a great melee unit. They get extra damage when they have health missing.
Gunners are a fantastic ranged unit as they deal 30% damage to an adjacent target and their attacks have a 30% chance to break armor. Overall your military units are great with no research required.
House Guards are super strong. They have 6 armor and when they get to 20% health they gain +5 armor and +50% power. So right when they are about to die they suddenly are not about to die. Without armor breaking units nearby these units are nearly invincible. These are weak to the smuggler “demo” unit so eliminate that faction quickly.
Unit composition. Start with 2 troopers then add a gunner or two. Unlock house guards and split your army. Create two groups of : House guard+trooper+ 2x gunner.
If possible take over the Landstraad Guard position so you can make a cheaper tank unit (3 command vs 5 command). These only cost 1 influence to upkeep so you can use several late game to bulk up your army.
If you didn’t take the councilor for stealth probes then I would not bother using them.
Your main threat are the Smugglers/Atreides.
Your unique tech: instill fear can make villages 25% cheaper to annex if you have pillaged them 5 times.
-What happens if you use combat drugs when you are attacked in your own city? The unit can’t die and slowly loses supply. Does it become immortal because the city gives it supply?
-The Harkonnens apparently only require 2 in all levels of infiltration to Assassinate an enemy. I assume there is an error in the text for their 10k Hegemony power?
– Try to find three towns close together and use Oppression on city 1. When the bonus ends trigger Oppression on city #2. When that bonus expires trigger it on city #3. Keep 4 units nearby to quell the rebellions as your Militia do not respond to a rebellion. Chaining this lets you get Agents way faster than everyone else. That helps maximize manpower/influence/spice production. You can also use this to farm a lot of influence.
It is a mistake to just randomly pick Oppression to a random city. I noticed that when I was winning two of the AI would gang up on me and both cause a rebellion when I had one or two of my own. I learned my lesson the hard way not to just press the button in every city because “I could”. If you keep using Oppression on the same village it stacks a debuff for a 2% chance to rebel every day. The Oppressed debuff gives -5% production/building constrution/militia power after the bonus goes away. Cycling different cities means the buff resets to zero with time. It might seem obvious but dont be spamming Oppression if you think the enemy is about to attack.
Obviously using Oppression on a spice producing area is going to be worth more. If I click on a region that produces 45 spice when I click Oppression it immediately goes up to 135 spice.
-From what I have seen so far I think this is the best faction in the game. My only gripe is that there is no “Devastator” unit. We had a double barreled tank with insane armor in Dune II, and a gigantic mech in Dune 2000.
-There is a potential strategy to use probe droids as a “suicide squad” before an attack. This would make a lot more sense later when you have lots of extra money. You could in theory combo this with the Vanguard unit but overall I found them to be super squishy and not worth trying to keep alive.
- Can install underground headquarters in enemy villages
These let you profit from enemy expansion. They cost Solari and authority (the first was 90 solari and 3 authority).
There are 6 options.
- can place Bounty on Landstraad resolutions.
During a vote you select one option and that option gains a bounty. All other factions will gain 5 Solari per vote on the targeted choice. In other words you “bribe” the other factions to vote the way you want. You can entice the other factions to trade their votes for Solari.
- Improved access with black market access
Paying off your bribes (delivering your spice Quota) gives you +2 influence production.
You have access to a unique HQ building that grants 1% of spice production as influence. (black market branch)
- Limited Lanstraad access
You start with 0 free votes and eventually can get 50 base votes (see below). Unlike the Fremen you can still use the audit operation to increase your Landstraad rating to 500. Each use of the mission gives you +30 points.
- Now you get 50 Landstraad base standing so you have some votes without influence.
This is more like a penalty because you could have picked a faction that started with votes. But at least you’re not Fremen.
- Allows the training of Mercenary units; Mercenary units get +20% power.
If this is the same unit I got as a reward with another faction then this is a huge let down. That unit was basically the 2.0 vanguard unit (and it still sucked).
You can’t get a ticking +1 landstraad standing with 3 statecraft buildings (like the Harkonnen and Atreides). Instead 3 blue buildings gives you +4 influence production (everything else is the same). I find the +100 influence option for 2x blue buildings to be a lot better.
You can get crippled by resolutons that reduce influence production. You must always vote against these because this is how you get voting power.
The smuggler top end melee unit has stealth. It still has low armor and is more of a dps unit than a tank. Overall smuggler units have low armor values and dont “tank” well.
Their drone unit shoots a target and makes it have -power and plus armor. So the idea is you use this to attack ranged units. It has the most armor of any Smuggler unit but has low health so is not suited to tanking. It doesn’t use water and only has Solari as upkeep. It does require fuel cells for continual use. Overall I would rather have units that focus fire. This unit can backfire tremendously vs heavily armored units.
Their overall unit strategy is about lowering supply and dealing extra damage to low supply units. That’s great if someone is attacking you. The wrecker unit can obliterate enemy unit supply killing them via attrition. It’s interesting but overall a worse plan than say direct damage. You can’t really skip the wrecker because it is your armor breaker/aoe unit.
If you are losing the game as the smugglers you can turn your HQ into an extremely hard to kill bunker. But why would you want to depend on that?
Considering influence has a cap I really dont think this is a very good faction. They have black market events where you can sell spice and get benefits ranging from Solari, hegemony as well as a free military unit.
As soon as one or more factions is eliminated they get a lot less viable because they are really the most viable as a “3rd party threat”.
There was nothing in this faction that made me really want to play them. They have a technology for -40% penalty to annex a city based on distance. When you combine this with the Water annex reduction councilor you can expand like crazy. If you want to get the governor achievement I suggest you try it with this faction.
Underground HQ can be really powerful to attack militia only defended cities. Plant a bomb and “boom” half hp when you attack them. Be careful not to withdraw or they will return to the city will full hp and the bomb will be wasted. This would be a perfect opportunity for a cease fire as another faction. They can also give you free tech progress that the enemy has researched. You spend 200 gold up front to get a small tick of Solari.
Special faction missions
- Underworld Cells – Makes village capture cheaper for you and more expensive for other factions (cost: 200 intel/ 200 Solari. Requires infiltration : Spacing guild :1, CHOAM : 1)
- Crowd Manipulation- Selected village starts a rebellion. (cost 400 intel / 400 Solari. Requires Infiltration: Arrakis: 2, CHOAM :2, Landstraad :1)
-This is actually a mission available to every faction but I feel like it is really useful to this faction. If you see an enemy army guarding a city, cause a rebellion to make the army move.
Then move your army to attack the city near you and when your Underground HQ bomb triggers the Militia will only have half health. Check and Mate.
Generally speaking I found this factions army to be high damage/ low defense.
- -30% daily supply drain for military units
This might seem minor but this adds up with all the other bonuses.
- Can ally with Fremen Sietch (the npc fremen) outside of your territory.
When you ally with them it costs authority and does not cost an agent. This means the fremen can be the “spy masters” because they dont need to waste a slot.
- Can ride worms with Thumpers
They dont get airfields and instead ride worms. Worms travel quite a distance compared to the arifield shuttles. This power is really good for launching distant attacks on territory you want to take or liberate (think deep strike if you are familiar with 40k).
- Limited access to the Landstraad
The Fremen are even more restricted than the Smugglers as they cannot hold council positions.You will never have any “free” votes. Late game you can get a lot of influence votes but it takes a long time to get to that point.
5k Hegemony Bonus:
- You passively generate thumpers. You can call larger worms that will let you travel longer distances.
10k Hegemony bonus:
- Military units gain power according to your Hegemony (+20% At 25k Hegemony)
House Strategy/ Breakdown
Why Play Fremen? They have an insane building they can make in their HQ that lets you double the bonus from one district. I found that +4 armor made the top tier unit incredibly hard to kill. This gives them versatility even though they start as an underdog in the Landstraad standings. Their starting melee unit is quite strong but late game I found myself deleting several veteran units to make the tier 4 unit instead (which can be produced with +1 level of xp with tech unlocks).
It can be expensive to ally with multiple Sietches. This can be mitigated if you chose Stilgar as your councilor to get +1 authority gain per spice field.
Worm travel lets them strike far offensively; this is the opposite of arifields which let you react to defend from attacks.
Like the smugglers they can build a lot of influence once they have allied with the lesser npc fremen.
They have an “assassin” unit that can hit for a ton of damage out of stealth. While that sounds great and all it’s a glass cannon unit.
I didn’t bother with the support unit because I just didn’t need it. I prefer units that cost command points be able to fight well.
Basic army composition was base melee unit+ranged unit. Once you get the tier 4 unit replace your T1 infantry with better units that only require one more command point.
Special Faction Missions
- Sand Cloak – Allied units are invisible for 2 days. (cost 200 intel / 400 Solari. Requires Infiltration: Arrakis :1, Spacing Guild : 1)
Every faction has a different HQ setup. They often have a few different unique buildings that will influence what you want to build. As I mentioned before the Fremen Bazaar is extremely powerful so you would always use it – the question being for which bonus.
To help you plan what to build here are some pics of HQ layouts. While it is possible to build and remove buildings later this can get expensive – although I find it pretty easy to become infinitely wealthy long before I can finish the game.
I wouldn’t copy the layouts exactly as things are likely to change from game to game. These pictures are also from my first game with that faction so things might not be Optimized.
The most simple rule is that you only build districts with buildings of one color (the Bazaar being the exception to this rule). If you’re doing it any other way then you are cheating yourself out of powerful bonuses.
Note that three tier 1 buildings will give you a 20% research bonus stacked three times (60%) to one area of research. This can be an issue later when some of the research takes 30-50 days per item.
I am a big fan of getting the research building early as early research can help jumpstart your faction as most good things are locked behind a tech wall.
Depending on your playstyle you may prefer different buildings. Here are some ideas to get you started. I like to flex my military might and starve the other factions of spice – if they have no income they really wont be much of a threat.
Why do I prioritize +2 armor so heavily? Armor = damage reduction. If your army takes less damage then you have higher unit preservation. In most games vs the AI I lose 0 to 2 units. Veteran units are way better than “vanilla” squads. Max xp units will fight enemy squads of many more combatants. Playing as the Harkonnen I was able to kill large villages with about 4 units because the House trooper is an absolute beast of a tank.
This faction benefits the most from Landstraad rating so going for triple blue gives you a ticking +1 Landstraad bonus. Having a 400 rating enables voting for the Governor position.
As such I would suggest going for: 3x Blue, 2x yellow, 2x red. Place the rest as needed for research bonuses or early income gains.
The Harkonnens can get 2x triple building bonuses. This means you can get +2 armor and +1 ticking Landstraad bonuses. The only downside is that it takes longer to get a bonus going.
Triple blue /triple red is my preferred setup. This leaves room for a 2x bonus from yellow. I find early on the Harkonnens need the money the most (may have just been the RNG in my games) and building two good yellow buildings is pretty easy.
The Smugglers cant get +1 Landstraad. As such I think they do better with the +100 max influence from two blue buildings. Note you can still max out your Landstraad rating through the “audit” mission.
I did the research building in a single slot early on and it seemed to give me a good lead on tech.
Note : Unlike the previous factions you only get 9 building slots.
You will notice this faciton only gets 8 building slots. As I mentioned before the Bazaar building counts as a “wildcard” and doubles the bonus. It is the blue building being built in a red section and will double the bonus for three red buildings from +2 amor to +4 armor.
The obvious strategy here is to go with 1 red+ the Bazaar or 2 red+ the Bazaar for either +4 power or +4 armor. I think in the current game armor is way better than power but I could see it being interesting for some kind of a gank build with hit and run attacks using the stealth unit.
You can also put the Bazaar in a single slot and demolish it later. Doing this will give you 40% research for all three categories. This is not a long term solution and will make you lose half the resources but the long term gain for research time could make it worthwhile when you are starting to steamroll. This gives the Fremen the potential to have a huge tech advantage on everyone else (which is odd considering they are “back world sand people” but whatever).
I found it easy to get +500 influence per voting cycle late game so I would highly suggest +100 influence would be better than +4 influence (before the double bonus).
The Harvester Works is a generic building available to all factions. It is unlocked by the modular parts research and until something changes this always my first research target.
This single building Determines what my Spice Towns look like. If possible I make everything in them be “yellow”. I will only make an exception for an emergency and hopefully temporary recruitment center or missile battery.
This is unlocked by the modular parts research and until something changes this always my first research target.
Why is this building good? If you have 5 yellow buildings in a village where you harvest spice then that is a 25% increase. Did you notice that the windtrap, spice refinery, spice silo, plascrete factory, maintenance center and fuel cell factory are all yellow buildings? Having the spice silo here gives you another +20% yield increase.
If you are Harkonnen with 6 militia you get another +20% production increase (you have a -10% base so two militia will remove some of the penalty). Without the Spectral Imaging tech you can expect to get about 60 spice per village as Harkonnen.
The CHOAM Branch is a generic build available to all factions. It is unlocked by the Economic Lobbying tech (lower right of yellow).
Why is this building good?
It applies a -50% Solari upkeep cost to all villages around your HQ that stacks with the Maintenance center. Usually this will apply to about 4-5 regions on a medium size map.
It also gives you +30% Solari for your exchange rate for spice. That makes it so you are far less pressured to get good exchange rates and worry less about being “in the red” for income.
Combine this with the Harvester works and you will have a lot more income.
The Command post is a generic building available to all factions. It is unlocked by the Support Structures technology (straight down the red tree).
Why is this building good?
This building gives you +20% power on all your units and will stack with the 20% bonus from a military base. On top of that it gives you +12 command points. It also gives your army -20% daily supply drain. This last part while not as exciting is still really helpful for logistic movement.
The Barracks is a generic building available to all factions. It is unlocked by the Ground Command technology (one right and down).
Why is this building good?
This gives all your units +20% health. More health will keep your units alive to preserve veteran units. This building gives your units +50% more xp so they level up faster. Units also heal 50% faster in a town (and I think this is applied when you use a supply drop as well).
I usually make this building before the command post because the tech gives me +8 command points. I actually have to build the command post to get the +12 command points. Also I find getting more experience early and preserving my units has the most effect if you do it at the start.
For comparison sake an elite Harkonnen trooper has 28 power and a base unit has 18 power.
There is a purple/yellow slider at the top left of the screen when you are harvesting spice.
Moving the bar so there is more yellow means you are selling more spice. Moving the bar in the other direction means you are storing spice.
Here are two examples from the same game where I have moved the slider to the extreme and one point in the middle.
The little circle shows how much time you have left until you need to pay your “space taxes”.
If you click on the clipboard you get this window to appear. It shows you how much spice you are expected to make before the next tax period ends. Note : worms, sandstorms, rebellions and enemy attacks can all change this timer so you have to plan for that.
In this spice report we see that the current period has a bad exchange rate. The next period has a much better echange rate. The higher the number for the exchange means you get more money for each unit of spice.
The obvious strategy here is to hoard spice when the exchange rate is bad and try to do most of your selling when the exchange rate is good. In this moment I am hoarding spice to sell during the next period.
You can change the slider all the way until you have a very minor negative income or just barely positive depending on how much money you have.
Proper economy management will require you to periodically check the spice rates so you get the most income. Sometimes you need the money now so just have to make sacrifices and cant get an optimal exchange rate.
Be concerned when you are struggling to make the quota now and the next exchange period will be even worse.
If you miss your taxes you lose Landstraad rating as Harkonnen/Arteides/Smugglers.
Apparently when playing as the Smugglers this can also happen :
These are the elite troops of the emperor taking control of an enemy NPC who didn’t pay their taxes. It is unknown at this time if this will happen to other factions as well.
The AI is not exactly a tactical genius. If you are going to miss your spice quota you can likely trade them something so you do not miss your taxes.
There have been times when I traded with the AI and took all their spice and there was no way they could pay their taxes after trading with me.
If you cant trade with the AI then raid a nearby village and put everything into stockpiling (full purple).
For the most part you only need to guard the towns on the border of your enemy or those that will be targeted by a raid. Once targeted by a raid it will continue to happen until you change that arrangement.
I found that a good army combination is 4 units for almost all factions. It might be tempting to blob but only blob if you need to pincer some stronghold from 2 sides. As soon as you capture have one army go back to guard duty.
Rebellions do not follow the same rules and are dangerous because militia forces will not fight the rebellion. This can be a slight problem when playing the Harkonnen.
This game heavily penalizes ranged units that get into melee combat. As such you need melee units to tank and then ranged units to deal damage. As a general rule of thumb any ranged unit in melee combat will lose to a melee unit in combat. The Atreides and Harkonnen are good examples of this in action as they have clear tank units and clear dps units.
Here’s a TLDNR army plan:
1. Build two melee units. When not attacking anything always camp your army in a city. This makes you safe from worms/sandstorms and you are immune to supply loss.
2. Build one armor break unit (repeat this step once)
3. Build one melee+one armor break unit and have them guard a flank side city.
4. copy the first army build on the other.
5. Pillage crappy villages to make money (if atreides you need to pillage enemy owned villages).
6. Build militias and maybe a rocket battery in the places the fremen Sietches attack.
7. Prioritize conquering land with high wind values (more wind= more water; water= life).
8. Prioritize connecting land or every other land so you can move through your territory without worrying about supply issues.
9. Militias and a few “real” units are tough for the AI to beat. It’s a joke to hold land. The best militia units are Heavy Militia or Veteran Militia (Atreides only unit). The Atreides do not get +1 militia slots because they get the veteran militia unit instead.
10. Conquer land that leads to more spice / more wind or more “concrete”. The polar cap province might be worth taking if you got the research because it can allow you to build a +50 water extraction building.
The Harkonnen are my favorite faction so I’ll use them as an example.
Your base tank unit is the trooper and your Gunner ranged unit is the dps.
Start with 2 melee units and take your first two towns with only those units. Anything else will end up costing more upkeep than you need. With the money you saved on a third unit get a second Ornithopter immediately. Scouting is vital and there will be stuff to scout for easily the first hour of play unless you are on a small map.
When you get some spice flowing and have money/manpower/etc then get a gunner. Eventually you will want a second gunner but the one will help you enough to take 3 unit villages.
As a general tip don’t just annex any village nearby. Every village you own makes all others cost more. So we need to be picky. If there is a junk town nearby those can be perfect to “farm” for gold. Both the Harkonnen and Smugglers can eventually remove the negative annex penalty for pillaging. Keeping towns that are not worth owning to pillage will make all your Solari problems go away quickly.
At some point you will get to where you need two armies. You could potentially split your army and have them stay in “defend” mode with some militia and maybe a rocket battery. Eventually military bases start being relevant and can be a really powerful investment. Note that buildings such as the military base affect all touching provinces. So if one province has 4 neighbors then it gives the bonus in all of those areas.
For the Harkonnen specifically I like to expand to two troopers and 3 gunners per army. This gives us time to slowly build up to a third army of 4 units. Around this time you should get house guard or potentially Landsraad Guard. House guard are the best defensive unit in the game as they can gain +5 armor when they are at 20% health.
In all honesty Troopers are more of a dps unit than a tank but they do fine for tanking early game (they do more damage when they have hp missing). They cost 3 command points which is the same as Landsraad Guard. On that note Every faction that can get this unit by becoming the council judge benefits greatly by having them permanently be part of their army (anyone except the Fremen). So if possible get yourself some Landsraad Guard. Be aware they cant level up but that is fine as they start with good stats anyway.
Overall the Harkonnen have the best DPS unit of all 4 factions as they can deal 30% extra damage to “blobs” of units with aoe damage.
Smugglers are an amazing defense force if they enemy had to march a long way to attack your town. The wrecker can drain supply and kill units through attrition. But an enemy can just run away and use a supply drop mission if they know they will be fighting you.
All the while you are building to this point you are building up your militias in towns that are likely to be attacked. Sit in them with your little army and you have +3-5 units to help if the enemy attacks. As the Harkonnens you need to build Militia in all towns eventually to increase production.
When not playing as the Atreides pillage neutral villages that are “not worth owning” as often as possible when it is safe to do so. This will give you lots of extra money (and concrete if playing as the smugglers). If you pillage a village it will place a penalty on annexation later but both the Smugglers and Harkonnen can turn the penalty into an annex reduction cost. Stop killing us and just liberate us already?
Be careful about attacking Fremen as they have a lot of stealth units and can cloak their army with an operation. The smuggler tier 4 unit is a high dps unit that also has stealth.
You can cheese an army next to a town by attacking the units outside the town. Kill them first and the Militia won’t trigger until you attack the city. Missile launchers will attack but why fight five units at once when you can “gank” one unit and then fight the other four units?
This was from the First game I played as Harkonnen. A double or triple city setup like this is an incredible defensive position. You can see I have two Missile Batteries covering the cities.
Each city has 6 militia units and there are two House Huard and two Gunners with very high veterancy level.
The AI was throwing his entire army at this position and never had any success at breaking this fortification. The closest he ever got was throwing a rebellion at 2 of the three cities when this army was pulled elsewhere to quell a rebellion I caused with overuse of the Oppression Mechanic.
Generally speaking the AI is dumb so abuse them. I’ve never seen the AI suggest a trade deal that helps me. I have also never traded my influence to the AI and it seems to be a working strategy.
Give them all your intel (read as “shiny beads”) for their Plascrete (concrete). This works best when the AI does not have a “green up arrow” next to their Plascrete. In the current state of the game almost all of the operations are of little value if you have been planning well and are not new to a strategy game.
This might seem obvious but it’s just crazy how good trade abuse is against the AI. Don’t forget to ask the Atreides for a treaty. It doesn’t cost you any authority for having a treaty with them, but they still get the authority penalty. Note : this becomes less valuable when you do border them because then you can’t attack them.
You can trick the AI into making favorable deals by lowering the slider just a bit and sometimes it will trade away almost all of its money, concrete or influence. If the AI has a medium value of a resource they don’t value it as being worth more so you can take more if it in a trade (except I think influence is always a “green value” item).
You could spy on the AI to see what resources they have or you could just open up trade.
Why is intel garbage? Early game you can’t really do much with it to hurt an enemy. To launch nukes (ATOMICS!) you need like 200 days of research outside of all the economy/military research that you need to win wars and pay for your upkeep costs. You need the same to make an assassination attempt.
Fremen Sietch Trading
When you finally detect a fremen Sietch you can start trading with them. You click on it and click the “start trading button”. You will always give 10 water to get something back.
Once you build up to 100 reputation you can form an alliance with those fremen by sending a newly recruited agent. Click on the Sietch and there is a black box near the upper right. Click the available agent and he will be “Stuck there” forever.
Note: you cannot take an agent off a mission and put them in an unselected category. You can only assign a new agent. I am sure this is a bug and will get fixed later.
As I mentioned in the Fremen faction section they can ally with a Sietch by spending +2 authority (which remains “tied up” until you break the alliance). Having Stilgar for +1 authority per spice field becomes very useful to ally multiple fremen villages.
What does trading get you?
You will always trade 10 of your water and they will give you something in return. Options I have seen so far include :
- +30 Solari, +1 authority, +4 spice, +1 knowledge, +10 Plascrete,
What bonuses do you get for an alliance?
These vary wildly. Some are very meh and others are “gg”. Options include:
- Tier 4 military units cost 1 less command point (this is the best option)
- Militia gain +2 power & +20% health (this is likely the second best option)
- +20% Solari Production (very strong mid game)
- +20% manpower production (this is a good bonus you can always use)
- +4 knowledge (this is 4 cities worth of research and better than it sounds)
- +40% production in this region (this is beyond OP when it was a region containing spice)
- +3 Intel production, +30% Agent recruitment ( this is just kind of “ok”)
- -50% T1 melee unit costs, -50% T1 melee unit training time (this is garbage)
- +20% power to units in the region (absolute garbage)
Special Note :
If you get reputation up to 100 the Fremen Sietches will stop attacking you. You do not need to ally with them (I made that mistake on my first playthrough).
Do not waste an agent to get a medicore bonus such as: +20% power to units in this one specific regeion.
Research takes more time every time you research something else. This game requires you to continually make more and research or else you will have no ability to progress through the tech tree quickly.
If you go down one tree first and get to the bottom of a tree you will find that everything is suddenly really expensive.
Mastering this game is going to require the player to say well I “want” this tech but I don’t “need” it. You pick exactly certain techs in a very specific order so that you get everything you need to win quickly. Then you can go back for the “fluff” that you didn’t need later.
Build order is going to vary slightly from faction to faction but overall I think it’s going to be an early mix of yellow for economy, red for military and a sprinkle of green for water reduction cost/ extra research from villages.
I suggest a compromise to rush 2-3 techs down a tree then switch trees.
This is the tech tree in my first game as Harkonnen. There is some room for optimization but this gives you an idea.
With 21 techs researched and 30 knowledge income the red tech I am research requires about 44 days of research. With a 40% research bonus in “yellow” a bottom tier tech costs 32 days.
Imagine you research 15 items in green and yellow with nothing in red.
Now you want to research military tech and the first tech went from 2 days to like 15 days. Ouch. That means the bottom row is going to be like 30-40 days instead of 15-20 days.
This would cripple you because you need military research to get more command points (more command points = field more units).
By the time you nearly finish off two categories research starts to climb into the 55 days for one research item. This means that research unlock order is extremely important.
As I mentioned in the HQ planning section : you can make a blue/red/yellow building in a single district slot to speed up research by 20% . This is more of something to consider in the early game when you can first afford one building and something to consider changing later when you have an infinite supply of materials.
I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the Paracompass and Spectral Imaging techs are a “trap”. You only get 20% production if you have an Ornithopter attached to a Harvester. As you can see in the picture above I have 6 harvesters (pretty sure you can have at least 10) and you can only have 5 Ornithopters (I think).
Army Logistics is a trap. If you take a city and an enemy is moving reinforcements then use a supply drop to heal and refresh the supply of your army.
Agents and Operations
What do I do with intel? You click on the “play” button in the opterations tab and you can launch missions. The most basic mission has no infiltration requirements. You basically use it to scout sections of the map. Note I only used this once and instead rely on 2-3 Onithopters to scout the map. As I said in the trading section the amount of concrete you can get from the AI by trading away your intel is almost Criminal.
- Probe a region to gain vision for 2 minutes and all points of interest are revealed (50 intel).
The most basic mission has no infiltration requirements. You basically use it to scout sections of the map.
Some of the missions are clearly designed for PVP. One example is the Interdiction Zone mission that stops Carryall traffic. How would you use this? When a worm is spotted you might be able to use this mission to make their harvester get eaten (making them potentially lose 200 manpower).
The Assassination and Atmomics missions are locked behind huge tech requirements. In theory you could skip some of the tech if you get elected to the Eye of the Council. These agents come with a special Council trait. What does that mean?
In this picture you can see that I have infiltration level 3 with only two agents. This happened because she produces +100% extra infiltration. In other words as a single agent she counts as two agents worth of Infiltration. If you have her then you could potentially skip some research as the missions otherwise require tech that lets you put 3 agents on the different Infiltration options.
This is the other agent I got as a result of holding the Eye of the Council position. I do not know if they have a second trait because I was playing Atreides using the +1 agent trait. I do not know if they are always the same.
What do I do to prevent my agents from being captured?
-Don’t use agents when there is a resolution active that makes detected agent actions result in 100% capture.
-Don’t use missions that are beyond easy in difficulty. Easy missions have a 0% chance to get your agent caught unless a resolution is active.
-Note: the Political Audit and CHOAM shares missions have a 0% chance for mission agent capture.
What do I do if an agent gets captured?
-After maybe 5-10 minutes they will escape. If you dont want to wait that long you can trade with the faction that captured your agent. It cost me 500 Solari to free them the first time and 1000 the second time. At the time I had like 50k in the bank so that was meaningless.
- What should I do with my Intel mid game?
Queue up a few missions such as : Supply Drop, Gear Sabotage, Poison reserves.
Save them until you really need them and otherwise trade your Intel for more Pascrete. The AI uses intel to spam nearly harmless missions such as using ghost market on a territory that makes +3 income from the ownership bonus. So he spent 200 Solari to gain 1.5 gold per tick during the event duration. Good job. I can’t ask for them to be more incompetent.
- What should I do with my Intel late game?
You can turn 50 intel and 10k Solari into 500 Hegemony.
You can turn 50 intel and 300 influence into 30 Landstraad standing (assuming you are not playing Fremen).
How do I trigger an Assassination victory?
I noticed that when playing as the Harkonnen they only require level 2 for all of the requirements to assassinate an enemy.
When I did this achievement I needed level 3 infiltration of the target and level 3 infiltration for the Spacing Guild.
After you meet these requirements you need 500 intel and 1k Solari. Then you click the “play” button.
Then what happens are mission complications. You have a very high chance an agent gets captured. With the complication comes an event that looks like a red magnifying glass. You pick one of three choices. One of those choices is : do nothing and an agent is automatically captured.
The other options can be things like pay solari, intel , influence or a combination of those to make the bad things that happen be “less bad”.
You might get one or two complications from each assassination mission. Note that if you pick an option that makes the operation take more time you might trigger another complication.
Eventually the mission will trigger and you will be 1/3 completed. You need two more successful assassination missions and then you eliminate the target.
The game will tell you that the enemy can do a counter assassination mission. So far I’ve never been assassinated by an AI but what happened is that this counter mission reduced my intelligence level on them. That comes back “free” over time so that basically did nothing. They repeated this process several times until I had 3/3 for the mission completed.
Now that I know the Harkonnens have easy Assassination as an option I think they might have the most simple win condition.
Note: a Fremen player is going to be harder to Assassinate because they will have fewer agents “tied up” in relations with Fremen Sietches.
What do Atomics do? Good question. I haven’t bothered trying them yet as the other methods of victory seem to take a lot less time (due to research requirements). If you find out let me know.
- How do I get more agents?
The HQ building : Intellgence Agency gives you +200% agent recruitment speed.
The research : Spying Logistic gives you +100% agent recruitment speed.
The research : Counter Measures gives you +100% agent recruitment speed and +5 max agent slots. Technically you can have 17 agents if you get the council position that grants +2 agents.
If playing Harkonnen spam the Oppression button (responsibly) to keep getting +100% agent recruitment speed.
Where should I place my agents? There are 4 main places you can place an agent to get bonuses. Each agent gives you a ticking +1 bonus.
If you don’t know what to with an agent as a general rule I would suggest putting them into Arrakis. I always put my first agent here because you can start getting a two day bonus to a random tech from some of the random “?” elements on the map. Over time this starts getting worse and worse but by the time that happens you likely dont need the alternative option anyway and reducing research by two days is better than not. The only problem is the result is completely random. Rapid expansion also requires Authority more than anything else. Getting more towns sooner= more money, more concrete, more research so you have a faster growth than the enemy.
Arrakis gives Authority, Spacing guild gives Manpower, CHOAM gives you a base +5 Solari bonus, Landstraad gives you +1 influence production. Overall I find the Authority bonus to be extremely helpful to take over more cities faster.
- Having one Agent assigned to an enemy shows you their production value incomes (+ influence for example) and tells you which faction bonuses they chose at the start of the game. In my Harkonnen game the AI picked Lady Jessica and never used it. Thanks again for being incompetent.
Unless you are trying to assassinate an enemy or use Atomics dont bother spying on them.
- Having Agents in counterintelligence gives you +2 command points per agent. This is not a very good bonus and if I could speak to the developer directly I would ask this to go up to +2 or +3 per agent to make it more valuable.
Having two agents for +4 cap to your command points will obviously be valuable as more army is better than less army (unless you can’t afford it). It will also allow you to field more high tier units due to “uneven” number splits where you try to get as many high tier units as possible without wasting command points.
Politics / Landstraad Regulations
Every few days there is a vote on Regulations. These are modifiers that will affect the next 20 or so days of gameplay.
The sequence of voting events is as follows :
1. If there is a Speaker of the Council they get to look at the three proposed options and potentially reroll one option. If you don’t reroll you can save the reroll and it “carries over”. I’ve had 4 rerolls and used several in a row. Anyone who is not the speaker does not even get to see what the options are before one can be rerolled
2. Options that can use some kind of “trickery” use them as the events are proposed to all 4 factions.
This is where the Harkonnens can corrupt one vote option, the Smugglers can use a bribe to entice people to vote on an option, and the Fremen can use their revolt option.
3. The vote is held. All factions get to vote. If you dont have Landstraad rating then you have to use 10 influence to vote.
Every time you get +100 Landstraad rating you get +10 votes. Using the Corrupt ability I was able to reduce House Atreides down to 60 points. I could not get them below that base threshold. I assume the same is true for the Smugglers once they gain +50 points.
House Harkonnen with 400 rating gets 120 votes. House Atreides with 400 rating gets 130 votes. In short +100 points gives you 10 votes.
The Smugglers and Fremen start with about 100 influence and have almost no production of that resource. Until they get a lot of influence production they basically have almost zero vote power. This can be super devastating early game depending on RNG. You could vote for the option for the Fremen base to lose the ability to attack and then go kill it with a very small army.
Early game do not trade these factions your influence and you keep them mostly powerless. Alternatively you could trade them influence on a vote cycle where you dont care if any of the resolutions pass and get 800-2000 of a resource you desperately need.
4. The votes are counted and the results are shown. Obviously you could save the game when the vote has “0 days left” and change your mind about how you spend your points. But the point is to get to where you dont need to do that and always get what you want.
You might notice there are a ton of votes that seem to come out of “nowhere”. These come from minor houses. When you have a high Landstraad rating they tend to vote with you.
Be aware the smuggler faction using their bribe ability will swing a large number of minor house votes. Late game I think it’s actually easiest to have the strongest vote power with the Smugglers because of this mechanic and their ability to produce tons of influence.
After this part the cycle reverts back to step #1 unless there is no Speaker of the Council in which case you skip to step #2; obviously there is no one holding that position on game start.
When do elections for special positions come up? It is complete RNG.
Note there is a resolution that can come up that will remove everyone from Council positions. It’s kind of cheese but the speaker can reroll that option away.
If you are the only house that fills the requirements then you basically get the position by default. One benefit of playing the Atreides is that if you have a high Landsraad standing then you ignore all the other requirements for positions
Here is an example picture from the same Harkonnen game.
I got the speaker position early on when Blue/Yellow had no vote power. I eliminated Blue so they would stop using their Bribe power.
I got the Judge / Water Seller positions because nobody else met the requirements. I used the corruption option to reduce House Atreides down to 60 faction so they basically lost all chance to beat me in an election. The Fremen have +5 influence production so it’s not likely they will get what they want either.
– In this picture there will be a vote in 4 days. The Atreides are down to zero Landstraad rating and the Fremen are locked at that point as a faction.
From what I can tell it is RNG but the minor houses “supposedly” vote your way more often if you have a higher rating.
-I really hope that on higher difficulty the minor houses dont vote for the AI more often as that would be a really scummy thing to do to make the AI “play better”. I have no evidence to think they do but it is just a scary thought.
Before we start let me say there is a bug with the Spice Silo Building. It won’t give nearby regions (or itself) the bonus if you have a maintenance building affecting the region. This is really annoying but will get fixed.
Many buildings affect the province they are in and the provinces around them. Spice Silos, Military Bases, and the Maintenance building give a bonus to that region and every region it touches directly. Basically the idea is to daisy chain buildings that give a bonus.
Imagine you have Provinces A-B-C ( the dash indicates a connection). One Of any of those buildings in region B will provide the bonus to the other two regions.
The general strategy I use is to make concrete almost everywhere. Don’t know what to make: concrete. Wind traps are best built in areas that have 4+ wind but you sometimes are forced to use a level 2 or 3 wind spot (hopefully replace the building later).
Only make fuel cells when you need more fuel cells. I have beaten medium with every faction without ever using an airfield. Camp your army in a border village and have militia. If you have 4 militia and 4 units can beat 6 attacking units easily. The only problem is when you try the same strategy on insane and your 4+4 loses to 4 units.
After 2-3 villages you probably need some recruitment centers and need some tech buildings.
When possible you should unlock the 100 cost concrete building slot if you can make something there that will give you more money/water/concrete/spice production.
If you need more money then you need to take a new spice field. Part of planning is the idea of “island hopping” so you can keep getting closer to the good map territories. Early on it is a good idea to raid some of the villages around you when you lack the authority to capture them. After you get some tech research The Harkonnen and Smuggler factions can raid a village and make the village take less authority to annex (either negate the raid penalty or make raiding a village fear you until they submit).
Be aware their is a building you can make in your HQ that makes it so every economy (yellow) building in a village gives you a 5% spice production increase.
If you are playing Harkonnen you get a 5% production increase for a village with each militia (and you have a 10% penalty base). You can have up to 6 militia slots if you chose the correct advisor and have all the tech.
There’s an even better bug with the Spice Silo building if playing Harkonnen. You can stack the spice silo bonus in adjacent regions (it isn’t supposed to do that – this is a bug).
*I will finish this section later*
Beating Insane AI
So far from what I can tell the AI has combat buffs on Insane. This really bothers me. Near infinite resources is one thing, knowing where my units are is another. The second he has unit buffs it really make me like the game a whole lot less.
How did I do it?
I chose a medium map with Hegemony/Governor victories turned off. I turned off worms, storms, and raids. I left assassination on because right now the AI doesn’t seem to try to use it on you. Also the Harkonnens can use Assassinate with only two levels in every infiltration and that saves a huge amount of time due to how research scaling works.
I played a 1v1 against the Smugglers as House Harkonnen. I picked the spy drone and extra militia. Corrupt was not going to be an issue and 2x drones gave me tons of intel to have a supply drop ready very early.
As soon as I could I got a combat drugs mission ready. I only needed the drugs once really but ended up using them twice. If you use the drugs with a supply drop it will make your units much less likely to die (they can tick for damage when the drugs end and die even if in a town).
The first big engagement largely decided the game. He attacked me with a huge force and my militia+ my small army enjoyed some combat drugs with a supply drop. After that I was playing whack a mole raiding him, blowing up his harvester and liberating his towns. There is no way he was paying his taxes for the last half of the game – and yet he finished with 200 house rating. The Space Taxmen did not show up to attack him either.
After harassing him for over 2 hours he started expanding on the far side of his base. This gave me time to attack his only spice field as well as one of the cities touching his base. By that point I was on 4 spice fields and he only had his starting field. He did end up taking the south field but I took it about an hour later.
Why a medium map? Small maps have the expansion directions often blocked by special tiles that mess up movement. Three times in a row I had to take a “trash province” to get my second spice field or research paracompass (yuck).
Why play against the Smugglers? Their army has the weakest stats/mechanic right now. The Smuggler army does extra damage based off the enemy having low supply. This basically does nothing when they come attacking your city.
Unfortunately while unlocking this achievement I discovered that the Instill fear tech is not stacking five times like it is supposed to; it only stacks once and that really messed up my tech progress.
To make a long story short I started a game and saved it. Then I looked where the AI was and loaded the save back. I also put my first spy on enemy infiltration to see which councilors he chose; the AI is cheating so a little bit on my part is only fair.
Do NOT trade your intel to the AI on insane. If you do then they will spam missions and it will make things so much worse. Unfortunately this can make your start much slower than what you can do on medium. Lucky for me the AI only had one spice field for a long time because I stole the one in the middle. I expanded within one tile of his base and left my army there the whole game.
I almost always put my first agent into Arrakis to get extra Authority. The tech unlocks are most valuable early on because you will always unlock the first 4 techs. I got pretty lucky with my tech unlocks as only one or two ended up going towards “dead tech” that I was never going to research (field logistics). Getting more land sooner means you have more manpower, water and concrete.
What research path would I suggest you use? Go down to the third yellow tech to get Spice Silos. Then you need military bases for manpower and annex cost reduction (actually I suggest getting silos after you get the red/green unlocks). I unlocked instill Fear but it was not useful due to only stacking once. Lay of the land (villages give extra research) is not helpful really until you have a lot of cities.
If you don’t necessarily need anything the right side of blue is good to unlock spies faster. During a 50% red research regulation I unlocked the House Guard and supply base (so I could build the HQ building).
I suggest building the building for +12 command points way sooner than I did as my army was 2x troopers, 2-3 gunners and two drones for way too long.
I did get voted in to the judge position but never bothered with those units. The AI was mostly spamming wreckers and snipers with the occasional melee blocker.
Several times during this game I got an army wipe on the AI because he moved his army through mine. He had some distant goal that he thought was super important.
The AI is also kind enough to let you walk over to his towns and position your melee units on top of his ranged units. Then you can have all your units attack and absolutely obliterate him. I would much rather him not be so absent minded and not have extra defense/attack stats but we don’t get to pick and choose.
I also got to wipe the AI’s army about 5 times because I saw he was going to attack an expansion city thanks to my Drone Intel. The AI ignores you and attacks the city so you can kill his dps without getting attacked.
By the end of the game I had two troopers and at least 4 gunners that were the max xp rank. I had one elite house guard and another that was close.
The probe droids are “ok” to assist with combat if you can abuse the AI by kiting one unit. WIth two droids you can have one get chased by a melee unit while the other shoots the target. Move your droid being chased in a circle around the one that is standing still and shooting. Do not let the melee unit get too close to the shooter or you will need to change roles.
If your Gunner ever gets into a melee and you want them to shoot you can move them next to a trooper and move the gunner past the far side of the trooper. You can do the reverse if your trooper is about to die to an enemy melee unit.
The drones were most useful for letting my army run away and heal while the drone captured. The best part is that taking land from enemy keeps giving you intel while they are in enemy territory.
Once my Ornithopters were done scouting I left them in enemy territory to collect intel. I told one to stay on auto recon for when new map elements appear. At that point I got rid of the drone I had left and got some more units.
By the end of the game the AI had only made three buildings (I think one of each color). I had finished my HQ (even removed a building once) and was going to assassinate him but an event came up to turn off his base weapons so I decided to end things in a base assault. He never even fielded the T4 unit which made things a lot easier for me as elite gunners absolute shred his T1 melee.
I had thought abut triggering the event about an hour earlier but I am glad I did not. When I started attacking his base he kept spamming units out of thin air. I was using supply drop and immediately starting a mission for another. I think I did three or four in a row before blowing up the base.
The easiest way to win would likely be assassination. I had the first 1/3 complete and when my agent got captured I immediately traded the AI 1000 Solari to get him back.
I could have also gotten a Hegemony victory as I had started the AI of resources and he was not getting kills on my veteran units (but as I said earlier I turned this off). The AI finished the game under the 10k threshold but that kind of makes sense as I was disrupting his spice payments and I was the only person he could fight.
None of my Sietches were worth allying. I did have quite a bit of extra manpower from trading with them and that was very useful even if I got it somewhat late.
I will add more when I’ve played through the other factions.
This is all about Dune: Spice Wars – Spice Flowmax – Early Access Gameplay; 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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