Saturday, December 9, 1995

Dune Game #1 (12/9/1995)

Players: Anne (Harkonnen), Janet (Fremen), Joshua (Atreides), Mike (Emperor), Nazim (Bene Gesserit), Scott (Guild)

The Dune storm was positioned correctly for the Emperor to blow the Shield Wall as the first turn came to the Battle Round. The Emperor won close fights with both Atreides and Harkonnen -- with some players surmising that the latter had thrown the fight to destroy Atreides -- and that forced Harkonnen to abandon Carthag temporarily (to Plastic Basin). The Emperor took Arrakeen and Harkonnen inched back toward Carthag (over the course of several turns), with Atreides tanked to the max and the Bene Gesserit massing in the Polar Sink.

The Fremen occupied Sietch Tabr and Habbanya Ridge Sietch, and were moving toward Tuek's Sietch when the Guild defeated them in Habbanya and used Weather Control to slow their progress toward Tuek's (where three Guild troops beat back the two Fremen who survived the trek through the storm into Tuek's). A nexus then produced about 15 minutes of negotiation before Guild/Harkonnen and Bene Gesserit/Emperor alliances emerged -- which seemed to ensure that the battle of Dune would soon be decided.

As the next round began, the B. G. forgot to declare themselves hostile in Carthag, and Tuek's was still owned by the Guild and locked down by weather. The Emperor put 13 troops in Habbanya to face a perceived maximum of 14 Guild, but the Guild went last and placed their nine off-planet reserves in Arrakeen -- where they faced only seven Emperor forces -- and moved their troops out of Habbanya. Guild won the battle by one, so the fact that the Emperor played a traitor was irrelevant. Harkonnen finished the win with 20 uncontested troops in Carthag and a big smile on her face.

A word from our winners, Scott & Anne

"The length of time spent considering the alliances is what struck me about this game. There seemed to be no guaranteed win with any alliance, so I wanted to invest a few minutes to think about it, and even then, the win came hard (with the Emperor almost able to defeat me in Habbanya and the victory in Arrakeen only by one troop). What tipped the scales for me was the fact that both players in the other alliance had to go before Harkonen (my partner) and I (who, as the Guild, could go last)." - Scott

(Anne has declined comment, preferring to keep her secrets to herself)

Scott's words to live by:
- Consider your alliances carefully before jumping in
- Know your character's strengths and weaknesses well (see game summary, Bene Gesserit)
- The winner writes history, so smile while you agree with me

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