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The spice must flow...

Do you have what it takes to counter the treacherous Harkonnen, overcome the prescience of the Atreides, and steel your will against the Bene Gesserit Witches' Voice? If you think you do, this is the day to prove it.

Playing Time: 45-60 mins/player

# of players: 6 max, best with 5 or more

Game Style:

The game has six factions with very asymmetrical (and often off-setting) powers. The six factions are vying for control of strongholds on the planet Arrakis through troop movement, alliances, bribery and the like. The game is very heavy on player interaction, bargaining, and treachery. To me, this is one of the best games around when it comes to theme and capturing the claustrophobic paranoia and scheming in Herbert's universe. If you hate Diplomacy, you'll hate this game as well. If you love overcoming imbalance, social engineering, and games that reward situational agility, this might be your game.

1:00-2:00pm will be used for explaining and teaching the game to those who've never played. The actual game will start around 2:00pm.

And don't be a Leto...

Note: I've set the RSVP limit to 6 but that's only to establish who's playing in the game itself. If you want to come and observe, stop by to chat, or play something otherwise, please just let us know in the comments.

Exceptions/Notes to Rule-set Peyton links to in the comments:

General Gameplay:

• The rules note that Atreides can keep notes, however, it is illegal to track anything except card knowledge (e.g. you cannot track spice (money) totals as players buy things/exchange spice)

• The 'Thumper' card (which summons a worm) *does* create a Nexus and allows for alliances to be broken/reformed (see additional card information below).

• Spice is exchanged immediately during bribery instead of in the 'Control Round' as stated in this rule-set (Yes, this makes the Emperor's faction/ally ability pointless, but so be it - the Emperor has enough advantages).

• This 'Catch All' timing note is not entirely accurate - there is a *very* specific order in which Voice commands, Atreides Prescience, Truth Trances, etc. work and I will be fully versed on it again before we play.

Storm Round (Round 1):

• Bonus spice for controlling Carthag, Arrakeen, or Tuek's Sietch is collected during the Collection Round, not the Storm Round.

Spice Blow (Round 2):

• We will be using single Spice Blow rules without combat support in this first game. It makes combat and resource management much simpler the first time out. In subsequent games I'd like to use double-spice blow and spice support for combat.

Nexus (Round 2a):

• This is a small distinction but I play that all alliances are actively broken when a Nexus occurs and must be reformed in the affirmative during a Nexus. There can be a situation where multiple worms come up in a row and it's worth noting that if a 2nd or 3rd worm appears there's a chance that someone might want to leave their alliance at that point given how few Nexuses may be remaining in the deck (again, a fine point but worth mentioning imo).

• Unless there are strong objections, in 6-player games I typically allow 3-faction alliances (which would require control of all 5 strongholds to win the game).

• It's worth noting that play stops during a Nexus and the effect of the worm's appearance in a territory is resolved AFTER all alliances are settled.

Bidding (Round 3):

• CHOAM charity will be collected in the Collection Round as well (instead of just before bidding - some very minor nuances that I think make it worth having the spice before going into the next turn).

• A correction to this: "The Auctioneer deals from the Treachery deck a number of face-down Treachery Cards equal to the number of players who are allowed to bid for Treachery Cards at the beginning of this Bidding Round ..." The number of cards up for bid is equal to the number of cards that eligible players may buy, not the number of eligible players (this is a game balancing rule with a bit of 'come from behind' flavor to it that I think improves the game (and I think is actually in the original rules)).

• Please read the bidding notes in red - they are somewhat important and will avoid someone flipping the table over at some point and going all Feyd Rautha on the pigs-in-a-blanket that are traditionally served when Dune is played (because they look like Shai Hulud, right?).

Movement (Round 5):

• The Bene Gesserit faction MUST declare coexistence or non-coexistence at the start of the Movement round for each territory in which they exist with another faction's troops. This should be done before any shipment or movement is done.

• It's not spelled out as clearly as I'd like in this rule-set: You ship first, then move. There is no movement then shipping of troops (again, a small distinction but can be important).

Battle (Round 6):

• Ignore all rules referring to spice support for troops to bring them to full strength. As mentioned earlier, we will play with a single spice blow and no spice for troop support in this first game (unless there's an unending klaxon of protest, then I'll consider it - but only if you realize it will add a lot of time and math to the game).

• Please pay attention to the notes regarding declaring if you are leaderless and/or you want a "Standard Deal" in one player's favor (will go over this in detail in the game itself).

• Technically, you're supposed to yell out, 'TREACHERY!' and not 'TRAITOR!' when playing a traitor card on your opponent's leader, but I'll let it slide...once.


Eff the left side of this page... We're playing 15 rounds, motherfuckers!!! Re: the right side of the page, the Bene Gesserit co-existence explanation is good and I've played the Harkonnen variant before and like it but would like to discuss it with the table before deciding on whether to adopt it.

Things to note in the 'Almanac':

Note any text in red, this guy has done a good job of identifying issues that can cause knock-down drag-out friendship-ending issues and noting them in this guide. Also attend to:

• "Be at Peace" for the BG's

• "Bless the Maker" for the Fremen

• "Opportunistic" for the Harkonnen (this is the most powerful ability in the game, by far - read and tread carefully)

• I will have player aids available for the Karama abilities and the alliance/faction abilities but they're worth reading

• Card List: I actually play with several expansion cards that aren't listed here. These include "Thumper" (summon a worm), an extra Snooper, an extra poison weapon (Kriminon), an extra shield, and an extra projectile weapon (Hunter Seeker) because it makes the game more bloody and fun. I do not play with the residual poison or the other dorky expansion special card because they're dumb.