Dune: Spice Wars – Beginner Tips

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  • How To Win A Game Of Dune: Spice Wars
  • Making Money In The Early Game
  • Prioritize Your Developments
  • How District Buildings Work

Starting a new real-time strategy game is quite often a daunting experience for even veteran gamers, and Dune: Spice Wars is no exception. Even with a tutorial that handily walks you through the basics, there are still some things that you're left to discover yourself.

While learning from your mistakes is something a lot of people like, it's just as likely that you want to know what you're in for before heading in. There are a few things that would be handy to know before you launch into your first conquest of Arrakis, and we've presented them here for your perusal.

Disclaimer: This guide is written for the Early Access version of Dune: Spice Wars. As a result, this information is subject to changes over the development process.

How To Win A Game Of Dune: Spice Wars

Something that this game isn't that great at conveying is exactly how you can win the game. There are three win conditions and a few different strategies for achieving any of them:

  • Domination
  • Governorship
  • Hegemony

These win conditions are explained below.

How To Achieve A Domination Victory

Like in most 4X games, Domination victories are wrought from the destruction of your rival factions. In Dune: Spice Wars, there are actually two ways to go about doing this.

Firstly, you can build up a grand army and remove your rivals from the map. You'll have to eliminate their villages and eventually, their capital base to win the game. This is a costly tactic, but it's also a fun one that lets you flex your combat muscles. If you want to head this route, build lots of military buildings and research the relevant technologies.

Alternatively, you can take the espionage route and assassinate your foes. To do this, you'll need to set up long-term assassination plots using your agents. Each assassination plot requires some infiltration levels in the faction of your choosing, along with infiltration levels in Arrakis, the Spacing Guild, the CHOAM, and the Landraad. As a result, this is a very lengthy process – but there are lots of technologies that can help you enable this, and it's less bloody than outright war.

One of the best factions militarily is the Fremen, thanks to their supply drain bonus and their Power bonuses tied to Hegemony gain.

How To Achieve A Political Victory

There are five Charters available to vote for on the Landsraad council, and one of them allows you to win the game. This is the central Dune Governorship charter, and managing to stay the elected Dune Governor for 60 days is one of the game's win conditions.

There are a few steps you must take to be able to run for any election.

  • Firstly, charters have unlock requirements that must be fulfilled before they are enabled. For the Dune Governorship, a certain number of regions must be controlled by one of the four factions and a certain number of Arrakis' sietches must be allied to one of the four factions.
  • There are also prerequisites for election. To be considered for election to the Governorship, a faction must be allied with a certain number of the game's sietches and have a certain amount of Landraad Standing, the rating of political power within your faction.
  • Once the charter is unlocked and at least one faction has met the prerequisites, it may come up during an election. This is when you can vote on it and try to get yourself elected to the position.

The best faction to use for a Political Victory is House Atreides, as they get the ability to ignore all charter prerequisites apart from Landraad Standing prerequisites once they hit 10,000 Hegemony.

While the four other charters simply result in very big boons for your faction, only the Dune Governorship will lead you to a victory.

How To Achieve A Hegemony Victory

Hegemony is a resource that you can accrue but never spend, and there are precisely three uses for it:

  • Firstly, every faction will unlock some bonuses when they reach 5,000 and 10,000 Hegemony. For example, the Smugglers gain a boost of extra Landraad Council Votes when they hit 5,000 Hegemony, and can train Mercenaries when they hit 10,000.
  • When a faction reaches 2,000 Hegemony, they can construct District buildings.
  • When a faction reaches 50,000 Hegemony, they win the game.

Getting Hegemony is something that you'll do as you play the game normally, as most of the actions you can take will produce it. Some of the best Hegemony earners are expanding through villages, winning battles, and getting resolutions and charters passed in your favor. In addition, forming alliances with sietches and making sure you can always pay your Spice Tax will boost your Hegemony significantly.

Making Money In The Early Game

One of the things you might struggle with during the first few hours you play Dune: Spice Wars is making money. Solari are quite hard to come by when you don't have great technologies unlocked or huge stockpiles of resources to trade with other factions.

Here are some easy ways to make money:

  • Set your first agents to work in the CHOAM. Every agent here will boost your passive Solari gain a little, which will go a long way in the first few hours.
  • Seek out regions with Rare Elements to exploit. You can build Processing Plants here to gain a large boost to your income.
    • To build Processing Plants, you will need to research Composite Materials and then Structured Warehouses. If you have Rare Elements near your starting location, make these a priority.
  • Many points of interest have an option that will reward you with Solari. Save these for a rainy day or nab them immediately for the cash injection.
  • If you find yourself with a a large stockpile of a particular resource and not much use for it – Intel, for example – consider selling it to other factions.
  • Learn how to manipulate and exploit the spice market!
  • Prioritize Your Developments

    Developments are this game's version of a tech tree, and there are four distinct trees to research. Once you have settled on a playstyle, it's a good idea to examine these developments and pick which ones you think will benefit you the most. Developments take quite a while to research, so it's good to have the crucial ones out of the way quickly.

    • If you want to exploit the spice market for money, get the Modular Parts, Gridex Plane, and Crew Training Program Developments, as they allow you to increase your Harvesters' crews for larger spice outputs.
    • Water Sellers Contracts, Local Hubs, and Output Logistics are invaluable for expansionist playstyles, as they either boost the value or reduce the costs of having lots of villages. Also consider grabbing Defense Systems for that extra Militia slot, as a large empire is hard to defend and airfields cost a ton in upkeep. Militia can delay a village's defeat and make a dent in the enemy army.
    • If you start near a faction that you do not want to eliminate, getting Diplomatic Maneuvers early on is a good idea. Being able to move through their territory without losing supply is a great ability to have.
    • If you want a military victory, most of the military tree is vital, but none more so than Ground Command, High Command, and Air Command. These add Command Points, enabling you to field a much larger army, something you'll need to take down your rival faction bases.
    • If you find that military or political victory is out of your reach and you haven't yet researched Local Dialect Studies for some reason, it's a good idea to do so. Crafts Workshops are a fine way to boost your passive Hegemony income.

    How District Buildings Work

    Once you reach 2,000 Hegemony, you can build special buildings in the Disticts of your capital base. There are a few slots for these, either solitary or in groups of two or three. If you build two or three of the same type of District building – the types being statecraft, military, and economy buildings – in a group, you will get a unique bonus relating to that category.

    In this way, it is best to only use your cluster of three slots for the bonus you want the most.

    District buildings are very expensive to construct and have high upkeeps, but they provide large, faction-wide bonuses, making them worth the expense. In addition, some of them are only unlocked through Developments, so keep that in mind when choosing what to research.

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