I. Tom’s first term: Atreides Established
In real life Dune, all the Houses start with a whole mess of stuff. In Dune Wars, as in Civ IV, you pretty much start with bupkis. And you have to be very careful where you first plant this bupkis. As you know if you’ve ever read the book or seen a YouTube clip of the David Lynch movie, Dune is a desert planet. That means water is superimportant. Since George Lucas didn’t think up Dune, you can’t farm water. Instead, water comes from wind traps, which are built on hills and have to be spaced just so; dew collectors, which are built on whatever sparse vegetation we can find; and wells, which are built on ground water sites. Each of these sources improve its water yield as you follow a certain branch on the tech tree. Wind traps are the easiest and most flexible source of water, so I push us along that path of the tech tree.
Arrakeen, our first city because that’s the way it is in real Dune, has nearby sources of etching resin where our insect farms will earn us extra money. It also has nearby ore that we can eventually mine for extra production. A botanical testing station, known as a goodie hut on Earth, reveals a fully developed coffee plantation within the borders of Arrakeen. I wasn’t aware that coffee was a thing on Dune. You can learn all kinds of things playing videogames. Dune coffee. Who knew?
After a bit of scouting, I get the political lay of the land. Immediately north of Arrakeen, a thin ribbon of impassable desert separates us from the nearest land mass. In Dune Wars, units can’t cross sand until they develop stillsuits or suspensor technology. Except for the Fremen traipsing across the sand, riding sandworms as if they were ponies. They seem to be having a lot of fun just going wherever the heck they want.
On the other side of this thin strip of desert to the north is House Ecaz. Your guess is as good as mine for who House Ecaz is supposed to be. I don’t remember those guys from the movie. I looked them up. I’m still not sure who they are.
To the south is House Harkonnen. Everyone knows who they are. The bad guys.
Also down south is House Corrino. I looked them up and discovered these guys are basically the Emperor. Hopefully they can keep the Harkonnens in check.
Atreides score: 148
Tom: 148, Bruce: 0