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Dune: Imperium Cheats

Dune: Imperium

Cheat Codes:
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Submitted by: David K.

Strategy Guide:
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Written by TheGentlemanDM

-=Introduction=-
Dune Imperium is a fairly complex game. There’s a lot of moving parts and 
a lot of ways to inadvertently ruin your chances of winning in the lategame. 
Your tactical considerations from round to round will matter – sometimes a 
carefully placed agent to deny an opponent access or to snatch an alliance 
will make the difference, but you have to enable yourself to make those plays 
in the first place.

Thinking strategically is important for having a deck and a gameplan that 
functions into the late game and can close out a win. This guide will cover 
a number of key strategic considerations that will help your gameplay, both 
against the AI and against other human players.

-=Counting to 10=-
Outside of some niche situations and an optional game mode from the expansion, 
Dune Imperium ends when one player reaches ten victory points.

This means you need to have a plan to get there.

As you should know by now, there are three main ways to score victory points: 
winning combats, purchasing Spice Must Flow cards, and gaining Faction 
Influence and Alliances.

From the early game, you should know which of those three directions you wish 
to focus on, and build your deck accordingly.

Obviously, you will need to do all three at some point, but this is a 
competitive game – there are key tools or options needed for each and other 
players will be claiming them as well. Finding your niche where you can 
specialise and be unbeatable is key to getting points before other players.

-=Common Pitfalls=-
Before I explore each area in more detail, there are a few principles that 
are going to be critical to every deck and every game.

-=Faction Access is Important=-
There are four victory points available by visiting faction spaces or by 
otherwise gaining influence. These victory points are basically free – you 
just have to pick them up by the end of the game.

So, you’re not really counting to nine or ten VP. It’s more like counting to 
five or six. And the difference between six and seven is a LOT more than 
the difference between nine and ten. You don’t want to be having to work 
harder for your victory points because you skimped on the easy ones.

Even so, you will not be able to do this with your starting cards alone. 
Diplomacy is a card you can expect to see four or five times a game, but 
that doesn’t come close to the eight visits you’ll need.

In the early game, acquiring even just one or two cards that enable your 
agents to perform faction visits can make a difference of a point or two 
over the course of the game, which is often the difference between first 
place and last.

Don’t skimp on purchasing faction access cards in the early game.

-=Think Ahead=-
Regardless of which strategy you’re following, thinking about your upcoming 
turns is important.

The opening two turns are ones where you have near-perfect information, and 
thinking about the line you’re taking towards your first major coin 
acquisition is important. Whether you’re going Turn 1 Stillsuits into Turn 
2 Great Flat then Conspire, or going Hagga Basin into Sell Melange, or 
whether you’re aiming for Wealth + Secure Contract, you need to identify 
the path you’re taking towards your permanent upgrades.

Later on, being mindful of which cards are in your deck and how they affect 
your upcoming turns is important. If your hand is relatively weak and you 
have a five-card deck full of high value draws… sometimes you don’t want to 
hit Arrakeen to draw cards now. Sometimes it’s better just to accept a 
weaker turn in exchange for a properly powerful one later.

Don’t trade a good turn for two mediocre ones.

-=Trim the Fat=-
Dune Imperium isn’t as pure a deckbuilder as other games in the genre, but 
that doesn’t mean that deckbuilder heuristics don’t still apply. You want 
to increase the average card quality of your deck as much as possible.

Trashing (and especially doing so early) to improve the quality of your 
deck is important. Getting cards like Fedaykin Death Commando or Gene 
Manipulation that can get rid of the low value cards in your deck can help 
a lot.

Buying single high-impact cards and avoiding buying cheap filler is likewise 
a good idea.

Don’t let your deck become clogged, and don’t overtrim your deck either.

-=Combat Strategies=-
A combat oriented deck aims to get its five or six victory points from winning 
combats.

Remember that you won’t win every fight, and you want to win fights with as 
little effort as possible. Combat in Dune Imperium is really just an auction, 
with players bidding for the rewards available – and you’d rather win by an 
inch than by a mile. Your troops are a currency that you invest into those 
bids.

When playing a combat strategy, getting your Swordmaster is a little more 
important than your High Council seat – you want to be getting onto blue 
board spaces to pick up troops a little more often, and you want your 
resource chain of water into spice to be active to enable access to the 
piles of troops at Heighliner and Rally Troops.

For your card purchases, cards with flexible board access for your agents 
is nice, as are cards with a few swords for reveals. Swords in your hand 
are troops you don’t need to pay for, after all.

Getting a steady stack of intrigue cards is also important – you want to be 
finding combat cards so that when you do commit to a big fight, you can 
protect your investment with extra swords if needed.

Acting with information is also important. Combat strategies will want to 
use the Mentat where possible to delay out your turns and see exactly how 
much power your opponents have before making the final commitment yourself. 
Being able to commit the least amount of troops while still (safely) 
winning means you can afford to contest more fights and get more points.

-=Key Board Spaces=-
* Mentat and Swordmaster
* Carthag and Secrets for intrigue cards
* Stillsuits/Sietch Tabr, spice harvesting spices, and Sell Melange for
  resources
* Heighliner and Rally Troops for your army

-=Ideal Leaders=-
Rabban the Beast is obviously a combat leader. His Signet Ring feeds him 
troops, and his extra starting spice enables Round 1 Hagga Basin into Sell 
Melange to get a Round 2 Swordmaster.

Helena Richese can’t be blocked from accessing the blue spaces she needs to 
deploy her troops, nor can she be blocked from Rally Troops. Coupled with 
the ability to snatch key cards for a little cheaper on her Signet Ring, and 
she’s a surprisingly reliable combatant.

Baron Harkonnen gets easier access to intrigue cards and to Sietch Tabr than 
anyone else, which should not be underestimated.

Count Ilban gets a lot of value out of Mentat and a little extra coin, which 
helps support a combat strategy nicely.

-=Key Cards=-
Taking any of these early can suggest aligning for a combat strategy:

Gurney Halleck, Sardaukar Legion, Stilgar, Worm Riders, Gun Thopter

-=Other cards to look out for=-
Fremen Camp, Fedaykin Death Commando.

-==Spice Must Flow Strategies==-
The goal here is to get your deck to consistently provide 9 persuasion so 
you can purchase Spice Must Flow cards for victory points – ideally three or 
four.

Remember that this strategy typically still needs you to acquire victory
 points elsewhere – don’t think that SMF will be enough by itself. Winning a 
two-point fight or grabbing alliances will be necessary.

When playing for Spice Must Flow, your High Council seat is obviously important 
and should be accessed ASAP, but Swordmaster is more often than not a trap. You 
want to be revealing as much persuasion as possible, and you’ll often find that 
the investment of turns and resources into the Swordmaster is wasted since you 
don’t want to be taking those agent turns anyway. Unlike combat strategies, you 
don’t need a continuous supply of spice through the game – two or three solid 
harvests to get you your Solari and fuel your Selective Breeding are typically 
enough, with later water going into Research rather than harvesting.

Moreso than combat strategies, trashing is important here. Getting the Daggers 
and 1 Persuasion cards out of your deck is valuable towards consistent draws.

For your card purchases, high persuasion cards are highly valued, as are cards 
that replace themselves when played. Anything with card draw attached gets a 
little more valuable, since it means you can retain persuasion in your hand. 
Bene Gesserit access and synergies are also a nice draw here, since they’re 
the most important faction affinity for this strategy.

-=Key Board Spaces=-
* High Council (obviously)
* Hall of Oratory – because sometimes you need to turn a Dagger into a Persuasion
* Either Wealth + Secure Contract OR Conspire neatly get you to 5 Solari
* Arrakeen draws cards while poking at combats. You’re not often trying to win, 
  but rather cheaply pick up second or third place rewards to supplement your economy.
* Selective Breeding is huge for both trashing and drawing. Do so early where possible.
* Research Station is the best card draw available.

-=Ideal Leaders=-
Paul’s card draw and lack of combat support means he prefers to lean into this 
strategy heavily.

Countess Arianna’s weakened harvesting but extra card draw and water access means 
she also wants to lean heavily into this gameplan.

Earl Memnon’s free spice is arguably better here than in combat strategies – you 
don’t want to harvest as much here, so it counts for more. Also, you always want 
your High Council seat.

-=Key Cards=-
Taking any of these early can suggest aligning into a Spice Must Flow strategy:

Guild Bankers, Lady Jessica, Smuggler’s Thopter, Liet Kynes, Piter De Vries

-=Other cards to look out for:
Other Memory, Bene Gesserit Initiate, Gene Manipulation, Firm Grip.

-==Guild Influence Strategies==-
An influence focused strategy wants to collect three or four victory points from 
faction alliances.

Firstly, it should be noted that this won’t get you to ten. Thus, this isn’t so 
much a standalone strategy as it is a direction that that prior two strategies 
(especially the Spice Must Flow strategy) may want to lean into.

Getting alliance victory points is harder than other ways, because unlike your 
wins from combat or your expensive purchases, alliances can be stolen. In a four 
player game, it is nigh impossible to claim and then keep all four alliances.

That said, you can potentially grab one or two before your opponents can respond 
and use this lead to snatch a victory a turn before your opponents expected.

For your card purchases, faction access is obviously the most important thing, 
as are cards that can provide influence in other ways.

-=Key Board Spaces=-
Stillsuits, Secrets, Foldspace, Wealth – getting faction influence without 
resource expenditure is good, and jumping onto these spaces can help deny your 
opponents access.

Swordmaster – so you can visit more spaces.

-=Ideal Leaders=-
Duke Leto Atreides shines in this strategy, with his Signet Ring letting him 
focus on two or three tracks while not missing his “free” VP on the others.

Baron Harkonnen can also do very well here – he gets two influence basically 
for free, and sometimes your intrigue cards just feed you influence.

-=Key Cards=-
Taking any of these early can suggest pushing for this strategy:

Kwisatz Haderach, Choam Directorship, Power Play, Guild Ambassador, Thufir Hawat, 
Firm Grip, Shifting Allegiances
Other cards to look out for:

Sietch Reverend Mother, Reverend Mother Mohiam, Missionaria Protectiva.

-=Closing Considerations=-
Now that all of this is in your mind, remember that these strategies are 
guidelines, not rules.

Your gameplan will want to be flexible and adaptable. Opportunities will arise 
and seizing them can help you stay ahead of your opponents.

Sometimes your combat deck will have a chunk of persuasion in hand and might 
want to grab some card draw to collect a Spice Must Flow. Sometimes your 
purchase heavy deck will have the option to snatch a fight and disrupt their 
opponents. Sometimes you see a Power Play available and want to think about 
pushing for an unexpected alliance.

Likewise, sometimes your strategies will need to change as your opponents’ plans 
do. You might have started on a combat plan, but if every fight is being hard 
fought and no-one is touching Research, it might be the time to pivot. Or, if 
everyone is neglecting their armies, grabbing some swords to win easy fights can 
be rewarding.

So long as you can adjust your plans to the needs of the table, you can find 
success and become a better player.
 
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