Table of Contents Show
This is a short guide how to play multiplayer(MP) better. This guide only focuses on 4 player FFA, not Kanly. MP is the same game as single player, but how you can lose and the path to victory is vastly different.
Dune: Spice Wars Multiplayer Guide
This is a “short” guide how to play multiplayer(MP) better.
If you like it, leave a thumbs up.
I’ll try to use as few words as possible, excuse abbreviated language. Also I may add some pictures later. Excuse the wall of text.
This only focuses on 4 player FFA, not Kanly. MP is the same game as single player, but how you can lose and the path to victory are vastly different.
Since there are 3 “losers” and one winner in an FFA you should first know how to avoid defeat and then how to win.
In an FFA often not the strongest player wins. Every solid player has a shot at victory.
Cheers, gl hf,
(Written for “Corrino Patch” version of the game released on 22.Sep.2022)
Know The Strategies
As a weak player you cannot win. You must play at least solid and in multiplayer there is no time to read or think. See my extremely long guide on how to play solid. Come prepared with plans and only execute them. Adapt to the situation.
Strategies wich make YOU lose:
- Rush : “Early” attack on your main base.
- War (of Attrittion) : Constant pitched battles with rebuilt armies thereby trying to push the border towards your HQ, ultimately destroying it. Don’t engage in this when there is more than one player in conflict with you. You can lose because you and your opponent are busy and expend all your resources while a thrid party makes everyone lose.
- Liberation Attack : Opponent tries to liberate many of your villages after winning a battle decisively to cripple you. This can set you back a lot, but usually doesn’t defeat you. Delay by having militia in all villages. Prevent by not losing the first enagement decisively.
- Assassination : Always works on >one< player.
- Backstab : Carefully planned attack out of a truce. Can be a Base Snipe or Liberation Attack. Reconsider your strategy immediately after this happens. Always expect a backstab from your left and right neighbours.
Strategies wich make everyone lose:
- Hegemony victory of another player.
- Choam victory of another player.
Strategies wich don’t work:
- Dune Governor. In 30 MP games I have yet to see someone win this way. It is very easy to defend it.
- Destroy every HQ just with military agression. You simply cannot capture enough regions quick enough to do this.
Know Your Opponents
In a Dune game there can be 4 out of 5 factions in one game.
Assuming skilled opponents this is what they can do to you:
- Has many faces. Whichever strategy they choose they are very strong at. Respect Atreides. Watch them closely. Identify their strategy and react accordingly.
- A backstabbing Atreides has a very powerful rush (Appearig peacefully, unlock all their unit types and attack).
- Atreides can win very quickly via Landsraad. Landsraad is ‘Atreides property’.
- Trade Atreides can win without agression in Choam. Everyone wants to trade with them. Don’t trade with them if you suspect a trade Atreides.
- Late game you cannot beat the Atreides forces.
- Harkonnen/Smuggler/Corrino cannot attack Atreides without mostly losing the game. (Due to Jessicas ability and the Atreides Landsraad standing loss bonus)
- Weakness: If Corrino and Harkonnen are in game, this makes Atreides much weaker in Landsraad.
- Weakness: Everything Atreides (except assassination) can do is very easily observable and obvious. Atreides plays open handed.
- Very dangerous opponent in war of attrition
- Usually very rich -> Choam victory is possible.
- Has very powerful agressive operations.
- Can assassinate you astonishingly quickly.
- Really bad target to try to assassinate or use operations against if using “Piter de Vries”, it can lose you the game.
- Usually has a lot of militia everywhere.
- Weakness : Harkonnen are very hard to play, there is a lot of ways to screw up in micromanagement.
- Weakness : Hegemony victory with Harkonnen is highly unlikely.
- Weakness : As Harkonnen you are preceived as dangerous, agressive and untrustworthy.
- Base Push Rush can lock you in eternal unfavourable combat and makes you very vulnerable (If they drop their second base on your doorstep)
- People say corrino can win very easily in Choam, actually Corrino get major bonuses from Choam shares.
- It is VERY hard to attack Corrino. They only need a small domain to be powerful. Their theme is defensive, even assassination is difficult.
- Corrino can “auto-win” easily in a long game via hegemony.
- Strongest when Harkonnen/Smuggler/Atreides are in game. (Bribes)
- Weakness : Cannot attack you because might be too far away. (Be wary, Corrino can use YOUR airfields)
- If Fremen has space to expand, they will win very quickly via hegemony and you cannot prevent it. At ~21k Hegemony, they can drop “Recycling Vats”, gain 3-4k of hegemony and instantly win the game. This gets more likely when less players are in game.
- Base snipe : Attack your main base via sandworm transport. Prevent this with defensive HQ building.
- Usually Fremen has strong research (with bazaar and research center)
- Fremen unit power can get out of hand with ceremonial caves, HQ bonuses and sietch bonus (overwhelming unbeatable army).
- Can raid and pillage/liberate trough your entire domain if you lose a fight decisively, due to high supply values. This can lose you the game.
- Mother Ramallo causes rebellions on your border with them. This is very dangerous. Fremen can extremely threaten and weaken you without even attacking. Make a truce to prevent this.
- Truces with Fremen are woth nothing, Fremen can freely break any truce without cost for them. Backstab highly likely.
- Weakness: Depends a lot on spice harvesting. Basically only source of income and connected to many bonuses. Achilles heel.
- Weakness: Very bad defensive mobility.
- Weakness: Powerless in Landsraad without a concentrated effort. Severely limited.
- Can attack you and capture villages as a bridgehead even far across the map (“Underground Network”).
- Can have a full stealth army.
- Usually very rich by stealing and pillaging.
- Good at every victory condition except Dune Governor. Very flexible in choice of strategy, you never know.
- Can control their hegemony freely. Hegemony levels of a Smuggler are deceiving. Don’t use it to judge their power.
- Can do hegemony sprint at end of game and gain hegemony extremely quickly by spamming undergound HQs.
- Provided the right map layout (village on their side), can quickly expand to the polar sink and gain +25 Solari with “Water Trade” tech.
- Very powerful liberation attack (with “Back Alley Doctor” and “Hidden Explosives”).
- Can be hard to defend against assassination from them (You cannot capture their agents because of UHQ buildings and HQ-UHQ buildings).
- Weakness : Jack of all trades, master of none.
As you can see the danger level of one player can vary depending on the factions in game and the current game state.
When in-game you need to find out who is “good” and who is only a mediocre player. That also determines their danger level. Except for Smugglers you can do this by looking at the hegemony. Harkonnen with equal hegemony are extra dangerous, because it is harder for them to gain hegemony.
Your left and right neighbours are more dangerous in military, the opponent across is to be evaluated more dangerous in assassination, hegemony and Choam.
You should always work towards weakening or elinimating the player with the hightest danger level.
You need to completely reevaluate the danger level of all players
- when someone breaks a truce with you or attacks you all out (Backstab, Rush, Liberation Attack, War of Attrition).
- when someone else leaves the game and gets replaced by an AI (AI is ‘dumb’ and can only be evaluated as “bad player” and can be mostly ignored)
- when someone else loses the game and is removed from the map
- when you become aware of an assassination attempt on you (someone researching towards it)
- when someone appears to be close to hegemony victory or choam victory
- when A/H/S/C captures the “Polar Sink”
You need to make decisive changes once you figured out the new danger levels. Like stopping working towards a player for assassination. Like paying off a (A/H/S/C) player you were at war with with a truce by giving him 5k of your resources. Do everything to prevent the new highest threat from winning or defeating you.
Making alliances and breaking them is the most fun part about Dune Spice Wars and the answers here are not as definitive. Here some of my insights:
- Players become immediately really hostile when you start an assassination attempt on them, even if it takes a long time to actually assassinate. Do this only if you are militarily ‘safe’. And don’t ever target more than one player! Try to assassinate players who cannot reach you AND are highly dangerous.
- Find the weak players and support them with trade agreements and even gifts of resources to militarily fight against the high danger levels to keep those busy.
- You can private chat with [TAB], make secret agreements.
- Show your peaceful intentions with trade offers.
- Never appear militarily weak by crying out for help. Noone will come, they might even take advantage of your weakness instead!
- If you notice someone tries to win by hegemony or Choam tell everyone and try to forge an alliance.
- Don’t grude. Don’t suicide into someone just because he did something bad to you before.
- Having high hegemony makes you dangerous and a target for everyone. Try to not have high hegemony ‘accidentally’. If you have, you should be on your way attempting hegemony victory.
- Having the polar sink as A/H/S/C makes you a target for everyone.
- Threatening a faction via chat does not really work well unless you have shown in game you can back it up. Reasoning is more effective.
How To Lose And How To Prevent Defeat
- Someone else wins in Choam. To delay this significantly you just need to buy choam shares whenever you have surplus money.
- Get pariah status in the Landsraad. Using a Nuke or breaking a non agression pact without paying influence causes A LOT of colateral damage on your side. This is a surefire way to destroy yourself. Only do this if it is the last and only way to prevent the other guy from winnig.
- Get plascrete locked. Negative plascrete income is very very dangerous, because you become unable to react to anything. You may have to decomission a lot of your buildings to get out of it. Try to trade for plascrete first.
- Get too few CP too late. If you can’t win a fight because of numerical disadvantage, you may lose militarily. Research easy military tech which increases CP ‘not too late’. Like “Support structures”+HQ building, “Ground Command”.
- Negative solari income. Not as dangerous as plascrete but don’t lose your military! Scrap buildings until you are out of it. But first look at the Landsraad, there might be an active resolution wich causes this negative income.
- Try to attack Atreides as Harkonnen/Smuggler/Corrino. See pariah. Also you should not be able to beat Atreides militarily.
- Get rushed by your left or right neighbour or by Corrino. This can happen. Try to hang on.
- Get assassinated. Stack spys in conterintelligence once you notice this. It really slows down the progress. If you have captured 3-4 agents from the assassinator you are safe.
- Lose a war of attrittion. You can prevent this by having a strong economy and defensive play.
- Lose because you cannot attack/pressure the player you have to attack because the player HQ is too far across the map. You know from the start of the agme where everyone is, plan your strategy so that you have a threat for everyone ready. (assassination or military)
- Lose the first battle decisively. The first battle is SO important. You need all advantages you can get. All support operations ready, maxed out CP etc.. Don’t engage if only ONE of those is not ready or you think you cannot win. Losing the first battle can set you back a lot, you cannot expand, cannot invest in economy, it makes you appear weak etc. You may even lose the game.
You might think you lose but actually you are not losing:
- Having a bad start by losing units without player involvement, bad spawn, micro oversights, harvester gets eaten etc. You will have low hegemony, so noone should attack you if you still appear militarily strong.
- Suffering from a Liberation Attack. As long as you HQ is alive you can recover. The other player may be forced to make peace with you if you delay him long enough. You can also build “Enhanced Fortifications” as A/H/F/C. If your opponent is wise, he will give up on the attack then.
How To Win?
Prevent defeat long enough. Thats basically it.
Use one of the strategies listed in “Know Your Opponents” for your own faction or devise your own to achieve victory. After all thats on epart of the fun in strategy games.
Always have the next step planed and work towards it. i.e. If your assassination of player 3 is successful what are the next steps to win? Be ready to act immediately after the danger levels need to be reevaluated.
The three player game
If you happen to be in between the last other two players (your left and right starting neighbour), do not go for hegemony or choam unless you are sure you can defend from two players all out military agression long enough (highly unlikely).
Sit back and appear to “do nothing” while assassinating one of them or while preparing a hegemony or Choam sprint.
Or make high value peace (peace + treaties) with one and attack the other in a rush or backstab HQ snipe, but that is very risky. It can be successful if your opponent is decisively defeated and ‘throws in the towel’ and leaves the game early. You can and should back out of agression if you can see that victory is not acieveable quickly anymore.
If you are free of neighbours to either side, go for hegemony (and for Choam only if that was in your strategy all along). Turn the Landsraad against the player in between to weaken him and to tempt the player across to attack him.
Start assassinating the far player if he is the bigger threat. Try to avoid that the other two team up and get ready to defend military agression by both.
Also try to defend from assassination, but prioritize assassinating if there is a choice (There is no choice if two people try to assassinate you and if you are facing Harkonnen trying to assassinate you).
Also try to capture and hold regions from where you can attack the far player, in case you need to later. Avoid spending auhority to “expand” pointlessly so you have enough of it when it counts.
The two player game
Now, with only you and the last opponent remaining you can engage in an all out war of attrition, and you should do so if you think you can liberate or capture some villages from the opponent. If not stay defensive and look for opportunities.
Since it is late in the game try to also sprint to your victory condition like hegemony or Choam. Assination is generally too slow at that point, unless you are Harkonnen or the assassination is well on the way already. Spam your operations instead.
In my oppinion Fremen (easy hegemony gains and defensive mobility malus nullified), Atreides (strong army+easy hegemony) and Harkonnen(strong war of atrittion+dangerous operations or quick assassination) are the most dangerous opponents now.
You may also be interested in: