VII. Tom’s fourth term: The Fall of House Atreides
What the…? Where are all our experienced units, trained in the Harkonnen Wars? What happened to all our improvements, which I can’t rebuild because we now have zero workers? Our spice production is decimated. We aren’t even making Dune coffee anymore! Worst of all, we’ve lost nearly half our cities.
This is what happens when you leave Bruce Geryk in charge of your Dune Wars game. Whatever happened in the last fifty turns was an unmitigated disaster. I was going to make a joke about the Democrats coming back into power after eight years of the Bush Administration dismantling everything Clinton had done, but this is way worse than that. This is what it would be like if Obama was elected to a country that had disbanded its military, shuttered its industry, and ceded everything west of the Mississippi to Mexico. Plus, Mr. President, a huge Harkonnen army is marching towards Chicago.
I can’t save Minas Tirith. The Harkonnens capture and raze it within a few turns. But I can pull everyone back to Arrakeen and try to rebuild. If I can just hold out for fifty turns, I can hand this mess back to Bruce. I have a fire sale on all our advanced tech, I drastically change our civics so we can draft troops and rush build new troops, I found a few new cities in whatever cramped gaps I can fit them, and I set up whatever trades I can manage to stabilize the population. Who wants to import some Caladanian wine at extremely favorable exchange rates?
But then something happens on turn 322 that seals our fate. House Corrino declares war. Yep, House Corrino. Princess Irulan’s House Corrino. This is the same House Corrino that used to be our closest friend. I have no idea what Bruce said to her to make her so mad, but it must have been a doozy.
House Atreides lasts for another 17 turns. It’s a brutal 17 turns. Irulan raids us with thopters, bombs us with Dragonfly Bombers, and even shoots down our air power with Locust Interceptors. We are effectively shut down. When the Sardaukar arrive — and they do arrive! — we can barely slow them down with our drafted troops. The Fremen, snugly in first place, look on with disinterest as their plan to terraform the planet into a lush garden proceeds apace.
Atreides score: 0
Tom: -603, Bruce: 603