Dune Spice Wars - Strategy Guide for House Harkonnen | GAME3A

Dune Spice Wars - Strategy Guide for House Harkonnen

The House Harkonnen is accustomed to having control and their approach in Dune: Spice Wars revolves around asserting dominance over everyone on Arraki...

Jordan Gerblick Sept 14, 2023
Dune Spice Wars - Strategy Guide for House Harkonnen

The House Harkonnen is accustomed to having control and their approach in Dune: Spice Wars revolves around asserting dominance over everyone on Arrakis. Whether it involves pushing their serfs to toil tirelessly in factories or terrorizing the indigenous population to enforce submission, the Harkonnens possess a keen understanding of exerting their influence.

While they may initially appear as a purely militaristic faction - and their army undoubtedly plays a crucial role in their overall strategy - the House Harkonnen is, in fact, an economic powerhouse. When played skillfully, the Harkonnens can effortlessly surpass their rivals in production... as long as they can maintain control over their workforce.

Updated on September 14, 2023, by Matt Arnold: Dune: Spice Wars has launched from Early Access! We have refreshed this guide with the latest information and strategies for the cunning Harkonnen faction.

House Harkonnen Traits

Dune Spice Wars - House Harkonnen Strategy Guide

The key to the House Harkonnen's strategy lies in their ability to suppress. By expending twenty manpower, they can suppress a village under their control, doubling its resource production for the next three days. However, once the effect expires, the village will suffer a twenty percent production penalty and will have a chance to generate insurgents for the next ten days.

Mathematically speaking, a suppressed village will only produce slightly more over the entire thirteen-day period compared to if the ability had not been used. When rebels emerge, it is likely that you will end up with a net loss. Suppression is best utilized when you immediately need a specific resource or when you wish to take advantage of Rabban or Feyd-Rautha's abilities (see below).

The drawback of the Harkonnen's labor practices is that their villages always suffer a global production penalty of ten percent. However, this penalty can be mitigated by garrisoning each village with militias - each militia unit in a Harkonnen village reduces the penalty by five percent. Therefore, a village with two or more militias will not suffer any penalty at all.

If you do not believe that you can hold onto a village, you can always plunder it to obtain some resources and hinder your enemies. In addition to the usual rewards, the Harkonnen receive fifty Intel when they plunder.

Hegemony Bonuses

At the cost of five thousand Hegemony, the House Harkonnen gains the ability to assign agents to specific operations on the infiltration screen. This results in the demise of the selected agent (a tragic yet necessary step for the benefit of the House), while reducing the costs and preparation time of the assigned operation. However, the House Harkonnen can easily find replaceable agents for these unpleasant tasks!

Simultaneously unlocked with the assignment of missions, House Harkonnen also has the ability to recruit captive agents from defeated enemy units. Every time Harkonnen troops destroy a unit of an enemy faction (excluding Sietch raiders, rebels, or neutral villages), there is a five percent chance of a new agent appearing with the trait "brainwashed."

Brainwashed agents generate fewer resources than those who have always served the Baron, which is why they are ideal candidates for sacrificing to reduce operation time. Make sure to sacrifice them regularly, or else your ranks will be filled with subpar agents while you continue to achieve further victories in battle.

At ten thousand Hegemony, the Harkonnens can assign an additional agent to Arrakis, the Spacing Guild, CHOAM, and the Landsraad. Additionally, there is a slight chance that they can retain an operation after using it, allowing them to immediately reuse it without consuming time and intel. However, this only occurs if the Harkonnens sacrifice the agent carrying out the mission, another reason to send your spies to their death.

House Harkonnen Councilors

Dune Spice Wars - House Harkonnen Strategy

House Harkonnen can select two out of the four available council members at the beginning of each campaign. The council members you choose will influence your gameplay style, so select those that best align with your overall strategy.

Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen

Feyd-Rautha is the presumed heir of Baron Vladimir and, despite his young age, already a political genius. If he is in your council, he can apply corruption to Landsraad resolutions. If a corrupt resolution is passed and targets a faction, that faction loses its Landsraad status.

For daily bonuses, Feyd-Rautha doubles the recruitment speed of Harkonnen agents and allows the House to generate twenty percent more influence as long as one or more villages are currently suppressed.

Piter De Vries

The Baron's Mentat advisor specializes in subtlety and information gathering. He makes stealth probes overall weaker but eliminates their need for fuel cells or supplies. Best of all, stealth probes generate intel while they are in enemy territory when Piter is in your council.

Furthermore, each agent you have assigned to spy on a faction allows agents assigned to Arrakis, the Guild, CHOAM, or the Landsraad to generate more of their respective resource. Piter requires a large espionage network to be effective, but the end result is worth it!

Glossu Rabban

Beast Rabban rules his assigned lands through fear, and his presence in the council grants House Harkonnen an additional militia slot in each village they control. This allows you to extract additional production from your villages by fully garrisoning them. Additionally, Rabban generates a hundred Solari for each rebel unit killed by Harkonnen.

Iakin Nefud

The Captain of the Guard is a great choice for players aiming for a Domination victory. He refunds fifty percent of the Solari and Manpower costs of your units when they are destroyed. However, your units no longer level up as they gain experience. Instead, they receive a stack of "Consumed," which grants an additional ten percent refund of costs when the unit ultimately meets its end.

House Harkonnen Developments

Dune Spice Wars - House Harkonnen

The unique developments of House Harkonnen facilitate the violent annexation of villages and the maintenance of a large standing army.





Harkonnen Legacy

Statecraft (Blue), Tier 2

Intelligence Network

  • House Harkonnen can assign one additional Agent to Landsraad Infiltration.
  • Allows construction of the Interrogation Center in Carthag.
  • Unlocks Political Agreements with factions currently in a truce.

Cruel Reputation

Statecraft (Blue), Tier 4

Negotiation Tactics

  • As long as their Landsraad Standing is below 150, House Harkonnen produces twenty-five percent more Intel and Influence and their units have five percent more Power.

Instill Fear

Expansion (Green), Tier 2

Local Dialect Studies

  • Pillaging a Village reduces its annexation cost rather than increasing it. Pillaging the same Village multiple times stacks this effect, reducing the annexation cost by ten percent each time.
  • After losing control of a Village, it can be annexed for half the usual Authority cost when it's recaptured.

Monitoring Networks

Expansion (Green), Tier 3

Natives' Knowledge

  • While a Village is being Oppressed, all adjacent Regions cost ten percent less Authority for House Harkonnen to annex.
  • Speeds up Agent recruitment proportionally to the number of Villages controlled by House Harkonnen.

Arrakis Butchers

Military (Red), Tier 3

Army Logistics

  • Harkonnen units deal twenty percent more damage to militia and rebel units.
  • House Harkonnen gains five Manpower every time they kill a militia or rebel unit.
  • Unlocks the Executioner, the Harkonnen's elite infantry unit.

Central Command

Military (Red), Tier 4

Call To Arms

  • Provides five additional Command Points.
  • Allows construction of the Office Of Order in Villages.
  • When one of your units dies, allied units nearby get a temporary two-percent boost to their Combat Power. This stacks up to ten times.

Harkonnen Negotiation

Economy (Yellow, Tier 4

Economic Lobbying

  • Each Agent assigned to CHOAM Infiltration increases the selling price of Spice by one Solari per twenty Spice.
  • As long as one or more Village is currently being Oppressed, House Harkonnen increases their Solari income by five percent and gets a fifteen-percent discount on CHOAM Shares.

Martial Economy

Economy (Yellow), Tier 4

Economic Lobbying

  • Military units' initial Solari cost and Solari upkeep are reduced by thirty percent.

Early Game Strategies And Tips

Dune Spice Wars - House

House Harkonnen relies on infiltration and influence to win games, so one of your two advisors should always be Feyd-Rautha. Choose a second advisor that aligns with your playstyle, and start the game as usual by bringing your first spice refinery online and capturing the villages around your capital.

Once research is unlocked, unlock Composite Materials, Local Dialect Studies, and Instill Fear in that order. This will facilitate your early expansion, and when your initial allocation of authority is depleted, Instill Fear should be ready. From that point on, when your troops are idle and you don't have enough authority to annex anything, plunder everything within reach!

If Piter is in your council, build a stealth probe and send it to the border of each enemy faction as soon as you encounter them. This will generate a lot of information throughout the game!

Late Game Strategies And Tips

Dune Spice Wars -

Despite their large armies and intimidating reputation, Harkonnen military operations should mostly be focused on annexing neutral villages, raiding enemy settlements along the border, and defending themselves. Harkonnen units are designed to be expendable, so they will struggle to sustain a prolonged attack on an enemy capital.

Once your expansion process stalls, it's time to put your plan into action. Identify, if not already done, your biggest competitor for Landsraad votes and infiltrate them. The goal is to assassinate them as quickly as possible and then pursue your preferred endgame. The Harkonnens are capable of achieving a political victory, especially after eliminating all rival Great Houses. However, achieving a high Landsraad status requires sacrificing the bonuses of the cruel reputation.

Continue your expansion and build up your economy until you can construct and load a nuclear missile silo. This will be your ultimate weapon in case things go wrong. At this point, you face a decision: either maintain a high Landsraad status and aim for a political or economic victory, or disregard your status and pursue a conquest or hegemony victory.

In any case, use your high production influence to steer votes in your direction. For the path with high Landsraad status, seize as many spice fields as possible, especially from the regions previously controlled by the murdered leader, and unlock negotiations with the Harkonnens. Buy as many CHOAM stocks as possible and forcefully campaign for the governorship.

Even if an economic victory is not attainable, still strive to maintain your overall share in CHOAM at ten percent. This will grant you the influence bonus as the primary investor.

For the path with low Landsraad status, initiate another assassination plan. Seek to be elected as the Eye of the Council to acquire additional agents and deploy them for counterespionage; it is highly likely that someone will attempt to kill you at this point! While awaiting the outcome of the assassination, continue plundering regularly. Whenever possible, conquer special regions to gain additional hegemony. By the completion of the second assassination, you will be perfectly positioned to seize the remaining territory for a hegemony victory... or simply eliminate your final opponent.