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Kevin Muad'Dib's
Absurdly Good Expansion Cards
BG DISTRANS 11.23.99

Demolition Corps
Cost: 2
Intrigue: 1
Resistance: 2
Personnel - Corps - Division
Assign to a target persona or fief.
Battle Tactic(declaration): Subdue to add +2 to the force generated by the assigned target.

One of my priorities when building a deck is flexibility. Anyone else hate it when you draw cards that you can't use yet because you haven't yet deployed an eligible target to attached them to? I like Demolition Corps because they can be assigned to any persona with the available command rating, or any fief. Get resources out of your hand and into the game, I say! I love the fact that they can be subdued to add to the force generated by their Battle commander. Not only can the Corps contribute to your Battle plans, but they can participate in Intrigue rites. Their resistance of 2 comes in handy to deter un-enhanced Mentats and such from going after your key people. Think of them as Assassin Cohorts Junior, the way the Landsraad Coalition is to the CHOAM League, in that there's no talent requirement for 

The humble Demolition Corps are definitely no Fremen Troops or Disguised Sardaukar, nor are they Harkonnen Sleepers, but they offer more than ample versatility at the reasonable price of 2 solaris. I like the idea of using them with someone like Stilgar who wields Suprise in Battle; those 2 extra points added to his unchallenged force can be pretty big. Meanwhile, with the Corps watching his back, Stil is a much less attractive target for would-be 
assassins and their ilk. Can't beat that.

More later,

Unreckoned Numbers (Fremen)
Cost: 2
Enhancement - Secret
Assign to a target desert. The target gains Fremen allegiance. You may assign Fremen personnel to the target from your hand without paying their deployment cost. Personnel so assigned must be placed in the subdued position.

   I love getting cards out of my hand and onto the table for free; this is one of the reasons I play lots of events. Unreckoned Numbers allows me (or you!) to place troops on a given desert and let them accumulate deferment 
tokens, thus reducing the amount of money you're paying for their deployment. Add a Windtrap to said desert and it's even better.
   I like playing this with Mobilization of the Tribes (Nexus event), which allows you to transfer personnel to another target merely by engaging them. Use this combo to save solaris, get your troops into the game, and move them 
where you need them to be in relation to how the game is going - to defend Dune or a better desert, or under the command of Korba for attacking. . .or *all* of these.
   An alternative to the Mobilization event is the Transfer Orders tactic (or a Command Center or Desert-Rigged 'Thopter, but these only allow you to move the troops to a fief, not a persona, and they're not free, like the event is).

   Unreckoned Numbers is useless until you establish a desert, but if you've already committed yourself to deserts anyway, this shouldn't be an issue.

   Before the JotC expansions, I was big on using the Military Appropriations charter to get those 5-cost Fremen troops into the game, but I like this better. You need your cards to come up right (Unreckoned Numbers at the 
bottom of the House deck kinda ruins it), but the potential for cheap deployment far outweighs any drawbacks I can think of.

(author of "Origami With Ridulian Crystal Paper") 

Period of Truce (Fremen)
Cost: 1
Event - Dune
Duration effect: Each player may engage any of their Fremen personas having battle talent to produce X solaris in their treasury. X equals the total battle rank of all personas so engaged.

   When I build a deck, I like to consider the possibility of facing an opponent whose own deck contrasts with mine enough that it renders mine unable to do what I want it to do. If I'm Fremen and focusing on battle, what do I do if I find myself playing one or more adversaries aligned with the Guild, and playing the market? If I have an Atreides dueling deck, what if my opponents are all playing charter-heavy decks with no personas? I consider having a Plan B very important, and this the benefit of the Period of Truce event. For the Fremen player, this event is a necessity, as it allows you to engage your aligned personas with Battle ability to generate solaris. It gives them something productive to do if/when you can't initiate Battle rites.

   Another useful Plan B event from JotC:

Cost: X
Event - Dune
Discard a target subdued Sandworm event you govern to produce X solaris in your treasury. X equals the number of deferment tokens assigned to the event.

   This is an easy way of getting some money. If you go into a game with a couple Sandworms in your deck in hopes of ruining an opponent's mining operation, do so with a Wormsign in there, too. You might end up facing a Corrino or Guild money-machine that completely ignores deserts. When Wormsign comes up, you can cash in and make the otherwise useless (Shai Hulud forgive me) worm count for something. And, if you place a Worm early in the game, late in the game it'll be worth a huge amount of solaris.

   Always have a Plan B!

   One more event:

Production Quota (Guild)
Cost: 3
Event - Imperium
Engage all deserts to produce X spice in the Guild Hoard. X equals 1 spice per desert so engaged.

   This event is a must for any Guild deck, and still a good idea for any other house not focusing on deserts. It enables you to A) tie up any deserts not already engaged, thus hindering opponents' mining efforts, and B) make more Spice available for you to buy. This is a killer card.

   Personally, I love events, and rely on them heavily. Below are more expansion cards which enhance this strategy:

Turn of Events
Cost: X
Venture - Deployment
Target any two subdued events and switch their asigned deferment tokens. X equals the greater number of deferment tokens assigned to either of the events.

Vessel of Karama
Cost: X
Venture - Prescience
Deploy a target subdued event you govern. Deploying the event does not count against your House interval limit. X equals the event's deployment cost less the number of deferment tokens currently assigned to it.

Name of the Great Mother
Cost: X
Tactic - Declaration
Deply a target subdued event you govern. An event must be assigned the necessary number of deferment tokens in order to be targeted by this tactic. X equals the number of deferment tokens assigned to the target.

   Did you just place an event you need played quickly? Use Turn of Events. In most cases it's worth the 2 or 3 solaris you'll pay to steal the tokens off of an opponent's event. You can set him back in his plans for CHOAM 
Restructuring, Production Bonus, etc., and bring yourself that much closer to deploying your own event. Time is money, but on Dune, money is also time.

   If you're an event addict like me, you'll likely have some Prescient personas on hand who can play Vessel of Karama. This venture will allow you to deploy an extra event during your House interval - sometimes for free, if said event has already accumulated enough tokens. Deploying Production Bonus *and* Imperial Favor on the same turn is a big move; or, picture CHOAM Restructuring and Production Quota back-to-back. Plays like this can steal 
you the game real quickly. Also, Vessel will let you pay solaris to deploy an event you just placed, like in the Turn of Events example. Use that Prescience. Make things happen.

   Any of you ever had a killer event all ready to deploy, but found yourself toward the bottom of the Initiative order? Name of the Great Mother makes an eligible event playable *when* you need it played. Neither Smuggler Activity 
nor Production Bonus will do much good if you're going 3rd and the other 2 guys have already engaged and sucked their deserts clean. Use the Name, pay a few solaris, and screw things up with an out-of-turn event. The only drawback is that if your event has been sitting, it'll cost more due to so many tokens on it; overall, though, this is a very useful tactic. Is the guy who's about to win going first this turn? Hold him off with CHOAM Restructuring, Guild 
Stockpiling, or Imperial Fete. Or use the Name to deploy CHOAM Recess or Armistace Treaty and thwart everyone's chances to assault your holdings. Name of the Great Mother offers lots of possibilites.

   On top of the specific usefulness of each of these 3 cards is the not-insignificant fact that they all have a cost of X, which can give you an edge in an initiative flip, or when used with Claim Initiative.

More later. . .
October 29, 1999

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