In Dune: Spice Wars, House Harkonnen is best suited to pursuing a Domination or Hegemony victory. Their faction bonuses are centred on fortifying their military might and boosting general productivity while undermining rivals at a political level. The eventual Harkonnen goal should be to build and maintain an army unmatched by any other faction and to seize Arrakis by force.
House Harkonnen Faction Bonuses in Dune: Spice Wars
House Harkonnen can Oppress villages, forcing them to triple production for a limited period. The good news for the Harkonnen is that the productivity boost significantly outweighs the penalty, even if rebels may make an appearance.
The Harkonnen also endure a global production penalty of 10% regardless, but this can be mitigated and even eliminated by recruiting militia in each village. Each militia adds 5% to production, and the penalty can be circumnavigated with two or more militia.
House Harkonnen uses politics not to improve the world for themselves, but to make it worse for everyone else in Dunes: Spice Wars. During Landsraad sessions, Harkonnen can apply Corruption to resolutions targeting a specific faction, effectively forcing the targeted faction to lose standing.
Despite the military focus, House Harkonnen is an economic powerhouse in Dunes: Spice Wars, with the key to military strength being able to support a massive number of units. The Central Command tech also ensures stackable combat bonuses when a unit perishes, with the overall effectiveness of the army not faltering as lives are lost. The Harkonnen military also finds it much quicker and cheaper to replenish its ranks than any other faction with the Martial Economy tech.
Piter De Vries is the best pick for House Harkonnen in Dunes: Spice Wars. His bonuses to ornithopters and stealth probes are crucial for securing resources in early exploration, letting the Harkonnen get off to the kind of quick start that leaves the other Houses trailing in their wake. Rabban’s extra militia slot helps earn higher production boosts, but the power penalty they suffer echoes the need to amass more units than the opposition.
Overall, the Harkonnen is most effective at producing and supporting an army to take prime territories, exploit them for resources by oppressing the population to squeeze every last drop from the land, and then use those riches to roll the army into the next desirable location. All the while in the Landsraad, House Harkonnen is making a nuisance of itself to ensure that any benefits another faction gains are reduced by corruption in Dunes: Spice Wars.
No one likes the Harkonnen, but that’s okay; they don’t like anyone else either.