Publisher Funcom and developer Shiro Games today unveiled the Smugglers as the third playable faction in upcoming strategy game Dune: Spice Wars. Departing from the theme of Great Houses, the Smugglers have a different approach to obtaining supremacy on Arrakis.
The Smugglers start off near the planet's polar region, granting them easier access to polar waters which they can trade. In addition, they can also infiltrate their opponents’ villages, profiting from their infrastructure and gradually extending their reach on the planet.
"Parasitizing the development of their neighbours, embedding their underworld into the smallest furrows of their productions, they are renowned for their rapid and meticulous looting of even the smallest wealth of Arrakis," the developer notes in an emailed press release.
Their leader is Esmar Tuek, a skillful spymaster who "knows when to be tough with his employees and always respects a contract." His respectable quantities of gold and cunning business acumen keep his troops loyal.
Like Dune: Spice Wars' other two factions, the Smugglers also have access to four councilors. Staban Tuek harnesses his "innate sense of the political landscape of Arrakis" to exercise influence on the Landsraad council.
Lingar Bewt specializes in the water trade, while Drisq is Esmar's loyal quartermaster, in charge of regular logistics and Sietch Tuek's spy network. Lastly, Bannerjee acts as head of security, focusing on the military side of things.
The Smugglers' units are experts at eliminating vulnerable opponents and can reduce the supply of enemy units, starving them during fights. Here's how the developer describes them.
- Scavengers: Opportunistic killers, who’ll do anything for an easy buck. They prefer to attack weak, starving units with their sharpened blades. Their strength increases when their target supplies diminish.
- Wreckers: Use chemical weapons to reduce the supply of enemies in their area of attack, which makes them the perfect harassing unit, allowing their allies to comfortably loot the spoils.
- Scouts: Deadly marksmen with modified sniper rifles, have the longest attack range on Arrakis. Factoring in their camouflage, they are adept at finishing fleeing units.
- Free Company: The most famous assassins and bounty hunters in the Imperium, equipped with dual swords and impressive stealth gear. Their versatility comes mainly from their ability to mimic the skills of their targets during fights.
- Combat drone: Strong mechanical unit conceived for autonomous fighting, to support the Smuggler troops. Extremely agile but fragile for the most part.
Our Dune: Spice Wars hands-off preview touches upon several key gameplay elements in the upcoming strategy game, including supply and why it matters when traversing Arrakis' desert. The title is slated to arrive on PC, via Steam Early Access, later this year.
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