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October 2022

Dune: Spice Wars

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Shiro Games
Release Date: 2022

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'Dune: Spice Wars' Introduces The Smuggler Faction, Details Unique Units

by Rainier on March 11, 2022 @ 8:57 a.m. PST

Dune: Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements based on Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking novel Dune.

Spice is the most valuable resource in the universe. The spice extends life, it expands consciousness and makes interstellar travel possible. Create your own story and play as one of several factions, including House Atreides and House Harkonnen, and compete for power over Dune and the spice.

Scan the landscape for wormsign or risk losing your troops and spice harvesters to titanic sandworms who will burst through the sand dunes to swallow and devour them whole. Best your opponents through political intrigue, crush them in combat, and undermine them with your network of illusive spies.

Dune: Spice Wars features asymmetrical gameplay, will have several playable factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as multiple ways to achieve your ultimate goal – control of the spice on Arrakis. You can deploy agents to sabotage, assassinate and spy on your opponents, use political means to influence the Landsraad and pass beneficial resolutions, amass incredible wealth and simply overwhelm the other houses through economic and technological supremacy, or you can opt for open war.

Dune: Spice Wars is based more on the original novel than on the movie, but since we’re both drawing on the same intellectual property, there will be some similarities.

Who Are The Smugglers?

As with any high yield market, the spice trade attracts all kinds of enterprising individuals. Those who want to avoid the reach of CHOAM turn to smugglers to acquire the precious substance, making them a major underground economic power in the Imperium.

And wherever there may be profit, there will be smugglers, just waiting to play their cards right…

The smugglers manage their own territory, with an armed force and some political influence. Their agents have their hands in the dealings of every planet, influencing public policies and trade everywhere.

After all, secretly, the ultimate goal of the Smugglers is to one day reach a state where their family will rise to become a Landsraad house in their own right.

Starting near the polar region, the smugglers are likely to encounter the other factions early. Luckily, this plays well with their unique capacity to infiltrate their opponents’ villages, profiting from their infrastructure and increasing their reach on Arrakis. It also puts them at an advantage to benefit from the trade of polar waters.

In all aspects of their development, Smugglers are specialists in optimising their economic outcomes. 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.

Esmar Tuek

Having been in the trade for many years, Esmar Tuek is the most respected Smuggler amongst his peers on Arrakis. With the outset of the spice war between the major houses, the smugglers have banded together under his leadership to defend their interests on the planet.

Esmar is a skillful spymaster, with ties to the Fremen, the Spacing Guild, and the Landsraad houses. He knows when to be tough with his employees and always respects a contract. His men are loyal to his gold, but also to his cunning business acumen.

Smuggler Councillors

  • Esmar Tuek has formed a reliable crew. All of his advisers’ loyalty has been tested time and time again through years of criminal operations. They are all dependable professionals who know their craft inside out.
  • Staban Tuek, the son of Esmar, has an innate sense of the political landscape of Arrakis. He has many connections in the Landsraad and uses his deep pockets to influence the council in favorable ways.
  • Lingar Bewt is specialised in the water trade. His control of this most essential resource gives him a lot of authority in the pan and graben villages.
  • Drisq is the loyal quartermaster of Esmar. He is taking care of the regular logistics of most of his smuggling operations. He manages the whole network of spies of Sietch Tuek.
  • Bannerjee is the head of security of Esmar’s enterprise. He knows all about the most dangerous individuals of the criminal underworld and leads his crews with a firm hand.

Smugglers Unique units

The Smugglers are experts at focusing on vulnerable, easy prey and extracting the most of it. On the battlefield, they take some time to heat up. Their units reduce the supply of their targets throughout fights, and benefit from starving units, making them the best faction for long-lasting battles in neutral territories. They also excel at surprising armies returning home from a tough fight.

Their unique units include:

  • Scavengers are opportunist 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 are 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.
  • The combat drone is a strong mechanical unit conceived for autonomous fighting, to support the Smuggler troops. Extremely agile but fragile for the most part.

Key Features:

  • Frank Herbert’s Dune: Experience the unique Dune universe – one of the most influential sci-fi settings ever created. Play as iconic characters, such Duke Leto Atreides, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and more, and guide your faction to victory. Watch for the constant threat of the massive sandworms, who dominate the dangerous landscape of Dune.
  • Forge your own path: Choose between subterfuge, political influence, economic supremacy, or open warfare toprevail and gain control over the most important planet in the universe! Use secretive agents to sabotage the plans of your opponents. Vote on political resolutions in the Landsraad to further your strategy.
  • 4X in real-time: Explore Dune with ornithopters to discover resources, villages, and points of interest. Expand with your troops to take control of more and more regions. Exploit the resources through buildings and spice harvesters to dominate the economy. Exterminate your enemies with a strong military but beware as outright aggression can have high political repercussions.
  • Growing throughout Early Access: The game will be updated and expanded during Early Access based on your feedback. More features and content, improved balance and new game modes will be added in the Early Access period, based on the crucial input of the community.

Dune: Spice Wars is the first game based on the Dune IP to be published by Funcom and is not to be confused with the open-world survival game the studio is developing. Dune: Spice Wars is created by the same team that released critically acclaimed RTS Northgard in 2017, using their expertise in creating strategy games to bring the Dune universe to life.

Dune: Spice Wars will be released into early access on PC (Steam) in early 2022.

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