The third faction for upcoming RTS game Dune: Spice Wars isn’t the Fremen, as might have been expected. Instead, it’s the Smugglers – an opportunistic and scrappy bunch who have learned to make their living outside the reach of the powerful CHOAM corporation. Smugglers can infiltrate other factions’ settlements and secretly siphon resources, and they’re always looking for weak or isolated enemy units for a quick and easy kill.
Developer Shiro Games says in Dune: Spice Wars, the smugglers will control their own territory and begin near Arrakis’ polar regions. Nonetheless, they’ll encounter other factions fairly quickly, which works well with their ability to infiltrate enemy settlements to profit off of underworld dealings and expand their influence secretly.
The basic idea underpinning Smugglers playstyle is optimising economic outcomes and effectively squeezing blood from a stone. While their units “take some time to heat up” on the battlefield, they’re good in long-haul occupation situations, since they gradually reduce the supply of enemy units over the course of a fight. They’re also deadly opportunists who will eagerly take out a column of enemy units returning home after a long battle.
The Smugglers are led by Esmar Tuek, a seasoned spymaster with contacts among the Fremen, Spacing Guild, and House Landsaad alike. His son, Staban, is a shrewd surveyor of Arrakis politics, while fellow councilors Lingar Bewt, Drisq, and Bannerjee all bring special expertise to the table.
Dune: Spice Wars is set to enter Early Access some time this year, but you can check out a sand worm attack right now if you’re already feeling the call of Arrakis.