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Tower defence deckbuilder ORX gets a second faction that ditches castles for arrow-lobbing armies

Plus an early access release date of August 30th

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. When I first sampled the tower defence deckbuilding delights of ORX a couple of months ago, I'd assumed that we'd be playing as the demo's medieval castle builders throughout. Today, however, devs Johnbell have announced a brand-new faction for the game, the sand-loving Dune Reavers. Even more intriguing, though, is that the Dune Reavers aren't actually big fans of building, you know, towers, favouring instead the brute force approach of their large armies. Can you still call it tower defence if there aren't any towers involved? Decide for yourself by watching the new gameplay trailer below.

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First teased earlier this month, the Dune Reavers must still protect their central keep during an orc invasion, but instead of slapping down castle wall cards to shelter it from the oncoming hordes, you'll be building a barracks and feeding it with a steady supply of houses. Each house recruits one squad of soldiers to your cause, and you'll be able to assign them to certain tiles to defend your settlement.

Unlike the Rune Guardians towers, though, your Dune Reaver armies can move about - albeit at a cost of some gold. You can also upgrade them into archers, spearmen or grenadiers to give them more firepower - much like how you could add turrets and poison-laced cannonballs to the castles of the demo's Rune Guardians - but the thing I'm most excited about trying out are the Dune Reavers' supernatural abilities. The trailer mentions vampirism and teleportation as a couple of example cards you'll be able to play, so I'm intrigued to see what else Johnbell have in store for them.

The Dune Reavers and Rune Guardians will both be available to tackle ORX's four-act campaign when it launches into early access. Each act has four missions contained within it, culminating in a big boss battle at the end, so it sounds like there will be plenty to sink your teeth into. You'll also be fending off nine different orc clans across four different biomes as well, including deserts and snowy wastes, and dealing with their own unique weather systems. The proc gen nature of these maps had me hooked for hours when I played the demo, but there will also be various difficulty options available if you really want to up the ante.

We won't have to wait long to see how the Dune Reavers compare to the castle-loving Rune Guardians either, as ORX will be launching into early access on Steam and the Epic Games Store on August 30th.

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