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CMON Dune board game creator praises its “super cool” minis

New Dune board game War for Arrakis has smaller minis than most CMON games, its creator tells us - but its 129 miniatures are still "super cool"

Dune War for Arrakis minis news - CMON Games Kickstarter photo showing unpainted minis of Harkonnen troopers and a sand worm

The 129 plastic miniatures in CMON’s upcoming Dune board game War for Arrakis may be “slightly smaller” than the publisher’s usual fare, according to the game’s creator Francesco Nepitello – but he says they’re “super cool”, and in a different class from those of his earlier famous creation: legendary 2004 Lord of the Rings board game War of the Ring.

“There’s no comparison,” Nepitello tells Wargamer in an exclusive interview, exploring the development, gameplay, and materials of Dune: War for Arrakis.

Dune War for Arrakis board game minis - CMON Kickstarter image showing unpainted Harkonnen vehicle minis

“The figures of War of the Ring were awesome at the time when the game came out,” he says – “and War of the Ring profits from that by being extremely cheap for that type of game, because you’re not getting a game with 200 or so figures [like the ones in War for Arrakis] for the price it has”.

“War of the Ring is less costly than other games of the same weight, possibly as a counterpart for having less ‘modern’ miniatures”, he explains.

“So, you know, it’s one of those combinations that is difficult to argue – the game still sells after 18 years.”

But “In this case, CMON wins the comparison, because yeah, the figures are so much better,” he adds.

Nepitello also hints to us there are Dune: War for Arrakis expansions on the way – if so, they’ll be adding to an already bountiful core collection of board game minis.

Dune War for Arrakis minis news - CMON Kickstarter image showing the board and pieces for Dune War for Arrakis

According to the Dune: War for Arrakis Kickstarter campaign (which has so far raised nearly $500k from backers), the game’s core box includes 129 unpainted miniatures: 15 named characters from Dune, alongside a variety of Harkonnen, Sardaukar, and Fremen military units and vehicles (plus sand worms, of course).

That’s already been supplemented by six more characters via stretch goals (Thufir Hawat, Iakin Nefud, Doctor Yueh, Count and Lady Fenring, Liet-Kynes, and Jamis), as well as 7 extra military unit variant models.

Dune War for Arrakis board game minis - CMON Kickstarter image showing a large gallery of painted character and military unit minis

But Nepitello names one potential drawback of War of Arrakis for some fans of today’s big-box, miniature-heavy luxury board games: the minis are a bit smaller than usual.

“I know that some fans of CMON’s games might find that as a negative point, the figures are slightly smaller than the usual because we didn’t want the players to feel that the board was overcrowded.”

Dune War for Arrakis board game minis - CMON Kickstarter image showing painted Harkonnen models for a harvester, carry all, and ornithopter

“Again, gameplay was our was our main reference.

“It was like: okay, but these things are going to look cooler if we make them bigger… but they don’t fit in the region!”

Dune War for Arrakis board game minis - CMON Kickstarter image showing painted sand worm minis

“So yeah, it’s going probably to be a bummer for some miniature fans because they’re slightly smaller – but if you look at the the images we’ve shared so far, they look super cool anyway.”

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CMON Games first announced Dune: War for Arrakis on July 15, 2022, and launched its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the game on September 14. The campaign is scheduled to close at 6pm PT / 9pm ET on Thursday, September 22.

War of the Ring Second Edition was released in 2011 to some acclaim, and currently enjoys pride of place in our guide to the best board games for couples.

For our full, exclusive interview with Francesco Nepitello, and lots more coverage of Dune: War for Arrakis, alongside all the best board games, tabletop RPGs, trading card games, Warhammer 40k, and more, stick with Wargamer.

This article was updated as of 5pm UK time on Monday, September 19, 2022.