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Dune War for Arrakis

A Strategic Journey to Arrakis

Dune: War for Arrakis, published by CMON, is a captivating board game that immerses players into the arid world of Frank Herbert’s Dune. The game offers a strategic experience, deeply rooted in the iconic science fiction universe, where two players engage in a battle of wits and resources as the Atreides and Harkonnens.

Thematic Depth and Asymmetry

The game shines with its thematic depth, capturing the essence of Herbert’s universe. The asymmetrical nature of the two factions – the Harkonnens, powerful and resource-focused, and the Atreides, swift and guerrilla-like – provides a diverse gaming experience. Each faction not only feels unique in its playstyle but also in how it reflects the story and environment of Arrakis.

Streamlined yet Deep Mechanics

Dune: War for Arrakis streamlines many mechanics from its strategic predecessors like War of the Ring, making it accessible to newcomers while retaining depth for veterans. The action dice system and combat are refined for smooth gameplay. However, the combat system introduces a level of randomness, a slight departure from more strategy-heavy titles, which might not appeal to all but adds to the game’s unpredictability and excitement.

The Battle for Dune

Players will find themselves deeply engaged in the strategic battle for control of Arrakis. The Harkonnens, based in their well-defended core, need to extract spice and destroy Fremen sietches to win. In contrast, the Atreides ally with the Fremen, using their knowledge of the desert and Paul Atreides’ prescience to guide their strategy. This dichotomy in objectives and resources adds a rich layer of strategy to the game.

Paul’s Prescience: A Unique Twist

One of the game’s most innovative features is the prescience system for the Atreides. Players use a deck of cards to predict and shape their strategy, adding an intriguing layer of foresight and counter-play. This mechanic not only deepens the strategic experience but also beautifully integrates a key element of the Dune lore.

High Production Quality

The game boasts high-quality components and miniatures, reflecting CMON’s commitment to production excellence. While the miniatures could have more detail, their robustness and clear differentiation on the board make up for it. The Kickstarter edition adds further value with additional modules, although the retail version remains a complete and satisfying experience.

Gameplay Experience

Dune: War for Arrakis balances complexity with engaging gameplay. The initial setup is relatively quick, considering the game’s scale. The diversity in unit types and the named leaders who add improved actions in battles enrich the gameplay. The game maintains a reasonable playtime, a commendable achievement for its complexity and scale.


Dune: War for Arrakis is a remarkable addition to the strategy board game genre. It successfully captures the essence of the Dune universe, offering an immersive and strategically rich experience. While it may not completely surpass the thematic heights of War of the Ring, it stands as a worthy contender and a must-play for fans of the genre. Its blend of streamlined mechanics, thematic depth, and high production quality makes it a standout title. Whether you’re a die-hard Dune fan or a strategy game enthusiast, Dune: War for Arrakis is an adventure worth taking.

– David

Scratches: 9.0/10.0

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