Adrian Smith

“Play as a God of ancient Egypt, competing to survive as society begins to forget the old ways, so that only you and your followers remain. Ankh, the symbol of life itself, that even the Gods must fight for.”

GenCon 2019 was just chock full of incredible announcements, and just when we thought the big ones were in our rear view mirror, Cool Mini or Not has just dropped another bombshell. CMoN has announced the final game in Eric M. Lang’s strategic trilogy, Ankh: Gods of Egypt.

Blood Rage was without a doubt the biggest game of 2015, having just delivered after a million dollar, high profile kickstarter campaign. The game was almost universally loved, bringing full Viking rage and glory to board games. The miniatures by artists Mike McVey and Adrian Smith are beyond imagining, and still remain among the best fantasy sculpts our hobby has seen.

Blood Rage was followed up by Rising Sun in 2017, resulting from a record breaking 4.2 million dollar kickstarter campaign. Whereas Blood Rage demonstrated an all out berserker battle royale, Rising Sun had a calculated well-negotiated war. Once again, the art made everyone swoon, and the unique gameplay made this a modern classic game.

Now, the same team at CMoN, designer Eric M. Lang, miniatures supervisor Mike McVey, and artist Adrian Smith, have announced the third in the strategic trilogy, Ankh: Gods of Egypt. Although details are sparse, just the genealogy behind this release will ensure an incredibly high production, exceptionally well crafted board game to remember for years. Players take on the role of ancient Egyptian gods, summoning monsters, converting followers, and trying to become the sole god over Egypt. A Kickstarter campaign for Ankh will appear towards the end of 2019, and the game is expected to accommodate 2-5 players. For more details, check out the press release from CMoN here.

CMON Kickstarter campaigns are often big and exciting, and this newest one is no less the case. Cthulhu: Death May Die is the newest big box game with the sort of high-quality large figures that CMON is known (and named) for. It’s a cooperative game for 1-to-5 players, designed by the rockstar team of Rob Daviau and Eric M. Lang, and artwork by Adrian Smith and Karl Kopinski. If a Cthulhu-themed cooperative romp sounds an awful lot like long-popular Fantasy Flight flagships Arkham Horror or Mansions of Madness, you wouldn’t be wrong. Where Death May Die differentiates itself is, unless the worst befalls your party early, you’re going toe-to-toe with a big nasty Old One in a really clever use of episodic materials that could only be designed by the master of hidden-things-in-small-boxes himself. As described on the campaign page:

     “The Death May Die core box contains smaller boxes that hold the modular elements to create each unique game session. Players choose one of the two available Elder Ones and combine their contents with those of one of the six available Episodes. Each of these boxes contain unique figures, tokens, and cards that are only used when playing with those elements. The Mythos deck used in each game is a combination of cards from the chosen Elder One box and the chosen Episode box. Each Episode not only indicates the map setup using the various tiles in the game, but also new actions the investigators can perform in order to accomplish the tasks required to disrupt that episode’s ritual. They each also bring their own Discovery cards for players to explore, and the monsters’ behaviors and abilities are tailored to each unique story.”

While the use of tactile tools to create a narrative-driven experience in a world where app-based dungeon crawls exists may seem like a step backward, the application of the components is demonstrative of the innovation those tools have gone through despite the current ecosystem. It’ll be really cool to see how the game is received for it’s composition and table presence after it arrives to backers who haven’t been crushed under the weight of it’s intimidatingly large, detailed monsters. Between the publishing and design caliber behind it, the miniatures, and the deft application of theme, it’s no wonder that this Kickstarter has already (at the time of writing this) passed 600% funding and trending towards millions of dollars. Update: In fact, all of the early bird waves have sold out, but CMON has responded by creating more expensive waves of limited product to be released further into 2019. If you are interested in learning more about Cthulhu: Death May Die, check out the campaign page for previews, in-depth rules explanations, community feedback, and updates.

Cool Mini Or Not has a new Kickstarter Campaign for HATE, a brutal combat board game based on the “Chronicles of HATE” graphic novel by Adrian Smith. HATE is designed by Guillotine Games, the creators of Zombicide in all its incarnations, while being overseen by Eric Lang. In HATE, 2-6 players each control their team of 11 characters from a single tribe: 2 Youngbloods, 6 Warriors, 1 Shaman, 1 Champion and 1 Towering Prince, a massive character from a more evolved line of humans. Each character has its own stats and abilities, and each tribe also has a unique deck of 8 cards which add bonuses to battle.

Fallen characters, if captured, can be tortured to accumulate Hate, or can be consumed for resources. HATE is a game for mature audiences, and features dark violence, brutally detailed miniatures, as well as some nudity. Additionally, HATE will not be moving to retail stores, selling exclusively through the Kickstarter Campaign. HATE core set will initially come with 4 asymmetric tribes, although CMoN has stated the game will support 6 players as more tribes are introduced.

The Kickstarter campaign for HATE will continue through February 7, and is expected to deliver in January 2019.

CMON is returning to their Kickstarter roots in January for Hate, based on Adrian Smith‘s Chronicles of Hate graphic novels. Expecting a niche audience for a mature game, Hate will be available exclusively a kickstarter campaign launching January 16th and 3pm EST. While stores will able to order the game through the campaign to provide retail availability, that will be the only retail distribution of the game.

Hate all takes places in Adrian Smith’s dark universe, filled with tribes fighting for survival:

In our world, hate was an emotion to avoid. It distracted us, tied us up, and corrupted our souls. But our world is over. It was destroyed through the actions of man. The seas boiled, the forests died, and the Earth began to rot. Few survived, and for those that did, life had changed forever. The mighty rose and quickly subjugated the weak, turning them into servants. Tribes were formed and war raged across the land. There weren’t enough resources to go around, and to live, others had to die. In battles, there was no truce, no surrender. To survive, you needed to hate.

Hate has each player taking control of a Tribe in an effort to survive and possibly even thrive in a new dystopian world. Each of the tribes is comprised of a variety of members including Warriors, Shamans, and Princes. Each of the tribe members has a unique role and will develop member specific skills over the course of the game.

Tribe members may fall in the heat of battle, hopefully lying unconscious until the end of the clash. Opponents have the option of dragging these bodies back to their own village to meet a truly gruesome fate, being roasted in ovens to produce resources or sent to the torture chambers to produce hate. Tribe members lost this way are permanently removed from the game, and the tribe that lost them must then begin building a new member from scratch.

A full campaign, or Chronicle, will involve multiple Tribes that clash one on one with each other. Results from each clash will impact future encounters, and once every possible clash has been played a winner will be declared.

Kickstarter

CMON launched itself to fame as a gaming company through wildly successful Kickstarter campaigns. The various Zombicide campaigns alone pulled in almost $15,000,000,  with CMON raking in total Kickstarter sales over $38,000,000.

The hype train that’s been loudly chugging along since the game’s announcement at Gen Con 2016 only continues to gain momentum as CMON launches the Rising Sun Kickstarter! Referred to as the spiritual successor of Blood Rage, the vaunted duo of Eric M. Lang (designer) and Adrian Smith (artist) reunite in this hotly anticipated game of politics, strength, and honor.

Rising Sun is a board game for 3 to 5 players set in legendary feudal Japan. As the Kami descend from the heavens to reshape the land in their image, it is up to each player to lead their clan to victory. Use politics to further your cause, negotiate to seek the most profitable alliances, worship the Kami to gain their favor, recruit monsters out of legend to bolster your forces, and use your resources wisely to be victorious in battle.

In Rising Sun, you’ll utilize asymmetrical clan powers, form and break alliances, bluff, and defeat your opponents in war during all seasons of a year to become the victorious new Emperor! The miniatures are extremely detailed , thanks to the direction of Mike McVey, and there are already many unlocked stretch goals, including a sacred warrior panda.

You don’t want to miss out on this game! For more information or to back this game, visit the Rising Sun Kickstarter page.

the others

Cool Mini or Not, Guillotine Games, Studio McVey, designer Eric Lang, and artist Adrian Smith have teamed up again to bring The Others: 7 Sins to Kickstarter. This is the same design team that brought us the soon to be released Blood Rage. Where Blood Rage was a viking themed game The Others is a horror board game featuring the 7 Deadly Sins.

In The Others: 7 Sins, the world stands on the brink of apocalypse, as the fanatics of the Hell Club have summoned the 7 Deadly Sins to lay waste to our reality. Slowly the Others have creeped into our lives, corrupting society from within. The city of Haven is the key to their invasion, but it will not go down without a fight, thanks to the actions of the paranormal organization known as F.A.I.T.H. (Federal Authority for the Interdiction of Transdimensional Horrors). Each session of The Others is played with one player controlling the forces of a single Sin, again st the other players who control a team of 7 FAITH heroes. The heroes cooperate to survive the Sin’s attacks and accomplish the missions set before them, while the Sin attempts to thwart the heroes in all ways (preferably by destroying them).

As to be expected with Cool Mini or Not involved there are some really fantastic miniatures but the gameplay definitely looks interesting as well…not surprising with Eric Lang involved. There is definitely a lot of variety in the box with different story boards that each play differently and have multiple map set ups that make each individual story unique as well as the different sins punishing the heroes in different ways.

the others comp

The box comes full of goodies and includes:

  • 47 Highly Detailed Figures Including:
  •   8 Hero Figures
  •   1 Pride Avatar and 1 Sloth Avatar Figures
  •   1 Pride Controller and 1 Sloth Controller Figures
  •   6 Pride Abomination and 6 Sloth Abomination Figures
  •   6 Corrupted Nun Acolyte Figures
  •   6 Corrupted Hobo Acolyte Figures
  •   6 Corrupted Doctor Acolyte Figures
  •   5 Hell Club Figures
  • 10 City Tiles
  • 6 Boards for the Sins Player (2 Sins, 3 Acolytes, and 1 Apocalypse Track)
  • 7 Hero Dashboards
  • 70 Cards
  • Over 70 Cardboard Tokens
  • 27 Sculpted Plastic Tokens
  • 7 Story Boards
  • 8 Colored Bases
  • 14 Custom Dice

The gameplay itself looks like there are some fun and difficult decisions to make during the game, you can watch a game play video on the Kickstarter project page or just click here. The game definitely gets more difficult as it progresses and I like that fact that heroes in the game will die. At the start of the game the non sin players choose 7 starting heroes with each controlling at least one to begin with (lower player counts may find one player controlling more than one hero) with the remainder in reserve. As the game progresses and heroes die a new hero from the pool is brought into the game, at any point if a hero dies and can not be replaced the non sin players loose. To win the non sin players must complete the missions on the story board chosen for that game.

Eric Lang has designed some amazing games that have been released lately like Arcadia Quest, Dice Masters, XCom: The Board Game just to name a few and Cool Mini or Not is known for high funding projects with lots of stretch goals so the expectations for The Others is quite high. While the rule book is not available the game play video does and excellent job of showing how the game works, even if it does run a on the longer side.

If what you read above interests you in any way I highly recommend going to the Kickstarter page to check it out you can find The Others: 7 Sins on Kickstarter here.

the others

Tabletop Gaming News (TGN) has an excellent preview of ‘The Others: 7 Sins‘ by Cool Mini Or Not and Guillotine GamesThe Others is miniatures game designed by Eric Lang who brought us huge hits like Marvel Dice Masters and Arcadia Quest as well as the soon to be released Blood Rage. It is a horror board game that plays 2-5 players in a 1 vs. many format. One player will play one of the 7 Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride) trying to trigger the Apocalypse while the other players are a team of supernatural heroes trying to save the day.

In this game, the 7 Sins have become hideous monsters incarnate. These monsters attempt to destroy cities and wreak havoc. In the game, players are the last bastion for humanity in these cities. Each “Sin” monster (of 7 different deadly sins) plays a little bit differently. One player plays as the monsters with the goal of corrupting the city, and advancing the doomsday tract. Other players attempt to dispel the contamination of evil, but the power they use has a corrupting factor.

In the article they start to delve into two of the sins Pride and Sloth as well as some of the minions you’ll see in the game. They have pictures of the models which are fantastically hideous and disgusting. While we’ve only gotten a glimpse of it the artwork in the game looks stunning as well and is done by Adrian Smith (lead designer/artist), Karl and Stefan Kopinski, Paolo Parente, Richard Wright, Jacopo Camagni, Miguel Coimbra and Georges Clarenko.

the others mini

The Others will be on Kickstarter starting 9/10/2015 and if CMoN’s and Guillotine Games other projects are any indication it will be a huge hit. I for one am extremely excited about it and will most likely be backing it. The combination of horror theme, Eric Lang, and CMoN/Guillotine Games miniatures has me itching to hit the pledge button. Eric Lang is on fire with his amazing games that have come out recently and if there is one thing that both these companies do well it’s putting out great miniatures. Add in the fact that the horror theme is somewhat missing in my collection and I have always been a fan of the genre this should be a win/win/win for me.

If any of this has you interested head on over to TGN and check out the article here. This article is only one in a series of articles so while you’re there be sure to check out the rest of them if you have any interest in this game.

conan age of monsters

Pulposaurus Entertainment, a collaborative effort of George Vasilakos, Shane Hemsley, Timothy Brown and Jack Emmert, is now Kickstarting its first game, Conan: Age of the Monsters. The game will also feature the artwork of top artists such as Victor Moreno and Adrian Smith.

Conan:ROTM is a “epic fantasy miniature wargame” based on the stories of Robert Howard set in the Hyborean Age of Conan the Cimmerian. The game features pre-painted miniatures, with the goal of creating a miniatures game that would be playable right out of the box, and with simple rules, but complex strategy. However, Pulposaurus is offering a backer option of unpainted figures as well.

Set in the later life of Conan, after he has seized the throne of Aquilonia, its pits King Conan’s Circle of Iron soldiers and knights against the Legion of Set, a dark band of sorcerers, fighters and serpents gathered together by the mysterious Thoth-Amon of Stygia. Each set of figures is paired with a unit card, defining its strengths and characteristics, and unique dice, as the two armies maneuver against one another in battle. Each side can also use Destiny tokens and a unique set of Fate Cards to change outcomes and affect the battle.

conan age of monsters figures

Each set comes in a separate box with 15 miniatures, dice, unit and Fate Cards, tokens, and die cut terrain sheets. And, I must say, that the pre-production miniatures look fantastic! Backer levels include the option of only one set (either the Legion of Set of Circle of Iron), or a combination of sets. The KS campaign also features a large set of add-ons for backers to choose from to expand each army. Stretch goals will add more figures, such as new units, variant designs of base units, new characters, and new monsters compatible with the base game, some of which will be available as add-ons. There is also the “Fall of Mitra” campaign book to provide background and depth for the miniature battles.

The campaign runs until August 30, 2015, with delivery estimated for June 2016. The Kickstarter campaign can be found here.