“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.
Cool Mini or Not has just started a Kickstarter campaign for a digital version of Eric Lang‘s 2015 mega-hit Blood Rage (BGG #27). The digital version is being produced by Exozet and looks amazing. Each region of the board looks different, with unique topology, climate and villages. All of the cards and figures are meticulously rendered in 3D, including new miniatures not seen before. The digital game includes network play for up to 4 players, solo play against the AI, and mixtures of the two. One of the most exciting aspects of the Kickstarter is the Physical Viking Pledge, which includes the actual miniatures for all of the new 3D assets along with the digital game. These include four new monsters: the Mountain Giantess, a new wolf called Garm, the Wolfwoman and the Seer Troll. Other models are the new Stag Clan with Mystics, 6 Golden Gods of Asgard miniatures, and new expansion cards for 5 players.
The Kickstarter for Blood Rage Digital continues through December 10, and is expected to deliver digital rewards in December 2019, and physical rewards in August 2019. Additionally, Kickstarter backers will be privy to a closed beta version of the game before release. For more information, check out the Kickstarter page or CMoN’s website.
Everybody reading this knows that getting a board game going has it’s pain points – setting it up, teaching it, or learning it. Those are not attractive parts to tabletop gaming for sure, especially in comparison to the immediacy of other forms of entertainment. The team behind Dized recognized this, and sought to leverage modern smart-device app design to make learning games less troublesome. While the app is available for download right now on iOS and Android, and it has a lot of support from users and publishers alike already, the developers are on Kickstarter right now seeking further funding in order to build the app into the best it can imaginably be, and they are offering in-app rewards and promos to boot!
“Dized’s fully-voiced, interactive Tutorials are able to react to what’s happening in your game, so you can learn as you go, turn by turn. Dized acts like the friend that already knows what to do, introducing a game’s rules on a need-to-know basis while adapting to the actions of the people at the table. If the need arises to refresh your memory, Dized’s Rules have you covered. Dized Rules are like fast, searchable FAQs able to respond to all the questions you might have.”
So some of you may be thinking, “wasn’t Dized on Indiegogo before?” You’d be right, it was successfully funded on Indiegogo last year. It’s back on Kickstarter now because the platform has a bigger community, which means more outreach and support, and also because the developers have bigger plans and features in mind. Besides expanding the list of available games, on the docket of additions are “adaptive profiles” which customize the teaching experience based on what the app learns of it’s user, the games they’ve played and the concepts they’re already familiar with. It’s ambitious stuff and it takes a bigger team to make it, and with this push they can really push Dized into the next level. If you’d like to learn more or support Dized, check out the app’s campaign page for videos, reviews, community feedback, updates, and more.
Rising Sun has already shipped out to backers and is closing in on it’s retail release. The game has done very well among it’s backers and play-testers, currently sitting at #83 on BoardGameGeek’s top 100 – within a stretch of it’s older brother Blood Rage. Not unlike said sibling and other high-quality, high-strategy miniatures based games, CMON has expansions in mind and one is already slotted for retail release on March 30th. Dynasty Invasion adds several more options to Rising Sun and new way to shake up the strategy after it’s initial clans and monsters have made their mark. As described by CMON’s press release:
“The Rising Sun: Dynasty Invasion expansion includes two new complete Clans to join in the war for the fate of Japan, seven Lucky Gods, and 15 Season cards. […] With new Clans, new Gods, and new Season cards, the Dynasty Invasion expansion offers a completely different challenge for Rising Sun. Players will have to adjust their strategies and learn the ways of these invaders if they hope to win the favor of the Kami and choose the future of Japan.”
The new clans add more variety and replayability to the game, featuring the inscrutable Moon clan who starts with low honor and twice the force, or their opposite – the noble Sun clan – who have high honor and use it as a weapon to take coins and victory points. Interestingly, neither clan can use the monsters available to the other factions in the base box and instead can only take on the new Lucky Gods which strategically contrast to the existing denizens of ancient Japan. With new seasons cards to bring about these new gods and new strategies, along with many new and excellent figures from CMON as we’ve come to expect, this is an excellent expansion for those with the retail release of the base game or for backers who may have passed on it during the funding campaign. If you are interested in learning more about Rising Sun, it’s expansion, or any future content from CMON, but sure to check out their website for current and future announcements.
The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design presented the Origins Awards Saturday June 17th at the annual awards show held at the GAMA hosted convention Origins in Columbus, OH. As part of this winners were announced in seven categories along with a fan favorite award in each category as well.
We would like to extend congratulations to all award winners.
Game of the Year
Scythe – Stonemeier Games
Board Game of the Year
Scythe – Stonemeier Games
Family Game of the Year
Happy Salmon – North Star Games
RPG of the Year
No Thank You, Evil! – Monte Cooke Games
Best Collectible of the Year
Pokemon XY11 Steam Siege Booster – The Pokemon Co.
Best Accessory of the Year
Blood Rage Organizer – Broken Token
Card Game of the Year
Mystic Vale – AEG
CMON Limited and Ankama Products have announced the end of their partnership which had CMON Limited distributing Ankama Products in the US.
CMON Limited and Ankama Products originally entered a partnership together to release Krosmaster: Quest. Following the successful release of Krosmaster: Quest CMON Limited went on to also distribute Krosmaster Arena 2.0, Kromaster Collection: Cemetery Park, 75 Gnom’ Street as well as other Ankama titles.
The final game to be released under the current distribution deal will be Gang Rush: Breakout on June 23, 2017. CMON Limited will continue to sell all the remaining stock they have of Ankama Products past the June 23rd date as while supplies last.
CMON Limited did note in their announcement that Ankara Products will have a forthcoming announcement regarding a new US distribution partner.
In 2011 CMON, originally named Cool Mini or Not, entered the board gaming market with games including Zombicide, Arcadia Quest, Kennerspiel des Jahres nominated Blood Rage, Rum & Bones and more. CMON Limited stock can be purchased on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Growth Enterprise Market under stock code “08278.”
Ankama is self described as an “independent digital creation group” whose work includes both digital games as well as board games. Over 85 million accounts have been created for the online game DOFUS that Ankama created in 2004. Since then Ankama has also created physical game products in a move towards transmedia products.
Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year. The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year. Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards. But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:
Family Games (6 Nominees)
Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)
- 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
- Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
- No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
- Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
- Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
- Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
- The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
- Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)
Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)
Game Accessories (4 Nominees)
- Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
- Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
- Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
- Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)
Board Games (10 Nominees)
- Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
- Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
- Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
- Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
- Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
- Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
- Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
- Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
- Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
- World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)
Collectible Games (5 Nominees)
- Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
- Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
- Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
- Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
- Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad
Miniatures (5 Nominees)
- Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
- Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
- Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
- TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
- Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)
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.
Each year the International Gamers Awards are given out to the multiplayer and 2 player games that are deemed the best for that year. Some notable previous winners are games like Twilight Struggle, Agricola, and Terra Mystica. All highly rated and well respected games, so the nominees for this year are the cream of the gaming crop. One note is that while this is the 2016 award, the games eligible are those that have been released between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. And the nominees are;
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category
Blood Rage – Eric M. Lang, Guillotine Games / Cool Mini or Not
Codenames – Vlaada Chvatil, Czech Games Edition
Food Chain Magnate – Jeroen Doumen, Splotter Spellen
Grand Austria Hotel – Virginio Gigli & Simone Luciani, Lookout Games
Isle of Skye – Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Lookout Games
Mombasa – Alexander Pfister, Eggertspiele
Nippon – Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro & Paulo Soledade, What’s Your Game?
Pandemic Legacy – Rob Daviau & Matt Leacock, Z-Man Games
Quadropolis – Francois Gandon, Days of Wonder
T.I.M.E. Stories – Peggy Chassenet & Manuel Rozoy, Space Cowboys
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category
7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza & Bruno Cathala, Repos Productions
Patchwork – Uwe Rosenberg, Lookout Games
Raptor – Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti, Matagot
Star Wars: Rebellion – Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games
Trambahn – Helmut Ohley, Lookout Games
Interesting fact, 9 out of the 15 titles being nominated are in the top 100 of games in the entire BGG database. To see the list as well as previous year’s winners you can head on over to the International Gamers Awards website.
The Diana Jones Award is designed to reward any combination of achievement, innovation, and anything that has benefited or advanced the hobby and industry as a whole; or which has had the greatest positive effect on games and gaming; or which, in the opinion of the judging committee, shows or exemplifies gaming at its best.
This is the description given by the Diana Jones Awards website when asked what they mean by excellence. Thus, in light of the above requirements, they have decided to give this year’s award to Eric Lang for being both prolific and excellent in his designs. This year saw the release of four new games bearing his name, Bloodborne: The Card Game, The Others: 7 Sins, Arcane Academy, and HMS Dolores. And while producing a lot of games can be good, what makes him great is that with each game he designs, they seem to get better and better. This fact can be seen in the consistently high ratings of previous releases like Blood Rage and Dice Masters. So congratulations to Eric Lang, they couldn’t have picked a better person to receive the award. To read more about his winning and to see the other nominees, you can head over to the Diana Jones Awards website.
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