A new distribution agreement has been struck to bring Horrible Games’ titles to the U.S. and Canada. The Italian-based publisher will have all games for the foreseeable future brought to North America by Canada-based publisher and distributor Luma Games. Horrible Games to be carried by this deal include hits like Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink, but this will also include all future titles from the publisher as well. This is a mutually beneficial deal which will see more exposure for both companies across North America.
“Under the new agreement, Luma will distribute all our upcoming games, including Similo and The King’s Dilemma, and take over distribution of backlist games such as Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink as existing stock sells down and new printings are done. Luma will also handle retail and event support for our catalog.”
Keen observers will notice that this is a huge boon for Horrible Games as Luma is taking over the exact same capacity that CMON did for all of their current catalog. While CMON will no longer be distributing the above-mentioned titles after the stock sells, the prolific publisher already has a release schedule and brand presence that is strong on it’s own. On the other hand, Luma has only been able to distribute a select few titles, such as Museum and Memoarrr!, and this partnership will surely escalate their outreach and footprint in the states through Horrible Games’ existing excellent catalog. If you’re interested in reading more about this distribution agreement, or want to learn more about Horrible Games or Luma Games, check out their websites for their own news posts and products.
The CMON Expo 2019 is hosted in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown hotel over 3 days. This year multiple panels were organized with a number of them hosted online by Gloryhoundd on both Youtube, and Facebook, and moderated by Director of Marketing, Rhea Friesen. The day started with a bang with the crowds registering then picking up their swag bags of goodies.
Creating a Legacy in Trudvang Legends – Designer, Eric M. Lang, discussed the hotly anticipated adventure game, Trudvang Legends, designed by himself, Fel Barros, and Guilherme Goulart, and revealed it to be a 1-4 player, co-operative, story-driven board game. It’s based on Norse mythology (though with its own pantheon of gods instead of the traditional Norse pantheon), with a strong emphasis on epic stories which change the gaming world based on the outcomes of those stories. The game begins with a single, unlocked story which is played over a session. Obtaining an epic ending unlocks future stories which affect the overall game world depending on the sequence they’re played in and their outcomes. Its solo friendly and scales well in difficulty across all player counts, but its best played with more players for the full experience. Combat uses a push-your-luck, rune based system (wind, fire, water, earth, and demonic) which affects the available abilities (such as bash, or block) a character can use based on the drawn runes. Demonic runes trigger enemy abilities and can fail the heroic abilities. The Bestiary is represented by cards, and creatures’ abilities can change over the lifetime of the adventure based on story outcomes. Trudvang Legends is based on the role-playing game, Trudvang Chronicles, by Riot Minds. Game components on display were all in prototype form and are subject to change.
What’s Over the Horizon for the A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game – Designer, Michael Shinall, previewed upcoming releases and gave some sneak peeks. First on the list was an update to the Umber Champion, Gregor Clegane, Sandor Clegane, Jaime Lannister, Twyin Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister heroes who weren’t seeing enough tournament gameplay and needed to be adjusted. CMON constantly monitors tournament builds and outcomes, and listens to the community. The adjusted heroes will be available as printable cards from the CMON website and available in the War Council app. New releases include heroes for the Neutral Faction, the Baratheon Faction, and the Targaryen Faction. The Baratheons are characterized by a heavy armored, sieged style of play. The Baratheon brothers also introduce a “Loyalty” mechanism where certain units are loyal to the brothers. The Targaryens represent Daenerys Targaryen as the Khaleesi during her days with Khal Drogo. As such, the army is composed mostly of the Dothraki Horde who are expert cavalrymen and are focused on speed and blatant combat buffs. CMON also spoke of increased organized play support in the form of kits in stores.
Stopping Ragnarok in God of War: The Card Game – Designer Alexandru Olteanu, along with Head of Game Development, Eric M. Lang, gave a sneak peek of the hit PlayStation game converted into a card game. Santa Monica Studio, designers of the video game, were delighted to have CMON adapt the game into its card game form. God of War: The Card Game supports 1-4 players, who co-operatively attempt to stop Ragnarok, in 60-90 mins. Kratos, Atreus, Freya, Mimir, and the Blacksmith Brothers (Sindri and Brok) are playable characters who take part in a branching storyline of the video game. There are 4 possible endings (with accompanying final bosses), as well as 6 scenarios on the path to the Final Boss. A scenario is represented by cards arranged in an art mosaic, with 4 columns made of 8 cards, where objectives are achieved based on player positioning in the columns, and card play. At it’s core, the game is an action/puzzle/deck-building game which is easy to teach, has few core mechanisms, but deep strategy. The designer also made it clear the solo gameplay wasn’t slapped on but had its own design focus, as players use an alternate version of Kratos as their sole character, with alternate Mimir and Atreus support characters to handle the increased difficulty of solo play.
At the final
panel of the day, a Q&A with CMON’s Designers, they also spoke of more
family centric games on the way as they branch into bigger markets.
CMON hosted multiple tournaments and events which included demos, and learn-to-play sessions. The Dice Tower crew (Sam and Roy), were also in attendance. While Friday has the least number of people in attendance, this sold out event had very few open tables and even the Quiet Gaming area, a separate room, was busy. The CMON Expo will continue to run until Sunday.
The all powerful hive mind that is American Mensa has once again assembled in their hollowed halls to rate the games of 2019. Every year, more than 300 members of Mensa spend a mad weekend of games and judgement to bestow upon a deserving few the title of Mensa Select Winner. So without further ado, the Mensa Select Winners for 2019 are:
Gizmos by designer Phil Walker-Harding and CMoN Games is an elegant engine building game expanding on the Splendor model, centering on a delightful marble dispenser. Players take turns collecting colored marbles, all the while purchasing cards to improve their collection ability, marble color conversions, storage abilities and card building power.
Gunkimono by designer Jeffrey D. Allers and Renegade Game Studios is a re-imagining of Heartland (2009), transforming the original farming motif to one of war-torn feudal Japan. In this quasi-abstract tile laying game, players choose between expansion for points, and building up for future strongholds.
Planet by designer Urtis Šulinskas and Blue Orange Games is a tile laying, city building game on a grand scale. In a move that would have Euclid roll in his grave, players place magnetic terrain tiles on a 3 dimensional “planet”, creating vast areas of desert, ocean, forest, etc. in order to meet specific goals.
Victorian Masterminds by master designers Antoine Bauza and Eric M. Lang with CMoN Games is a breathtakingly beautiful steampunk worker placement masterpiece. Players each take on the role of super villains in the recent wake of Sherlock Holmes’ disappearance, trying to take over the world with their unique doomsday plots.
Players explore Yarnham, represented by tiles which form the board, and encounter threats as they make their way through the sprawling town. A card-driven combat system is used to defeat the Beast Plague across a campaign to discover the source of evil which besets Yarnham. There are 4 different campaigns, each with 3 chapters that have unique content and varying enemy behavior. Bloodborne: The Board Game features many detailed models, with more being unlocked as the campaign stretch goals are achieved.
The Kickstarter campaign for Bloodborne: The Board Game has already reached 10x its goal with over 20,000 backers, with almost all of the stretch goals already unlocked. The campaign will run until May 14th, 2019, with the estimated delivery happening in May of 2020.
CMON has announced God of War: The Card Game. Using the setting from Sony Santa Monica’s very successful 2018 reboot of the God of War franchise, the card game will have one to four players enlist the help of Kratos, Freya and other heroes in an attempt to stop Ragnarok from destroying Midgard.
The announcement did not reveal much about the game play. Each game will have a tableau of cards which depict a different “quest” made up of monsters and locations from the video game. Players will work together to make their way through each quest. The indication is that the actions and outcomes of one quest will impact future games. Each player will have a personal dashboard and a deck of cards unique to the particular character they are playing.
“As players progress, earlier Quests will have an effect on what comes after them. At certain points along their path, players must choose which Quest they will complete. Completing one might grant a bonus, but Quests left untouched will result in dire permanent consequences as the players move forward. These choices and challenges lead to new strategies, making it so no two games of God of War: The Card Game are ever alike, and adding real significance to the choices players make during the course of the game.”
There’s not a listing for the game on BGG or the publisher’s website at this time, but you can read CMON’s announcement by clicking here. The game is slated for a third quarter release later this year.
For fans of Munchkin, Dungeon or both is a new game on Kickstarter!
Munchkin Dungeon, from CMON and designed by Andrea Chiarvesio and Eric M. Lang for 2-5 players, is a press-your-luck game where players explore the dungeons’ various rooms, fight monsters and overcomes their friend’s tricks to get the best treasure.
The base game, for ages 14 and up with a playtime of 60-90 minutes, comes with 7 Munchkin miniatures, 5 level 2 monster miniatures, 5 level 3 monster miniatures, 2 boss miniatures, hero dashboards, counter bases, dice and 152 game cards. The Kickstarter exclusive also includes 5 other Munchkin characters, 5 other monsters and plastic fame markers.
An advanced pledge gets an expansion, 4 more Munchkin figures, 3 more level 2 monster figures and 3 more level 3 monster figures, as well as extra player dashboards, more game cards and tokens and more.
There are also optional buys with Munchkin Dungeon Cthulhu (because why not?) and extra dice.
CMON Inc.’s products and games will now be available from 5 distributors: ACD, Alliance, PHD, GTS and Southern Hobby.
In a press release, Adam Lovell, CMON Inc. sales director, said “We at CMON look forward to working with all of our distribution partners to offer a reliable and responsive supply chain to retailers across the Unites States in 2019 and beyond.”
Walls of York by Cranio Creations and designer Emiliano “Wentu” Venturini was one of the more favored games of Essen Spiel 2018, and publisher Cool Mini or Not has just announced that they will be bringing the title to North America. Walls of York is a 2-4 player game, which combines the feel of a roll and write game with the tactile joy of building blocks. Each game, players create their own landscape from 4 board tiles, after which dice are loaded into a “King’s Tower”, generating the three goals for the game. The start player rolls the Building Die, which dictates a shape of plastic walls all players then simultaneously place around their emerging city. The die will generally dictate 2 or 3 walls, which could be in a straight line, an ‘L’ shape, or a zig-zag. Players use these templates to gradually surround their city, hopefully enclosing the correct number of structures originally dictated by the King’s Tower during setup, then pass the die to the next player and continue. After players completely enclose their city, the Building Dice earn extra coins each roll. Once all players have all finished their city walls, the invasion occurs, and the player with the most Vikings within their walls is invaded, and receives a Viking Invasion token. After two rounds, players earn victory points from coins collected, and lose points for Viking Invasion tokens. Look for Walls of York in stores from CMoN in the first Quarter of 2019.
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.
Cool Mini or Not has a big batch of new products coming very soon. Announced via press release, CMON has updated their release schedule to show a large number of titles all being available for retail in time for Christmas. With such a wide variety of games suitable for players of all preferences, it’s safe to say this is one publisher ready to please for the holidays. The following list of games are all slated to release on November 23rd:
Narcos, the cooperative board game based on the hit Netflix original, pits players as characters from the show trying to manage a growing narcotics empire.
Newton, one of the hottest euro-games of the year, has players take on the role of young scientists following in the footsteps of the greatest minds of 17th century by traveling Europe, studying, earning money, developing new tools for the pursuit of knowledge.
Both versions of Railroad Ink, a striking roll-and-write challenging players to build networks on an ever shrinking dry-erase board of options. Each version includes two unique expansions, and both versions can be combined to mix up the options and the fun.
The Grizzled, Armistice edition, is the new CMON re-release of the favorite cooperative game now featuring a campaign mode and pre-painted miniatures.
Victorian Masterminds, on the other hand, is an exception and is instead slated to release January 25th, 2019. The hotly anticipated game from Eric Lang and Antoine Bauza where players take on the roles of famous villains attempting to realize their nefarious plans is only a few months away yet I’m positive the wait is well worth it. Of course all dates listed here are subject to change, which is par for the course as many of the titles listed here have had their street dates revised at least once before. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these releases, or further release updates from CMON, be sure to check out their website for announcements and details.