Cool Mini or Not

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.
  • 5 new products for A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. A Night’s Watch Starter Set brings many of the brave and grizzled watchers of the wall to the table, and they pave the way for 4 new add-on packs – The Sworn Brothers, the Ranger Hunters, the Stark Outriders, and the Lannister Halberdiers.

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.

Blue Moon City, the Spiel des Jahres nominee for 2006, designed by Reiner Knitzia and Spaghetti Western Games, is getting a reprint from Cool Mini or Not. In Blue Moon City, 2-4 players take over after the events of the 2 player hit Blue Moon, with the titular city, created from building plan tiles, ready for reconstruction. The players use cards with the races of Blue Moon to construct buildings on their plans, then eventually reconstruct the large crystal Obelisk in the center of the city. Players who help complete buildings earn crystals and Dragon Favors, with the majority contributor getting a bonus. Dragon Favors earn the player crystals, and the crystals are used to gain Markers at the Obelisk. The first player to earn a specified number of Markers wins the game. Blue Moon City comes with 4 player and 3 dragon miniatures, 40 player markers, 80 cards, 54 tokens, 21 tiles and a rulebook. For more information and pictures, check out the CMoN web page here. Look for the second edition of Blue Moon City in late October 2018.

CMoN has also announced Sugar Blast, a board game take on the casual video game “candy crush” genre. In Sugar Rush, a plastic frame holds round candy tokens in a 6 by 6 grid, each space holding one of 6 candy types. 2-4 players take turns swapping two adjacent tokens, trying to make a string of 3 or more identical candies vertically or horizontally. Matching tokens are removed, and the unique tilted frame will allow pieces to slide down and fill the empty space. New pieces are drawn from a bag to fill in the top. Players race to complete objective cards for the victory. Sugar Blast comes with the plastic frame, 32 tokens, 72 colored chips, 24 cards, cloth bag, and the rulebook. Look for Sugar Blast in late October 2018.

Finally, CMoN also announced 4 new boxes of Lannister Armies coming for the Song Of Ice And Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. The Knights of Casterly Rock have spared no expense on equipment and training, and are fast and hard-hitting units on the field. The Lannister Guardsmen make up in defense what they lack in strength and speed, and can effectively wear down advancing opponents. The Lannister Crossbowmen provide deadly ranged attacks, and may be expensive to maintain, but Lannisters certainly can afford to keep armies strong. The Lannister Heroes Box I contains such famous commanders as the Hound, Tyrion and Lord Tywin Lannister, causing devastation on the field. Maester Pycelle and the High Sparrow work their influence politically, well away from the main battle. Look for all 4 new Lannister boxes in stores at the end of September 2018.

Cool Mini or Not has announced 4 new box sets of Stark units for their Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. The Stark Sworn Swords are loyal to a man, and would rather perish than betray the house. The Stark Bowmen, although lightly armored, are capable of devastating ranged attacks, even when line of sight is questionable, launching volleys high above the field. The Tully Sworn Shields have also come to the call, using interlocking shield defenses, creating a fearsome wall of defense. Finally, the great heroes of House Stark are represented in the Stark Heroes I box. Rodrik Cassel and Howland Reed are mighty leaders from many battles. Brynden Tully and Eddard Stark are true masters of tactics and strategy. Finally, young Bran Stark, with his giant servant Hodor, and direwolf Summer can strike both courage into allies, and fear into foes on the battlefield. You can read more about the Song Of Ice And Fire Miniatures Game on the CMoN website here. Look for all 4 of these boxed expansions on September 28, 2018.

Project Elite, designed by Konstantinos Kokkinis and Sotirios Tsantilas, was originally released back in 2016 by Artipia Games and Drawlab Entertainment. It is a co-operative, real-time, speed-dice, tactical, tower-defense-like game and was awarded one of the top games of 2016 by The Dice Tower.

Cool Mini or Not has just announced that they will be producing an updated version of the game in the following press release:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 – CMON Limited announced today they are producing an updated edition of the widely-acclaimed board game Project: ELITE by designers Konstantinos Kokkinis and Sotirios Tsantilas. Originally released in 2016, Project: ELITE is a unique real-time, cooperative board game like no other.

In Project: ELITE, players are members of the ELITE squad on a mission to stop the invading forces of an alien empire. Stopping the invasion will require players to speedily roll dice as they take part in real-time, 2-minute combat rounds against waves of terrifying enemies. Once the ELITE members take their turn, the aliens will react. The game continues in this fast-yet-tactical series of rounds until the scenario is won or the aliens take the Earth.

CMON’s new edition was developed based on community feedback from the initial release. Players can expect all-new art by Stefan Kopinski, Saeed Jalabi, and Henning Ludvigsen, all-new miniatures by Studio McVey, with personal oversight by Mike McVey, new card designs, new weapons, new ELITE members, new enemies, and more. Beyond the base game, CMON will also introduce expansions and more through a Kickstarter campaign set for Q4 2018.

CMON’s Production Manager, Thiago Aranha recalls, “When Project: ELITE released, gamers loved it. We saw their feedback and knew CMON could take the game to the next level with a new edition that upped the production value to match the high-quality gameplay.”

Project: ELITE will launch on Kickstarter in 2018 and release to retail stores in 2019. More information will be available on CMON.com in the near future!

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.

Zombicide: Green Horde: No Rest for the Wicked is an expansion to Zombicide: Green Horde that supports 1-6 players and puts you up against new otherworldly enemies.  Zombicide: Green Horde was kickstarted in June 2017 and had a highly successful campaign raising over five million dollars.  During this campaign as an optional buy you could pick up the full expansion.  It now has a retail release planned for those who missed out of the kickstarter.

The zombie plague is not limited to just humans and orcs. All manner of creatures are succumbing to the vile disease and launching an assault against the living. The rats that form into undead swarms are bad enough. Then there’s the ghostly Spectral Walkers that are only damaged by magic. But when there’s a zombie dragon to deal with, that’s a whole other category of terror! To take that out, the survivors are gonna need a bigger crossbow.

The expansion comes with over thirty-five miniatures including a huge dragon figure and is sure to add even more excitement to your game.  Zombicide: Green Horde: No Rest for the Wicked, published by Cool Mini or Not, is slated to hit retail during the third quarter of 2018.

 

 

Lorenzo il Magnifico is a rich and strategic game about merchant families competing for prestige and power in Renaissance Italy. It is a tightly designed game blending worker placement, tableau building and resource management that provides multiple paths to victory.

The Houses of Renaissance expansion for Lorenzo il Magnifico add more paths to victory.  Actually, it adds more than that, a lot more. Almost every aspect of the original game has some new options or changes. For those who were looking to add a fifth player, Houses of Renaissance provides everything needed to add a new player, from an additional player board and tokens to tiles to overlay on the main board to accommodate a fifth player in the game.

The family tiles, which grant players different special abilities, are the first way the expansion changes the game. Players bid on the family tiles at the beginning of the game, offering up some of their starting resources in exchange for the different special abilities the family name grants them. There are ten families to choose from, ensuring a different mix of families in each game.

Twenty new leader cards, some of which have new actions that players can use, providing new ways to use their families.

The expansion also makes several changes to the board either by placing various tiles over existing spaces on the board or alongside it. One such addition to the board is the new Special Tower which comes with its own deck offering a different variety actions to players each round.

Finally, players have a chance to earn new special tokens that provide resources and are kept in secret until they are ready to be spent.

Houses of Renaissance adds a lot to Lorenzo il Magnifico. Players will find new play styles, new strategies, and new opportunities.  Visit CMON to learn more about Houses of Renaissance.

Look for Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance in stores on April 27.

 

Adepticon, a premiere wargaming convention, kicks off next month in Schaumburg, Illinois. Part of of con includes presenting the Crystal Brush Awards, which started in 2011, and awards people for their skills in painting. This year’s categories are:

  • Fantasy/Steampunk/Historical Single Figure
  • Sci-Fi/Modern Single Figure
  • Units
  • Vehicles and Monster
  • Large Scale (54mm and up)
  • Busts
  • Diorama
  • Chibi-style

Cool Mini or Not recently got together with Jen Haley, one of the judges for the Crystal Brush Awards, to find out more.

“Entries come in such a vast range of scales, genres, and painting styles, that the audience sometimes wonders how they can be judged against each other,” explains Haley. “The judges look for a balance of technical skill and aesthetic quality, whether the competitor has used a style that’s extremely realistic or highly stylized. For the Diorama category, narrative quality (the story that is told by the figures) is important. We like to see traditional techniques and motifs executed well, and we like to see new ideas and techniques that help push the boundaries of the miniature hobby into the realm of art.”

You can read the entire interview over at CMON’s site here.

Cool Mini or Not posted a nice retrospective of the early Zombicide franchise to their Feature Friday newsletter this week. The original “modern series” started with a Kickstarter in April 2012 for Zombicide: Season One, which introduced players to the frantic world of walkers, runners, fatties and abominations. Arguably the first introduction to CMoN Kickstarter campaigns, with their unbelievable amount of stretch goals, add-ons and exclusive items, 2-6 players could run through the streets as more and more zombies chased them down. The next year brought Zombicide: Prison Outbreak, which introduced Berserkers to the claustrophobic halls and rooms of the prison.  The final installment to the modern trilogy came in 2015 with Zombicide: Rue Morgue, bringing Skinner zombies, A-Bomb Abominations and more of the mayhem that made Zombicide great to a fallen hospital. If there just wasn’t enough, the games were supplemented by two official released expansions, The Toxic City Mall and Angry Neighbors. All of Guillotine Games’ Zombicide games are known for the overflowing bins of beautiful miniatures, tons of insane playable characters, and boards full of walking, creeping, oozing dead. Read all about the history of the first Zombicide trilogy on the CMoN website here.

CMoN has also announced some new components for their popular d20 28mm sci-fi skirmish game, Dark Age. Two new big boxes are coming soon, one for the Outcast and one for the Skarrd. The Outcast Starter Set includes a 500 point force, playable with any Outcast group. Other Outcast releases coming are the Outcast Faction Deck with 54 new cards, and the Outcast Brute Court of Freeton, containing infamous leaders for your squad. The new Skarrd Cult of Metamorphosis is a cult of grafted, mutated biological nightmares lead by the infamous Father Johann and his servants. Smaller releases, such as the Harpy Unit Box and the return of the Brood Spawn Howler round off units for the Skarrd. Read all about the upcming Dark Age sets on the CMoN website here.