Michael Shinall

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.

Bloodborne: The Board Game, is based on the dark and challenging Bloodborne video game which is exclusively available to the Sony PlayStation video game console, and developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. In the board game, designed by Michael Shinall (known for Xenoshyft: Onslaught), and Eric M. Lang (known for Blood Rage), 1-4 players are Hunters who explore the town of Yharnam and fight through beasts, monsters, and frenzied townsfolk. Game play is intended for players aged 14+ and plays in 45-75 mins.

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.

It was announced before that CMON was setting up for a Game of Thrones miniatures game, and now we have the Kickstarter to fund it.  A Song of Fire and Ice Tabletop Miniatures Game is exactly that, a tabletop miniatures war game in the same vein as Runewars and Warhammer 40k.  In the game you will take control of one of the houses and lead them to victory against all other opposition.  In the base game they have over 100 miniatures split among house Stark and house Lannistar and has all the bits and pieces you need to field both armies in battle.

The game has several features that you might find interesting, first is that you don’t move figures one at a time, this game feature unit trays where you can move your troops as a squad.  This will speed up the game as you aren’t having to move figures individually, and allows for easy measuring using guides like in X-Wing.  Another aspect that is rather unique is the inclusion of non combat units, units that will never get deployed to the board but give you distinct benefits in the game.  You will also be choosing leaders and commanders, units that will be both powerful, but also bring powerful abilities to the table.  And finally, the game includes tactics cards that you can draw from your own personalized decks to give you a leg up at just the right moment.

Overall the game looks great, and with great designers like Eric Lang and Michael Shinall behind it, should play great as well.  You can check out the Kickstarter page to back for your copy.

One final thing that is awesome is the inclusion of a George R.R. Martin promo figure with a special ability, basically if you have him in your army and win, you get to tell everyone how it all went down, and your opponent isn’t allowed to refute it until they beat you.