Where can you fight zombies, battle Giants, and make offers you can’t refuse? Your local gaming store of course! Cool Mini Or Not announced their new brick & mortar organized play program at the 2017 Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Trade Show. As Jared Miller, Marketing Manager at CMON puts it, “Over the past year, CMON has listened to feedback from our retail partners on how we could support brick and mortar stores and their customers. CMON Play’s creation is a direct response to that feedback and our efforts to grow, maintain, and deepen our relationships with these stores and their community.”
CMON is the publishing house behind the smash board game hits Blood Rage, Zombicide, Potion Explosion, and many others. They’re now partnering with your local game store to bring you game night kits, early access to upcoming titles, and even a way to jump on their exciting Kickstarter projects while still supporting your local shop. This is great for local shops but also good for us gamers.
Local stores are a great place to get together with fellow gamers and now they’re a great place to find exclusive CMON content. Every two months CMON will release a new Game Night Kit for one of their popular titles. The first title getting a kit is Zombicide: Black Plague. The kit comes with an exclusive new Nightmare campaign with 3 survival missions to test your mettle, along with a new survivor. Bruce is a sword-swinging knight ready to face the horrors of a medieval zombie world and everyone who participates will take home his dashboard, miniature, and some new iron colored dice to match Bruce’s sword.
Black Plague is my favorite of the Zombicide titles. I’m a fan of the changes to ranged combat, allowing for a bit more flexibility. The Double Spawn cards break up the standard spawn tempo by turbo-charging alternating spawns. You might breathe a sigh of relief when the spawn closest to you doesn’t generate any new zombies only to groan when the spawn across the map looks like this:
These kits aren’t just for cooperative games however. CMON has also announced a game night kit for Blood Rage. Everyone will take home new plastic clan tokens, but only the chieftain who earns the most glory will walk away with a miniature to replace the first player token. Official CMON Play game nights will begin in June; make sure to ask your local retailers about them if you want to experience this new content.
Game Nights aren’t the only new way for you to experience these titles. When asked about the benefit to us players, Jared again put it this way: “Ultimately, for the program to support our retailers, the customer must also be supported.” This support goes beyond exclusives and content for existing games.
CMON’s Demo Play program is also a part of this announcement. Many retailers feature game libraries full of demo copies and CMON is making it easier for your local shop to fill those shelves. Specially marked copies will be available to retailers at discount, giving their patrons greater opportunities to try out CMON’s excellent offers. The list of available games is long, so make sure you ask your local store about the games you’re interested in trying.
Retailers are also getting early access to CMON’s upcoming titles. Games like The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire will be available from CMON Play Partners before the official release date. Designed by Eric Lang, CMON’s new director of game design, The Godfather is described as a confrontational worker placement game of murder and intrigue. While the standard release date is July 28, it should hit the shelves of partner retailers 2 weeks before anyone else gets it.
The last part of this announcement may be the one I’m the most excited about: CMON is known for their bombastic Kickstarter campaigns full of add-ons, stretch goals, and exclusives. Kickstarter exclusives are controversial, but it’s impossible to deny the effect they can have on a campaign. Those of us who love our local shops have had to make a difficult choice regarding CMON campaigns, until now. The Kickstarter Retail program allows you to pledge through your local shop without missing out on any of those exclusives and you can even grab optional add-on items straight through your local shop. Rising Sun is CMON’s current Kickstarter and is tearing through stretch goals as we speak. Like Blood Rage, it’s a collaboration between Eric Lang, Adrian Smith, and Mike McVey. Based on Japanese mythology, Lang has said it’s inspired by Diplomacy and focuses on alliances and negotiation.
Local game shops have always been a cornerstone of the gaming community. They’re a way to meet new gamers, connect with friends, and try the best the hobby has to offer. We’re excited to see major retailers like CMON enhance and grow their relationship with local shops.
What’s your favorite CMON game? Which Game Night are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: CMON