We’ve all heard of Rising Sun, but you’ve probably never seen these other gems coming out this year. Some are reprints, some are already available, but all of them are worth checking out. Here is a quick rundown of some of my favorites from CMON Expo.
We’ve all heard the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, that’s just what I did the first time I laid eyes on Modern Art, and I’m glad I was wrong as it ended up being one of the most addicting games at CMON Expo. In Modern Art, players take on the role of curators, buying and selling paintings for their museum. Over the course of four rounds, they take part in a number of auctions, trying to get the best value for the pieces in their collection. Whoever makes the most money wins the game (and keeps their job). Look for this makeover of Reiner Knizia’s classic at your FLGS in early Q3 2017.
Gateway Uprising is a deck-building area control game created by the geniuses at Fishwizard Games, who have transitioned from video games to board games. After originally discovering this game at SDCC, CMON quickly decided to publish this game in which players take on the roles of insurgent wizards determined to reclaim the Great City of Gateway. Each player begins with the game with the same starter resources of basic insurgent wizards, merchants, and a magical Runestone – but from there the similarities end. Players will draft new wizards, heroes, and magical creatures into their ranks, building up an army to defeat and defend the different districts of Gateway. You can begin your campaign at your FLGS in Q3 2017, but until then check out some of the stunning artwork at Gateway’s official site.
Originally published in Brazil, CMON acquired the rights to retool and publish Gekido: Bot Battles, transforming it into a 4-player family-friendly dice-driven brawl that keeps us coming back for more. In the future, underground bot battles are the world’s most popular sport. Gekido is the pinnacle arena, attracting champions from all over the world. It takes skill, timing, and flawless execution if you want to walk out of Gekido with your pride, and your robot, intact. As bots take damage, they unlock more powerful abilities ramping up the excitement until the very end. The official release date was listed as 5/19/17, but it was already available for sale at the Expo at the MSRP of $64.99. The retail package includes 6 pre-painted bots and 34 dice.
Another small-box game game that was surprisingly addicting is Kronia. On Mount Olympus, the time has come for the gods to anoint a new elected from their mortal worshipers, and you will compete for the greatest glory Greece has ever known. The favor of the gods will be auctioned off to they who provide the finest offering. Over the course of twelve rounds, God’s Favor tokens are revealed and players will secretly bid on them. You’ll have to anticipate which Gods are important to you, and make the appropriate offering. However, competition is fierce, and it’s possible for many people to try and win the same God’s favor. Will you be able to out bid and out think your rivals? Kronia is a fun bluffing game for up to four players of any skill level. Kronia is expected to drop at your FLGS on 6/23/17 for $24.99.
Personally, I had never played the original, but Lorenzo il Magnifico has quite a fan following. The reprint of this euro-style worker-placement will curb the desires of even the most avid engine-building gamer. To gain nobility in Florence, you’ll have to rely on your family to help achieve your goals. Over the course of six rounds, you send out family members to different areas in the city to collect resources, develop territories, build your military strength, and pay tribute to the church. However, the members of your family have different strengths. You have to decide if you want to send out the golden child to complete a task, or the black sheep. With careful planning, you’ll be able to lead your family to a higher status level among the city’s elite. Lorenzo’s official release date was listed as 5/19/17, but it was already available for sale at the Expo at the MSRP of $59.99.
Another great overseas find, Dojo Kun is the love child of worker placement meets The Karate Kid that you never knew you needed, until now. In this game, players are running a dojo as the best Sensei around. You will recruit and train students, expand your facilities, and then send your students to compete in a single-elimination tournament. This tournament has a surprisingly high amount of energy and the dice-driven combat system does not disappoint. Dojo Kun will be available at your FLGS in Q3 2017 for $49.99.
Another euro-style worker-placement from the same folks who designed Lorenzo, the Council of 4 is a high quality reprint of its predecessor. Players act as wealthy merchants, each one looking to form their own trade empire across the three kingdoms. However, each city in these kingdoms is ruled by a Council that isn’t willing to just let just anyone set up shop. Players must gain sales rights by manipulating the people sitting on the various city Councils. Doing so will allow them to get the contracts they need to make a sale. By connecting cities where they have influence, they create networks and score points. If the Councils prove troublesome, players can always look to gain the favor of the Queen, herself, and gain sales rights that way. Council of 4 will be available at your FLGS in Q3 2017.