State of CMON panel

By Polar_Bear
In Events
May 23rd, 2014
17 Comments
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The next panel is “The State of CMON.”
As before, I’ll be updating as we go along.

David Doust and Spencer Reeve.
David: we’ve grown quickly grown the past few years, from 2 employees to about 15. It’s been mostly through Kickstarters. It’s surges.
A small year in review:
We tend to run complicated campaigns.
2013 had 4-5 Kickstarters. Sedition Wars was very popular, but we underestimated our fulfillment capabilities.
Then was Rivet Wars, which did well, but because of Monster, it could have done better. It’s a great entry level game.
Next was Guilds of Cadwallon, which was meant to just be a quick, simple campaign.
Zombicide 2 did very well, and fulfillment is done for that.
We had our first CMON Expo, which we always want to be a fun, intimate, more relaxed convention.
Dark Age got a reboot, which is our flagship game. Much more is to come for that. We are fully committed to it, with monthly releases. Dark Age and Wrath of Kings will probably be our only two tabletop minis games.
Kaosball was the first game with Eric Lang. We’re excited to have that fulfilled in the US now.
Wrath of Kings is a little behind. We’re looking at August or September.
And on our campaigns being late, we’re learning more and more each time. Each time we have more ready to go and planned ahead more each time.

Spencer: the amount that bought into the game is big. It’s a lot heftier of a project as opposed to a board game. We’ve listened to feedback and have fixed rules and sculpts.

David: we would rather be late with a good product than deliver on time and people have buyer remorse. We want a quality end product.

Spencer: people have switched with Rivet Wars. People were mad it was late, but when they got the game, they were happy.
Moving into 2014, we’ve had Arcadia Quest, which was a big success. The change was that it was a shorter campaign.

David: we’d seen a pattern where there is the “mid campaign lull.” Shorter campaigns mean shorter lulls and more excitement overall.

Spencer: with Arcadia quest, we got to a point where we were out of stretch goals. If the game was to be on time, it had to have an end.

David: moving back to Dark Age, we have dedication for regular monthly releases.

Spencer: next was Dogs of War, which was another success. It’s a departure from our usual as it’s a euro-style with a lot of strategies to get you to win.

David: XenoShyft is our first deck builder. This game is cooperative for 1-4 players. You play to fight off the aliens with a collective pool of hit points for your base.
This is our first card game. We used one artist for the marines and one for the aliens to keep a cohesive look.

Spencer: moving forward, we have our 2nd Expo. We want to keep it to maybe 500 people to keep the intimate feeling of the show.
Ron and Bones is next.

Dave: we have been working on this for a while. It’s our next minis board game. It’s super-chill and fun.

Spencer: captures a MOBA/League of Legends feel. You don’t die, you just respawn.
Moving forward again, June/July will be Zombicide Season 3. Then there’s Rivet Wars Western Front.
wrath of Kings will be August/september. Arcadia Quest is on time now. Dogs of War may be early. XenoShyft will be this fall. Zombicide 3 will be late this year.

Spencer: soon to be revealed…
Stop the Truck. Mad Max type of thing where you try to get away from raiders. Old-school feel for Spycraft.
Sedition wars expansion. We will be helping a lot more with the rules to made it feel more like a board game, but still entice minis gamers. Easier to understand overall.

David: we greatly appreciate our customers and thank you tons. We love what we do and we want it to show with the quality products we make.
Thank you.

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  • blkdymnd

    You haven’t done well with Rivet Wars, it is waaaay behind. Punctuality with a good product means you’ve done well. You really, really need to work on realistic ship dates, and not way underestimate them.

  • Relic Knights? ^^

    • Grindar

      Funny how they have an almost million dollar kickstarter to ship out in the next few weeks and it didn’t even warrant a mention.

  • Hekal Xul

    Confrontation?
    After how many years what’s the latest on that? All I see now is WoK with elements of Confrontation IP in it.

    • odinsgrandson

      Huh? And here they’re saying that Wrath of Kings and Dark Age will be their only two tabletop miniatures games.

      I guess we won’t be seeing Confrontation get a reboot?

      • Well, I am guessing that given how the original molds (a substantial amount) has wound up with recasters… and how CMoN is doing WoK and some of the original folks with Rackham are doing Drakerys in pretty much Confrontation style – there is not that much room for confrontation. I mean the old folk that want it have tons of figures already. I don’t know that it would be sustainable today. I collect the figures myself – and would love to complete my collection out of nostalgia, but I’m just not sure who the game would be aimed at from a business standpoint?

        • mathieu

          The only relevant “original Rackham” guy mentioned on the Drakery project actually only puts his name on the project. He has nothing to do with writing the rules.

          And there is no such a thing as “original molds”. Molds wear out and get replaced very frequently for metal miniatures. So however many molds recasters got their paws on is utterly irrelevant. The few such bootleg miniatures I saw were actually re-casted, i.e. a production piece had been turned into a mold and said mold used to produce more miniatures.

          I don’t know what the actual reasons are, but I highly doubt these two have anything to do with dropping Confrontation (again).

          • Yes you are right – However that does not change the fact that original molds were in circulation – obviously you can pull a few decent casts from them and make new molds etc. I didn’t feel that needed explaining but you are right – there is no such thing as original molds.

            As for the reasons obviously I am just speculating, but I don’t believe I am wrong in thinking the market for Confrontation might be saturated already if we are looking at a re-release of old models. The more popular ones in demand (by painters/collectors) were released already as you know. New rules and new figures might be a better way to go, but then you risk alienating the people that already have huge pile if you don’t include them and make rules for them etc. Also including rules for them you have to make the old models available for the new buyers etc. I just personally think this is a bit hard to balance from a business standpoint.

          • mathieu

            obviously you can pull a few decent casts from them and make new molds etc. I didn’t feel that needed explaining […]

            And you’d get the same exact quality as by picking a production pewter model and using it as a master for your future bootlegs. Original molds were indeed officially sold by ludikbazar (they had acquired most of the stock), my point is it literally made no difference to recasters. Had the resin masters been in circulation, that would have been quite another story.

            I don’t disagree with your saturated market hypothesis. I would really not be surprised if CMoN kept Confrontation dead just so as to not generate any extra competition to WoK.

          • Lemminkaeinen

            OTOH the Rackham molds have dozens of copies of the mini on them – I believe that you would need that many copies to produce such a mold so they do make some difference to recasters.

          • mathieu

            Okay, let’s assume you’re the proud owner of a mold that produces several copies of one model in one go. A mold that is probably already used already, as Rackham was not making a new mold unless the current one was reaching its end of life.

            You start casting miniatures using that mold, keeping in mind that you likely do not have nearly as much knowledge and skill as the guys at Rackham foundry. A few dozens down the road the mold is worn out and needs to be replaced. The only options you have to make a new mold are to use the pieces you produced yourself, or find original Rackham production pieces still out there. I have yet to hear of anybody saying their re-casted pieces were of the same quality as Rackham’s, so for best results you’ll want originals…

            So yeah it makes a difference in that you got a few dozen (at most) pieces using original Rackham molds. After that you’re back to having to re-cast original Rackham pieces and the fact that you owned “original molds” becomes irrelevant.

  • BaconSlayer

    (This post has been edited)