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Behind the Scenes with the Designers of ‘Mordred’ from CMON

Behind the Scenes with the Designers of ‘Mordred’ from CMON

Alexio Schneeberger and Andrea Chiarvesio, designers of CMON’s upcoming strategy board game “Mordred,” recently shared insights into the game’s development process in an interview featured on the official CMON website.

“Mordred” draws inspiration from the Arthurian legend reimagined by artist Adrian Smith. In this darker version of the classic tale, King Arthur is missing, the Knights of the Round Table are scattered or dead, and the world is overrun with horrifying magical creatures. This captivating vision served as a foundation for the new board game.

The pair acknowledged the challenge in designing the next big box strategy game for CMON, building on the “dudes on a map” genre previously explored with designer Eric Lang in games like “Cyberpunk 2077.” Yet, they also managed to introduce their unique approach and personal design style to “Mordred.”

They decided to focus on the dimension of time, a commonly overlooked element in large-scale conflict simulation games. Drawing from Schneeberger’s admiration for Martin Wallace’s “A Few Acres of Snow” and Chiarvesio’s fondness for games where the least invested player takes the next turn, the designers created the game’s main mechanic, the Chaos Dial track.

Schneeberger introduced the concept of dual game boards, shifting the focus of battles mid-game, and the theme of “duality” which permeates the card effects. Meanwhile, Chiarvesio’s primary contribution was simplifying the game structure, disguising strategic complexity beneath an accessible exterior.

Addressing the question of player control over monsters, the designers revealed that it was not only a matter of lore – these terrifying creatures being too menacing to serve a faction – but also of game balance. Instead, knights errant, survivors of the Round Table, were introduced as independent yet player-recruitable units, offering a more intriguing gameplay angle.

The asymmetrical nature of factions was another point of discussion. While each faction features unique combat and spell cards, the basic actions and unit types remain constant across factions, ensuring game balance while emphasizing factional diversity.

Regarding battles, the designers wanted to give players a sense of responsibility for their armies. Losses should feel consequential, not the result of a random card draw, and victories should reflect careful planning.

“Mordred” has been in development for over a year, and major rule changes are not anticipated. Instead, the designers will focus on refining explanations and possibly streamlining some procedures.

The design duo thanked supporters for their encouragement and expressed their excitement to present a game with a distinct personality and original structure. The Kickstarter campaign for “Mordred” is currently live and entering its final week.

For fans of mythology, strategy games, or just a thrilling tabletop experience, the game of “Mordred” promises to offer a unique spin on the beloved Arthurian legend.