5 Highlights from CMON Expo

5 Highlights from CMON Expo

5 Highlights from CMON Expo

CMON Expo is an annual event that takes place in Atlanta in May of each year. This year was the first time Ric and myself were able to attend. This post will run down some of the things we really enjoyed as we experienced CMON Expo 2019.

Swag Bags

CMON Expo 2019 swag bag

Ryan: A major perk of attending CMON Expo is the incredible swag bag that you receive when buying a 3 day pass. I remember hearing about these bags in 2018 and being floored by how much was packed into this bag.

This year the big push was the new Game of Thrones miniatures game Song of Ice and Fire. This huge starter set is just the beginning of this 30+ lb. bag of gaming goodness.

Ric: There were also promos out the wazoo for games like Zombicide, Rising Sun, Gizmos and Massive Darkness. While those might be good for some people, I was more excited to finally get my hands on a copy of Potion Explosion. I guess it’s just proof that good things come to those who wait.

Victorian Masterminds

Victorian Masterminds vehicle

Ric: This one was my favorite game at the expo. I like games where you can come up with a strategy that last several turns, like Century: Spice Road or Reef. This game allows you to do that, but there’s more player interaction and so it keeps you on your toes. I’m a fan.

I love the theme of playing evil villains trying to take over more and more of the world while also building your death machine. The production values also heighten the experience – I love that each player is going to have their own individualized machine that they will be building over the course of the game.

I debated buying a copy while at the Expo, but given the recent influx of newness to my shelf, I thought it would be a little irresponsible. But if I’m able to get a good deal again in the future, I’ll be grabbing this one.

Victorian Masterminds buildings

Ryan: This game was a lot of fun. I really dig how these 5 plastic cogs were the way you choose your actions each turn. You had to anticipate what the other players needed and what action they played using their cog token.

While it was totally unnecessary, the miniature buildings and plastic scientist busts were a nice addition to the game. As my evil invention came together piece by piece, I had a sense of pride and some hope that I might actually win. While I enjoyed the game a lot, I did feel like all the little pieces and lots of cardboard and plastic moving around each turn made the game feel a little fiddly. I definitely look forward to playing this again, hopefully because Ric ends up buying it.


Foodies from CMON

Ryan: Do you have a passion to manage your own food court? It doesn’t matter what you answer is, honestly. Foodies is a really fun engine building game that has similarities to a game like Space Base. I was blown away by the art in the game and loved the little choices that made the game unique like including food from 10 different nations. This game is going to be a good fit for families and seems like it’s not too heavy. I’m really looking forward to grabbing a copy when it releases later this year.

Ric: I actually haven’t played Space Base, so I got flashbacks to Machi Koro, where rolling dice gets you money to buy buildings that make rolling dice even better. I like that game, but the luck of the dice becomes a bit annoying at times. I had a little bit of that with Foodies. I think the game is well made, but it’s not one that I’ll go out of my way for.

Gaming with New Friends

Gaming with friends at CMON Expo

Ryan: Any time we attend an event like this, I walk away with more appreciation for the hobby. It’s fun to sit down with a person and get to know them as you work your way through a game. We got to meet Melanie and her son Harry as we learned Victorian Masterminds. I was able to play in a Potion Explosion mini-tournament with 3 super nice folks from around the Southeast. We got to game with our buddy Chad from 25th Century Games and his friend Joe. Plus connecting with the Delps from Tantrum House was a lot of fun as we played games together throughout the event.

Ric: What are friends?

Games, Games, Games

Wacky Racers from CMON

Ryan: While we had fun at the expo, one of the best parts was getting access to games that we haven’t been able to play before. They had lots of CMON games, but also a library of various games from multiple publishers. I learned that the game Reykholt, a game that has been on my Amazon Wishlist for months, was not the game I thought it was. It was underwhelming but helped me to make a quick decision that it wasn’t a game that I wanted to own.

I loved getting to play games like Railroad Ink, Walls of York, Wacky Racers and Pit Crew. Not everything we played was a hit, but it was great getting access to these different games during the weekend.

Ric: It was certainly nice to try out some new stuff. Blue Moon City and Narcos were two CMON selections that I enjoyed and probably wouldn’t have played anywhere else. It was also great to try out some of the games that Ryan mentioned above. It also was nice that you’re not fighting to get your hands on a copy of a popular game like you might at other game events – the game library was stocked with multiple copies of everything.

The weekend had ups and downs, but overall it was good seeing what CMON had to offer with its yearly event. I’m excited to see how this grows in the future as the company continues to evolve.

Ryan Gutowski

I'm a huge fan of strategy games and pretty much anything that involves "city building". My love of board games goes back to my childhood and passion for building relationships with others.

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[…] owned this game for a while now, but I only recently played it when Ryan came to visit for the CMON Expo. I’ve been trying to challenge Sarah to head-to-head matches ever […]

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