I was going to post about this last week, but realized that if there’s one board game company that doesn’t need a lot of help promoting their Kickstarters, it’s Cool Mini or Not. Their Kickstarters usually end up in the millions-of-dollars range, so an early preview of said Kickstarter campaign by us didn’t feel necessary. Today, however, that Kickstarter is live–and already funded a mere half hour–so it seemed like a good time to bring it to your attention. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the viking-themed, area control gem, Blood Rage, from Eric Lang is coming to digital next year.
I had spent much of my gaming life ignoring CMON, assuming they were a minis company that made miniature games which aren’t usually my bag. That changed about five years ago when all the talk was of Blood Rage, and I, somehow, managed to snag a copy at Gen Con and became a CMON fan.
Yes, the minis are gorgeous and unlike anything you’ll get from a Fantasy Flight, which was my gold standard for components up to that point. The game of Blood Rage, however, also held up. Far from being the tactical minis game I expected CMON to churn out, Blood Rage was an actual Euro with card drafting, area control, an honest-to-goodness VP track around the board, and, something you don’t expect in euros, a strong theme.
Each player controls a viking clan Hel bent on holding turf and tossing other vikings into Jörmungandr’s maw. Clans start out exactly the same (other than their mini sculpts), but can change and build their clan abilities through card play as the game progresses. You can make units stronger, recruit monsters to your side, or even make dead warriors more valuable than living ones. There is a lot of decision making each turn but the number of turns available is limited. That’s because it’s Ragnarok and the world is ending, which is probably the most over-the-top game timing mechanism ever conceived. Each turn a new land is destroyed, shrinking the board and making the game that much more crowded and tense as it goes on.
If you can’t tell, I like the board game (Even though I’m not a huge card drafting fan) and am pretty excited to play it on my laptop. The Kickstarter for the digital version launched today and, as I mentioned, has already exceeded its funding goal. That means we’ll definitely be seeing Blood Rage for PC/Mac next year. Late next year. The expected delivery date is December 2019, but backers will be allowed into the closed beta well before then.
The digital version will offer both solo play vs. AI and network play for up to four players. You can also mix-and-match the two, allowing you to play with a friend and a bot or two. No word on whether that network play is asynchronous or not, but we’ll look into it. The game is being done by Exozet, who you might know as the dev behind Catan Universe for both Steam and mobile, so there’s a chance we’ll see Blood Rage on our iPads down the road, too. No confirmation of that yet, though.
If you own the physical board game, there’s stuff in this Kickstarter for you as well. You can get a copy of the digital version for a pledge of only $15, but for $60 you get the digital version and a whole lot more. All the Kickstarter exclusive monsters from the original Kickstarter are coming back, as well as a new clan and more. Lots of pretty minis to look at over here, if that kind of thing excites you.
If we learn anything else over the next few months from CMON or Exozet, we’ll be sure to pass it along.