Kaos Ball: CMON Challenges Mantic’s DreadBall?

CoolMiniOrNot just announced the miniatures sports game of Kaos Ball through their TTGN-blog. Kaos Ball is/will be a miniatures sports game designed by Eric Lang.

#1 – The CMON Press Announcement

Read the full press-release here!

Kaos Ball is a new kind of fantasy sports game, combining rugby-style passing finesse and first person shooter domination-style scoring. The result is a tense game of skill, bluffing, luck, and lethal brutality like you’ve never played before!

Kaos Ball uses exciting card-based play mechanisms to put players in the role of a coach, managing their unique, game-altering team from scrimmage to sudden death period to outscore their opponents. Players need to balance scoring and killing their opponents, using powerful cheating effects all the while – as long as you have the money to pay off the ref. No two matches will play the same!

Kaos Ball includes multiple modes of play: traditional head-to-head, partnerships-based alliances, and “Maximum Kaos” three- or four-player mode; 30-60 exhibition games complete with a pregame draft for ringers and team upgrades; and league play with up to eight players and upgrades that stay in place from game to game, creating a unique sense of progression.

#2 – My Thoughts

CoolMiniOrNot Kaos Ball

Kaos Ball Teams

Reading through the TTGN post, there’s lots of interesting ideas in Kaos Ball, including

  • Three- and Four-player game mode in addition to 2 player-games
  • A deck-building element that influences game-play
  • A league/campaign-system that focuses on team, rather than individual players

For all these innovations, it’s fairly obvious that Kaos Ball (and the sure-to-follow Kickstarter for the game) is pouncing hard at the niche that Mantic Games carved themselves with DreadBall (against much Blood-Bowl-copy-cat nay-saying).

It does feel – a bit – like CMON is getting “conservative” with their blockbuster-Kickstarters in ways not dissimilar to how Hollywood studies (and computer game studies) have become conservative with their top-earners; sticking to proven formulas (e.g. sports games), sequels (e.g. Zombicie 2) and nostalgia revivals (e.g. Confrontation) where possible.

Interesting to see where this goes!


Update: A first look at the Kaos Ball Miniatures:
CoolMiniOrNot Kaos Ball Miniatures


I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at www.pinsofwar.net.
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  • http://twitter.com/belverker belverker

    sounds really interesting…as long as they have more variety in the miniatures then dreadball did i might look into it.

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      Added a mini-preview

  • orlando the technicoloured

    I suspect the game will be at least reasonable, if not good,
    what I’m far less sure about is the follow up support (which Dreadball certainly has had), as CMON seem very busy (to the point they randomly seem to drop communications they are engaged in eg on SW part replacements to go and do something else).
    Unless they add extra dedicated staff (or Eric Lang does it sepparately) I don’t see potential leagues getting the same impetus, and from the write up it seems that’s what the games meant for, rather than the occasional thrash with a friend

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      Dunno. At the end of the day, CMON is the publisher.

      I heard good things about Zombicide’s follow-up support (and noted those free scenarioes, etc.. in my Ravage Magazine Review). It explains part of their sequel-success, I believe.

      But yeah, DreadBall did a good job there, not least by including “event tickets” right away with the Kickstarter-boxes they shipped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MJames70 Michael Dudek

    Seems like a crowded genre, with Blood Bowl still out there, being one of the better supported ‘Specialist’ games with the old box set and many of the minis still available from GW. There has been some idle speculation out there if there would be any ‘big’ boxed games from GW this year, apart from the Hobbit stuff.

    Obviously 40K just came out, and Fantasy is just over 2 years old now, and it seems to be their intention to keep these current for longer than they have before. New edition of Blood Bowl or Space Hulk in a box maybe/

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      True. But it kinda goes both ways.

      A more or less crowded field and good fan-support means this is a field where people are willing to spend time and money.

      If there’s no competition, there may be no interest and no money to be made. Though, notably, Kickstarter’s bestselling miniature boardgames Zombicide (2) and Kingdom Death are both cooperative games, which was a much neglected-niche until a few years ago.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MJames70 Michael Dudek

        I agree that co-op play has been very much neglected until recently. The video game industry discovered it a few years back, that there were people that wanted to play together, yet not competitively all the time. I hope our industry sees some more of this as well.