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The Joy of Unboxing: The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch

By February 23, 2018August 28th, 2019Boardgames, Unboxing, Videos

I have stood at the very edge. I have looked into the abyss.

Venture into fog-shrouded Victorian England alleyways with me for a big unboxing – everything from the World of Smog: Rise of Moloch Kickstarter campaign!

When you’ve been playing games as long as I have, you see the same themes warmed up over and over again – sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. And the steampunk genre has certainly been subject to occasional abuse. But there aren’t too many games out there that cover that particular brand of steampunk (I’m really not a fan of that term) that is less ‘gears, cogs, and zeppelins’ and more ‘magic, Victoriana, and monsters’. Less Wild Wild West and more Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

The World of SMOG, created by artist Christophe Madura, is such a creation, and I’ve loved it since I first saw the 56mm miniatures created Smart Max for their game SMOG The Thirteenth Hour. I have a copy of those rules, but I couldn’t afford the miniatures at the time. Which is why, about a year ago, I was so excited to see CMON run a Kickstarter to re-release all those miniatures (along with some new ones) in a more manageable 32mm scale for their new game The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch. So I went all in!

And here it finally is, pretty much on time and delivered to my door. I’ve had evil plans of creating a set of full tabletop skirmish rules (a la Hell Dorado) in this universe, but after playing the game I’m very pleasantly surprised, and wonder if it’s worth the trouble. The game is really just a simple skirmish system, but the combination of characters, items, and the simple trick of having things powered by Ether, which has to be handed over to the Nemesis player once used, is a very successful one. The more the good guys (the Unicorn Club) use their special abilities and items, the more the Nemesis can power their own. Brilliant!

I love this artwork and design, and it just goes to show that sometimes the best universes spring from the talented artists who can illustrate them. Nice work everyone involved! I’m looking forward to many adventures in the world of SMOG, and I’m going to start painting these minis as soon as possible.


  • Uthoroc says:

    Great Unboxing! Those minis and the artwork are indeed gorgeous.

  • Burkhard says:

    Great to see, that you have it too. I also admire the setting. There is a need for a good QRF, because there are quite a few hidden rules within the rulebook. If you see page 5 of the rulebook they changed the ORF cards during development.
    Go on with your amazing work. I also enjoyed your Action Points videos and your point of view to get the boardgame minis fast painted.

    • We definitely need a FAQ soon, the rules are pretty ambiguous in places (and there are basic typos that should have been caught by a spellchecker!) It’s a shame, CMON should have their rules writing process up to scratch by now.

      • CK Lai says:

        Some convoluted sentences in the rules and fluff section suggest that minimal editing was done on the part of CMON.

        Knowing that the game designers are not native English speakers, CMON should’ve stepped up on this one.

  • The8thPagan says:

    I backed and dropped out because it looked like it had very little replay value due to lack of scenarios.

    I know you thing this is an amazing game and have been raving about it… despite the badly written rules.

    It’s coming to retail soon and I know I miss out on a lot of KS extras, but what makes it so awesome?

    And don’t try and sell me on it with the miniatures… I wasn’t impressed by them… it needs to have some depth to it to convince me.

    • There’s a big FAQ now so the rules issues have been largely fixed, and apparently those sheets that have been errata’d will be sent out to backers.

      I’m not going to try to sell you on anything, oh jaded one! 🙂 I think it’s a very fun skirmish boardgame with interesting scenarios and a great theme. There’s nothing hugely revolutionary going on, but it all ‘works’. But if what you’ve already seen and read doesn’t excite you, pehaps you should save your money for something else.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Good advice. And yes… I am a bit jaded… Cmon has not impressed me lately. Blood Rage is fun, but other titles have been dice fests and plastic obsessed.

    And I have a lot of skirmish type board games… Undercity, Widowers Wood, Castle Ravenloft, Fireteam Zero… and more

  • I’m sorry to hear that mate, I hope things improve for you soon. We all go through difficult times, and sometimes even our favourite pastimes can seem a bit of a chore.

    No pressure on the question, just shifting the focus a little. 🙂 Take care of yourself, and remember to share what you’re going through with your friends. That’s what they’re there for and everyone can help each other out, if only by listening.

  • The8thPagan says:

    The short version… rough patch in gaming due to rough patch in life… but I’ll not discuss that in a joy of unboxing…. more a smoking room topic… maybe later.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Wasn’t eog something really hard in rolemaster?

  • The8thPagan says:

    Esoteric Order of Gamers… EOG… Rolemaster… old rpg with far too many tables… Eog… black metal harder than mithril found in the role master rules…

    A very obscure reference that tenuously links the two… it was late (UK time) and I was being… a bit geeky!

  • The8thPagan says:

    Back to the ‘jaded on gaming’…

    Mythic Battles: Pantheon I do enjoy… but seldom get to play… and the miniatures… even when painted by me… look good…

    Played Necromunda once, but found it difficult to identify the gangers… so going to number them…

    I like Wolsung for it’s quirky steampunk characters (which are easy to identify)…

    Recently picked up Forgebane… 40K box set with just the rules pamphlet they seem to distribute now… not played it, but the Necrons are very cool… terminator-ish… painting them up at moment.

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