Convention Info

Major Guest Update

Major Guest Update


March 4th, 2016



One of the great things about the CMON Expo is that you can hang out and talk with some of the biggest names in the gaming industry in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Where else can you just hang out and talk game design (or pandas) with Eric Lang, or Dark Age army designs with Michael Shinall, or about some cool, new board game with the guys from Watch it Played? We’ve updated our Guest Page with a whole host of new people. Expo’s coming up soon, do you have your tickets? Remember to register here.

Thiago Aranha

Thiago Aranha

Thiago Aranha fell into the gaming industry rabbit hole as part of the design team for Arcadia Quest. Paralel to that, he started doing work for CMoN’s many other games, starting as a proofreader (or Loophole Master, as he calls it) on games like Zombicide and Kaosball, and eventually moving on to fully join the CMoN team as a producer for games such as Rivet Wars, Dogs of War, Blood Rage, and The Others. Thiago can often be found frantically running many of CMoN’s Kickstarter campaigns, with his faithful Magic 8-Ball at his side.


Felipe De Oliveira Barros

Fel is a long-time gamer and platypus lover that is nearing the end of his challenge of playing 1,000 different games. He debuted in the game industry to correct an injustice and put a platypus as the main character in his first game, Warzoo, published by his gaming company, Ace Studios. He went on to develop several other family games with Ace before joining Cool Mini or Not as a Senior Game Developer. Fel has his hands full with many upcoming projects for CMON (no spoilers!) and promises to bring a brand new fun and cutthroat game to CMON Expo to demo to attendees!


Rhonda Bender

For years Rhonda Bender was a normal gamer. Then in 2003 she painted a miniature and was hooked. Since then Rhonda, aka Wren, has become a noted painter, working for producers like Reaper Miniatures, Dark Sword Miniatures, and Newbold World. Her smooth brushwork and playful use of color have taken top honors in painting competitions throughout North America. Her enthusiasm, approachability, and teaching skills have made her a highly sought after instructor and frequent guest of honor at game industry events. We’re thrilled Rhonda will be joining us again as a guest artist for this year!


Zee Garcia

Zee Garcia has a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University in Fine Arts/Theatre. He has previously taught theater for several years, directed over a dozen plays, and been involved with multiple South Florida and New York theaters and theatrical companies, including Murder Mystery, Inc. and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. He has enjoyed board games for over a decade, and been working with The Dice Tower for years. Zee films and edits reviews, interviews, Top 10 lists, etc. He also hosts, and produces, Board Game Blender. He lives in Florida, and has done so most of his life.


Guilherme Goulart

Guilherme, or ‘Guile’, started out with AD&D. The magic, adventure, and storytelling fascinated him, so he became a Game Master and started to create and test content. His opportunity to join the gaming industry came with Arcadia Quest, a project in which he teamed up with long time friends Thiago Aranha, Fred Perret, and legendary game designer Eric Lang. He went on to become the Lead Designer on the Beyond the Grave and Pets expansions and later started working as a developer and producer for other CoolMiniorNot titles, such as Queen’s Necklace, B-Sieged, and Masmorra. He’s always thrilled to hear ideas or sit down for a gaming session!

New Jen

Jen Haley

Jen Haley has painted more notable miniatures than a person can keep an accurate count of. Currently her work can be seen on promotional materials, books and boxes for games like Dark Age and Wrath of Kings. And when it comes to conventions, Jen can usually be found sitting at a painting table working on her latest piece. While talking to Jen might be somewhat intimidating, considering the numerous awards she has won and the prestige she has as a celebrity judge, she’s always willing to swap tips and tricks for getting your miniatures looking just right.


Sam Healey

Sam Healey is a reviewer and editor for The Dice Tower. He is also the co-host of The Dice Steeple, an audio podcast about our board game hobby from a Christian perspective, with an interest in bridging the gaps between various world-views. He chooses to not align strictly with either the Eurogame or Amerithrash crowd, but instead enjoys playing whatever flavor of game has been chosen for the day…it’s more about the camaraderie around the game, than the game itself. He lives in Homestead, FL with his beautiful wife, Dulcy, and their four children.


Eric M. Lang

Eric M. Lang has a long list of games he’s either designed or consulted on, including Warhammer 40K Conquest LCG, XCOM: The Board Game, Duelyst online tactical TCG, and Blood Rage. As such, Eric can offer an endless supply of advice for anyone interested in getting into the game design and development field, but what Eric really likes to do at CMON Expo is sit players down and show them all the ins and out of his new game Kaosball. It doesn’t hurt that while teaching Kaosball Eric tends to destroy his opponents, but who knows, maybe that’ll change this year.

Teri Litorco

Teri Litorco

A YouTuber, blogger, Geek & Sundry contributor, Teri is also a CMON fangirl at heart. She bills herself as what would happen if Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart combined to make a single person who loved miniature wargaming more than cooking and folding laundry. While a long-in-the-tooth hobbyist herself, having been painting and playing with miniatures for over a decade, her goal is simple: to demonstrate to the world that painting models and playing games is both fun and easy, and even people who have never picked up a brush or a dice can easily learn and love to do both.


David Preti

David Preti (born in Milan, Italy) has been an industry professional for over 10 years as a producer, art director, and visionary. During his tenure, he had a critical role in Rackham publishing, co-created Dust Games (The Adventurers, Dust Tactics), and founded Guillotine Games (the studio behind Zombicide). He also masterminded the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for Zombicide, and works with CoolMiniOrNot on projects like Wrath of Kings, Arcadia Quest, Blood Rage, and The Others.

Nathan Pullan

Nathan Pullan

Nathan is the co-host of one of the internet’s longest running miniature wargaming podcasts, Jaded Gamercast. When not drinking (rarely), he can be found taking the piss out of older games that have lost their way. Always excited to try new and exciting games, Blood Rage and Wrath of Kings are his current muses. Every once in awhile, he can be found on Teri Litorco’s YouTube channel, where he’s either letting the zombies kill her in Zombicide so he can make an escape, or otherwise trolling her about poor (gaming) life decisions. He looks forward to drinking and chatting with anyone and everyone who wants to talk about how awesome Teknes are, or wax philosophically about the meaning of Ragnarok.


Roll Dice Take Names

Marty and Tony are the co-hosts of the bi-weekly podcast Rolling Dice & Taking Names. Long time friends since college, these two southern gentlemen have shared their experiences, thoughts and reviews for the past three years on board games. Their love of games can easily be traced back to their childhood years as they would sit around with family and friends playing the classic board games. In 2001 that they began their dive into gaming when they both started playing CCGs which lead them to the board gaming world. While they sometimes get off track with their ‘squirrel’ moments, you can be sure to know that when you give them a listen, it is like sitting on a front porch with friends enjoying a Moon Pie and RC Cola while having a good discussion about board games.

Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

Five old friends of more than 20 years come together to produce a high quality, bi-weekly podcast about tabletop gaming of all kinds: board games, card games, miniatures, role-playing games and much more. In each episode you can expect board game reviews, gaming industry news and round-table discussions. The Founders, Jamie, Tony, Chris, Steve and Brian, each have varying tastes in gaming to provide a variety of viewpoints. Since 2011, 100 full length episodes and now more with our new additional show, The Secret Cabal Express, The Secret Cabal has grown to one of the most successful tabletop gaming podcasts in the community. The Founders continue striving to offer irreverent entertainment, thoughtful commentary and enthusiasm about a hobby we love.


Michael Shinall

From a young age Michael has been an avid gamer, starting in his early days with Magic: The Gathering. Over the next decade he moved from competitive gaming scene to competitive gaming scene and now, almost fifteen years after his entry into the hobby, Michael is the Lead Developer for Dark Age and Wrath of Kings. His time at CMON is not limited to only wargames, however, as Michael is also the designer behind the XenoShyft Card Game series and Rum and Bones, the swashbuckling game of pirate adventure. Michael can usually be found talking strategy and tactics, all the while developing new and innovative ways to challenge players.


Tom Vasel

Tom Vasel is the host of The Dice Tower, a network of video and audio podcasts about the board game hobby and those who play within it. The Dice Tower audio podcast has been going strong for over 10 years, with over 440 episodes, and the various video reviews from a myriad of contributors, Top 10 Lists, and convention coverage videos are averaging over 2 million views a month on YouTube. He lives in Homestead, FL with his beautiful wife, Laura, and their seven children.

Watch it Played

Watch It Played

Rodney Smith (pictured left) is the creator and host of the popular YouTube Chanel Watch It Played. Focused on teaching games rather than reviewing them, Watch It Played has generated a huge following of loving fans that continually return to Rodney’s videos for help understanding rules. Many people say he’s the nicest guy in the board game industry, we think it’s just that he’s Canadian. This year he’ll also be joined by his new co-host: Pep MacDonald (pictured right).

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the show!