Patrick Zoch

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A retired military veteran, father of five, and an avid wargamer, boardgamer, video gamer, and role play gamer. Now that his world traveling days are over, he spends his days working on training and education policy. In his free time (which is every other minute he is not working on the "Honey, Do" list), he draws his family, friends, and co-workers into the boardgame hobby. He can be readily found on BoardGameGeek.com as "pdzoch".

IDW Games gives players a chance to play their favorite villain in Gotham City in Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery. Each player then goes on crime sprees, steal powerful upgrades and recruit nefarious accomplices to accomplish their master plan and be the first to defeat Batman.

Designed  by Sen-Foong Lim (Belfort and Junk Art) and Jessey Wright, Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery is a push your luck game, which is certainly the case anytime you go up against the Batman.  Artwork by comic artists Chris Fenoglio, Jack Lawrence, Dario Brizuela, and Marcelo Ferreira will delight fans of the original Batman The Animated Series cartoon.

Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery plays 3-5 players, ages 12+, in 30-45 minutes.  Contents include a Bat Signal board, 11 Villain player sheets, 7 Common dice, 4 Power dice, 3 Batman cards, 8 Advanced Hero cards, 16 Basic Hero cards, 29 Upgrade cards, 37 Accomplice cards, 35 Scheme tokens, 18 Lucky Coin tokens, 5 Power tokens, a Bat Signal token, and Rulebook. Pre-orders are not available until the end of March.  Look for Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery in stores on 5 June 2019.

WizKids has announced a new social deduction game set on the place of Ravnica in the Magic: The Gathering universe. In Ravnica: Inquisition, players take on the role of a representative of a Ravnican guild that is either loyal to the Gatewatch or an Agent of Bolas.  The Gatewatch loyalists are tasked with discovering who the Agents of Bolas are, while the Agents simply need to survive in order to further the schemes of Nicol Bolas.  During the game, the players will elect leaders for each of the 5 colors. Each color leader has a special power they can use to further their goals, so it is important to gain those positions and keep the opposition from gaining control.  Once all the color leaders have been elected, a vote is held to eliminate 1 player. Once the dust has settled, players will reveal their roles, and if the Agents of Bolas were eliminated, the Gatewatch wins!

Ravnica: Inquisition plays 5-10 players, ages 14+, in 15-30 minutes.  Contents includes 10 role cards, 10 guild cards, 5 color leader cards, 5 targeting cards, ablaze marker, ultimate price marker, notepad, pencil, and a rulebook. Look for Ravnica: Inquisition at your friendly local game store in June 2019.

Now on Kickstarter is Mechanica, a unique engine building strategy board game.  In Mechanica, players operate a factory to produce robots, basic robots at first but eventually upgrading to the deluxe robots as they improve their factories.  Players can purchase factory improvements to produce better robots faster and ship more robots at a time to earn greater income to continue upgrading their factories. Players may also build specialize robot on a blueprint to add to the total value of their factory.

The factory floor player board starts out as a simple conveyor belt system.  Each factory improvement is a puzzle piece that fits neatly onto the factory floor and interlocks with the factory and other pieces, creating a unique engine of robot production.  Another unique feature of the game is the rotating shop board where the various improvements are available for purchase. New improvements are more expensive, but as shop rotates, the improvements become cheaper until the improvement hits the end of the shop line and become recycled (removed from play).  The game comes in a ready-to-play tray that enables players to begin playing the game almost immediately upon opening the box, reducing set-up time and facilitating easy and organized storage of game components.

While the artwork is not finalized, a trio of new artists have created a delightful 1950’s retro future look to the game.

Mechanica plays 1-4 players, ages 12+, in about 60 minutes. Contents include 34 factory boards, 54 improvement pieces, 72 tidybot figures (24 of three different colors), 15 blueprint cards, 1 ARMAND-O card, 90 money tokens, 4 vault cards, 4 reminder cards, instruction book, single player chip, a rotating shop board, and a play-in-the-box tray. To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign which runs thru 3 March.  Mechanica is expected to be delivered in November this year.

Z-Man announces Hadara, a civilization building game with an innovative card selection system.  In Hadara, players attempt to build the most prestigious civilization over the course of three epochs.  In order to grow their civilization, players will recruit people from different cultures who will bring in their knowledge and skills to build your commerce, military, arts, agriculture, and technologies. The card selection system is based on a rotating wheel depicting the five player civilizations. Surrounding the civilization wheel are the five decks of specialties to improve civilizations. Players may recruit from the specialty closest to their civilization symbol of the rotation wheel.  Players need to carefully consider who they will and will not recruit.  As the wheel is rotated, new opportunities are presented, including those people left unrecruited by others. With each epoch, merchants, artisans, philosophers, warriors, and architects are more skilled and bring greater benefits to civilizations but at a great cost.  Hadara is designed by Benjamin Schwer (Crown of Emara) and features artwork by Dominik Mayer (Concordia and Transatlantic).  Hadara plays 2-5 players, ages 10+, in 45-60 minutes. It is available for pre-order now, or look for it in your friendly local game store this spring.

Gamewright has been in the business of making family games for 25 years. To celebrate this milestone, Gamewright is releasing a bunch of new games at the Toy Fair held in New York City, February 16-19. Here is a quick look at the titles to be released.

Guju Guju will receive it first English release from Gamewright.  In Guju Guju, a number of fruit cards are placed face up on the table and the rest is divided amongst the players.  Players take turns guesses which fruit is on the card they flip over from their deck.  When one guesses correctly, everyone races to discard their cards onto the matching fruit cards in the center of the table.  The first player who discard all his cards first wins.  Guju Guju plays 2-5 players, 6+, in 5-10 minutes. It comes with 120 cards.

Rat-a-Tat Roll is a follow up to Rat-a-Tat Cat.  In Rat-a-Tat Roll, player moved around the board trying to collect low cards (cats) while avoiding high cards (rats). Players choose how many dice they roll (one, two or three) for the best chance to land on the best spots. The player with the lowest score at the end wins. Rat-a-Tat Roll plays 2-5 players, 6+, in about 15 minutes. Contents include 45 cards, 15 tokens, 4 dice, 1 figurine, gameboard, and rules.

Twin It! also gets its first English release from Gamewright.  In Twin It! players quickly reveal card the cards on the table and seek to find matches before the others.  Over a hundred cards with colorful designs by Tom Vuarchex (Skull) look deceptively similar to other cards, so players have to be perceptive as well as quick. Twin It! plays 2-6 players, 6+, in 5-10 minutes. It comes with 135 cards and a sand timer.

Sushi Roll is a dice version of the ever popular Sushi Go! Instead of drafting cards, players draft dice from their conveyor belt and roll to place on their tray.  Menu tokens allow players to re-roll a dice and chopsticks allow players to swap dice with another player. Sushi Roll plays 2-5 players, 8+, in 20 minutes.  Contents include 30 dice, 40 scoring tokens, 20 pudding tokens, 18 menu tokens, 12 chopsticks tokens, 5 conveyor belts, 5 trays, dice bag, and rules.

Bloom is roll and write game where players roll colorful dice and circle the corresponding groups of flowers in matching color in the flower field (their score pad). Players need to make the most of their field as they decide how best to collect the flowers for their bouquets for scoring.  Bloom plays 2-5 players, 8+, in 20 minutes, and includes 6 dice, scorepad, and rules.

Punto is an abstract strategy game where players attempt to connect four of their cards in a row.  Players play cards next to each other to make or block connections.  Additionally, players can also place higher value cards on top of lower value cards, so card value during placement is very important.  Punto plays 2-4 players, 8+, in about 20 minutes, and includes 72 cards.

This Game Goes to Eleven is a clever hand management game named after a joke in the film This Is Spinal Tap.  Player play cards from their hand into a pile seeking to raise the pile sum to 11. If they reach exactly 11, they pass the pile to another player.  If they cause sum to exceed 11, they take the pile.  The first player to discard all their cards is the winner.  This Game Goes to Eleven plays 2-5 players, 8+, in about 20 minutes, and includes 72 cards.

 Whozit? Is a cooperative party game where player secretly pick a character from a lineup and tip off teammates by rating how well a pair of clues applies to your choice. Your team can only win by eliminating all of the unlikely suspects and correctly guessing your identity.  Whozit? plays 2+ players, ages 10+, in about 20 minutes.  Contents include 100 character cards, 50 clue cards, 10 number tokens, 10 number cards, a score board, clue meter, pawn, and rules.

Hello My Name Is is the latest party game from Gamewright. Each card looks like the well-known name tag but instead lists a trait.  Players play a trait and race to name someone who fits the description.  The player with the most trait cards at the end is the winner. Hello My Name Is plays 3-8 players, ages 12+, in about 15 minutes.

Over the next several months, AEG is releasing additional material for their popular games.

First up is World Tour: International Incident, which add four new factions from four corners of the world to Smash Up: Luchadores from Mexico, Musketeers from France, Mounties from Canada, and Sumo Wrestlers from Japan. This expansion kicks off the World Tour 2019, which offers event kits for stores this summer where players can find an exclusive Penguin faction and have a chance to win Smash Up card sleeves.  Look for World Tour: International Incident in stores on 22 March 2019.

Next is Mystic Vale: Harmony, which not only adds new advancements and vales but also powerful leaders and amulets.  Amulets grant you mana tokens new abilities.  When you spoil, your amulet can be “evoked” for its special power.  Look for Mystic Vale: Harmony in stores on 3 May 2019.

Final, the next episode of The Captain is Dead arrives in a stand-alone game: The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet.  In The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet, the crew has escaped the alien prison in Lockdown and have landed on an abandoned alien planet inhabited by giant bugs.  The crew must explore the tunnel system in search of alien relics that might serve as the key to peace between the aliens and Spacefleet.  Meanwhile, the crew must hold off the onslaught of bugs and keep their shuttle safe.  The Dangerous Planet tunnel system is modular to create easier or harder challenges.  Look for The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet in stores on 12 July 2019.

Welcome To… by Deep Water Games Named the Best Casual Game of 2018 by Casual Game RevolutionWelcome To… beat out finalist The Mind and Decrypto in both judges’ and public vote to win the second annual Best Casual Game of the Year award.  Other nominees included Reef, Cryptid, Drop It, Gizmos, Just One, Space Base, and Ticket to Ride: New York.

Congratulations to Deep Water Games and designer Benoit Turpin!

 

Stone Blade Entertainment and UltraPRO have teamed up again to produce another game designed by Justin Gary:  RingMaster: Welcome to the Big Top.  The trio have worked together on the hugely popular Ascension: The Deckbuilding Game and  Shards of Infinity.

In RingMaster, players compete to build the most successful circus by playing cards from their hands to gather the biggest stars and dazzling attractions to attract the largest audience. Players can also play cards to sabotage an opponent’s circus. The Big Top deserves big cards –  premium, thick, Tarot-sized cards illustrated by Rod Mendez.

RingMaster: Welcome to the Big Top plays 2-4 players, ages 13+, in about 10 minutes.  Contents include 34 Tarot -sized cards, a large carrying pouch, and rule sheet. RingMaster is available for preorder now, or look for the game at your friendly local game store in April 2019

New from Floodgate Games is Bad Maps, a programing game with a pirate theme.  In Bad Maps, players are pirate captains with hidden objective that award points based on where certain pirate minions are on the map in relation to the buried treasure on the island.  Each round, the players give instructions to the minions by playing a map piece from their hands.  Some map pieces are played face up and some are played faced down, preventing other players from knowing exactly where each minion will be on the island during that step.  Once all the instructions for the minion’s map have been given, the minions execute each step of their instructions on their maps, moving closer or further from the treasure, or falling victim to pits.  Once all the minions have completed their movement, the captains score their objective and the minions dig pits (looking for treasure). The second round begins with a much more hazardous island.  The captain with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.  Bad Maps is designed by Tim Armstrong, designer of Orbis and Kaiju Crush, and is wonderfully illustrated by Kristen Pauline, who also illustrated Stuffed Fables.

Bad Maps plays 3-5 players (but includes a 2 player mode), ages 13+, in about 40 minutes. Contents include a double-sides island board, 5 Captain player boards, 45 map cards, 40 objective cards, 10 blackout cards (shows which maps cards will be face up or face down), 10 spyglass tokens, 4 minion markers, 4 minion start tokens, a first mate token, a first player token, and 8 pit markers.

Bad Maps was successfully kickstarted back in September 2018 with a projected delivery of March 2019. If you missed the kickstarter campaign, it is available for pre-order now, or you can look for the game at your friendly local game store in March 2019.

 

IDW Games announces a new tile-laying game by HG Game Worx. In Amoeba, designed by Heidi and Greg Preslicka, players draw and place tiles in order to build the biggest amoebas then claim those amoebas by placing their nuclei markers on them.  But here is the twist, players can place tiles on top of completed amoebas to split them up and reduce their opponent’s score.  There are 12 unique tiles that will require pattern recognition and strategic thinking to grow the biggest amoeba. The game ends when all tiles are played, and the player with the biggest amoeba wins.

Amoeba plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in about 30 minutes.  Contents include 84 Amoeba Tiles, 40 Nuclei Markers, 1 Custom Die, and a multilingual rulesheet.  Amoeba is scheduled for release in June 2019.