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".

Lorenzo il Magnifico is a rich and strategic game about merchant families competing for prestige and power in Renaissance Italy. It is a tightly designed game blending worker placement, tableau building and resource management that provides multiple paths to victory.

The Houses of Renaissance expansion for Lorenzo il Magnifico add more paths to victory.  Actually, it adds more than that, a lot more. Almost every aspect of the original game has some new options or changes. For those who were looking to add a fifth player, Houses of Renaissance provides everything needed to add a new player, from an additional player board and tokens to tiles to overlay on the main board to accommodate a fifth player in the game.

The family tiles, which grant players different special abilities, are the first way the expansion changes the game. Players bid on the family tiles at the beginning of the game, offering up some of their starting resources in exchange for the different special abilities the family name grants them. There are ten families to choose from, ensuring a different mix of families in each game.

Twenty new leader cards, some of which have new actions that players can use, providing new ways to use their families.

The expansion also makes several changes to the board either by placing various tiles over existing spaces on the board or alongside it. One such addition to the board is the new Special Tower which comes with its own deck offering a different variety actions to players each round.

Finally, players have a chance to earn new special tokens that provide resources and are kept in secret until they are ready to be spent.

Houses of Renaissance adds a lot to Lorenzo il Magnifico. Players will find new play styles, new strategies, and new opportunities.  Visit CMON to learn more about Houses of Renaissance.

Look for Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance in stores on April 27.

 

Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmares, from Renegade Game Studios and Fox Tales Games, will be in stores on May 16.   Fox Tales Game ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for Lucidity last summer, and the Kickstarter campaign was so successful that three expansions were unlocked.

In Lucidity, players are dreamers who have entered the dream world populated by Nightmares. Players roll dice to the steal power of dreams, but each roll of the dice also risks corruption of the Nightmares. Too much corruption turns a player into a Nightmare who hunts down the other dreams and become the most powerful nightmare.  At the end of the night only one Dreamer or Nightmare is left standing. Lucidity is a press-your-luck dice game to gain the enough power to escape the dream world or dominate it as a Nightmare.

Lucidity plays one to four players, ages 14 and up, in about 20-30 minutes.  Contents include 80 dice (20 in 4 different colors), black bag, 4 Dreamer Cards, 5 Nightmare Cards, 4 Turn Summary Cards, 4 Glass Sleep Markers, and rulebook.

Learn more about Lucidity at Fox Tale Games.

Keep Exploring Games just launched their third game, Tour Operator, designed by Nestor Tyr, on Kickstarter.

In Tour Operator, players manage a well-known travel agency that serves a variety of tourists who each have different wishes and demands. Players need to manage their travel office, their aircraft, and their hotels to accommodate the tourists.  They will have more tourists than they can accommodate, and some destinations may be out of reach for travel agencies who do not manage their resources. Players will be challenged to keep as many tourists happy as possible by taking to places that fulfill their demands and providing them accommodations that meet their needs.  Players can hire help to staff their office, their aircraft, and their hotels to better serve the tourists and keep them happy.  The happier the tourists, the more victory points players earn, but be careful because unhappy tourist cause players to lose victory points. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Tour Operator plays 2 to 4 players, ages 8+, in about an hour.  Contents include 4 plane/office boards, 4 hotel boards, tourist cards, employee cards, 25 city cards, turn overview cards, 4 airplanes, fuel tokens, coupon tokens, clean seat tokens, clean room tokens, player tokens in 4 colors, 5 dice, and a start player marker.

The Kickstarter campaign ends April 28 and is aimed for an Essen 2018 release. Learn more about the contest for a discount on the Kickstarter at the Facebook Tour Operator group.

It’s April and that means taxes are due, baseball is starting, and more importantly The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast has launched its annual Kickstarter campaign. If you are not already familiar with the fine folks at The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast, they are a member of the Dice Tower network and produce 5 full length podcasts per month covering board games, role playing games and miniatures gaming, as well as producing audio dramas, video blog, live streams and more throughout the year. This year, The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast would like to add periodic programming specials to its lineup, providing its audience a massive amount of content each year.

Like all Kickstarters, there are a mutliple pledge levels to pick up a variety of fun things ranging from pins, challenge coins, bottle openers, promo cards, the Grand Adventures Book, to membership in the Cabal.  The Grand Adventures Book, written by cabalist Jamie Keagy, is a short guide to better role playing, and is available in print or ebook.  The promo card pack includes promo cards for Empires of the Void II, Space Freaks, Terraforming Mars, Evolution, and Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar!  The promo card pack includes promos featuring The Secret Cabal in Brook City, Detective: City of Angels, and Bottom of the 9th.

The campaign runs until May 4th so head over to the Kickstarter page and check out all the content the campaign will support and learn more promos and goodies backers can pick up for supporting the podcast.

If you are looking to become more immersed in the winemaking theme in Viticulture, look no further than Visit from the Rhine Valley. Stonemaier Games has announced a new alternate set of 80 visitor cards for Viticulture.  This new set of visitor cards focus more on the wine business itself and less on victory points.  These cards have their own unique backs, so they cannot be mixed with other visitor cards from Viticulture, Tuscany, or Moor Visitors.

Visit from the Rhine Valley contains 40 summer visitor cards and 40 winter visitor cards.  Four of the cards are specific to Tuscany.  Six of the cards are the same as existing cards (banker, contractor, craftsman, harvest expert, zymologist, and uncertified oenologist). The rest are new visitors, five of which have all new artwork.

Look for Visit from the Rhine Valley at your local retailer starting June 1, 2018, or pre-order now from Stonemaier Games.

Rio Grande Games announced two new games to be released in April 2018 and a reprint to be released in May 2019.

First up is Epoch: Early Inventors, designed by Martyn F.    Epoch: Early Inventors takes players back to the dawn of civilization where they take on the role of clan leaders and explore the landscape, discover new tools and make offerings to holy places. Exploring land gains status and makes more resources available, but energy to explore land requires food.  Gathering, hunting and fishing provides food as well as raw materials.  Developing tools enables players to be more effective with future actions. And making offerings at holy places gains more status.  The game plays over 14-20 rounds, advancing from the Mesolithicum era to the Bronze Age.  The player with the most status at the end of the game wins.

Contents include 4 Carrier boards, 44 Player huts, 4 Clan leaders, 16 Offer tokens, Start player token, 64 Food cubes, 58 Status counters, 44 Landscape tiles, 16 Ceremonial tiles, 2 Player overviews, 3 Last round markers, and Resource counters

This strategy game supports 1-4 players, ages 14 and up, and takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to play. Look for this game in stores this April.

Next up is Beta Colony by designers Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle.  In Beta Colony, players are one of five directors trying to create prosperous colonies and be elected as the first leader of Victus.  The players with the most Confidence Points at the end of the games is elected the first leader of Victus and wins the game.  Players earn Confidence Points by building colony pods, having a majority in a colony and from a variety of other achievements from improving the colony.

Beta Colony features a unique dice based “rolldell” system where all players will use a duplicate dice roll to take two actions each round, with each action using two dice. Players will use one die to move and one die to activate the location to which they moved. Die color and value affect how each of the seven unique locations are used.

Contents include Game board, Round marker, 5 Player markers, 16 Player markers, 16 Artifact markers, 16 Dice, 9 Cycle tiles, 30 Fuel markers, 60 Crew markers, 16 Artifact markers, 4 Player spaceships, Start player marker, 8 Cultural achievements, 8 Cultural achievement tiles, and 40 Colonization pod tiles.

This mid-weight strategy game supports 2-4 players, ages 14 and up, and takes 30 to 60 minutes to play. Look for this game in stores this April.

Finally, Rio Grande Games is reprinting Northern Pacific, a fast playing strategy game designed by Tom RussellNorthern Pacific is set in 1870 as the Northern Pacific rail lines expands from Minneapolis to the Pacific Ocean. Players are investors who can either extend the rail line or invest in a city the rail line has not yet connected. The game is played over three rounds and the player whose investments have paid off the best wins the game.

Contents include the game board, 16 locomotives, 108 small investment cubes and 12 large investment cubes.

This strategy game supports 2-6 players, ages 14 and up, and takes 30 to 45 minutes to play. Look for this game in stores in May.

Jellybean Games announces Village Pillage, a fast paced card game designed by Peter C. Hayward and Tom Lang.

In Village Pillage, each player has a village represented by a deck of cards containing farmers, walls, raiders, and merchants. Each village seeks to obtain enough turnips, by either growing or stealing, so it can either grow its village by adding more powerful villagers or acquire enough royal relics to become a kingdom of its own. It must do so while fending off neighboring villages attempting to become a kingdom first.

The game mechanic is a unique variation of rock paper scissors (raiders steal from farmers, walls block raiders, farmers profit off walls) on two sides at once. Each card features character art by artist Tania Walker (Dracula’s Feast, The Lady and the Tiger) and includes easy to understand symbology to resolve actions.  Peter C. Hayward, describes the game as “simple enough that kids can play it against each other while being engaging enough for adults to play on their own.”

Each turn, players simultaneously choose a card to play against each of their neighbors. The cards are revealed at once and resolved; Farmers gain turnips, Walls protect the turnips, Raiders steal turnips, and Merchants trade turnips in for powerful new cards or expensive relics. Then, everyone picks up their cards and a new round begins. The first player to reach three relics is the winner!

The game contains forty gorgeous villager cards, seventy-two turnip tokens, fifteen relics, and a bank card for each player.

The game is supported by a Kickstarter campaign beginning on the 26th of March.  Kickstarter backers will receive a sixth-player expansion for free. Stretch goals include expansion cards, and a double-sided chicken token for breaking ties. During the campaign, Jellybean Games will run a contest for backers to select which villager card will be the Ultimate Village Pillager.

Village Pillage is for 2 to 5 players aged 8+ and plays in about 20 minutes.  Like most of their games, Jellybean Games offers a free print and play version on their website.

 

 

Fireside Games, makers of Castle Panic, announced their new releases for 2018 at the GAMA Trade Show this week.

Remnants is designed by a trio of experienced game designers: Matthew O’Malley (Between Two Cities), Ben Rosset (Brew Crafters and Between Two Cities) , and Justin De Witt (Castle Panic).

Remnants takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Each player builds a compound and fights to survive Raiders and mutant creatures.  Players send survivors and specialists out into the badlands in to gather resources determined by die rolling. Players spend those resources to buy weapons, defense, and special development cards to strengthen their compounds to withstand assaults by raiders. After the final attack, the game ends and the player with the most victory points is the winner.

Remnants plays two to four players, ages 13 and up, in about an hour.

Contents:

  • 1 Game board
  • 16 Custom Dice
  • 45 Resource tokens
  • 5 Bonus tokens
  • 4 Player boards
  • 12 Loot tracking cubes
  • 1 Dread track cube
  • 15 Victory Point tokens
  • 37 Development Cards
  • 2 Survivor/Training Cards
  • 22 Survivor tokens
  • 15 Specialist tokens
  • 9 Badlands Cards
  • 6 Dread Cards
  • 3 Boss Cards
  • 6 Boss Power Up Cards

Look for Remnants on 27 June, 2018. Read more about Remnants at Fireside Games.

 

Grackles, designed by Sarah Graybill and John Shulters, is a lightly themed abstract strategy game where players try to line up as many of their own colored birds in rows on telephone wires. Each turn, players can do one of four actions: place a tile with 4 colored spots on telephone wire, connect 2 of their colored spots with their matching birds, extend a line of birds they laid down, or rotate an unoccupied tile. Contents include 180 acrylic, debossed bird tokens. Grackles plays 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, in about 30 minutes.

Fireside Games also announced their 3rd Annual International Panic Day, a Castle Panic game event hosted by independently owned game stores around the world on June 2.  To support the event, Fireside Games is offering Castle Panic Event Kits to hosting stores. Each kit supports 16 players and offers 3 different game formats: casual play, team play, and scenario play. Casual play is noncompetitive and offers new players the opportunity to learn to play the game. Team play provides a group competitive experience in which teams add up slain monsters to win prizes. Finally, scenario play pits two teams in head-to-head competition in Nightmare Mode, throwing their slain monsters into the forest of the competing team. The goal is to have the last tower standing.

Event Kits contain promotional and event material, including two demo copies of Castle Panic and rewards for participates. Promo cards are available for each participant.  Exclusive suede Monster bags go to team and scenario play winners as well as the Event Coordinator, while Monster-eye game totes go to Runners-up. And Defender of the Realm pin is awarded to the person who most contributes to the spirit of the event.

Learn more about The 3rd Annual International Panic Day and the event kits at Fireside Games.

 

 

 

 

Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios are teaming up to co-publish a new trilogy of stand-alone games: West Kingdom Trilogy.  The first game in the trilogy is Architects of the West Kingdom, designed by Shem Phillips, designer of the North Sea Trilogy of games, most notably Raiders of the North Sea. Co-designing with Shem is first-time designer S J Macdonald.

Architects of the West Kingdom is set at the end of the Carolingian Empire, circa 850 AD.  Players are royal architects creating important landmarks, competing to impress their King and maintain their noble status.  Players will collect and manage resources, hire apprentices, and manage their workforce, and keep an eye on their rivals who may attempt to slow your progress.  Victory points are gained by building various buildings and advancing work on the Archbishop’s Cathedral.  This worker-placement strategy game requires more than resource management.  Some underhanded deals may need to be made to remain competitive.  The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner.

A Kickstarter campaign for Architects of the West Kingdom begins on 13 March, and the game is projected to be released in October 2018.

Architects of the West Kingdom plays 1-5 players, ages 12 and up, in about 60-80 minutes.

Contents:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 40 Apprentice Cards
  • 40 Building Cards
  • 10 Black Market Cards
  • 22 Debt Cards
  • 11 Reward Cards
  • 6 Multiplier Cards
  • 1 Large Punchboard
  • 1 Game Board
  •  5 Player Boards Double–sided
  • 100 Meeples
  • 10 Player Markers
  • 35 Clay Tokens
  • 40 Wood Tokens
  • 40 Stone Tokens
  • 30 Marble Tokens
  • 25 Gold Tokens
  • Solo Mode Components (30 Scheme Cards, 2 Reference Cards, 1 Double-sided Opponent Board)

Learn more about Architects of the West Kingdom at Renegade Game Studios.

The jungles of the Amazon are too large to be contained in one game.  The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures offer four more expansions that can be added separately or combined to added new challenges for your explorers in The Lost ExpeditionPeer Sylvester, designer of The Lost Expedition, did not simply provide more of the same in this expansion. Instead, he designed the expansions to surprise the players with something new…. building upon the original game both thematically and mechanically.” Duncan Molloy, Games Developer at Osprey Games, says the new expansions offer “New friends, mechanics and encounters, but the same dangerous charm.”

Explorers have been returning from the Amazon with extraordinary tales – conquistadors withered with age marching through the rainforest, unidentified beasts stalking expeditions, and an ominous mountain that is said to be more perilous than the jungle itself! Only the most reckless adventurers would ignore these warnings, but even they might find that they need some help

Look for The Lost Expedition: The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures from Osprey Games in September 2018.