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".

Fans of Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game soon will have a new way to play the game. Fantasy Flight has introduced in-store organized play to bring more players together to enjoy a deeper and more rewarding experience of the game and the world of Rokugan.

Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game is a two-player collectible card game where players assume leadership of one of the Great Clans in the mystical world of Rokugan and battle another clan.  In organized play, players team up with other members of their clan to compete against members of the other clans for control of the stronghold, which is the store hosting the organized play.

Retailers can pre-order Season One Stronghold Kits for Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game now.  Each Stronghold Kit supports up to 32 players over a period of three months.  Retailers can decide how to conduct the events: weekly events, monthly events, or a combination of the two.  Reinforcement Kits are also available for groups larger than 32.

Each kit is packed full of rewards: promotional Patronage Cards, participation prizes, prizes for the top competitors, and prizes for the top players from each Great Clan. The 2018 Season One Stronghold Kit contains 247 extended art cards, 13 metal fate tokens, 7 clan specific first player tokens, 7 plastic Dragon Clan-themed Imperial Favor cards, 4 custom playmats, and 1 acrylic honor dial.

Fantasy Flight is releasing four Stronghold Kits each year and retailers can order one of each.  Each of the Stronghold Kit releases will include bonus events ranging from welcoming events for new players to competitive events for experienced players.

Retailers will pick an end date for the Stronghold Control contest, and the clan with the most net victories at the end of the Stronghold Control contest gains control of the stronghold along with local bragging rights, the chance to decorate the store with your clan’s colors and iconography, and any future benefits that may come with the control of your stronghold.  At least until the 2019 Battle for the Stronghold contest.

Game designers looking for an opportunity to pitch their game design to a company may have that opportunity at the upcoming 115th North American International Toy Fair, 17-20 February, in New York City.   Thanks to Target’s Open Innovation Project, designers may be selected to present their game design directly to Target executives.  Designers can apply by completing an online Request for Proposal form by Wednesday, January 17th.

Designers will be required to identify the game’s target audience, the void the game is filling, and what makes the game different from others currently on the market.  Designers will also have to answer a variety of other questions such as whether any market research, utility patent searches, engineering plans, cost analysis, and any prototypes have been completed.

Games are not the only category considered.  Dolls, activity sets, pre-school toys and imaginative play products are other categories also considered in Target’s Open Innovation Project.

Notifications for those who are selected to meet with Target will be sent by February 1.   Those selected in Target’s Open Innovation Project will present their ideas to a panel of Target Toy Buyers and get feedback from experts in Mass Retail at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center throughout the day on Saturday, February 17th.

WizKids forthcoming sci-fi game, Beyond the Edge, starts with players recruited to defeat space pirates who have blockaded the free planet of Orion, but it is beyond those pirates where this game becomes innovative.

Created by Ken Shannon, Beyond the Edge features the “Evolve/Beyond System” which allows players to keep everything they have obtained in each game for their next game. Each player’s character develops a unique story over the course of many games.  Fueling these rich stories, the game features unique storylines, including captains and characters the players can meet, written by RPG legends Richard Lee Byers and Ed Greenwood.

Adding further to the unique stories for each character, the game also features dynamic play experience in which the alliances the players make in each game changes their objectives, special abilities, and upgrades.

Beyond the Edge boasts an easy-to-learn game system with legacy type rules and story that develop over time, allowing new players to learn as they go.

Where this game really goes beyond the edge is the “Dry Dock System” which allows players to take their ship, captain, and missions to other players’ games.

For 2-4 players, ages 14 and up, the game takes approximately an hour to play.  The game contains 627 cards, 10 token sheets, 21 ship mats, a Threat board, a Faction alliance board, rulebook, 20 energy cubes, 4 dice, 2 sticker sheets, a cloth bag, and the “Dry Dock” envelopes to hold player materials between games.

Projected release date is April 2018!

Wizards of the Coast: Maintaining Castles, Launching Boats

Image from rollingstone.com

Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast, spoke with Brian Crecente of Glixel, the Video Game Newsletter from RollingStone.com.  Chris Cocks arrived at Wizards of the Coast with years of experience in the video game industry, an industry he entered because of Baldur’s Gate, a video game that evoked his childhood memories playing Dungeons and Dragons.  During the interview, Chris emphasized that the company is going to build on its successes, but it is going to start taking more chances to innovate so it can grow. He describes his strategy for Wizards of the Coast as the Castles and Boats approach.

Image from businesswire.com

“The castles are the big brands with large fan bases, high expectations, lots of history and lore. We spend a lot of resources on those,” Chris says. “The boat is more of a test. It’s very fast, very flexible. If a boat doesn’t succeed, that’s OK; you can launch a new one.”

Wizards of the Coast is going to launch more boats. Not only is it planning on trying new thing with its current properties, it is tapping into properties of its parent company, Hasbro. While no formal announcement has been made on some of these “boats,” such the upcoming Transformers trading card game, Chris names more than a few possibilities and projects in the works.

To find out what Wizards of the Coast is maintaining as a castle and what some of the new boats may be, read the full interview of RollingStone.com here.

Expect to start seeing new and different things on the horizon from Wizards of the Coast.

Games Workshop ends 2017 as the biggest winner on the London Stock Exchange.

Bloomberg reported last September that Games Workshop assumed the top position in the FTSE All-Share Index, knocking off a copper mining company as the top gaining company for 2017.

Revenue and earnings for Games Workshop remained higher than the previous year but surged in June with the launch of their new edition of the Warhammer 40k line.

According to Bloomberg, the weak pound made Games Workshop products cheaper for overseas customers who made up over half of its customers. Over the course of 2017, Games Workshop had to upgrade their profit expectations three times.  By the end of the year, Games Workshop stock had grown 266%, almost doubling the growth seen by the second largest gaining stock.