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".

Digidiced announced on Twitter that their next project is Castles of Burgundy.  Digidiced is the same team that brought you digital versions of Cottage Garden, Bohnanza: The Duel, Terra Mystica, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, Patchwork, and Le Harve to digital platforms.  Look for Castles of Burgundy on your favorite digital platform in 2019.

Brain Games announces two new releases this fall.

First is Pyramid of Pengqueen. Pyramid of Pengqueen, originally published in 2008, is a family game about four penguin explorers collecting treasures within a pyramid while avoiding the mummy who guards the treasure.  The game features a double-sided magnetic board which hides the movement of the players.  The penguin explorers move along one side of the board while the mummy on the other side tries to find them.  The penguins can see where the mummy is, but the mummy has to track player movement base on the dice they roll.

The game plays 2-5 players, Ages 8+, in about 49 minutes.  Contents include a magnetic board, magnetic mummy figure (in two parts), 4 magnetic treasure hunter pieces, 12 life tokens with torch symbols, 2 small game boards, 5 treasure hunter dice, mummy die, and 23 treasure cards.

If you missed this game in 2008, now is your chance.  Look for Pyramid of Pengqueen in stores on August 2, 2018.

Next is ICECOOL 2, the follow up to the wildly popular ICECOOL.  At first glance, ICECOOL 2 and ICECOOL are identical.  ICECOOL 2 is a stand-alone game and does feature some new rules.  The 1-point cards contain tasks which are challenges that can earn extra points if accomplished. The 2-point cards provide a fish-moving power.  There are also an optional tournament scoring rules.  Combined with ICECOOL, the game is playable up to eight players and a new game mode called “The Race”. With both games, there are plenty of new layouts with varying difficulty, including a couple with “sliding rooms” that change locations throughout the game!

The game plays 2-4 players, Ages 6+, in about 30 minutes.    Contents include 5 game boxes, 4 penguin figures, 16 fish figures. and 53 cards.

The combined games play up to 8 players and game length depends on game mode and layout. Look for ICECOOL 2 in stores this September.

Arcane Wonders has two new games coming soon to game stores.

First is RWBY: Combat Ready, a cooperative game for 2-5 players set in the world of the popular animated series RWBY.  Each player plays as one of the show’s main characters – Ruby, Weiss, Black, Yang, and Penny – in a scenario against one or more villains seeking to destroy the world of Remnant. With each victory, players earn experience they can use to upgrade their abilities and powers for the next battle.  Victory is achieved when all the villains in a campaign are defeated.  Each character has her own starter deck of special abilities and powers and unique upgrade cards and ultimate attacks cards.  Likewise, each villain is unique and may hove their own objectives and minions to challenge the players. Game components from the cards to player boards contain original artwork true to the RWBY animation series.

RWBY: Combat Ready plays 2-5 players, ages 14+, in about an hour.  Contents include scenario book, 5 player miniatures, 5 player tracker scrolls, 5 player starter decks (30 cards each), 5 semblance tokens, 1 play board/villain board, 3 villain decks (26 cards each), 3 minion decks (18 cards each), 18 objective cards, 1 die, 24 plastic upgrade cubes and various chipboard status/damage tokens.

RWBY: Combat Ready was kickstarted last September and with an expected delivery of late July 2018.

Next is Goodcritters, the latest addition to the Dice Tower Essentials line. In Goodcritters, players are animal characters and members of a criminal organization dividing out the loot from their latest heist.  The player acting as the boss of the organization determines how to split the loot, but if the split does not satisfy most of the other players, a new boss may be selected to head the organization.  Players not only vote to accept the distribution of loot, these criminals may skim loot from the loot pile, rob other players, or guard against such actions to take loot from attacking players.  Getting rid of the boss adds more loot to the pile.  The crime boss needs to keep enough of his or her gang happy to remain in power, but in the end, the player with the most loot is the winner.

Goodcritters plays 4-8 players, ages 12+, in about 30 minutes.  Contents include 140 Loot Cards, 40 Action Cards, 40 Payoff Cards, 1 The Fuzz! Card, 8 Threat Markers, 1 Boss Marker, 16 Payoff Tokens, 9 Plastic Stands, and rulebook.

Learn more about Goodcritters at Arcane Wonders.  Look for the game in stores near you in September 2018.

 

Eagle-Gryphon Games recently acquired the rights to publish Nut Job, a memory game designed for adults to play with kids but clever enough to challenge board game hobbyists.  Nut Job fits neatly into a category of game Eagle-Gryphon Games calls Kids Games for Adults (KGFA).  KGFA games are fun, fast to play and encourage creativity.  They can be played by kids/kids; adults/kids; adults/adults and they work well for all of these combos. The rules are generally very short, and the games are quick to learn and have lots of replayability.

Eagle-Gryphon Games owners, Joanne and Rick Soued, having been former educators as well, have used games in the classroom, for after-school clubs, and for social, seniors and university groups.  The “Kids Games for Adults” Kickstarter is tied directly into their Knowledge in a Box program and series of games, which was developed to help schools and libraries become vibrant learning centers, welcoming the students and patrons who are looking for a place to learn, play and socialize.

While the Nut Job is the feature game supported by the KGFA Kickstarter campaign, Eagle-Gryphon Games has included the entire Knowledge in a Box series of games in the various pledge levels. These pledge level bundles are conveniently grouped by theme and age levels. In addition to picking up Nut Job and the expansion A Nuttier Job, backers can also pick up Incan Gold, Cheeky Monkey, Arthur Saves the Planet: One Step at a Time, Stoplights, Birds on a Wire, Pick-a-Pig, Botswana, Cowtown, Worm Up, SWAT!, SiXeS, Number Please!, Take it Easy!, Bazaar, Pizza Theory, Cornucopia, Cheesonomics, Why Did the Chicken…, Petite Pastiche, Masters Gallery, Karesansui and the Karesansui: Weeds expansion.

Backers will also have the option to purchase these games as add-ons to the Kickstarter campaign if they do not want the bundle of games included in the pledge level.  Eagle-Gryphon Games is including a nice selection of additional games not included in the pledge level as add-on purchases. These additional add-ons include For Sale, Looting London, Gem Dealer, Cubist, Empires: Age of Discovery, Fleet and Fleet: Arctic Bounty expansion, Money!, Nika, Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, Salmon Run, and Take it Higher!

Read more about Kids Games for Adults (KGFA) and Knowledge in a Box on Eagle-Gryphon Games Kickstarter Campaign.  The Kickstarter runs until July 15th with all games guaranteed to be delivered by October 31st.

The award winning Scythe by Stonemaier Games has commanded a top 10 spot at BoardGamesGeek ever since it came out in 2016 and is #1 on the Dice Tower People’s Choice Top 100 Games of All Times.  Scythe’s third expansion, The Rise of Fenris, was just released this Summer.

Now, you can play Scythe on the PC.  In association with the Stonemaier Games and Asmodee Digital, The Knights of Unity have developed Scythe Digital Edition. Early access is available now on SteamScythe Digital Edition features the same great gameplay and art as the tabletop boardgame.  The accompanying soundtrack for each faction in the digital game is as unique as the factions and wonderfully consistent the 1920 alternative history beautifully illustrated by Jakub Rozalski.

While the game is in early access, users may provide feedback to the developer to improve gameplay and features of the game in Steam forums and reviews.  The game is expected to remain in early access for the next two to four months.  However, the game is fully functional with single-player and local multi-player modes.  The game also includes a tutorial and different visual themes. The game is supported in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish.

Currently, the Digital Edition features only the base game and does not include any of the expansions.  iOS, Android, and other formats planned for later.  Go to Steam to learn more about Scythe Digital Edition.

 

Condottiere has recently been added to the Z-Man Games catalog and is being re-released with new art, upgraded components, and new rulesets.

In Condottiere, players assume the role of ambitious leaders of wealthy Italian city-states who have hire the Condottiere of assert control over other regions of Italy.  The various strength of the Condottiere, ranging from the lowly foot soldier to the elite cavalrymen, are represented by cards in each players hand, and the players commit their Condottiere to battle in each region by bidding their cards.  The highest bidder (strongest army) wins the region but all cards bid are expended, so hand management is key.  Some cards have special features that change the results of the battle and should be committed wisely to achieve a surprise victory. The first player to control three adjacent regions or five total regions is the winner.

The iconic art style from the 2007 edition of Condottiere is preserved in the new edition with original artist Tomasz Jedruszek returning to update the artwork.  Additionally, the new version will include not only a modern ruleset, but also the classic ruleset for fans of the original game and a 2-player variant ruleset.   The new version will include new larger board and reminder icons on the special cards to aid in gameplay.

Learn more about Condottiere at Z-Man Games.

Hot on the heels of the new Han Solo movie, Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new expansion for Star Wars: X-Wing (Second Edition): Lando’s Millennium Falcon.   This beautiful ship is a pristine customized YT-1300 Light Freighter in its original configuration owned by the smuggling duo, Lando Calrissian and Han Solo.  Lando’s Millennium Falcon is different from the Solo version we all know and love.  Lando’s Millennium Falcon sports a double turret arc providing effective protective fires, and it is equipped with the L3-37 escape craft that gives Lando’s Millennium Falcon the distinctive look that differs from Han Solo’s.  The L3-37 fits snugly into the main model but can be detached and flown separately.  Both Lando Calrissian and Han Solo are capable pilots, each providing different capabilities to the Millennium Falcon.  Han is also a capable gunner who can focus his shots when in the gunner position.  Chewbacca is here, too, as are numerous upgrades for the ship.  The Millennium Falcon is truly a gambler’s ship with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.  Learn more about Lando’s Millennium Falcon at Fantasy Flight Games.  Look for Lando’s Millennium Falcon blasting out of spaceports on September 13th.

BD Games, also known as Beautiful Disaster Games, has launched an exclusive Kickstarter campaign for their new game, Crisis at Steamfall.  This is the second collaboration between designer Tom Stasiak and artist Bartosz Pławecki.

Beautifully illustrated, Crisis at Steamfall is a mixture of steampunk and alien sci-fi. The hallmark of this game is its variability, ensuring that each game is a new experience for players.

In Crisis at Steamfall, each player assumes the role of a character with a unique set of abilities that are enabled by character moods, a mechanic that changes over the course of the game and changes the special abilities.  Character actions are managed by an action selection mechanism that also allows players to customize the types of actions available with a selection. Each player will start with a few pieced of equipment, which can be later improved or modified with upgrades found or built with resources in workshops.

Steamfall is randomly generated city of up to nine large city map tiles and a selection of 25 random secret locations to explore.  The variable city design will help keep the exploration of the city fresh each game.

Crisis at Steamfall has two playing modes: competitive and cooperative.

In the competitive game, players explore the city in search of technology, and artifacts to crack an alien cypher.  Along the way, players earn renown for their interactions, discoveries, and achievements.  The player who cracks the alien cypher will earn three renown, and the player with the most renown at the end of the game is the winner.

In the cooperative game, the players band together to defeat invading army of mechanized civilians. The invasion can be stopped by the destructions of four pylons located in the ancient districts of the city, but the players need to protect the serenity cube in the city center at the same time all while reacting to events that may unfold in the city complicating its defense.

Crisis at Steamfall plays 1 to 4 players in about 30 minutes per player. Contents include 9 large map tiles, 90 large CCG size cards, 120 mini euro size cards, 50 wooden cubes, 4 big wooden alien pylon cylinders, 4 wooden character mood trackers, 36 small resource tokens, 14 civilian tokens, 8 stamina tokens, 7 renown tokens, 4 cipher tablet tokens, and 6 ruin tokens.

For more details, check out the Kickstarter campaign which runs until June 6, 2018 with an expected delivery of October 2018.

HABA USA is looking to add a new game to its lineup is hosting its 2nd Annual Game Design Contest from now till July 20th.  Submitted games must be family weight games, allow for 2-5 players, play between 15-45 minutes, and fit into the HABA line of games. Also, submitted games must use at least three items from the HABA design kit, which contains random and unique pieces from discontinued and/or current HABA games.  Game design kits can be purchased directly from HABA online.  Any remaining available kits can also be purchased at HABA’s booth at the Origins Game Fair and the Dice Tower Con.   Only 200 kits are available and there is a limit of one kit per designer.  While there is no guarantee that the game will be published, the top 3-5 games will be presented to HABA for consideration and winning designers will receive a HABA games bundle.  Can you design a family game for HABA? See contest rules and details here.

Fantasy Flight keeps rolling out expansions to grow armies for Star Wars: Legion.  Earlier this spring, Fantasy Flight announced the release of fan favorite Han Solo along with a squad of Rebel Commandos.  It was only a matter of time before Han’s arch nemesis, Boba Fett would be released into the fray.

The Boba Fett Operative Expansion introduces a new unit type to the game: the operative.  Each army can have up to two operatives which are paired with one or two unit commanders.  Commanders not only have command of Boba Fett but they also have access to an assortment of armaments carried by the resourceful bounty hunter. Armed with both an E-3 Carbine and wrist rockets, Boba Fett has plenty of gadgets up his sleeve, such as spiked boots and his Whipcord Launcher that not only pins the enemy down but also grants him an opportunity to quickly move across the battlefield.  Boba Fett is a dangerous and highly mobile force on the battlefield and can quickly expose weaknesses in the Rebel forces.

The Imperial Force’s elite unit, the Scout Troopers, adds even more versatility to the Empire.   The Scout Troopers Unit Expansion provides the Imperial Force seven Scout Troopers that can be deployed in two-man strike teams or as a standard squad armed with specialized weapons.  Mobile and stealthy, the Scout Troopers carry a lethal mix of firepower.

Both the Scout Troopers Unit Expansion and the Boba Fett Operative Expansion are expected to be released in third quarter of 2018.  Rebel Forces have only until then before the Empire’s elite units arrive on the battlefield.  Visit Fantasy Flight’s website to learn more about these expansions and future Star Wars: Legion announcements.