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".

If you missed the Kickstarter for Wendake last summer, you are in luck because it will now be available this fall.

Wendake, designed by Danilo Sabia and illustrated by Alan D’Amico and Paolo Vallerga, is an action selection, area control, and resource management game.  Set in the Great Lakes Region during the Seven Years War between the French and the English (1756-1763), the war is but one obstacle to the Native American tribes of the Huron Nation striving for prosperity. In Wendake, players are chiefs of a Native American tribe managing all of the most important aspects of tribal life. Each tribe has their own special abilities their chiefs can use throughout the game.

The core of the game is the action selection mechanism.  Actions are taken on a grid of tiles where players activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line.  Afterward, those action tiles are flipped over to reveal new actions to choose from.  The available actions are constantly cycling, and over the course of the game new actions to add to the grid become available allowing better choices.   Tribal prosperity is scored on the economic, military, ritual, and mask tracks that are paired.  Players only score on the lowest of each paired track, so a balanced approach is necessary for victory.  The player with the highest total score is the winner.

Wendake plays 1-4 players, ages 14+, in 1-2 hours, and it is available for pre-order now.  Pre-orders from Renegade Game Studios can be picked up at Gen Con, August 2-5th, 2018, while pre-orders from your Friendly Local Game Store will be available this fall.

The Omen series of games are stand-alone, two-player card games where players are demi-gods vying for control of the three cities between them.  Each game features two distinct game modes: standard, where players draw from a collective deck, and draft, where each player drafts from his or her own deck.

A Reign of War, the first in the series and originally published in 2011, is the largest of the games and includes additional rules to the original release such as feats.  Edge of the Aegean, published in 2016, featured streamlined play, new unit types, and new ways for players to earn victory points. Both games carried a Greek Mythology theme.

With the latest Kickstarter campaign, Kolossal Games introduces Fires in the East to the trilogy, adding new mechanics, new rewards, and new units with a Ancient Persian and Babylonian theme. The Kickstarter campaign also includes the first expansion for the Omen series, Tales of the Ancients is an expansion specifically designed for Fires in the East adding 12 feat cards and 24 reward cards.

A Reign of War, Edge of the Aegean, and Fires in the East are all standalone games, but they can also be combined in numerous ways. Kolossal Games has updated the art design of both A Reign of War and Edge of the Aegean to ensure a consistent art design across the series.

T0 learn more about each game in the Omen series, check out their Kickstarter campaign which runs through May 20th and is expected to deliver in October 2018.

Queen Games has collaborated with nine celebrated game designers to create a new Limited Designers’ Edition of Alhambra that can only be purchased through their Kickstarter campaign going on right now.

The Alhambra Designers’ Edition has all new art for the box cover, the game board, the tiles, and the cards. The new addition also includes a tile dispenser tower in matching artwork.

There are nine expansions available with the Alhambra Designers’ Edition.  Different pledge levels in the Kickstarter campaign offer supporters an increasing number of expansions with their base game.

You may have heard of a few of the designers who have contributed to the Alhambra Designers’ Edition: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede (Carcassonne); Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy); Emanuele Ornella (Oltre Mare); Michael Schacht (Zooloretto); Mike Elliott (Thunderstone); Rüdiger Dorn (Istanbul); Marco Ruskowski & Marcel Süßelbeck (Fresco); Dirk Henn (Shogun); Michael Rieneck (The Pillars of the Earth). The list of famous designers contributing expansions for the Alhambra Designers’ Edition is an embarrassment of riches.

For those who already own Alhambra and are not interested in purchasing another base game, the Kickstarter campaign does include an option to just purchase the expansions created by these designers.

For those who want an ultimate version, there is the Mega Box edition which includes all nine designer expansions with the new designer base game as well as all previously published expansions and bigger tiles.

Like all Kickstarter campaigns, there are stretch goals. For the Designers’ Edition, the stretch goals appropriately include fan designed expansions.  Fans can submit expansion ideas, up to three of which will be developed and produced as part of the Alhambra Designers’ Edition.  Ideas for the submission can be sent to fanexpansion@palast-von-alhambra.de.

To learn more about the Alhambra Designers’ Edition and the specific expansions designed by each of the designers, see the Alhambra Designers’ Edition Kickstarter Campaign which runs until May 25, 2018 and is expected to deliver in March 2019.

Pandasaurus Games is offering retailers a legacy-like promo event kit for Wasteland Express Delivery Service games to be played in stores.  The Scrappening features missions by designers Jonathan Gilmour, Matt Riddle, and Ben Pinchback and all new art by Riccardo Burchielli.

Retailers who order four copies of Wasteland Express Delivery Service qualify for The Scrappening event kit.

Wasteland Express Delivery Service: The Scrappening will be released in stores on May 16, 2018.

Kingdomino: Age of Giants! is the first expansion for both Kingdomino and Queendomino, but it is actually several expansions in one.

First, there are the Giants! Certain dominoes cause a giant to appear on your kingdom.  Those giants stand on crowns in your kingdom and prevent you from scoring them at the end of the game.  Other dominoes allow you to get rid of the giant in your kingdom and send it over to an opponent’s kingdom.

Second, there are Quest that can be played with The Middle Kingdom rule.  Quests allow your middle kingdom to score additional points if the surrounding squares or the four corners of your middle kingdom fulfills the quest conditions. This expansion is played separate from the Giants.

Lastly, Kingdomino: Age of Giants! adds a fifth player.

A nice addition with the expansion is the distribution tower to hold all the dominoes.

Contents of the expansion include 3D castle, 1 distribution tower, 2 brown wooden kings, 1 starting tile, 29 dominoes (12 Giant dominoes, 17 Quest tiles), 6 “Giant” meeples, and a score pad.

Learn more about Kingdomino: Age of Giants!  from Blue Orange GamesKingdomino: Age of Giants! is available for pre-orders now and will be in stores in August 2018.

The latest expansion for the wildly popular Carcassonne adds bridges, castles and bazaars, providing players with creative solutions to earn more points.

Many players know the frustration of broken roadways and roads to nowhere. Carcassonne Expansion 8: Bridges, Castles & Bazaars, provides players wooden bridge tokens to connect broken roadways and around obstacles.

The new castle tile enables player to turn even the smallest city into valuable real estate.  Cities with a castle score additional points from completed neighboring features.

Lastly, the new bazaar tile triggers an auction for choice tiles that players may bid their current points to try and claim the most advantageous tile for themselves.

Carcassonne Expansion 8: Bridges, Castles & Bazaars contains 12 Land Tiles, 12 Castle Tiles, and 12 Wooden Bridges and is available for pre-order now.

Chaos Publishing, Triple Ace Games, and Counters Out team up to bring you Exploriana, a competitive push your luck and set collection game designed by Miles Ratcliffe and illustrated by Richard Dearing.

In Exploriana, players are intrepid 19th century explorers traveling the world in search of undiscovered plants, animals, treasures, maps, and locations. Players win by having the most victory points, which are earned by making discoveries and gaining renown.  Some discoveries are worth more in sets and cannot be completed without visiting the different continents. Players push their luck to explore deeper into the continent to make more discoveries, but they risk becoming lost and losing their discoveries.

In addition to push your luck and set collection, Exploriana also blends in worker placement and auction/bidding mechanics.  Players will have to decide each round which continent to send their explorers: South America, Africa or The Far East.  The auction round provides players an opportunity to buy equipment to ensure a better chance of a successful exploration. This unique blend of mechanics is seamless and smooth, resulting in a light strategy game that is easy to learn and plays in under an hour.

Exploriana plays 2-5 players, ages 12+, in 45-60 minutes.  Contents include game board, 5 double-sided player mats, 13 explorers, 6 renown markers, a guide marker, 60 coins (40 silver, 20 gold), 16 lost explorer tokens, 2 grapples tokens, 1 med kit token, 81 cards (18 Far East cards, 21 Africa cards, 24 South America cards, and 18 item cards) and rulebook.

Learn more about Exploriana on Kickstarter.  The Kickstarter campaign runs through 24 May and is expected to deliver October 2018.

Homesteaders was one of the first games published by Tasty Minstrel Games in 2009, and it has been out of print for quite some time.  TMG has published many games since then, and to celebrate its 10th Anniversary, it has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an upgraded Anniversary Edition of Homesteaders.

In Homesteaders, players are settlers in the Old West claiming land to develop into a town.   This is an auction and resource management game in which players bid on the opportunity to build certain types of buildings, then spend resources to build those buildings of that type. Building provide players different abilities, income, and points.  Players must manage their resources to win successful bids, pay for buildings, and sell for points or risk going into debt and losing points. The player who has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

The production value of the original edition was already pretty high.  The game included many wooden tokens to represent the workers, the player tokens, and six different types of resources.  The anniversary edition will include the same high-quality components in addition to upgraded metal victory point tokens and silver coins.

Along with 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders comes the first expansion, Homesteaders: New Beginnings.  The expansion adds a fifth player, events, new buildings, new auctions, and oversized wooden resource tokens that represent 5 resources of its type.  Homesteaders: New Beginnings is compatible with the original edition of Homesteaders.

To learn more about the 10th Anniversary Edition Homesteaders and Homesteaders: New Beginnings, check out their Kickstarter campaign which runs through 11 May and is expected to deliver in January 2019.

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.