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".

Far Off Games is now running their third Kickstarter project for Xia: Legends of a Drift System.

What’s new to Xia in this Kickstarter is the Missions and Powers mini expansion.  The mini expansion of 54 cards includes new missions to accomplish and new powers for player ships.  There are 21 new ability cards, one for each ship in Xia, providing players another option when choosing a ship.  These new powers offer greater reliability and can be used multiple times per turn.  There are 32 mission cards, 8 each in Transport, Launder, Assist, and Boom! missions.  Transport and Assist are Lawful Missions while Launder and Boom! are Outlaw missions. This mini expansion comes in a tuck box with an additional Rules Card.

If you missed one of the previous Kickstarters for Xia: Legends of a Drift System, you are in luck. In addition to the Missions and Powers mini expansion, backers can pick up the base game Xia: Legends of a Drift System, the first expansion Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star, the Kickstarter exclusive ship Sellsword MK II, or a combination in one of the multiple pledge levels.

This project has already met its goal and will fund on February 20, 201.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page.

Spanish language versions of all Xia products are available for pre-order at Maldito Games.

The Thousand Sons factions have been in the Warhammer 40,000 universe since the early editions of the game. Over the years they have become a fan-favorite faction, which their first units appearing in the Horus Heresy and miniatures produced by Forge World.  What makes The Thousand Sons faction unique among the Space Marine Legions is their ability harness their psychic ability, incorporating warrior mystics and sorcerers in their ranks and the beasts that the more powerful Daemonic sorcerers have summoned.

Games Workshop has announced the first ever Codex for The Thousand Sons. The new codex draws on material from previously published codices like the Codex: Chaos Space Marines and Codex: Chaos Daemons so that this codex is complete for anyone building a Thousand Sons army.

Here are some of the new units found in Codex: Thousand Sons.

The Rubric Marines of the Rubricae are the classic unit.  They are bolstered by their own special Rhinos, Land Raiders, and Defilers. Thousand Sons stratagems provide unique movement capabilities for units and lethal attacks for vehicles.

Next are the Sorcerers, who benefit from the collective strength of their psychic energy, increasing the range of their psychic powers, of which there are three to choose from. These powers not only shield your units but also attack and weaken your foes.  Powerful Daemonic sorcerers such as Daemon Princes of Tzeentch and Magnus the Red benefit from these powers also.

Finally, the Tzaangor, beastmen in service of the Chas God Tzeentch, round out the Thousand Sons Legion. A Tzaangor unit of regular beastmen and the more powerful Tzaangor Enlightend form the bulk of the beastmen units of The Thousand Sons.  Units can be supported by Tzaangors that have been turned into abominable Chaos Spawns, monstrous beasts such as the Mutalith Vortex Beast, or spellcasting Tzaangor Shaman who can strengthen the attacks of Tzaangor units.

To discover more about The Thousand Sons, visit The Warhammer Community as they dig deeper in their Faction Focus series in the coming weeks.

Codex: The Thousand Sons is available for pre-order now.

Gale Force 9 has announced two new expansion for Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats that will allow the players to add new crewmembers to the Serenity. The Respectable Folk set includes Inara Serra and Shepherd Book, while the Wanted Fugitives set includes Simon Tam and the River Tam. Each expansion comes with four Crew miniatures (Casual and Heroic poses for each character), two double-sided Crew cards, ten Equipment cards, and two new Jobs.  The box bottoms also double as new buildings.

These expansions will be available later this year.

Z-Man Games recently provided a preview of Tea & Trade, their forthcoming expansion to Fields of Arle.

Tea & Trade adds a third player to Fields of Arle.  Tea is a new upgradable resource that improves the actions of your workers.  The expansion also comes with a new Harbor Board, along with fishing cutter and trade ships which allow players to gain additional food, upgrade resources, and import tea.  The higher the quality of your tea, the better its effectiveness of your actions.  The expansion also adds a new “Ditcher” action which dehydrates the land to make it easier to plow and provide more land for livestock.

Tea & Trade is designed by Tido Lorenz and Uwe Rosenberg.

Contents include 1 Home Board, 1 Supply Board, 1 Action Board, 1 Overlay, 1 Travel and Barn Board, 3 Harbor Boards, 4 Building Displays, 30 Wooden Ditches, 10 Wooden Peat Tokens, 13 Wooden Tool Indicators, 6 Wooden Good Indicators, 4 Wooden Workers, 23 Buildings & over 50 other Tiles, 1 Sticker Sheet, 1 Scoring Pad, 1 Rulebook, 1 History Book.

Tea & Trade is available for pre-order now.

Eric Summerer (with Noah and Evan) Teaches us some Tips

If you are wondering how Stuffed Fables plays with young children, Plaid Hat Games has enlisted Eric Summerer and his sons to provide an answer in a new video.

In Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.  This storyboard adventure game is designed for 2-4 players, ages 7 and up, to be played in 60-90 minutes.

In the video, Eric provides some tips on playing Stuffed Fables with children as young as five.  His sons Evan and Noah share their experiences and reactions to the game, and Eric demonstrates his tips during gameplay.  Eric’s tips will help ensure you and young children have an enjoyable game of Stuffed Fables.

Eric Summerer previously provided a rules overview over on youtube.

If Eric’s voice on the video seems familiar it may be because you’ve listened to some of the hundreds of audiobooks and other voiceover projects Mr. Summerer has worked on.

Stuffed Fables, designed by Jerry Hawthorne, will be available February 1st.

Greedy dragons have teamed up to plunder the land of its treasures, but now it is time divvy up the dragons’ hoard and no one wants to share!

In Greedy Dragons, players are dragons trying to get more treasures by building lairs that determine how the treasure chests are divided.   Using a card stacking mechanism, players strategically build their lairs to take more treasure chests from the dragon horde or other dragons.  Once all the lairs have been built, the dragons open their chests (flip the cards over) to reveal the treasure inside.  The dragon with the most treasure wins.  The treasure consists a random number of gems, but a special treasure card, a magic ring worth 10 gems, is can raise the stakes in the competition for treasure chests.

This card game plays 2-6 players, either one-on-one or in teams, in 15-30 minutes and is appropriate for players ages 8 and up.

Designed by Dan Dejager and produced by Evil Hat Productions, Greedy Dragons comes with 1 rulebook, 60 Lair cards, 81 Treasure cards, and 1 Start Player card.

Look for the game in February 2018.

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.