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".

Red Raven Games announces Roam, a new game sharing the same world as Near and Far, Islebound, and Above and Below.  Roam is set in the land of Arzium and features characters seen in the other games in the shared world.  In Roam, players seek out lost adventurers scattered across the land, rescue them and add them to their party, increasing their ability to find more lost adventurers faster. The area being searched is made up of six land cards in the center of the table, and each character has a unique search pattern players can use to search the lands.  Each land card is divided into six squares to be searched, some of which have coins that players can use to purchase upgrades and tools to aid in their search.  When a land card has been completely searched, the player who did the most searching adds the adventurer to their party.  Each new adventurer also adds a new search pattern the player can use.  Both tools and found adventurers are worth points. When one player has ten adventurers in their party, the game ends, and the player with the most points wins.

Roam plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in about 30 minutes. A release date has not been announced yet.  More details will be available when the Kickstart launches soon.

North Star Games has launched Oceans, the latest game in the Evolution series, on Kickstarter, and it funded on the first day of the campaign.  Oceans is a strategy game that recreates the building of a marine ecosystem through millions of years of evolution. Like the other games in the Evolution series, players create and evolve species in a growing ecosystem in an effort to survive and thrive. Species will be defined by one or more of the 12 traits found among sea life.  At first, the only food source is plankton and predating species will be limited to few traits, but as life (and food) become more abundant, more complex creatures can evolve. But the ocean is a complex ecosystem and the deeper one goes in the ocean the stranger the ocean world becomes.  Oceans includes this mysterious world with The Deep, where 50 unique traits create powerful and strange creatures of the deep ocean.  Oceans features the same art style by naturalist Catherine Hamilton found in the other Evolution games.

Oceans plays 2-6 players, ages 12+, between 45-100 minutes.  Contents for the standard game include 1 Rulebook, 1 Reference Guide, 2 Player aids, 1 Reef board, 3 Ocean boards (2 small, 1 large), 120 Surface cards (10 of each type), 50-80 Deep cards (1 of each type), 25 Scenario cards, 35 Species boards, 215 cardboard fish (96 Light Blue, 42 Salmon, 30 Yellow, 18 Blue, 6 Midnight, and 23 White tokens), 6 Player screens, and 6 Bonus Score tokens.  The Deluxe Edition ugrades the fish to acrylic fish tokens, custom printed bags for storing points instead of player screen, and 220 custom Ocean card sleeves for both the core trait cards and The Deep trait cards. The Kickstarter campaign runs through April 26 with an expected delivery date of September 2019.  Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

Fans of Lorenzo Il Magnifico will soon have a new way to play their favorite game: via Steam.  While it is becoming increasingly common for popular boardgames to receive a digital treatment for play on computer and mobile devises, it is no surprise that the Kickstarter campaign for the digital edition of Lorenzo Il Magnifico was funded in a mere 22 minutes!  Lorenzo Il Magnifico received the Seal of Excellence from The Dice Tower and it remains one of the top-rated games on Board Game Geek.

Backers have already unlocked numerous exclusive cards for the digital edition, but more have yet to be unlocked.   Backers will also receive access to the game two months prior to its official release.  The Pazzi Conspiracy, a new expansion for the physical copies of Lorenzo Il Magnifico, can also be supported through this Kickstarter.  One of the unique touched to the pledge levels is the opportunity to have a custom-painted avatar in the final digital edition of the game.  Backers who select this pledge level will also receive a high-resolution wallpaper with their portrait as part of the package.  Sample custom portrait artwork features Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer in Renaissance clothing.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through April 13 with an expected delivery date of Jun 2019. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

Indie Boards & Cards has three new releases this summer. First is Conflicting Legends, which Indie Boards & Cards has picked up to publish a second English edition. Conflicting Legends is a fast-paced strategic card game based on rock-paper-scissors.  The artwork on the cards depict a variety of historical science, culture, and military personalities. Each card has a unique ability. Conflicting Legends plays 3-6 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on May 15.

 Next is Among Thieves, a game of deception and greed. Players are criminals and blackmailers working together to steal from the Dystopian Universe mega-corporations. Each round, one player is the Heistmaster who chooses which other players to take on the heist.  Each player negotiates to get in on the action and partake in the loot.  However, no agreement is binding and players may choose to be dishonorable and take a larger share. Players win by having the most money but risk elimination if they lose too much honor. Among Thieves plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

Lastly, Finger Guns at High Noon is sure to be a fast-paced and hilarious game of a western shootout. Its everybody against everybody unless players can convince others to join in or they lasso up an ally Actions are played simultaneously by counting down to draw finger guns. Different hand gestures show everyone’s actions and targets. Use pistols, dynamite, and power shots to eliminate other players, heal yourself at the saloon, organize a posse, or lasso up an ally. Once eliminated, players are still in the game as ghosts who have fewer actions but can thwart the plans of the living players.  Last player standing is the winner—unless the ghosts eliminate everyone.  Finger Guns at High Noon plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 20 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

Tomb Raider Legends gets a board game treatment, challenging players to navigate dangerous and exotic locals to acquire the artifact.  Over a dozen different areas can explores in different combinations as the players make their way to the artifact. This competitive game pits 3-4 players in an exploration race to the artifact while each player attempts to avoid the constant threat of wounds, delays, and misdirection caused by other players and creatures. 

Tomb Raider Legends: The Board Game plays 3-4 players, ages 13+, in about 40 minutes.  Contents include 4 Lara miniatures, 1 main board, 4 player boards, 28 action cards, 41 raid cards, 1 starting player marker, 8 threat/experience markers, and 4 injury markers.  The game is available for pre-order now and expected to be released between Q2-Q3, 2019.

Are you ready Space Cowboy?  One of the best anime series has finally come to boardgames in the Cowboy Bebop Boardgame Boogie from Jasco Games.  In Cowboy Bebop Boardgame Boogie, players assume the roll of one of four misfit bounty hunters aboard the spaceship Bebop.  Each player has a session, a series of tasks drawn from the original anime series, that must be completed in order to win.  Completing the sessions requires woolong (money) and fuel to travel, make contacts, and pay for goods and services.  The struggling bounty hunters also need food!  This is a cooperative game, so despite how capable each of the bounty hunters are, they need help from the others to complete their sessions. Meanwhile, villains and challenging events can appear to throw the bounty hunters off their session. Players win when they complete their session. The game features stories, artwork and characters from the beloved anime classic.

Cowboy Bebop Boardgame Boogie plays 1-4 players, ages 14+, in about 60-90 minutes.  Contents include gameboard, 5 planet boards, 4 character boards, 7 standees, 1 Bebop token, 23 tokens, and 165 cards. The game is expected to release in August 2019, and it is available for pre-order now.

Season 3 of the Exceed Fighting System brings us Streetfighter!  The Exceed Fighting System is a fast-paced two-player card game that brings the head-to-head arcade fighting games to your game table. Previous seasons feature the heroes and villains of Red Horizon and Seventh Cross.  Exceed: Street Fighter comes in three stand-alone boxes. The first is the Ryu Box, which contains the fighters Ryu, Sagat, Akuma, and Zangrief. The M. Bison Box contains the fighters Cammy, M. Bison, Ken, and Guile. Lastly, the Chun-Li Box contains Vega, C. Viper, Chun-Li, and Dan.   Each of the player characters can be played with all other releases of Exceed.  Each box contains 141 cards and rulebook.  The Ryu Box is first to be released in April 2019, followed by the M. Bison Box in June and the Chun-Li Box in July.  All three are available for pre-order now.

The collectible card game series Universal Fighter System is adding Soulcalibur VI to its system.   

The Soulcalibur VI CCG will consist of 108 different cards representing twelve characters from Soulcalibur VI: Groh, Ivy, Kilik, Maxi, Mitsurguri, Nightmare, Siegfried, Sophitia, Taki, Xianghua, Yoshimitsu, and Zasalamel.  Each 10-card booster pack contains 6 commons, 3 uncommons, and 1 rare or ultra rare card. There are 32 commons, 28 uncommons, 29 rare and 19 ultra rare cards in the set. Booster boxes of 24 booster packs are available for pre-order now, or look for them at your friendly local game store on April 5, 2019.

Fans of Street Fighter can expand their Universal Fighter System collection with two new Special Edition Tins: the C. Viper & Juri Tin and the Ryu Tin.  Both tins contain a Tin-exclusive Street Fighter foil card, 3 Street Fighter booster packs, 1 Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers booster pack, 1 Mega Man: Battle for Power booster pack, and 1 Capcom Platinum Series booster pack.  The Ryu Tin releases in April 2019, and the C. Viper & Juri Tin released in June 2019.


 

Renegade Game Studios partners with Frosted Games to publish its first roll-and-write game, Hex Roller.  Designed by Rustan Håkansson (Nations and Nations: The Dice Game), Hex Roller features a score pad with a hexagonal groupings of hexagons to record die rolls.  Over the course of seven rounds, players will roll the dice, selecting two grouping of numbers to record on their scoresheet.  There are numerous scoring opportunities on the scoresheet, so players need to think strategically when selecting and recording their rolls.  Hex groupings are only scored when they are completed, and they are worth the predominate value recorded in the grouping.  Each scoresheet does start the players out with some pre-filled numbers in each of the hex groupings.  Connecting those numbers scores points also. The unique six-sided dice, numbered 3-8, help in providing higher scores, but the game also rewards filling the hexes with the largest array of values so long as it starts with 3, the lowest number. The simple rules and game play will appeal new gamers while the various scoring strategies will appeal experienced gamers.  

Hex Roller plays 1-8 players, ages 8+, in about 15-20 minutes.  Contents include 8 dice, pad of game sheets and the rulebook.  Hex Roller is available for pre-order now or look for it in your friendly local game store in May.

Though Forbes Magazine is not normally associated with board games reporting, it has published the occasional article on the hobby over the past couple of years.  In the intersection of lifestyle, innovation, technology, and family life, Forbes has invested some time in getting to know the board game hobby better.  Recently, it paid a visit to this year’s New York Toy Fair and discovered 30 new board games they felt should not be missed. Included in their report is a 50-minute video of the 30 games explained by the game presenters at the New York Toy Fair.  Some of the games in the video were just announced at the toy fair and provides some of the first looks at the game.  A few were older games that have been out for a number of years or were recently re-released.  Of course, Villainous, which took Toy of the Year award to the New York Toy Fair, tops the list.  Other great games such as Photosynthesis, Planet, Stuffed Fables, and Bunny Kingdom can be found on the Forbes list.  Check out the Forbes article to see their full list and their video report from the 2019 New York Toy Fair.  

Brain Games ran a contest from October 1st, 2018 to January 15th, 2019 where contestants could submit a trickshot video for ICECOOL to win a two-person trip to visit real penguins in Antarctica.  The contest received 262 entries from 27 territories, with South Korea submitting the most entries with 86 followed by USA with 65 entries.  Serving on the global judge’s panel was Dice Tower’s own Tom Vasel, Joachim Ulbrich (Amigo Spiele CEO), and Egils Grasmanis (Brain Games CEO).  There were some amazing submissions and each region had their own assortment of prizes.  The grand prize-winning contestant submitted a skillful and creative musical trickshot. Check out the winning video and all the other submissions at https://www.icecoolantarctica.com/ .

IDW Games gives players a chance to play their favorite villain in Gotham City in Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery. Each player then goes on crime sprees, steal powerful upgrades and recruit nefarious accomplices to accomplish their master plan and be the first to defeat Batman.

Designed  by Sen-Foong Lim (Belfort and Junk Art) and Jessey Wright, Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery is a push your luck game, which is certainly the case anytime you go up against the Batman.  Artwork by comic artists Chris Fenoglio, Jack Lawrence, Dario Brizuela, and Marcelo Ferreira will delight fans of the original Batman The Animated Series cartoon.

Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery plays 3-5 players, ages 12+, in 30-45 minutes.  Contents include a Bat Signal board, 11 Villain player sheets, 7 Common dice, 4 Power dice, 3 Batman cards, 8 Advanced Hero cards, 16 Basic Hero cards, 29 Upgrade cards, 37 Accomplice cards, 35 Scheme tokens, 18 Lucky Coin tokens, 5 Power tokens, a Bat Signal token, and Rulebook. Pre-orders are not available until the end of March.  Look for Batman The Animated Series: Rogues Gallery in stores on 5 June 2019.