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Lookout Sows Fields to Produce Hallertau, More Agricola, and Patchworks Galore

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Patchwork
Uwe Rosenberg's two-player game Patchwork was a hit when it debuted in 2014, and it's continued to find new fans in the intervening years. (Here's a quick overview of the game if it's still unknown to you.)

Publisher Lookout Games has released a few Patchwork spinoff titles, and now it has three more in the works for those who prefer the gameplay of the original but not its graphics. Note that all of these new versions differ from the original only in their graphics, with the exception of one non-game related element.

The most widespread of these new versions will be Patchwork: Winter Edition, which features red, green, and blue-and-white patches, in addition to a patch-shaped cookie cutter for those who'd prefer to eat patches as much as play with them. This version will be released initially in separate English and German editions.

Board Game: Patchwork
Board Game: Patchwork
Board Game: Patchwork

The other two editions are dubbed Patchwork: Folklore Taiwan and Patchwork: Folklore China, and they feature imagery by artists local to the regions being depicted: Gru Tsow for Taiwan and Rex Lee for China. This artwork was created for licensed versions of Patchwork that will be released in Taiwan and China by local companies, but Lookout liked the style of these versions so much that it's releasing a 500-copy limited edition version of each one, with these being available through the Lookout online shop starting on October 22, 2020.

Board Game: Agricola: Dulcinaria Deck
Board Game: Nusfjord: Salmon Deck
• Lookout Games has three other items due out in Germany on that same date, with two of those items being expansions to existing games: Agricola: Dulcinaria Deck, which contains 120 new occupation and minor improvement cards for use with the revised edition of Agricola (and the original one if you can gloss over differences in terminology), and Nusfjord: Salmon Deck, the second expansion deck for Nusfjord, which contains 44 new building cards for players who have a good understanding of the base game, as well as 25 metal coins to replace the coins from the base game.

• The final title debuting from Lookout on Oct. 22, 2020 is a giant one: Hallertau from Uwe Rosenberg. In this 1-4 player game, players each have a field in which they'll plant and harvest crops, a stable in which they'll tend to sheep, and five craft buildings that they'll progress in order to "expand" their community center, which gives them more workers to use each round.

Twenty actions are available on a shared central game board, and the cost to use an action escalates based on how many times it's already been used in a round; card-drawing actions can be used at most twice in a round, and other actions at most three times. Players manage nine types of goods, planting barley, flax, hops, and rye in the fields. Fields that remain empty will be more productive in future rounds, but the game lasts only six rounds, so sometimes you'll just have to get what you can. Sheep provide hides, meat, milk, and wool, and you'll need a varied mix of goods in order to use the cards you acquire to trade resources, gain additional resources, or spend resources for points.

For all the details of this 24-page rulebook, head to the Hallertau page on the Lookout Games website.

Board Game: Hallertau
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