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Fight Free Radicals Thanks to the Antioxidants in Coffee Traders

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Free Radicals
• Sometimes you look at a game and think, "The title has to be what inspired the entire design, right?"

That thought came to mind when I ran across Free Radicals, the first game to be published from designer Nathan Woll, which WizKids plans to release in 2021. Here's an overview of this 2-5 player game that plays in 60-90 minutes:
In Free Radicals, players take control of one of ten fully asymmetrical factions, each with its own path to earn resources, power, and the knowledge stored in the "Free Radicals", which are giant mysterious objects that appeared around the world, causing a huge evolutionary leap in technology. You might play as the merchants, using action points to travel to different markets, and grow in influence and efficiency; the Couriers, using your drones to pick up and deliver valuable goods; the Entertainers, using card placement and abilities to maximize powerful abilities; or one of seven other entirely unique factions!

Players also interact through the main board, where they can visit each other's buildings and try to unlock the technology in one of the free radicals. You can even help your opponents' research in return for influence and other rewards!
Board Game: Wildcatters
• U.S. publisher Capstone Games has a reputation for releasing heavy games that feature an economic element, such as Arkwright (the title with which it debuted in 2016), The Ruhr, Pipeline, and Wildcatters.

The designers of that latter title — Rolf Sagel and André Spil — now have a new design coming from Capstone in June 2021: Coffee Traders, a game for 3-5 players that takes 120-150 minutes and that includes "over 650 components" as Capstone boasts in its announcement. Here's a summary of the game's setting, with the rulebook scheduled to be released on December 1, 2020:
Thousands of coffee farmers all over the world support their families by using small stretches of hillside land for their coffee plantations. Farmers work day in and day out for very little, but the future of coffee farming is bright. Fair Trade organizations strive to improve living conditions for these farmers by helping them set up cooperatives. This enables them to establish better pricing agreements and take out loans for new plantations, all to help provide education and improve the quality of their lives, families, societies, and environment.

Board Game: Coffee Traders

In Coffee Traders, set in 1970s Central and South America, Africa, and Asia, the delicious Arabica coffee beans farmers harvest are sold in Antwerp — and all over the world — to coffee roasters large and small. Work with your competitors to develop the regions you see fit for the best coffee beans while keeping a watchful eye on the market. Construct buildings to help your Fair Trade coffee plantations thrive while enhancing your network for trading coffee. Will your plantations fall to ruin, or will you rise to the top and become the world's greatest coffee trader?

From gallery of W Eric Martin
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