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Walk the Glass Road Again, and (Re-)Release Five Ravens

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Glass Road
• In mid-2021, German publisher Feuerland Spiele will release a new edition of Uwe Rosenberg's Glass Road, with no changes to the game other than the addition of all previously released promos: the Oktoberfest and Adventskalender tiles and the Harlekin card for use in the solitaire version of the game.

U.S. publisher Capstone Games will release this new edition in English, although the release date is not yet set. Says Capstone's Clay Ross, "We'll have a limited supply of the same promo punchboard for gamers who already have a previous edition."

As for what the game's about, here's an overview for those unfamiliar with the earlier release:
The game Glass Road commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today, the "Glass Road" is a route through the Bavarian forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you keep your business flowing. Cut the forest to keep the fires burning in the ovens, and spread and remove ponds, pits, and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders...

In more detail, the game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of fifteen specialist cards, and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, you choose a hand of five specialists. If during this building period, you play a specialist that no other player has in hand, you may use both abilities on that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each of them may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of these specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits), and build a variety of buildings, which come in three types:

—Processing buildings
—"Immediate" buildings with a one-time effect
—Buildings that provide bonus points at the end of the game for various accomplishments

Mastering the balance of knowing the best specialist card to play and being flexible about when you play it — together with assembling a clever combination of buildings — is the key to this game.
• On March 11, 2021 as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, U.S. publisher Looney Labs will re-release Martian Fluxx, Oz Fluxx, and Seven Dragons, each of which has been out of print since the early 2010s.

Board Game: Martian Fluxx
Board Game: Oz Fluxx
Board Game: Seven Dragons

Additionally, starting January 1, 2021 the first four thousand or so orders through the Looney Labs web store will receive a bonus gift of a "fun anniversary card" and two copies of Tiny Fluxx, ideally one being for you and one being a gift to a prospective gamer. In the publisher's words: "This is our way of getting these adorable two-player, 21-card versions of Fluxx into the hands of those who want them most AND spreading the love to build our fan base. We hope you enjoy them!"

Board Game: Five Ravens
Grant Rodiek's Five Ravens, self-published in 2017 through Hyperbole Games, will be re-released as Nine Ravens in 2021 by French publisher Matagot. The publisher notes that this new release will be "a deluxe version, with more intuitive components and gameplay".

Here's a description from Rodiek of the original game:
Five Ravens is a quick game that combines deck building and tableau building. Every player begins with the same nine cards, each of which belongs to a band of thieves. On your turn, you play one raven for its action or denote it as your thief. At the end of the round, players choose one relic using their chosen thieves to indicate selection order. Then, the raven is permanently removed from your deck, which grants a bonus (or penalty) that affects your choices.

Players will see diverging strategies and lots of variability in such a small game with only five rounds.
• Following a mid-2020 Kickstarter campaign for Trinidad, a new version of Michele Quondam's Río de la Plata, publisher is now running a crowdfunding campaign on Giochistarter (GS link) for a miniatures-free version of the game that will have a lower price point.
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