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Svarog's Den - Board Games

New Clothes for Calimala and ChronoCops, and a New Printing for Fields of Arle

by W. Eric Martin

• UK publisher Alley Cat Games has announced a new “deluxified” edition of Fabio Lopiano‘s Calimala with art and graphic design by Ian O’Toole, with a new two-player mode and new expansions, and with a crowdfunding campaign in Q3 2023.

For those not familiar with the game, an overview:

Players of Calimala are cloth merchants in medieval Florence, with a number of trusted employees that they assign to various streets within the city to carry out actions. (Each street connects two places where particular actions can be taken.) While taking these actions, players produce and deliver cloth and contribute to the construction and decoration of various buildings across the city. Employees stay on their assigned places for a while, carrying out their actions whenever the street is activated, and eventually are promoted into the city council, triggering a scoring phase.

Depending on the number of players, each player has a number of action discs. In turn order, they can put one on a space between two actions, performing both actions and activating all other discs on the same space. When the fourth disc is placed on an action space, the lowest one is promoted to the city council, which triggers a scoring. After the last action disc is placed or the last scoring phase in the council is triggered, the game ends. The positions of the action spaces and sequence of scoring phases vary from game to game, making each game very different. Secret scoring objectives and action cards add uncertainty.

Calimala debuted in 2017 from German publisher ADC Blackfire Entertainment, and you can read how it came to be in this 2017 designer diary from Lopiano.

• German publisher Feuerland Spiele will have Age of Innovation and

Ark Nova: Marine Worlds among its new releases at SPIEL ’23, but just a bit further over the horizon — specifically in November 2023 — Feuerland plans to release a reprint of Uwe Rosenberg‘s Fields of Arle and the Fields of Arle: Tea & Trade expansion.

Well, technically Feuerland is releasing the German edition of these titles: Arle Erde and Arler Erde: Tee & Handel, but Feuerland has confirmed with me that Asmodee — parent company of Z-Man Games, which released the game previously in English — is participating in this new print run.

• I’m always fascinated by how publishers market games, especially when a publisher relaunches titles from its own catalog.

In 2022, for example, German publisher Pegasus Spiele released two escape room-style games from designers Martin Kallenborn and Matthias PrinzChronoCops: Einsteins Relativitätskrise and ChronoCops: Da Vincis Universal-Dilemma — with the concept being that players explore different timelines, which can be opened only gradually by successfully solving puzzles, which will help you stop the insane Professor Knix, the former mentor of the ChronoCops.

You can see above how Pegasus packaged these games in 2022 — and here is how they’re being relaunched in Q4 2023:

And the series is being expanded with a third title due out at the same time: ChronoCops: Jules Vernes Parallelwelt-Paradoxon, which is level 3 in difficulty compared to level 1 and 2 for the first two titles. The setting:

Mad Professor Knix has hidden himself in an inaccessible timeline. In order to stop him, the players must find Atlantis, where all timelines converge. Jules Verne can help them, but the way to him is blocked because Professor Knix has conquered the most important of all timelines: Gemini.

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