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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Place Toadstools in the Glade, Build Words from the Sides, and Forge a Path of Civilization

by W. Eric Martin

• Aside from Kutná Hora: The City of Silver (announcement here), plenty of other SPIEL ’23 titles are popping to the surface.

Richard Breese of R&D Games, for example, has started showing off The Glade, a 1-4 player design that looks unlike anything he’s released in recent years:

It’s summer time, and amid the forest lies the glade.

In The Glade, you fill your personal forest board with sets of forest tiles (played from your tile rack) that feature creatures, leaves, and forest fruits. Create sets of three tiles to place one of your toadstool counters onto the central glade board. Complete a set of four tiles to add a toadstool to your store. Claim toadstool counters from the glade for your store by playing matching forest tiles. Play toadstool counters into enclosures in your forest to create extra actions.

When one player has played all twelve of their toadstool counters or when all the forest tiles have been drawn from the bag, the player with the most points wins.

Mock-up image

After playing the basic game, progress to the “matching” game in which you also match your forest tiles to the creatures, leaves, or forest fruits on your forest board.

Breese typically creates a GeekList to explain the gameplay of an upcoming design, so look for more details on The Glade in the months ahead.

• Belgian publisher Captain Games debuted in 2022 with the co-operative party game 13 Words (overview here), and for SPIEL ’23 it will have…another co-operative party game, this time Sides, a 2-9 player game from Cédrick Caumont and François Romain:

Every word counts, so focus and think carefully about your choices.

The objective of the game is simple: Each round, help two detectives find a mystery word. To do so, the other players (the witnesses) give detectives a one-word clue that starts with the letter at either end of the letter-card line.

The detectives then jointly offer an answer, and if they found the solution, two other players become the detectives and a new word is uncovered; if not, the witness players suggest a new clue with a new letter card. The fewer the clues used and the more words guessed, the higher the score.

• Aside from Sides, which will actually debut in June 2023 in France, Captain Games will have Path of Civilization from Fabien Gridel, co-designer of 2022’s Turing Machine.

Here’s an overview of this 1-5 player game that lasts 60-120 minutes:

Take the reins of your civilization, and make choices that will lead to the most prosperity. Research new technologies to improve your nation’s science, military strength, fervor, culture and industrialization. Grow the greatest philosophical current of humanity. Use your followers to become one of its forerunners, and thus decide its evolution. Send your architects and explorers to create wonders from your territory that will outlive all of us. Grow your population so that the most illustrious characters are born from it and change the world forever, even after their death. Develop your military heritage so that the name of your civilization is enough to make your opponents tremble — and if that is not enough, send your army to defeat even the most distant barbarians. Use your philosophers and thinkers to solve the great challenges of humanity that will mark its history.

In Path of Civilization, from the very first second of the game you must make choices that will have repercussions until the end of the game. The game is played simultaneously and works with a simple card and resource management system. The diversity of its cards guarantees enormous variability.


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