Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Uwe Rosenberg


No. of Players:
1 - 4



Gamebox author Doug Adams writes about the game:

Glass Road is an interesting game for one to four players, where the players are medieval Bavarian glass manufacturers. During the game, players will call on specialists to assist them in working the land and acquiring resources, which will assist them in producing glass and bricks. The players will use these bricks and glass to aid them in constructing valuable buildings, which will help them win the game.


The game is nicely produced, and presented in a compact box. There are lot of cardboard components in this game. Each player receives a player board, and a production wheel board. Another board, which displays the cardboard buildings available during the game, is placed in the centre of the table. There are a lot of pieces in the game - buildings, pits, groves, ponds, and forests - to punch out.

Players receive a set of resource discs representing glass, brick, water, wood, sand, clay, food and charcoal. These resources will sit on the production wheel board, which in fact contains two wheels - one produces glass, the other produces brick. The discs will be placed on these wheels in such a way as to indicate how many of that resource a player currently owns.

Players each receive an identical deck of fifteen specialist cards to play the game with. These represent talented craftsmen who will come in and aid the player in some way, typically providing resources or constructing buildings, usually for some form of payment.

The game looks very attractive, with colourful graphics and clear iconography. The artist has had a little fun with the graphics, with various easter eggs on the components. I haven't been through everything, but the shark and the whirlpool on two of the pond tiles tended to stand out!


Glass Road is a simple game to play, and it plays quickly. The game lasts four rounds, and during each round players will select five specialist cards from their available fifteen to choose from. Once these are chosen, every player selects one and plays if face down, setting the remainder aside. The first player will reveal their specialist, and .... and this is important .... if any other player has the same specialist in their chosen five cards, but set aside, they must also reveal and play that card. Every player who chose that specialist will perform that action, but at reduced effectiveness.


This mechanic is very clever, and quite subtle. As the first player, you do want to choose a card to reveal that the other players have not selected, so you get to use it at full effectivenss. As the other players, you want to anticipate what the first player will select, so you can leech off that as well as reducing the power of the first player's card. Clever, interesting, and mildly frustrating when your card is matched and reduced in power!

Most of specialist cards provide players with resources, which are recorded on the player's production wheels. The discs are simply moved around to record the new values. The specialists usually require some form of payment before providing the benefit - this may be existing resources, or the removal of forest, grove, pond and pit tiles off the player's board. Removing these tiles is beneficial, as it creates space for buildings. Other specialists actually replenish these tiles back onto the player's boards, giving the players potential to create economic engines. Some specialists will allow the players to construct buildings for various combinations of brick, glass, clay and wood resources.

The production wheel is an interesting device, and requires a lot of the player's attention. As explained, the resource discs move up and down this wheel, indicating the amount of each resource the player owns. However, these wheels are also factories that automatically produce brick and glass for the players. As soon as the player owns one or more of each of the required resources, the respective wheel - brick or glass - will automatically turn and produce one brick or glass, reducing the amount of the required resources by one each, per brick or glass produced. This happens immediately, and automatically, and requires players to keep a close watch on their production. All too often a player will be saving wood and clay for a nice building, only to have the brick and glass factories take it away from them!


One of the main goals of the game is to construct buildings, which grant some ability and are usually worth victory points at the end of the game. On each of the four rounds there are nine or twelve buildings available for construction - this number varies with the number of players playing the game. Buildings come in three categories - Processing Buildings, Immediate Buildings and Bonus Buildings. Processing Buildings give players the power to convert a resource into another resource at any time during the game - these are very useful as they allow players to ignore some specialists as they have an alternate source for those resources. Immediate Buildings grant the player a large, one time payment. Bonus Buildings grant additional victory points for certain criteria at the end of the game, and give players some strategic focus.


A round is over after three cards have been played, revealed and actioned. Ideally, you want to have extracted the full potential out of your three played cards, while getting to leech some actions off the remaining two cards. Interestingly, going later in the turn order helps with this goal, but it also means you are going later when getting to choose what to build this round. It's a nice twist.

After four rounds, the game ends. Players will score points for buildings built, any glass, bricks and sand resources they have remaining, and for any bonus points awarded by bonus buildings. The highest score will win the game, and based on my experience, if you score more than 20 points, you have an excellent chance to win!


I am very impressed by Glass Road. After several years of playing large, complex Uwe Rosenberg games, it is refreshing to see something smaller, with a faster playing time. The game still offers rich and rewarding game play, and I do not think that fans of the much larger Agricola, Caverna, Le Havre, and so on will be disappointed. The card selection and play is original to me, and I enjoy trying to solve the puzzle of the resource wheel, which has a mind of its own, and will spit out bricks and glass whenever it has the chance.


The game comes with special rules for two players, and even a solitaire game. The two player game is played with the five selected cards face up on the table, allowing players to use some nice tactics in how they manage their cards for maximum effect. The solitaire game is played over seven rounds, and the player chooses a preset number of cards to use during that round, but then they cannot use those cards on the next round. Both of these variants are fast playing, and excellent options when three or more players aren't available.

Glass Road is an excellent design from Uwe Rosenberg. It is an attractive game, that is not too complex. It plays quickly, and offers players some nice game play. I highly recommend it.

Final note: the publisher has officially removed one Building tile from the game. The Roofing Company building can lead to an infinite resource loop, and should not be used.

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany