Ender Wiggins
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Introducing Pastiche



Let’s be honest my friends – there’s no doubt that the members of the BGG community are truly a cultured and intelligent group of people! After all, who but we have had the vision to fully appreciate all the potential that lay within the confines of those small, seemingly insignificant wooden cubes? Who but we have come to comprehend the miraculous ways in which cardboard can be transformed into happiness? Who else has dared to look beyond the commonplace exterior of the everyday meeple to discover the beauty that lies within? And what other group of people has worked so tirelessly to improve our world and to strengthen our communities by peacefully gathering people together around the gaming table? Indeed, can it not be said that, by our very nature, we gamers are the purveyors of peace and the lovers of all that is beautiful?

Well, in light of these indisputable suppositions, is it any wonder that Pastiche (a brand new release from Gryphon Games) has been specifically designed to appeal to the acutely tuned and visionary sensibilities of gamers with discerning tastes - in other words, the folks like us who inhabit the BGG community? In Pastiche, two to four players will take on the challenge of reproducing paintings from some of the greatest European masters. To do so they will have to possess an artistic vision of their own as they seek to combine the simple elements of the primary colours into works of unparalleled insight and beauty.




COMPONENTS

Game box

The box for Pastiche has been both attractively and durably designed – indeed, this may be one of the most solidly constructed boxes that we have ever come across! And that’s a good thing, because this game is no light-weight.


The Pastiche box cover

The back of the box showcases some of the magnificent game pieces, along with this introduction: "A World of Beautiful Colors comes alive as players choose commission cards picturing 34 of the finest European art works of the past six centuries. Players score their commissions by mixing primary colors through clever tile placement, and recreating the palette of colors used by the masters who created these works. Explore the paintings, palettes and pasts of the artists in this unique and challenging game for the whole family."


Reverse of the game box

As you’ll discover, the game has a certain and pleasing heft, not least because the box is chock full of components - components that have been separated and stored in a tremendously well designed box insert.


A solid component tray

Component list

So here’s what you’ll discover when you open up the box:

● 34 commission cards
● 1 game board
● 132 palette cards
● 54 palette hexes plus 1 three-hex starting piece
● 4 reference cards
● 1 rules booklet


All the game components fresh out of the box

Commission Cards

There are thirty-four commission cards (two cards each for seventeen different artists) and each card has been beautifully illustrated with a painting produced by a master European artist.


The commission cards feature famous paintings

These commission cards are essentially your objectives, and by collecting the correct colours needed to complete them, you'll earn the points listed on the bottom right of the card, which is a value from 7 through 16.


All 34 commission cards, arranged by point value

The cards also provide information about the paintings which they depict, such as the artist’s name, dates and nationality, as well as the date the work was created and its current gallery. In terms of information relevant to game play, below or alongside each painting you will find a palette of two to seven splotches of coloured paint, as well as a specific point value that can be earned from that card. Even those unfamiliar with art will recognize some of the big names here, such as the famous Vincent van Gogh.


Two works by Vincent van Gogh

And what game about famous paintings would be complete with out Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa?


Two works by Leonardo da Vinci

Calling these components "cards" is a bit misleading - the production quality of these `cards’ is quite remarkable, and in reality they are more of a large, solid cardboard tile. All in all, the commission cards have been quite beautifully and solidly constructed, and are very pleasing to the eye!

Palette Cards

The palette cards indicate the colours you need to complete the commission cards - which will in turn be used to score points at the end of the game. As further evidence of the attention to detail that is characteristic of Pastiche at a production level, the reverse side of the palette cards has been attractively illustrated as well.


Beautiful artwork on the reverse of the 132 palette cards

Each of the palette card shows a particular colour (mercifully, for those of us who are colour blind, the colour has also been printed on the card). They also show the number of points which that card could earn if it remains in your hand at the end of the game and could be used as partial fulfilment the requirements of an uncompleted commission card at that point.


The three primary colours

The distribution of palette cards is as follows:
• Primary Colours (red, yellow, and blue): worth 4 points
• Secondary Colours (orange, green, violet, and brown): worth 1 point
• Tertiary Colours (amber, scarlet, olive, teal, magenta, and purple): worth 2 points
• Shades (black, white, gray): worth 3/6 points
• Bisque: worth 4 points


All the palette colours, categorized by type

Palette Hexes

There's a large amount of `hex' tiles, each of which displays three `dabs’ of colour (red, blue, yellow) at each point of the hex; and a single or double primary color in the center of the hex. During the game, you'll be placing these on the table in order to `mix' these various colours, and so generate palette cards in primary, secondary or tertiary colours. The starting piece is simply three of these hex pieces fused together to form one larger tile.


Different kinds of palette hexes

The key thing to note about these hexes is that not only are they of good, solid construction (with a lovely matte linen finish too!), they have also been very well sized. If the hexes had been too small they would have been very difficult to manipulate, place and see; had they been too large, they would have been awkward and taken up too much room on the table. These tiles, however, have been just perfectly sized in such a way as to make for them easy place and see, while ensuring that a relatively compact gaming space is maintained.

Game Board

From time to time companies produce components that, while largely superfluous in terms of actual function, are nevertheless wonderful to have – think of the leather cup in Stone Age for example. Well, in this case the semi-superfluous component is the game board itself. The board, illustrated to represent a painter’s palette, really just serves as a means of separating and storing the various palette cards. The level of detail is incredible, and beautiful too - look at the artwork on the sides of the board, for example, it's outstanding!


The beautiful palette board

Do you really need it? Nope - although it serves more purpose than the board in Lost Cities. It does prevent the game degenerating into a messy collection of 17 different stacks of cards scattered across the table, and at the same time helps make the theme convincing. In the end it’s wonderfully attractive, thematically appropriate, and even functional, so you’ll be glad that you have it!

Reference Cards

The reference cards are double-sided and of the same size and quality as the thick cardboard commission cards. On the one side you’ll find the turn sequence laid out, while the other side shows the various ways in which the colours on your palette can be mixed. These cards are very helpful and you will be referring to them a lot – especially to determine how the primary colours can be mixed together in order to form new, more complex colours, and to remind yourself about the various ways cards can be traded it to obtain primary colour and shade cards – not mention the elusive bisque colour!


Four player reference cards

Rulebook

The full colour rule book consists of eight pages, and can be freely downloaded from the BGG file section here. It's probably not the game's strongest point, and one wonders if it could have benefited from a slightly different design and more rigorous editing or reorganization. But that weakness aside, the rules are certainly well illustrated, and the numerous pictures and diagrams prove more than adequate in providing examples that illustrate the actual flow of play. Overall the rules are quite straightforward and easy to learn, so any criticisms about the rulebook are really just a matter of being nitpicky - you'll have no problem figuring out how the game works, and can be off and playing from a completely cold start after just spending 10 minutes reading the rules. Do be aware of one rule that didn't make the printed rule book, i.e. that all players should have the same number of turns (see details here - although this has been corrected in the rulebook available for download).


The eight page rulebook

In summary, in terms of both quality and aesthetics the components for Pastiche are simply outstanding. Everything from the box to the commission cards evinces an attention to detail and an appreciation for quality that goes well beyond the call of duty. Whatever you may come to think about the game-play there can be no denying that this is a uniquely beautiful and well made game! Fortunately the game-play too is excellent, but it has the benefit of being able to build successfully on the platform of incredibly lavish and attractive components.

GAME-PLAY

Set-up

Hexes: Nearly every set of instructions begins by suggesting that the game board be placed in the middle of the play area. Pastiche proves something of an exception to that near ubiquitous truth, because here's it’s not the board that needs to be placed at the centre of the table, but the three-hex starting piece. That's because you are going to be building on to and out from that start tile over the course of the game, so make sure that there is about a foot of open space on all sides of the start tile - place all the other palette hexes face down approximately twelve inches from the starting hex.

Game board and palette cards: Set the game board on the other side of the start hex, and stack the palette cards face-up on their respective spaces on the board.

Commission cards: Shuffle all of the commission cards together and deal four cards face up on the table to form the gallery. The remaining commission cards should be placed next to the gallery to form a face-down draw deck.

Player items: Each player starts the game with two randomly drawn hexes from the supply, one of each the secondary-colour palette cards (green, violet, orange and brown), and two commission cards.


Starting components for each player

After randomly determining a starting player you are ready to begin! Here's how the complete setup for a four player game might look:


Complete four player setup

Flow of Play

Reference showing turn sequence

How a player’s turn will progress is summarized on the player reference card. In short it consists of the following six phases:
1. Place hex and collect palette cards
2. Trade palette cards (optional)
3. Trade commission cards (optional)
4. Complete commission (optional)
5. Check hand limit
6. Draw new hex
Let's explain each of these in turn.

1. Place hex and collect palette cards


Reference showing colour mixing
In this phase you will play a palette hex by placing that hex in such a fashion that it connects to either the three-hex starting tile or to any other previously played hex. You then look at the player reference card in order to determine which colours were created by the mixture of the newly connected ‘dabs’ of primary colours, and collect the appropriate palette cards.


Example of how colours are mixed

In the example below, a hex has been placed to generate Orange (mixture of yellow and red), Magenta (mixture of blue, red, and red), and Violet (mixture of blue and red)


Placing a hex that mixes colours to make Orange, Magenta, and Violet

So how do you get the primary colours? You don't get any palette cards if you mix two dabs of the same primary colour, but only if the hex you place mixes three ‘dabs’ of the same colour. Instead of taking the palette cards created by the connection of the dabs of paint at the points of the hex, you can also elect to take a palette card corresponding to the primary colour depicted by the dab in the centre of the hex (or your choice of two colours, if the dab of paint at the centre of the hex depicts two colours). Primary color palette cards are quite hard to get, and the only other way of getting the one you need is during the trading phase.


How to collect primary colours

2. Trade palette cards (optional)

You now have the option of trading palette cards either with other players and/or the palette bank. In terms of trading with the palette bank, any three of the same color palette cards may be traded in for a black or white palette card, or for any secondary or tertiary color palette card (but not for bisque, gray, or a primary color). A bisque card can be obtained in trade for a yellow and a brown palette card, and a gray card can be obtained in trade for a black and a white card. If you have a primary colour card, you can trade it for another primary colour palette card, but must give up an additional `penalty' card along with it. You may find other players somewhat reluctant to trade, because they'll only give up what you need if you give something they need in return! If you need black, white, gray or bisque, you're mostly likely going to have to do 3 for 1 trades with the palette bank to get them, because these colours require the most effort to obtain!


Trading with the palette bank

3. Trade commission cards (optional)

You now have the option of trading one commission card from your hand for one commission card that is on display in the gallery. Commission cards may only be traded with the gallery – and never with other players.


Trading with the `gallery' of four paintings

4. Complete commission (optional)

You now have the opportunity to complete a commission card by turning in the required palette cards and placing the completed commission card on the table in front of you. You may only complete commissions when it is your turn and the palette cards used in the completion of a commission must be returned to the supply on the game board.


There's nothing like completing the Mona Lisa!

You can complete commission cards from your hand or from the gallery. If you complete a commission card from your hand, you will need to draw a new commission card from the deck so that you always have two commissions in your hand. When a commission from the gallery is completed a new card is drawn from the deck so that there will always be four cards on display. You may complete more than one commission in a single turn - although this is quite rare, and usually it will take several turns to set your hand up with the cards needed to complete a commission!

5. Check hand limit

You may have a maximum of eight palette cards in your hand at the end of your turn, so any excess cards must be discarded to the palette card bank on the game board. This hand limit only applies at the end of your turn, so it's fine to end up with more than eight cards in your hand as a result of trading with other players on their turn.


The hand limit at the end of your turn is eight cards

6. Draw new hex

You now draw a new palette hex from the supply and end your turn. At the end of your turn you should always have two palette hexes and two commission cards in hand.

After you've done all this once or twice, you'll catch on to the flow of play very easily. Most turns will consist of placing a hex at the start of your turn to generate palette cards, and drawing a new hex at the end of your turn, and occasionally trading cards and/or completing a commission - so the game-play is straight forward and simple. If you're the next player in turn order, you can already start planning your turn on the previous player's turn.

End of Game & Scoring

Triggering the game end

The game enters its final round when one player reaches a set number of points earned by commissions. The amount needed to trigger the game end depends on the number of people playing the game: 45, 40 and 35 points for 2, 3 and 4 players respectively. When a player has reached this point goal, he finishes his turn and the round continues until all players have had an equal number of turns (don't miss this rule, it's an important addendum that wasn't in the original rule book, as explained here).

Scoring

Final scores are calculated by adding together:
• points from completed commission cards.
• bonus points from completing two commissions by the same artist (worth between 3-6 points, depending on the cumulative total of points of the two works by that artist).
• points from palette cards in your hand that could be used to complete a commission card in your hand (count each palette card only once).
Ties are broken by determining which of the tied players has completed the most commissions, and there are further tie-breakers listed if needed.

In the example below, a player had 50 points from completed commissions, 10 artist bonus points for completing both works of Frederik Bazille and of Rogier Van der Weyden, and 3 points from the Black palette card in hand that could be used towards the Mona Lisa commission card in hand.


An impressive score of 63 points in a two player game

CONCLUSIONS

What do we think?

Strong theme: The theme of mixing colours in order to reproduce the paintings of the European masters really is a smashing success. In the first place, the theme really does mesh with the actual mechanics of the game, and you really do have a sense of trying to mix the different primary colours in order to get the colours you need for the paintings you're working on. Secondly, there is a real cultured elegance about the theme that should endear it to a wide audience of people. Let’s be honest: games that are filled with zombies, aliens and other fantasy and sci-fi creatures (or even dry and abstract themes like watering potato fields, or well-worn trodden euro paths like medieval trading) can often be difficult to sell to non-gamers. But this is a theme that most people can readily get behind and feel good about - not just those who love art, although they're particularly like to fall in love with it! In the process of enjoying a great theme, Pastiche also helps enhance art appreciation, because you get to enjoy and admire some great paintings while you're playing! It’s elegant, it's beautiful, and it works!

Intriguing mechanics: Essentially the heart of the game is about set-collection for points - but this is cleverly linked to the idea of mixing colours, which is accomplished by hex-tile placement. Mechanics like tile-laying and set-collection are nothing new, of course, but the way everything comes together in this game does have a sense of freshness, not least because of the theme. So despite some sense of familiarity with the core concepts, we didn't feel that this was just the same-old mechanics recycled for the upteenth time. Add to the mix some trading, and some hand management, and you have a combination of mechanics that really come together nicely in a satisfying way.

Relaxed and satisfying: Pastiche is one of those games that somehow succeeds in providing a gaming experience that isn’t terribly taxing in terms of mental exertion, and nevertheless provides you with the sense of having played a satisfying game. The trading aspect is also quite enjoyable as players try to hawk their less useful cards for more beneficial ones. In a certain sense it also proves educational as the commission cards provide information about the artists and their work. While enjoying leisurely gameplay, there's a real sense that you've accomplished something, and its fun trying to figure out how to maximize your colour choices and get the cards you need for your short term and long term objectives. Somehow or other it all comes together to provide a fun, relaxed and rewarding experience. Families will find the gameplay a lot of fun, and isn't that really what good games are about?

Simple and straightforward: In one respect Pastiche is a fairly straight forward game: there's no risk of getting entangled in arguments about how to play or forgetting exceptions and counter-exceptions in the rules. There's also no complex multiple paths to victory - once you've decided on which commissions to focus on in the short term, the kinds of decisions you need to make often revolve around finding an optimal position for your hex tiles, in order to generate maximal palette cards towards these commissions. To some extent the game is quite linear, and some will criticize it for having a somewhat multi-player solitaire feel. Personally I don't think that this is a weakness in the game, because complexity and confrontational interaction isn't what this game is primarily about. Mind you, the level of interaction shouldn't be understated either, because you do need to make sure you're not making things too easy for the next player when placing your palette hex, and from time to time you might want to take a commission card from the gallery if it will prevent an opponent from clinching a valuable artist bonus. There's also interaction that results from the trading, as you compete for certain commissions. But for the most part the aggression factor is low, which also makes it very friendly, accessible, and ideal for families. The short term and long term objectives are easy to fathom, and even new players can quickly get on board, and enjoy puzzling through the tactical choices needed to meet their objectives, while at the same time cruising through the inevitable tension that results as they race to complete more valuable commissions than their opponents. It's easy to learn how to play, the choices are pleasant and rewarding, and yet the game feels enough like a race to have a real element of competition, and we've often come away from the game just itching to play again, or played multiple times in one evening.

Strategic and tactical: Despite the heavily tactical nature of the game, there are some strategic decisions to make, particularly about the kinds of commissions to focus on. So while Pastiche isn't deep, it does have a very pleasing puzzling and set-collection component, and trying to find ways to place your hex tiles proves to be a lot of fun, and this rarely seems to degenerate into the dreaded time pit that can sometimes capture analysis paralysis prone gamers. There are also certainly interesting choices to make - should you try to go for paintings that will get you artist bonuses? And how can you go about completing a commission without generating colours that you don't need or can't use towards another commission? Choosing commissions with a large number of tertiary colours seems to be a good bet, because you'll easily generate lots of secondary colours in the process that you can use in a variety of other ways. To help out the analysis paralysis types on their way, here's another tip: once you've determined which commissions you're going for, you should start by thinking about what specific colours you most need to acquire - then identify the specific locations where you can place your palette hex to get that specific colour (or in the case of colours like black/white/gray/bisque, to put yourself in a position to trade for it). Then optimize your placement out of the remaining possibilities, by identifying the locations that will yield the most cards, ideally perhaps other colours that you need, or secondary colours like green, orange and violet in multiple numbers, since these can easily be traded with the bank. Also try to avoid placing your hexes in locations that will allow the next player to join together three dabs of the same primary colour and so gain easy access to a primary colour card! You should also keep an eye on the end-of-game trigger, and getting your timing right can be important - keep an eye on your opponent's points, and if you sense that the end of the game is imminent, make sure you have commission cards that match some of your palette cards in hand, so they will still score points. You also need to manage your hand carefully - the 8 card hand limit at the end of your turn prevents you from just collecting whatever cards you need for two commissions, but forces you to trade for shades or make other interesting choices about how you can accomplish collecting points without sacrificing cards unnecessarily. This isn't Agricola or Puerto Rico by any means, but it's also a long way from being a pure luck fest.

Tense scoring: Scoring artist bonus points for multiple paintings by the same artist can be somewhat harder to achieve in some games, because it depends somewhat on luck of the draw, and there's no effective way to cycle through the deck of commission cards. One might wonder about how fair the artist bonus is, given that the chances of getting two commissions by the same artist is largely dependent on luck of the draw - perhaps a mechanic could have been developed to help cycle through commission cards somewhat more, to help mitigate this. On the other hand, the keenly eyed player will try to find ways to increase the chances of getting such bonuses, or perhaps even complete a commission from the gallery in order to keep a key card in hand. On the whole the artist bonus is a good element - not only does it add interest by forcing you to pay attention to the artists whose works you are completing, but it also adds tension and excitement to the game play, e.g. if a work appears in the gallery by an artist corresponding to one in your hand, will you get a chance to get it, and should you? Overall the point-scoring in most games tends to be quite closely contested. Even if you don't complete a commission, cards you have in hand towards it will still earn points, so you need to bear this in mind as the game draws to a conclusion. The game can be quite tense in the closing stages, as you race to complete a commission - ideally one that will give you artist bonus points - before someone triggers the game end. Yes there's some luck, but it seems fairly balanced, and in just the right amounts.


Halfway a two-player game
Good scalability: The game has been designed to play with two through four players and indeed plays well with any of those numbers. With a two player game you'll only have one other opponent for trading palette cards, although most of the time you will endeavour to get the colours you need by placing hex tiles that give you just the right mix and by trading with the palette bank anyway - it does result in a somewhat multi-player solitaire race, but there's still enough interaction to offer a pleasant gaming experience. With four players you have to wait a little longer between turns, but the game plays fairly quickly because to some extent you can plan your moves in advance, and the trigger for ending the game with four players is also a lower score. On the whole the game is very satisfying, regardless of the number of players, and certainly can be considered as enjoyable for two players.

Accessible gameplay: The theme and components alone will be enough to draw many players into this game, but this can only be success when the rules are sufficiently accessible. Fortunately they are - there's enough here to make it of casual interest to a gamer, but yet it's not too difficult that it is going to be beyond what your mother-in-law or visiting uncle can handle. We played it about a dozen times in the first week, and my children are still clamouring to play it, and it's also been requested several times as a two player game by my wife. Both children and adults will enjoy this aspect of game-play immensely, as you can tell from this firsthand endorsement from some junior gamers: "It's cool that you can mix colours ... it helps you to do art painting ... it's got a nice board, it looks awesome! ... you get to learn famous paintings ... it's fun!" It really is a good family game in that respect, meeting the criteria of being beautiful, simple, fun and quick to play, and offering enough meaningful decisions to keep it interesting. Yet it's far from being considered just a `children's game', and I would not hesitate to try it as a gateway game over an evening with another adult couple.

Reasonable playing time: Unless you are playing with someone afflicted by AP, Pastiche should quite comfortably play in under an hour, and can even be played in well under 45 minutes with two players. The first few minutes that you're playing this game might find you feeling somewhat dizzy at the amount of different colours and the various ways to get them, but this sense of intimidation will quickly wear off, and you'll soon have a grip on what mixes are needed to get what colours - leading to even faster games.

Lavish components: Not enough can be said about the quality of the components. The only addition I'd suggest is some stands or racks for the commission cards and hexes that players hold in hand - given the publisher's commitment to make these games the very best that they can be, it would not surprise me to see something along these lines if ever the game goes to a second edition. But not only are the components themselves of outstanding quality, but they look beautiful too. What a great way to draw people into a game, and enhance art appreciation at the same time! The pictures and colours also give players something to admire during the rare instances of down time. Thumbs up all round!



Recommendation

So is Pastiche a game for you? This really is a work of art in every respect: on the level of components, theme, and gameplay. It's not going to satisfy the hardcore gamers or become a substitute for Agricola at your weekly game night - but it doesn't pretend to be either. It's part of the Gryphon Family series for good reason - in fact, it's probably the best of the lot so far! Pastiche is intended to be family friendly, and it has the right mix of ingredients to be a successful gateway game, and I can even see potential to get nominated for gaming industry awards. Recommended!



Credits: This review is a collaborative effort between EndersGame and jtemple.

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mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

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Thomas H
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really great review - thanks a lot!
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Nathan Morse
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Don't be mistaken, though: Pastiche is a challenging game! The end-of-turn hand limit of 8 cards prevents you from hoarding cards, and the effort and planning required to get precisely the right array of cards are far from trivial — especially because some of the higher-scoring works of art require seven colors. You essentially work with three hands of things: tiles, which get you the paints (which can get you still different paints, etc.), which complete the paintings. Ender and jtemple are so right about the tile racks that I'm making some next week (I have the supplies), and I shall post pictorial instructions on BGG.

So, yes, this is a family game, but I'm hesitant to have my five-year-olds play this with us — my five-year-olds who have played Hansa Teutonica and have each won numerous games of Small World against a plurality of adults! I certainly won't try this on them until I have those racks made, so they can see all their stuff at once. This is not a family game in the "kiddie" sense of the word, but as Ender and jtemple say, it's not Agricola or Antiquity....
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Kevin Garnica
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Dammit. Now I have to have it. Why do you do this to me, Ender? WHY???
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Joker Smiley
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Pastiche » Forums » Reviews
Re: A Comprehensive Pictorial Overview: A work of art in every respect, and the ideal family or gateway game
Ender and JTemple your informative reviews and great photos make a beautiful game even more compelling! ... I ... must ... resist ... adding ... this ... to ... my ... shopping ... list!!! ...
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Andrew MacLeod
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Another utterly fabulous review, Enders and jtemple! You almost make me wish I liked the game!
I can't agree at all with your assessment of the theming. Yes, the whole mixing of colours to create the needed paints works, thematically; but you don't know why you're doing it all in the first place! Are you a forger? Are you an art restorer? Are you a 600 year old painter going through his centuries long career? Are you a demented loon who thinks he's several famous painters? Or are you a young artist just starting out, who can't for the life of him figure out which famous painter he wants to emulate?
On a side note: I think you and the Masked Man really need to contemplate at length what the phrase "gateway game" really means!
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Christine Bentz
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I live my life in growing orbits, which move out over the things of the world. Perhaps I can never achieve the last, but that will be my attempt.
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Great review! This really helps a lot. I have the game and I agree that the quality is fantastic!
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Alf Seegert
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A fantastically thorough and well-written review, Ender and Jtemple! Great to read this.
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Nathan Morse
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amacleod wrote:
Yes, the whole mixing of colours to create the needed paints works, thematically; but you don't know why you're doing it all in the first place! Are you a forger? Are you an art restorer? Are you a 600 year old painter going through his centuries long career? Are you a demented loon who thinks he's several famous painters? Or are you a young artist just starting out, who can't for the life of him figure out which famous painter he wants to emulate?

I completely agree with you, Andrew. For such a graphically lush, and well-produced game, they apparently opted to dispense with the back story. It doesn't really bother me, but it did make us snicker as we wondered why we were gathering paints for other people's paintings. ...and I guess we're to assume that one simply trades batches of paint for the elusive white and black... from the... black and white... vendor.

Nonetheless, as I said already, while these points made us snicker, we just shrugged it off, and worked through our involved plans to get the arrays of color we needed....
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Dale Gifford
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Great review! Thanks
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David J
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Looks outstanding! Going to pick this one up.
 
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David Bailey
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Awesome review, Ender! I agree completely with your opinion of the game.

I strongly disagree with the suggestion that the theme doesn't work so well because you don't know WHO you are? My god! It's fun to imagine that I myself am collecting the paints needed to paint the masterpieces of history! As far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough for playing the game. I don't think it's necessary to have some overly involved reason such as being an art forger or something like that. It doesn't matter for this family game, in my opinion--I loved the kids' comments that Ender included! (And yes, this is just my opinion, so please don't be offended by my disagreement with those who say that the game isn't thematic enough!)

Also, I think it makes sense to trade three color cards for a black or white as black is created by a combination of ALL colors (which would not be practical in a game sense) and white is, technically, the absence of color (again, impractical in a game sense). So, the solution of trading three cards of one color for either black or white is an elegant solution that works thematically in the game and practically/smoothly as far as game play.

I think "Pastiche" is a beautiful, elegant, fun, somewhat challenging family game. It definitely deserves a place on my game shelf and in my collection!
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Andrew MacLeod
Canada
London
Ontario
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cthulhux wrote:
I strongly disagree with the suggestion that the theme doesn't work so well because you don't know WHO you are? My god! It's fun to imagine that I myself am collecting the paints needed to paint the masterpieces of history! As far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough for playing the game. I don't think it's necessary to have some overly involved reason such as being an art forger or something like that. It doesn't matter for this family game, in my opinion--I loved the kids' comments that Ender included! (And yes, this is just my opinion, so please don't be offended by my disagreement with those who say that the game isn't thematic enough!)

No offense taken! How can one be offended by someone with an orangutan avatar?
There are many games that I dearly love that are FAR weaker thematically than Pastiche. I suppose I was just hoping that a decent theming would be a redeeming virtue in what is (for me!) a dry, puzzle-solving game.
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David Bailey
United States
Salt Lake City
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LOL! Love the orangutan comment! Touche, Andrew!
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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
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Outstanding review. I have now sent a reminder to my two sons that Mother's Day is coming around and this might be a nice gift.thumbsupthumbsup
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I juggle cats.
United States
Mishawaka
Indiana
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Based on your review, my wife & I bought this unplayed at our FLGS this afternoon. After playing it, we greatly enjoyed it. Thank you!
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Runcible Spoon
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Thanks for another great review! You have put this one on my radar.

Have a thumbsup and some
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I juggle cats.
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Putzmanrudy1 wrote:
Great review. One question regarding your description in part 1, The placing of Hexes. Why would Paul not get three color choices? Shouldn't he get something fore the red blue combination, the blue blue yellow combination, and the yellow red combination?


Joanne's tile wasn't there when Paul placed his.
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Kirsten Sigrist
United States
Massachusetts
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Great review! I just played, enjoyed, and voted for Pastiche at Mind Games It was by far my favorite game there.

We were unsure from the instructions whether the hexes in hand should be revealed or concealed from the other players. It looks like you played with them concealed, which was my inclination, but we had mixed opinions in our group. I suppose it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistent.
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Ender Wiggins
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kssigrist wrote:
We were unsure from the instructions whether the hexes in hand should be revealed or concealed from the other players. It looks like you played with them concealed, which was my inclination, but we had mixed opinions in our group. I suppose it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistent.

The correct way to play is with it concealed, although it can be played face up with new players or as a house rule. See the designer's clarification on this point in the following thread:

Are your commission cards and palette hexes kept secret?

Unfortunately the rulebook isn't clear on this point, but I'm told that this will be made explicit in the rules of the second edition.
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Kirsten Sigrist
United States
Massachusetts
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EndersGame wrote:
kssigrist wrote:
We were unsure from the instructions whether the hexes in hand should be revealed or concealed from the other players. It looks like you played with them concealed, which was my inclination, but we had mixed opinions in our group. I suppose it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistent.

The correct way to play is with it concealed, although it can be played face up with new players or as a house rule. See the designer's clarification on this point in the following thread:

Are your commission cards and palette hexes kept secret?

Unfortunately the rulebook isn't clear on this point, but I'm told that this will be made explicit in the rules of the second edition.


Thanks!!
 
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Reinaldo Guazzelli
Brazil
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Another great review, as always !!!! Thanks.
 
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Gregg Speers
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Liberty Lake
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Speaking of works of art, this review methinks falls into that category as well.
 
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