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Subject: Patchwork Review - from "How does it play with two?" rss

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Jason C
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For additional details and more, visit "How Does it Play with Two?" a website dedicated to two player board game experiences.

I will admit to you that I don’t know how to sew. A while ago, I made a desperate attempt at sewing a button that promptly fell off a few weeks later. Luckily I can live out my wildest dreams through the medium of board games and be a world class quilt maker.

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to get buttons or die trying while trying to craft the most beautiful quilt in all the land.

Each player gets starts out with an empty game board and five buttons. The game board is where you will put together your quilt and buttons are used as currency in this universe.



Player markers are placed on a separate board to keep track of time spent.



All of the quilt tile pieces are laid out in a circle with a wooden pawn placed to the left of the smallest tile piece (2 x 1 in size).



Player Turns

On a given turn, players can choose two options:
- Purchase a tile piece by spending the button cost and moving your player marker the number of spaces equal to the time cost.
- You can move forward on the time board to one space past your opponent and collect buttons equal to the number of spaces you moved.

The time board has two special symbols:
- When you pass button symbols, gain buttons equal to the total number of buttons on all of your tile pieces on your game board.
- If you are the first person to cross over the 1x1 squares, you can immediately add that piece to your game board.

Special rules:
- If you are the first to complete a 7x7 square (no gaps), you can take the special bonus tile that will give you 7 extra buttons at the end of the game.
- Turns do not alternate, the furthest player always goes next. If player markers are on the same space, the person who most recently arrived on that space will go next.

End game and scoring
- The game ends when both players have reached the last space on the time board.
- The person who has the most buttons wins.
- Subtract 2 points for each empty space on your player board.

Thoughts and Opinions

General Comments:

New Players

Patchwork has the potential to discourage players during the very first game, especially those brand new to board gaming. It will take a few turns to understand that generating your buttons is just as important as finding pieces that fit well together. You might find yourself early on trying to scrape together buttons only to find yourself running out of time to complete your quilt. The game is still very light with very little competitive aspects so it shouldn't completely push away new players.

Setup and Teardown

Since you randomize the placement of the tiles to be purchased every game, set up and tear down are a breeze. You won't need to organize any pieces at all. When you're ready to play, just dump out the tiles and mix them around. When you're finished, you can sweep them all back into the box for the next time.

Footprint and Table Space

The two game boards and the time board take up a minimal amount of space. The game's rule does have you spread out all of the quilt tiles in a circle on the table, but when I'm short on space, I'll mix them up in the box and reveal the next tiles one by one as the game progresses. In that regard, Patchwork can take up as little or as much space as you need.

Edit: Thanks to BGG user tigiba for pointing out this:
tigiba wrote:
You certainly can do a random draw for each tile, but you will leave behind what is most interesting about the game after you have the mechanics down, namely looking at the coming tiles and figuring out how much to move the marker and which tiles to take in order to benefit yourself the most, while leaving your opponent with sub-optimal options.

Reasons to Purchase This Game:

Gateway

The rules are incredibly easy to learn and the game doesn't overwhelm players with too many options during a turn. The tile pieces have a familiar look and feel to them for anyone that's played Tetris or any other similar puzzle games before. I think this game is a good fit for anyone new to board games.

Value

Patchwork has enough meaningful decisions to keep interests high after multiple play sessions. I thought there were some interesting circumstances for me when I was thinking about what kinds of pieces I should purchase: do I need to grab some of the more awkward fit pieces just so I can develop my button income? think players will find interesting circumstances when deciding to purchase awkwardly shaped tiles to build a better button income, or wondering if they should sacrifice time to grab the 1 x 1 special tile before their opponent. There's enough depth there to get players thinking about how they can improve for the next game.

Reasons to Avoid This Game:


Mechanics and Theme

Patchwork is blend of light economy building with an strategy/puzzle game. If neither of those game mechanics interest you, then I don't think you will really find enjoyment in this game. The game's theme does fit the mechanics and the artwork is definitely charming and cute. However, this isn't exactly a highly thematic game and so definitely take that into account before deciding if this game is right for you and your gaming partner.

Player Interaction

If you are looking for a game that has a moderate level of player interaction, then this game may not be for you. The player interaction essentially happens in only in two places: you and your opponent blocking certain pieces that you might need, or trying to grab one of the 1 x 1 square pieces that you need from the time board.

From my perspective, the level of player interaction that I experienced was very low and that's because I rarely have the opportunity to play Patchwork with other players who can take the strategic thinking to the next level and plan out moves to maximize value. Either way is perfectly fine because after all, it's however players have fun that makes the value of the game.

Depending on the kinds of people you play with, the level of player interaction can vary and you may rarely get to think about situations from the perspective of what your opponent is trying to do. However, since Patchwork is such an easy game to learn and play, this game can definitely be used as a gateway for you and your gaming partner to develop strategic thinking and expand that to other puzzle/strategy games.

EDIT: Additional revisions made after pondering over replies made in the thread. Thanks to BGG users qwertymartin and BennyD!

caravan

I hope that my thoughts and opinions provide you some additional resources when deciding if a game is right for you and your gaming partner.

Happy Quilting!


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Martin G
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Quote:
you're rarely going to think about situations from the perspective of what your opponent is trying to do. You'll be thinking about situations based on how well you can use certain pieces and in that regard, you're going to find the level of player interaction low or essentially non-existent.


That might be true for your first couple of games, but it's very much not true if you want to actually be any good at the game!
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Ben Draper
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gamingmosaic wrote:
Generally speaking, since the point of the game is how well you fill out your game board, you're rarely going to think about situations from the perspective of what your opponent is trying to do. You'll be thinking about situations based on how well you can use certain pieces and in that regard, you're going to find the level of player interaction low or essentially non-existent.


These are false statements unless your goal is to lose badly.

EDIT: ninja'ed by Martin.
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Jason C
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BennyD wrote:
gamingmosaic wrote:
Generally speaking, since the point of the game is how well you fill out your game board, you're rarely going to think about situations from the perspective of what your opponent is trying to do. You'll be thinking about situations based on how well you can use certain pieces and in that regard, you're going to find the level of player interaction low or essentially non-existent.


These are false statements unless your goal is to lose badly.

EDIT: ninja'ed by Martin.


Thanks for the feedback I appreciate it!

When you play the game, how do you act when thinking about what your opponent is going to do?

Do you try to purposely block off pieces you think your opponent might need? Do you try to take the tile that benefits you the most, but also skips over a tile your opponent would take?

I apologize for generalizing the mind game/strategic aspect since the comments I made were based on my perspective and who I play the game with. For me, I don't have the chance to play with people who can take this game to a deeper level of strategy so I rarely get the opportunity to make those kinds of decisions.

Hopefully with both your and Martin's comments, people will be able to understand that depending on the kind of people you play with, Patchwork has the opportunity to become a highly interactive, "thinky" experience that is incredibly easy to learn with a significant layer of depth that can be unlocked with a pair of strategic minds.
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Happy Everything!
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Quote:
The two game boards and the time board take up a minimal amount of space. The game's rule does have you spread out all of the quilt tiles in a circle on the table, but when I'm short on space, I'll mix them up in the box and reveal the next tiles one by one as the game progresses.


You certainly can do a random draw for each tile, but you will leave behind what is most interesting about the game after you have the mechanics down, namely looking at the coming tiles and figuring out how much to move the marker and which tiles to take in order to benefit yourself the most, while leaving your opponent with sub-optimal options.
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Aaron Converse
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In my last game (with my wife), I concentrated TOO much on filling my board and getting buttons; I didn't notice that we were getting to a point on the unused tiles where I could use VERY few of them. If my wife had noticed, she could have absolutely have squeezed me by leaving me with no choices but unusable tiles (for several turns!) or moving past her. She could have moved forward quite slowly as well, so as to get a bunch of tiles. She didn't think of it that way an optimized HER board in the short term, but allowed me to take tiles that I could use (and I won easily). But if she had been looking for that, I would have been in trouble.
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Ben Draper
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gamingmosaic wrote:
When you play the game, how do you act when thinking about what your opponent is going to do?

Do you try to purposely block off pieces you think your opponent might need? Do you try to take the tile that benefits you the most, but also skips over a tile your opponent would take?


Yes to both. And more. See this thread for a decent discussion of what to think about when playing.
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Ben Draper
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tigiba wrote:
Quote:
The two game boards and the time board take up a minimal amount of space. The game's rule does have you spread out all of the quilt tiles in a circle on the table, but when I'm short on space, I'll mix them up in the box and reveal the next tiles one by one as the game progresses.


You certainly can do a random draw for each tile, but you will leave behind what is most interesting about the game after you have the mechanics down, namely looking at the coming tiles and figuring out how much to move the marker and which tiles to take in order to benefit yourself the most, while leaving your opponent with sub-optimal options.


Ah, yes. I skipped this section on my read-through. This variant would make the game very uninteresting indeed.
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Jason C
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BennyD wrote:
gamingmosaic wrote:
When you play the game, how do you act when thinking about what your opponent is going to do?

Do you try to purposely block off pieces you think your opponent might need? Do you try to take the tile that benefits you the most, but also skips over a tile your opponent would take?


Yes to both. And more. See this thread for a decent discussion of what to think about when playing.


That is intense and thank you for linking to that! I'll have to take a look and see if I can find someone who is interested in bringing the game to that level of strategy.
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Jason C
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BennyD wrote:
tigiba wrote:
Quote:
The two game boards and the time board take up a minimal amount of space. The game's rule does have you spread out all of the quilt tiles in a circle on the table, but when I'm short on space, I'll mix them up in the box and reveal the next tiles one by one as the game progresses.


You certainly can do a random draw for each tile, but you will leave behind what is most interesting about the game after you have the mechanics down, namely looking at the coming tiles and figuring out how much to move the marker and which tiles to take in order to benefit yourself the most, while leaving your opponent with sub-optimal options.


Ah, yes. I skipped this section on my read-through. This variant would make the game very uninteresting indeed.


With all things said so far, you guys are definitely right, but is there a happy medium? Can you pull out half the tiles at first? Or do you need to see the full spectrum of tiles available down the road? Or just find a smaller game if you don't have enough space to set the tiles out from the start?
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Ben Draper
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It's really up to you. What do you hope to get from the game?

For the deepest strategic experience, you need to have access to the entire sequence of patch choices. You might find the game interesting with a smaller look-ahead and a more tactical experience. I wouldn't play it with anything less than the full sequence.
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Ed T
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gamingmosaic wrote:
With all things said so far, you guys are definitely right, but is there a happy medium? Can you pull out half the tiles at first? Or do you need to see the full spectrum of tiles available down the road? Or just find a smaller game if you don't have enough space to set the tiles out from the start?


That would be my vote. It took less than three games with my (non gamer) wife for us to realize how important it is to pay close attention to how the all tiles are laid out in the circle and the state of the opponent's board.

You say in your review that you don't feel like you have the opportunity to play with opponents who would get that but have you tried playing the game properly with those opponents to see if that is actually the case?

Great review, by the way!
 
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Jason C
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supermaxv wrote:
gamingmosaic wrote:
With all things said so far, you guys are definitely right, but is there a happy medium? Can you pull out half the tiles at first? Or do you need to see the full spectrum of tiles available down the road? Or just find a smaller game if you don't have enough space to set the tiles out from the start?


That would be my vote. It took less than three games with my (non gamer) wife for us to realize how important it is to pay close attention to how the all tiles are laid out in the circle and the state of the opponent's board.

You say in your review that you don't feel like you have the opportunity to play with opponents who would get that but have you tried playing the game properly with those opponents to see if that is actually the case?

Great review, by the way!


Absolutely, I almost always play with the rules as written and setting out the tiles in the complete circle.

I probably played using a smaller table space a handful of times while I was moving to a new apartment and didn't think it affected gameplay a significant amount to have only half the tiles out at once. But of course now, I see that I have only a surface level understanding of the game.

After reading what everyone has said in this thread, I am quite excited to try some new things out for the next time. It says a lot about Patchwork to have many layers so players of varying skill levels can find equal enjoyment in some aspect of the game.
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KJ Moore
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I've found making the circle of tiles into a square instead somehow reduces the playing area and we can play the game on our 4' x 2' footstool now. Also makes it a bit easier to see what's coming up, and it's neater, MUCH NEATER.
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