Teaching the Game-Patchwork

Patchwork

Patchwork Box

A game for 2 players from Uwe Rosenberg and published by Mayfair and Lookout Games

In Patchwork two players are competing to build the most appealing quilt on your personal 9×9 grid. In the game you are going to be purchasing patches using the buttons which serve as the currency in the game and placing them on the grid in hopes of filling the empty space as efficiently as possible. Those blank spaces will cost you in the end. The player who has the most buttons leftover at the end of the game, minus penalties will win the game and have quilted their patchwork masterpiece.

Setup

To start with, give each player their quilt board, either in green or yellow. Also give them their time token of the same color as their quilt board to be used on the Central Time board which you will set in the middle of the table and give each players five buttons to start with, while putting the rest of the buttons off to the side within easy reach. Each player will take their time token and place it on the starting space of the time board, the board is two sided, you can use either the spiral or the square, both have exactly the same number of spaces. Next take the thirty three regular patches and randomly place them in a circle around the time board, this circle will be fairly big so allow some room to spread out a bit when setting up. Next, find the smallest patch, it’s a size 1×2, when you locate it, place the neutral pawn token and place it between this patch and the next patch in clockwise order. Find the special 7×7 tile and sit it off to the side, place the special 1 space patches in their designated spaces on the time board. Decide on the first player, the rules say the player who last used a needle, and you are ready to play Patchwork.

Patchwork all set up and ready to play
Patchwork all set up and ready to play

Gameplay

In Patchwork the player turns are not necessarily going to alternate.  The player whose token is furthest back on the time track is going to be the active player, even if that player just had a turn. Sometimes that leads to multiple turns in a row for a player, which can be a pretty important strategy in the game. If ever both time tokens are on the same space the player whose token is on top goes first.

Okay, so now that that is settled, what exactly do you do on a turn?

Well, on your turn you take one of two possible actions, you can either advance your token along the time track until it is in the space directly in front of your opponent and take one button per space you have moved your time token OR You can purchase and place a patch on your player board. There are five steps to take when you purchase a patch.

First, you choose the patch, you can choose any one of the three patches that are in front of the neutral token in clockwise order.

Secondly, when you take a patch, you move the neutral token into the spot vacated by that patch.

Thirdly, you have to pay for that patch(What? You didn’t think they were free did you?). The cost of the patch is the indicated on the patch itself by the number to the left of the button icon.

Button cost
Button cost

The fourth step of this action is to actually place the patch on your player board. There is only really one rule to remember when placing your patch on your board and that is that your patches cannot overlap.  You may turn your patch however you like before placing it on your quilt board, just make sure you place it where you want it, because you aren’t going to be able to move it later.

Last thing you do after purchasing a patch is that you move your time token along the time track. The number spaces moved is indicated to the left of the hourglass symbol on the patch.

Time Cost
Time Cost

The Time Board has a couple special features that you need to remember. Remember on the board where you placed those special 1 spot patches? The first person to pass over a patch takes that patch and uses it on his player board. These one spot patches are pretty important, they are the only way to fill in those one spot holes that always magically appear on your player board.

1 spot tile on Time Board
1 spot Patch

Also, you may have noticed those buttons on the Time Board. Well, when you pass by a button on the Time Board, you get paid! You receive a number of buttons equal to the number of buttons on your patches on your player board.

Buttons That You Pass on the Time Board
Buttons That You Pass on the Time Board
Buttons on the Patch
Buttons on the Patch

Lastly, remember that special tile I said to sit off to the side, that tile is worth 7 buttons at the end of the game to the first player to completely fill a 7×7 sections of squares on their player board.

Example of a completed 7x7
Example of a completed 7×7

The game will end after both player’s Time Tokens end up on the last space of the Time Board. Your move ends on the last space on the board regardless if you still have extra time to count. Also, if you were to take the advance to receive buttons action you do only gain buttons equal to the actual number of spaces moved, you don’t get that one extra to jump ahead of the person already at the end.

Now, it’s time to score those masterpieces of patchwork quilting. Count up the number of buttons you have left in your supply, adding in the 7 bonus points for the special tile if you have rightfully earned that one.  Then, from that score, subtract 2 points for each empty space on your quilt board.

May the best quilter win!

 

 

Mahola Preview

Mahola is a 3-4 player card drafting game from SP Hansen Games. In it, the players are trying to put together the highest scoring Native American dance to win the round and ultimately be the first person to collect three wins.

The game of Mahola itself plays very easily. At the beginning of each round the players are dealt a special character card, there are four different ones in the game, the Shaman, the Maiden, the Hunter and the Chief. Each of these characters have a special ability that can alter your tableau of dances that you are building in front of you and they are kept secret from the other players until you reveal them at the end of the round before scoring. After everyone is dealt their character card, the dealer will then deal each player 5 Dance Cards for their starting hand, placing the rest of the Dance Cards onto the center of the table to act as the draw pile.

Card Examples

Gameplay moves like this, each player will select a card from their hand and place it face down in front of them. Once each player has selected a card, they are revealed and placed into their tableau. The players then choose a card to pass to the player on their left and a card to pass to the player on their right. After they receive two cards in return they draw a card from the top of the deck and repeat the procedure until each of them have five cards in their tableau. The important thing to remember when placing down the cards is that they can only be placed on the ends of the tableau, you cannot place them in between cards in your tableau. After the five Dance Cards have been played to the players tableau, the players then reveal their character card, take the action allowed by the character card, if they so desire, and score their dances.

Scoring Example

The scoring for each round is pretty straight forward, but it has a lot to do with coordinating your plays correctly and getting the cards in the correct order in the tableau. First off, each character card is either red or black, if your character card color matches the color of the number in the upper left of the Dance Card, you gain that many points. If your color does not match, you lose that many points, unless the spirit animal on the Dance Card matches the spirit animal on your Character Card, then you score zero. After scoring those points you add to that the points from the secondary dance icons if they match the card they are right next to. Also, there is a chance to score an additional 2 points on a card if you manage to have the correct dances adjacent to the card. If that all sounds a bit odd, well, it may be that way the first time through, but once you see the scoring in action it makes perfect sense. The highest score wins the round and takes the Wampum token to show that they have one win. You repeat this until someone has three Wampum tokens and that person wins Mahola.

Mahola Cards

To start with, the art for Mahola is absolutely fantastic and those who love the Native American theme will love examining the cards to soak up each and every detail on them, and that’s made a bit easier because the cards are larger than normal playing cards which is another bonus. That all being said, this was a Preview Copy of the game and I can only imagine that they’ve got some ideas to keep improving the look for the final product, and I can’t wait to see what they are.

Mahola Cards

Graphic Design was there were a couple small issues we had with the cards, mainly when trying to score, it was kind of off-putting how you had to look at the lower banner at the adjacent dance and then glance to the top of the two adjacent cards to read and see if you matched them. But it looks like Scott has already thought of that and they have color coded the dances to make them easier to pick up at first glance, which you can see in the photo above. This will be a great help when scoring your tableau.

Gameplay wise, this is a pretty straight forward drafting game that takes some careful planning to build your tableau to perform the best dance. Knowing what to pass off to the other players can be a pretty big advantage for you if you can figure out early on what they are going for. My only issue with it being that in a four player game there is going to be one player that each player won’t interact with at all, so you have to hope that everyone else is paying as close attention as you are when passing the cards. But, that would probably be easily solved by switching up the passing directions and adding a pass across the table as well. The chaining of the dances in the tableau make for a really nice mural that you are creating in front of you, I can’t state this enough that the artwork is fantastic.

The field is getting more and more crowded with these small box games that play in 15-30 minutes. It’s getting tougher and tougher to set yourself apart from the field and I think that Scott has done that with this one, the unique theme, the fantastic artwork and the ease of play with decisions to be made each round make this one an easy choice to back at $15, or $18 if you want the Wampum Beads to go with your game.

Mahola is scheduled to hit Kickstarter on the 26th of January.

Be sure to check out the preview page ahead of the launch!

Imperial Assault Insert from The Broken Token

WDYPTW Note-I’ve been trying to get more of the family into reviewing things and talking board games, and one of them finally took the bait!! YEAH!!!!

A Review by Brad Morrow

So for Christmas I got The Broken Token Imperial Assault Organizer and when Brandon asked me to give a review on it I figured I would give it a go.

I have had my copy of Imperial Assault since last Christmas and have enjoyed the game itself but had been slightly frustrated with how difficult it is to store all of the components and have them easily accessible while playing the game. About a month after I got Imperial Assault I did some measuring and DIY’d foam board inserts, bought some Plano boxes and even found a website to create my own custom card boxes. The biggest issue with this was the more Ally and Villain packs I got the less room in my card boxes and custom foam board inserts I had. So when talking to Brandon about possible ways to better organize it he suggested checking out Broken Token.

The Before Image
The Before Image

After checking out The Broken Token’s website and looking at the insert, I thought it looked like a really good solution to my storage issues so I put it on my wishlist. On Christmas I was happy to see that I had received it as a gift and couldn’t wait to put it together, luckily I was able to work on it the night after Christmas. I unwrapped the set to take a look at what I was getting myself into. The set contained 15 sheets of Baltic Birch with lots and lots of pre-cut/etched pieces and an instruction booklet. I grabbed a TV tray to get setup and started looking through the instructions, they seemed pretty straightforward. They included diagrams of all the sheets of wood and then letters assigned to each piece. On this particular set the letters range from A – MM, with some being duplicates since there are actually 83 pieces to punch out.

Wood!!
Wood!!

I began on step one because that’s the smart thing to do. I had heard both good and bad things about this part of the process. The bad was while punching out the pieces of wood you could end up breaking or splintering something. The other thing I heard was that when putting together not all the pieces would fit quite right. The instructions themselves did “Note: Some glue may be required when assembling the token trays.” Luckily, with the exception of one small piece I did not have any of these issues. As far as the punching out went I did not run into any issues since I went against my normal demeanor and was patient which I believe helped. In the end I had no problems with pieces coming out with any kind of splintering or malformations.

One thing I feel I should mention is that as I was putting together the trays, there was an unexpected loud click when I snapped pieces together. It was a scary click and was very loud and my wife even commented that she’s thought I was breaking the pieces as I was putting them together. Luckily, I was not breaking them and they were just snapping together with a snap tight fit. All the pieces that snapped together seem to hold with plenty of tightness with the exception of a couple pieces, specifically the divider section for the mini figs, that slid together so that you can adjust sizes. You can take them apart in case you change the size you want to allocate to a figure. I ended up doing this after getting all of my figures out and packing them in the new storage trays. After getting that first tray put together I was giddy with excitement at the outcome; I smiled, looked at my wife and said “check this out!”

Check This Out!!
Check This Out!!

I continued piece by piece, section by section putting together my new organizer. Everything was going smooth and working out just fine until I had to turn to the back page of the instruction booklet. It’s not that the instructions were poorly written or confusing it’s just that the guide showing which pieces to punch out was on the inside of the manual. So when the next piece I needed was piece AA, I would have to flip to the inside of the booklet to find out which piece of wood contained the AA piece so I could punch it out. So essentially you have to flip back-and-forth between pages for the rest of the instructions. Personally, I feel like there could be some better ways to do this. Either by printing all the instructions on one piece or one side of the piece of paper or I guess during setup you could mark out with a pen next to all the pieces their respective letters. I did mention this earlier, but I’ll mention it again now that there were duplicates of each piece so you may have two or three B pieces but might have just one D piece but then C has four pieces, so there were quite a few pieces to search through and correctly identify. Nonetheless, once I got past the flipping back-and-forth between the back page and the inside I kind of got into the groove of finding all the correct parts and then punching them out and setting them in small stacks. I could then easily take the small stacks following the nicely drawn instructions to put together the next set of pieces.

All in the Box
All in the Box

I continued through this process relatively easily and I think the overall process took me less than an hour to do. That includes small breaks for watching TV, taking sips of soda and talking with my wife. I then began to take apart my current setup of Imperial Assault organization. Once that was done and after looking at the instructions again to see the proper stacking alignment of the multiple different trays I was able to put all my pieces into all the trays. Then with some slight adjustments for storage of the cards, of the cardholder tray, and the trays that hold the figures I was able to get everything I had into all the organizational pieces. As a side note I own the base set and then six expansion packs, including Stormtroopers and the Hired Guns set both of which have multiple figures, not just single figures like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker. I was easily able to fit quite a few more cards into this organizational box. I then stacked them and put them into the original game box and except for a little bit of space needed for instruction manuals and expansion side missions/skirmish mission inserts that come with the expansion packs, the box lid fit like a glove.

Box Closed
Box Closed

Overall, I am very pleased with this product and would recommend this for anyone that plans on expanding their base set of Imperial Assault. I am also looking forward to possibly trying out some of their card holders if I can find the size I need to accommodate all of my X-wing expansion.

 

First Play Thoughts on Patchwork

After listening to everyone enjoy Patchwork for over a year, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a copy for us to try out.

Patchwork is another game in Uwe Rosenberg’s small box two player line of games. We’ve enjoyed our time with Agricola All Creatures Big and Small but we haven’t tried the others.

In Patchwork the players each have a 9×9 grid and they are trying to best utilize and fill that space with pieces of quilt. Think Tetris only the pieces are not moving, you are just filling the board with oddly shaped tile pieces representing the patches of quilt.

In the center of the table is a board with a track for players to track their time spent patching in a section of the quilt. Each tile has an hourglass symbol with a number, that number represents the spaces that you move on this time track, the game will end when both players reach the end.

The really neat part about the game, other than actually placing the tiles, is the way that the tiles are purchased. The 33 regular patch tiles are arranged around the time board in a circle randomly. At the start of the game the players find the 2×1 piece and they place the neutral token to the left clockwise of that piece. What this shows is that the three pieces clockwise from that neutral token are available for the active player to purchase. When the players purchase a tile the token moves into that space thusly moving around the tiles in a clockwise manner.  It’s really a fantastically simple way to limit what is for sale to the players and can make for some fun choices about whether to buy or just take income and stick your opponent with the unwanted choices.

There is an interesting income mechanic and also a way to get 1 spot patches on the time track but we’ll save all that for another day, I just wanted to give a brief look at this and our play.

I had warned Kerensa last night before our play that scores would be low and that we may see negative numbers. It’s just that kind of game, the end game scoring is simply the number of buttons in your possession(this is the currency), minus empty spaces multiplied times two.

I mean, come on, does this look like a 4 point quilt?!?!

This one is fun, it’s light, but yet it has some really fun and fairly important choices to be made during game play. We’re suckers for tile placement anyway, some of our favorite games are tile placement, but this one may have a chance to shoot to the top if Kerensa doesn’t get too frustrated over the scoring and spatial elements. Look for more on this one in the future!!

Week 58!!!

Alright, we’re not calling this a resolution, but we’ll call this an attempt to blog a bit more.

The holidays were fantastic, but they are always busy, if you ask AnnaBeth she’ll tell you that we had 6 Christmas celebrations and we all looked forward to each and every one of them and always had a fantastic time. But sandwiched in there was a fantastic mountain vacation and we spent that with family as well, but we had no plans, no schedule, we just went and did what we wanted and most importantly, we relaxed. It was a great way to refuel for the upcoming year, which is now upon us. I am looking forward to what we’re going to do both personally as a family and what we’re also going to be doing as a podcast family, I have lots of ideas that I hope to try out and get working this year.

We’ve got a couple Kickstarter previews lined up that should be coming our way and thus your way. We’ve got our 10×10 Challenge to look forward to and hopefully do a written review of each game as we play them. I want to dig in deeper into our collection and play games more often, rather than play more games. I want to do some more interviews on the podcast, I really enjoy doing them but they are out of my comfort zone, so I’m hoping we can do more of those so I can get more practiced and also provide more content for everyone who listens. I want Gabby to join us more often, but that may be the biggest challenge of the year. I also want to interact with folks who listen more and do more fun things with the show. So I’m going to try to be more active on Facebook and the Board Game Geek Guild so click over there and join!

Personally, I am going to try to drop some weight, 260 for me is entirely too heavy and quite honestly isn’t healthy.  We’re going to work on fixing up our house and get it together enough to possibly be that family that likes to actually have people over to visit and have some game nights or just nights with friends. Just lots of things that we want to do in 2016 and I am actually looking forward to this year more than I have previous years.  Let’s do this!

Here is what is on the Week 58 podcast:

Hey we’re back, I hope everyone who listened last week enjoyed the show, but we’re back to regularly scheduled programming once again.

AnnaBeth is back with a story

Kerensa and I talk about

Terra

Smart Ass

Concept

Mysterium

Eric is back with a much more impressive What He Played segment than what we had

Fields of Arle

7 Wonders Duel

Viticulture

Ora et Labora

Champions of Midguard

Warhammer Quest: TACG

Patchwork

Derek continues his evolving review of Mage Knight and talks a bit about his 10×10 thoughts.

And Patrick closes us out with a review of the Kingdom Builder app and some other fun stuff.