By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on August 9, 2018
Every time I need to darn my socks I have to go to my parents' house and I ask my mom to do it for me. Of course, my mother, being the lovely mommy she is, tells me go somewhere else with my bloody socks! This approach made me the big boy I am today, albeit with slightly battered socks. I still just buy a new pair of socks whenever necessary, but I am starting to become pretty "darn" good in making some nice patchworks nowadays.
Which brings us to the board game I wanted to tell you about: Patchwork; a two-player game by Uwe Rosenberg in which you have to make a really cool patchwork quilt on a nine by nine square game board. The box contains a time track, two game boards, thirty-three patches and five special leather patches, one neutral spool token, two time stones, a bonus tile and a bunch of button chips (the in-game currency).
To start a game of Patchwork, both players get a game board, a time stone and five buttons. All the normal patches are laid down in a circle around the time board. The time stones are placed at the beginning of the time track and the special patches are placed on their designated places on the time board. The spool token get placed at the smallest patch and the player who has darned a sock last, may start the game. Due to this rule I have never actually been the starting player in a game of Patchwork.
As player, you can buy patches with buttons and add your patch to your game board until you reach the end of the time track. Buying is limited to the next three patches clockwise from the spool token. When you choose your patch, you have to place the spool token next to the patch of your choice and pay the number of buttons shown on the patch. Then, you place it onto your game board and move your time stone according the time shown on the patch. If you are in the difficult situation where you cannot buy a patch or just don't want to, you can also choose to only move your time stone and cash in some buttons.
This way you continue until you have a nice patchwork quilt in front of you. As a bonus, the first player who is able to make a seven by seven patchwork quilt, receives the bonus tile and can add seven buttons to their score in the end. When both time stones reach the end of the time track, the game ends and scores can be tallied up. Every button you own, can be counted as a point, plus the bonus tile. After this, you will have to subtract two point from your score for every empty space on your game board. After you've done so, you will know your final score. The player who gathered the most point wins the game!
Patchwork is a quick and fun game to play, which doesn't get boring very quickly. I really like this game and it is very easy to play, yet the dynamics and the strategy are very good. It is always a good thing to watch your opponent's game board and see what patches they may need, which gives you some idea of what patch is best to buy. You can make a complete plan, but when your opponent purchases the patch you had in mind, all is lost. But when you manage to anticipate your opponent's intentions, it is really fun when your plan comes together.
999 Games (website in Dutch) & Lookout Games (website in German)
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Klemens Franz
Players: 2 players, ages 8 & up
Playtime: approx. 15 to 30 minutes