Patchwork a Game

Patchwork is a game that would have sailed on by with out me paying any attention to it if I hadn’t caught my wife playing Tetris one day, known her love of sewing and my passion for board games. I gave it a chance.

Its designed by Uwe Rosenberg and is brilliant in my mind for its ease and simplicity. Yes, we did have some initial difficulty in the first play; this isn’t anything unusual for us, but we got quickly beyond that and entered the realm of nearly playing it daily for one to two plays. This is a new experience for us.

Board games aren’t our mutual passion. She humors me, thank goodness, by playing them. Often the plays can be torturous endeavors for her, for me moments of social pleasure. Keep in mind that there are very few games that we play together where I win all the time or she looses all the time. Usually, it’s the opposite. She wins. She wins a lot. Games don’t bore her, they just aren’t on her radar. I think now, after being together for over seven years and seeing the effect that they have had on me she pays attention to them. Patchwork instills a sense of passion in her and nicely it has the same effect with me.

It’s a two player game and plays for about thirty minutes. We play in on a standard card-table(no irony intended) and it almost covers every square inch of the table.

You start by giving each player a player board, five buttons, and putting the turn track board in a easily accessible place between you two. Then you spread out the patches or Tetris looking pieces in a random circle around the turn tracking board. There is large wooded pawn that you place in the first clockwise position next to a 2×1 tile. This is the only tile like this in the game.

Center play board set up with scoring buttons

Center play board set up with scoring buttons

The first player in this game is the last person who last handled a needle. A little quirky but fits the theme of the game.

Player Token at start of the game

Player Token at start of the game

Each player on their turn takes a tile that they pay for with their buttons and move the marker on the turn tracking board the cost of the piece each turn. The turn tracking board has two different places on it where unique actions take place. They have a button where when you pass it, you get the number of buttons that your patches have on them as a reward- the buttons also symbolize your points for purposes of scoring. The other special space on the turn tracking board is the patch, which is a single space “patch” – only available to the first player that passes over it- the patch has to be used immediate but usually makes a huge difference in the final score.

This is repeated until both players reach the center of the board where you tally your score, the catch which can sink a successful game is that for each empty spot on your board you have to pay two buttons. It hasn’t been uncommon for us to have a game where both players were in the negative.

Player board at end of game

Player board at end of game

As of now, I don’t believe there is a only play mode but I think it would work really well on a platform like a iPad or possible smartphone.

Overall, I highly recommend this game to just about anyone, the ages of the intended players aren’t important but several consecutive game plays may not hold everyones attention. We’re well into out 20+ game plays, in fact, I think we’ll play a game tonight…
Pros: Time of play, ease of rules, player interaction with a goal. Tetris motif. Something my wife would want to play, maybe? (Good news, she loves it!)

Cons: Over too quickly. Amount of space to set up.

Modes of play: 2 player

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game – Rise of the Runeloards Review

This is a review, not a walkthrough or a play example. Check out Pathfinder Adventure Card Game-Rise of the Rulelords – Base Set on and in there forum and or the video section you will find several.
Pathfinder is a great game. Okay, what gives me the authority to judge card games, considering I’m a newish/oldish gamer? That’s precisely it; I am new to the many facets and details that are part of current games- Euro games, never heard of them until this past January- Card Driven games, what…?? I also have the wisdom to say enough is enough, or you dress up a Feld game in a new theme, it is still a Feld game(btw- I like Feld games. Check out Castles of Burgundy if you haven’t already.)
So I read about Pathfinder and watched a walkthrough by the designer, Mike Selinker, and I thought maybe I should give this a chance…I did. I find myself checking out how I can purchase it at 11:30 at night…this doesn’t happen to me very often. The next morning, I order it. I am flooded with thoughts and doubts:
Wait, I hate card games!
What am I doing?
What a colossal waste of money and then time.
I found out after its arrival, it did take some time investment. There were some set up challenges and rules verification- can I do this? Do I want to create a deck or go with what the rules recommend? Given a minimum time investment and some play through – including watching some YouTube videos on it, I was playing it with confidence.

PROS- theme is well executed, it is a Fantasy environment with a fantastic feel. Diversity, there is plenty of everything in the initial set and the add ons included play solidly- there has been some discussion disputing this but, I don’t have a problem with this. Being impatient, I purchased the Character Add-On Deck with the base set, but I don’t feel it is a initial Must Have. Challenging in game play, and because I am soloing the tactics I found successful in a previous play through, aren’t so in subsequent plays.

CONS- not a RPG, if that is what you are looking for, this is not it. Your game will end abruptly by you dying frequently. Don’t let this discourage you.
Thin cards. This was/is extremely annoying, the cards stick together even after playing several games and shuffling several times. Compound this with the fact that the decks you primarily build, at least in the early game, number around 15 cards- makes the thin cards feel just plain flimsy.

Over all: a good game that doesn’t take a huge footprint to play solo but I would initially hesitate to teach to a non gamer. The game does provide a lot of variety.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game -Rise of the Runelords Base Set front cover.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game -Rise of the Runelords Base Set front cover.

A Picture of the inside of the Base set box showing all the room for the expansions.

Inside of the box. Plenty of room for expansions.

Update 11/23/2013
A friend of mine recently asked if I was still playing Pathfinder the Card Game. I was pretty brutal, replying something to the effect that despite its typos and unclear rules(I didn’t have a problem with them and I didn’t think he would- but all the internet chatter focuses on these.) that, Yes, I was still playing it, something like twice or more times a week.
I just finished up “Burnt Offering” today. I know there are players out there who have already gone through this adventure several times. I, on the other hand, have been dragging my feet with it, enjoying when I get a new item or blessing to modify my deck with. Yes, the typos annoy me but I am able to see beyond that- after a brief mental chastisement towards the production team- and play the game. Most importantly, since it is a game, have Fun!

6 Months with Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

It’s been nearly six months since I bought it and some perspectives have grown and others have been reinforced. This is important because Paizo, the games publisher is promising expansions, and a new setting so I want to make sure I am still enjoying it, or is it a ominous dust collector?
I am compelled to play. It is fun to explore the new locations and old, then see your characters evolve- can you get that +1 bow? – in subtle ways. Will this spell make a difference?
Currently, I am in the Skinsaw Murders Adventure Deck. I didn’t really see what could be done differently with this game until I came across Iesha Foxglove. And yes, there were subtle nuances with each card and location and how they had to be managed or played before Iesha; but, I would argue none that surprised me quite like her. During one of the quests, she enters play when certain conditions are met and by defeating her, the final villain is much easier. A real cool variance in the game play I’ve had up until now. Unfortunately, only a couple of characters can deal her damage but figuring that out was half the fun.

What I would do differently
Folks, if you like playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, don’t give up it does get better. If you do not like playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, I don’t really know what to tell you… April 2014

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