Patchwork

Agricola, Ora et Labora, Le Havre, Glass Road……..Whew!

Uwe Rosenberg has become one of the best designers of the ‘heavier’ games of the current generation. Four games in the top forty, as rated by us (you, if you’re registered on Board Game Geek) is downright Beatlesque, as far as world domination goes.

But as good as these games are, none of them will be getting a Major Fun Award any time soon.

Not because they’re not terrific. Herr Rosenberg does great work.
But they are quite a bit harder to explain and understand than the ones we like to call “Major Fun”.

And they usually take a couple of hours to play. Or more.
This is fine with me on occasion. But not what we here at MajorFun celebrate. 

We’re all about FUN. Simple. Joyous. Major. Fun. 

Now Uwe’s “PATCHWORK“is just that.

Major Fun awardIt takes 10 minutes or less to learn and around 25 or 30 to play. That’s it. You’re finished. And thinking about playing it again. Right away. It stimulates the mind. And the sense of touch as well. All those patches, of different shapes. Fitting together (hopefully).

And it’s PURRTTY!!! OH SO PURRTTY!!!!
Strategic too.
 A perfectly fun combination.
 A Gamer’s Game in the nicest sense of the word.

But I digress.

Patchwork is a two player game which, rumor has it, has a chance to possibly be played as solitaire, which is always nice.
Each player has her own 9X9 board to play on in addition to the center “time track” you’re both moving along.

track
In this game, buttons represent both the currency of the game (they’re used to buy patches) and victory points at games’ end. You want to have a bunch in your pile. And it’s very helpful to have them on the tiles you’ve placed on your player’s board.
Most buttons wins.

When it’s your turn, you have two options:

  • Buy a patch from the circle of tiles in the center of the table and place it on your board. This costs you buttons (money) and time.
  • Pass and move your marker to one space beyond your opponent’s. You get one button for every space you move when you do this.

Decisions decisions.

Imagination and planning play a part in Patchwork. First, in visualizing what your personal board will ultimately look like and second, leaving as few empty spaces as possible. (There’s a penalty for empty spaces at games end that’s drastic enough to frequently be the difference between winning and losing. So plan, baby plan).

patchwork in progress
The game continues, with players taking more of these beautiful patches and adding them to their personal board until both have reached the (final) center space on the time track.

When the second player reaches that final space, the game is over and both count the buttons they’ve accumulated and subtract two points for each uncovered space on their personal boards.

We like Patchwork a lot, hereabouts. And look forward to more (Major) Fun stuff from Uwe Rosenberg.

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