Patchwork is a competitive game for two players. The players are quilters trying to fill quilt boards with a range of different patches and to accumulate as many buttons as possible. Once both players have run out of time, as illustrated by the central time board, the player with the most points wins the game.
Quilting is a great way to make use of odd scraps of textile. It is unknown when the act of quilting began. The oldest known quilt that still is around today, the Tristan Quilt, is housed at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. It was made ca 1360-1400 AD and depicts the tale of Tristan and Isolde. I am skeptical to the possibility that Patchwork will live as long as the Tristan Quilt, but I hope it will stay around for a long time – At least in my collection.
In Patchwork players purchase patches by paying with time (movement on the central time board) and buttons (blue cardboard tiles) as required by the price tag. The patches are used to fill the quilt board, reducing the number of negative points players receive at the end of the game. The blue buttons on the patches generate button-income for the players.
Patchwork is a big game in a small box. It is important to point out that the patches are to be spread out in a circle on the table. The patches do take up a bit of space, so again, people with smaller tables might be experiencing difficulties due to this. We do, however, love to see how it looks when the patches are spread across the table. If you have any suggestions on how to arrange the patches on a small table without compromising the game mechanics, please let us know.
The 33 patches in the game offer a wide range of designs and geometrical patterns. They are made out of the standard cardboard-punchout-sheets as seen in many board games. The patches come with different measurements, but all of them are made up of squares that measure 20×20 mm.
The quilt boards used in the game act as templates for the patches that players purchase. The players are punished by two points for each of the 81 squares on the quilt board that was not filled during the course of the game.
The quilt board has a flat surface without any elevated guiding grids for the patches. This means that there is nothing keeping the patches in place on the quilt board. When adding new patches into tight areas, it can be hard to not disrupt the other patches already in place. However, creating a more stable quilt board would require the publishers to remake all the patches and the quilt boards – which would likely yield a higher price. We haven’t experienced this issue to be that annoying and at this price range such a minor detail can be overlooked.
The game comes with two two-sided (both sides are the same) quilt boards that are made out of cardboard. They measure 190×190 mm and form 9×9 grids.
Central time board
The central time board shows the progression of the game. Two time tokens representing each player is placed on the board. The central time board includes images of buttons, that generates income for all passers, and special patches, given to the player that passes them first. The component is double-sided, although the number of steps and the placement of the special patches and the buttons are the same for both sides
We like the idea that the game board is double-sided and offers two different graphic designs. However, something could have been done to the alter the game mechanics given the opportunity.
The game comes with one central time board that is made out of cardboard. It measures 190×190 mm and has 54 steps, 9 blue button icons and 5 special patches on it.
There are two time tokens that represent the players on the central time board, as mentioned above.
We like the idea that the time tokens are flat. This helps players to avoid knocking them over when eagerly grabbing a patch from the other side of the table. It’s also helpful in seeing who the next player is when both time markers can stacked in the same spot.
Patchwork comes with two time markers, one lime green and one yellow. They measure 15 mm in diameter.
The button tiles is the main currency of the game (along with time). They are used to pay for patches and add to the total score of each player at the end of the game.
There are four different values of the buttons: 1, 5, 10 and 20. The 1’s are single buttons whereas the 5’s, 10’s and the 20 are pieces with images of stacks of 5, 10 and 20 buttons respectively.
For some reason I do dislike the ‘stacks’ of buttons. Even though I love the blue color of the buttons, I would prefer it if they could introduce other colors instead of stacks to represent a higher value.
I have seen several images of people buying actual buttons as substitution for the cardboard ones that come with the game. If you do this you could purchase buttons in different colors to represent different values.
The game comes with 50 buttons in total: 32 single buttons(15 mm in diameter), 12 stacks of 5(26×21 mm), 5 stacks of 10(36×21 mm) and 1 stack of 20(36×39 mm).
Special patches (Leather patches)
The special patches are rewarded to the first player that crosses them on the central time board. They are to be stitched onto the quilt board immediately by the player who received them. They are useful for filling small gaps on the quilt board.
There are 5 special patches in the game. They measure 20×20 mm.
The neutral token is moved along the circle of patches to keep track of which patches are being offered to the active player.
We are calling this piece the auctioneer as it defines which of the patches are up for sale. This is not an official term, though.
There is one wooden neutral token in the game that is 40 mm high.
The special tile is given to the player that first completely fills an area of 7×7 squares on his or her quilt board. It gives the player 7 points at the end of the game, but can not be used for purchasing patches.
Please see the house rules section for an alternative to this rule / component.
There is one special tile in the game that measures 47×35 mm.
The Auction House
The picture above depicts an auction house built by pieces from the game.
#1 Allow a non-participating person judge the aesthetics of the two quilt boards and give additional points. We are usually playing with three additional points.
#2 Instead of using the special tile:
- Give one button to the first person that fills a 1×1 square.
- Give two buttons to the first person that fills a 2×2 square.
And so on… This usually makes people pick patches that aren’t necessarily the best choice, but the incentive of getting additional buttons affect their decision.
Publisher: Mayfair Games
Possible product ID: MFG3505 Patchwork