WBG Score: 8/10
Player Count: 1-5
Published by: Stonemaier Games
Designed by: Jamey Stegmaier
When Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games announced a few years back that he was making a Civilization game, I was about as excited as a 40 something year old can get (legally)! I certainly remember a few walls being bounced off!
When the game itself was launched, my friend bought a copy and we played it on the day it arrived. We were both instantly absorbed in Jamey’s world. I loved the game and the experience, and now with my own well played copy, I thought it about time to talk about a few things on my mind regarding Tapestry.
Tapestry is a fantastic game. The production is off the charts, the rules incredibly smooth, and the gameplay rewarding, challenging and variable. I enjoy playing this game immensely and think I will for many years to come.
I love teaching new players this game. Especially players who are not quite as obsessed with games as I am! They see the large set up with multiple components, icons and images and can be intimidated. But within 5 minutes are relaxed into what is, a very simple game rules wise. It’s a great gateway for this reason. Like Wingspan, in that it gives new gamers a feel for what modern gaming is all about in an accessible and quickly understood manner. The rule book is only a few pages long, so it doesn’t take long to learn yourself. And once you realise there is only really two options on your turn, it does click into place quickly.
Tapestry is a simple game at heart. You are given a Civilisation card at the start of the game with a unique asymmetric power. This is the heart of the game and a big part about what brings people back to the game over and over. There are more of these civilisation cards in the Plans & Ploys expansion too.
In each turn, you will be given two choices. To advance your Civilisation to the next stage or try and develop your progress within this one. You will use resources to move up four different tracks. Advancing your powers in either Science, Technology, Military or Exploration. If you have the resources available, generally you will advance one of the four tracks, if you don’t, its time to advance to the next era. Seems simple enough right? But there can be occasions when this simple decision can be overwhelming for some.
You can usually move on either of the four tracks. Each one will offer something of use and other players cannot block you from taking a certain route. So, it won’t always be obvious which is the right path for you. Based on you own tapestry card for the era and civilisation card for the game, players can be led in a certain direction. But deciding which track would be best for you to advance on is down to you. There are no bad choices, but you will find that your end games score can vary quite a lot. I have run from the mid 80s to the high 200’s so far. As such, players can sometimes suffer a little from analysis paralysis as they ponder their next move. However, as you can only do one thing on your tun, and you can’t do anything between turns except plan your next move, a well-oiled group can fly through this game.