Monday, December 07, 2020

Board Game Review: Tapestry

From the website, Tapestry is described as "a 2-hour civilization game for 1-5 players". Which is a lie; its not a civilization game, its a victory point generating mechanics game with a fake veneer of a civ game. Don't get me wrong though, you could change all the civ game trappings to gibberish and you would still have a great fun game.

At its heart it is a game where you compete to put together the best engine at generating victory points based on the civilization you start with. There are four different engines and you can invest in any of them but its usually best to invest heavily in one to get the most benefits.

The first time you play it is overwhelming. The sheer number of symbols, options, mechanics, it is truely gobsmacking how much there is going on. Even though the game starts slow and simple, the actions and choices build up until you either find your engine humming along or stalling in the starting blocks. There is some element of luck too, based on the civilization you start with and the tapestry cards you draw that give different bonuses throughout the game as you go through the rounds.

There is some player versus player interaction. On the map itself you can do a little "fighting" over tiles and controlling tiles is one of the engines you can operate for victory points. And on each of the four tracks there are three landmarks you can earn to place in your capital city for more points or resources that you can spend, but only the first player to get to that landmark's spot on the track gets that landmark. This is the biggest source of competition as those landmark buildings are invaluable to building up your city and not only gives you more resources, but is another one of the four victory point engines.

Besides conquering tiles and building up your capital city, the other two engines are developing technologies and exploring tiles. Each of the engines is closely tied to one of the four tracks and often a player will pick one track to invest heavily on and a supporting track to supplement growth and development as it gets more and more expensive to climb a track as you proceed.

This game is available on Tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator as well as a physical board game. My friends and I have been playing it recently on a weekly basis on the latter and it is a big hit with my group. I have definitely added a physical copy to my wish list for Chirstmas.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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