Patchwork is a two player game in which players are trying to complete a patchwork quilt. To do so they must collect tiles of various shapes and sizes and fit them onto their quilt board. Players want to collect pieces with buttons on, as this will give them the ability to get more patches for their quilt. However, they must also keep an eye on the time board to ensure their quilt is as completed as possible when time runs out.
Each player receives a quilt board and time token of their colour (yellow or green). They also receive five buttons. These buttons are the currency used in the game. The remainder of the buttons are placed on the table close to the playing area.
The central time board is placed in the middle of the table. The time tokens go on the first space on the board. Place the special one square patches on the spaces marked on the time track. The other patches are placed in a circle around the time board.
Place the beige neutral token next to the two by one size piece (the smallest regular patch in the game) in clockwise order. Put the special seven by seven tile somewhere near the game area.
The player who last touched a needle will be the start player.
Patchwork plays a little differently to standard games in that the players do not necessarily alternate between turns. The player whose token is furthest behind on the time track will be the player to take their turn. In some cases this will lead to one player taking several turns in a row. If the tokens are ever on the same space, the player who has the token on top will go first.
There are also two types of currency in the game - buttons and time. The regular patches require both types of currency. Players start off the game with five buttons. They can gain buttons throughout the course of the game when they move over the button icon on the income track. When this happens the player will receive a number of buttons equal to the number of buttons on the patches on their quilt board.
Players can take one of the special, one by one, patches when they move their time token onto or past one of the spaces on the time board. Only the first player to reach each special patch will receive it. There is also a special tile, awarded to the first player to complete a seven by seven area on their grid. The player takes the token which is worth seven points at the end of the game.
On a player’s turn they have two options - advance and receive buttons or take and place a patch. They may carry out only one of these actions.
Advance and Receive Buttons
If you cannot take a patch as you don’t have enough buttons, or if you do not wish to take one you can use this action. You then move your time token from the space you were on to the space directly in front of your opponent’s piece. You will then receive one button per space you moved on the time track.
Take and Place a Patch
To use this action you must first choose a patch to take. Players can take any one of the three patches in front of the neutral token in clockwise order. They must be able to pay the button cost to take the patch.
Once the player has chosen the patch to take, they move the neutral token next to the patch. They then have to pay the number of buttons set out on the tile. The buttons are paid into the supply.
The player then has to place the patch. It can be placed on the board in any way, as long as it does not overlap the edge of the board or another piece. Once they have placed their piece, the player then moves their time token the number of spaces shown on the patch. If your token would land on the same space as your opponent’s, place yours on top.
End of the Game and Scoring
The game ends after both time tokens reach the last space of the time board. The tokens cannot move past the last space on the board. If one player ends before the other they simply wait for the other player to end too.
To score, firstly add up the number of buttons you have in total. Then subtract two points for each empty space on your quilt board. The player with the highest score wins. If there is a tie, the player who reached the end of the time track first wins.
Hints and Tips
Try to leave some space for larger tiles towards the end of the game. At the start of the game you will not have enough buttons to buy the larger tiles. By the end of the game you will want them to fill in spaces but they can be awkward shapes and sizes so bear this in mind when building your grid.
Don’t be afraid to not take a tile. There are some circumstances where you could take a tile and just eke your buttons out to get to the next button space. However, towards the start of the game using a turn to move ahead and collect more buttons can be very valuable, even if it means you don’t pick up that tile. It all balances out in the end.
You can’t always rely on getting special patches. By the nature of the game, it can work out that your opponent reaches all of the patch spaces before you. Therefore, try not to rely on them to fill in spaces in the middle of your board.
This may sound obvious, but try to work towards getting the special tile. Seven points can be worth a lot at the end of the game. Also, working towards this tile may give you a better structure to the pattern you are building as an added bonus.