Stonemaier Games are known for producing some of the bigger, more well known games of late. Wingspan, Scythe, Viticulture, Charterstone... all games that immediately are recognised and have a great reputation! Now, the focus for many of these games is asymmetrical play. An excellent element of any game because it means playing it a second time will be an entirely different experience! Their other forte is the focus on building something. Whether you develop a winery or a village, players have control to do what they can!
Recently, Stonemaier Games revealed Tapestry. By combining their two main strengths across their designs, they have developed an asymmetrical, civilisation building game. Surprising, no? But should you be excited? Absolutely!
What We Know!
As stated, Tapestry will be an asymmetrical, competitive civilisation-building game. It will be for 1-5 players and last around 90-120 minutes. Because it states that you can play alone, it gives big hints that there will be a separate solo mode. Also, 90 minutes is a low estimate for any civilisation building game, so I assume the game won't be incredibly heavy! Players will play on individual boards which will have tile laying elements within them. No doubt this will be how their civilisation literally develops in front of them!
The aim of Tapestry is to build a civilisation from the ground up. You need to rise from nothing to something! Develop from little Italy to the Roman Empire! Knowing that there's asymmetry within also insinuates that each chosen civilisation will have different reactions to events and specific specialities. All societies reacted differently during the different eras and that's where a lot of our own culture comes from. And it will be your job to give your civilisation the best history you can!
As the game of Tapestry progresses, you'll be able to develop your civilisation in different ways. Not every modern society's focus is the same and some benefit more than other because of it - again, it's probably down to our own history! The focuses are science, technology, military and exploration. By progressing in any, you will no doubt gain specific benefits that will aid you against in game events. Then what? Do you go whole hog on a specific track and be the pinnacle of scientific discovery? Or do you balance it across several to best prepare? Already the difference across multiple playthroughs is sounding massive, regardless of your civilisation choice!
Asymmetrical doesn't mean separate. Events will no doubt happen in game and affect the whole world and the other civilisations around you. How you and your people deal with these events will determine the paths you take and the history you build. Therefore, reacting badly won't give your people a great name, and the effects of historic events are never forgotten! If someone is better prepared for something, they'll benefit the most.
What's unique about this? It isn't based on the real world's civilisations or events that have happened. Completely separate! The world is fictitious in its entirety; players create it as they play! Players will interact with each other positively (no dictatorships here!) and helping another player develop may aid your own civilisation.
The winner of the game will be the player with the most victory points. Players earn victory points through specific reactions to events, collections of components, and Tapestry cards. These Tapestry cards are what will tell your history in its entirety, and these are what make your civilisation unique. Because they tell your civilisation's story, earning them will probably be the main aim of the game and the main focus for all civilisations. Therefore, you best prepared for the different occurrences, to take the lead quickly!
Initial Thoughts on Tapestry
I can genuinely see a tonne of replay-ability within Tapestry! The idea of creating your own civilisation, choosing a focus for its ethos, and building a history is incredibly appealing! It's frustrating that the game's concept sounds generic, as it doesn't do service to the meat on the bones! Whether you work to get to the top of the world scientific discovery ladder or the pinnacle of technological development. Or, you aim to be most powerful country in the world or the one to chart uncharted lands, you story is made by you!
The history of your civilisation is going to be unique to your decisions and choices, and I can imagine there will be a great send of pride knowing that. Currently, there isn't a specific release date, but expect to see more news, reveals and previews of this game very soon!