Essen ! Those millions of releases. Where you don’t know if a game is good or if you will just follow the hype, or if it will be forgotten in two weeks… Hello there, I hope you’re doing fine. I’m doing pretty well though the week was tough. 4 days of Essen, 3 days of work, 4 days of LARP (terrific LARP, by the way), and then the Asmoday, 2 videos. But nevermind, I am pumped up because between us, it is only LOVE! Fatigue does not matter. Tapestry is the game I’ll review today. You’ve certainly come across a lot of pictures, articles and videos reviewing the game, since it has been released in English a while ago. It is now coming in your shops in French, and I could try it a couple of times so I could figure it out. For those who don’t know, it is a civilisation game that you will play in 4 big rounds, manage to score a max of victory points. Only 4 rounds, but elaborate. A nice thing is you’ll play action by action, which will be quite efficient. A big round is simple: first, you generate revenues, try to generate a few victory points, collect resources, that will allow you to play on the different tracks technology, military, science and exploration Every track is different and will evolve step by step. The clever thing is: you will launch the generation of revenues, score points, take resources and then launch a big round. This is easy: you spend resources to progress on a development track. Depending on which box you’re in on the track, you will trigger different actions, which are of course related to the track type. Then, if you want to focus on the military track, and develop that track, You’ll move your cube and have the benefits of the box. Sometimes you can even pay for bonuses, which are totally optional. It will make you think about the sequences. Will I trigger this action that will allow me to trigger that other one or wait and progress on another track to get benefits I can leverage an action later. Extremely smart. Youo also need to pay attention to the tapestry cards (explanation of what tapestry means in French) whch will tell the story of your civilisation because the game is about that. This is well done because every time you generate revenues, you’ll put a card which is part of your tapestry and will steer your next actions. From there, it will give you gaming sensations that will steer you more to military actions, or getting resources, or tile placement. This is nice because you’re never totally stuck in one gaming style. In every game, you’ll explore more of thse tracks: military, science, exploration, technology and learn what you like most, what is more interesting to get points. You’ll be able to score step by step of 5 victory points in all different ways. For instance, if you progress on the exploration track, you’ll be able to put tiles on the map, territory tiles that is. By discovering these tiles, you will score victory points but later you can use the military track to build outposts on these new territories, even fight the other players. That is, you put your outpost on a tile but you can overthrow another player’s outpost, throw the conquest dice to get bonuses. So you need to progress on these tracks so they interact with the others. On your personal board, you’ll get small buildings that you can remove to get points or resources but by putting these buildings in your capital (a separate personal board) you’ll score victory points and collect resources. The different tracks (technology, science, exploration and military) are divided into sub-groups of three boxes so when you are the first to go from one level of 3 to the next one, you win a building, which has a bigger footprint, and put it in your capital, filling in gaps. The placement thing is important because you have the small buildings from your personal board, that you can put in your capital city, completing sectors, and big buildings from the levels of the development tracks, that will cover more space. Filling in the lines and sectors will bring victory points and resources. Resources are extremely important. They are the only money to buy actions on the development tracks. You’ll have to think about the right combo, knowing that, at some point, you’d better let the others overtake you on a track in order to realize a better combination between two underestimated tracks. The tracks are interesting, they are a bit thematic: the further you go, the more you get access to advanced actions like (I invent) time travel or nanotechnology… Actions that give you more points. Actions that are far on the track hence difficult to reach but nice to have to score big time. In parallel, you have science cards, actually tech cards, inventions that you’ll acquire through the technology track and put at the side of your personal board. Every phase of revenues, that is every start of “big round”, that card will evolve and grant you a bonus. The last level has conditions based on the local revenues tracks thus choose wisely, depending on what card’s last level is unlocked by you or your neighbors. This is clever and also opportunistic. It really depends on the civilization card you pick up. It gives a bit of assymetry but the tapestry cards can also deeply impact your round. Indeed, as the round is a succession of small actions, every player will play until he can’t or doesn’t want to. Then he can decide to go to the next era (that is a “big round”) and generate revenues. There could be a shift between different players being at different eras. It is a peculiar game dynamics because you will think about the right timing to generate revenues and enter a new era. IT is good to start a new era, like jumping forward, but it is also nice to use your resources as good as possible to optimize the most actions and future revenues. This game is crazy because the simplest action, like putting a tile and get 5 points might look simple but these are the things that will bring you in the lead and never let go, go on with scoring. Actually, the game, as well for actions as for points, is going exponentially. At start, you’ll get maybe 20 points an era and then 40, 50, … If you have a look at the central board: the points track goes from 1 to 100. But next to it: boxes of 200, 300, 400. So you can really get a very high score. You need to be vigilant. Choose the tapestry card carefully. It will set the flavour of your era. You’ll need to focus and optimize for instance towards more miitary actions, or scientific even if you need to deviate from your initial strategy, in a more opportunistic way, more in line with the current situation. I like that the military option will bring points without obliterating the others. Yes, you overthrow other’s outposts, and steal the control of a tile but you don’t steal points or resources, which are the money, really the main fuel of the game. They will allow you to move along the development tracks of your civilization. So the game mechanics are not complicated. You pay resources from your personal board, you progress on the civilization’s development tracks, activate the effects of the box you arrive in. And so on for all players until one decides to jump to his revenues phase. Even to keep a bit of resources for the next era. And so on until all players have played their last revenues phase. Then we check the victory points for the winner. I loved it because we start small, with only 4 resources. And you think, 4 resources: I can only take 4 actions. Indeed but you will try to combine and develop as much as possible in one era. This is key to be able to do a max of small things that will earn a lot. It is key to know how to manage his resources during the first era and earn more on the 2nd and 3rd and enable more actions. On one side, you’ve got the development tracks but do not forget your own board because, by removing the small houses, you will increase your revenues and unlock some recurring victory points. The spirit of this game is to develop several things, start several strategies, make them converge since on all tracks, common or personal, you have potential combinations. For instance, military and exploration tracks are quite complementary. You need to explore to conquer more tiles, to wage a war. But you can defend yourselves, Among the tapestry cards, there are ambush cards that will prevent an attack. There are also objectives on the board so there is a kind of race to score first. Obviously, this game requires interactions since you share the central board and development tracks. But this is not as destructive as many 4X games. This is enjoyable to be in a race with no sabotage. And the game is beautiful. The production is really good. The building miniatures are lovely. The 3D rendering is very esthetic. So, yes, this is not necessary and it makes the game very expensive (about 90 euros). It is a big game in a big box. A lot of components. Indeed we could have played with cardboard tiles and tokens. We don’t need the 3D city. But I can’t help finding it visually amazing. So nice to see the city building up, giving your capital city this relief. It is an esthetic gimmick which probably makes the price so high. It is also the editor’s trademark (Stonemaier), Matagot is localizing it. They make expensive games: Scythe, Root, Wingspan, expensive because they are also beautiful. But as gamer, you also like to have something more than game mechanics. I like to think about the small colored eggs in Wingspan. There is a “Wow” thing about that. This is the same, building up the city, This relief adds something purely visual, certainly, but enjoyable. As for the gaming aspects, I am 100% convinced. I was expecting a lot and after a few games, I know this game was made for me. I am not a player that can plan long-term. So I struggle with civilization games that require to watch too many parameters at the same time and moreover take into account other’s players moves. Here you can make your own cooking in your corner and still end with a good score. Players that like to plan will get frustrated because they will face players that will simply take their chance or the right cards at the right time. But I think that for players like me who like being opportunistic, not too much planning but still a lot of reflexion and investment, it is a wonderful finding. It is a chance for players like me to try something heavy without getting crushed because you do not plan like a strategist gamer. So your friend who likes for instance Great Western will hate it because he will play against noobies who will score like hell, not being able to block them because they had the right idea at the right time. The “race” aspect might also repel some players who would lose the chance to acquire a building or take a certain action. But anyway, there is always a way to catch up. Tou just need to keep in mind that a lot happens in the first rounds and that, game after game, you will realize that certain civilizations or certain cards are better than others. You are free to remove some. In Res arcana, I removed a card because I found it would rig the game. Then I could enjoy it again. I think, for Tapestry, on the long run, it will happen. You will realize that some civilizations have an obvious advantage, or some cards combinations. It is not a crime to remove a card if you think it is unbalanced. However, I also think you have to tame the game. After trying different strategies, you will realize some things combine in a way you did not suspect. Yes, it is a game that need to be tamed. And for the fans, there is a SOLO mode. Made by Automa factory as usual for almost every Stonemaier game, I think. They created a solo mode that will allow you to experience this game even if you don’t have available players. So I think I covered it all. I take it that, beyond the hype, I found a really nice game, with everything I expected, that is a certain level of thinking and strategy but open enough to try different strategies. Games can be quite different, depending on your tapestry cards, your civilization. Even your capital city card will be different so every game will bring different configurations. You will think about strategies that could be more interesting from one game to the other. Depending on your player’s profile, you might check if this style is your style. I have been honest about but also about the rich experience and the fun that I had. So beyond the hype, I think it is an excellent game. Not everybody will agree. Alex hated it (aka The amazing guy who writes the subtitles). Whatever, I advise you to try it and to make up your mind. Do not hesitate, if your local club has it, or in a festival nearby, You’ll get to know exactly after a game if you’re in, in Team Tapestry and you love it, or realize this is not your king of game and you don’t want to spend for this. So, I covered it all, or almost. I hope you enjoyed this video. As usual, if you liked it don’t be afraid to comment, share, like, subscribe too (activate the little bell !) so you’ll get notified when I post a new video. So a lot of kisses and see you soon !