Tapestry: Weaving your way through civilization development.
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
This game is definitely in my top 10 games of all time. There are so many things I like about this game I could really blather on about it for some time, but, as always, I will do my best to be brief. So here are the bits first:
Theme: You are a civilization trying to carve your path and develop your society through various channels like science, technology, military, exploration, and if you have the Arts and Agriculture expansion, arts.
Specs: 1-5 Players. The box suggests 90-120 minutes play time. As always, take this with a grain of salt. We can definitely bust a game out in 120 minutes, but when I say “we”, it depends, as usual, on who is playing and where the kids are at in life. In general though, I’d say a two hour game is a more realistic expectation for anyone not playing solo. So far 2-5 players hasn’t seemed to have any real impact on game play time.
Recommended for ages 12+. Not a beginner game, more mid-level difficulty.
Mechanics: Variable player powers and set up, resource management, tile placement, area control/influence, potential dice rolling, and some take that, but it can be avoided if that’s not your bag.
Designed by Jamey Stegmaier
Art by Andrew Bosley and Rom Brown
Published by Stonemaier Games
The bullet points do not do this game justice. The object of the game is to have the most victory points, and one of my favorite things about this game is that it is really hard to tell who is winning until the end. I was crushing my husband by two laps and then he counted his final score and, while I still won, he was only one board length behind me.
The game play is interesting too as everyone can be at different eras in the game and finish at different times. The important part is that everyone takes turns and the only way you can do more than one turn in a row is if all other players are finished and just waiting for you to finish. This probably sounds rather confusing in print, but it’s different from most game play where everyone has to finish the round and then reset together, so I feel it bears mentioning.
The buildings that come with the game are cool and the art is lovely. And I just need to take a moment to talk about the paper that the player boards, civilization cards, and capital city cards are printed on. It is the most tactilely please paper I have ever touched. It’s the little things, right?
There are so many options for play that no one can do one or two things and run away with the game. Sometimes one player’s actions may mess up what you had planned to do, but there are plenty of other choices. While someone could definitely figure out what you want to do next and take action to topple your plans, the “take that” is more so in some of the cards, which you can easily not play with if you don't want to.
This game has a lot going on, which can be intimidating when you have never played it, but it is easy to learn. The iconography is very intuitive, and all of the cards explain their functions clearly. And if you have any difficulty with a space on the board or one of the cards there are two easy to leave out reference cards for clarifications. Even with all of the components set up and take down isn't tedious once you do it a few times.
This is a game that stands on it’s own four corners. It doesn’t need the expansion to be an enjoyable time, but Arts and Agriculture adds some creative new elements that are absolutely worth it.
What is your favorite civilization developing game?