Patchwork by Uwe Rosenberg and Lookout Games

There’s a reason this is currently rated as the number one abstract strategy boardgame on Board Game Geek’s website.  Patchwork is a combination of economy, take-that, tile-placement, planning, puzzles, and resource management (including a unique time track feature).

I can’t express how great this game is, but I really don’t like the theme.  I think this game would be masterfully redesigned as a city-building game with taxes/money instead of buttons and construction time instead of quilting time.  The board could be dirt, the tiles could be buildings, and buttons gold or dollars.

Don’t let the theme of this game fool you — it really is one of the best genre-busting abstracts out there.

I’d go over the rules a bit, but I don’t want to reinvent the wheel… person that has the most buttons (minus empty spaces on the board) wins.

Boardgame Geek Says:

In Patchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. To start play, lay out all of the patches at random in a circle and place a marker directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. Each player takes five buttons — the currency/points in the game — and someone is chosen as the start player.

On a turn, a player either purchases one of the three patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. To purchase a patch, you pay the cost in buttons shown on the patch, move the spool to that patch’s location in the circle, add the patch to your game board, then advance your time token on the time track a number of spaces equal to the time shown on the patch. You’re free to place the patch anywhere on your board that doesn’t overlap other patches, but you probably want to fit things together as tightly as possible. If your time token is behind or on top of the other player’s time token, then you take another turn; otherwise the opponent now goes. Instead of purchasing a patch, you can choose to pass; to do this, you move your time token to the space immediately in front of the opponent’s time token, then take one button from the bank for each space you moved.

In addition to a button cost and time cost, each patch also features 0-3 buttons, and when you move your time token past a button on the time track, you earn “button income”: sum the number of buttons depicted on your personal game board, then take this many buttons from the bank.