Two player only games have a bit of a stigma in the board gaming community, but I think this is changing as gamers realise that playing epic games of Twilight Imperium 3 or Battlestar Galactica isn’t all there is to the hobby. Personally, I have really gotten into two player games in the last couple of years. The big change for me was that I really started to focus on getting some playtime in with my spouse. I was tired of trying to only game around my family’s schedule and wanted to work it into our schedule. My first step into this world was the wonderful little take on Agricola that is Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small but the real break through was Uwe Rosenberg’s Patchwork.
Patchwork is an excellent introductory game because of its whimsical theme, familiar Tetris like shapes, and abstract game play. It is not nearly as daunting as some heavily themed, rule heavy games like my favourite 2p game Twilight Struggle.
Now I am far from the first to mention the greatness of Patchwork. In fact, if you ask any board gamer for an easy to teach and fun game to introduce someone to the world of 2p games then invariably you will get told to buy Patchwork. This is why I want to start off this series exploring 2p games with what I agree is the perfect place to start.
Patchwork is simple to teach. Players take turns choosing pieces to fill their grid. There are 3 factors to consider on each piece.
1. How many buttons will it cost to take the piece?
2. How much time will the piece cost on the timer track?
3. How much income will that piece generate in further turns?
Despite the simplicity of the game, Patchwork has some real meat to it and plenty of strategic and interesting choices. This is what I think makes it so spectacular. Simple to teach, easy to learn, hard to master, and quick enough to play several rounds in an evening.