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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First: We tap our inner grandmas to craft a quilt on the clock in Patchwork!
Next: We shuffle and flip our way through the ages as we world build head to head in 7 Wonders Duel!
Lastly: It’s an apprentice showdown as we repair machines to become the new head of the Dream Factory in Nicodemus!

Patchwork (Halloween Edition)

Designed by: Uwe Rosenberg
Published by: Lookout Games (2014) – Halloween Edition (2021)
Players: 2
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 min

Patchwork is a tile placement game where two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. The goal is to have the most buttons at the end of the game, which are Victory Points.  

On a turn, a player either purchases a patch, or passes.

To purchase a patch, you pay the cost in buttons shown on the patch. You must also move the spool to that patch’s location in the circle. Once you’ve paid for the patch in buttons and time, place the patch to your personal game board. 

You can not overlap patches, it has to fit within the confines of the 9×9 grid. The player furthest back on the time board always goes next .  

Some patches yield bonus buttons, and there are bonus buttons and helpful 1×1 patches to be collected along the time track as well. You’ll need those because at the end of the game, any blank spaces on your patchwork quilt are negative buttons.

Sew … let’s play!

7 Wonders Duel

Designed by: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Published by: Repos Production (2015)
Players: 2
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 30 min

7 Wonders Duel is a head to head card game resembling its parent game, 7 Wonders. The game takes place over three ages  – which means three decks of cards laid out one age at a time.  

Each player drafts 4 wonders that can be built during the course of the game. Construct a wonder to unlock special abilities.

For each age, the deck is displayed as a pyramid with rows of cards alternating face up vs face down.

Players will go back and forth taking one card at a time from the pyramid. A player can only take a card that is not covered by others.  Any face down cards get turned face up as they are set loose.

Each card that you acquire can be built, discarded for coins, or used to construct a wonder.

The cards provide raw materials, or are used to advance military or scientific development to help complete those wonders. And some cards yield immediate VP’s.

Players can purchase resources at any time from the bank, but the cost is tied to your opponent’s resource capabilities, so things can get very expensive very quickly.

A player can win 7 Wonders Duel in one of three ways: militarily, scientifically, or most VP’s at the end of the game.  I hope this game turns out well so I can exclaim WONDERBAR!

Nicodemus

Designed by: Bruno Cathala, Florian Sirieix
Published by: Bombyx (2021)
Players: 2
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 45 – 60 min

Nicodemus is a card game where each player competes to repair machines and complete projects to become the next great Nicodemus Gideon – who is apparently retiring, and there is some kind of backstory, but that’s for another time. Be the first player to score 20 or more points to win.

The two players must block one another repeatedly, with advantages swinging one way, then the other, with the slightest mistake possibly being fatal to your chances. On a turn, you have a choice of two actions:

  • Play a machine card from your hand to the Bric-a-brac to earn charcoalium, produce a resource, or apply the effect of the machine.
  • Repair a machine from the Bric-a-brac to score points and place this machine in your workshop.

Each resource indicated in the production zone of machines in your workshop reduces the number of resources needed to repair subsequent machines. Additionally, repairing a machine can help you complete specific projects and win points.

Enough idle chatter, let’s get this review off the assembly line and out the door!

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