Choose from a variety of new civilizations, pursue individual achievements to add landmarks to your capital city, and sneakily interact with the opposition in this first expansion for Tapestry.
- 1 game box (204x204x53mm)
- 7 landmark miniatures
- 5 landmark cards
- 10 civilization mats
- 15 tapestry cards
- 4 new space tiles (and 1 replacement)
- 12 landmark tiles for advancement tracks
- 1 bag for territory tiles
- 4 Automa cards
- 1 core rulebook
- 1 Automa rulebook
- Facebook Live (Jamey)
- Watch It Played
- Dice Tower (unboxing and review)
- The Cardboard Herald (interview and review) “Plans & Ploys, like Tapestry itself, has enough good stuff in here that it’s worth diving in.”
- The Mill (unboxing and 2P playthrough)
- Tantrum House (review) “The new landmark cards are great! Having the individual landmark that I can achieve during the game was a big deal!”
- Board Game Quest (review)
- Before You Play (review)
- The Meeple Street (review) “I would not say that Plans and Ploys is a necessity for Tapestry, but it does breathe new life into the game while providing new strategy options and engagement to the base game.”
- Cahill Games (review) “Tapestry: Plans and Ploys shows the heart and soul that went into producing this game.”
Release Details: Tapestry: Plans & Ploys will be available to preorder from Stonemaier Games starting on September 2, with all preorders being shipped in September from fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Product Details: The SKU is STM151, the MSRP is $30, and retail release date is October 30.
Copyright 2019 Stonemaier LLC. Tapestry is a trademark of Stonemaier LLC. All Rights Reserved. This content is not authorized for posting on Steam.
Does the expansion content fit in the original box/insert?
We’re sorry, but it won’t fit unless you remove the original insert.
Are the core game civilization adjustments noted in the expansion?
Yes, we’ve included those tweaks (found here) on the back page of the expansion rulebook. Why not reprint the civs themselves? Because we’re going to continue to collect data about the game, and it’s possible—unlikely, but possible—that those civs might need minor tweaks in the future. Any adjustments we make will always happen at the beginning of the game, so it’s not something you need to remember after setup.
August 18: The Rulebooks and Watch It Played
Now that we’ve revealed the contents of Tapestry: Plans & Ploys, it’s time to share the rulebooks! Both the core rulebook and the Automa rulebook are available here: https://app.box.com/s/yqc0w9b0cb356mrp05mgb7jiicscdsyb
We also commissioned Rodney at Watch It Played to make one of his wonderful rules videos; it’s available here: https://youtu.be/ep-Q3teZiA0
You’ll soon see coverage of the expansion from other media outlets, including reviews starting on August 26. The preorder from Stonemaier Games will go live on September 2, with shipping to follow throughout September.
If you have any questions about the rules, feel free to ask them below!
August 17: Automa and the Fate of Atlantis
Morten Monrad Pedersen wrote this post about the solo mode for Plans & Ploys.
In Viticulture we made a solo “campaign” of 8 very simple scenarios that tweaked the rules a little bit to force you to rethink your strategy. Over the years a lot of people have said that they liked it and asked us to do something similar again for another game.
When Plans and Ploys landed in my lap, I decided that now was the time to do it and that we should go beyond a few small rule tweaks and scenarios that had no thematic connection to each other.
I decided that I wouldn’t restrain myself by aiming for perfect balance and high replayability. This might sound weird, but it gave me the freedom to present the player with challenges that force them to shake up their strategy and present them with varied challenges.
The most never-existing civilization of them all
This time I wanted an overarching thematic connection between the scenarios so that they told a story. Well, “story” is a very strong word for what’s going on here and some will call it pasted on, but nevertheless a story is where I started.
Since Tapestry is about building civilizations that never existed, I thought it could be interesting to visit the most never-existing civilization of them all: Atlantis.
I quickly got the idea for one of the scenarios, The Fall of Atlantis, that would turn the game on its head, but more on that later. From the idea for that scenario I built the small story.
Scenarios 1 and 2: Rise and annihilation
At the beginning Atlantis rises to preeminence and you must be a part of this by excelling at one discipline.
With the Atlantean civilizations risen to the top in scenario 1 and the whole continent explored they look for places to expand in scenario 2 and boy do the grass look green on their neighbor’s terrain tiles. This leads your neighboring Automa civilization to take a somewhat inappropriate interest in your tiles.
As you can possibly predict war is inevitable.
This is where we meet the first thematic disconnect, because you can’t really start a game of Tapestry where the previous one left of – you’d quickly run out of things to do. So, everything is reset, except that during setup terrain tiles are placed face up on all unexplored map spaces to represent the fully explored Atlantis.
In this scenario the Automa will focus single-mindedly on military and exploration. Well, not really on exploration, because all exploration actions are replaced by conquer actions and your exploration actions are similarly replaced. To be able to use all those conquer actions you each have outposts of an unused color. From then on out, it’s World War Atlantis and the winner is the civilization that controls the most territories at the end.
Scenario 3: Utopia
After a world war, it makes some kind of thematic sense that you’re starting from scratch again. So, the story works a bit better here.
The Atlantean civilizations have learned from their self-inflicted Armageddon and swear to make peace and create a Utopia.
Therefore, no progress can be made on the military track and if you in any other way would do a conquer action you instead explore and you can explore as far as you want without conquering.
With warfare out of the picture you must compete for out-doing each other in building landmarks and gain extra VP for that.
Scenario 4: The Fall of Atlantis
With utopia achieved we get to the scenario idea that got me started, the fall of the Atlantean continent.
In this scenario you all start at or close to the ends of the advancement tracks and regress instead of advance as the continent falls apart.
As you might imagine getting this scenario to work without things going wonkily haywire required quite a bit of tuning, but it was a fun ride and you really have to rethink your strategy.
This is where I again have to admit that we have a hole in the coupling of what happens in the game and what happens in the story, because the continent is falling apart and your technology is regressing towards the stone age while you are building a big capital with fabulous landmarks and an ever increasing production. That’s a hole that’s big enough that a Scythe Legendary box could pass through. Easily. With its family. Extended family. All riding on Polania mechs.
That aside, you play as the Historian civilization and document what happens, which in this case simply means that at the end of the game you write down which tapestries are on your mat and where they’re placed.
Scenario 5: ForeShadow
Having escaped the continent that’s now an exhibit to be enjoyed by the marine life of the Atlantean Ocean you start to rebuild, and you want to follow in the footsteps of your forebears.
To do so you start with the same Tapestry cards placed on your mat as you played in the previous scenario and you “play” them during the appropriate income turns.
Your civilization of forced choice is the Mystics who make four predictions of what will happen for them during the game. To win the game you must get at least get 3 of those predictions right.
The idea behind these special rules is to give a feeling of having a specific destiny you strive towards – a destiny foreshadowed by your Atlantean ancestors.
August 16: The New Civilizations
While the original 16 civilizations in Tapestry can offer plenty of replayability, I set out to expand that aspect of the game even more in Plans & Ploys. Plus, they’re fun to design!
My design process for civilizations is brainstorm a lot of ideas, then cut/combine any that are too similar. At that point in the design process, I had around 15 civs. Then I prototyped the remainders and playtested them, continuing to cut/combine as needed.
As was the case for the original game, these civs went through a gauntlet of blind playtesting. We actually ran 6 waves of blind playtesting for the expansion, with over 140 total blind playtests. Unlike the original game, however, I also brought in data analyst Jeremy Kaemmer to look at each wave of data to see if I was missing anything hidden in the various matchups, combinations, and player counts.
The end result is that there are 10 new civilizations in the expansion. They’re intended to be shuffled into the core game civs, but you can absolutely play a few games with only the new civs.
I already discussed the Utilitarians on a previous design diary, so I’ll share the core concepts of the civs shown in these photos.
–Treasure Hunters: This civ was directly inspired by a fan expansion for Tapestry by Sam Gray (this credit is noted on the back of the rulebook). I’ve wanted a civ that looks at the different types of terrain on the map, and this one combines that with the fun of dice rolling.
–Spies: One of the overall design goals I mentioned was to add more player interaction, and the Spies are all about benefiting from things your neighbors have accomplished. Also, a fun little twist with the Spies is that whenever they activate one of their abilities (during income turns) to target a neighbor, they get to look at the neighbor’s hand of tapestry cards.
–Islanders: This was one of my favorite civs to design, as it uses territory tiles off of the main map as you try to complete an island on your civ mat.
–Tinkerers: This was a playtester favorite, and very difficult to balance without removing the fun of their advancement track manipulations. So as a balance mechanism, the Tinkerers actually give each opponent a tech card at the beginning of the game.
As noted previously, the original civ adjustments (which were made earlier this year) comprise the last page of the expansion rulebook for easy reference. Why not reprint the civs themselves? Because we’re going to continue to collect data about the game, and it’s possible—unlikely, but possible—that those civs might need minor tweaks in the future. Any adjustments we make will always happen at the beginning of the game, so it’s not something you need to remember after setup.
Which of the new civilizations are you the most excited to try?
August 15: New Space Tiles and a Few Playtester-Suggested Additions
One of the design goals I mentioned for the Tapestry expansion was more ongoing benefits, particularly those that are easy to remember. I realized that space tiles would be a great place for a few of these benefits.
As a result, the expansion features 3 new space tiles that give you 5 VP whenever you advance on a specific track (the exploration track isn’t one of them, as you will almost have completed it just to play a space tile). It’s not a huge addition, but it’s just another twist on engine building in Tapestry that hopefully will add to the fun of going into space.
I also included a replacement space tile for the tile in the first print run that had the prototype icon for “conquer” instead of the final icon.
I’d also like to share two additions that were entirely inspired by our amazing blind playtesters around the world.
The first is that several playtesters mentioned that they wished there were a bag in the game for the territory tiles. The tiles are a bit fiddly to flip onto one side and mix together; a bag makes this much easier. So we’ve included a drawstring bag in the expansion.
The second is that some playtesters wished there were visuals on the advancement tracks to show which landmarks were available and which had been taken. Of course, there is already a visual for this–if any player’s advancement token is on or beyond the first space of each tier, the landmark is no longer available–but I understand that some people might like more of a direct visual cue. We had room on the punchboard, so I asked artist Andrew Bosley to make small tiles to place on the tracks during setup. They’re completely optional.
I’m going to take a break tomorrow, but I’ll be back Monday to discuss the quantity, design process, and nature of the new civilizations! Have a great weekend. :)
August 14: Putting the “Ploy” in “Plans & Ploys”
One of my design goals for the Tapestry expansion was to add more interaction to what players do on the map, specifically in terms of conquering. I liked how the original trap cards made players feel sneaky, but all 7 trap cards are identical. We needed something new.
So I sat down and designed a dozen unique trap cards. Some were cards you could play if someone tried to conquer your territory; others were cards you’d play in response to someone playing a trap card against you.
Through playtesting, some of those cards simply didn’t work out. In the final expansion box, there are 15 new tapestry cards, and 5 of them are new twists on traps. I know that’s not a big percentage of cards after the new tapestries are shuffled into the original deck, but I didn’t want to skew the percentage too much, and just knowing your opponent *might* have one of these cards in hand may make you approach conquering in a new way.
Here’s an example: Stolen Plans reads, “You may discard this from your hand if an opponent plays a trap against you. If you do, cancel their trap and gain a random tapestry card from their hand.”
If you instead decide to play Stolen Plans as a normal tapestry card on your income turn, it says, “Gain 8 VP and a tech card.”
You can also see the Retreat card in the photo here; I’ll leave the others as a surprise.
These cards aren’t the only example of increased interaction in Plans & Ploys. Most of the new civilizations have you interacting with opponents in a new way. One of my favorites is the Advisors civilization, which has you dispensing unsolicited advice in the form of tapestry cards from your hand whenever an opponent would draw a tapestry card.
I’ll go more in depth into the new civs either tomorrow or Monday! Thanks for joining me for these first few posts.
August 13: Landmark Cards, Landmark Abilities, and More
The landmark miniatures are one of the most distinct components in Tapestry. In the original game, there were two primary ways to gain them: On the advancement tracks and via tech cards.
In the expansion, I wanted to add a few new ways to add landmarks to your capital city. I started with a tapestry card designed around gaining a specific landmark, and then I added a space tile for another landmark.
But then I ventured into a new card type, both to accomplish the aforementioned goal and to give players a sense of direction early in the game. Each player starts with a different landmark card with a short-term goal (like upgrade a tech card to the top row), and when they accomplish that goal, they get to place that specific landmark in their capital city. These are completely new landmark miniatures, and the only way to gain them is via the corresponding landmark card.
These landmark cards playtested VERY well, with playtesters liking that they had a landmark for which they didn’t need to compete with other players. We hope to add more in the future, either as promos or in another expansion.
That brings me to landmark abilities, though I need to provide some context that you’ve probably heard me say before: We’ve tested the concept of giving landmarks ongoing abilities, and they’ve never gone over well, because it’s rather difficult to remember such abilities when there’s so much else happening Tapestry.
So I decided to design a civilization specifically around the concept of ongoing landmark abilities. That way, if you want to experience what it’s like, you’re welcome to choose that civilization as often as you’d like. It tested fine, though there were definitely some playtesters who said, “I’ve always wanted ongoing landmark abilities…but now that I’ve played with them, I don’t need to use them again.”
Regardless, I’m excited for you to play with the landmark cards, the space tile and tapestry card that each give landmarks, and the Utilitarians civ!
August 12: Design Goals, Box, and Name
The Tapestry expansion is here!
Over the next week I’m going to share what’s in the expansion and some stories behind the components and mechanisms. The expansion’s production is complete, and it’s current en route to fulfillment centers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. We’re looking at an early-September preorder, followed by shipping throughout that month.
I’m excited for old and new Tapestry players to try the expansion, and today I’ll start by revealing the name, the box, and the design goals.
I started working on the Tapestry expansion last year after people started playing the final version and sharing their thoughts. There was some feedback that stood out that I wanted to address (while making the expansion very easy to integrate with the core game):
–more interaction between players, particularly in the context of conquering
–more ways to get landmarks at higher player counts
–more direction early in the game
–landmarks that actually DO something on an ongoing basis
–landmarks that fit better in capital cities
In addition to this, I wanted to add some new civilizations that felt distinctly different than the originals and more tapestry cards.
I considered adding a 6th player, but I think Tapestry plays a little long at 5 players—6 would just be too much.
Also, while the balance tweaks to the original game happened before the expansion through the civilization adjustment guide, we’ve included those tweaks on the back page of the expansion rulebook. Why not reprint the civs themselves? Because we’re going to continue to collect data about the game, and it’s possible—unlikely, but possible—that those civs might need minor tweaks in the future. Any adjustments we make will always happen at the beginning of the game, so it’s not something you need to remember after setup.
You can decide for yourself over the next week if I accomplished those goals, but I’m very confident that’s the case, and largely through unique twists on existing components. I’ve called this a “more stuff” expansion, but you’ll see new tapestry cards, civ mats, and space tiles that are very different than the originals. You’ll also see a new card type that helped us accomplish two of the goals mentioned above.
Please note that one of the goals wasn’t “fit all expansion content into the original box.” That would have completely eliminated the possibility of new landmarks. However, if that’s really important to you, you can remove the insert from the original box, and then everything should easily fit.
As a result of those goals, I decided to name the expansion Tapestry: Plans & Ploys. Andrew Bosley returned as the artist, and the box—shown here—is one of my favorite illustrations. Rom Brown also returned as the sculptor, and due to the order of operations (me creating the capital city grid first, then commissioning the minis), the new landmarks due indeed fit perfectly into the capital cities.
I’ll see you tomorrow to discuss how we accomplished some of these goals! Let me know what you’re the most curious to know first. :)