Tapestry – How To Play

Hi and welcome to Watch it Played! My name
is Rodney Smith and in this video we are going
to learn the one to five player game Tapestry,
designed by Jamey Stegmaier and published
by Stonemaier games, who helped sponsor this
video. You’ll start with a few meager resources
and a dream. It’s not much but every civilization
has to start somewhere, right? Pretty soon
you’ll begin to grow you’ll discover new
lands, technologies, and capabilities. You
might even touch the starts. But history doesn’t
wait for anyone and your people are eager
for you to lead them into this new age. So
join me at the table and let’s learn how
to play. To set up place this double-sided
board in the middle of the play area with
the big mat placed up for four to five players,
or this one for one to three. We’re setting
up a two player game in this video so we’ll
use this side. The cards with this back are
the technologies, also known as the tech,
which you shuffle into a facedown pile here
dealing three face up in a row. In this next
spot you shuffle and place the tapestry cards
facedown which have this back. These are the
territory tiles, which you shuffle into a
facedown group near the board along with the
larger space tiles. This is the landmark board,
which has outlines with pictured buildings
inside. Find those matching landmark pieces
and place them on their spaces. It’ll look
like this when you’re done. You’ll also
have some landmarks leftover which you can
set beside the technology deck. Each player
now collects, and places in front of them,
one of these income mats, which has four income
tracks at the very top. Aside from the leftmost
space of each one, fill them with their matching
colored buildings so it looks like this. These
represent markets, houses, farms and, armories.
On the bottom row of your mat, place these
four tokens on the zero space of what is known
as the resource track. And these represent
food, workers, coins, and culture. Each player
is now dealt a random capital city map unless
you’re playing a one, two, or three player
game. In that case, check the board for these
symbols on the map. They have pairs of numbers
like 3/5, 2/4, or 1/6. Find those numbered
maps, as labeled at the top, and randomly
give one of those pairs to each player. They
pick one map to keep, discarding the other.
Your capital city mat is placed to the right
of your income board along with ten outpost
tokens in your chosen player color. Now look
at the number on your capital city, six in
this case, and then take two of your outposts
on that numbered territory of the board. Next
shuffle the civilization mats and deal two,
randomly, to each player. Everyone will pick
one to keep, placing it to the left of their
income board, along with the player tokens
in their color. All of the unchosen and undealt
civilizations are then shuffled into a facedown
collection, which you place nearby. On the
main board there are four advancement tracks.
One for science, military, technology, and
exploration. On the first space of each one,
every player puts one of their player tokens.
Above the science track set this green science
die, and above the military track put the
two conquer dice. On the outside of the board
you have the victory track and, on the zero
space, everyone should put one of their player
tokens. Finally, place the reference guides
nearby for the players to use as necessary
and then randomly pick someone to be the first
player. And that’s the set up. In Tapestry
you’ll be guiding your civilization through
five main eras, collecting and using resources
to advance your people in science, technology,
exploration, and military, which are the tracks
we saw on the main board. How much you focus
on each will be up to you but they’ll also
influence your capital city, which you’ll
fill with buildings and wondrous landmarks.
All of this will tell the story of your civilization
and score you victory points. The player with
the most point by the ending of five eras
will win. The game is played over a series
of turns starting with the first player and
going clockwise around and around the table
until the end of the game. And on your turn
you either start a new era by collecting income,
or you advance. The one exception is that
every player must start a new era as their
very first turn of the game. So let’s see
what gathering income looks like. First you
refer to this chart on your income mat, which
shows the four steps of gathering income.
And you’ll notice small numbers by each
step. These refer to the era that you are
currently in and you only resolve the steps
of your current era. Looking at your mat you’ll
see the five eras numbered here. And the highest
valued one that has a labeled picture above
it is your current era. So right now we are
in era one as makers of fire. Referring back
to the steps of the income turn, you’ll
see that only the last step refers to era
one. So this is the only step that we resolve
at this time, called gaining income. To do
this you look at all the exposed symbols on
your income tracks and resolve them. The first
symbol on each track represents one of the
four types of resources in the game: coins,
workers, food, and culture. And when you resolve
a resource symbol you gain one of them. To
show how many resources you have you move
its matching token, here, upwards on the track.
So each of these goes up by one, and at most
you can have eight of each. The laurel wreath
symbol represents victory points and any time
you see another symbol inside of it it means
you gain a victory point for each of that
type of thing. This here is the symbol for
technology cards but we don’t have any of
these yet so we get zero points from this.
This is the symbol for your capital city,
like we see here, it scores you one point
for every filled in row or column. For now
that means we score nothing but we’ll see
how to get tech cards and add to our capital
city a little bit later. This is the symbol
for collecting a territory tile so we take
a random one from the pile beside the board,
and you always place these face up in front
of you, and we’ll learn how to use them
a little bit later. Finally, this is the symbol
for a tapestry card so we’ll draw one from
the top of the deck. You can always look at
your own but keep them a secret from the other
players. That ends our income phase and our
first turn of the game. Now, going around
the table once, each person performs this
exact same step, in other words everyone get
one of each resource, a territory tile, and
a tapestry card. When it gets back to the
first player. From that point on, your turns
will be made up of the advance action, until
you decide to start a new era, usually because
your resources are running low. Starting a
new era means completing an income action
again, like we just did, but those later ones
will have a few more steps and make you much
wealthier than this first one did but we’ll
come back and look at that a little bit later.
For now, let’s see how to perform the advance
action. This is the most common action of
the game and you start it by picking one of
these four tracks on the board and paying
to advance your token there one space to the
right. So let’s say we picked this exploration
track. Each track is broken into four tiers
labeled at the top as I, II, III, and IV.
And each tier has a cost which is shown in
the banner beneath its label. Every time you
advance your token the cost you pay to enter
a space is the one showing within its tier.
This symbol represents any resource, so to
move here you pay any one of your resources.
If you were already in this spot and wanted
to move here then you’d pay one food and
one additional resource of any type. As you
spend resources move their related tokens
down on the track and when you run out of
a resource you cannot pay costs that require
it until you get more. After paying for and
advancing on a track your civilization has
learned the related skill, in this case scouting,
then you get the benefits that are shown here,
for example this shows two territory tiles.
This means I collect two from the pile and
add them face-up to my collection and that
would be my turn. Then the next player goes
and they might advance on the same track or
a different one and there’s no limit to
the number of players who share the same space.
On my next turn let’s say I decide to advance
on the exploration track again. I’d pay
a resource of any type and then resolve this
symbol. Now, some spaces also have a bonus,
which is shown in the highlighted box like
this. I can then, if I want, pay the cost
on the left to gain the bonus on the right.
So I could pay one more resource to draw a
new tapestry card. And when resolving a bonus
on your turn you may only take it once. Except
for bonuses, which are optional, you must
always take the reward on a space unless it
would be impossible to do so. Now, as you’ve
seen, each track has a variety of symbols
and we won’t go over each one in this video
as the game’s included reference explains
every space once you understand some of the
key symbols. So let’s go over those important
ones right now. This is the explore symbol
and it let’s you choose a territory tile
you’ve collected and place it onto an unexplored
hex on the main board, which are these light
brown spaces. You can place the time in any
orientation but it must go adjacent to a territory
you already control. To control a hex you
must be the only player with an upright outpost
in its space. So at the beginning of the game
the blue player only controls this area and
that means their new tile would have to go
here, here, or here. The orientation matters
because you’ll score one victory point for
each side of the hex which shares at least
one type of terrain with the explored areas
that are adjacent to it. There are four types
of terrain that you’ll find: water, grasslands,
desert, mountain, and forests. If I place
the tile like this it will score three points
because I have three sides where at least
one terrain type matches on the touching side,
desert here, water here, and water again here.
Again, the entire side doesn’t have to match
but at least one part of it does. If I had
oriented the tile like this there is desert
on both sides here but they’re not directly
touching so that would not score me a point.
You’ll also notice there’s a thin line
of river surrounding the edge of every hex
but that’s for aesthetic reasons, not for
scoring, so you can ignore it. For example,
even though we have water on this side and
this very thin strip of water here between
it on this tile, that does not count as matching
a water space. When scoring victory points
you advance your token on the score track
around the board. We gain three points so
we’d go here. If you ever reach one-hundred
points, bank them by adding one of your tokens
here and then keep counting again from the
start of the track advancing this token once
more every time you complete another loop.
To wrap up our explanation of the explore
symbol I’ll point out that the territory
tiles that you place will show a symbol in
the middle and you may claim that benefit
after placing a tile. So, in this case, my
culture resource would go up by one. Towards
the end of the exploration track you’ll
unlock interstellar travel and this symbol
here means that you gain three space tiles
from the facedown stack by the board. Then
the symbol beside it means that you explore
any one space tile that you have. Unlike territory
tiles, once explored you place space tiles
beside your income mat and gain all of the
benefits showing on them. Now you’ll notice
there are a limited number of space tiles.
So they could run out meaning that other players
will not be able to collect them. Now let’s
look at this conquer symbol found, most frequently,
on the military track. To resolve this you
place an outpost from your supply onto any
territory adjacent to any one you already
control as long as that target space has no
more than one token already on it. This space
only has one token so I could conquer here.
Tokens on the map will usually be other outposts
but some effects may add other pieces to the
territories as well, which will also count
towards this limit. In a case like this the
blue player could conquer either of these
spaces but not here or here as there’s more
than one token present on each territory.
You also couldn’t go here either because
you cannot conquer a space that you already
control. So again, to conquer you need to
target a space adjacent to one you control
that doesn’t have more than one token already
in it. That also means I couldn’t go here
because, although I have an outpost adjacent
to it, it isn’t upright and as we said earlier
to control a space your outpost must be upright.
That said, upright or not, these do count
as two pieces in a space that means no one
will be able to conquer this territory now.
Once you have a valid target and have place
an outpost there you roll these two conquer
dice and then pick the benefits shown on just
one of them. This die mostly has sides that
award you a certain number of victory points,
four in this case. It also has this symbol
which instead means that you gain a point
for every territory that you control so, in
the situation we have here, blue would gain
two points if they pick this die. The black
die mostly gives you resources but if it shows
this symbol you gain the benefit printed on
the territory you just conquered. As the game
continues and the players spread across the
map it’s possible that you’ll find yourself
able to target an opponent’s territory for
conquering, and you can do that as long as
there’s only one token there. You just place
your outpost with it and topple theirs over.
You now control it and you roll the dice as
normal, collecting one of the benefits. However
there is one catch, after picking another
player’s territory to conquer they may be
holding one of these trap cards, which they
can play to keep control. There are only a
few trap cards in the game but they look just
like a regular tapestry card from the back.
So you won’t know if a player is holding
one. If they decide to play one in response
to you trying to conquer one of their territories,
they resolve it and discard it to a shared
tapestry discard pile beside the board. After
playing a trap, the attacker still must place
their outpost into the targeted space but
it is toppled over and the target leaves theirs
upright. The attacker does still get to roll
the conquer dice and claim a benefit but,
as you see here, the person playing the trap
also gets to collect one resource of any type.
In the game, if you ever run out of outposts
you will not be able to perform the conquer
action anymore but you can still advance into
spaces that would give you the conquer benefit,
you just ignore that part of it. As I mentioned
earlier, you must always collect the reward
showing in a space you’ve entered unless
you can’t. Now we come to the invent symbol.
When you gain this as a benefit you take any
one face-up technology card or the top one
from the deck. If you take from the row then
you immediately replace it with a new one.
Tech is always placed beside your capital
board in one of these three rows. and you
can have any amount of tech in each row just
add new cards to the right of other ones.
Now when you’re first gaining new tech it
always goes into this X row and it doesn’t
give you any immediate benefit. However, this
is the symbol for upgrading and when you gain
this reward you select any tech you already
have in either the bottom or middle row and
you shift it upwards to the next row. Cards
already in the top row cannot be upgraded.
When tech enters the row with the circle you
gain the benefit show in its circle here.
When tech enters the top row you gain the
benefit shown in its square. However, to upgrade
to the top row you or one of your neighbors,
that is the players seated directly on either
side of you as represented by this symbol,
must meet the pre-requisite show here. In
other words you or a neighbor would need to
have already advanced a token into the second
tier of the exploration track before you could
upgrade this zeppelin into the top row. Now
let’s look at the science track. Here you’ll
often see this research symbol, either with
or without an X, and in either case you roll
the science die which will then display a
symbol representing one of the advancement
tracks, in this case the exploration one.
This then let’s you advance your token on
that track for free into its next space. Though,
if after seeing the result you don’t want
to advance your token there you can choose
not to. If the research icon has an X beneath
it, like this, then you get to advance your
token on the track but you do not gain the
benefit or any bonus there. If it shows no
X with its symbol then you do gain the benefit
of the new space you move into and you can
to choose to pay for any bonus there if you’d
like. Similar to the research effect you’ll
also encounter benefits that show the symbol
for an advancement track and that just means
that you advance for free on the related track,
again paying attention to any X’s that might
be showing with them to determine if you get
the benefit of the new space you move into
or not. Just keep in mind you also ignore
any effect that would try to advance you past
the last space of a track. Sometimes when
benefits are presented it will show slashes
between them, this means that you may pick
only one of those options, not all of them.
In this case it shows three of the building
symbols and there is also a fourth building
symbol which is this one here. These types
of symbols instruct you to remove the related
building from your income track and let’s
say, in this case, we chose the farm. Now
we take the leftmost farm from the track and
place it onto any empty space of our capital
city map that does not contain one of these
dots. These are considered impassible spaces
and nothing can be placed on them so maybe,
instead, I’ll put my farm over here. This
board represents the birthplace and capital
of your civilization and as the game goes
on you’ll fill in more and more of its spaces
with buildings like these. And you’ll notice
your capital is divided into nine main areas,
as shown by these darker bordered lines and
if you ever completely fill-in one of them,
as shown here you will immediately gain one
resource of any type. This is where the dots
come in handy because those spaces are considered
to be filled in already. So as soon as I place
another building on this space the entire
area here is filled and I gain one resource.
Anytime you would need to resolve this symbol
it means that you score your capital city
and you can one point for every completed
row and column on your board, again remembering
that spaces with a dot are already considered
complete. So, in this case I’d score one,
two points. Now if you want to fill up the
spaces in your capital even faster you’ll
need to collect landmarks. So let’s go back
to the advancement tracks and I’ll show
you how that works. The first space of each
second, third, and fourth advancement tier
shows the symbol for a landmark located on
this board. The very first player who enters
a landmark’s space collects that piece and
then gets to add it to their capital city.
Anyone else entering the space in the future
still gains the other benefits here but not
the landmark. The spot you take the landmark
from will show you its size in squares and
then you place the landmark into your capital
covering up that arrangement of empty spaces,
remembering that you cannot go into spaces
showing a dot or that have other buildings
that you have already placed. Though you can,
if you wish, place buildings so that they
extend beyond your capital grid which may
be necessary when things start filling up.
Either way, these landmarks are an excellent
way of filling in several of your capital
spaces at once. Some upgraded tech will also
provide you with a building which you take
from the supply that we set near the technology
deck during the set-up. With that we’ve
covered all the key symbols you’ll find
on the advancement tracks. Any that you encounter
that you’re not sure about you should refer
to the reference guide for if you have any
questions. And the other side shows all the
various technologies if you need clarifications
about how they work, as well. Going back to
the board you’ll find three achievements
that players can work towards and as soon
as you accomplish one you place a token onto
the highest valued space and score those points.
So, blue here just scored ten points. The
next player completing this achievement would
then score five points. And once you have
one you cannot lose an achievement and you
cannot gain each one more than once. As your
turns continue eventually you’ll stop taking
advancement actions, most likely because you’ve
run out of resources. At that time you can
instead choose to take an income action again
which will advance your civilization into
a new era. This will be like the income action
you took at the start of the game but will
involve all of these steps and this first
one lets you activate your civilization abilities,
if they apply. Your civilization is represented
by the board to the left of your income mat
and it will have a special ability. Some of
these will resolve at the beginning of your
income turns as indicated by this red text
allowing you to gain its listed benefit right
now. There are a total of sixteen different
civilizations in the game and each is quite
different from the others. Some effects in
the game might even allow you to gain a new
civilization from those in the set-aside pile,
in which case you add it to the left here
and then you’ll have access to its ability
as well. Now, some of these don’t resolve
during the income phase, instead they just
provide an on-going effect so make sure you
read your civilization boards thoroughly.
The next step of the income action is to play
a tapestry card from your hand onto your income
mat into the left-most empty space that doesn’t
have a labeled picture. In the very rare case
that your hand is empty you draw the top tapestry
card from the deck and place it facedown there
instead. In this case I do have one and I’ll
choose academia. Now, if you’re the first
of your neighboring opponents to put a tapestry
card into a particular era you gain the benefit
on the space under it so, in this case, any
one resource. Tapestry cards are important
because they indicate what era your civilization
is currently in and what’s important to
realize about that is players may take their
income actions at different times and that
means that while I’m in the second era another
player may be in the first era for several
turns or may eventually get ahead of me. Either
way the tapestry continues to build the story
of your civilization and it will have an ability
here. If it says “this era” that ability
has an on-going effect that lasts until the
beginning of your following income phase.
If, instead, it says “when played” you
resolve this effect once at the time the tapestry
card is put into play. The next step of the
income action lets you resolve a tech upgrade,
if you’re able and then you gain victory
points from every exposed victory point icon
on your income tracks. For example, let’s
just say that our tracks looks like this.
This symbol here gives you one point for every
tech card by your capital city mat, in this
case that would mean one, two, three, four
points. Now, since we’ve uncovered multiple
of the same scoring symbol you would score
each one. So for tech cards I would actually
get three times this for a total of twelve
points. Some of these other scoring symbols
we’ve talked about already. This one, for
example, would score you four points, this
one would score you a point for every complete
row and column in your capital city, and this
gives you a point for every territory tile
you control. Finally, you resolve this step
of the income action which we learned about
at the beginning of the vide. Turns will continue
around and around the table with players advancing
their civilizations on the tracks or moving
into new eras by taking an income action and
when you take your fifth income action your
civilization has come to its end. For that
final income you activate your civilization’s
abilities, if they apply, and then you upgrade
one tech card, if able, and score all of your
victory points one last time from the exposed
spaces of your income tracks but you skip
any of the other income action steps, like
gaining resources or playing a tapestry card.
After entering the fifth era your turns in
the game are over. While other players continue
to take turns you won’t gain anything else
except for any victory points from any passive
effects you might have on your civilization
mat. Once all players have taken their final
income turns the game is over and the player
with the most points wins. In the case of
a tie the tied player with the most remaining
resources wins and if there is still a tie
the tied players share the victory. The game
also comes with a variant for two players
which adds a non-human opponent who only takes
landmarks and blocks achievements which helps
increase the interaction between the players.
There’s also rules and components for playing
solo as well but both of these I’ll leave
for you to discover on your own. Otherwise
that’s everything you need to know to play
Tapestry. Now if you questions at all about
anything you saw here, feel free to put them
in the comments below and I’ll gladly answer
them as soon as I get a chance. You’ll also
find forums for discussion, pictures, other
videos, and lots more over on the game’s
page over at Board Game Geek and I’ll put
a link to that in the description below. And
if you found this video helpful please consider
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time thanks for watching.

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