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Tapestry: Fantasies & Futures

We've previously featured Tapestry (Stonemaier Games) on Board's Eye View, as well as the Arts & Architecture expansion. Now, with Fantasies & Futures, Stonemaier have added what has been announced as the final expansion for Tapestry, along with a comprehensive revamped rulebook that covers the core game and all expansions, incorporating errata that were issued to address issues over imbalance between the various civilisations.

Designed by Mike Young and Chris Scaffidi, with art by Andrew Bosley, the first thing you'll notice about Fantasies & Futures is that it comes packaged in a heavy-duty cardboard envelope rather than a traditional box. That will be particularly welcome news for environmentalists and those of us for whom board game space is at a premium. It was possible for Fantasies & Futures because this expansion doesn't come with any new buildings or 3D components. Instead it comprises 38 new Tapestry cards, a dozen new Tech cards, six new city maps and 10 intriguing new civilisations. In addition to these and the updated rulebook and automates rules, the expansion includes some replacement cards plus five map overlays that add a turn 5 position to your income mat.

Obviously then, Fantasies & Futures isn't as major an expansion as Arts & Architecture, which inter alia added extra pre-painted buildings and a whole new track, but it's a welcome addition nonetheless. The theme is fantasy and science fiction, so it adds to the mix inventions from the magical fae world and from parallel universes. Most striking tho' are the new civs: Artificers, Celestials, Elder Ones, Fae Folk, Genies, Illuminati, Merfolk, Psionics, Weefolk and Werefolk. These all have interesting characteristics and mechanics that add to the fun of the game tho', just as we had with the original civs, there are bound to be further howls of protest that some are grossly overpowered and some comparatively underpowered. For example, the Genies look cool but, just as genies grant wishes, their power involves a randomly chosen player in turns 2, 3 and 4 getting their wish by picking their preferred benefit from those on offer. For sure, the Genies get to duplicate that benefit and a neighbouring one for themselves but this looks meagre in comparison, say, with the Illuminati who place the science and conquest dice on their mat and get 6 victory points for each dice on their mat at the start of their income turns plus an advancement or benefit every time an opponent rolls a die!

Completionists won't hesitate to order a copy of Fantasies & Futures to add to their rich Tapestry, and even if you don't already have everything else, there's plenty here to give your core game a new lease of life. We especially welcomed the revamped rulebook, tho' we can't help but feel that more errata might yet be on the way to redress some of the imbalances introduced by the new content :-)

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