Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HOT BOX - "Pastiche" by Sean D. MacDonald (What's in the Box?)

Gosh, a whole other week has gone by since I last posted! I've had a couple of posting ideas but just been too tired to stay awake enough to think them through.

My focus this last weekend was to get started opening my cadre of new games that piled up from last month:

New games & expansions waiting to be opened and/or played
Note that Hansa Teutonica and Fresco I already own, but I now have the new expansions for them -- they are already opened and inside the base boxes just waiting to be played. In particular, can't wait to give Fresco a go with ALL the expansions at once. There was a group that tried that @ Gamestorm and loved it but I missed out :(

Anyhow, as soon as I saw Pastiche I knew I had to have it - anything that has to do with art, painting and especially mixing colors is a must for me! I ordered a copy and had it delivered to Gamestorm. So, it's been sitting on there all ready for me to open it and get it to the table (and my friend Robert REALLY wanted to play it a couple of weeks ago when he was over) but didn't until this weekend as I knew I wanted to do a 'proper' box opening.

So, here it is!

The box. Ready. Waiting.
A beautiful looking box - tasteful and appealing. Nothing too fancy, just enough to let the masterpieces stand out. I love the touch with the paint palette profile above the name - subtle but suggestive of the board as you will see later...

Back of the box.
 Well, ok, you can see the board on the back of the box. But still....

The first cut...

...2nd cut...

...the corner is exposed...

...and the robe shrink is removed.

No box fart, but that would be too Neanderthal
for a classy box such as this.
 I noticed as I opened the box that the box walls are thicker than your standard game box. As I opened it there as almost a feel of a wooden box such as one where you might store your paints when heading out into the field to paint.


The manual and advertising

The board - standard thickness and weight here.

A quick glance at the board - cool!

Everything else fits neatly into the box.

Nice! The tiles are already punched and bagged!
 Although...I DO enjoy punching tiles. But, it's also really nice when manufacturers do this - you simply can open the box and play right away if you are so inclined...there was absolutely NOTHING you had to do to prepare the game other than open the shrink on the cards.

The commission 'cards' - nice solid, thick tiles.

This was a nice touch too - the painting tiles are all punched and shrink-wrapped. This makes for the overall box size to be smaller AND it's neatly packed away for safe shipping. IMPRESSIVE!

Both sets of commission 'cards'

Two decks of palette (i.e. color) cards.

A closer view of the rules

Player's aid card
 A nice player's aid is provided as well. The turn-order is on one side and a color conversion chart is on the other. I really like it when games come with player aids. These are on the same thick tiles as the commission cards and are of excellent quality.

An example of some commission cards
 Again, these are excellent quality. Nice to hold on to. Bright, beautiful colors. A joy to behold.

The palette board

Now, considering it's function in the game, the palette board seems perhaps a bit big - at least that was my initial impression of viewing the board.

Back of a palette card
(which of course sits on the palette board)

A mess of tiles....

I sorted them by middle color to see the distributions

A 'hand' full of commission and palette cards, plus 2 color tiles.
 In initially reading the rules I dealt out what one might have as a standard 'hand' and realized that your own commission cards as well as your palette cards and your 2 color mixing tiles are all hidden. It seemed like a lot to have to hold onto. Then I realized my card holders (read more about them here) would be perfect for this! My only concern was if the thick commission tiles would sit in them -- and they did, just fine!

Commission cards in business card holders
Four commission cards are normally laid out on the table for completion by any of the players. I thought it would be nice to have them standing up so that everyone can see them more easily. I immediately thought of business card holders that Chris, Wes, Rog, and I bought in bulk last year. They have come in handy a couple of other times and this worked out fairly nicely as well -- if only the color splotches weren't at the bottom of some paintings, but not a big deal really - it works well enough. Although, I might have to try Ender's version using mini painting stands (Michael's has them I think)

Game set up for 2 players
I got to play a game with Cary the other evening and I really enjoyed it. This was the setup and following is end-game layout.

End of 2-player game

All-in-all this is a beautifully produced game - nice box, great components, player aids included, etc.

I want to play it a couple of more times then will eventually post a review. But, after my first play I will say I already love it! I'm hoping maybe to get in a play of it this weekend @ my parent's house when visiting for Easter. That will be a good test as my dad is partially color-blind so it will be interesting to see how he does with it.

It's a beautiful day here so, if it's beautiful where you are as well, go out and enjoy the weather! And, if you stay inside, enjoy the beauty of this game.


  1. Since we got this a week ago (that's when it finally got into the UK), we have played many times and have found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable, relaxing experience.

  2. Hi JoffW - thanks for visiting! I've heard lots of good comments about the game so far. I'm hoping to get some more plays in this weekend!

  3. That's a beautiful board for sure. Can't wait to hear how it plays!

    Frank Feldmann


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