Introducing Petite Pastiche

The first edition: A quality family game published by Gryphon Games, Pastiche first appeared in 2011. In this game, players are mixing paints to create the colours that match the requirement of commissions, thereby recreating famous paintings. I enjoyed the game immediately, in part due to the wonderful artwork and theme, but also because this is backed up by gameplay that is accessible for non-gamers, thus giving the game a very broad appeal. This appeal was enhanced even further with quality components.

The international edition: In 2012, Pastiche received the benefit of a new edition that was effectively the "deluxe" version of the game. The publisher tweaked a few things, but for the most part the changes were component upgrades and significant ones at that. By this time Pastiche had also won the Mensa Select award, a further testament to its excellence. The only downside to the outstanding components? A higher price.



The petite edition: Now two years later, in 2014, Gryphon Games has published yet another edition of Pastiche, known as "petite Pastiche". This edition still features components of good quality, but the publisher has left out a number of things in an effort to reduce both the size of the game, as well as the cost. The aim is to retain the excellence of gameplay, while making it more affordable to the average consumer. In other words, it's still Pastiche, but slightly quicker, simpler, and cheaper.

I've already posted detailed reviews of both the previous editions, including a comprehensive explanation of the gameplay, which you'll find here:
mb A work of art in every respect, and the ideal family or gateway game
mb A beautiful game just got more beautiful - a guide to the new international edition

In the review that follows, I'll focus on showing you the components of the new petite edition, and on highlighting the differences introduced with this new edition.



Game box

While the game box features the same dimensions as the international edition vertically and horizontally, you can immediately notice the difference in that the box of the petite edition is only about half of the depth. And while the walls of the international edition box felt like they were thick enough to use in constructing a bunker, the petite edition is decidely more normal; they're considerably thinner than those of its progenitor, but still durable and the kind of thickness you'd expect as standard from the game industry. The cover showcases some commissions included in the game; it uses a different selection of paintings than the covers of the two previous editions, making them easy to distinguish at a glance.



As usual, the back of the game box shows some of the game components and introduces the basic concept of the gameplay.



Box insert

The box insert is quite a change from the elaborate form-fitted plastic insert used in the international edition, and is simply a form-fitted cardboard insert. It houses the components just fine. It's immediately obvious from our first look in the box that the publisher has succeeded in reducing the number of components significantly!



Component list

So here’s what you’ll discover when you open up the box:

● 89 palette cards
● 36 palette hexes plus 1 three-hex starting piece
● 23 commission cards
● 8 wooden easels
● 4 reference cards
● 1 start player card
● 1 rules booklet



Commission Cards

The commission cards use the improved formatting and new graphic design that we saw in the International edition. However, instead of having 34 commissions with 17 different artists, there are now only 23 commissions in total. Each is by a different artist, since the concept of artist bonuses for completing two commissions by the same artist has been eliminated from the game.


All 23 commissions

The cardstock is also noticeably thinner than those of the international edition, but that's not a criticism as such; they're still of a high quality, and one needs to remember that the components from the international edition received a loving deluxe over-the-top treatment. So I think few will find fault with this; they are still a sturdy tile, and certainly of a higher quality than the mere cards that come with most games.

Also the point value of the commissions has been adjusted somewhat, with the highest value commissions only worth 12 points instead of 16. The breakdown of commissions is as follows: 5x 8 points, 4x 9 points, 5x 10 points, 5x 11 points, and 4x 12 points. Below is an example of a changed commission card, showing the changed colour combination and point value, as well as the elimination of the number representing the artist bonus.



Easels

Just as with the international edition, there are eight wooden miniature easels, that are used to display the commission cards during the game. It's a wonderful thematic touch that is functional at the same time.



Palette Cards

The palette cards are the same as the ones from the international edition, including the adjusted value of bisque from 4 to 5 points, a fix implemented in the international editoin to reflect the actual value of paint colours needed to mix it. However, the total supply of palette cards has been reduced from 131 to 89. This shouldn't be a problem given that the commissions tend to have slightly lower values.



A bigger change is the absence of the palette board that was used to store the palette cards in the international edition. It was big and beautiful, and I can see that including it added considerable expense to the game. But in reality it did just function as a playmat for storing the palette cards, and since these are face up anyway, it is hardly necessary and won't really be missed.

Palette Hexes

Just like the commission cards, the palette hexes feature reduced numbers (36 instead of 54) and a reduced quality, with a cardstock that is about half of the thickness of the tiles used in the international edition. However one only notices this when comparing them; someone evaluating the petite edition independently would still find them to be durable and of good quality, so no complaints there.



Reference Cards

The four player reference cards are identical those of the international edition, but are just made of a thinner cardstock, with a quality that matches the commission cards. These reference cards already benefited from an extensive makeover with the international edition, so it's good to see the new and improved version here too.



Start Player card

This start player card was an addition that wasn't part of the original game, but was first included in the international edition and so it is present in the petite edition too.



Rulebook

The rulebook corresponds closely to the one of the international edition, i.e. it consists of 12 pages, and has an improved format over the original first edition of the game, as well as several clarifications and corrections, plus an appendix about colour theory and the colour wheel. You can download a copy of the new rules from the publisher here.



Rule changes

The only differences in the rules, aside from noting the reduced number of components, is the following:
● Game end is triggered with 25/30/35 points with 4/3/2 players (instead of 35/40/45 points in the international edition)
● Players no longer are eligible to get artist bonuses for having two commissions by the same artist



Extra commissions

Due to the changes in component quality, and the adjustments to the point values and colours of the individual commissions, the different editions of the game aren't compatible with each other. However those looking for additional commissions aren't entirely out of luck. The Games of Art kickstarter that first featured the petite edition of Pastiche, also made some extra commissions available as an add-on. This consisted of two 3-packs, each with a balanced set of point values and colours. Should you decide to get these, the good news is that they can fit nicely in the box along with the other commissions, and they are available separately from the publisher here and here, along with a third expansion here.

Petite Pastiche: Extra Commissions #1

This includes paintings by Franz Marc, Domenico Theotocopuli, and Vincent van Gogh.



Petite Pastiche: Extra Commissions #2

This includes paintings by George Seurat, Claude Monet, and Mary Cassatt.



Petite Pastiche: Extra Commissions #3

A third expansion includes paintings by Edouard Manet, Sandro Botticelli, and Edgar Degas.



Overview of Changes

So now that you've seen for yourself how everything looks, what exactly has changed? Here's a complete list of all the changes:

● significantly shallower box, with cardboard insert instead of plastic, and thinner box sides
● no more palette board
● 89 instead of 131 palette cards
● 36 instead of 54 palette hexes, using thinner cardstock
● 23 instead of 34 commission cards, using thinner cardstock, and altered point values
● rules and commission cards adjusted to eliminate artist bonuses
● rules adjusted to lower the point value for triggering end game



What do I think?

Is the petite edition of Pastiche for you? If you already own a copy of one of the previous editions of the game, there's no real need to get this one too, unless perhaps you already own the original edition but desperately want rules and components with improved graphic design, and of course cute wooden easels. The international edition made a number of changes to improve the graphic design and to clarify the rules, and the petite edition of Pastiche enjoys all the benefits of these improvements, such as improved formatting of the commission cards, adjusted value for bisque, and improved reference cards and rules.

But the real appeal for this game will be for those who were interested in the international edition, but found it somewhat prohibitive due to the higher cost. The petite edition brings the price of this game into a much more affordable price bracket, that will hopefully see more copies moving into the hands of gamers - as they should.

To bring down the cost, the publisher has had to make some changes, but they're all sensible ones, and there's really nothing that detracts from the game as such. The biggest change is reducing the number of the components, with approximately 2/3 of the commission cards, palette cards, and hex tiles, and reducing the thickness of the tiles and box by half, as well as eliminating the playing board. The overall effect on the size and the cost of the game is significant, so the publisher has to be commended in doing a good job of accomplishing their aim without really hurting the game.

Despite these component cuts, the game quality itself is still very high. Certainly it is a step down from the components of the international edition, but let's be honest, the production values of the internation edition were so superlative, that while petite Pastiche might seem second rate beside that edition, alongside most other games being published these days, the component quality still compares very favourably and in fact even exceeds that of many other games.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the game-play itself doesn't really suffer from the changes. If anything, the removal of the artist bonuses will be welcome to some, because the game was the subject of some criticism on this point, since it could be argued that whether players got artist bonuses was somewhat dependent on luck of the draw. And having a shorter game might just help make the game even more accessible and help bring it to the table more often, although you could always house rule the amount required to trigger the game end if you wanted to have a similar length game to the international edition.



Recommendation

In most cases, a decision to downgrade the component quality of a game would be a crazy idea. But the reality is that in the case of Pastiche, the components of the international edition were so outstanding, that scaling down their quality still results in components that are very good quality, and most importantly for many of us, a more friendly price. I welcome anything that might help bring this attractive and fun family game into the hands of more gamers, and so I can only applaud the publisher for having the courage to make a quality edition that is much more affordable, and yet contains the content that made this game win my heart in the first place. Making it affordable, while keeping it beautiful - bravo!



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mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

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Drinky Drinky
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I understand the wanting to keep it a family game. But I have no earthly idea why they got rid of Rembrandts "Anatomy Lesson" painting from the original remake.

Also were the first 2 games really that off to require a 3rd redesign? Starting to wonder if this was due to an update or were the first 2 really that well designed at all? Though the 2nd edition was truly an upgrade of the first.

 
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krechevskoy wrote:
Also were the first 2 games really that off to require a 3rd redesign? Starting to wonder if this was due to an update or were the first 2 really that well designed at all? Though the 2nd edition was truly an upgrade of the first.
The main aim of the petite edition wasn't to redesign or fix the game, but to reduce the number/quality of components in order to make the game available at a much more friendly price point. The second/international edition of the game is still easily the deluxe and best version of the game, but it's also the most expensive by far.

krechevskoy wrote:
I understand the wanting to keep it a family game. But I have no earthly idea why they got rid of Rembrandts "Anatomy Lesson" painting from the original remake.
Just to offer an alternate perspective on this: I've played Pastiche with children many times, and quite a number of them just refused to play with the "Anatomy Lesson" commission, since it pictures a bloody corpse, and they couldn't stomach that. I don't blame them. To keep the game as family friendly as possible, rather than risk limiting the game's audience, I think it it was a good move to replace this in the international edition and the petite edition.



For the record, the first edition had Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson" and "Supper at Emmaus" (pictured above), while the international edition had no Rembrandt paintings (although "Night Watch" and "Supper at Emmaus" were available as part of an expansion pack #1). I like the choice of "Night Watch" for the petite edition.
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David Ruley
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So I am looking at purchasing this and the price difference on CSI is $2 between the International and the Petite. WHY would I buy the Petite with fewer components to save $2 when I can get the International for essentially the same price? It doesn't make sense to me. And the Petite says it is "On Sale" while the International isn't.
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Jessica Savannah
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DaRuleyman wrote:
So I am looking at purchasing this and the price difference on CSI is $2 between the International and the Petite. WHY would I buy the Petite with fewer components to save $2 when I can get the International for essentially the same price? It doesn't make sense to me. And the Petite says it is "On Sale" while the International isn't.
I own the international version. I LOVE it! If you're staying home, definitely go with the international version.

However, I travel extensively and like to take games with me. I would actually consider getting the petite edition just so I could travel with it. If you look at the petite box contents, it could easily scale down into a smaller box or be thrown into another game to save space. (Reminds me a little of Splendor in terms of ratio of components to box size.) The sheer weight of the international version is impressive...and doesn't lend itself to being easily toted around.

It just really depends on how portable you need it to be.
 
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JessicaSavannah wrote:


However, I travel extensively and like to take games with me. I would actually consider getting the petite edition just so I could travel with it. If you look at the petite box contents, it could easily scale down into a smaller box or be thrown into another game to save space. (Reminds me a little of Splendor in terms of ratio of components to box size.) The sheer weight of the international version is impressive...and doesn't lend itself to being easily toted around.

It just really depends on how portable you need it to be.
You do have gallon ziploc bags right? We travel with Pastiche all the time
With a gallon ziplock, some rubber bands and a few bead bags. Couldn't be more simpler!
 
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