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A world of beautiful colors comes alive as players complete commissions that picture some of the finest European and American art works from the past six centuries.

The word pastiche is used in the fields of literature and art to refer to something that is an imitation or recreation of an earlier work, often as a respectful homage or tribute to the original. In this game, players are making pastiches by mixing colors and recreating some of the palette colors used to create the original paintings of the masters.

Explore the paintings, palettes and pasts of the artists in this unique and challenging game for the whole family.


  • 1 Game Board
  • 34 Commission Cards.
  • 131 Palette Cards
  • 8 Wooden Easels (International Edition)
  • 54 Palette Hexes
  • 1 Three-Hex Starting Piece
  • 4 Player Reference Cards
  • First Player Marker (International Edition)

Completing commission cards is the main way players earn points. The commission cards picture 34 different famous paintings, and feature two works from 17 different artists. Each commission card includes the following information:

  1. information about each art work (name, gallery, dates, artist, nationality, etc).
  2. commission card points (points earned by completing that commission, ranging from 8 to 16)
  3. artist bonus points (points earned by completing both commissions by this artist)
  4. a palette of two to seven "dabs" of color (the colors needed to complete that commission)

Palette cards are used to complete commission cards and score commission points. Each palette "card shows its color and name, along with the number of points contributes to a commission (or the number of points it may potentially be worth at the end of a game).

The distribution of palette cards is as follows:

  • Primaries: red, yellow, and blue (worth 4 points, 8 of each)
  • Secondaries: orange, green, violet, and brown (worth 1 point, 12 of each)
  • Tertiaries: amber, scarlet, olive, teal, magenta, and purple (worth 2 points, 6 of each)
  • Shades: black and white (worth 3 points, 6 of each); gray (worth 6 points, 6 cards)
  • +Bisque (worth 5 points, 5 cards)

The palette board is used for storing the palette cards that will be available to players during game-play.

Palette hexes are placed to generate palette cards by mixing colors.

Each hex displays a single or double primary color in the center of the hex, and six "dabs" at each point of the hex in various combinations of the primary colors.

Object of the Game

The goal of Pastiche is to score the most points, which are earned by completing commission cards through collecting the necessary palette cards required for each.

Scores are calculated at the end of the round in which one player has reached a certain number of commission card points. The player with the most points from completed commission cards, usable palette cards in hand, and artist bonus points will be declared the winner.


General Setup

  1. Three-hex starting piece: Place the three-hex starting piece in the center of the playing area, leaving enough open space on all sides of this starting piece for additional hex placement during the game.

  2. Palette board and cards: Place the palette board to one side of the playing area, within reach of all of the players if possible. Stack the palette cards face-up on their respective spaces on the palette board. The palette cards on the board are referred to as the palette bank in these rules.

  3. Palette hexes: Place all of the palette hexes face-down on the opposite side of the playing area, also within reach of all of the players if possible.

  4. Commission cards: Shuffle the commission cards, and deal four of them face-up above the playing area. These four face-up commission cards are referred to as the gallery in these rules. The remaining commission cards form a face-down deck to the right of the gallery.

Player Setup

Randomly determine a start player, and assign this player the Starting Player card. Since the game will end at the end of a round, all players will get an equal number of turns. At the start of the game, each player receives:

  1. Two random commission cards and two easels for placing these on
  2. Two random palette hexes
  3. One of each of the secondary color palette cards (green, violet, orange, and brown)
  4. One player reference card

Note: the commission cards (on easels), palette hexes, and palette cards that a player has in hand are secret, although players can play with these face-up when learning the game, or if playing the game casually or if mutually agreed upon as a house rule.

Refer to the illustration below for an example of the complete setup for a four player game.

Game Play

A round consists of players taking turns in clockwise order. Each player's turn consists of three main phases, which are listed on the reference card as follows:

  1. Mixing Phase
  2. Painting Phase
  3. Clean-up Phase

A. Mixing Phase

Place Hex And Collect Palette Cards

Placing a hex: Place one of your two hexes adjacent to at least one side of the 3-hex starting piece or adjacent to one side of a hex previously placed by another player.

Collecting Palette Cards: After placing a hex, you may collect palette cards in one of two ways (but not both):

  1. Mix The Smaller "dabs" On The Points Of The Hex.

    The colors on the points of the hex you have just placed will mix with the colors on the points of the adjacent hexes to create new colors.

    Refer to the color chart on your player reference card to see which palette cards are generated by the various combinations of two or three primary colors, and collect these cards from the palette bank.

    No palette card is created if a combination is made up of only two identical "dabs" of the same primary color - a palette card in a primary color can only be created in this way if three identical "dabs" of the same primary color are mixed together, OR:

  2. Take The Large "dab" In The Center Of The Hex.

    Each palette hex has a single or double primary color in its center. Instead of receiving the palette cards created by combining the "dabs" on the points of the palette hex, you may take one primary palette card (red, yellow or blue as indicated in the center of the hex).

    In the case of hexes with two primary colors at the center, you do not receive both colors, but may choose between the two primary colors.

Strategy Tip - Placing Hexes

When placing hexes, try to accomplish one or more of these goals:

  • Maximize the number of palette cards you collect;

  • Mix specific colors to get one or more specific palette cards that you need for your commissions;

  • Thwart your opponents' plans by a strategic hex play. Especially be careful to avoid a placement that enables the next player to mix three dabs of the same color and so easily get a primary color plus other palette cards!

B. Painting Phase

The Painting Phase includes trading palette cards with other players and/or the bank, trading a commission card with the gallery, and completing commission card(s).

These three different actions may be done in any order, and as often as players wish during this phase. The exception is trading a commission card with the gallery, which may only be done once per turn.

Trade Palette Cards with players and/or Bank (optional)

Trading with other players: During this phase you may freely trade your palette cards (not commission cards) with other players, making whatever deals are acceptable to both players. The player whose turn it is must be involved in any trade made on that turn.

Trading with the palette bank: You may trade palette cards in hand with the palette bank as follows:

  • any three palette cards of the same color for a black, white, or any secondary or tertiary color (Note: bisque, gray, and primary colors can not be gained in this way)
  • a yellow and brown for a bisque
  • a black and white for a gray
  • a primary color plus any other palette card (as a penalty) for a different primary color

Traded palette cards are returned to the appropriate stack in the palette bank.

Strategy Tip - Obtaining Primary Colors

There are several different ways to obtain the specific primary color that you need for a certain commission:

Placing a hex and taking the primary color matching the large "dab" in the center of the hex (choosing one color if there is a choice of two)

Placing a hex and mixing three smaller "dabs" of the same primary color on the points of adjacent hexes Trading with the palette bank by giving up a card of another primary color along with any other palette card (as a penalty)

Trading with another player (extremely rare, because players will usually only collect the primary colors they need for their own commissions)

Trade One Commission Card with Gallery (optional)

You may trade one (and only one) commission card from your hand for one of the four cards in the gallery. At no time may you trade commission cards with other players.

While players may trade palette cards and complete commissions as often and in any order that they wish during the painting phase, trading a commission card with the gallery may only be done once per turn, but at any time during this phase.

Complete Commission Cards (optional)

You may complete one or more commission cards from your hand and/or the gallery by matching palette cards to the palette colors shown on the commission cards. This may only be done on your own turn, and during this phase.

Place the appropriate commission card face-up in front of you (visible to all players for the rest of the game), show the matching palette cards in your hand to the other players, and then return them to the palette bank.

Immediately draw a new commission card from the commission card deck to replace the commission that was just completed from your hand or the gallery. Players should always have two commission cards in hand, and the gallery should always have four commission cards.

C. Clean-up Phase

Check Palette Card Hand Limit (8 Cards)

You may not hold more than 8 palette cards in your hand at the end of your turn. Excess cards chosen by the active player must be discarded and returned to the palette bank.

This hand limit is only enforced at the end of your own turn, so you may have more than 8 cards in hand at other times during the game (e.g. as a result of trading on another player's turn).

Strategy Tip - Hand Management

Try to manage your collection of palette cards carefully so that you never have to waste cards by discarding them. One way to do this is by trading for black, white, and gray cards, and also by not collecting palette cards for too many commissions at a time.

If you think that the game might end before your next turn, try to make sure that the palette cards in your hand match commission cards in your hand, so that they will score additional points.

Draw New Hex

Draw a new hex tile to replenish your hand up to two hexes, and end your turn. Play now passes to the next player in order, and continues in this way until the end of the game.

End of the Game

The end of the game is triggered when one player has completed commissions worth a cumulative total of points (not including artist bonuses) as follows:

  • 4 players: 35 points
  • 3 players: 40 points
  • 2 players: 45 points

When one player reaches this point total, the game continues until the end of the round, so that all players have had an equal number of turns.

Calculating Scores

The winner is the player with the highest sum of points earned from:

  • completed commission cards
  • usable palette cards
  • artist bonuses

Completed commission cards are the commission cards completed by players during the game.

Usable palette cards are palette cards in a player's hand at the end of the game that are usable to complete commission cards remaining in that player's hand (i.e. not gallery commission cards).

Each palette card may only be counted once at most (e.g. if both of your in-hand commissions require green cards to complete, you must have two green cards in your hand to score one point each for these green cards).

Artist bonuses are the bonus points earned for completing two commissions by the same artist. This amount is listed on the commission cards, and has been set as follows: 3 points for commissions cumulatively worth a total of 15-17 points, 4 points for commissions worth 18-22 points, 5 points for commissions worth 23-27 points, and 6 points for commissions worth 28-31 points. This bonus is awarded once for each pair of such cards, not for each card separately.

In the event of a tie, the following tie-breakers are used (in order) to determine the winner:

  1. most commissions completed
  2. most points in usable palette cards
  3. most points in artist bonuses

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