I find a slight ambiguity in the manual for Patchwork regarding when the special event spaces are triggered. From the rules:

The Time Board

Regardless of the action you take you always move your time token on the time board. Some spaces of the time board are marked. Whenever you move onto or past one of those spaces, resolve the corresponding event.

The problem is that the markers for the marked spaces are actually placed between two spaces. When exactly does the button pay out? The same applies to the special patches. In the example Green has definitely moved onto or past the button, but has Yellow? It is also possible that the button itself is a space.

Picture of Time Board early in a game of Patchwork

Maybe this is a situation for a house rule, or I could just be missing something.

  • 1
    Button markings intentionally placed between spaces to make it explicitly clear when you cross them. I'm not familiar with english rules, looks like really bad wording, but whole game design is very clear and elegant, just rereading rules usually answers all questions.
    – Deo
    Oct 1, 2016 at 19:54
  • Because of the "onto" translation error, we initially played it where either space next to the button scores. The game still worked well, and in my opinion, added an additional fun layer of strategy. Trying to claim pieces that allowed you to land on the space before the button was key, as you scored again when crossing the button. And also making moves that prevented your opponent from getting to score twice on the same button was also important. Anyway, it may serve as an interesting house rule or game variation if anyone wants to try it that way.
    – Sean
    Jan 11, 2017 at 16:39
  • Wow, those English rules are badly worded - under these rules, optimal play would be landing just in front of the buttons to get a second payout when you move past them!
    – Samthere
    Jan 12, 2017 at 10:15

3 Answers 3


The English rules aren't very specific here so I looked at the German rules by the same publisher. They use the word 'überqweren', which means 'to cross' (as one would with borders).

I don't know why it says 'onto' in the English rules, it's not possible to land on buttons or special squares.
According to the link that Znorg provided, this is because in an early prototype version of the game the markings were on specific spaces. This was later changed, but overlooked when the rules got their review.

The correct reading is this:

There are markings between some spaces of the time board. Whenever you move past one of these markings, resolve the corresponding event.


I think you can interpret the rule in one of two ways:

  1. The button is placed on both spaces. Then, you can grab money every time you hit one of those spaces (in the case of a patch, the first one to land on one of the spaces grabs the patch).

  2. (The interpretation I use) You must pass the button to obtain coins (the first one to pass a batch grabs the patch).

Just agree on an interpretation with your opponent before you start playing .

  • There is only one correct way. If you cross button makring - you recieve income. Ofc you can houserule otherwise, but than it has nothing to do with official game rules.
    – Deo
    Oct 1, 2016 at 19:39
  • @Deo - The English version of the official game rules is unclear. Read the question, which quotes them. Francesco's answer is perfectly valid based on the English version of the rules. Your comment that "there is only one correct way" is a load of rubbish. freevkd's answer with the original German rules gives a useful interpretation for someone with the English version, but it is open to the players' interpretation as to whether it actually overrules the English rules.
    – AndyT
    Oct 3, 2016 at 16:45
  • 1
    @AndyT You may play with any houserules you want, but there is one way creator of the game intended it to be played - this is what I mean by "correct way". How badly english rules communicate this is another concern, but if you don't follow designer's rules you are just playing a different game.
    – Deo
    Oct 3, 2016 at 17:25
  • @Deo - I have a set of monopoly where the income for the third yellow, unimproved, is £22: that's what it says on the card. Most other sets of monopoly have it as £24 (or $24 etc.). When playing with my set, the owner of the third yellow gets £22 because that is the rule of set I am playing. It is not a house rule, it is a version rule. No, it is not the intention of the designer: the pattern of rent clearly shows it should be £24, as does every other set. But you play the game with the rules in front of you.
    – AndyT
    Oct 4, 2016 at 8:58
  • 1
    @AndyT Wow, that is amusing. We clearly have very different views on the subject. My copy of Kingsburg had sawmill printed with "3 gold for 1 wood" instead of "2 gold for 1 wood", like in english version. And I just fixed it instead of playing broken game, but to each their own.
    – Deo
    Oct 4, 2016 at 9:50

If you are stacked up on the same space, the player on top does not receive income because his turn is not over. If you land on either of the 2 spaces the income button is touching then you receive income. Both squares the button touches allow for income.

  • 3
    This is just plain wrong. You recieve income after an action which caused you to move past the button mark. That's it. The button mark doesn't apply to neighbouring spaces, it only matters if you cross it or not. Doesn't matter if you land on top of other player, if you do you just get to go again, but it has nothing to do with income.
    – Deo
    Oct 1, 2016 at 19:36

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