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Subject: Concordia - Farts of Wisdom rss

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Maria Fennimore
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Concordia is a delightful game that satisfies way beyond my expectations despite its theme of trading along the Mediterranean, one that has never captured my interest.

The rules are simple and easy to explain. Players take turns playing cards from their identical hands, following the instructions written there. Each card is played into your personal discard pile until you start to run out of available actions, except for the one allowing you to redraw all your discarded cards. Cards are worth points at the end of the game, based on the player’s in-game achievements such as placing houses and producing resources. Most importantly, players can use one of the cards to buy more cards from a central supply allowing players to choose both which actions they want to use more during the game and what achievements they want to score at the end.

This method of choosing your own scoring criteria makes the game satisfying for everyone because no matter how you want to play, the game rewards you for it. Similarly, Concordia gives bountiful rewards for each action one takes, making the process of decision making about picking the best option out of many good ones, rather than trying to choose the least unpleasant option from a list of bad ones.

The game keeps a fantastic pace, starting slowly, with players occasionally placing houses in the first rounds, and then accelerating until in the final rounds players are racing to see who can make the big moves that see them placing all their remaining houses in one round or buying the last precious cards from the supply. The player who manages to either place their last building or grab the last card gets a victory point bonus for their efforts, but this does not make a win guaranteed. The other players have one last chance to play a card, and nobody knows if their last move will be the difference between victory and defeat. No points score until everyone has finished and the final tally begins. Then players get the excitement of seeing how their strategy stacked up against their opponents’, which gives the game tension up until its last moments. Concordia never leaves you with the unpleasant task of finishing a game that you already know you lost.

Concordia manages to hit a sweet spot in game appeal where it has enough strategy to please heavier gamers without alienating those who appreciate lighter fare with unnecessary complications or overly long rules explanations. Almost anyone interested in modern board games should find a place for Concordia on their shelves. Afterwards, if your curiosity is piqued regarding other games of this nature, check out other titles by designer Mac Gerdts. His 2010 game Navegador is another example of an excellent game wrapped around a less than exciting theme. Click here for an early look at his newest game, Transatlantic.

For images and more short reviews please check out @BoxFartBandit
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Jérôme
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Are you familiair with the many expansions? If so, can you elaborate?
 
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Maria Fennimore
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Tsaar wrote:
Are you familiair with the many expansions? If so, can you elaborate?


The expansions to Concordia are wonderful if you’re already in love with the game and looking to get a little more mileage out of it. The Britannia/Germania expansion doesn’t really add anything except more options for maps. Not a lot to really say about them, although the Britannia map seems more well balanced for two players than either of the originals.

The Salsa expansion gives you another two maps as well as a new resource and a forum board from which you can recruit Senators to help you. The maps aren’t particularly exciting, although they are balanced to be used with the new salt resource. The salt itself adds a little more complexity to the game, acting as a wild resource which you can use but never buy or sell. It also acts as a wild for specialist scoring at the end of the game, which allows players to lean more heavily into that strategy.

The forum and senators just add another layer of specialization to the game, allowing players to get personal bonus for certain actions. Because you earn senators when you play your Tribune, it isn’t really something you can aggressively go after; everyone generally ends up with about the same number. You do get a random senator at the beginning of the game, but because they come in both the one-time use and permanent bonus varieties, some are drastically more useful at the start than others. If there were one portion of the Salsa expansion I’d play without, it would probably be this one as it adds a lot more randomness to what is usually a very low-luck game. However, I will play with this one on occasion just to spice things up and potentially give newer players an advantage.

Overall, the Concordia expansions don’t really change the game all that much, which is great in that they don’t corrupt a pretty pure design, but they don’t elevate it that much either. If you like Concordia and want more, give these a try. Alternatively, look at other games by the designer Mac Gerdts. In particular, Transatlantic is coming out soon and uses the same card playing mechanic as Concordia.
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Nick
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BoxFartBandit wrote:
Afterwards, if your curiosity is piqued regarding other games of this nature, check out other titles by designer Mac Gerdts. His 2010 game Navegador is another example of an excellent game wrapped around a less than exciting theme. Click here for an early look at his newest game, Transatlantic.


If you don't find the Portuguese explorations to be an exciting theme, then that's fine, but you shouldn't present that opinion as though it's fact. I happen to really like the theme.
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Russ Williams
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jungle_boy wrote:
If you don't find the Portuguese explorations to be an exciting theme, then that's fine, but you shouldn't present that opinion as though it's fact. I happen to really like the theme.

Coincidence: I'll be visiting Portugal in 2018, and so my next big reading project will probably be the epic poem Os Lusíadas about Portuguese exploration (in Esperanto translation!)
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Nick
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russ wrote:
Coincidence: I'll be visiting Portugal in 2018, and so my next big reading project will probably be the epic poem Os Lusíadas about Portuguese exploration (in Esperanto translation!)


I'm sure you'll love Portugal. You could also play the Concordia Hispania map in preparation
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Russ Williams
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jungle_boy wrote:
I'm sure you'll love Portugal. You could also play the Concordia Hispania map in preparation

Thanks! We have indeed played the Concordia Hispania map. Also the Power Grid map with Portugal and Spain.
 
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Connor Cranston
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BoxFartBandit wrote:
You do get a random senator at the beginning of the game, but because they come in both the one-time use and permanent bonus varieties, some are drastically more useful at the start than others.


At set up you will only get a blue/permanent one.
 
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Thomas S
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Khonnor wrote:
BoxFartBandit wrote:
You do get a random senator at the beginning of the game, but because they come in both the one-time use and permanent bonus varieties, some are drastically more useful at the start than others.


At set up you will only get a blue/permanent one.


That's right.

My girlfriend and I like to draft, i.e. hand out two Senator cards each, of which we will then choose one to start the game with. It gives you an interesting choice to make at the beginning, and it also diminishes the influence of luck, since even among the "blue" Senator cards, there are some that seem more useful than others.
 
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Connor Cranston
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Chinchudo wrote:
Khonnor wrote:
At set up you will only get a blue/permanent one.


That's right.

My girlfriend and I like to draft, i.e. hand out two Senator cards each, of which we will then choose one to start the game with.


I believe that is the official rule and how we played it.
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Thomas S
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Quote:
I believe that is the official rule


Really? I forgot that.
 
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