Concordia

 

Personal Ranking: #6

 

Time to Play (in my experience): 75-90 minutes

 

Age Level: 10 probably would be the lower end.

 

Difficulty Level: 3 (10-15 minutes to teach, less than 90 minutes to play)

 

Type of Game: Hand Management and Area Control. Hand management means that you need to best manage your own personal deck of cards for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Area control means that your markers on the board (in this case, a map) has positive effects. The more markers you have on the board the better.

 

Game Setting: Mediterranean. The Rio Grande Games website says that it “is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times”. That’s a succinct description. Those guys know how to describe a game!

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Brief overview of how to play: On your turn, you play a card and do what the card says. This can be to place markers, produce goods, trade goods or get more cards. The trick is you don’t get that card back until you play a certain card that says that you collect all your cards back into your hand. All scoring happens at the end of the game and you calculate the number of certain cards that you have compared to the number of your markers on the board that apply. 

 

How many players does it play?: 2-5

 

Ideal number?: 3-5 (I would play other games with 2 players)

 

Why do I love/recommend this game?:

 

The cards tell you what to do: There aren’t that many different cards in the game and they all explain what you do when you play the card. Follow what it says. Simple.

 

Variable set up: The game board is double sided with two different maps. Additionally, the way that the cities are set up are somewhat different each time. I love games where you have to assess the board when you sit down to play as opposed to static boards where you can work on your strategy outside the game.

 

Very expandable. There are several different maps that you can purchase separately to give you a variety of playing experiences. Some of the maps have really neat variations on the game.

 

Simple scoring. At the end of the game you take the cards of a certain type and multiply them with the markers that apply to the scoring condition.

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Cards lined up for scoring. For instance, the yellow cards score 1 point for every province that you are in. So, if you are in 9 provinces, and you have 7 cards, that's 63 points. The orange cards score 2 points for every person/boat you have on the board. If you have all 6 figures on the board with these three cards, that's 36 points. And so on...

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Rewards for others: When you produce a region, every player with a house in that region gets goods. That gives incentive to build where other people have built. 

 

Silky smooth gameplay. I love games that don’t have a whole lot of “fiddly rules” to remember. Like, “oh yeah when I move that guy, he gets a +1, but only across mountains” etc. The rules are on the cards, and the trading and building costs are on your player aids in front of you. It is a great example of elegant gameplay.

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See how clear the instructions are on the Senator card? Just do what it says.

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Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all?: Not that I can see.

 

Final word: Concordia is one of those games that has really grown on me over time. I was a little “ho hum” about it the first time that I played it, but with subsequent plays I have seen what a masterpiece of a game it is. I also have several of the map expansions, and that provides additional variability. For somewhat advanced gamers, this is a great game to pull out. 

 

 

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