Do you love the Mediterranean Sea? How about building trading posts? Building an engine to make more goods? Think cloth is cooler than brick? Cool wooden bits? Double-sided map so you can play in different parts of the Med? How about trying to make your opponents produce goods for you on their turn? If yes, then Concordia might be the game for you.
Goal of the game?
To win! But how do I do that? Umm... by having the most victory points. A novel concept and one that I am sure will take off one of these days. (Yes, I love that line and I will try and use it in all my reviews that involve games that use victory points. Which, let’s face it, will be most reviews. It’s my line and I am sticking to it.)
How to play?
On your turn, you will play one of the Personality Cards from your hand and execute the actions associated with it. There are 9 different types of Personality Cards each doing a different thing. They are:
Architect: Move your colonists around and build Trading Posts. Trading Posts are important for producing Goods.
Prefect: Flip a province marker to get Goods, or get cash by resetting all the flipped province markers. You get more goods if you have trading posts in the province. You also get goods when someone else flips a province you have trading posts in. Neat! Free Stuff!
Specialists: There are 5 of these, one for each type of Goods (Brick, Food, Tools, Wine, and Cloth) in the game. When played you receive one unit of the specific good for each city of that type you have a trading post in.
Mercator: You get some bonus money and then you can trade two types of goods. When trading in a good you can either buy units from the bank or sell units from your warehouse.
Senator: You can buy up to two other Personality Cards paying their cost in goods.
Consul: Kind of like Senator, but you only get to buy one Personality Card. But you do not have to pay the extra cost associated with newer cards that you have to do with Senator.
Diplomat: Acts as a copy of the top card of someone else’s discard pile. No, you can not copy another Diplomat card because that would just be silly.
Colonist: Build more colonists in any city you have a trading post in or Roma. You can have up to six colonists in the game.
Tribune: This card allows you to pick up your discard pile. It may also earn you ‘cashie monies’ depending on how big your discard pile was. As well as allowing you to build one colonist in Roma.
You start with six of the types and can buy more of them with your Senator card and Consul cards once you buy one.
The Game ends when either all the Personality Cards are bought or someone places all 15 of their Trading Posts.
Each Personality Card has a deity listed at the bottom of it. At the end of the game, you score points for each Personality Card based on which deity is listed.
The wrap up.
I love this game. It is on the shortlist of games I always want to put on the table. Actually, I really like all of Mac Gerdts’ games that I have played and two of his are on the shortlist mentioned above (Navegador I am looking at you, yes you are my #1). I like this one so much I strive mightily to not put it out each game night so the group does not burn out on it. If that is even possible? Because if it does start to feel a bit samey same, there are six Maps available, last time I checked. (Oops, looks like according to BGG it is up to 10 maps now.) Besides offering new areas to play in, some of the maps introduce a new mechanic or two to the game. It also supports up to five players and works as well with five as it does with three or four. So many games top out at four, or if they support five, it feels like an addon that does not quite work as well.
The maps are double-sided and sturdy. The wooden bits are solid - solid wood that is. The cardboard coins are ok-to-decent. They did include a II coin (I, IV I, like Roman numerals, sorry could not resist. Back to the review) So many games could benefit from a $2 piece. Also, it does not do the silly thing where they make the one money unit a 1000 or 100,000. Designers, please, if there is nothing smaller than a 1000 just make it a 1 and save the zeros. I do recommend sleeving the cards, though. The card stock is decent, but people will be handling them a fair amount and some folks have some damp hands. I think the stock would not hold up to as much play as this game tends to get once your group starts playing.
This game frustrates me, in the good way. I always feel like I am 2 to 3 turns behind everyone and that they are all racing ahead of me. But so does everyone else, it turns out. You want to do so many things on your turn but you must pick just one role at a time. So plan accordingly. (And watch out for Merri beating you to that Food city up in Britannia. Each time Merri. Grrr.)
If you like building an engine to make your economy great, this game has it. If you like spreading all over the map, you can do that too. If you like getting free stuff when your opponents play a card, you can try and set that up as well. Just like racing folks to cities first and building there so their buildings cost more, again yep.
To me, it is really just a solid game. It is still in the top 20 on BGG, and it is not a massive miniatures game, or heavily promoted, or legacy game. So that is quite the feet. Heck, there are multiple threads on the forums at BGG about how much folks do not like the box art.
Hope you get a chance to play Concordia. I think you will enjoy your time in the Mediterranean.