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November 27th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

While some people may not agree with me, I found “Grand Ages: Medieval” to be an extremely fun & relatively peaceful economic simulator.  Sure, you occasionally have to send your armies out to deal with panthers or bandits, but most of your time is spent thinking about resource production.  My love for this particular gameplay feature is what prompted me to pick up “Concordia”, a game set during the rule of the Roman Empire.  Here, players will be trying to earn victory points in a number of different ways using a combination of resource management, deck building, and by colonizing land.



Concordia: 2-5 Players, Ages 13+, Average Play Time = 90 Minutes



The game includes 110 wooden pieces in five player colors (sea colonists, land colonists, scoring markers, and houses), 80 units of goods (brick, food, tools, wine, and cloth), 72 cards (personality cards, Concordia card, Praefectus Magnus card, and player aids), 30 city tokens, 24 bonus markers, coins (1, 2 , 5, and 10), 1 historical information booklet, 1 quick intro, and 1 rules booklet.

Setup & Gameplay

Game setup is pretty involved, so I’ll just offer the highlights to keep the review moving. Firstly, some cards for sale will be taken out of the game, depending on the player count.  Players will then choose one of the two player boards (Imperium = 3-5 players, Italia = 2-4 players).  Each player gets a storehouse, some starting resources & money, a deck of starting personality cards, and pieces of one color.  The last player gets the Praefectus Magnus card. The board is seeded randomly with city tokens which determine where the bonus markers go and cards for sale.

On a player’s turn, they’ll play one card from their hand and take the related actions.  After this is done, the card goes into a discard pile to be collected later (when a tribune card is played).  Using these cards, players will be moving colonists around the game board (architect), building houses (architect), producing goods (prefect), placing new colonists (colonist), receiving money (various cards), copying the action from another player (diplomat), purchasing new personality cards (senator & consul), and other things.  A player can use the Praefectus Magnus card when taking the prefect action to earn two bonus resources instead of one, then passes the card to the next player.

The game ends after a player purchased the last personality card from the display or after a player builds their 15th house.  That player is awarded the Concordia card and everyone else gets their final turn.  Victory points are earned a number of ways, like through the value of all goods in a player’s storehouse (Vesta), for each house inside a non-brick city (Jupiter), for each province that contains at least one of a player’s house (Saturnus), for each type of good the player produces with their houses (Mercurius), for each colonist on the board (Mars), and for each city of the related city type as depicted on the specialist’s card (Minerva).  The person with the most points, wins the game!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.




The Review

Normally I shy away from games that take longer than forty-five minutes to play.  If you’re a busy parent like me, then you’ll understand why.  I made an exception in this case for a few reasons, one of which was that the PDF rulebook I glanced at was four pages.  The game is extremely streamlined and easy to play, despite its lengthy playtime.  There’s also the fact that I really enjoy playing economic simulation games on the PC (“Grand Ages: Medieval“, etc.).  These two personal selling points made me splurge a bit and pick up the game, despite the fact that it set me back $45 (the price on Amazon as of 11/16/15).  I mention this because for those who know me, I’m quite the penny-pincher.  The fact that I picked up a game costing more than my usual $20-$30 limit says quite a bit.

I was surprised by how well gameplay flowed despite the mix-match of genres involved.  All three aspects: deck building, resource management, and area control, seemed to work very well together.  Sure, you can make the claim that many games combine genres all the time…”Age of Empires III“, for example, combined RTS elements with deck building.  With that said, less than half of the games I’ve played in my lifetime did it so well that they didn’t feel awkward to play.  Of course, this is based on my experiences mind you…yours may be different.  “Concordia” didn’t feel awkward at all.  A little confusing at first, what with all the actions you can take and the ways you can score at the game’s end, but not awkward.

Once you get past the learning curve (which mainly consists of figuring out what you can and should do on your turn), you’ll probably find “Concordia” to be as enjoyable as I did.  The game looks great from a component standpoint, with the rulebook being pretty thorough in its explanations.  This game falls under the category of “easy to play, yet difficult to master”, I feel.  There’s a lot to consider when your turn rolls around, hence where the lengthy play time comes into the picture.  I still think the price could have been a bit less (I would have been happy at $35), but that could be the penny-pincher in me talking again.  If you’re comfortable dropping $40-$50 though and enjoy games with economic themes, then give this one a look.

Final Verdict: 8/10

  1. November 27th, 2015 at 23:31 | #1

    You’re kind of late to the party on this one. This is one of my all time favorites that has 30+ plays in my game group. There’s also an online implementation that is very well done. “easy to play, yet difficult to master” is a very good description. Keep up the good work!

    • Vincent
      November 28th, 2015 at 20:17 | #2

      I run DGA solo, so some games are bound to slip through the cracks. Plus, not every developer/publisher sends me copies of their games, so I have to pick and choose which ones to buy. With that said, I’m glad I took a chance on this one.

  2. Anthony
    May 24th, 2017 at 21:19 | #3

    It’s been a few years since you wrote this review. I’m curious if you’re still playing Concordia. Like you, I’m a busy parent so I normally go for shorter games. The rule book looks very manageable though. Does it still make it to the table in your house?

    • Vincent
      May 27th, 2017 at 00:05 | #4

      Sadly no. Between my medical issues and the number of requests I get, I’ve been only able to focus on newly arrived games.