Tabletop Corner!

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by COMaestro, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    So uh, speaking of birthdays... my brother, his partner and my partner all pulled a sneaky on me, and bought me the Kickstarter edition of Dark Souls: The Board Game.

    Granted, my birthday isn't until December, so I was a bit gob smacked and surprised about this... but the three of them told me that they saw this game at a discounted price, went for it, and decided that rather than hold onto it for the next eight months or so, they decided to give it to me now. I wouldn't have minded them holding onto it until my actual birthday, but they didn't want to do that, out of fear that I might actually try and buy the game for myself. So... here it is.

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    Wow.

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    One dollar Australian coin for scale. The boss and mini-boss miniatures are amazingly detailed and for a board game, they're bloody massive. I haven't read all of the rules yet, but I want to finish reading off the rule book and getting a good understanding of the game and how it works before I actually try it out. It's a one to four player cooperative game where you fight an "AI", so I just need to find people crazy enough to play with me. My brother probably will, but I'm unsure if our partners will be interested.
     
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    Paul Tamburro likes this.
  2. Paul Tamburro

    Paul Tamburro Executive Editor
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    I'm jealous. I want to try this out but I've heard mixed reviews. Let me know what it's like when you get a chance to play it!
     
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  3. COMaestro

    COMaestro Regular

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    Went on a mini spending binge as Amazon had a good sale on select board games, so at my wife's suggestion (I love her so) we bought the 1910 expansion for Ticket to Ride, Survive: Space Attack! (a sorta-sequel to the Survive: Escape from Atlantis! game), Isle of Skye, and 7 Wonders Duel.

    7WD is two-player only, but we're hoping it'll be a good alternative when one of us feels like playing the original 7 Wonders, but only have the two of us interested in playing. We got 1910 mainly because it has large, poker sized cards to replace the ridiculously tiny cards that came in the original game, along with some alternate ticket cards and a variant way to play. Isle of Skye I've just heard pretty good things about, and we really enjoy the original Survive: Escape from Atlantis! and Space Attack! sounds like a fun spin on it. Not bad for a little over $80.


    Same as Paul, let me know how this is. I doubt I would pick it up myself, admittedly, but with the mixed reviews I see, I'm always curious for more info.
     
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  4. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I didn't know the Dark Souls board game had mixed reviews. I'll need to look that up for myself.

    I hope we enjoy the experience, though. I'm a big fan of Dark Souls, so I'm really looking forward to it. I still haven't finished reading the rule book (mostly due to laziness and too much God of War), but if/when we finally get a game going, I'll let you all know how it goes. :)
     
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  5. COMaestro

    COMaestro Regular

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    This weekend for Father's Day, I was finally able to play a game I've had since Christmas with my wife and brother-in-law. That game was...

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    Concordia is a game for 2-5 players. The theme is probably one of the most boring possibilities available: merchants trading resources in the Mediterranean. Be that as it may, the game itself is fantastic. The game board is double sided, giving players the option of trading just within Italy for smaller player counts, or the entirety of the Roman Empire for larger counts. With just three players, we chose the Italy option.

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    Setup is a little time consuming. For the board itself, each city on the map randomly receives a marker, stating which of the five resources it produces (brick, food, tools, wine, cloth). Each province (the differently colored sections of the map) is listed in the upper left corner of the board and a token showing the most valuable resource in that province is placed in the corresponding location. Lastly, a deck of Personality cards is constructed and seven are dealt out onto the spaces shown at the top right of the board.

    For the player setup, each player is given a tile with twelve spaces on it representing their merchant's warehouse along with some starting resources, 5 coins (called sestertii) and 15 house markers in their player color. They will also be given a hand of seven Personality cards, each hand identical to the other players' hands. Finally, each player will have two colonist figures starting out in Rome: one land colonist and one sea colonist. Players have two more of each type of colonist in their warehouse to be brought out later during play. Once a starting player is determined, the other players will each get extra coins depending on their turn order (1 for the second player, 2 for the third player, etc.). The last player in the turn order also gets the Preafectus Magnus card (described later).

    Play is simple. A player plays one card from their hand and performs the actions listed on it. Play then continues with the player to the left. Play continues until one player has built all 15 of their houses, or if all the Personality cards have been purchased from the board. At this point scoring occurs and the person with the highest score wins!

    The cards are what let you act in the game. To start with you have six different Personalities in hand to work with, but you can purchase more copies of them or some other unique ones from the board.

    The Architect card lets you move your colonists and then build houses in any cities they are adjacent to. The Senator card lets you purchase up to two of the Personality cards from the board. The Mercator gives you some coins and then lets you buy or sell up to two types of resources. The Diplomat copies the actions of another player's top discard card. The Prefect lets cities in provinces produce resources or gives the player coins. Finally, the Tribune lets you pick up all your discarded cards and give you the opportunity to purchase another colonist.

    When moving colonists using the Architect, the player gets a number of movement points equal to the number of colonists they have in play, and these points can be split up any way the player wishes. For instance, if the player has three colonists, they could move one colonist three spaces, move three colonists one space, etc. The colonists do not move onto cities, but instead move onto the dotted paths marked on the board, brown for land colonists and blue for sea colonists. There can only be one colonist placed on any path, though one can pass through other colonists while moving.

    Buying a house depends on the resource produced by that city. A brick city only requires a food and 1 coin. Other cities require a brick, one resource of the type they produce, and then 2 coins for a food city, 3 for tools, 4 for wine and finally 5 for cloth. However, you then have to multiply the coin cost by the number of houses that will be on that city after you build. Yep, every player can have a house in any given city, it just costs the later builders more money. So for the first house built, it just costs the amount listed above. For the next player, it'll be double that coin cost. Triple for the third player, etc. A player can only have one of their houses in any given city.

    The Senator gets to buy a Personality card from the board track. Each card has a resource cost printed on it that must be paid. Additionally, there may be an additional cost printed on the board under the space for the card. The first card has no additional cost, the second and third have a question mark, meaning any resource, the next two require a cloth, then a cloth and any other resource, then finally two additional cloth. After the player has purchased the one or two cards the Senator allows, the remaining cards are shifted to the left to fill in gaps and then cards are drawn from the deck to fill the remaining spaces.

    The Mercator allows the player to buy or sell up to two types of resources. The cost of each resource is constant. Bricks are worth 3 coins, Food is 4, Tools 5, Wine 6, and Cloth 7. Since it states two types of resources, this means you can sell three food, and then buy two wine, or sell two cloth and two brick, or buy one food and two tools, etc. A player can never have more resources than their warehouse can hold.

    The Prefect lets you pick one of the provinces shown in the upper left of the board and take a resource matching the tile next to it. If the player has the Preafectus Magnus, they instead get two of the shown resource and the PM card is passed to the player to the right. Additionally, the cities in that province produce, giving players with houses in them the resource shown for that city. Once a resource is taken this way, the tile is flipped over, revealing an icon with one or two coins. The Prefect can instead be used to flip all of the tiles back to their resource side, giving the player coins equal to the total depicted on the tiles.

    The Tribune lets the player pick up all their played cards so that they can be used again. If the player picks up more than three cards, including the Tribune, they get one coin for every card over three. Then, the player has the option to buy one colonist for a food and a tool, which starts out in Rome.

    Once a player has built 15 houses or purchased the final Personality card from the board, that player gets the Concordia card which is worth 7 points, and the remaining players each get one final turn. Scoring is done using the Personality cards each player holds. At the bottom of the cards is one of six gods, each god granting points for a particular thing. For instance, Jupiter gives 1 point for every house a player has in a non-brick city. So if a player has 8 houses in non-brick cities, they will gain 8 points for every card they have with Jupiter listed at the bottom. While every player starts with the same seven cards, as the game progresses they will have purchased more cards and moved about the board differently, meaning the scores can end up rather disparate.

    Jupiter - 1 VP for each house inside a non-brick city.
    Vesta - sell any remaining resources in the warehouse, then gain 1 VP for every 10 coins the player has, ignore fractions.
    Saturnus - 1 VP for each province containing one of their houses.
    Mercurius - 2 VP for each type of good produced by a player's houses.
    Mars - 2 VP for each of a player's colonists on the board.
    Minerva - there is one Minerva card for each resource type and gives the player a number of points per house they have in a city that produces that resource.

    The player with the highest score wins!

    Concordia is just a pleasant experience. There's no 'take that' element, other than potentially getting in someone's way or purchasing a house in a city or a Personality card before someone else can do it, but there's no real malice in it. Since scoring is not done until the end of the game, it's hard to tell who is in the lead at any given time, meaning players just focus on what they are doing rather than trying to find ways to trip up their opponents. The way the Prefect cards work means that other players are happy when you make provinces produce, as their cities make resources for them.

    The game can cause a bit of "Analysis Paralysis" in some people. Those who are determined to make the best possible move at any given time, meaning they start to do something, then stop, look at the board for a bit longer, start again, stop, etc. If playing with such people, you may want to look into using a sand timer or some other method of keeping turns short. The game box states 90 minutes as an average game length, but my game took almost three hours, partly due to one player's AP, but also for a couple of short breaks to check on kids and such.

    I highly recommend Concordia. It's very easy to teach, there's no real hidden information, and there's no ganging up on the leader, as no one knows who is leading until the game is over. There's lots of room for strategy hiding underneath the rather generic theme.
     
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