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Play Concordia on Your Own, and Return to Hanamikoji on Geisha's Road

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Concordia
• With only a couple of days remaining in 2020, I thought I'd briefly cover a few items seen in passing, starting with Concordia Solitaria, an expansion for both Concordia and Concordia Venus coming in 2021 from Mac Gerdts and PD-Verlag that allows you to play either game or any expansion on your own. Here's Gerdts' brief explanation of the expansion from BGG:
There will be 3 skill levels: standard (casual play), advanced (for a challenge), and expert (don't mind to lose?). The expert opponent is hard to beat (though not impossible). It is also definitely harder to win on smaller maps like Corsica and Creta. Pulling out the win on Britannia and Italia is an easier task. It has been tested with salt from Salsa and works fine that way. Not sure about the Forum cards yet. The fishmarket from Balearica should work, but here we need more tests as well.

It is very important that the solo mode of SOLITARIA reflects how Concordia works and feels. You have to be efficient. You will face surprising reactions of your opponent.

Board Game: Concordia: Solitaria
Prototype cards

Solitaria is playable within 30 minutes. It's quite fast because your opponent is't involved with micro-management like managing his resources.

But your opponent is building houses, building and moving his colonists around, purchasing cards, and maybe grabbing the Concordia card before you.
Board Game: Sherlock 13
• A new English-language edition of Hope S. Hwang's Sherlock 13 will be released by Arcane Wonders on Jan. 27, 2021, with Korea Boardgames releasing this new edition in Korea. You can watch my 4:35 overview of this simple deduction game in a 2016 video here on BGG News.

• Other titles coming from Arcane Wonders in 2021 include Aquatica: Cold Waters in Q1; Martin Doležal's Four Gardens in Mar/Apr 2021 (with more copies of the Korea Boardgames version likely to be available through the BGG Store just prior to that release); Viral: The Hive, an expansion for MEBO Games' Viral in Q1/Q2 2021, and Ivan Lashin's Furnace in Q2/Q3. (Regarding this last title, I've played this auction-based, engine-building game three times so far and will preview it once I have more experience. The auction element is the most compelling part of the game as you pretty much always get something for each bid you place, making both your choices and everyone else's quite important.)

Board Game: Aquatica: Cold Waters
Board Game: Four Gardens
Board Game: Viral: The Hive
Board Game: Furnace

Board Game: Hab & Gut
• A BGG user has discovered that Ares Games will release a new version of Carlo A. Rossi's Hab & Gut in 2021. This design for 3-5 players has you trying to earn money while manipulating stock prices, with you sharing cards with each of your two neighbors — a great system that pools the knowledge of what can possibly happen between players, with you then (possibly) being able to guess what your neighbors can see on their other side based on their actions. Whoever donates the least to charity automatically loses, so ideally you can dump a stock that's more valuable for a neighbor than for you, while making yourself look good in the process.

• Ahead of 2020, EmperorS4 had announced that it might have "Hanamikoji 2" available for that show, but in the end the Taiwanese publisher decided to postpone its new releases for 2020.

Now it's revealed a bit of info about Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road, a two-player design by in-house designer Eros Lin that serves as a spiritual successor to Kota Nakayama's Hanamikoji. Here's an overview of the game:
Welcome back to Hanamikoji, the most famous Geisha street in Kyoto. Your favorite Geishas unfold their unmatched skills in art, music, dance, and a variety of performances with the ultimate gracefulness. Greatly respected and adored, Geishas are masters of entertainment.

Board Game: Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road

In Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road, you are the Okami (owner) of a restaurant who is trying to solicit business by allocating the schedules for the five most famous Geishas. Their performances will reward them with precious gifts, and you can get your cut from their prosperity — but you are not alone in this business. Can you outwit your opponent and get the most out of the elegant Geishas?

In this game, players play their hand cards to move five Geishas clockwise around the five restaurants. The cards played in each restaurant determine which Geisha will score there, and the player who has the higher total value of that color in hand receives the points.

Board Game: Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road
• Another title that was previously listed as forthcoming from EmperorS4 is a new edition of Pesu Nabeno's 2013 deduction game Hannin Wa Odoru, which had been re-released by a handful of publishers in 2015 as Monster My Neighbor. I'm not sure what might differ with this new release, but I had posted an overview of Monster My Neighbor in 2015, so for now I'll just share that:

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