It Beats Watching The TV

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I Am The Resurrection

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
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Greetings from Brexitland* everyone!
How have you all been?
Good. Long may it continue.

*Terms & conditions apply. Please read the small print carefully. Item may not be entirely as advertised. May end up costing more than initially promised. Your country may be at risk if you don’t keep up sensible trading arrangements. Complex problems rarely have simple solutions. Consider carefully the option of cancelling and spending the time and money on important practical and sociological issues instead of a nostalgic imperial fever dream.

And me?
Aside from the existential crisis that the country as a whole has been going through I have been charting my way through some choppy waters of my own of late. Doctors, hospitals, scans, blood tests, peeing through machines (at medical request rather than as a personal peccadillo), cameras inserted into one’s honourable member** (again, at medical request rather than as a personal peccadillo. Although I have no doubt that some honourable members have a thing for things going up their honourable members.) The upshot is that, thankfully, no cancer. But very definitely prostatitis. Different for everyone but imagine beginning your day with a rock being shoved up your rear end and a swift kick to the undercarriage for good measure and you’re on the right track (repeat earlier joke here).
Anyway, getting the all clear really does give one a new lease of life, which is rather fitting for this particular time of year.
And a renewed enthusiasm for spending time doing things that bring enjoyment. Like playing games. Like bringing games that have been left under a rock for some time back into the light.

**For the aid of those unacquainted with the antiquated British political terminology; an MP (Member of Parliament). Also slang for penis.

I’d been mulling over a post for a couple of weeks now, but the erudite/ gobshite Mr Boydell’s blog yesterday tipped the proverbial Mouse TrapTM marble off down the cognitive chute and set the cogs and levers whirring in my mind. I have actually reduced the amount of boardgame information regurgitation that I allow into my eyeballs and ear canals on a regular basis and actually feel none the worse for it. I was already losing the desire to keep myself abreast of the latest and (not so) greatest releases anyway and I certainly don’t feel any the poorer for it, metaphysically or financially.

I’ve also been, much as I did over the last year, playing (slightly) older games a lot more often. These are games that I already know and enjoy and can get straight into playing without the need to learn and explain the rules and waste time watching tedious how to play videos. Concordia fits this category of game perfectly, and a couple of recent game night plays at the pub had reminded me of its elegant charms.

There has been an amusing tradition (for want of a better word) that I never play my copy of the game, indeed I never take it to games night, only playing someone else’s as a compromise after we’ve rejected the other things on offer. Concordia is deserving of far more praise than simply being the game that we can all settle on though. The shifting make up of the players in my regular gaming group has led to an interesting polarisation where we have a number who want to always be playing brasher confrontational thematic titles and another section who prefer quieter not very confrontational euro games (and not the busy boards and levers, buttons, bells and whistles approach that blights a lot of recent medium weight euros.) Concordia has obviously found its way into the game night bags of a couple of newer regulars.

Having been thoroughly pleasured by some recent four and five player sessions (of Concordia, you degenerate) I recalled that it was one of my early “proper” game purchases that Mrs B and I had enjoyed at home (indeed it was the subject of one of my earliest blog posts). Having the recent experience of playing the base game maps at their fullest player counts I was reticent to try and recreate that enjoyment in the wide open space that just the two players would mean. Handily, as you are no doubt aware, there are a number of expansion maps available with some specifically engineered to provide a tighter playing environment for two and three gamers. Concordia: Aegyptus / Creta was the one that I plumped for, the optional board for the personality cards featuring different purchase costs is what swung it over the others. I can happily report that it performs admirably in those circumstances. I have been so encouraged that Concordia: Salsa, mostly for the variety of the forum bonuses and wild goods (salt) rather than the maps, has also been purchased and awaits its introduction.

So, in summary, Concordia; it’s very good. Better than most. There’s little need to chase something brand new when there’s already something this accommodating and enjoyable that is sat round on your shelves.

I always like this time of year, even as a resolutely unreligious man, the feeling of colour and warmth returning to the world, the abundance of new life around in nature really does put a spring in one’s step. For me personally it’s also a bit more poignant this time around.
It’s been lovely to check back in with you all but if you’ll now excuse me, I’ve got a spot of living to be getting on with.
See you around.

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