[Even] in their poverty, they referred to their garden of necessity as if it were a hobby.
I had a chance to play concordia this weekend and really enjoyed it. The only other Gerdts game I've played (and loved!) is Hamburgum. To me, the similarities were strong in two ways: the constraints on actions come from the order in which players select them and the scorings have that multiplication thing happening. Also, both have a very clean, open feel to them. This man is a fantastic designer.
My collecting style is such that I might considering firing hamburgum in favour of concordia. True, many gamers' shelves would have room for both, but I'm not sure if mine does. Here are some of the differences I'm considering; forgive me if I made mistakes...
CONCORDIA PROS - variable set up - a really pleasing level of player interaction. In hamburgum, you can push your opponents' ships out of the harbour and build in spaces/churches that they may be aiming for. Concordia takes this a step further in that you have to also wonder if you're HELPING players too much. You might prefect an area that benefits me or take an action that I can diplomat. This is the big plus.
HAMBURGUM PROS - theme. I love financing churches with beer money. - no luck. Don't get me wrong, the right amount of mitigatable randomness such as offered by concordia in the way cards come out is awesome. I also enjoy plenty of games that are high luck. But there's something awe inspiring about the number of options and the way they interlock in hamburgum without a single random element.
OTHER THOUGHTS - both have nice components. I dig the graphic design on the concordia cards and the clay bricks and church bells of hamburgum. One is minimalist in appearance while the other is way more artsy. - hamburgum is less thinky which is neither good nor bad. It just is.