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Subject: Concordia versus Viticulture rss

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A hole in my game collection is a 4 player mid-weight having non-confrontational mechanics and theme (I have Cosmic Encounter and have kickstarted Rising Sun, Mythic Battles Pantheon, and Brass as a heavier game and have Ticket to Ride Europe and Sushi Go Party as gateway games).

Concordia and Viticulture would both seem to fit in well with my collection. Based on reviews it seems Concordia has superior decisions/mechanics/design whereas Viticulture superior theme.

Any recommendations in deciding between them? Does each lend itself to a different type of personality?

I'm looking for something to entice friends to gaming -- for those who might not like space aliens, samurais, and gladiators -- that is a step up from Ticket to Ride Europe or Sushi Go Party in weight. As I don't intend to buy many more games (we'll see how that goes!) it would be nice to have something with nice components and artwork.

I'm also considering the upcoming CIV game from FFG but will wait for more details.

Help Appreciated!!
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Michael Dillenbeck
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I enjoy Viticulture's multi-season worker placement option, but both are equally good games in my eyes. Since I play more 2 player and solo games, I think Viticulture was the right choice for me. Also, Viticulture seems to have some degree of scaling its complexity of play (there is a very simple base game, and then with the Tuscany expansion you can add a lot more play options to add to the game). However, I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

Oh, and if I recall, Concordia is set in ancient rome while Viticulture is a modern day vineyard. Okay, no gladiators - but if you want to escape the ancient world theme then it might be better to go Viticulture. Perhaps also to get away from a map-based game - the board is really only to select actions like Agricola or Caverna and the map is an individual player board; Concordia is like Brass and Ticket To Ride, where you have a map you all play on with no player board.
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Steve
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Concordia's not overtly confrontational, but getting in other people's way is a significant part of the game unless you play on a big map with a small number of players. Viticulture is much more forgiving. It also has more rules than Concordia, but no difficult ones.
 
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Ryan Keane
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Both great games. Viticulture is arguably one of the best worker placement games, with the main innovation that most actions have several spots you can go to, but one spot gives you an extra bonus, and you have a special worker that can go in an already-occupied spot. The theme comes through pretty well, but it's still a mechanism-based Euro through and through.

Concordia is a hand building/management game with a kind of network building/area control and resource management. It's more a direct step up from Ticket to Ride, and a little like Brass. It has a bit of theme, mainly in the cards, but it is pretty minimal. The map is pretty nice looking though, in my opinion. I wouldn't say it has superior mechanics to Viticulture - there's much less randomness and less direct player interaction in Concordia. In Viticulture, you're more at the mercy of the cards you draw (Concordia you purchase cards from a line of increasing costs, so you can usually plan to try to get the ones you want vs Viticulture's blind draws) and a lot more direct blocking.

Based on what you said you already own and wanting something to entice your friends with Ticket to Ride/Sushi Go experience, then I would recommend Viticulture.
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Adrian
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In my opinion, Concordia is the better game. Whilst a good game, I find Viticulture can swing a fair bit on the cards you randomly draw whereas in Concordia the result is based more on the decisions you make including choice of cards available.



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Dirt Mike
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concordia is the much better game... viticulture is a chore to play
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The Captain
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Truth is, they are both FANTASTIC game! And I don't say that lightly.

Viticultureis such a beautiful and thematic worker placement that doesn't overstay it's welcome. As much as some worker placements can strain for replay value, the essentials pack or Tuscany expansion make this game continually interesting and fun. Mid-weight would be an appropriate designation. Like all worker-placements, takes a little bit to learn and teach but after a round, it's quite intuitive and thematic. It's a worker-placement and that mechanic has been done many times before. But it's a solid choice if your looking for an upgrade from family weight games. 9/10... should be in your collection

Concordia is simply superb. It's mix of mechanics, quality design, and interesting choices make this one an essential. Quite literally the only thing I don't like is the odd box art (both the new and the old). Salsa and the variety of expansion boards really add to replay value. Weight wise it's similar to Viticulture but I'd say its got the edge. You nailed it when you said "superior decisions/mech/design. It's a 10/10.

It's hard to recommend one over the other; both are gorgeous games and the mechanics are quite different. I'd say they both should be in your collection.

But if you can only pick one: without questions, I'd pick Concordia
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Robert Zorko
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I personally really like Viticulture Essential Edition, but sadly I didn't yet get a chance to play Concordia, so I can't compare them directly.

But one think I can say is that if you want a slightly bit more scalability in player count viticulture can play up to 6 and has a (very good) solo mode. In my opinion viticulture scales really well meeple And it becomes even better with Tuscany Essential Edition - more depth without many additional rules (with tuscany viticulture becomes really excellent)

Though given that you ask specifically about 4 players that might not be important at all for you :-)
 
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Jim Bolland
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Little White Lies wrote:

In my opinion, Concordia is the better game. Whilst a good game, I find Viticulture can swing a fair bit on the cards you randomly draw whereas in Concordia the result is based more on the decisions you make including choice of cards available.


This.

Viticulture is good. Concordia is great.

Concordia is a very elegant design. You choose your own path. There is very little luck. (There is variability from game to game, but not a lot of luck.)

Viticulture is less polished. The cards you draw are very important, but they can be anything from useless to a perfect fit.
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benjamin CLOVIS
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As you can see, the answers are pretty evenly split here in terms of which game is better.
Though I now have been at gaming pretty intensely for two years now (game group plays every week) I still recall being really new to gaming. As such, I think that Concordia is a much easier game to grasp for those newer to the gaming world. That being one of your considerations, I would vote for Concordia hands down. Just the visuals of travelling on a map makes things much easier to understand mentally.

Also I think Conocrdia is the better game.
 
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Tyson K
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Viticulture is charming and I can't wait to play it again, but Concordia is one of my all time favourites. I think it's a classic euro right up there with Puerto Rico, catan, and Agricola.
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Ignasi Miró
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My group and I have a soft stop for Viticulture. It has been one of our favorite games since we started gaming together, almost three years ago, and it has held onto that position even with newer additions. The expansions did nothing but solidify that spot for us.
I also own Concordia, and while I like it enough to have gotten the Britannia map, it certainly has been a hit or miss game for us. One of our members flat-out hates it with a passion, to the point in which if he sees the game box lined up as a potential game for the night, he just leaves. Also, the game is fun, but pretty okay-ish kind of fun. It is mechanically sound, and plays smoothly, but the experience itself is kind of dry. It's fun to play, but not exciting. Viticulture on the other hand, is both. Since it's more of a race game, there is always this tension of who is going to trigger the end game first, and who is holding the last-minute contract that will give them the final victory.
Also, another thing to consider is player count: Viticulture plays 1 to 6 players, and we have loved every player count -the solitaire is fast, fun and exciting, while the 6-player experience barely has any downtime; Concordia plays 2-5, with 2 players being kind of boring (even with the Britannia map) since there is not as many interactions with other players, and with a full player count it can be a bit tedious if you have somebody with AP, since once the game gets going and players' hands increase, the number of options to optimize can be a bit daunting for some players.
All in all, I don't want to sound harsh about Concordia at all. I like it, I would play it almost every time it pops up in our game rotation, but if I had to choose between it and Viticulture, I would choose Viticulture 11 times out of 10, and probably would my group. Although the general internet consensus tends to be Concordia all the way. If I had to give a final veredict, though, it would be: get both. I think we can all agree to that.
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John Ziegler
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Having played both, I love Viticulture, whereas playing Concordia once was enough for me. They are similar games in terms of setting, but I think Viticulture's mechanics work a lot better. It is one of the best worker placement games because it avoids a lot of the usual pitfalls of worker placement games.
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Thanks everyone! The feedback helped a lot and did not help at all!

At this point, I'll keep thinking about it!

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Chris Mcpherson
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I will start by saying that I just ordered Viticulture EE. I have not played it before but I will obviously be playing it soon.

With that said, Concordia is in my top ten games and will not be going anywhere. If we are talking just heavier games, it is either Number 1 or 2. I see a lot of great comments about Concordia but I find people skip over the best part of the game, at least to me. I think the scoring method is the greatest part of the game. The cards determine what actions you have available to you but also determine your score at the end of the game. So as much as you want to buy cards that help out during the game, you want to also buy the cards that will score you the most points at the end of the game, based on what you focused on during the game. It's just so perfect! I'm probably going to have to play it tonight now, hehe.
 
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Steve Lett
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While I like Viticulture slightly more, I think base Concordia (no expansions) is great, even after many plays. Viticulture seems to shine when you add in the expansions. I can see it getting stale after a handful of plays with just the base box.
 
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Wai Hong Tang
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Curious to know what those pitfalls are, since worker placement games are my Favourite.
 
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chris thatcher
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like both but see little relation between the two. I think Concordia is a better game.
 
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Chris Wood
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Viticulture is a very LONG game. If you are looking for a game for heavy rotation, Concordia is the better choice. For us, viticulture is something we break out as an event because we know we are going to play it for the entire night.
 
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Steve Lett
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Myoman wrote:
Viticulture is a very LONG game. If you are looking for a game for heavy rotation, Concordia is the better choice. For us, viticulture is something we break out as an event because we know we are going to play it for the entire night.

I'm going to have to disagree here. They both take anywhere from 90-120 minutes, in my experience. This largely depends on the player count. I'd say a 4-player game of Concordia takes longer that a 4-player game of Viticulture. Maybe that's just my group.

FWIW, BGG says:
Viticulture: 90 minutes
Concordia: 100 minutes
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Paul Luxton
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Little White Lies wrote:

Whilst a good game, I find Viticulture can swing a fair bit on the cards you randomly draw whereas in Concordia the result is based more on the decisions you make including choice of cards available.

Agree with this, Viticulture can be painful if it takes too long to match red & white orders with vines. It's enjoyable and relatively lightweight, in 14 plays (various versions & expansions) has only taken over 2 hours once (6 players).

Concordia swings less but is still affected somewhat by card order. I haven't played it nearly as much as Viticulture and probably never will.
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Ken
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powlo wrote:
Little White Lies wrote:

Whilst a good game, I find Viticulture can swing a fair bit on the cards you randomly draw whereas in Concordia the result is based more on the decisions you make including choice of cards available.

Agree with this, Viticulture can be painful if it takes too long to match red & white orders with vines. It's enjoyable and relatively lightweight, in 14 plays (various versions & expansions) has only taken over 2 hours once (6 players).

Concordia swings less but is still affected somewhat by card order. I haven't played it nearly as much as Viticulture and probably never will.


So you prefer Viticulture?
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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I've played Viticulture once, and I found it to be a perfectly nice worker placement game. Pretty, and pretty forgettable. I wouldn't object to playing it again, but I wouldn't seek it out either.

Concordia, on the other hand, is one of the very best games I own. It's great at any player count, although with four players, I prefer the "big" maps (Imperium in the base game, Byzantium and Gaul in the expansions). It's not confrontational, but it's highly interactive, and it has real spatial relationships in it (as opposed to Viticulture where the board is just tracking action options and decisions). The "hand-building" aspect of the personality cards and their effects on scoring are brilliant.
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Gus Cook
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While it's important to talk about mechanism and theme, I think it's also really worth thinking about FEEL.

Concordia is all about optimization. Each potential move seems like it could always be executed more efficiently if you just wait: gather a few more resources, wait for a few more regions to produce, etc. All of the game's possibilities are visible (no hidden information), so the potential for optimal play is really clear and specific. The tension comes from how these really visible possibilities are acted on by the game's players The other players will put pressure on your waiting, however, taking the best options away from you if you wait too long. These feelings are compounded by the fact that the game's end condition is spurred by the players, and they will be the ones choosing how many turns the game lasts. This can make the game feel exciting and stressful, and for some players MIGHT make the game feel somewhat confrontational.

Viticulture, while not longer, FEELS much slower. A ton of the potential options in the game are not visible and are hidden in decks of cards drawn randomly. The game is also a fixed length, meaning that other players decisions won't be putting pressure on the game state. This is furthered by the fact that worker placement matters less in Viticulture than it does in other games of its kind: your Grande worker can work around many of the pressures that make other worker placement games so exciting. Viticulture is also quite ponderous: it encourages players to kind of "play however they want to," pursuing strategies of their own design. There's a lot of staring quietly at the table and your hand of cards in this one, and it lacks the excitement and adrenaline of Concordia. This also makes the game LESS confrontational.

Viticulture is an intensely iterative game, and draws on conventions established in many other, better games, particularly those of Uwe Rosenberg. If you haven't played one of his games yet, but want something LIKE Viticulture, I would highly recommend Agricola. I think it's aged really well, and is a really good entry point into this kind of game. If Concordia seems a little too high octane for your group, I would recommend Puerto Rico, which remains the gold standard for this kind of mid-weight 4 player non confrontational game.
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Jeff K
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I think some clarification is probably in order, as I've read a few things in this thread that made me go "whuuuu?"

I think there are a fair number of people commenting based on the original (base) Viticulture game. In that light, I think the comments are pretty fair, on the whole.

But it is commonly known that Viticulture was a good game, but Tuscany makes it great. I'd hesitate to say that the original release was only halfway realized, because I did not start playing it until after Tuscany. But Stonemaier haven't really done themselves any favors by having just a bewildering number of versions floating around out there.

With the latest release of the "Essential" lines, we hopefully have seen the end of the tinkering. It is important to realize that Viti/Tuscany EE pretty much address every criticism that has been leveled at it in this thread.

Is there more randomness in Viti? Well, surely so, but lets' not pretend that there is none in Concordia. Cards are dealt at random to the purchasing pool, and I have seen many occasions where a very timely purchase becomes available to a player right after the track has been re-filled. Do not underestimate the impact this has on the game. Conversely, while Viti does have many random card draws, the expansion board allows you to swap, card for card. Not to mention that there are so very many card draws that is is highly unlikely not to get some synergistic combo out of it. So, IMO, there is absolutely zero excuse, except for poor play, to let card draws stop you from your overall goals. But, I generally agree that Viti is best played a bit more opportunistically. Your cards will lead your strategy. Is this not the case (at least in some degree, I ask) in Concordia, depending on the cards which are hitting the track?

I have played both games many, many times, and I am very familiar with both. They are both extremely good games, and I love (and own) them both. But, I can say firmly that, since long ago when I learned what I was doing, I have not felt Viti to be overly swingy. Case in point: both games end when triggered by player actions. I would be hard pressed to say in which game it is more difficult to predict the last turn. I really would not let this deter you form trying what is a truly fabulous game.

But, I am afraid I have made your choice no easier. Perhaps harder. Here is a sympathy offering: get both! (They are different enough, after all)
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