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Subject: This game isn't really "multiple paths" rss

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Ryucoo
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I like the game and have enjoyed it each time we have got it to the table so far (admittedly not many - 4 or 5 this year) but it always stings me when people push this forward as a game which has variable strategies and multiple paths to victory, as if each player can follow a distinctly different approach. Nobody at any point looks at a god and thinks "yep, this is my path". Take a look at the gods in the game:

Vesta
Not a strategy as people have pointed out in other threads, this is just a mechanic to allow for scoring your left over stock and cash. Fine but it would have been fun to have included a few more Vesta cards in the deck so this could have been a nice multiplier for a player or two. Wouldn't add 'strategy' to Vesta, but the same can be said for all the other gods.

Jupiter
Not really a strategy either, it just measures who has built the most houses (discounting easy brick ones). Nobody thinks, “oh, I will be the guy who builds the most houses”. It’s what everybody is trying to do anyway. There is no “non-building” strategy.

Saturn
This one feels more strategic, as you can actively pursue it – as opposed to building multiple houses in the same region, which is obviously effective in terms of prefecting, you go for expanse. Trouble is, as the game progresses people tend to reach far and wide anyway. In each of our 4 games the player going for expansion, has only ended up with 2 or 3 more regions. The others only need pick up an extra Saturn card and that advantage is gone.

Mercury
I’ve never seen anyone not end up with at least 4 of the 5 goods. I’ve pursued an aggressive specialist ‘strategy’, say Weaver, or Farmer or combo of specialists, and STILL ended up with all 5 goods by the end of the game. Nobody actively pursues this as a strategy. It just happens.

Mars
I’ve seen people land the Colonist card and then get all their colonists out in one turn. Okay, that gave them an advantage over the other players but is that ‘strategic’? As far as I can tell it’s just buying the Colonist card and spending a couple of turns generating the goods to build colonists. I guess it’s a path to points, but its not a very long one. Otherwise, people are trying to get their colonists out anyway. It’s not like people aren’t bothered by that otherwise.

Minerva

These cards seem to the the only real ‘strategy’ – i.e. pick up a specialist, build the relevant houses, play specialist, build more, rinse repeat, then score. This god also provides the only time one strategy might overrule another – i.e. getting the Mason means building a lot of brick houses, when otherwise people temper that to score highly on Jupiter. This is the only strategic ‘fork’ (i.e. I go this way, others go that way) I can see in the game.

So with everyone really just ‘doing everything’ with minor deviations here and there, what the strategy really comes down to, as in what really makes your score in each ‘strategic god’ significant, is acquiring the cards. Is that really ‘strategic’? Follow a “production strategy” means just buying more brown cards than other people. Pursuing a “colonist strategy” means just buying more orange cards than other people. Personally I don’t think just buying coloured cards is particularly deep strategy-wise.

The game is nice enough, though. There is of course an overall strategy to winning, but it’s the same strategy for everybody – build as many houses as you can, expanding as far as possible, producing as many different goods as you can, while getting as many colonists on the board as you can and specialising in one or two types of production. Pick up a couple of cards of each colour, moderately leaning towards the colour you are performing a tiny bit better in.

This still makes for a fun and absorbing game but to say there are many strategies or multiple paths to victory would be disingenuous – the gods are all auto-completed by merely playing the game and the only real variance in score will come from picking up more cards of a certain colour than someone else, as opposed to following a different strategy.

So I'm not saying strategy isn't there, or that people can't become skilled in this game. It's just not multiple paths to victory and the variance in strategy simply isn't there, or at best exists in very minor deviations from a the main path.
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James C
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Ok.
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Part of the fun comes from anticipating where other players are going to put their houses/colonists and buying cards that correspond (more or less) with the locations you get to settle.

Towards the end of the game, it's more and more planning to get just that one card that grants you just that one extra point.

I'm definitely going to buy every single piece of this game that I can lay my hands on. (doing a good job at that ftm)

Enjoy!
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Joe Pilkus
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Ryucoo,

Your premise makes sense...but, I've never heard it explained as a game with multiple paths. I've played a few dozen games with only a handful of them with new players, and it's always a game which is described as one with a strategy of diversification.

Cheers,
Joe
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Scott Earley
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
If you played the way you described in my group, you would end up in last place. My counter to your description is that to me, Concordia is similar to Terra Mystica in that you can play the game and end up with a certain number of points, say 100 or so, but if you "squeeze the most out of the experience" you can get to that level of 130 or more every time. It's the ability to fine-tune your focused play that elevates the game for me.
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clovis chan
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
There is no "multiple paths" in the sense you decide, before the game, to trod a particular path. But you have a choice what kind of cards to specialise in. E.g. deliberately waiting for Jupiter + Saturn; or waiting for Weaver minevra + spam Mercator mercury to get the resource you need to buy cards and builds.

Being jack of all trade will make your VP per buy/build not high, which dampens your chance of winning. E.g. If I have only have 2 Jupiter and 2 Saturn (which everyone starts with), then building a non-brick city in a new province only nets me 4VP. Compare that to someone which stacks Jupiter + Saturn... Or imagine unlocking your 4th/5th/6th explorer when you only have your base Tribune...
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Phil Hendrickson
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Sorry, but this is a straw-man argument that sounds right but is not borne out in experience. The various god conditions are not automatically fulfilled; if that were true then every player would maximize each scoring category every game. That doesn't happen.

There might be one or two players who get all six colonists on the board, but never every player. I've never seen more than two players get all 15 houses built. It is rare to see more than two players successfully build in every province. It is typical to see some players fail to build in all five resource city types.

This game has some of the most interesting end-game scoring, as players make vastly different scores in each category. Various players take the lead and then fall behind as each god is scored.

Yes, everyone WANTS to do well in every category, and can see the same way of doing that. But everyone is NOT able do it; each player has to chose which categories to leave passive and which ones to focus on and maximize. Then in the final rounds, a player might have the chance to make moves that help strengthen their weaker categories - if they maximized their strategy earlier than others.

The game has a strong tactical feel - perhaps moreso than strategic. But one must definitely select between several primary strategies sooner or later to score well.
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Thom Walla
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
While I agree with your assessment of the game mechanics and strategies the game really revolves around a lot of calculations to see where you can score the most points. For instance when a player buys a particular card the balance of the game immediately shifts, more points for the player that bought the card and less for everyone else. So you have to calculate the points for each player at the time they buy the card to see where the advantage goes. It's not that hard but does take some work to remember all the cards each player has and what their score is at any particular moment. So there may be times you buy a card, not because it fits into your strategy but rather to keep someone else that already has multiples of that particular card from gaining even more of an advantage even if it lessens yours.

I think what makes the game so fascinating is that there is no one strategy that you can concentrate on but rather that you have to pay attention to all of them. And sometimes opportunity falls your way and cards come out and you have the resources to buy them. Sometimes you just have built enough houses, built on enough resources, built in enough provinces, had enough colonists on the board, and simultaneously had just the right number of cards to score points on each card to win.

It also never hurts to be the player that ends the game and claims the extra 7 points. Usually is enough to win the game given you are fairly well developed in comparison to all the other players.
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Ryucoo
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
scottearley wrote:
If you played the way you described in my group, you would end up in last place. My counter to your description is that to me, Concordia is similar to Terra Mystica in that you can play the game and end up with a certain number of points, say 100 or so, but if you "squeeze the most out of the experience" you can get to that level of 130 or more every time. It's the ability to fine-tune your focused play that elevates the game for me.


Aye, this is kinda my point. In a sense, playing the game purely on a build/expand basis ticks a lot of boxes to keep you in the game with a standard score. But The strategy is in minor deviations that edge you into a winning one.

As Joe says above, everyone is chasing the same strategy with custom tweaks as the game develops. There are no “multiple paths”. Which is fine, but I’ve often heard it described that way.
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Jay M
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
It's about acquiring the cards. Duplicates of the ones that will score well for you, and the ones with powers that will help you. It's hard to guess when to pull the trigger on paying the higher cost in the market. And having the resources to get them when you senator.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
The assumption that Jupiter and Mercury goals “just happen” is false. I won a game the other day by getting the brick and food specialists. I never bothered building in other goods and never acquired a Jupiter card (as it wouldn’t have scored me very much at all).
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Ryucoo
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
dracodragon wrote:
There is no "multiple paths" in the sense you decide, before the game, to trod a particular path. But you have a choice what kind of cards to specialise in. E.g. deliberately waiting for Jupiter + Saturn; or waiting for Weaver minevra + spam Mercator mercury to get the resource you need to buy cards and builds.

Being jack of all trade will make your VP per buy/build not high, which dampens your chance of winning. E.g. If I have only have 2 Jupiter and 2 Saturn (which everyone starts with), then building a non-brick city in a new province only nets me 4VP. Compare that to someone which stacks Jupiter + Saturn... Or imagine unlocking your 4th/5th/6th explorer when you only have your base Tribune...


I disagree. Being a jack of all trades is exactly what you want. If you can push yourself into your shortfalls late game and pick up a couple of extra cards in each God, you will net yourself a good 30-40 points per category and likely win the game.
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Adam P
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
I would think the strategy lies in the colonist routes on the map:

Hit the cloth cities first?
Get in the far distant province to produce unabated?
Build in the same province as another player to piggyback on their production?

I'd also say there's strategy in the COMBINATION of scoring cards a player is trying to acheive. Saturn-Jupiter basically are a no-brainer as they overlap. Minerva-Cloth-Mercator is another obvious. Minerva-Tool-Mars another. etc.


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Ernie Darby
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Funny enough I feel that the amount of responses that have been generated shows there are multiple strategies. I myself go for spreading out into all the provinces and building my stuffs on non-brick cities. However sometimes I have to build there and then look for the Minerva card for brick. Each time I may start off with one path but it always adjust based on other players ect. My partner wants to play very different from me going for the high Minerva cards and concentrating on just a few things.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
diometes wrote:
I myself go for
For me, I couldn’t say what I go for because every game depends on which cities produce which goods and the order the cards come out and who goes into which strategy. I’m not going select a strategy until I see the lay of the land first. And that will dictate which strategy makes the most sense. If you have a preset strategy that doesn’t depend on how the random factors of the game shake out, it is unlikely to be the best strategy.
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clovis chan
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
diometes wrote:
Funny enough I feel that the amount of responses that have been generated shows there are multiple strategies. I myself go for spreading out into all the provinces and building my stuffs on non-brick cities. However sometimes I have to build there and then look for the Minerva card for brick. Each time I may start off with one path but it always adjust based on other players ect. My partner wants to play very different from me going for the high Minerva cards and concentrating on just a few things.



the first sentence!
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Anders Isaksen
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
SuperGLS wrote:
Ok.


Wow. Op makes a thoughtful and detailed thread, and this arbitrary shitpost is all you could come up with?
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alan beaumont
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Sorry, that post isn't really "thoughtful"
Sephakay wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
Ok.
Wow. Op makes a thoughtful and detailed thread, and this arbitrary shitpost is all you could come up with?

IMHO it was more polite than the word I thought of and the original post is far more provocative; deliberately so.
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Benjamin Kadish

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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
So ill say this, the term 'multiple paths' also irks me, but I've won by plopping three colonists on the board 1 turn before the end of the game, so I could build in three new provinces, I've lost because someone produced 6 cloth early sold of them and then went on a building spree. I've lost because someone bought every consul and just had way more cards then everyone else. Yes a lot of these strategies had the typical field of architect turn 1, buy cards whenever you can, try to end up with no resources at the end of the game, but in each game people are doing their own thing, which is usually different from your thing.
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Anders Isaksen
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
misteralan wrote:
Sephakay wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
Ok.
Wow. Op makes a thoughtful and detailed thread, and this arbitrary shitpost is all you could come up with?

IMHO it was more polite than the word I thought of and the original post is far more provocative; deliberately so.


What is provocative about the OP. He feels different about the game than many others do, nothing evil or provocative about that.
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Steve R
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Ryucoo wrote:
I disagree. Being a jack of all trades is exactly what you want. If you can push yourself into your shortfalls late game and pick up a couple of extra cards in each God, you will net yourself a good 30-40 points per category and likely win the game.

In my experience, Jack of all Trades doesn't win this game. I frequently ignore colonists and variety of goods. I've easily won with 130-140 points without building additional colonists nor obtaining those cards nor having cities in one of each good nor many of those cards.

It helps to have a little diversity. But leading big time in two categories in both cities and cards combined is where the big points are scored. Max out provinces and get most of those cards and the other players give up before the final score is calculated when you jump them by +60 points. But that can only happen if they let you run the table on that card type. So a lot rests in your opponents decisions.

I'm not sure if anyone has ever called Concordia a "multiple paths" game (at least not how you denote it). When I teach the game, I tell new players there are two ways to score points: build houses and get cards. That's it. You just need to figure out the right combination... and there are a LOT of possible combinations depending on the board state and what your opponents do. I suspect many of the expansion maps mix things up even more... I've only played on three of the maps so far. So "build houses and obtain cards" is the only path in one sense... but there are many possible ways to go about doing that.
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kos blaat
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
I'm assuming you are only referring to the base game. How many plays have you had with Concordia?

While you probably are far more experienced than me, and these seem all valid points, I'm not sure what your definition of a strategy is. Of course everybody goes for everything more or less. But you see stuff developing (over 2+ turns) and you need to work against that: e.g.
1) if a player gets hold of 4 cloth, and the weaver is available, you should get the requirements and go for that weaver and not allow that player to get that card easily.
2) if you have many cities of specific type, you want more of the corresponding cards; to achieve that, you need to go for things.

I call that a strategy, but some people could call it tactics.

I suspect it will still be awesome to play after 10 times. It certainly blew me away the first time, the second time i understood how bad i actually played, and i can't wait to play it again.
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Andrea Bampi
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Sephakay wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
Ok.


Wow. Op makes a thoughtful and detailed thread, and this arbitrary shitpost is all you could come up with?


I "liked" SuperGLS's post because "Ok" was more or less the same answer I imagined. "Ok" meaning "Meh. Pointless subtleties about the definition of multiple paths game".
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Ryucoo
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
Sephakay wrote:
misteralan wrote:
Sephakay wrote:
SuperGLS wrote:
Ok.
Wow. Op makes a thoughtful and detailed thread, and this arbitrary shitpost is all you could come up with?

IMHO it was more polite than the word I thought of and the original post is far more provocative; deliberately so.


What is provocative about the OP. He feels different about the game than many others do, nothing evil or provocative about that.


I certainly didn’t intend to be provocative and still complimented the game.

I guess what I have learned from this thread, aside from all the helpful insights into the game as others see it, is that in reality few people believe Concordia is a multiple paths to victory type game in the first place! Ha.
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Ryucoo
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Re: Sorry, this game isn't really "multiple paths"
riverc0il wrote:
Ryucoo wrote:
I disagree. Being a jack of all trades is exactly what you want. If you can push yourself into your shortfalls late game and pick up a couple of extra cards in each God, you will net yourself a good 30-40 points per category and likely win the game.

In my experience, Jack of all Trades doesn't win this game. I frequently ignore colonists and variety of goods. I've easily won with 130-140 points without building additional colonists nor obtaining those cards nor having cities in one of each good nor many of those cards.

It helps to have a little diversity. But leading big time in two categories in both cities and cards combined is where the big points are scored. Max out provinces and get most of those cards and the other players give up before the final score is calculated when you jump them by +60 points. But that can only happen if they let you run the table on that card type. So a lot rests in your opponents decisions.

I'm not sure if anyone has ever called Concordia a "multiple paths" game (at least not how you denote it). When I teach the game, I tell new players there are two ways to score points: build houses and get cards. That's it. You just need to figure out the right combination... and there are a LOT of possible combinations depending on the board state and what your opponents do. I suspect many of the expansion maps mix things up even more... I've only played on three of the maps so far. So "build houses and obtain cards" is the only path in one sense... but there are many possible ways to go about doing that.


Meh. I still disagree. But maybe that’s indicative of Concordia having multiple paths!

As for teaching the game - well, I wouldn’t teach it that way. I think it’s important to be clear about how it is scored and don’t actually think it’s that complicated to profess there are 5 scoring conditions: number of houses, number of provinces, range of goods, number of colonists and specialisms in goods. The better you do in each category, and the more cards you acquire to act as multipliers in those categories, the better you will do.

I would certainly advocate the jack of all trades as a viable winning strategy.
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