Concordia: Solitaria Expansion

RRP: £29.99
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RRP £29.99
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CONCORDIA SOLITARIA is a solo and 2-player expansion for Concordia. In CONCORDIA SOLITARIA, you compete alone or in a team of two against the tricky opponent CONTRARIUS. As the cards you play also determine the reactions of your adversary, only skillful planning leads to victory. In a two-player game, you may compete against CONTRARIUS as a cooperative team or challenge it individua…
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Category Tags , , SKU ZBG-RGGRIO615 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Learning the different modes is easy
  • Knowing your opponent’s next move makes it more like a puzzle
  • New scoring opportunity in the cooperative mode

Might Not Like

  • The solo and coop cards could be more distinguishable
  • It’s just four dice and a deck of cards
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Description

CONCORDIA SOLITARIA is a solo and 2-player expansion for Concordia.

In CONCORDIA SOLITARIA, you compete alone or in a team of two against the tricky opponent CONTRARIUS. As the cards you play also determine the reactions of your adversary, only skillful planning leads to victory. In a two-player game, you may compete against CONTRARIUS as a cooperative team or challenge it individually.

CONCORDIA SOLITARIA may be played on any of the maps and with any other expansion for CONCORDIA.

Requires either the base game CONCORDIA or CONCORDIA VENUS to play.

Players: 1-2 Players
Length: 45-90 minutes

Is Concordia: Solitaria as good as the OG Concordia?

Concordia has been a mainstay in BGG’s Top 100 for quite some time. I’d heard great things about the game, but it was never one that drew me in. Maybe it was the box art, maybe it was the theme, something didn’t really click for me. I then watched Shut Up & Sit Down’s review and was basically told to look past this, because Concordia is fantastic.

They weren’t wrong.

The problem I have is buying games like Concordia is always a risk for me. My family aren’t keen on playing games with (in their words) “lots going on”. My partner prefers to play co-op games because he is quite averse to conflict (though I do appreciate that there’s very little direct conflict in Concordia). That’s why the Solitaria expansion, which contains a solo AND cooperative mode was ideal.

There’s No “I” In “TEAM”

In the box you have four dice and a large stack of cards. I think you’d be right in questioning how much value for money you’re getting here, regardless of how good this expansion is. The cards for the cooperative are also quite difficult to distinguish from the solo cards at first glance. The co-op cards say “TEAM” on them, but the solo cards don’t say “SOLO” on them, and all the cards say “SOLITARIA” on them. Needless to say, setting up the first solo game was a little confusing!

I’ve gone in quite early with a couple of negatives because after only a few plays, Concordia: Solitaria may already be one of my favourite solo and cooperative experiences.

Mary, Mary Quite Contrar…ius.

The set up for both solo and cooperative games is identical to base game Concordia, you start with a hand of cards, a few resources, as well as a land and sea colonist starting in Roma. You also start with six sestertii in both games. Your opponent is called Contrarius, who also has a hand of cards, as well as starting with one specialist card. Contrarius collects cards, but doesn’t collect currency or resources.

Firstly, you choose your difficulty level: standard, veteran or expert. I’ll be honest, the first solo game I played on standard level I lost by quite some distance. I don’t mind that though, because it was a really good way of getting a feel for the game. The next time I played I… well, I still lost quite heavily. I am at peace with being just really bad at games.

You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em

You start off by choosing one of your cards and playing it, then carrying out that action. So far, so Concordia, right? However, in the solo and co-op modes, the card also tells you what Contrarius’ response will be. If you play your Architect card, they’ll help himself to one of the personality cards from the board. If you play your Mercator card, they’ll build a house, and that province will produce. You’re playing the game already knowing your opponent’s move, so that makes the game easy, right?

No. No it does not.

You see, knowing what Contrarius is going to do is all well and good, but finding the balance of what’s best for you and what’s worst for them is hard. Equally, in the co-operative mode you both take the action of the card played by one person… but what if that action is no good to you? What if your partner playing their Architect card is no good to you because you don’t have enough resources to build anywhere? It’s a glorious little puzzle to try and work out.

Know When To Fold ‘Em

The Tribune card, the card that allows you to pick up cards back to your hand also comes with a double whammy. Not only does Contrarius build, but he also places an extra colonist on the board. In the solo mode you can cultivate your hand to make it productive, but what you’re playing cooperatively and your partner’s hand is garbage? Do you play your Tribune card so they can get their good cards back? Do you make them suffer? It’s worth noting at this point that your final score is the average of both your scores, so teamwork is vital for success.

I’m Your Venus…

Sometimes Contrarius’ reaction is simply gaining victory points. If you play on the standard mode, you can see your 20-point head start slowly ebb away. It’s so disheartening. The co-operative mode also comes with two extras.

Firstly, some of the personality cards in the Solitaria expansion are either/or. For example, there is an Architect/Mercator card, meaning one player takes one action, and the other player takes the opposite. Secondly, there is an additional scoring goddess – Venus. Venus allows you to score if you BOTH have at least one house in provinces, as opposed to the Saturnus ones which are just scored for your own houses.

The explanation of rules in both cases is very clear and concise, helped of course by both the solo and co-operative versions being very similar. Even the explanation of where Contrarius builds their houses is a straightforward flow chart.

There are some solo variants which feel like they’ve been tacked on without much thought, so maybe Concordia benefitted from not having one to begin with. It feels like there’s been actual thought put into it. There is also the option of playing Concordia as a competitive two player game, but with Contrarius as an opponent. This also comes with a Veto card each, to cause Contrarius to re-roll one of their dice.

Final Thoughts

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing Concordia as both a solo game and a co-op. Having a game that’s a triple threat: an excellent competitive game, an excellent solo game and an excellent cooperative game is always a great option depending on what mood you’re in. I realise that people might be put off by the price and how little you get for your money, but the experience you’ll have with it more than makes up for it. Concordia is ten years old next year, so if PD-Verlag decided to do an anniversary edition with Solitaria included, they’d really be onto a winner!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Learning the different modes is easy
  • Knowing your opponents next move makes it more like a puzzle
  • New scoring opportunity in the cooperative mode

Might not like

  • The solo and coop cards could be more distinguishable
  • Its just four dice and a deck of cards