First impressions x2 - Western Legends & Concordia

Premium User

Alternate title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Actually Celebrate My Birthday

tl;dr - I loved both of these games. I played Western Legends with my friends who all loved it, and Concordia with my wife, who liked it.

As the alternate title suggests, my birthday was this weekend. In the past I have not wanted to make a big deal about this, because I don't like drawing attention to myself. My wife has helped me learn that it's okay to be celebrated once in a while, and I don't always need to deflect. I love her.

#Western Legends

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to finally have a real game night, so on Friday I invited some friends over to play my most recent acquisition, which was generously sent to me as my prize for the BGA giveaway.

I set up the game, taught the rules, and everyone chose their characters and miniatures. We had a slightly slow start, having not played before and not being 100% on all the rules, but after a round or two, it was pretty smooth sailing. I went Wanted almost immediately and had a blast. My highlights would be robbing my friend of half of his gold nuggets he'd mined for, and successfully executing a bank heist.

As previously mentioned, my friends all loved it. The winning strategy in this game (I came in 4th), was a combination of mining for gold and fighting bandits. In the post-game discussion, some people said they'd like to try going Wanted next time, since only I and one other guy were ever Wanted. Plus, that would create a little more risk in mining for gold if there were more people willing to rob each other.

My friends were so vocal about how much they enjoyed it that I'm seriously considering backing the next Kickstarter to get all of the expansions, and I would probably even be able to get them to chip in a few bucks toward it.

"Battery" style review:
(++) Art - the art is very attractive and thematic
(+/-) Components - the cards are of middling quality. The miniatures are pretty cool. The board is good (the art on it is awesome). The dice for prospecting look and feel very cheap. The chipboard "General Store" is pretty flimsy. The wooden cubes and discs are...wooden cubes and discs.
(-) Box Insert - it's basically "the trench"
(+) Rulebook - the rulebook was pretty clear. There were a couple of instances in which I referenced an FAQ when it wasn't clear in the rulebook.
(+++) Gameplay - SO MUCH FUN
(++) Immersion - I felt like a cowboy.
(+++) "My Friends Like It" factor - My friends REALLY like it

#Concordia (technically #Concordia Venus (Standalone))

I played this with my wife the next morning. I purchased this one as part of the BGA fundraiser for the Black Lives Matter movement, but hadn't played it until this weekend. Setting up for the first game took a bit of time, since I had to follow the step by step guide, having not played before. After that, teaching the rules to my wife was pretty easy. The rules of this game are impressively simple, which was something that's been noted in every review of it I've read or watched.

When we got started, neither of us had a handle on the strategy, obviously, but (speaking for myself) figuring out what to do on the next couple of turns was not difficult. "Analysis Paralysis" was minimal. With the turns being so simple, and the actions being so straight-forward, there was almost no down-time. I take a turn, she takes a turn, just back and forth. I ended up winning by a decent margin, but I'll attribute that to having absorbed the game through videos and reviews before ever having played it. I think after another play or two, this will be one of my favorites to play with my wife. Where it will rank on her list is TBD.

One thing I noticed is that the map we played (Hellas), even though it was the one rated as the best of the ones we have for two players, was not very tight. After a few more plays, I might consider buying a map that's much tighter for 2 players.

"Battery" style review:
(+) Art - the boards are attractive in their colors, but nothing to write home about, in my opinion. The card art is bland.
(+/-) Components - again, the cards are of middling quality. The chipboard stuff is all fine. The box is flimsy, and the boards actually feel a bit fragile, so I'll definitely be extra careful when setting up and putting away.
(-) Box Insert - again, it's basically "the trench"
(++) Rulebook - very clear and concise
(++) Gameplay - very smooth, quick turns. "Satisfying" is a word I'd use to describe my first play. Just a really nice game. I can't wait to play again, and I'd love to try it at 3 or 4 players.
(+) "My Wife Likes It" factor - for now I'll leave this at one (+), since I'm not totally sure how MUCH she likes it. She definitely said she like it, though.

To make a long story short, I was blessed by an amazing birthday weekend full of friends, and played some awesome games to boot. I am thankful and do not want to take this all for granted.

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Premium User13 months ago

Western Legends gets better the more you play it.  Typical to these sand boxy style games the table does have to do a bit of balancing as one player left alone can dominate.   

I just love how the story twists and turns as you usually have a plan but you also have to be flexible with it.  In our last game I started off wanting to be a sheriff as I was wanted the previous time. I did do quite well as the sheriff but I also took advantage of several poker hand victories as the cards and table state just made it something I couldn't pass up.  

Concordia is one of my all time favourites.  I have most of the boards and both expansions.  For me it plays better at more players but 2 is apparently well liked on the right map.  I think there is a "heat map" out there of best boards at player counts that might be worth looking for.

Premium User13 months ago

I'm looking forward to more plays of both!

I have seen that heat map, and that's how I decided on Hellas, but I think getting one more that's even better at 2 players will be worth it if my wife is sold on the game after a few more plays.

Premium User13 months ago

For sure. If you end up playing it a lot more than one map is a good idea!

Supporter13 months ago

So glad your weekend went well. I'm also very pleased that it looks like these two games will work well for you. 

Supporter13 months ago

Oh my gosh, the dice, general store, and player aids are so bad.  They threw in a ton of just fluff with their stretch goals and I wish they would have upgraded dice and other components.

But I do love the feel of the playing cards you use.

Premium User13 months ago

Oh I forgot about the player aids. It's like they printed them up from their office printer lol

Supporter13 months ago

And what about that garbage brown bag, like spend your money somewhere else.

Supporter13 months ago

On the CHEAPEST paper ever made, haha.

Owner13 months ago

After seeing @theDL and your comments I was wondering how old this game is. 2018 is certainly still new so no excuses there haha

I find it jarring whenever I get an older board game after having played several brand new games that have come out. Hard to ignore the production flaws (at least not until you get into the game and realize it's superb)

Premium User13 months ago

Yep, thankfully the MAIN components in this one are fine (cards, board, minis). It's still pretty disappointing for what is not an inexpensive game. I'm sure a big chunk of the cost is in the minis.

Supporter13 months ago

Oh yeah, the main stuff is good.  Do you also feel like there are way too many event cards?  They added a ton of those as Stretch Goals too and I felt like it was just because it wouldn't really cost much to add them and so I'm not the biggest fan of how the campaign was run.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad I have this game, I just think the company could have made better decisions.

Premium User13 months ago

Yeah there are a ton of story cards and aren't there s bunch of duplicates? It's just kinda weird.

Supporter13 months ago

I get the feeling they just wanted to show off how many Stretch Goals they could hit without needing to spend too much money.  I really should go through and parse the Story Cards down.

Premium User13 months ago

Yeah. It seems like one of the stretch goals could have been "non-crap dice," haha. Oh well. They work.

Owner13 months ago

NICEEEE, glad it went so well! And I can relate, I've always stayed on the side of keeping things quiet whenever my birthday comes around. My wife helps me get out of that shell too.

I like your "my friends like it" factor and "my wife likes it" factor! I absolutely love those games xD

Does Concordia Venus come with the Italia board? (It's the smaller map on the original)

Premium User13 months ago

Haha yeah, at the end of the day, those factors account for a huge percentage of "how often will this get played?"

And no, the Venus box comes with Cyprus, Imperium (which I think comes with base) Hellas, and Ionium.

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