Argent: The Consortium Review by Eric Booth
Argent: The Consortium
Designed By: Trey Chambers
Art By: Nokomento & Jennifer Easley
Published By: Level99 Games
In Argent The Consortium you are wizard trying to win over the approval of The Consortium in order to fill the recently vacated position of Chancellor. You will do this by what is essentially a huge game of “Set Collecting”. This is all done by recruiting “Supporters” who will give you a one time ability or a one time, fast action that you can use in response to something other players do or to gain some kind of resource you might need. Or by getting yourself some “Vault” cards which are either Consumables, which are a one time action, or a Treasure card which hangs around and gives you another action you can do on your turn. Not only can you use Supporters and Treasure cards you get to use some amazing Spell cards. These are similar to the Treasure cards except they can be upgraded to become more powerful. And of course you will need a certain amount of mana in order to cast the more powerful spells. Now you might be asking yourself how do I get all this cool stuff and why would I want to? I'm about to tell you.
At it's heart Agent The Consortium is a worker placement/set collecting game. At the beginning of the game you will be drafting different mages from a pool of 6 different colors, each with their own unique abilities that either help you or hinder what your opponent is trying to do with their mages. These will be your workers that you will be sending out out on errands during the “Place a Mage” part of your turn. Most of these errands will happen during the “Resolution Phase”. While a few trigger automatically when you place your Mage. Players will take turns placing out there little helper mages onto a randomly placed set of rooms. You are able to block spaces from other mages to a certain degree. There is a way you can “Ghost” another mage's action but this will require some help from supporters, spells, or vault cards. There's a lot to think about when sending out your mages to perform the errands because each of the rooms you send them to will all resolve in a certain order so you need to be thinking about the order of things. Plus some of the more powerful locations will require you to have “Merit Badges” in order to take the errand your mage is sent out to do. These badges are earned by gaining influence through actions and when you pass certain amounts of influence this will earn you a merit badge. These do stick around so you can use them over and over. Don't underestimate the power of the merit badge.
Now what is all this working up to. Votes. Whoever has the most votes from The Consortium at the end of the game is the winner. How do you get these votes. Well you will have to fulfill the needs of the members of The Consortium. These will include things like “Most Sorcery”, “Most Gold”, “Most Wisdom”etc... Unfortunately you only know what 2 of the 12 members are looking for as all of them, except for the 2 basic members, are all face-down on the Consortium board. You only get to see what the face-down members need by acquiring “Marks” that allow you to secretly look at a face-down members to see what they want. Your mark will stay on that member so you really don't have to memorize what they want as you can look at any member you have a mark on at anytime. Other players may also place marks on members that have already been marked thus giving them the information on what that member requires. At the end of the game there is no “scoring” really. It's all about who got the most votes, or as I like to call it, collected the most sets of stuff the members where looking for.
What do I think of Argent The Consortium. I really like it. It has two of my favorite things next to area control. And those two things are worker placement and set collecting. I will say that you need to get in early on the gathering of Marks and working toward those early needs of the Members of the Consortium. Who is this game for? I would say people into light/medium Euro style games that are into worker placement and set collecting. Which is me by the way. What's my final verdict. I give it two, set collecting, mage placing, spell casting, vote earning thumbs up. It's a beautiful game on top of beautiful game play.