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Argent: The Consortium

Argent: The Consortium

Game Information

Year Published
Level 99

Argent: the Consortium is a 2-5 player game of secret conspiracies, power, and intrigue at a Magical University. Become a candidate for Chancellorship and muster your apprentices to gather resources and followers. Research to master more and more powerful spells that you can use to sabotage your rival candidates and their plans! Learn the true motives of the secret Consortium, and become elected the new Chancellor of the University!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The greatest worker placement game.

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2 reviews

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In your face worker placement
Argent. What a game. Why do I love argent? I love the idea of worker placement games. And I’ve played more than a handful, keeping some and moving on from others. But generally, most of the interaction in WP games is fairly passive. “I take this spot so that you can’t” is the classic example. There are other paths for player interaction among various games. But generally, WP fall on the shallow end of this pool.

Argent doesn’t. This is a game of blasting your opponents students, of locking areas so they can’t get in there, of sneaking around behind other people under a cloak of invisibility. There are enough spaces on the board that everything you do is NOT at the expense of others. You can play a passive, nice game if you’d like. But so much of the game is geared to giving you tools to allow you to mess with other people’s plans. If it then helps yours as well (and you should try to make that happen!) then so much the better.

There is a ton of stuff in argent (and I’ve got expansions to make that number larger!). The argument that a good editor could probably have reduced the bloat a bit is very valid. The process for ‘learning spells’ while not difficult, involves 3 different resources, one of which has no token. I think it is needlessly convoluted….though it is not complicated. And the stacks and stacks of cards….supporters with no abilities shouldn’t exist(though the ones with two schools can stay). Items that repeat starting spells, or spells that are simply variations on a theme….could probably be removed. Using mini-cards for most of the items/supporters would have been an easy change. Legendary spells need to stand out more from regular spells.
Argent at its heart is not complicated. Take a quick action, take a regular action. But those actions can have so many different results, that there is always something new to look at and do.

The 2nd edition changes push this even higher for me. The new bases eliminate the annoyance of putting the stupid headstones into the stupid bases where the stupid miniatures wouldn’t stay in. The new rule of marks breaking ties first instead of influence is a perfect example of tweaks that work, without changing how the game plays.
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(Updated: April 29, 2019)
Argent is a game set on a fictional Earth where Harry Potter wasn't a load of faff. You're students or something at a wizarding school where everyone is still a jerk but they don't waste their time fighting a moron dark wizard. They still don't learn how to do anything useful, though, like algebra.

I digress. I'd heard good things about this but seeing pictures of the extremely busy board and such made me think this was nothing but a more in-your-face Agricola, just another one of these overcomplicated New Euros doling out infinitesimal rewards that eventually turn into victory points for doing...something, anything. It almost is. But unlike so many others, this one remembered it should also be fun too, and have some kind of personality. It should inspire more than just "darn, you took the wood I needed. I guess I'll get a pig instead."

Argent is long and sloppy and I think some weirdo expansion stuff was included in this play that may not be needed. But we had a great time playing it, and I'm not just saying that because I won. However, the fact that I won does say something about the game, as I usually cannot muster up the intelligence or interest to excel at things like this. But here I could see how the pieces fit, could identify things to focus on and things to ignore, and actually pursue a path and stick to it. I felt like I worked with the game against the other players instead of the usual other way around.

It was long as hell, but I was engaged in it a lot more fully than in much shorter games it's less "elegant" than.
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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #199520 14 Mar 2015 18:22
This game is awesome sauce. Okay, I have only just played it once, just this afternoon, and need to play it at least two more times before I can really know of it is as awesome as it seems after one play. However, it was good enough that we spent a good chuck of time discussing it I over dinner and have made plans to play it again tonight.
Frohike's Avatar
Frohike replied the topic: #199521 14 Mar 2015 18:47
Yeah, I've been really interested in this one ever since Dan Thurot's review, and I'm kind of biased toward the theme.