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All Will Marvel: 7 Wonders Board Game Review

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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October 4, 2014


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* Video Courtesy of Rodney Smith & Chris Rockne from Watch it Played Youtube Chanel (30 minute video)
 

The 7 Wonders Board Game Has You Building a Great City and Erecting a Marvelous Wonder

The 7 Wonders board game is one of my favorites. There are resources that need to be secured. Wood, brick, stone and ore. There are structures that need to be built like a school, library, temple and an aqueduct. I must flex my military might so I establish a barracks, an archery range, a great wall and a guard tower. During all this I erect a marvelous wonder so my memory will be indelibly etched on the minds of my neighbors!

Okay, let's see how good you are!  Here is a list of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Can you match them to the pictures above?  The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Temple of Artemis. Great Pyramid of Giza. Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. If you really want to get into the game have everyone watch a documentary on the 7 Wonders before playing it.

Okay, let’s see how good you are! Here is a list of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Can you match them to the pictures above? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Temple of Artemis. Great Pyramid of Giza. Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. If you really want to get into the game have everyone watch a documentary on the 7 Wonders before playing it.

 

The 7 Wonders Board Game: How to Play

You start off with a small wonder board which depicts one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and three coins. Every player is dealt seven cards.

There are three ages in 7 Wonders. Each age is played over 6 game turns in which players put into play a single card, simultaneously. The seventh card is always discarded.

The Action Steps

1. Choose a Card

Players choose a card, select one and place it face down in front of them. When everyone has selected a card they turn them over and perform their action.

2. Perform an Action

One of three actions is performed.

* Build the structure on the card placing it in your player zone face up.

* Build a stage of your glorious wonder. To do this you place the card face down partially under the stage on the board that you’re building.

* Discard the card and receive 3 coins from the bank.

3. Move On to the Next Hand

Players give the cards they have to their neighbor. In Age 1, cards are passed clockwise. In Age 2, counter-clockwise and back to clockwise in Age 3.

On the sixth game turn, the cards are not passed to your neighbor. Instead, the last card is discarded face down.

Building in 7 Wonders

Structures

In 7 Wonders you build many different kinds of structures. Some are built for free while others cost money. Some require resources to build them. There are also special structures that will allow you to build a related structure later on for free.

Wonder

Building a stage of your great wonder requires resources.

Production

The resources your city has are found on it’s Wonder board, brown cards, gray cards and on some of it’s yellow cards. These resources are available to you every turn.

Commerce

If you don’t have all the resources you need you can purchase them from a neighboring city (the player to your left and right). This will cost you 2 coins unless you have a special card that allows you to purchase it for one. Players can never refuse to trade.

Selling a resource does not prevent it’s owner from being able to use it, the same turn, for their own construction.

There are an array of cards that give players special benefits, a discount on certain kinds of resources or grant you money.

Left to right. The first card will give you 1 gold for every brown resource you have when the card is built. The second card gives you 3 gold immediately for every stage of your wonder built. At the end of the game you get one victory point for every stage built. Finally, the card on the right will give you one victory point for every yellow card your neighbors have.

Left to right. The first card will give you 1 gold for every brown resource you have when the card is built. The second card gives you 3 gold immediately for every stage of your wonder built. At the end of the game you get one victory point for every stage built. Finally, the card on the right will give you one victory point for every yellow card your neighbors have.

 

Age 1 has been completed. The player managed to pick up the resources brick, ore and wood. He produces cloth. The first stage of his wonder has been built. He has built a military structure. The neighbor to his left had none so he gets a red victory point. The player to his right had two shields so he got a -1 victory token. He has one blue civilian structure that will net him two points at the end of the game. Note the special symbols of stage two and three of his wonder. Stage 2 allows the player to play the seventh card instead of discarding it. Stage 3 allows a builder at the end of a game to choose a scientific symbol to add to the one's he already has.

Age 1 has been completed. The player managed to pick up the resources brick, ore and wood. He produces cloth. The first stage of his wonder has been built. He has built a military structure. The neighbor to his left had none so he gets a red victory point. The player to his right had two shields so he got a -1 victory token. He has one blue civilian structure that will net him two points at the end of the game. Note the special symbols of stage two and three of his wonder. Stage 2 allows the player to play the seventh card instead of discarding it. Stage 3 allows a builder at the end of a game to choose a scientific symbol to add to the one’s he already has.

 

End of an Age

At the end of an age is the resolution of military conflicts.

Each player compares the total amount of shield symbols present on their military structures (red cards) with the total of each of their neighboring cities.

* If a player has a higher total than that of a neighboring city he or she takes a Victory token. In Age 1 it’s worth one point. In Age 2, 3 points and in Age 3, 5 points.

* If a player has a lower total than that of a neighboring city a defeat token (-1 point) is taken.

* If players have the same amount of shields no tokens are taken.

Scoring at the End of the Game

The game does come with scoring sheets. Once you’re familiar with them scoring is easy.

Points are scored in several areas.

* Military Conflict Tokens
* Treasury: 1 Victory point for every three coins
* Wonder: points earned as indicated on the wonder board.
* Civilian Structure: points indicated on card
* Commercial Structures: points indicated on card
* Guilds: Points indicated on card.
* Science Structures: Depending on the cards you have.

Conclusion? 7 Wonders Rocks!

The 7 Wonders board game is a great game and it makes for a good filler game. When you are waiting for some friends to show up for a three hour game of Battlestar Galactica or Warrior Knights players can enjoy this fairly quick game while they are waiting. The graphics power the game along nicely and it’s easy to pick up.

* When introducing games to friends if you don’t feel like you can do justice to giving a game a good introduction consider playing a video instead. Case in point the Youtube video above where Rodney Smith introduces the game with some humor thrown in. I have twice sat down with friends in front of my HDTV and let Rodney do all the grunt work! Thanks Rodney & Chris!
 
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