7 Wonders (board game)

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7 Wonders
7 wonders board game cover.jpg
Box cover of 7 Wonders
Designer(s) Antoine Bauza
Publisher(s) Belgium:Repos Production
Greece: Κάισσα
Players 2 to 7
Age range 10 and up
Setup time 5 minutes
Playing time 40 minutes
Random chance medium

7 Wonders is a board game created by Antoine Bauza in 2010 and originally published by Repos Production in Belgium. 7 Wonders is a draft-based card game that is played using three decks of cards and features ancient civilizations, military conflicts and commercial activity. The game is highly regarded, for example it is one of the highest rated games on the BoardGameGeek site.[1] Furthermore, 7 Wonders has won a total of more than 30 gaming awards, including the inaugural Kennerspiel des Jahres award in 2011.

Gameplay[edit]

7 Wonders is a dedicated deck card game that features ancient civilizations. At the start of the game, each player is given a gameboard called a 'Wonder board.' This depicts one of Antipater of Sidon's original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Each player lays cards to build a city made of various structures around this Wonder board. The boards are double-sided; the wonders on side A are generally easier to build, while those on side B grant more interesting benefits.[2]

7 Wonders is played over three ages, known in the game as Ages I, II and III, using three decks of cards. In each age, seven cards are dealt to each player. The game uses a card-drafting mechanic in which, once per turn, each player selects a card to play from his or her hand, then passes the remaining cards (facedown) to the next player. This process is repeated until five out of the seven cards have been played. At this point, each player must choose to play one of his remaining two cards and discard the other.

All the cards represent structures, and playing a card means building a structure. To play a card, a player must first pay the construction cost, in coins or one or more of the seven resource types, then lay it down by his or her Wonder board. A player lacking the resources available may pay his direct neighbors to use their resources, normally at two coins per resource.

Instead of building a structure, a player may discard any Age card to earn three coins from the bank, or use the card to build a wonder stage. The Wonder boards have from two to four stages, shown at the bottom of the board. To build a wonder stage, a player must pay the listed resource cost, then put an age card underneath the wonder board in the appropriate place.

There are seven types of card, representing different types of structure, as determined by the color of their background.

  1. Red cards (military structures) all contain 'shield' symbols; these are added together to give a player's military strength, which is used in conflict resolution.
  2. Yellow cards (commercial structures) have several effects: granting coins, resources or victory points and decreasing the cost of buying resources from neighbors.
  3. Green cards (scientific structures): each card has one of three symbols. Combinations of the symbols are worth victory points according to two different criteria.
  4. Blue cards (civic structures [mistranslated as 'civilian' in the game rules]): all grant a fixed number of victory points.
  5. Brown cards (raw materials) provide one or two of the four raw material resources used in the game (wood, ore, brick and stone.)
  6. Grey cards (manufactured goods) provide one of the three manufactured goods used in the game (glass, papyrus and textiles.)
  7. Purple cards (guilds) generally grant victory points based on the structures a player and/or his neighbours have built.

Brown and grey cards only appear in the Age I and II decks; purple cards only appear in the Age III deck.

At the end of each age, military conflicts are resolved between neighbors, using the shield symbos on the players' red cards, and victory points are awarded accordingly. Once all three decks have been played, players tally their scores in different developed areas (civil, scientific, commercial). The player with the most points wins.

The goal of the game is to get the most victory points. In the base game, there are seven means of obtaining victory points:[3]

  1. Military victories - one point for a victory (having the most shields) during the first age, three for the second age and five for the third age. A defeated player takes a -1 victory point counter regardless of the age.
  2. Gold coins - One point for every 3 coins a player possesses at the end of the game.
  3. Wonder stages - Many of the wonder stages grant a fixed number of victory points.
  4. Civic structures (blue cards) - Each structure grants a fixed number of victory points.
  5. Commercial Structures (yellow cards) - Age III commercial structures grant victory points based on certain structures a player has built.
  6. Guilds (purple cards) - The guilds provide several means of gaining victory points, typically based on the types of structure a player and/or his neighbors have built.
  7. Scientific structures (green cards) - Each green card has a symbol on it - tablet, compass or gear. One card of a type grants one victory point, but two cards grant four; the number of points granted is equal to the number of symbols possessed squared. Additionally, each set of tablet, compass and gear possessed is worth 7 points.

Expansions[edit]

Official Expansions[edit]

At present, three official expansions have been released. A fourth, 7 Wonders: Babel, is due for release later in 2014.

7 Wonders: Leaders (2011)[edit]

This expansion introduces leader cards, which can be recruited to aid a player's city. The 36 leader cards are based on real historical figures, some of which are well-known, such as Caesar and Midas, others less so.

Playing with the Leaders expansion changes the game mechanic, as the second thing done in the game after choosing a Wonder board is to choose leaders. Four leader cards are dealt to each player, and the cards are drafted so that each player ends up with two cards they chose and two they did not. At the start of each Age, players may recruit one leader, paying its coin cost and putting it into play. To compensate for this extra expense, with the Leaders expansion, players start with six coins instead of three. As with the Age cards, instead of recruiting a leader, a player may choose to discard the card to gain three coins or build a Wonder stage with it.

The leaders grant various abilities, including additional means of gaining victory points, resources or coins, resource cost reductions, commerce benefits, additional shields and scientific symbols. For example, the Caesar card grants two shields and Midas grants one extra victory point per three coins held at the end of the game.

The expansion comes with four additional guild cards and one extra Wonder board - Rome, which, appropriately enough, grants abilities related to the new leader cards.

7 Wonders: Cities (August 2012)[edit]

The Cities expansion introduces black City cards to each Age card deck. There are nine cards for each age; the number of cards equal to the number of players is shuffled into each age's deck. Many City cards are more powerful versions of other cards, for example, the Age III 'Contingent' card provides five shields, as opposed to the three provided by the Age III Military cards. The cards also introduce some new concepts such as diplomacy, which allows a player to avoid military conflict for one Age, and monetary loss, which forces the player's opponents to pay coins to the bank. The addition of City cards enables eight-player or team games, with pairs of players.

The expansion also contains three new guild cards, six leader cards and two Wonder boards: the Hagia Sophia of Byzantium and Al Khazneh of Petra. Many of these new additions have abilities specific to City cards or to the new concepts introduced.

7 Wonders: Wonder Pack (May 2013)[edit]

This expansion adds four Wonder boards: Abu Simbel, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Manneken Pis of Brussels (the makers' home town.) All four offer new and intriguing abilities.

Promotional Expansions[edit]

Honors[edit]

  • 2010 Tric Trac Nominee[9]
  • 2011 As d'Or - Jeu de l'Année Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Innovative Board Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Gouden Ludo Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Gra Roku Game of the Year Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Guldbrikken Best Adult Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Hra roku Nominee[9]
  • 2011 International Gamers Awards - General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters' Selection Nominee[9]
  • 2011 JoTa Best Artwork Nominee[9]
  • 2011 JoTa Best Card Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 JoTa Best Light Board Game Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Juego del Año Tico Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Lucca Games Best Boardgame Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel Game of the Year Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Vuoden Peli Adult Game of the Year Nominee[9]
  • 2011 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee[9]
  • 2012 Boardgames Australia Awards Best International Game Nominee[9]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Board game ranks". Board Game Geek. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Bauza, Antoine. 7 Wonders Rulebook and Scorecard. Repos Production, 2010, p. 9.
  3. ^ Bauza, Antoine. 7 Wonders Rulebook and Scorecard. Repos Production, 2010, p. 6.
  4. ^ "7 Wonders: Manneken Pis". Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "7 Wonders: Leaders Stevie Wonder Promo Card". Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kulkmann's G@mebox - SPIEL 2011 at Essen / Germany". Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "7 Wonders: Catan Island". Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "7 Wonders: Leaders Louis Armstrong Promo Card". Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "7 Wonders". Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Vuoden pelit 2011 valittu". Suomen leluyhdistys ry. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
none
Kennerspiel des Jahres
2011
Succeeded by
Village