7 Wonders board game is a game for the ages

The reason why this game is addicting is no wonder. 7 Wonders board game is one of the highest rated games on the board game discussion website BoardGameGeek, and has won more than 30 game awards. Have no fear. It’s not too difficult. Seven Wonders is a simple card drafting game played using three decks of cards featuring depictions of ancient civilizations, military conflicts and commercial activity. It is perfect for 3-7 players.

How to Play 7 Wonders

The adventure begins when you create your own world. At the start of the game, each player randomly receives a “Wonder board”–this board depicts one of Antipater of Sidon’s original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is the game’s theme. The boards are double-sided, with the wonders on side A being generally easier to build, while those on side B have more interesting benefits. Players place cards representing various materials and structures on each side of their Wonder boards.

Seven Wonders centers itself around the concept of ages. It has three of them, known in the game as Ages I, II and III. In each age, seven cards are randomly dealt to each player.This process repeats until everyone plays five out of the seven cards. After, each player must choose to play one of his or her remaining two cards and discard the other. When the cards run out, the game ends. The player with the most points overall wins.

It’s All in The Cards

Each Age card represents a structure–when you play a card you are in the process of building a structure. Building a structure doesn’t come cheap. A player must first pay the construction cost in coins. However, you can also pay in one or more of the seven resource types detailed in the game. After the player pays, he or she must lay it down by his or her Wonder board. If you don’t have a wealth of resources, don’t worry. You can pay your neighbors for them.

There’s no doubt that luck plays a big role in 7 Wonders. You have a decent shot at winning the game. Just don’t waste resources in cards that only give you few points.

The Best Strategy

Your city’s strengths and weaknesses should influence your strategy wholeheartedly. The structures you choose to build and the resources that you choose to spend determine whether you will win the game. Your strategy’s success also relies on the   relationship between your city and your neighbors’ cities. Check to see what resources you need to build your wonder levels and how those compare to your neighbor’s.

The resources that you and your neighbors use can influence the whole game. If everyone fights for the science cards, the values will go up in a triangular manner, making them worth less points each. If everyone builds the same amount of military cards, the benefit costs everyone the same. However, if your neighbor decides to build a huge military fight on their other side, each military card will be worth less for you. In other words, there will be limited resources available if your neighbor is a crazy war-monger.

Tip: You may also be interested in our Strategy Board Games Buying Guide and Reviews

The Best and Worst Features

Reviewers praised 7 Wonders board game’s depth and innovation. One reviewer wrote that you need to find right balance between military, commerce, science, cultural and resource development, making the game extremely complex and interesting. Reviewers also liked the game’s quick nature–game play time ranges from just 30-45 minutes.

On the other hand, some negative reviewers complained that the game was way too complicated to enjoy. The complexity, in their eyes, also made the game feel longer and time consuming. One even carped that there is little interaction with any player that is not sitting adjacent to you, making the game less fun for a big group.

Bottom Line

If you enjoy strategy games with a challenge and love history, then this is an awesome game for you. 7 Wonders board game may intimidate some due to its complexity, but after a few plays you’ll soon be a pro in no time. Once you understand the value of luck in strategy in game play, this shouldn’t be any different than a typical adventurous board game. If you have trouble understanding it, you can always consult the manual for help.

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