The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Seven Wonders

Leaving aside the other two new games I played tonight, after playing 7 Wonders three times I consider it a success, although I admit mild trepidation. But there’s a lot to like:

  • It’s fast
  • I’m fond of drafting games (I should play Fairy Tale again ….)
  • It has starting powers, ala Race, which adds replayability.
  • It handles an decent range of numbers, including the ever-awkward seven.
  • It’s also fast.

Reasons I’m somewhat hesitant:

  • A part of me dislikes the random removal of one or more guilds (6-devs in race terms). To be sure, with the deck/draft ratio you may never see a card if it’s in the deck, but I’d hate to build up some thing only to discover I never had a chance of getting it off the deal. I’m blowing this out of proportion.
  • I suspect punting on the military for Age I is the right play. More generally, I wonder if there is a simple path that’s better than the others.
  • I suspect that, at heart, this lacks depth to be more than a filler. On the other hand, I’m willing to study it to prove or disprove the point. To be sure, if this does just turn out to be a filler, it’s not a tragedy, because it’s fast.

I placed an order for this Thursday (although I notice it hasn’t shipped yet, despite being in stock. I’m looking at you, Coolstuff) and I’m looking forward to it. This may be a touch too much for the kids to grasp (at least with respect to how their play impacts scoring), but I can easily see it getting 15+ plays …

Recommended, although I think this will wind up as “Good”, not as a great one. (To be fair, those come along pretty rarely, but given the hype over this I think it’s fair to point that out).

Also played — Prolix (different, fine, meh-plus) and Resident Evil (for not bringing games, I  am duly chastised).

Update — I put my Resident Evil note in comments below. And (after bitching about Coolstuff, Inc, I did get shipping notification … well after I wrote this, but apparently the game had shipped prior to my writing this. So, apologies).


Written by taogaming

December 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Reviews

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8 Responses

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  1. Should I take my cue from your comment? What did you think of Resident Evil?


    December 14, 2010 at 12:41 am

    • I thought it was a poorly done rip-off of Dominion, except that you basically have a random VP deck, if you try to buy a card you see if you can “afford” it, and if not, you pay a penalty. Cards mainly cost 5-25 or so (jumping by 5) but go up to 90. Oh, and some are free.

      And I’m not kidding about “Dominion rip-off”. The cards I saw were exact copies of Lab & Village, and variations on Mine, Chapel, Smithy, and others that were basically mix-and-match of dominion powers.


      December 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

      • Some of the cards are definitely derivative. Even the language in the rules. I guess it doesn’t bother me. Though sometimes it’s frustrating I think I generally like that there’s some risk with the mansion deck. I like the twist the characters bring, especially the tweaked starting decks.

        Greg Williams

        December 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

  2. Agree with you on 7 Wonders. Lots of reasons to like it, but I don’t get the sense there is really that much depth there. Military and Science can also be very swingy and neighbor-dependent. If you get into an arms race with a neighbor, you tend to just lose, while if you can pick up just a couple military and your neighbors decide not to counter, it’s pretty huge.


    December 14, 2010 at 1:31 am

  3. 7 Wonders is definitely the hype game of the moment – it’s currently #1 ranked game on the list of games published in Finnish at Lautapeliopas, and #6 on the overall list.

    It’s definitely good. I’m not sure it’s great either. I know it’ll probably end up not being played, as my current gaming doesn’t really provide much space for fillers, particularly for long fillers.

    But I like it anyhow, and with the smaller box I made for it, it might get some action.


    December 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

  4. 7 Wonders is definitly good, and imho definitly not great. Especially with more than 4 players you are too dependend on the cards coming in one hand. If you decide for example to concentrate on blue cards and a bunch is coming in one go, you can only pick one and kiss the rest goodbye. You have decisions, but there are not to meaningfull. Endscores are usually tight and a bad draw is a game-decider.
    But its fast, so its OK as a filler. Its no Race though.


    December 14, 2010 at 4:21 am

  5. I agree with your analysis from my play (maybe 4 games) so far. Fun but lacks depth. I have seen a number of strategies win and given the drafting issue, kind of think there won’t be a dominant one.

    However, having said it lacks depth, I have lost every game I played so maybe I just am incompetent at it – unfortunately I don’t think this was the case.

    Aaron Fuegi

    December 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

  6. I finally got a chance to play a few games of 3p 7W, and as expected, it was much more of a game than 7p. That said, it felt much like Dominion – solitaire-ish (though not really as solitary as people will say), and while amusing while playing the games are very forgettable.

    Seth Jaffee

    December 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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