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No Wonder It’s So Great!

30 Jun

Cover Shot

7 Wonders Review

Here it is, one of the BGG Darling, a card game from Asmodee and Repos Production. Designed by the game designer Antoine Bauza, 7 Wonders was anticipated by most board gamers even before it’s launched. At first i even asked why it’s so popular and the game rank was drastically up when the early time of the launch. So i assume the game is incredibly great, and the artworks also marvelous. So i bought it even a little bit pricey from the normal price. But, you bet i was content.
Okay, maybe it’s time i tell you why this game is so great. Here’s my overview of the game:

1. The Theme

So, what’s interesting about 7 Wonders? Well, the theme is one of the interesting parts. It’s about the seven wonders of the ancient world, The Pyramids at Giza, The Hanging garden of Babylon, Statue of Zeus in Olympia, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Lighthouse in Alexandria, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, & The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. This marvelous human creation are the subject of the game and they will be called Wonders throughout the game. The main storyline is players try to build wonder stages and structures so they can gain most points to win the game after 3 ages (rounds or phases, whatever you call it bro). Interesting right? A fresh touch of the theme brought the game into such a hype in BGG and yes, this game was one of the BGG darlings. Maybe the expansions would have wonders from the modern world? Would Borobudur Temple on Indonesia counted as one of them?

2. The Artworks

Miguel Coimbra (the artist) really did a great work. The game illustrations are marvelous, with stunning graphics, clear & detailed image and contrast colors gives us fresh and strong impression. Almost everyone i knew who play this game agree with me aout this and it’s one of the best artwork i’ve seen in board games. I liked the colors and image of The Hanging Garden, The Lighthouse and Colossus, they look stunning. So, again, a praise for Coimbra.

Artwork for The Hanging Garden of Babylon

3. The Game Components

Inside The Box

This is one of the simple games i have ever played. When you open the box,you will find spectacular unique boards of the 7 Wonders, punch out card boards which contain coin tokens and VP tokens. The rest if the cards from 3 ages (along with 7 wonders cards and 2 additional cards for 2 players game). Oh yeah, don’t forget the score sheets,rulebook & quick start guide. The boards are great, so unique and the function turned out to be perfect (to facilitate the tokens and the wonder stage cards while at the same time maintain the aesthetic aspect of the illustrations. The tokens are also extraordinary, small little tokens with unusual circular shape of the coins (with 1 and 3 denominations), and shield like shape VP tokens (in 4 different type: 1, 3, 5 VP and -1 VP penalty). The Cards are divided into 3 ages (with 3 different colors in the back of cards), well, i had the copy which all the back cards of age 3 deck were misprinted (this was stated by the publishers and they will do something about it in the near future, and i heard that they will give replacement of the deck for all first copies, what a relief to hear that. But it’s not a major problem, since you still can enjoy the game normally).
4. The Game Play

Okay, here’s the deal, the goal of the game is the highest VP at the end of the game, each player choose his / her wonder by randomly drawn the face down wonder cards. Take the corresponding wonder board that match his wonder cards and pick his active side of the board, A or B (which the sides can also be randomly chosen by the card if preferable). Take 3 coins token for starter.

Sort the cards based on the number of players and shuffle each age. Draw the cards to each player (it’s supposed to be 7 cards for each).The game applies the neighbors system, which a player can interact with his left and right players as his neighbors (military conflict and trade). Now, players choose one card from age 1 cards, give the rest to his left (clockwise) and resolve the card until there are 2 cards left in player hand, he choose one and discard the last. This would be the end of age. After each age is ended, military conflict is brought active after it’s resolved proceed to next age which moves counterclockwise, and the third age back to clockwise direction.

Game in Progress

Each card can be resolve as a structure, wonder stage or sold to gain it’s price (3 coins). Each card has different types based on it’s background colors, gray and brown for resources cards, yellow for commerce, red for military, blue for civilian, green for science, purple for guild cards. Each player’s wonder board will have 1 resource type in the beginning (this marked that the player has already 1 type of resource in the beginning of the game. Throughout the game, players will need to build structures (and some of them has building cost, which come to the use of coins and resources). When ones want to build structures, he can use his resources and / or buy from his neighboring players for the price of 2 coins each (if the neighbors has the resources). When structures was build, the benefit / functions is immediately take effect (instant in gold and resources), except VP which will be counted in the end of the game. To build the wonder stage is also the same, the only different is player use any card (ignore the card type and structure, the card is faced down in the wonder stage slot). At the end of the game, players will count all the VP’s they had collected, the player with most VP is the winner.

5. The Replay Value

Have i told you that this game is so great? I did? many times? well, i said it again, that this game is so great! The hype was true after all, it’s living through it’s expectation. A filler game that caught the attention of all board gamers, newbie and hardcore gamers. What’s more to it, yeah this game is amazing, since it’s launching the game is ever growing popular, most wanted in every session by every players. Oh, if i was to count who has a copy in my gaming group, well almost everyone had or ordered it. Okay, let’s talk about the replay value, it’s tremendously high, with every wonders you can play and 2 sides of the board. And also, the neighbors system really work with the replay value, since with different neighbors you have different feel of the game. But, i guess, cause the never ending demand of the plays, there will be a point where people just had enough. And one of my friends has already showed the symptoms, by playing it in our holiday again and again. Oh yeah, how you play it also determine the replay value, since there are multiple paths to victory, by playing through military, civilian, science, wonders and guild cards.

My Thought of The Game

Well, here it is, i said it again, so great! I found this game to be satisfying and it’s not a difficult game to learn, even by completely new players. Okay there are lots of symbols to remember and it’s not easy to grasp for first play, but i guarantee, after trying the game once, the second will be lot of easier. Even though i still found out that it’s not easy to understand the big picture of the game, by building resources and the use of the cards. Often new players think that the resources cards they’ve build are discarded after use, they can saving resources for the next turn and so on. So, this game is a must and i am definitely use the game as an opening game for beginners. Not very long game time and no down time since every players simultaneously resolve their actions. There is one thing that really bothered me, the box, or should i say the BIG box. For a card game, it has a big box, and the contents of the box really wasting space. Asmodee or Repos could produce the game with half size of the normal box if they wanted to, and it’s so much easier to carry. I, myself, used storage solution fro the box so i could easily carry it around (even i can’t deny the box artwork is stunning). Oh yeah, one more thing, since it’s a card game, then the use of sleeves for the cards are really useful, to preserve and protect the cards and also make it easier to shuffle.

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