There’s at all times a hazard in messing with one thing that’s notably well-loved. 7 Wonders has been a staple sport at many gaming tables since its launch in 2010, and for superb cause. Designed by Antoine Bauza, with attractive illustrations by Miguel Coimbra, that authentic sport hit all the proper marks, with advanced and various alternatives for technique and card growth, great replayability, and the interesting theme of controlling and constructing one of many nice civilizations of the traditional world.
Fortunately, fairly than attempt to rework an already glorious expertise, the brand new version of seven Wonders maintains all the pieces that already labored, and easily provides a extra engaging and playable expertise that’s simpler to be taught for brand spanking new gamers. It’s a win all-around, and a straightforward suggestion for any gaming group. However what has modified? And is it value a purchase order in case you already personal the unique?
What Has Stayed The Identical?
7 Wonders is a card-drafting and useful resource administration sport about competing historic civilizations. Every participant strives to assemble victory factors for quite a lot of ventures, together with increase a tradition of science, establishing army may, or discovering success as a buying and selling superpower. And, after all, there’s the sport’s identify; you’ll be able to step by step construct up your civilization’s Marvel, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Colossus of Rhodes.
Conceptually, the sport (in each its editions) hits an exquisite candy spot between accessibility and strategic depth, with mechanics which are simple to be taught, and a playtime of underneath an hour as soon as you already know the fundamentals. As such, I’ve typically discovered 7 Wonders acts as a uniting sport that invitations a broad array of gamers with differing ranges of expertise to the desk.
Whereas card drafting has had quite a lot of incarnations, 7 Wonders’ authentic launch definitely helped to additional popularize the idea, which sees a lot broader use at present in quite a lot of board video games. Briefly, 7 Wonders calls for that gamers cross particular person palms of playing cards across the desk, with every participant pulling one card earlier than passing your complete hand on, after which receiving one other hand of playing cards with which you do the identical. On this method, the sources and choices offered in any given hand get unfold across the desk, and there’s at all times an intriguing alternative between what you want, and denying your neighbor what they’re chasing.
My favourite factor about 7 Wonders is how every playthrough inevitably feels so dramatically totally different from the final. That’s due to some very astute steadiness work on the a part of the designer, but additionally due to the number of profitable methods. The technique you play in a given spherical can hardly ever be static or repeated verbatim. A profitable strategy one spherical could merely not meet the wants of a subsequent spherical, so that you’re compelled to suppose in your toes.
That’s since you’re at all times competing along with your direct neighbors on the left and proper of the desk, due to the way in which buying and selling and warfare is dealt with. Whereas there’s one winner throughout your complete desk, you’re frequently interacting along with your direct neighbor, so it behooves you to pay shut consideration to their machinations, and reply accordingly. Thematically, I like the way in which this idea echoes the character of battle in these societies from hundreds of years in the past; everyone seems to be compelled to take care of their neighbor, however anybody society might need a dearth of understanding or direct interplay with a nation a lot farther away.
Throughout three ages of play, every participant step by step builds out a civilization centered on totally different applied sciences and capabilities. And simply when issues actually begin buzzing, the sport accelerates to a last cycle of playing cards across the desk, and it’s time to rely up your rating. On multiple event, gamers I’ve loved the sport with are able to dive instantly again in to strive once more, irrespective of how their historic society fared within the last standings.
What Has Modified?
The brand new version of seven Wonders isn’t a dramatic overhaul of methods or mechanics. Relatively, consider it extra as a form of definitive version of the core sport, which tweaks steadiness and improves presentation in as some ways as it will probably, however with out shedding nearly any of the unique sport’s essence or circulate.
Attractive new cowl artwork echoes the long-lasting look of the unique illustration, however with a grander scope and central focus on the Colossus statue. Open the field, and the fixation on improved manufacturing values can be obvious. A cleaner, brighter rulebook is simpler to parse, and at about two-thirds the size of the unique version’s rulebook, faster to digest. A number of single-sheet image breakdowns present clear descriptions of results, and could be handed across the desk to assist as you be taught the iconography. And one other sheet depicts the cardboard chains which are obtainable for gamers who actually prefer to plan forward of their methods.
One other necessary observe is that the sport’s participant rely has been revised. The unique version supplied a two-player variant, however it was by no means one of the simplest ways to play the sport. With this new version, writer Repos Manufacturing appears to acknowledge that reality, and easily acknowledges that the sport is explicitly constructed for 3 to seven gamers.
The field insert is extra helpfully organized, with simple rounded pockets for fast retrieval of tokens inside. And, on that topic, the tokens themselves have been tweaked for simpler fast identification at a look, with a pointy black border aesthetic on many, and simpler studying of the numbers on the purpose worth tabs, due to stark white backgrounds.
The most important aesthetic soar is with the Marvel cardboard planks that act as a participant’s central play space. The Wonders at the moment are depicted on bigger cardboard items than within the authentic, to higher showcase the evocative artwork. And in contrast to within the authentic, these massive cardboard sheets now have totally different artwork on all sides – an image of the Marvel within the day, and a brand new, separate picture depicting the identical web site at evening – every providing a barely totally different play expertise.
Whereas the numerous playing cards won’t have the “wow” issue of the brand new Wonders, they handle a really shut second. All the cardboard backs at the moment are coated in a horny metallic sheen, break up between bronze, silver, and gold, to match the three respective Ages by way of which the sport strikes. The impact lends an nearly decadent vibe to the decks. Maybe extra importantly, the cardboard fronts have been reorganized. Borrowing a presentation type from 7 Wonders Duel (a superb 2-player sport in its personal proper), the brand new playing cards layer all of the related icon info on the high of the cardboard, permitting for vertical stacking. Within the prior version, you’d must fan the playing cards out in your playspace so as to see all of the related information; this newer, vertical orientation makes for a cleaner and extra organized desk. That doesn’t sound like a giant deal, till you’ve performed a number of video games of the primary version of seven Wonders, at which level you already know that desk sprawl can typically be an issue, particularly in massive participant rely periods.
Past quality-of-life enhancements and a few new paintings, skilled gamers will observe that a number of the playing cards and Wonders have new values and useful resource prices related to them. With a sport as advanced and multi-layered as 7 Wonders, I’ll be trustworthy that it’s arduous even after a number of playthroughs to talk to how these small tweaks change the worth of particular person playing cards and sources, in direct comparability with the older values. Nonetheless, I can say with authority that the brand new version nonetheless has that really feel of seamless interplay and steadiness that skilled tabletop gamers start to get a way for. Play flows easily, all of the methods nonetheless appear viable, and the cardboard chains and interconnections all match the theming of the traditional world.
Ought to I Get The New Version?
There’s a straightforward reply to this query in case you don’t but personal 7 Wonders, however you contemplate your self a burgeoning tabletop fanatic. Decide up a duplicate of seven Wonders, and ensure it’s this new version. If unsure, search for the positioning of the large statue on the quilt. The brand new version has the statue’s head immediately beneath the “D” within the title. That is the higher model to personal in case you’re beginning recent, and I assure, a stellar addition to your library.
When you already personal 7 Wonders, I believe the reply is extra sophisticated. I’ve performed sufficient of the unique version to say that it holds up fairly properly, even stacked towards the alluring options of this new version. Plus, you’ll have expansions for that first version that you simply don’t need to go away behind. If that’s the camp you’re in, I actually consider you’ll proceed to like your outdated (and sure properly cherished) copy.
With that stated, this new version is a magnificence; in case you’re a very enthusiastic fan of the sport, you definitely gained’t be unhappy to see the slick presentation and desk presence afforded by this rework.
7 Wonders is stellar sport that welcomes a broad vary of gamers to the desk. When you’re in search of a deep sport with tons of replayability, and the traditional civilization vibe strikes a chord, you actually can’t go fallacious. Nonetheless, in case you’re in search of one thing else completely, don’t hesitate to click on into the Prime of the Desk banner from beneath to search out dozens of different really useful board, card, miniature, and role-playing video games. As at all times, in case you want a bit extra private suggestion, drop me an e-mail and I’ll provide help to discover the proper sport for your loved ones or buddy group.