Recon #2 7 Wonders

This is the second Recon. It is not a review, unboxing or session report. Instead, I assume that you are familiar with the game and own or have played it. This session goes over the resources and structures of the game in detail so that you may work on better play and strategy.

7 Wonders is a game designed by Antoine Bauza. It was published in 2010 Repos Productions. I like it a lot and I think due to game play, length and support for up to 7 players it will become popular in competitive play.
Detailed charts and other information that support the Recon are on the continuation of the page.

It’s 5 Different Games!

In the audio, I give the total cards and cards seen for one of the three ages. The table below has totals for the entire game. The % seen does not change, but you can see the proportion of duplicates rise as players are added. Age II has the fewest kinds of cards, so it has the most duplication of cards.

Cards in Play
Players Total Cards Different Cards Cards Seen Seen
The game changes for different # of players.
3 63 63 54 86%
4 78 71 66 79%
5 105 73 75 71%
6 126 76 81 64%
7 147 77 81 55%
Military Cards
Players Total Cards “Excess”
Each Age has 3, 4 and 4 kinds of Military cards, with at least one of each kind per player.
3 9 0
4 13 1
5 17 2
6 20 2
7 25 4
Civilian Structures – Blue Cards
Players Total Cards Total Points Maximum Player Points Average Players Points
The number of types for each value are: 2 2’s, 3 3’s, 2 4’s, 2 5’s, 2 6’s, a 7 and an 8.
3 12 55 55 18
4 14 63 58 16
5 18 81 58 16
6 22 99 58 16
7 27 122 58 17
Scientific Structures – Green Cards
Players Age I Age II Age III Game Total
Table counts complete sets of 3 kinds plus excess or minus shortage.
The game averages about 1 set more than the number of players.
3 1 1  + clay 2 – clay 4
4 1  + clay 2-gear 2 4+gear+2 clay
5 2-gear 2 2+gear 6
6 2-gear 2+clay 3-clay 7-gear
7 2 2+2 clay 4-2 clay 8
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2 Responses to Recon #2 7 Wonders

  1. Brian Durkin says:

    Hello Richard,

    I feel this post needs an update. I disagree with several of your first impressions in the podcast. I appreciate you coming back to the downsides of playing military at the end of your episode; however, the beginning of the podcast leads your audience on to think that military does not suffer from the highest rate of diminishing returns. I disagree with your comment about guilds as a card type. I believe you can plan for them in larger games. In a six person game a particular guild will make the draft 80% of the time, and 90% of the time in a seven person game. I understand that smaller groups suffer from the availability of guilds and Leaders lowers the odds, but most tournament play seems to support larger groups of people. Guilds not only require difficult resource requirements, but you need to sit in a particular position just to make the card worth enough points to take it. I look to build strategies that secure particular cards that only end up benefiting me or one other person. This way the odds of those cards making it around the table to me improve because people cannot use them, and they must scrabble for their own points. I also like commercial structures. They make sense for any wonder generating money from constructing stages. The player also has the exclusive opportunity of taking advantage of Lighthouse, which has the guild effect I described earlier. I think your assessment of three points per play or four points per play not including resources works but actually hurts a new player. It may confuse them on when they should prioritize taking point cards. I find that playing the original game that a score of 55 will usually place you in top two in a six or seven person game. Most of the cards in Age III score approximately six points, if you draft well. I demand an average of six points per pick in Age III, and I want to go into Age III with at least 18 points. This will score 54 points, which should put you in contention for top two.

    Please correct me on any of my math. I think you did a great job breaking down all the distributions of cards depending on the amount of players and the points available. I agree that two versus four versus seven player games all feel like playing different games. I also agree with your insight that newer players gravitate towards red and blue cards, which usually means they prioritize brown cards as well. Typically they lose their first game because they forgot about manufactured resources, which they won’t usually need until the final age. I liked how you commented on which card types require less players concentrating on them. For example, relying on science structures depends on whether or not your neighbors compete with you. Newer players recognize this relationship with military structures, but may not realize it can work the same way when concentrating on green cards.

    Next Level Card Games currently has more content for 7 Wonders than any other game. I will soon post some video coverage of 7 Wonders on my site as well. If you would like to collaborate on any projects please let me know. Feel free to contact me at admin@nextlevelcardgames.com. Maybe we can work something out before Board Game Championships. If not, I will see you there.

    • RichMShay says:

      Brian,
      Your points are all well taken. Recon is pretty elementary and not based on extensive play. You are absolutely correct in saying the points per play should escalate in each Age.
      I didn’t mean to give the impression that guilds were unimportant, but they are problematic to plan for because the one (or ones) you need may not even be in the game or ever come your way.
      Other cards have multiple instances in large games.
      I like playing with leaders, but it makes the guild probabilities even thinner. An interesting additional analysis would be how much the various guilds “overlap” in working with specific strategies.
      Thanks for the comments. I’ll check out nextlevelcardgames.com

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