7 Wonders: A Story of Civilization As Old As Time

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the leader of an ancient civilization?  Back in ancient times, when the wonders of the world were an astounding sight to see, inspiring awe in the hearts of man?  With the card game 7 Wonders, you get to experience the same sense of awe by building your very own timeless architectural wonder.

In this card game, you’re the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the ancient world.  Your job is to gather resources, develop trading routes, and best your competitors in military strength in order to earn points.  As you build your city, you’ll also seek to construct your very own wonder that will last throughout time.  7 Wonders has rhythm and a fast-paced sense of fun that makes this dynamic card game one you won’t want to miss.

The Three Ages

7 Wonders lasts for three Ages, with each Age offering players the opportunity to build their civilization by drawing cards.  Players will receive seven cards from a deck during each Age, choosing one of those cards and passing the rest to the next player.  Once everyone has drawn a card, each player will reveal their cards at the same time.  

Players are all given their own boards with which to organize their cards, representing their “Wonder”.  In order to play cards, you’ll have to pay the cost, which may require either certain raw materials or manufactured goods.  Some cards have no cost to play, however.  With these cards, players can add markets and routes to facilitate the growth of their civilization as well as scientific discoveries or military power.

Coins and Resources

Players are allowed to discard their cards to acquire coins.  Coins can be used to buy resources from your opponents, allowing you to play more cards.  Trading with the other players is a major part of 7 Wonders, so you’ll have to find a strategy that allows your civilization to thrive without giving the other player what they need to beat you.

Certain cards will have immediate effects, while others will give you bonuses you can use later on.  Some cards will give you discounts on future purchases, while others will give you military strength.  Once each Age comes to an end, players will compare their strength with their neighbors based on their military cards.  Victorious players will earn points, while the defeated players will lose points.  

Once the third Age is finished, players will add up the points from all of their cards, military victories, and coins.  They’ll also add points from any sets of cards collected as well as if they completed certain levels of their Great Wonder.  Whichever player earns the most points is the winner of the game!

7 Wonders Later Editions

7 Wonders has released a sequel card game called 7 Wonders Duel that turns this multi-player card game into a one-on-one competition.  In 7 Wonders Duel, players will draw cards from a display of face-down and face-up cards that are arranged each round.  You can only take a card if none of the others are covering it, giving you the additional element of timing in drawing cards.

Each player is given four wonder cards at the beginning of the game.  If you construct a wonder, you get a special ability.  However, only seven wonders can be built, so one player will end up with only three wonders.  There are several paths to winning 7 Wonders Duel.  Players must either reach the opponent’s capital, acquire six out of seven different scientific symbols, or win the most points at the end of the game.

Explore the 7 Wonders

7 Wonders is playable by 2-7 players, which means you can play the game just as easily with one other person as you can with the whole family.  This card game is suitable for ages 10 and up, so younger players can learn about card development and set collection skills.  Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, so you can fit in a round or two in a night without losing interest.

Buy 7 Wonders and build your own civilization today!

 

Small World: Choose Your Magical Race and Conquer

Magical creatures abound in this fantastical strategy board game that’s fun for ages 8+.  Whether you’re looking for a new rotation in family game night or a creative game for you and your friends, Small World is a simple game that can be played time and time again.  From troops of orcs to tribes of wizards, Small World allows anyone to choose their magical niche and conquer the world.

Discovering Small World

If you’re a fan of Philippe Keyaerts’ 1999 game Vinci, you’ll love Small World, his fantastical follow up game that came out in 2009.  Small World not only includes the addition of dice, but also reworks the original strategy board game into a fantastical adventure involving magical races and special powers.  Players are pitted against each other to try to conquer a world that’s only big enough for the strongest.

This board game combines strategy and fantasy, as each player has to decide on the best combination of fantasy races and special powers to expand their empires and conquer the world.  The language of Small World is force—you’ll deploy troops to occupy territory and expand to adjacent lands.  But tough decisions have to be made from within as well, because the path to victory may require you to abandon your own empire in order to build a new one that can succeed.

Races and Special Powers

Small World is populated with 14 different magical races, from fantastical Elves to mythical Giants.  Each race has its own special characteristics and skills that can help you conquer regions and obtain Victory coins.  The colorful race banners and tokens add a visually stunning element to the game as you deploy your races on the different regions of the board.

As if magical creatures weren’t already powerful enough, you can also combine your magical races with one of 20 Special Power Badges.  Not only does this make for some funny combinations (Commando Dwarves and Flying Sorcerers being some of the best), but it also gives you extra abilities that you can use to trick your opponents and attack. 

Certain combinations are more powerful than others, allowing you to build on the race’s innate abilities and deliver a crushing blow to your opponents.  Diplomat Skeletons can keep an opponent from attacking for a turn and then ruthlessly attack the rest of the board, earning some serious tokens and leaping ahead in the gameplay.  Discovering the best combinations is part of what makes Small World so great for repeat playing!

The Decline Of Civilization

While the goal of Small World is to expand your empire and earn as many Victory coins as possible, sometimes your race will become over-extended, requiring you to sacrifice your current empire in order to build a new one.  Not everyone has the stomach to make the hard calls and put their weakened magical race “In Decline”, but this kind of ruthlessness is often required to fight your way to victory.

Putting your weakened race In Decline forces you to get rid of your Special Power and void one of your turns, but your next turn allows you to build a new civilization with a new race and Special Power combination.  It takes a lot of strategy and a bit of luck to maneuver, but it adds a fun and challenging dimension to the game that makes Small World more than just what it seems on the surface.

The Fun Of Small World

Because Philippe Keyaerts designed Small World as a follow up to his game Vinci, players who grew up playing Vinci will recognize many similar elements of gameplay such as conquering territories for points and choosing special abilities.  However, the addition of dice to the game adds an interesting element of luck that can turn strategy on its head.

The magical creatures are creative and zany, and the ability to mix and match magical races with Special Powers means that no two rounds of gameplay will ever be alike.  Although they may not usually like the same games, fans of strategy board games and fans of fantasy will both find plenty to love with Small World!

 

 

How to Play Small World

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