I was introduced to 7 Wonders Duel over New Year’s, and I think I prefer it to 7 Wonders.
I think the fundamental staying power of 7 Wonders is that it’s a decent game that you can play with large player counts without sacrificing a whole lot of time. It’s sort of the more boardgame-y option when eight players don’t want to split up into groups (to play smaller games), don’t want to play a mafia-like, and don’t want to spend an extra x hours on a turn-based game with linear (or exponential!) time per number-of-players increase.
EDIT: That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever played my copy of 7 Wonders because we either split into groups or go for party games like Jackbox.
I’m 100% onboard with avoiding games where time scales linearly with the number of players. There have been a lot of games with absolutely no business putting the number “6” on the box. With 60 minutes, and 6 players of mixed interest or skill I prefer Bohnanza (which is definitely a card game and not a mafia-like), Medici (serious, but enough luck that a newbie can win), Ticket to Ride: Team Asia, or Show Manager.
With 90 minutes and some gamers, Sidereal Confluence or Quartermaster General right now…
With 7+ mixed-company players and 60 minutes, launch multiple games, 3 and 4 are the ideal number of players for gaming.
And, as a result, 5 is the most awkward number (too small to break into two 3s). Acquire, Fresh Fish, and Samarkand work well for an assorted group of people IME.
My favorite game is still Eclipse, but the sheer time investment and getting players up to the proper skill level to have a competitive game is daunting. Probably have not played in six months.
I’ll always pick Between Two Cities + expansion over 7 Wonders if given the choice.
We had a fantastic 6-player experts-only Eclipse game at PAX East a few years ago. That’s still one of the best times I’ve had at PAX. (The ending battle took up an entire second table in secret tabletop, and drew a crowd of onlookers)
Fabled Fruit and Fortress were really good, and definitely games I’m gonna pick up at some point. The semi-Legacy mechanics, combined with a solid Friedemann Friese game, really tickled my interest. The Fast Forward + Fable part of Fortress (where you sit down without reading rules, and the rules reveal themselves as part of gameplay) strikes me as a ton of fun. Fabled Fruit really played in the same sandbox as Dominion for me, but I love Dominion, so that’s not a bad thing.
I enjoy 7 Wonders, but only if it’s played at very high speed. I’m talking 10 second turns.
I agree. There is literally only one decision to make each turn. Which card do you take. The only thing that should delay anyone is if they have to lookup a card. This problem goes away with experienced players. Though, I must say, the Race for the Galaxy has better symbology than 7 Wonders.
Drafting 18 cards, that implies a three minute long game. Triple that to account for handling of cards and scoring, and you have 7 Wonders in 10 minutes, minus setup and teardown, which still seems unrealistic. But it does get at one minor annoyance I have with 7 Wonders, which is that you spend a great deal of time on setup and teardown. You could realistically play Fairy Tale and draft 12 cards in 10 minutes, then spend 1 minute reshuffling the deck to play it again.
Race for the Galaxy has a better symbol language than any board game of its complexity. I normally complain about games that omit text for symbols to keep them language-independent, but only because nothing does it as well as Race for the Galaxy. Obviously it doesn’t work for everyone based on the number of people who have trouble getting into Race, but it 1) made perfect sense to me before my first game, and 2) is incredibly self-consistent, clear, and capable of conveying complex new ideas introduced in expansions.
I dislike the symbols on the 7 Wonders cards, they get it about 75% correct. The “discount” symbol that appears on Leaders does a bad job of conveying a discount, and the ‘once per era’ symbol is large and confusing.
That is the game’s primary problem.
That’s another reason I like Between Two Cities more. Just throw all the tiles back in and shuffle up the seating order.
The thing I like about between Two Cities, besides the unique between-ness, is that it isn’t JUST drafting. Sushi Go and 7 Wonders all you do is draft. That’s it. In Between Two Cities, you also place. You have to make another decision using the thing you drafted.
That being said, the simple decision of placing the tile isn’t really all that much. Doing a full on CCG draft where you play another game entirely with the items that have been drafted is the other extreme. I wish there were more games that landed somewhere inbetween. Draft things, then use the things, then the end.
I play 7 Wonders because it’s a common favorite that accommodates 5+ people with relatively diverse board gaming tastes, without being a bad game. However, it’s probably the least favorite of the games I regularly play. It has been repeatedly requested, and since I own it, I generally feel obligated to make it happen and participate. I don’t get a chance for team 7W often, so I’m more open to that experience (of course, I often team up with pkerr, forgetting that neither of us are team players ). I’ve been thinking for a while about house-ruling some of the leaders (I already house-ruled out Stonehenge), since some are significantly weaker/too specific. I absolutely agree that leaders is flawed, and should play-test some variations ala Pete-impulse.
Duel is definitely better, since it solves some balancing problems, but I get bored of the wonders pretty fast. The expansion adds a lot of complexity that I’m not sold on.
We should try Seven Blunders.
Same game, lowest score wins.
Interesting… you might need to restrict discarding for money - a winning score would have to be lower than 19 points ((3 starting coins + 3 coins * 6 cards * 3 eras) / 3 points).
Maybe you have to play something if you can play something?
Just make it so discarding gives 20 points. Only do it if you really don’t have a worse play.
Would Cites and Leaders make that too easy? You have those -3 debt tokens.
I saw the rules for 7 Blunders at PAX, and I believe that you can only discard for money if you have nothing that you can play.