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Subject: Analysis and ranking of wonders rss

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Tim Seitz
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Expanding on this thread: Strenght of wonders?, I thought I would be conceited and share my personal ranking of all of the wonders, not just the A-sides. These are based my experience after a dozen or so games, from 3-7 players. In addition, my preferred playstyle affects my analysis, which is based on either heavy chaining or heavy resource gathering. For other playstyles, these thoughts may not fit too well. The ones at the top are all pretty close, I think.


In descending order, here's how I rank the boards:

Pyramids B - 20 points. Extra 5 points over the A side, but requires an extra action. You'll want to finish this up in Age II if possible, because the Age III actions tend to be worth more than 5 points. If you consider than you get 18 actions in the game and winning scores tend to be around 50+, then that suggests 3 points per action average, which makes this pretty strong. Even if you only count points from the Age II and III actions, 5 points per action would net you 60 points. I rank this high because it doesn't require anything else to happen to maximize its effects.

Hanging Gardens B - 3 points + science + possibly 1-3 extra cards. A science symbol can be worth a little or a lot. If you are aggressive and get to Phase II in age I, you can get 3 extra builds out of this wonder. That should easily be worth the 7 points that the A side would have brought instead, but you will need some good resource production or money to maximize this advantage. If played well, this can much stronger than Pyramids.

Mausoleum B - 3 points + 3x discarded bldg. This can net you 3 free cards, and because you can use the power at the end of Age III, you can get some serious points from these. For this wonder you want to build the stages as late as possible, to have the best possible card selection. Also, because this card takes from the discards which goes up with # of player, the more players there are, the more powerful this wonder becomes.

Hanging Gardens - 10 points + science. A science symbol can be worth a little or a lot. Typically, this will be used to complete a set (for 7 points and/or add to a stack (3-5 points). If you went science, this can be very valuable. If you have HG, you will want to go science. Our highest scores typically are HG/science builds.

Mausoleum A - 10 points + discarded bldg. Hard to get an Age III building out of this, so it's generally going to be either worth that science card someone purposely discarded (could be a lot), or a blue building (max maybe 5 points)

Pyramids A - 15 points. Extra 5 points.

Colossus B- 7 pts + 2 military + 7 coins. Could be the difference between winning and losing battles in Age II and III. This could be 12 points for you and -2 for each neighbor, but necessitates a military strategy. If you go military anyway, you will probably already be getting those points. If you don't go military, then you spent two cards to get the 7 points for stage III.

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the B side (CORRECTED!), but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.

Lighthouse A- 10 points + free wild resource. A wild card resource is a good thing, but you can get this by building the commercial building instead. Or you can get BOTH and screw over your neighbors! But I have not found it to be worth it because of all the chaining cards that come into play in the later ages.

Lighthouse B- 7 points + free wild resource + free wild good. This seems like it should quite powerful, especially if you can get the first 2 phases built early, but I always lose with this one. Combine this with their counterpart commercial cards and you should be able to build anything without paying trading costs. One subtle drawback is that you likely won't benefit from trading very much which means your neighbors' neighbors will get rich because you don't have many shareable resources!

Zeus A - 10 points + free bldg per age. This guarantees you will be able to build some pricey buildings, even if you lack the resources. Normally, this will be a Guild, Palace, or a high-tech military card. (If you went Green, you probably get those for free, and if you didn't it would be a waste to use it on a green.) It's not going to get you extra points, though.

Zeus B - 5 points + commerce + guild copy. Lighthouse's Phase I effect seems better; a free resource is better than paying 1 for it. The guild copy can be a potential windfall, but it all depends on your opponents. And if they got a lot of points for their guild, all you did was play catchup. I've seen some big guild bonuses, though in the past, though. Chances are, someone playing a guild is likely going to be getting 6+ points for it.

Artemis B- 9 points + 12 coins (4 points). Only slightly better than the A-side as the extra flexibility of the gold over points gives you more options.

Artemis A- 10 points + 9 coins (3 points). Pretty weak. Can give you flexibility, but not all that great. Essentially worth 3 points, or 4 buys.

***

If you are just choosing just the A or B side of a particular board, here's what I would choose:

Hanging Gardens - B 1-3 extra cards are better than 7 points. Also the phases are easier to get. 4 of a kind can be tough to get.
Mausoleum - B - 3x free discard buildings are better than 7 points. Also the 2 fabrics might be tough. Neighbors are likely to just buy yours instead of build their own making the A side Phase III too hard.
Pyramids - B - 5 points for the extra action is a better deal
Colossus - B - almost the same but requires 1 less action to get
Lighthouse - A - is the B-side free wild good worth 3 points? I don't think so.
Zeus - A - The free build per age is better than cheaper commerce, and the extra 5 points are more stable than my neighbors' guild points. Also, the Phase III of the A side is easier than the B side.
Artemis - B - Options have value. Points are the same. 2 scrolls might make the A-side tougher to build also.
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Donal Behal
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Have not tried the B-sides yet but after your threat I'll give it a shoot.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Lord_Nibbler wrote:
Have not tried the B-sides yet but after your threat I'll give it a shoot.

Try them, or else!
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out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side, but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.


"stronger than the B side"

thanks for sharing that. like it !
 
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powerwis wrote:
out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side, but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.


"stronger than the B side"

thanks for sharing that. like it !

The A sides are not specifically weaker then the B sides. The sides are balnced, the A sides are just less complex.
The best way to play with new people is the first time on the A side, and after that people can choose which side they want.


Personally I agree with the OPs analysis of the wonders, however I do not fully agree with his ranking. The ranking will depend on a persons individual playing style.
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Tim Seitz
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mag74b wrote:
powerwis wrote:
out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side, but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.


"stronger than the B side"

thanks for sharing that. like it !

The A sides are not specifically weaker then the B sides. The sides are balnced, the A sides are just less complex.

I think you're just parroting the rulebook on this point. I have demonstrated to my satisfaction why certain sides are stronger than others.

Take Artemis for example, 3 coins are strictly better than 1 point, and that's the most balanced one. Some are a lot stronger than others.

Quote:
The ranking will depend on a persons individual playing style.

I agree. I said the same in the opening.
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Alex Rockwell
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I used Mausoleum B in a 3 player game, in which no player ever discarded a card for money, and it was pretty disappointing (both opponents had wonders that give money). So yes this one definitely varies based on player number. It seems very strong with a lot of players.

Colossus seems very strong to me, at least in the 3 players I have played. There are 3 military cards per age and often you'll take one, someone else or both others will take one. Winning instead of tying due to colossus is huge. Its probably a bit less cool with a bunch of players, but I was seeing a definitely tendancy for Military to split in 3 player, at least in the couple games I played.
 
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out4blood wrote:


Hanging Gardens B - 3 points + science + possibly 1-3 extra cards. A science symbol can be worth a little or a lot. If you are aggressive and get to Phase II in age I, you can get 3 extra builds out of this wonder. That should easily be worth the 7 points that the A side would have brought instead, but you will need some good resource production or money to maximize this advantage. If played well, this can much stronger than Pyramids.



Isnt it more than this?
Being your third type is 7+1 point, since you have 1 in that category now worth 1x1. So thats 8 points.
And adding to a long type turns 3 of a kind into 4, going from 9 to 16 points (+7) or 4 into 5 (+9).

I would think this is usually worth 7-9 points.
Which makes both Hanging Gardens sides seem very strong to me. And it means Hanging Gardens A is 17-19 pts for 3 cards, which is even better than Pyramids, right?

Or am I doing something wrong.
 
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Alexfrog wrote:
out4blood wrote:


Hanging Gardens B - 3 points + science + possibly 1-3 extra cards. A science symbol can be worth a little or a lot. If you are aggressive and get to Phase II in age I, you can get 3 extra builds out of this wonder. That should easily be worth the 7 points that the A side would have brought instead, but you will need some good resource production or money to maximize this advantage. If played well, this can much stronger than Pyramids.



Isnt it more than this?
Being your third type is 7+1 point, since you have 1 in that category now worth 1x1. So thats 8 points.
And adding to a long type turns 3 of a kind into 4, going from 9 to 16 points (+7) or 4 into 5 (+9).

I would think this is usually worth 7-9 points.
Which makes both Hanging Gardens sides seem very strong to me. And it means Hanging Gardens A is 17-19 pts for 3 cards, which is even better than Pyramids, right?

Or am I doing something wrong.

I was originally expanding off of my post in the other thread. My analysis of a science symbol looked like this (from the A-side):
Quote:
Typically, this will be used to complete a set (for 7 points and/or add to a stack (3-5 points). If you went science, this can be very valuable. If you have HG, you will want to go science. Our highest scores typically are HG/science builds.

So that would be in addition to the 1-3 free builds, which I assert should be worth at least 7 points. So yea, it's pretty strong.

Is it stronger than Pyramids? Could be, but I think it depends on what your other actions are and how much science you have. It depends on your points-per-action average of your science deck.

1 card = 1 point = 1 ppa
2 cards = 2 or 4 points = 1-2 ppa
3 cards = 5, 9, or 10 points = ~2-3 ppa
4 cards = 8, 13, or 16 = ~2-4 ppa
5 cards = 16, 17, 23 or 25 points = ~3-5 ppa
6 cards = 21, 26, 32, 36 points = ~4-6 ppa

For HG, one science action + the wonder action is equivalent to 2 Pyramid actions. The Pyramid actions average 5 points each. The extra HG action only starts to be equal if you have at least 5-6 science. The HG points are therefore riskier, whereas the Pyramid points are guaranteed.
 
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Tim Seitz
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Alexfrog wrote:
Colossus seems very strong to me, at least in the 3 players I have played. There are 3 military cards per age and often you'll take one, someone else or both others will take one. Winning instead of tying due to colossus is huge. Its probably a bit less cool with a bunch of players, but I was seeing a definitely tendancy for Military to split in 3 player, at least in the couple games I played.

In those situations, I agree it would be very strong. Interestingly, I have yet to see any game with equal military splits, and most of my games have 3 players, with some 5, 6 and 7's thrown in.
 
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out4blood wrote:
mag74b wrote:
powerwis wrote:
out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side, but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.


"stronger than the B side"

thanks for sharing that. like it !

The A sides are not specifically weaker then the B sides. The sides are balnced, the A sides are just less complex.

I think you're just parroting the rulebook on this point. I have demonstrated to my satisfaction why certain sides are stronger than others.

Take Artemis for example, 3 coins are strictly better than 1 point, and that's the most balanced one. Some are a lot stronger than others.


You are right, that was copied from the rulebook.
Powerwis seemed to think, based on his comment, that any B side would be stronger then any A side. That is why I repeated the rulebook to him.
 
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Alexfrog wrote:
I used Mausoleum B in a 3 player game, in which no player ever discarded a card for money, and it was pretty disappointing (both opponents had wonders that give money). So yes this one definitely varies based on player number. It seems very strong with a lot of players.

I have not played 3 player yet. usually it is 5 or 6, and it is rare to see someone discard a card for money in the games I play.
 
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mag74b wrote:
out4blood wrote:
mag74b wrote:
powerwis wrote:
out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side, but it requires one more action to build. This means, you can get an extra action which might return more points, which should tilt the favor toward the B side.Getting your wonder is equivalent to the alternative of building an Age II military and a 7-point blue card.


"stronger than the B side"

thanks for sharing that. like it !

The A sides are not specifically weaker then the B sides. The sides are balnced, the A sides are just less complex.

I think you're just parroting the rulebook on this point. I have demonstrated to my satisfaction why certain sides are stronger than others.

Take Artemis for example, 3 coins are strictly better than 1 point, and that's the most balanced one. Some are a lot stronger than others.


You are right, that was copied from the rulebook.
Powerwis seemed to think, based on his comment, that any B side would be stronger then any A side. That is why I repeated the rulebook to him.


no i just want to say that there was a little error in the sentence :

out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side


 
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Tim Seitz
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Quote:
no i just want to say that there was a little error in the sentence :

out4blood wrote:

Colossus A- 10 pts + 2 military. At first glance, this seems strictly stronger than the A side



LOL. Nice catch. I had written that sentence for the B side, but ranked the B side ahead of it, so I reversed the language of the sentence, all except for that part!
 
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Alexfrog wrote:
I used Mausoleum B in a 3 player game, in which no player ever discarded a card for money, and it was pretty disappointing (both opponents had wonders that give money). So yes this one definitely varies based on player number. It seems very strong with a lot of players.

Colossus seems very strong to me, at least in the 3 players I have played. There are 3 military cards per age and often you'll take one, someone else or both others will take one. Winning instead of tying due to colossus is huge. Its probably a bit less cool with a bunch of players, but I was seeing a definitely tendancy for Military to split in 3 player, at least in the couple games I played.

I tried playing Colossus more based on your comments, and it narrowly lost both times. But it lost to Zeus!

I may need to revise my estimates for Zeus. It also seems it is the best wonder for a new player to choose as you benefit from the increasing score of your opponents. The better the other players are, the more they will score for guilds, and the higher you get for that action. In two victories with Zeus, my daughter managed more than 15 points for her 3 wonder actions because one or more of her opponents had high-scoring guild cards. She was able to choose from 7, 9, and 10 point guilds.
 
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Andy Van Zandt
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I definitely think the B side of Zeus is better than the A- it seems to be (in my experience) consistently worth 8+ points, and it's hard for opponents to deny you the use of it (because it's generally not worth them passing up all guilds just to cut you off).
out4blood wrote:
And if they got a lot of points for their guild, all you did was play catchup.

It's possible for you to score higher using their guild than they did, too.

I also REALLY like the Colossus- even military distribution makes it obviously good, but also it means that your feeding neighbor can't cut you off completely, and in general lets you pass military and see if others do it before committing, since you are assured of the ability to do it later. PLUS the 2 military one frequently means a resounding victory in the first age, AND people sometimes don't notice you building it
 
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truekid wrote:
I definitely think the B side of Zeus is better than the A- it seems to be (in my experience) consistently worth 8+ points, and it's hard for opponents to deny you the use of it (because it's generally not worth them passing up all guilds just to cut you off).
out4blood wrote:
And if they got a lot of points for their guild, all you did was play catchup.

It's possible for you to score higher using their guild than they did, too.


Ahhh, as it turns out we've been playing that wrong. We were just copying their score. I think that makes Zeus B less powerful then. Because I can get away with guilds that score well for me and zero for you. And given that you have Zeus, I'll be sure to do that.

As for Colossus, I've been keeping track. In the last few games, the extra military bonus has never mattered. Either they lost anyway, or they won by more than 1-2.
 
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it's hard to say it's advisable to take a 6 point guild rather than a 12 point guild for yourself just because it also helps your neighbor. It depends on where it looks like they're scoring in general, but usually it's more important to boost yourself than take any size hit to hurt them. The delta would have to be big enough to divide the gain change across ALL the players at the table, and that's generally unfavorable, except maybe(?) in a 3 player game.

on top of that, both you AND the person on the other side of them need to be on the same page for that to be a functional plan.

As for the Colossus, I think you're also forgetting the part where the colossus' neighbors MUST set themselves up to beat him by a significant margin, because he's got the flexibility to overcome any small margin victory they may erroneously put forth. So his neighbors need to win by a blow-out (meaning he "loses anyway" with his bonus, as you mentioned), or he ekes them out with whatever the worst card he comes across is. If the Colossus is winning by more than 1 or 2, they're probably doing it wrong (i.e.: wasting cards boosting their military more than they need to).
 
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truekid wrote:
it's hard to say it's advisable to take a 6 point guild rather than a 12 point guild for yourself just because it also helps your neighbor.

A guild that scores a lot for your neighbor will almost always not score as much for you, since guilds are based on the attributes of your neighbors. If Player C is scoring a lot from Player B and D, Player B probably won't score as much from Player A and C. The only exception I can think of would be the one for 1 point per wonder level for you and both neighbors. As I mentioned previously, we have been scoring this incorrectly, giving the Zeus player the same points as the neighbor instead of the same card power.
 
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Any thoughts on Manneken Pis?

I've played both sides of it. The B side was hardly worth it (disregarding the free drink), while the A side was circumstantially useful. I think it's worth including anyway.
 
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r0gershrubber wrote:
Any thoughts on Manneken Pis?

I've played both sides of it. The B side was hardly worth it (disregarding the free drink), while the A side was circumstantially useful. I think it's worth including anyway.

Actually, I consider the B side to be pretty powerful. You get all of the goods with just ONE action. The A side just depends on your neighbors' wonders, so you really can't rate it. Although, having the option to copy either in Age III makes it marginally better, I suppose.
 
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I agree with your assertion on the Artemis Wonder board. In every game we've played it seems woefully underpowered. I'm thinking about upping the #2 ability on the (A) side to 15 coins. This would be more in line with where it should be in relation to the relative strength of every other #2 ability on the other Wonder boards. This would provide 5 points or 8 buys, which definitely bestows the right amount of flexibility I think the game was aiming for with that wonder.

As for the (B) side I think bumping each gold amount from 4 to 6 accomplishes the aforementioned goals as well.
 
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mojo shivers wrote:
I agree with your assertion on the Artemis Wonder board.....

As for the (B) side I think bumping each gold amount from 4 to 6 accomplishes the aforementioned goals as well.

Funny, I've won with Artemis B, came in third with A and seen Artemis B win 1 of 4 other games. (All games were 7 player.) The trick to Artemis B is to go for Yellow cards. The game I won I ended the game with 35 coins (for 11 VP). Getting a 4 coin infusion early can really jumpstart your game.

For the OP, how many players do you usually play with?
 
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jmucchiello wrote:
mojo shivers wrote:
I agree with your assertion on the Artemis Wonder board.....

As for the (B) side I think bumping each gold amount from 4 to 6 accomplishes the aforementioned goals as well.

Funny, I've won with Artemis B, came in third with A and seen Artemis B win 1 of 4 other games. (All games were 7 player.) The trick to Artemis B is to go for Yellow cards. The game I won I ended the game with 35 coins (for 11 VP). Getting a 4 coin infusion early can really jumpstart your game.

For the OP, how many players do you usually play with?

It varies. I prefer 3-4, but I have played as much with that as I have with 5-7. However, I feel at higher numbers, you are more a victim of what your neighbors do than with 3-4 players, so my strategy thoughts are probably directed more to 3-4 players.
 
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Alexfrog wrote:
I used Mausoleum B in a 3 player game, in which no player ever discarded a card for money, and it was pretty disappointing (both opponents had wonders that give money). So yes this one definitely varies based on player number. It seems very strong with a lot of players.

I think Mausoleum B is still very strong no matter the number of players. Sometimes you can't build the card that you want, and you don't have other good options in your hand. But with Mausoleum you can sell it for 3$ and build it for free. I think it's a very useful strategy for science plays.
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