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Subject: 7 Wonders : Zodiac rss

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Shima Tetsuo
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Hi,

Gus&Co who has tons of expansions for 7 Wonders, included mine, proposed something new :
http://gusandco.net/2013/08/23/zodiac-la-nouvelle-extension-...

Or go directly for the cards :
http://gusandcodotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/zodiaccart...

Or even for the french rules :
http://gusandcodotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/zodiacregl...


It's a light and elegant expansion that doesn't require much time to build. Plus the size of the cards doesn't really matter since they aren't include in your hand (except for the 2 Leaders). The only problem is that the creator (Julian Joyce) doesn't speak english. All I did was giving him the icons for making this expansion, I discovered it yesterday. So I'll try to explain it here with my approximate english (you're used to it, aren't you ?).


Rules
Shuffle Zodiac cards. The Zodiac cards have powers that affect all players (it's a bit like the expansion for SmallWorld : Tales and Legend).
- reveal the first Zodiac card before age 1. Play age 1 as usual.
- reveal the second Zodiac card before age 2. Play age 2 using the effect of the first Zodiac card.
- discard the first card. Play age 3 using the effect of the second Zodiac card.

Chaos variant : reveal a card and use the effect for the age that you're going to play (this variant need 3 Zodiac cards).

The iconography with the 3 stars tells you when the power of the Zodiac card happen :
- the left star is big : the power happen at the beginning of the age.
- the upper star is big : the power happen during the age.
- the right star is big : the power happen at the bend of the age.

Zodiac cards

Aries : each pair of gray and brown resource grants you one shield.
Taurus : each time you build a blue card, neighbors receive as many coins as the age you're actually playing.
Gemini : you can build cards that possess the same name.
Cancer : immediately build the next stage of your wonder using the randomizer card for free. If you don't have any stage left, receive 3 coins. If you're having a "one stage wonder" take 3 coins without building the unique stage.
Leo : all red cards are free to build.
Virgo : you have to pay an extra gray resource to build yellow cards. Building a yellow card brings you 2 coins.
Libra : for each set of 3 coins you have at the beginning of this age, give 1 coin to the bank.
Scorpio : when you'll have two cards left in your hand, discard both without getting any coins. If Babylon B has its 2nd stage built, discard only one and play the other.
Sagittarius : during the end's age conflict, if you get 2 victory token, discard one. If you get 2 defeat token, receive a third one.
Capricorn : all green cards must be build using coins instead of resource. The number of coins required is equal to the number of resources shown on the green card. Chaining is still available.
Aquarius : during the 2 first round of this age, players keep their cards (same as the leader Esteban).
Pisces : age 1 & 2 - everybody take a look on the guilds present in age 3.
age 3 : each guild that has 2 arrows pointing at your neighbors gets on more arrow pointing at yourself.
Sun : needs Leaders - each player draws one more Leader card and can play one that is in their hand (I think you have to pay it, this is not specified...). You can also discard a Leader and get the usual 3 coins.
Moon : needs Cities - each time that you have to pay to the bank because of a "broken coin", you'll have to pay an extra coin. You can also choose to go into debt of course.

Leaders cards

Berossos : you can choose whenever you like if the Zodiac card power affects you or not during the entire play.
Ramses II : pay X coins and get X VP (15 VP max). Place the coins used on that leader to remember its value at the end of the game. If you mummify this leaders (Abu Simbel), it's value is 14 VP max, so don't pay it more than 7 coins...

Have fun !
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George I.
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Hey. Very nice idea. Here's some quick feedback on the iconography, which in general is very good.

- Canceron: it's not clear that a 3 coin bonus is available, if the wonder has been built. It's also not clear from the iconography that it's not applicable to 1-stage wonders (why not?).
- Aquaria: the french rules are clear ("Entre le 1er et le 2ème tour de l'âge, vous ne passez pas les cartes à votre voisin"). The English description is a bit misleading. I'd translate "between the 1st and 2nd round of the age, you don't pass your cards to your neighbor".
- Picon: the left symbol is enough to show "take a peek on the guilds". The purple card with the eye on it.

It would be also nice to have a reminder on Ramses II, for up to 5 coins.
Overall, this variant sounds fun to me. We all gain or we're all screwed: not a bad concept.

NB: In case you're confused, Canceron = Cancer, Aquaria = Aquarius, Picon = Pisces. Bonus points to people who know what Canceron, Aquaria and Picon are.
 
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Shima Tetsuo
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I guess (but I can only guess) that Julian didn't mention details of Canceron and Ramses II (which by the way, can be pay until 15 coins to gain 15 VP) because he wanted to keep the iconography as simple as possible.

Thanks for the correction for Aquaria. Your sentence is better.

PS : are they colonies from Battlestar Galactica ?
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George I.
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Shima san wrote:
PS : are they colonies from Battlestar Galactica ?
Yep. Can't resist not using them.

So here's the first FAQ:

Shima san wrote:
Scorpio : when you'll have two cards left in your hand, discard both without getting any coins. If Babylon B has its 2nd stage built, discard only one and play the other.

What happens with Halikarnassós? Does it have access to these cards?
In the base game, it's:

6th round:
1) everyone chooses a card, discards the other one. Halikarnassós builds a wonder stage.
2) If Babylon (B) is in play, it's considered an extra (internal) round.
3) At the end of this 6th round all discarded cards are available to Halikarnassós, including the 1 or 2 cards that Babylon might have discarded.

What happens here? It goes without saying that Halikarnassós cannot build a wonder stage in the 6th round, as the player should discard both cards. It can, however, build a wonder stage in the 5th round.

--> Does "discarding the last 2 cards" count as a 6th round or does it happen at the end of the 5th round? According to the rules, we should deduct the former (it counts as a 6th, void round), so Halikarnassós, technically, does not have access to the cards discarded in the last round, which really weakens the wonder.
 
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Shima Tetsuo
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Very good question, I'll ask him via an email and keep you in touch. To be honest, between the day he asked me to give him all my icons and the day he published Zodiac on Gus website, I don't think that this expansion has been heavily play-tested. Anyway, it looks balanced enough (mainly because everybody is affected by a Zodiac card) but this could explain why his rules aren't perfect.

I personally would let Halikarnassos have access to these cards or, as you said, it would weaken it too much. And since Halikarnassos is already a "hard-to-win" wonder if you play it with experienced players, it wouldn't be a wise idea to weaken it...
He should change his rule in : near the end of an age, when you have 3 cards left in hand, play one and discard the 2 others. It would solve everything.
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George I.
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Shima san wrote:
He should change his rule in : near the end of an age, when you have 3 cards left in hand, play one and discard the 2 others. It would solve everything.
I would agree here. But now, another catch: will Babylon B, with this ruleset, play:

5th round: A-B-C, can choose one
6th round: A-B, can choose one

Or:

5th round: A-B-C, can choose two

So, as you can understand, the difference here is whether your last card, as Babylon B, is from your own 3-card hand or your neighbor's.

Very nice job from the designer, overall, I liked it.
 
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Maria CB
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This probably isn't news, since it appears to have been approved back in May, but my tuckbox for this expansion is available here.
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Daniel Filipovski
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Q; How does the leader Berossos work with the zodiac "aquarius"?
 
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Mrs. Moser

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Zodiac could use some more leaders, cites, and even gods or ruins. Here are a few ideas:

Cities:
I Watchtower, look at the card for age III
II Tunnels: The zodiac card does not effect you
III Monastery: The effect of the current zodiac card is doubled

Leaders:
Galileo: Look at the card for age III, you may discard it and replace it with a different random one
Nostradamus: Discard all zodiac cards and deal new ones

Ruins:
Wildfire: Zodiac cards do not effect you

Gods:
Astraea: I/II: you may replace the zodiac card for the next age, III, The effect of the zodiac card is reversed
 
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