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Subject: I Don't Get It rss

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Noble Knave
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So my exposure to 7 Wonders was a couple years ago, when it was new and it was the hotness. It was fast (!), had card drafting (!), scalable for 2 to 7 players (!), and has decent depth but is easy to teach (!).

First play and I thought, "This is neat, I want to try again!"

Second play and I thought, "This felt pretty damn similar to last time. Huh."

Third through tenth play, "Why do all of these games feel the same, even if I'm putting down different cards?"

Eleventh play and on, "Do they really want to play that again? I guess I can..."

Last year or so, "Hell no."

So I'm trying to figure out why I don't like it. My chief complaints are that 1) I find it mechanically uninteresting, 2) Many of my plays have been at or near 7 players, and I don't like how table position plays such a big role, 3) Win or lose, I feel like I didn't do anything, accomplish anything, or make any interesting or critical decisions.

I think it just bores me, and its popularity baffles me. I see why in theory others like it, but I don't get the lasting appeal. I assumed this would be a flash in the pan, and yet it's made its way into the top 20 and stayed there for some time.

It's a shame because it's still a go-to among some of my game groups, and every time I try it again I feel the same disinterest.

I play and enjoy games as far ranging as King of Tokyo to Through the Ages, so I don't get why this game falls so flat for me and yet has captured such accolades. Any ideas on what I'm missing here?
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Caleb
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It's short. Especially for a 7-player game.

I find the optimization problem interesting for most hands.

I like trying to avoid sending a good card to my neighbor.

I like taking a risk with the production cards: trying not to build too many while still having access to the resources I need.

I like chaining the buildings.

I prefer playing with 4 or 5 players so I have a chance to see some of my initial hand of cards come back to me.

At the end of the day, it's a simple game. But it works pretty well and can be played very quickly, which is a big plus in my book. There are lots of games that are excellent 25 minute games that are terrible 60 minute games.
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Shawn George
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While I agree that it's not a mechanically deep game, it has a lot of appeal for a variety of reasons:

1. The components are quality. Gorgeous artwork, large cards, and nice thick player boards give this game a lot of "chrome".
2. It's expandable. Three expansions out already (if you count the wonder pack) and many more planned, means that this game will last for a while.
3. Supports a large number of players. Not a whole lot of euro-style games out there can claim a 2-7 (2-8 with Cities) player range, but this game does, and does it fairly well. Yes, the sweet spot is 4-5, but I can still enjoy the game quite a bit with 7.
4. Plays quickly, no matter how many players. The fact that you can knock a game of this out in about 30 minutes, even with 7 people, makes this an appealing option to introduce to casual gamers and nongamers.
5. Variety of strategies. There's not one single strategy that guarantees victory in this game. You have several potential paths that you can follow, meaning that you can play very different strategies from game to game.


It's not a game that I want to play exclusively, but it will always have a place in my collection as a light, 30 minute empire building game that will play with 7 or 8 people.

You're not wrong for not liking 7 Wonders, just like I'm not wrong for not liking King of Tokyo all that much. The game just doesn't appeal to everybody.
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Noble Knave
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cannoneer wrote:
At the end of the day, it's a simple game. But it works pretty well and can be played very quickly, which is a big plus in my book. There are lots of games that are excellent 25 minute games that are terrible 60 minute games.


Thanks for the quick response, all good points. I think the bolded portion is what strikes me; several of my plays have been with AP prone players, which really sucks the life out of such a simple game. Maybe that's soured the whole thing for me, I don't know.
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Shawn George
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thenobleknave wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
At the end of the day, it's a simple game. But it works pretty well and can be played very quickly, which is a big plus in my book. There are lots of games that are excellent 25 minute games that are terrible 60 minute games.


Thanks for the quick response, all good points. I think the bolded portion is what strikes me; several of my plays have been with AP prone players, which really sucks the life out of such a simple game. Maybe that's soured the whole thing for me, I don't know.


I can certainly agree with that. Playing this game with people that take 5 minutes per turn can make this an awful experience. If you can keep it to 1-2 minutes per turn, it's fantastic.
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Pasi Ojala
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Putts wrote:
If you can keep it to 1-2 minutes per turn, it's fantastic.


Make it 30 seconds on average, and maybe one minute tops for a very hard decision and you are in the correct ballpark.

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Shawn George
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a1bert wrote:
Putts wrote:
If you can keep it to 1-2 minutes per turn, it's fantastic.


Make it 30 seconds on average, and maybe one minute tops for a very hard decision and you are in the correct ballpark.



There are 18 turns in the game without expansions. At a minute and a half apiece, that's 27 minutes. Throw in another 3 minutes for end of age military conflicts, and another 5 minutes for setup, scoring, and teardown, and that's a very reasonable 35 minutes.
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Paul W
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I think the game is best with 4-5, but one of the nice things about it is the while for many games, the time taken for each player to have a turn is sum(one player's turn length), for 7 Wonders it is max (one player's turn length)...there aren't all the many game the have some interesting strategy to them but scale reasonably well up to 7. Of course, a slow player will still bring the game to a slow crawl...I can understand disliking this game with someone who has a lot of AP.
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Alejandro Magno
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I really like the game, but i refuse to play with anything above 5 players, 5 players is already stretching it for me.
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Donny Behne
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I'll play it with any number. Its a different game with 7 vs 4 because you have to make different decisions since you won't see the hand again. Drafting style games are great in my opinion. My wife loves it and its my "Tier 2 intro to board games" game.
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Scott Douglass
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7 Wonders is best with 3. It's a surprisingly deep game for how simple and fast it is, but that's much easier to see at 3 than it is at 7.

My biggest complaint about the game is that bad players can have a big impact on who wins with very little idea of why they made someone else win or lose. This is more pronounced with higher player counts, but it can happen at any player count above 2. The other major factor contributing to 7 player being worse than 3 player is that there is considerably more luck in 7 player than in 3 player.

5 minutes/turn??? That sounds awful. 7 Wonders should not be 1.5 hour game.
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thenobleknave wrote:
So my exposure to 7 Wonders was a couple years ago, when it was new and it was the hotness. It was fast (!), had card drafting (!), scalable for 2 to 7 players (!), and has decent depth but is easy to teach (!).

First play and I thought, "This is neat, I want to try again!"

Second play and I thought, "This felt pretty damn similar to last time. Huh."

Third through tenth play, "Why do all of these games feel the same, even if I'm putting down different cards?"

Eleventh play and on, "Do they really want to play that again? I guess I can..."

Last year or so, "Hell no."

So I'm trying to figure out why I don't like it. My chief complaints are that 1) I find it mechanically uninteresting, 2) Many of my plays have been at or near 7 players, and I don't like how table position plays such a big role, 3) Win or lose, I feel like I didn't do anything, accomplish anything, or make any interesting or critical decisions.

I think it just bores me, and its popularity baffles me. I see why in theory others like it, but I don't get the lasting appeal. I assumed this would be a flash in the pan, and yet it's made its way into the top 20 and stayed there for some time.

It's a shame because it's still a go-to among some of my game groups, and every time I try it again I feel the same disinterest.

I play and enjoy games as far ranging as King of Tokyo to Through the Ages, so I don't get why this game falls so flat for me and yet has captured such accolades. Any ideas on what I'm missing here?


Player count
7W is one of those games where playing with different player counts is practically (80% strength) like playing a whole different game. I'm willing to play with any # of players, but I know a lot of preferences among my groups...
"Gamers" - only 3p. They'll only play 4p+ games with "non gamers" who don't know any better
"no 4p" - citing there's a decent chance one player gets left out of being able to procure enough resources, but also $$ to commerce since his neighbors are commercing the player directly opposite to him instead.
"higher range, and only if necessary" - idea being if you have 3 to 4p, maybe 5p, then there are plenty of other euros that we can take advantage instead (independent of whether or not such folks like or hate 7W)
"the more the merrier" - no point in being a wall flower, but some here also for gameplay purposes

comparisons to other games
Can you share some of your other games you're into or not into? Similar eurogames, card games, "ameritrash", etc. just so we have a better feel?

ALOT of other games of the same "class" are like this... Settlers Of Catan (it's really a dice game with a board), Ticket To Ride (luck fest of getting locos and the long Destinations), Dominion (do quick, calculations to optimize your deck and now finish the rest of the game without any soul, Thunderstone too long and could've been more streamlined, etc.). Some games, the mechanics and challenges grab gamers and keep them coming back for more. Othertimes, it just simply doesn't work.

All of these games are highly rated and regarded (which I mostly agree with), but all of them can get boring.
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Alejandro Magno
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My major grip with 7 players is that unlike wtih 3 players or 4, the game becomes a lot more uninteractive. 7 player strats involve maximize your score as much as you can. in 3 and 4 player games damaging your neighs strat is a valid strategy and thus become a lot more interactive.
 
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Noble Knave
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ackmondual wrote:
Player count
7W is one of those games where playing with different player counts is practically (80% strength) like playing a whole different game. I'm willing to play with any # of players, but I know a lot of preferences among my groups...
"Gamers" - only 3p. They'll only play 4p+ games with "non gamers" who don't know any better
"no 4p" - citing there's a decent chance one player gets left out of being able to procure enough resources, but also $$ to commerce since his neighbors are commercing the player directly opposite to him instead.
"higher range, and only if necessary" - idea being if you have 3 to 4p, maybe 5p, then there are plenty of other euros that we can take advantage instead (independent of whether or not such folks like or hate 7W)
"the more the merrier" - no point in being a wall flower, but some here also for gameplay purposes


Good food for thought, I can see rationales for each of those viewpoints.

Quote:
Can you share some of your other games you're into or not into? Similar eurogames, card games, "ameritrash", etc. just so we have a better feel?


Dominion is one that bores me too, perhaps for similar reason.

Games that I really enjoy and will almost always be willing to play (in no particular order):

- Dungeon Lords
- Dungeon Petz
- Summoner Wars
- Through the Ages
- Agricola
- Innovation
- Space Alert
- Hanabi (the wife's really into this)
- RftG

So clearly I'm a Vlaada fanboy and enjoy certain card games, but this one fell flat for me.
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bort
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We play this almost every week in our group, usually with 7 (because that's how many people want to play), and we have a ball.

It's my most played game by far.

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Steve Duff
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thenobleknave wrote:
So my exposure to 7 Wonders was a couple years ago, when it was new and it was the hotness.

I think it just bores me, and its popularity baffles me. I see why in theory others like it, but I don't get the lasting appeal. I assumed this would be a flash in the pan, and yet it's made its way into the top 20 and stayed there for some time.


It's a decent game to play once every few months that handles a large player count.

I've always been boggled at those who play it constantly. It's extremely samey.
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Noble Knave
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
It's a decent game to play once every few months that handles a large player count.

I've always been boggled at those who play it constantly. It's extremely samey.


That's an excellent summation of my feelings toward it.

bortmonkey wrote:
We play this almost every week in our group, usually with 7 (because that's how many people want to play), and we have a ball.

It's my most played game by far.



Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. There are plenty of people in one of my game groups that feel this way, and I was trying to figure out why I didn't see the appeal.
 
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Mike
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It's a game that easily gets to the table.

- As already mentioned, the game plays up to 7 very quickly

- Beautiful Components/Great theme

- Ease of play

- Different paths to victory

- The illusion that each game is different (based on cards and or wonder)


7 Wonders is popular because it's completely inoffensive to most gamer's tastes. It's like turning down a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Unless you're lactose intolerant you'll say 'yeah'. Now mind you, it's pretty quality vanilla bean ice cream...but it's still vanilla. Ya dig?

People can get into the theme, they know it won't last long and there aren't many obvious ways to dick someone over. Sure you can bury a card that another person wants...but it happens behind closed doors not right in front of their face. It keeps the confrontation hidden, but still there. It's actually smartly designed as it tends to hit alot of checkmarks for different gamers, while still being a fairly simple game.

I think it's a great little design and will eventually be discussed in the same breathe has Carc, Ticket to Ride and Settlers as one of the 'go to' entry level games. Sometimes those entry level games hook people and it's all they ever want to play. Nothing wrong with that. Luckily the expansions seem to be adding a bit of meat with each new one. When it's all said and done the fully expanded game might be pretty different than plain ol vanilla.
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Neil Blaiberg
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Count me in the camp of loving 7 Wonders.

Of course I enjoy it more at lower player counts, and is quickly becoming my family's (me, wife and 5 year old boy) favourite game.
 
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BonesJackson wrote:
Sure you can bury a card that another person wants...but it happens behind closed doors not right in front of their face.


No, my group likes to rub this in peoples faces "Wow, theres a card here you would love, but you're not getting it"

All in good fun of course. ;-)
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
thenobleknave wrote:
So my exposure to 7 Wonders was a couple years ago, when it was new and it was the hotness.

I think it just bores me, and its popularity baffles me. I see why in theory others like it, but I don't get the lasting appeal. I assumed this would be a flash in the pan, and yet it's made its way into the top 20 and stayed there for some time.


It's a decent game to play once every few months that handles a large player count.

I've always been boggled at those who play it constantly. It's extremely samey.
I gotta say, I'm burnt out on base game. I could probably still improve my game, but the relatively low variation is what reduced the fun for me. Add any combo of exps and add-ons (although the more, the better)... NOW you've got more variety and options to explore.

I suppose it's like having played base game Dominion for twice a week for 2 to 7 months, vs. just adding an exp or 2. However, I will acknowledge some people just don't like Dom, and back on topic, any incarnation of 7W
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Julian St. Pierre
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I've only played 7 wonders once. So, I really just don't get it yet. I don't know the difference between a good card and a bad one. When I played everything I did was totally random. I still need a few plays before I know what the hell is actually going on.
 
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Travis Hess Murray
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I'm a player who loves 7 wonders. A lot of the merrits of the game have already been mentioned. I think the length of time is the biggest strength it has for the "type" of game it is. It is what I would call an "empire building" game (though I realize others would disagree). Similar games are ones like civilization (either version) or twilight imperium. It gives the same flavor as these games but in a lot less time and most likely more players. Sure it isn't as deep and you don't have the area control elements. But its good imo for how long it is. Trying to deepen it to similar levels would make it longer.

The game is really against your neighbors and your strategy hinges heavily on what they are doing and so I can see why the larger games wouldn't appeal to players. Imo 5 is ideal as it keeps resources potentially out of reach while still allowing for planning.

Of all the expansions I think cities adds the most because it makes you care about more than your neighbors with the global effect cards. Also, 8 player teamplay was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. I think because it shrinks it down to an effectively 4 player game.

As much as I like the game I think I would of gotten bored with it after awhile if all I played was the base game. I think the expansions help keep the game fresh and interesting for me.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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You need more play therefore to "get it". My suggestion for your next game would be to start out first acquiring brown and grey resource cards, then primarily focus on building a color of card (blue or green would be my suggestion). This will help you get over the feeling of not knowing what to do.

 
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freddieyu wrote:
You need more play therefore to "get it".


True story. My first 20-50 online plays were like... "how the hell do I play and win here?". 1'000 games later, still love it.
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