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Subject: 100 Plays Review - 7 Wonders rss

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Sharon Khan
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First Impressions:

My first impression of this game was "Wow!". We played it six times the first weekend we got it, and five times the following weekend, and thought it was brilliant - it was great fun exploring all the different cards and strategies, and seeing the differences between the wonders and different player counts. It was clear early on this was going to be a game that was going to get a LOT of play. It was also quite different to anything else we'd come across at the time - we'd played Fairy Tale, and we like drafting for Magic the Gathering, but this took the drafting and made it far more interactive and interesting, with all the buying resources from each other, as well as competing for cards.

Getting to 100 plays:

2010: 17
2011: 51
2012: 17
2013: 18

As you can see it was huge the first few months we had it - we only owned it for one month in 2010, and yet we got in 17 plays in that time, and for the first half of 2011 it was also seeing huge numbers of plays every month, starting and sometimes also ending every games session. After that it start to settle down to the now regular pattern of coming out every month, sometimes twice, which I expect will continue in the future.

Current Impressions:

It is still a brilliant half hour filler, and its scalability all the way from 3 to 7 makes it very easy for this to hit the table (although I personally don't choose to play it with 7 very often as I don't like the downtime, and I also think it is slightly more luck dependent at that count, depending on how the decks are made up). We regularly still start or end an evening gaming session with this, or it'll be suggested as a half hour filler when we have a large group - it's occasionally played with 3, but more often nowadays it's a 4-6 player game, as that's where the gap for good fillers is. I did try it as a 2 player game a few times, but I don't like any 2 player game with a "dummy" player involved, so after a few tries we now only play it multiplayer - it's seeing plenty of table-time that way anyway!

It's also keeping momentum in plays because it is fairly easy to introduce to new players, so it wins over Race for the Galaxy (my all-time favourite filler) when we have new gamers in the mix. They may not be too sure the first play, but it only takes them a couple of plays to get the idea. I don't play with any of the expansions and have no plans to - others in my group have tried them at the club, and weren't impressed because of the extra time and work they add to the game - for me it's perfect as it is, a 10-rated game, and doesn't need an expansion!

Will there be another 100 plays?

I expect there will, but at the current rate of play, of 17-18 plays a year, it's going to be about 6 years before it happens! There has been remarkably little drop-off in play-rate after the first few months so I don't expect long-term that it'll be a game we'll suddenly stop playing. There just aren't that many games you can pull out with any player count, and know that they'll still only take about half an hour to play.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Totally agree. This is such an accessible game, and the best thing is that it is well supported with new expansions which try to keep the game fresh.
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Lance McMillan
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freddieyu wrote:
...expansions which try to keep the game fresh.


Agree, save with the caveat that some of the expansions increase complexity and playing time, which detracts (slightly) the underlying attraction of '7 Wonders' as a filler or introductory game.
 
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Liz Burton
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Very nice review! I have two thoughts/questions.

sa266 wrote:
It is still a brilliant half hour filler, and its scalability all the way from 3 to 7 makes it very easy for this to hit the table (although I personally don't choose to play it with 7 very often as I don't like the downtime...).


More downtime with more players? Isn't the whole point of this game is that it takes the same amount of time no matter how many people are playing? That's a big reason I like it for 6 or 7.

sa266 wrote:
It's also keeping momentum in plays because it is fairly easy to introduce to new players, so it wins over Race for the Galaxy (my all-time favourite filler) when we have new gamers in the mix.


You use RFTG as a filler? For new gamers? wow I tip my hat to you.
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Sharon Khan
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manutd03 wrote:
Very nice review! I have two thoughts/questions.

sa266 wrote:
It is still a brilliant half hour filler, and its scalability all the way from 3 to 7 makes it very easy for this to hit the table (although I personally don't choose to play it with 7 very often as I don't like the downtime...).

More downtime with more players? Isn't the whole point of this game is that it takes the same amount of time no matter how many people are playing? That's a big reason I like it for 6 or 7.


It should do (and certainly the difference is less marked than in most games), but somehow with 6 or 7 it does tend to drag at times. I'm not sure if it's just more people means more distraction, or it's just that it goes at the speed of the slowest player, and there's more likely to be a slow player with more.

Quote:
sa266 wrote:
It's also keeping momentum in plays because it is fairly easy to introduce to new players, so it wins over Race for the Galaxy (my all-time favourite filler) when we have new gamers in the mix.

You use RFTG as a filler? For new gamers? wow I tip my hat to you.


We use RftG as a filler all the time - it takes less time than 7 Wonders when played with players who know what they're doing. But I almost NEVER play Race with new players any more - it has a very steep learning curve, and I find that most players just find it too intimidating. I know enough people who know it well that I don't need to find more opponents for it. 7 Wonders is much easier to teach!
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Richard Hutnik
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Lancer4321 wrote:
freddieyu wrote:
...expansions which try to keep the game fresh.


Agree, save with the caveat that some of the expansions increase complexity and playing time, which detracts (slightly) the underlying attraction of '7 Wonders' as a filler or introductory game.


For myself, who views 7 Wonders as a thematic Civ-building game, I don't mind the added stuff. I feel the original game is able to add more to push it in this direction. What I had one person who just viewed it as a card drafting game, independent of them, ended up saying Sushi Go! is more suitable for that.
 
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Robert Stewart
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sa266 wrote:
manutd03 wrote:
Very nice review! I have two thoughts/questions.

sa266 wrote:
It is still a brilliant half hour filler, and its scalability all the way from 3 to 7 makes it very easy for this to hit the table (although I personally don't choose to play it with 7 very often as I don't like the downtime...).

More downtime with more players? Isn't the whole point of this game is that it takes the same amount of time no matter how many people are playing? That's a big reason I like it for 6 or 7.


It should do (and certainly the difference is less marked than in most games), but somehow with 6 or 7 it does tend to drag at times. I'm not sure if it's just more people means more distraction, or it's just that it goes at the speed of the slowest player, and there's more likely to be a slow player with more.


Yeah, any game where players make decisions will have some downtime due to some players taking longer to decide than others - the simultaneous turns means that's pretty much the only downtime (shuffling and dealing also causes downtime) - and downtime caused by variation in thinking time will tend to increase with number of players, but toward a limit rather than being a linear increase (players act in turn with minimal interaction; or simultaneously with significant interaction) or quadratic (players act in turn with significant interaction).

When it comes to minimising increased downtime with more players, 7 Wonders is about as good as you're likely to get...
 
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Michael Poplawski
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sa266 wrote:
It should do (and certainly the difference is less marked than in most games), but somehow with 6 or 7 it does tend to drag at times. I'm not sure if it's just more people means more distraction, or it's just that it goes at the speed of the slowest player, and there's more likely to be a slow player with more.

It's probably both. A game with simultaneous action selection will take as long as the sum of the slowest player's time in each turn. With more people at a table, there's going to be more side conversations and such, let alone more opportunities for someone to take longer to analyze what's happening in the game. With fewer players, they're more focused on what's going on before them.

Adding to a feeling of drag is that there are going to players who will find a decent play pretty quickly (in 7 Wonders, there are duplicates of many cards, making them either no-brainers to build or pass up on) and then have to wait.
 
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