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Subject: 7 Wonders: Cities Review/Overview rss

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Meranda Tuttle
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This is an expansion to the game 7 Wonders. Which is a great game and I love it and you will need it to play this expansion. I’ll give you a brief run down on 7 Wonders for those of you unfamiliar with the game, if there are any. Feel free to skim or skip the next paragraph if you have already played 7 Wonders.

7 Wonders is a game for 2-7 players. Everyone gets a wonder board which will be one of the seven wonders. You have a hand of cards and you select one card, play it, and then pass your hand. You do this until the cards are gone and then you do a little bit of scoring. Repeat two more times. That’s the gist of the game. By no means a comprehensive review of the basic 7 Wonders game but it gets to the heart of the matter. It is a game I strongly recommend and the reason why I am reviewing its expansion, 7 Wonders: Cities. So let’s get to the point.
Cities add debt, diplomacy, new cards, a few new leaders (for the 7 Wonders: Leaders expansion), and two wonder boards to the basic game. Of course if you just want to play with the basic game, all the new cards come with a nifty little mask icon on the card so you know which ones to remove. Then you can play the basic game again without the expansion. I personally think this expansion should be called something other than Cities. It adds an underhanded element to the game, so maybe Thieves or something a little darker than Cities.

My favorite part of this expansion is that it adds an additional player to the game. 7 Wonders: Cities allow up to eight players join in on the game. You need to add extra cards to the three decks which the game provides. This feature is for those times when you have eight of your friends hanging out and don’t want to play Apples to Apples again. Now you can bring out 7 Wonders: Cities. The new wonders are Byzantium and Petra. They have the same beautiful artwork that all the boards have and their own wonders to build which incorporate the new elements of 7 Wonders: Cities to the game. The wonders have the new elements of diplomacy and debt as rewards for building each level.

Diplomacy is an icon of a shield and dove. Upon playing a card or constructing a wonder level with this icon on it, you take a diplomacy token. You will not be participating in conflict at the end of the round. Instead, your neighbors will fight each other. So if your goal is to ignore gathering military force, this will help you avoid from loosing points when conflict resolution comes around. I like building military forces and crushing my neighbors to oblivion but I can see where this would be a nice feature for those who don’t like that. Focusing on military force is probably my undoing for the games I play. Diplomacy is not my favorite part of this game but it will be nice for those who don’t like to fight. I’ll have to try it sometime and focus on science or victory points. I might actually win.

Debt is the other new feature. Its icon is a broken coin. If you play a card with this icon on it, the other players must pay the amount of coins indicated or take debt tokens from the pile if they cannot pay. The debt token takes the form of negative victory points. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this element yet. I haven’t been able to fully explore its capabilities. Most of the time debt cards get discarded or used as a wonder level. The one time a debt card was used, everyone was able to play. I guess I need to play with a meaner group of friends or at least a group that doesn’t worry too much about the card getting played against them. I look forward to trying it out; it seems like cruel yet interesting addition. I would recommend not playing it with new people. It might make them not want to play again if you are too mean to them.

These are the biggest elements of this expansion to 7 wonders. A few new icons show up on the cards as well. They add some interesting bonuses to the game that I like but are not the big features added to this game. You can keep the rules close by and look up what they mean as you need to. The last page has a handy list of all the symbols and their descriptions. I still keep the rules available for the expansion because I just can’t memorize all the different meanings of the symbols. I don’t play it enough.

Overall, I recommend this expansion just for the addition of the extra player. Players that don’t like conflict will enjoy the diplomacy aspect and anyone could enjoy causing other players to get debt. Try it out, it’s pretty great.
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