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Subject: Boardgame blues reviews: 7 wonders Duel. Bauza vs Cathala! rss

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danny stoll
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For a better reading experience and some pictures of the game, please head over to https://boardgameblues.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/7-wonders-du...

Overview:

7 wonders duel is the new 2 player game set in the massively succesfull 7 wonders series. Where the original game caters up to 7 people, this one is especially designed as a two player game. I'll give you a brief overview of how the game is played, before I'll give you guys my opinion of it.

It's probably not necessary, but I'll treat this overview as if you're unfamiliar with regular 7 wonders. Please bare with me on this one, as some things could be familiar.

7 wonders is played over three ages, represented by three decks of cards. Each age, a tableau of cards is set up and players will take turns acquiring these cards for the expansions of their empire. Different card types are divided by color. There are 8 types of cards in the game:

Brown Cards: Basic resources. Aqcuiring these helps with the costs to pay for other cards
grey cards: Refined resources. Same as above
yellow cards: These have various effects, but generally give money/points or influence the price you pay for resources
Green cards: Technology cards. 7 different symbols. They give points and if you acuire a pair of the same type will give you a benefit the rest of the game. If you manage to collect 6 different symbols, you immediately win the game by a scientific victory.
Red cards: Military cards. By acquiring these cards, move the military dominance marker along the track towards your opponent for every symbol on the card. This give points and can cause the opponent to lose money. If you manage to reach the end of the track you automatically win by Military victory.
Blue cards: Civilian cards. These cards generate points.
Purple cards: Guild cards. Score points/money. If you acquire a guild card (only 3 available in third age) you score points at the end according to certain conditions.

At the start of the game, players will draft wonder cards, till both have 4. From 10 available science tokens, 5 are placed on the board. When selecting a card form the display you have 3 options: Build the card in your tableau, looking at the cost of the building. Any resource you don't have can be bought from the bank. The cost for these is calculated as follows: You pay 2 money, plus 1 additional for each of that type of resource your opponent does have. You pay these costs to the bank, not your opponent. Your second option is building a wonder. You select a card and place it beneath the wonder, paying costs as normal. You then immediately gain the bonuses on the right side of the wonder card. A third option is to sell the card. For this you gain 2 money, plus an additional 1 for each yellow card in your tableau.

Each round the display is arranged in a different way, with rows of face up and face down cards. As soon as a card is uncovered, it becomes available for selection. If none of the alternative victory conditions (military or scientific) are met before the third age ends, points are scored and whoever has the most points is declared the winner.

The Review:

Let me start off by saying that I've played regular 7 wonders qui20151104_124156te a bit, including all expansions. I've liked some better then others, but in general I really like the game. Before playing this game I had a question nagging in the back of my mind: Is a 2 player game really going to add something for me? The short answer: Hell Yeah!

What I like about the game:

Playtime is quick. You can bang out a game in less then 30 minutes.
Interesting design decisions. I really like the alternative way military and Science works in this game. Additional ways of winning open up some new strategic avenues to explore. The Mah-jong style card display has some hidden information which I really like.
The science tokens. I love bonuses that are only for me.
Artwork. This is really top notch, from the box art to the cards and especially the wonder cards.
Still gives that 7 wonders feel. Makes the game playable with 2 which in my opinion it wasn't before.

What I didn't like

The rulebook and I'm talking specificcaly about the Dutch rules included. Being Dutch myself, I always like it when rules in my own language are added to a game. Here however, the rules are translated so badly that I highly suspect a bad google translate job. From a publisher as well known as Repos, I think this is unacceptable.
More luck. Since some of the cards in the tableau are face down, you miss out on some information. Some of this can be covered by carefull planning, but it could be that the card you really needed gets revealed right after you choose. This is a small nitpick for me though.
Card size. Even though the cards are very clear and well laid out, I feel the size could have been a bit bigger.

Final Verdict: 8/10

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Daniel B-G
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Nice review

Whilst the card size could be bigger, I suspect the decision was taken to keep it small as that lowered the price point. Typically, 2P only games have a small market and lowering the price will improve market penetration. Why buy this if you can buy the Lookout/Kosmos games for less.

The rulebook is outrageous though, they are evem a belgian company, so there's no excuse!
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Peter van der Helm
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sjtollie wrote:

What I didn't like
The rulebook and I'm talking specificcaly about the Dutch rules included. Being Dutch myself, I always like it when rules in my own language are added to a game. Here however, the rules are translated so badly that I highly suspect a bad google translate job. From a publisher as well known as Repos, I think this is unacceptable.


Thanks for the review. The Dutch rules of the Babel expansion were very bad too. I even told them that last year..
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danny stoll
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DAAAN wrote:
Nice review

Whilst the card size could be bigger, I suspect the decision was taken to keep it small as that lowered the price point. Typically, 2P only games have a small market and lowering the price will improve market penetration. Why buy this if you can buy the Lookout/Kosmos games for less.

The rulebook is outrageous though, they are evem a belgian company, so there's no excuse!


I hope someone from Repos reads this. In their defense they're from the french speaking part of Belgium, but still......

I'd be happy to help them out with Dutch translations for their games.
 
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danny stoll
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peterhelm wrote:
sjtollie wrote:

What I didn't like
The rulebook and I'm talking specificcaly about the Dutch rules included. Being Dutch myself, I always like it when rules in my own language are added to a game. Here however, the rules are translated so badly that I highly suspect a bad google translate job. From a publisher as well known as Repos, I think this is unacceptable.


Thanks for the review. The Dutch rules of the Babel expansion were very bad too. I even told them that last year..


I'll check the dutch rules for my other Repos products. I suspect the same thing though
 
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Erik Burigo
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“Don't try the paranormal until you know what's normal.” - Granny Weatherwax
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sjtollie wrote:
[...]
More luck. Since some of the cards in the tableau are face down, you miss out on some information. Some of this can be covered by carefull planning, but it could be that the card you really needed gets revealed right after you choose. This is a small nitpick for me though.
[...]


This is a topic raised by other reviewers. However, I don't really get it.
7 Wonders already has a non-negligible component of luck because you don't really know all the cards that are running around in the current era until you are deep into it (and in 6 or 7 players you will never see your initial hand of cards again).
How could 7 Wonders be less deterministic than is parent?

Mind that I know it's a small nitpick for you and please don't take my question as a "personal attack". I only took the chance of your review to also discuss this topic.
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danny stoll
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Painkeeper wrote:
sjtollie wrote:
[...]
More luck. Since some of the cards in the tableau are face down, you miss out on some information. Some of this can be covered by carefull planning, but it could be that the card you really needed gets revealed right after you choose. This is a small nitpick for me though.
[...]


This is a topic raised by other reviewers. However, I don't really get it.
7 Wonders already has a non-negligible component of luck because you don't really know all the cards that are running around in the current era until you are deep into it (and in 6 or 7 players you will never see your initial hand of cards again).
How could 7 Wonders be less deterministic than is parent?

Mind that I know it's a small nitpick for you and please don't take my question as a "personal attack". I only took the chance of your review to also discuss this topic.


Thanks for the comment Erik, I don't see it as a personal attack at all and I do get your point. The feeling of more luck for me comes from that even the last couple of cards in a round can be face down, so information stays hidden longer. Like I also said, this can be somewhat mitigated by the way you select cards, but it felt like something I should mention
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Erik Burigo
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sjtollie wrote:

Thanks for the comment Erik, I don't see it as a personal attack at all and I do get your point. The feeling of more luck for me comes from that even the last couple of cards in a round can be face down, so information stays hidden longer. Like I also said, this can be somewhat mitigated by the way you select cards, but it felt like something I should mention


Well... not exactly the last couple of the era, because the top row is always face-up and cannot be accessed before unlocking them.
Anyway I see your point, even if in my humble opinion this is more a perceived additional luck factor than a real one.
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Zippadeedoodah
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Don't get me started on Dutch rules published by non-Dutch publishers... yuk They are frequently not very good, and sometimes downright google-translate bad, so much so that I nearly always prefer (English or German) original versions of games and rulebooks. Fortunately the English rules are very good for this game, so I bought the English version of "7 Wonders: duel" after having seen the Dutch ones. The game itself is very good though.
 
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