Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

7 Wonders Duel» Forums » Reviews

Subject: 7 wonders duel with children rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
si Mon
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
7 wonders Duel is not made or thought for children. It works nevertheless very well with my son so I want to share my view ont this game when playing with children.
This review is written for people thinking of getting the game to play mostly with young children. I will cover all aspects of the game with focussing on the accessibility and appeal for children. Please read other review for a broader test of the game.

COMPONENTS, EASE OF USE, LENGHT
I have two children, 4 and 7 years old. When playing with the two of them I play easy to understand game. But the 7 years old ask for more complex games. So I tend to buy complex 2 players game to play specifically with him. But as the little one is not always keen on letting us have fun without her (which I understand) we need short, easy to set, easy to tear down game. The space on the table is also important as we play on our dining table. On this front 7 wonders duel is nearly perfect: when you know what you are doing it’s 30 min from setting to tear down. The space used is optimum thanks to the little cards, for this type of game of course. I would say it uses 80cm2 on the table.
Setting the pyramids for the 3 ages is also fun, and my son likes to do it. And the box is so well made with custom insert for the components it’s a pleasure to put components back. The size of the game is very good.

EASE OF PLAY
The game is a streamlined 2 player version of an already very well designed game (aka 7 wonders). It feels so polish it shines on the table. They simplified science, war, trade so much that the scoring which was tedious in 7 wonders became very fast and fun. There is a lot of clever details (the icons to show the chaining between cards, the fact that you have 7 gold at the start) that shows that they not only built upon 7 wonders but also tried to make the game as easy to understand and play as possible. The rules are very easy to understand and there is not much to remember. The iconography is the most difficult part but there is not that much that you couldn’t remember after your first play. The rule book is very clear and they give two cheat sheet.
But the game is not simplistic. The age at which a child will be able to play the game depends on the child. 7 is stretching a little bit. 6 might be even possible with a strong gamer child but I would say that at 9/10 years old the game should be playable with most children, if they like the game of course.
The 4 main mechanics that they have to understand is: drafting, set collecting, Victory point and special abilities. Among others, my son plays dice master, sushi go, monopoly deal which deal with this 4 mechanics. If your child understand and likes this mechanics he should be ok to play.

BALANCE OF THE FORCE
Being able to easily balance the game is really a plus when playing with children. You don’t want to have to downplay but you don’t want to crush the kid every game neither. I like to make a game unbalanced enough that even if I throw everything I got my kid still have a better chance to win. I usually seek a 70/30 win ratio for him which seems a sweet spot. In 7 wonders duel, there is an easy way to balance the game: first I let him choose his wonders and take mine randomly. And then I let him choose 1 or 2 science token for free at the start of the game. The science tokens are a really great addition to the game giving a lot of thematic flavor to it (by science you gain strong technology). You are not supposed to be able to gain them before age 2. Giving even 1 well chosen science token is a very very strong advantage for the kid. For exemple, the token that let you build your wonders minus two free chosen ressources let you start building your wonder at age 1 and give immediately a great push. The one that give 1 more shield to every battle card is also very strong. The good thing is that you need no special rule to unbalance the game. And giving him the possibility to choose his token is also a great strategy incentive. I still help him in his choice when he’s lost but I can mostly let me play aggressively as he has the upper hand from the start.

EDUCATIONAL VALUE
I don’t think there is much to learn in boardgames that couldn’t be learn with any other activity you do with your child. I like boardgaming so it’s just natural for me to spend quality time with the persons I love the most doing something I really like. If my thing were painting I would paint with them. Children learn from being cared and loved.
But I have to say that the theme of the game is a great occasion to talk about civilisation: trading, science, ressources, the wonders, war…. There is a lot to talk about and explain and it helps making abstract concept such as economy more concrete.
It also paves the way for more complex civilisation games or euro gaming. So it also have a strong boardgaming educational value.

PRICE TAG
The game is easily available and the price is fair. There is quite a lot in that little box and all is package with a lot of care. The is a family friendly price I think.

APPEAL FOR THE CHILD
My son really, really like the game and that’s why I’m writing this review. But it doesn’t mean it will work with everybody.
Why is it appealing to him:
- the theme: old civilisations fighting each other
- there is war
- you build stuff
- the discovery of the new cards concealed
- the wonders are unique for you and it feels great to build it.
- the scoring with the special pad is very fun at the end.
- illustrations are great

WHY IT MIGHT NOT WORK
- too complicated ?
- it’s highly confrontational. To the extent it can be mean. The third age can also be very frustrating if you didn’t focused enough on ressources on the first and second age. You feel powerless in that case. If the child feel uncomfortable with aggressive play, that he doesn’t like to be mean or to be attacked, then the game is clearly a no.

APPEAL FOR THE ADULTS
It’s one of the few game that I can play as well with my son than with adults. The game is simple enough for him to play and rich enough that I can have pleasure playing with adult boardgamers.

CONCLUSION
He really liked sushi go and I thought it could be a step up from that. I thought he liked 7 wonders duel but he even liked more than that. He became a favorite for him and this the game he asks more to play now.
The design for this this game is so polished it’s simple and meaty which makes it a very good family game.
17 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Schenck
United States
Dayton
Ohio
flag msg tools
GO BUCKS!
badge
Stop touching me!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review!

I also play this with my youngest child (age 8) and it works well. After the first game, he totally understood the game well enough to play it with little guidance.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shannon T
Australia
Peakhurst
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. I have been playing this with my 8 year old son and I would agree that probably 9 or 10 might be the age where a child can make some of the more complex decisions for themselves.

My son still needs to figure out that if there is a card he can see that he thinks he will want, then how is he going to pay the cost for that card at that time when it becomes available.

I also have needed to remind my son that he has wonders that he can build too, and why a particular wonder might benefit him if he builds it.

I find your variant for balancing the game with your child - by allowing him to start with a progress token - an interesting decision. How many times did you play without this variant before introducing it? I think your variant could be helpful in giving a child a strategy to focus on for a game. I'm glad this works for you.

However, I prefer to learn (and to have my son learn) strategies just by playing, by making choices and seeing what works and what doesn't. We usually have a little discussion at the end of scoring to see if the winner dominated in one scoring area or was more balanced across the scoring categories, or if a strategy either of us tried worked, or if there was a lucky turn of a card, or if there was a really great turn that set up the win, or even if there was a really great turn that was just simply fun !

I think your experience with the game for the most part mirrors my own. Thanks for taking the time to write up your impressions.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
si Mon
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
thewagon wrote:
Thanks for the review. I have been playing this with my 8 year old son and I would agree that probably 9 or 10 might be the age where a child can make some of the more complex decisions for themselves.

My son still needs to figure out that if there is a card he can see that he thinks he will want, then how is he going to pay the cost for that card at that time when it becomes available.

I also have needed to remind my son that he has wonders that he can build too, and why a particular wonder might benefit him if he builds it.

I find your variant for balancing the game with your child - by allowing him to start with a progress token - an interesting decision. How many times did you play without this variant before introducing it? I think your variant could be helpful in giving a child a strategy to focus on for a game. I'm glad this works for you.

However, I prefer to learn (and to have my son learn) strategies just by playing, by making choices and seeing what works and what doesn't. We usually have a little discussion at the end of scoring to see if the winner dominated in one scoring area or was more balanced across the scoring categories, or if a strategy either of us tried worked, or if there was a lucky turn of a card, or if there was a really great turn that set up the win, or even if there was a really great turn that was just simply fun !

I think your experience with the game for the most part mirrors my own. Thanks for taking the time to write up your impressions.



Hi there !

I introduced the science token advantage very early (second game in fact) as it's something we are used to do in other game. I always unbalance games in his favor. It's in fact quite selfish so your approach is certainly better from an educational point of view. I just hate to dumbdown my game and I like challenge. When we play soccer together (2vs2) we play normally but he gets a tiny goal and I get a big one. The better he gets the tinier my goal becomes. When we play chess I play with a 1 minute clock on my side.
I win games too and I think he doesn't mind to loose but I want a challenge for me also. It's way funnier for me this way. And I do think it's less frustrating for him also. But I also take time to help him getting better of course and I agree that the best is probably to play with normal rules and advise during the game. In fact we talked about the science token together and he knows its an advantage I give him. We started with 2 tokens and he crushed me. The second time he decided that 2 was too strong and play with just 1. Eventually when our games will be even we will play without it. In an other game with strong luck (dice master) I just let him choose his army first but beside that we play with normal rules. And he wins often. I really like playing with my kids !!

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shannon T
Australia
Peakhurst
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Moshimon wrote:


Hi there !

I introduced the science token advantage very early (second game in fact) as it's something we are used to do in other game. I always unbalance games in his favor. It's in fact quite selfish so your approach is certainly better from an educational point of view. I just hate to dumbdown my game and I like challenge. When we play soccer together (2vs2) we play normally but he gets a tiny goal and I get a big one. The better he gets the tinier my goal becomes. When we play chess I play with a 1 minute clock on my side.
I win games too and I think he doesn't mind to loose but I want a challenge for me also. It's way funnier for me this way. And I do think it's less frustrating for him also. But I also take time to help him getting better of course and I agree that the best is probably to play with normal rules and advise during the game. In fact we talked about the science token together and he knows its an advantage I give him. We started with 2 tokens and he crushed me. The second time he decided that 2 was too strong and play with just 1. Eventually when our games will be even we will play without it. In an other game with strong luck (dice master) I just let him choose his army first but beside that we play with normal rules. And he wins often. I really like playing with my kids !!



I definitely understand where you're coming from. In fact I have done some similar "goal widening" of other games with my children as well. Actually with chess, rather than give myself a time restriction, I just gave myself fewer pieces. I certainly don't consider any approach as better, because you know your own child and you know what works best for him in terms of learning to play games and having fun. I would not call you selfish at all.

You know there was something about your original post that struck a chord with me. And your second post also showed me why:

Quote:
When we play soccer together


Quote:
When we play chess


Quote:
I really like playing with my kids !!


I think your children are very lucky to have you as a parent.

For me, one of the appeals of board gaming as a hobby is that it really does reach across generations. I can play with my children now, and I hope to be playing with my children for a long time into the future. And so to get back to the original topic, I agree that 7 Wonders Duel can be a fun and interesting game with children - for the 'now' as well as the future.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
si Mon
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
In fact I fell into modern boardgaming because my son when aged 2,3 kept asking that I play with him but playing make believe if cute for a moment was getting old very fast. Boardgaming was exactly what you said, a way to "reach across generation". And now it also helps to play the three of us with his little sister.
My motivation for my review of games on boardgamegeek is precisely that a lot of gateway game can be great games to play with kids but there is often not a lot informations on playing them with kids. I always struggle in my shopping because of that. There is blogs on family gaming but family gaming is often often with older children. There is so much choice you want to find the right games that will very grasp your children. And every children is so different...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.