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Subject: A very tense game of Green vs Blue rss

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Christoffer Fast
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Mönsterås
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This is my first session report on BGG. I was not planning on writing it, so the details come from memory and there are no pictures - but the game described, played yesterday night, stuck in my mind all night. So here it is


Background
Me and my wife bought 7 Wonders: Duel a week ago. We have played alot of 7 Wonders previously, most often with 4 players. I won our first game of Duel with a Civil victory of 69 points to 59. She won the second game by a Law-driven science victory. In that game, I had underestimated both the ability to win through Science, and also the usefulness of Wonders which give a second turn immediately. This was thus to be our third game, and the expectations were high.

Set-up
I drew first player, and the Wonders that I selected in the opening draft were: The Sphinx, The Hanging Gardens, Circus Maximus and The Appian Way. I focused on Wonders that would give me a second turn, since that is what cost me the win in our previous game. She drew The Great Library, which we both think might be one of the strongest Wonders in the game, and also Messe (the Essen promo Wonder), Piraeus and The Colossus. The development tokens on the board were Economy, Architecture, Mathematics, Urbanism and Agriculture.

Age I
My wife hadn’t intended to go for Science again, but two Science cards were present in the first row and I didn’t take any of them, so she did. I went for resources as usual. At the end of the Era, I had a pretty strong resource hand, a couple of Yellow cards and one Blue. My wife had three Green along with a few Yellow and, I think, a resource or two. We both had one Red card each which meant Military was a draw, and since I made the last action I could then decide who would begin the next Era.

Age II
Alot of Green cards turned up face-up when we placed the cards, and after a quick calculation I chose for my wife to take the first card. She had three Green cards since Era I and by now I was beginning to get a little nervous. But she had to start, which meant I was able to neutralize a Green early in the pile. I then built the Appian Way which gave me a few coins and destroyed some of hers – at this point, she didn’t have much money and I hoped to slow her down. She bought a Grey card early on, which I subsequently destroyed by building Circus Maximus. She would later build Piraeus, which helped her with manufactured resources. She also built The Great Library and drew the Law token, which she had been hoping for all along. She was now suddenly at 4/6 Science and I began feeling the knife at my throat.

This is where I made a stupid mistake. We were nearing the end of the card pile, and I had to play a card which would unconver two hidden ones. If one of them were a Green one, she would have all of Age III to finish her Science victory. I gambled and built The Hanging Gardens – only to uncover a Blue and a Yellow card. Sigh. The last cards that I bought were some Reds, and she countered by building her third Wonder – the Colossus. But I was still slightly ahead on military and she would have the initative in the last Age.

Age III
At the start of the final Age I had a lead in Blue cards and my wife had 4/6 Science, promising a magnificent show-down. We had built three wonders each – I had The Sphinx left, which was my final safe-guard for any Green cards that turned up at bad places in the pile, and she had the Messe. However, the back row cards in the pile turned out to be one Red and one Guild, neither of which were cards that she really wanted, so I didn’t think she would ever build her last Wonder.

About one-third down in the pile, two Green cards appeared under some cards. We both made mental calculations of who would get them. I had kept The Hanging Gardens for this very occasion, but this is where my wife made a very clever play – she built the Messe for a card she didn’t need, but it was the 7th Wonder of the game and I thus had to throw my Gardens away. However, I got lucky and was able to neutralize the two Green cards anyway. At this point my wife began losing hope, but she was however able to take her fourth Green shortly after and now had 5/6 Science.

This was it: I kept focusing on Blue cards, knowing that one Green would win it for my wife. Four covered cards remained in the pile, grouped in pairs. The first uncovered pair contained no Greens and I breathed a sigh of relief. Only two to go. However, I was the one who had to play the card that uncovered them. And they turned out to be…

…a Green card and a Red card. The funny thing is that by now, my wife was sure that she had lost (I was about 10-15 points ahead thanks to alot of Blues), so she didn’t even realize that her game plan had paid off. I had to point out to her that she would win. She didn’t have alot of coins left, but it was enough to buy that final Green. The smile on her face was amazing, and even I could congratulate her on a very well played game.
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Matthias Adler
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Nice report about the all or nothing situation, which can come up, when science victory might be reached at the cost of economic victory points.

Remark: You had a small rules error end of 1st / start of 2nd. The choice who has to start is only given in case of military inferiority. If military is even, the one playing the last card has to start the next age, no choice given (Rules page 11: 'the player who begins the next Age is the last active player').
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Christoffer Fast
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Thank you!

About the starting player rule, I found the following post in this thread in the forums when I researched the game:

AntoineReposProd wrote:
After a meeting with the Author, there is an update of the rules:

"In a situation where the pawn is in the middle of the board, the player who chooses which player begins the next Age is the last active player (meaning whoever played the last card of the previous Age)."

This modification will be in the new reprint

Hope it will help


This is why we used a different rule interpretation than what is found in the printed rule book
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Hastings
United Kingdom
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I do have one clarification to ask, it is 6 different symbols you need to win science not 6 symbols tokens total?

Edit: fantastic game, it sounded nailbiting right to the end!
 
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Russ Williams
Poland
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Chief0101 wrote:
I do have one clarification to ask, it is 6 different symbols you need to win science not 6 symbols tokens total?

The rules seem unambiguous:
page 12 wrote:
the scientific symbols are found on the scientific Buildings (green cards) and on a Progress token.

Scientific Supremacy
If you gather 6 different scientific symbols, you immediately win the game.
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Christoffer Fast
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As Russ said, it is 6 different Science symbols. There are a total of 12 Science cards in the game (6 different pairs), but since 3 random cards are removed from every Age pile before the game starts, sometimes the set-up itself will make a Science victory impossible. A 7th symbol is available through the Development tokens, but as this game showed, even if it isn't randomly selected in the set-up you can get it through The Great Library if you are lucky
 
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