Thinking about my next move.
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
About 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon:
1) What is it?
7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon is an expansion for 7 Wonders Duel and it adds, well, pantheons of Gods, each with its own unique ability.
All the expansion revolves around this: from an additional board, tokens, God cards, to temples, in the third Age.
The resolution can be quick, but it adds, as Leaders did for 7 Wonders, another layer, more decisions, a different timming to the whole thing: which can sit well with some and not so great with others, specially those that don't think the base game could do with lasting more.
Overall, 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon doesn't bring a lot of overhead, and while it sure brings more symbols, extra duration and pushes out the Guilds, it changes the pacing of the game enough to justify its addition, for players looking to add a new topping, but keeping the same flavor.
2) How do you play?
All the base rules are in place. However, once the set up of the first Age is done, five mythology tokens, taking at random from a pool of them, are put above certain cards. The player that take a card with a token, takes 2 of the 3 Gods of the pantheon showing in the token and picks one to add to the Pantheon board.
The Pantheon board have six spots on it: three benefit one player and three, the other, as they make the price to use the God cheaper or costlier, in the following manner: 3/8, 4/7, 5/6, 6/5, 7/4 and 8/3 - meaning, say, if you are on the left and wishes to use the fifth spot, you will pay 7 money to the bank, while you opponent would pay only 4 to take the same God.
This means that picking a God can have two uses: put one that interest you on your corner, or adding a so-so (at least to path you think your opponent might go) to you opponent's side. And, of course, knowing what will come have its value.
With five tokens and six spaces in the Pantheon, one spot will be empty at the end of the first Age. This spot will receive the Door card, which makes the value of its place double, but allows the person that uses it to turn up the first God in each pantheon and take one of them for free. Powerful stuff.
In the second Age it will become possible to do an extra action in your turn: take a God. You simply pay the amount required and immediately uses the ability of the God, or keeps it for later (those that score points). This doesn't use a card, and is what changes the pacing and flow of the game the most, since, until now, all the actions ended up using a card, be to keep, to bury in a wonder or to discard. Now there is an action that keeps the cards as they were.
Also in the second Age some tokens will be put, again above some cards, and when you take the card with the token, you gain the token. These give a one time discount when taking a God.
Finally, in the third Age, instead of Guilds you add three Grand Temples to the deck. These Grand Temples have different backs and, even when hidden, you will know where they are. The Grand Temples can either be build in the normal way, or chaining with a token taken in the first Age. Temples give more points the more you control: 5, 12 or 21.
The expansion also brings more Science tokens and two new Wonders - connected with the theme and additions of the expansion.
3) Which are the decisions made during play?
Two main ones:
- Which God to pick when choosing and, afterward, where to place it - both to hinder a little the other person, or to have an easier acess to it. Is important that, when the Age ends, the Door will go the open spot, which can be very good if this in on your side;
- When to take a God. This, as mentioned, the biggest change in the game, as this new action allows to have a turn without taking a card. The timming this involves have a deep importance and branching effects. It can lead your opponent to open cards to you, to be forced to discard, etc. Things already normal to the game, but now, is possible to receive the exact same cards in the same way, something that couldn't happen before. Therefore, having money, which was already very good, with the use the Gods gains even more weight.
4) What are the good things in the game?
- More options and creates a richer environment for decisions;
- Timming implications just got more complicated;
- Feels the same while adding more to think and to do;
- Art and production value as top notch.
5) Which are the bad news?
- Adds more time to the play;
- More symbols to teach and to remember;
- Extra rules and complexity.
6) How do you feel while playing?
Having a 7 Wonders: Leaders déjà-vu, as 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon sure brings the same feel. It adds a phase of choosing Gods, but now, since they are, well, larger, they can be used by both players, but is more inclined to like a side better.
However, I don't put both in the same level of requiredness: 7 Wonders: Leaders basically saved 7 Wonders for me, brigging more balance to the paths of victory, adding a new layer of strategy and simply making the whole superior to what it was. The counterpoint was the addition of a good chunk of extra playing time and extra symbols and things to remember and to teach. But 7 Wonders Duel is more fine-tuned than 7 Wonders - is doesn't need correction and sure didn't required additional stuff to work better, and puts money dangerously close to be overpowered.
In the end, 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon simply fails in being essential. It carries some bad points and while the good it has are well thoughtout, once all is said and done, what you will get is bigger, but not truly better.
Image credit: W Eric Martin
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I alsso find the price for an expansion a bit high. Its almost as expensive as the base game. the base game is around 23 euros, and pantheon around 15...that was keeping me from buying it. And after reading your review im goong to pass on it i dont play it that often enough
Thanks for the review! It appears to be really overpriced. I was waiting for this expansion, but seems that I won't take it
A great review and a great expansion.
Only reactions so far about a price below 20 EUR. It's a shame, really :-(
Yoa are wrong with taking new tokens. You take mythology or offering token, when you reveal (flip) card at the end of turn (not take this card).