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7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon» Forums » General

Subject: Seven Wonders Duel Pantheon (not my cup of tea) rss

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Micah Shanks
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I really enjoy Seven Wonders Duel, so I was really excited about adding Pantheon into the mix. However, as I have started to log plays, I am finding that Pantheon discombobulates the mechanics of the original game to the extent that I see the expansion as ruining a great game.

Thwarting your opponents intentions is an integral part of Seven Wonders Duel strategy, but I have found that the expansion makes it too easy to throw a wrench into the gears, or change the course of the game, thus taking away the balance of the game.

I'll give one example. I am sure most of you will find it inconclusive, but I hope to at least convey where my opinion is coming from.

In the original game, you might see that your partner has a few science cards and you need to be cognisant of that progress. If the law token is available, you will want to keep your opponent from taking it or take it yourself. You will want to be mindful of your opponents wonders that could enable them a double turn, if they have The Great Library (if the law token is not showing), or if they have The Mausoleum. This list isn't exhaustive, but when playing the base game, you can see a few moves that you need to stand in the way of so that you don't lose the game. You can't always do this, but I feel that there is good balance between you and your opponents options.

I see that balance as going out the window when adding Pantheon. The usual ways to progress in science aren't available? No problem. Try Hades, Ishtar, Nisaba, Enki. Need a wonder you don't have? Use Ra to take your opponents (not only giving you want what want but throwing Wonders balance off). Need another option? Use The Door or The Divine Theater to see if another option exist. I could go on.

I think I could expand this example to multiple scenarios in the game.

To sum up my example, Patheon adds so many options to the game, that I think it makes it too easy to accomplish what you or your opponent wants to do, and in doing so takes away what was a tight, well thought out balanced mechanic that has made Seven Wonders Duel a chart-topping hit among so many gamers. I find Pantheon dismantles the game I like playing.

I know that I simply have the option of not using the expansion set, but I would honestly like to read the opinions of others. What do you think? Has the expansion improved gameplay for you? Has anyone else experienced the same frustrations I have?
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maf man
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endeavor
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try heading over here:
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/202976/7-wonder...

I personally haven't bought it as I'm still happy with the base game and have recently prioritized other games over it.

I'm a little sad to hear people unimpressed with the expansion after changing to the 2 player went so well.
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Mitchell Thomashow
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I have similar questions about the expansion. I very much enjoy the original game and I've played it over fifty times. What I particularly enjoy is how both the science and military victories serve as a form of brinkmanship. It's difficult to win that way, but you can set up the threat of winning, forcing your opponent to take less desirable cards.

Thus far, we've played the expansion twelve times. Six of the games were settled early in round three via science victories, four in the middle of round three via military and only two scoresheets have thus far been filled out. In several of the games, the winner was simply the player who had easier access to science cards, thus it appears that there is much more luck in the expansion. Winning via points is less important and that makes the game less interesting as it appears that science and military victories are far too common.

I'm willing to concede that our first twelve games have been unusual in the order of cards, and I'm also willing to concede that I've been missing some kind of strategic nuance, but I'm wondering whether other folks have had similar experiences, or if someone can point out a missing depth here.

Thanks to the OP for raising this issue.
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Lennaert Maathof
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Sadly, I have the same experience. I could have written the original post myself (though I have encountered slightly more military victories). The expansion needs to be toned down somewhat, in my opinion. I am wondering what exactly could be done to tone it down somewhat however. Remove the door for a single random god, The theatre taking a god from a random pile, and maybe giving the player with the most blue points a small bonus after each age (some gold, moving the military marker one space towards the centre, something like that)?
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R. O. Schaefer
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I can see your reasoning. For me, however, it's not a bug, it's a feature. The new possibilities might be overwhelming at first glance, but hey, it's an expansion.

I don't see the balance going off - you just have to be even more alert. But all those new possibilities - especially using and/or placing gods to your adantage comes at a price: You have to flip cards for your opponent and focuse even more on money which in turn might distract you from other stuff.

For military some defence is built in as well like Minerva, Neptun.
I would say, science profits most from the expansion, but not to an extent that it's overpowered. For some like Hades, Nisaba you have good control on how useful they are for your opponents.

In general, it's not that you can use all those very strong options yourself in a row. And yes, it might be mind-boggling, but you are supposed to have played the base game for some time, when you want to expand it.
 
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Mitchell Thomashow
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Yes. I played the base game at least fifty times. I don't see the expansion as mind boggling as much as unbalanced. I appreciate that there are more built in defenses, more so for military than science. It was surprising to me that there were so many science (especially) and military victories. However, I usually assume that the designers know what they're doing. So we'll keep at it for awhile and see whether we're missing some defensive nuances. Or perhaps there is an elegance and clarity about the basic game that is preferable.
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R. O. Schaefer
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It's very hard to talk about those aspects without a detailed session report or an online environment for replayable games.

There is obviously no direct defense possible against science like it is against military. The built in defense is indirectly
- all of the god options are in some way useful to you even if you don't go for a green victory. So taking them in defensive mode is usually by no means suboptimal.
- while the overall probability for 6 different tokens being present is higher than in the base game overall, it's specifically lowered for a single item like the library to find law, if you are looking for it due to new progress tokens (and at the same time not that high for Enki).
- military is strenghtened as well, which might indeed be the best defense against science

Recently I had a game when my plan for science victory was already made. I just needed some more money for the theater, build divine theater for Hades (gate already gone) and green victory. Well, in the end I had to build divine theater for Minerva to avoid military loss. There was some nice dancing about flipping cards vs. gods as well. I lost some sort of a coin flip for one of the revealed cards being green later (which can happen in the base game as well), and finally, while I could avoid military loss, my opponent won on points. I enjoyed this game very much - it was really tense.

That being said, I agree science is strengthened most. So, the designers might have had a feeling that it was a bit too weak in base game. Just a tiny bit. I'm not sure about this.
I'm also continuing to build up experience with the expansion. No issues for me so far. Might change - I don't know.
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Andy Burgess
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Califax wrote:
Well, in the end I had to build divine theater for Minerva to avoid military loss.


This is what I think a lot of people are missing when they complain about science victories in Pantheon being OP. Yes, it's difficult to stop a science victory with a card denial strategy when there are multiple possibilities for bringing cards back from the discard, but as they say, sometimes the best defence is a good offence.

I've seen plenty of games in which military cards are played not with an idea of an eventual military victory, but only to threaten it and force a response instead of letting the opponent add another science card.
 
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Mitchell Thomashow
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Great point. I can see how you have to incorporate military brinkmanship as a defense. Clearly there's more to explore before I jump to any conclusions.
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Mitchell Thomashow
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I've now had an opportunity to play about ten more games of Pantheon. It's more clear that the increased potential of military and science victories adds a great deal to the brinkmanship challenge. The game is now more interactive and more interesting, too. This is an excellent expansion.
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Micah Shanks
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Full Disclosure
I win around 50% of the time when playing the base set against my friend whom I have logged the most play with. It might even be 60% plus. I haven't kept track. However, when we play the expansion, I bet I lose 90% of the time. So when I said that the expansion was not my cup of tea, I might have just meant that I don't have fun losing all the time. I just can't seem to figure out the strategy to be competitive when playing with the Gods!
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