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Subject: Military extremes! rss

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I've played this game enough times, just base game, with all expansions + promo packs, and across various player counts to have had experiences with military extremes. It's one thing to not bury good cards (which is generally acknowledged to not always be possible), but then you have folks who either completely ignore military or go hog wild.


For the former, they NEVER build any military. One person in a regular group had ZREO, if not close to 0 positive pts from military. We knew because the official 7W Companion app records and shows stats for each player. All his neighbors had to do was to build one red card, and be able to reap in a guaranteed 9pts from that.


For the latter, I've seen players who were impressed at the winning scores, wondering what they could've done better. I point out that perhaps 5 to 9 red cards across the entire game may have been a bit excessive? While having Leader cards (from the Leaders expansions) may make those more viable strategies (like 1pt per red card), and Cities and Babel exps may have some cards that give military an edge, it's still quite a lot of eggs to put into one basket. A basket which didn't really hold that many eggs to begin with in the grand scheme of things.


How have your experiences been with such players? Me, I build just one red for the former, while with the latter, I only build enough red to win vs. my other neighbor since he'll 1-up me every chance he gets, at the cost of many other things.
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J
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We used to have one person in our group who would do analysis like this, but then he ran off to Chicago .

Anyway yeah I've seen it. For the most part the players I've known pick up on their military misplays when you point it out to them and modify their plays accordingly.

Sadly, "players with poor understanding of military" are my least favorite thing when it comes to 7 wonders. Here you are having played 3 military cards yet you only score 1 military vp. Meanwhile the player across the table from you has played 1 military card and somehow has 8 vp.

It is one of those mechanics that is brilliant due to the strategy it adds but horrible when you mix players who understand and don't understand strategy as they can play Kingmaker without really realizing it.

That being said I wouldn't have it any other way. There was an interesting "variant" thread a while back where players misplayed it that vp was given based on military difference and they basically transformed the red cards into blue cards which greatly upset the balance.

Either way I have been on both the winning an losing end of the experience and it's just something that must be accepted.
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M. B. Downey
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We have one player who definitely doesn't like red cards at all. Given the chance, he will ALWAYS take a Peace token from Cities. However, we got complacent with taking the single red card, so he would grab a late age 3 military to surprise us and suddenly gain ten points and not lose the two. So when next to him, especially if he is to my right, I will consider grabbing a second military card.
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Michael Korson
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I have experiences with both types of players (and I believe that I personally gravitate towards the type of player that is unlikely to invest in Military).

For me, it's as you said, there's not enough eggs in that basket to justify investing heavily in it (especially since there's no guarantee you'd be able to get any of those eggs, compared to more certain scoring opportunities available). 7 Wonders is all about evaluating your best scoring opportunity in a given hand - and a lot of times in my analysis Military cards come up short on that end. I'll typically hold off on considering investing in Military Cards until the latter part of an Age - if my neighbors haven't really invested in it (and it looks like I might be able to steal or at least deny them some VPs) I'll buy one. But if both are prioritizing Military, then I'll pass. The VPs potentially available from Military are not worth the other scoring opportunities I'd pass up in trying to win an Arms Race. In my experience, getting sucked into an Arms Race is a losing proposition.

On the other side of the coin, I've definitely seen folks who consistently want to win Military. I believe for those types of players, those cards and how they score fulfill a 'take that'/conflict itch in the game. Plus, no one likes the idea of having to accept a -1 VP token because they were 'beaten.' And, its easy for some competitive egos to get into an Arms Race, thinking that just one more Military Card and your neighbor will relent and let you take the 5 VPs at the End of Age III. These are usually the same types who find it difficult to invest in the Science Cards.
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Luna Ray
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For me, it depends on the situation.

If I've decided I'm going to do science, I practically ignore military cards unless it there are no better options and it's the last turn or so.

If I'm not doing science, I will usually go for one or two military cards each stage. Occasionally, I'll run into players who must win with military no matter what. For those I cut my losses early and go for blue cards instead.
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