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Subject: 7Ages rss

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Jeff DeBoer
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Eugene
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OK. This is it!! The ultimate game in my book. Have played 3 times already (8 hours, 12 hours and 10 hours) and just absolutely had fun (a bit on the wild side), but extreme fun. The exhiliration of drawing a new destiny card hand is like leaving your wife after 20 years or starting a new job or moving to a new town. Wow!! Will have to get another copy so I always can play this one. What a game.

The way the cards interact and the tough choices you have to make really make the game challenging and replay value is nearly endless. Incredible how map comes out about like real history but with slightly different twists...I had the Early Finns controlling most of Europe before someone Forest Fire/Rebellioned them!! You can't ride an empire too long...need to be nimble and find quiet spots on the map to do your own thing if you can..but someone will come along and wack you...lead changes many times, we've found. Good balance to the game due to harsh events....always need to carry protection!! 110 unique empires to manage and nearly that many unique leaders--including Jesus, Buddha, Confucious, Picasso...not to mention the obvious Alexander/Napoleon/Elizabeth...I repeat, this game has Jesus in it!! He let's you draw cards from the discard pile for your destiny action!

Here is to 7 Ages as Game of the Year!!

It deserves it!! Thank you, Harry Rowland.
 
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Håkan König
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Linköping
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Good to hear
I read Eggo's review on Sunday, thought about it for a couple of hours, and then went to adg's website and ordered the game. Don't think I've decided on a gam,e that quickly before.

I really hope it's as good as everybody says, but from reading all the praise I don't think I'm doing a mistake. Reading all the questions about, well, everything really gives a slightly different line of thoughts. I have a feeling though that one needs to play it a couple of times before it settles on you.
 
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John Burt
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Saskatoon
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Sweet!

I have asked my wife for this for Christmas too!
 
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David Boeren
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7 Ages
I am interested in this game, but I'm still on the fence. I want to know how it appeals to the typical eurogamer who is NOT interested in Advanced Civilization style games.

ie - it sounds good, but way to honking long. I'm more interested in this from the point of view of "a better version of Vinci" than "a better version of some older empire-building monstrosity game".

Can this still be a good game if you only want to play 2 hours? Possibly 3 hours tops?
 
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John Burt
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The way the game seems to be described is that you can play one Age in about 2 hours, and you only have to play one age.
 
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David Brown
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I think 7 Ages has been a bit over-rated, maybe because it been so long coming.

I played it fives times, however only correctly twice. Its a good game but not the best by a long way.

Some say that it endlessly replayable because the start empires can be so varied - I'd say that's like saying tea leaves in a cup are all diferent because they leave different patterns, yes they do but they are still always tea leaves.

The game plays like this - Start empire, expand as much as the counter mix will allow, get squashed by a latter starting empire then repeat.

Its a good game but I think the anticipation of it's arrival have got things a liitle out of perspective

 
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Stephen Harkleroad
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I've just spend the last two hours watching Law & Order and poking out tokens for 7 Ages. If the production values have anything to do with the gameplay, I'm set up for a huge disappointment. If I'm plunking down $50+ for a game, I expect the cardboard chits to actually be cut properly and at least a token effort to make the board little more than a Denny's placemat.
 
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Hawaka Winada
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dboeren said:
Quote:
I am interested in this game, but I'm still on the fence. I want to know how it appeals to the typical eurogamer who is NOT interested in Advanced Civilization style games.

ie - it sounds good, but way to honking long. I'm more interested in this from the point of view of "a better version of Vinci" than "a better version of some older empire-building monstrosity game".

Can this still be a good game if you only want to play 2 hours? Possibly 3 hours tops?


7 Ages covers the same ground as History of the World, but with far more detail and many more interesting decisions to be made each turn. If you regard HotW as an 'older empire-building monstrosity game', then you have your answer. IMO typical Eurogamers who are not interested in Advanced Civilization style games will not like 7 Ages. It was never intended to be a relatively abstract game with a thin theme and short playing time like Vinci, it is a large and detailed simulation with some 'Eurogame-like' elements to streamline play. You can have fun playing 7 Ages for just a few hours, and you'll get a feel for the interactions between empires and the interesting choices to be made each turn, but you'll lose the sense of historical progression that occurs by playing through more ages. Whether you consider that a good game or not then depends on your taste, and how important theme and simulation are to you. For example, for some people a better Vinci already exists: Barbarian, Kingdom and Empire. But IMO a typical Eurogamer wouldn't think so, since BK&E is another large detailed simulation with a long playing time. Most Eurogamers would regard Vinci as a better BK&E rather than the other way around. Perhaps someday someone will design a Eurogame that typical Eurogamers will regard as a better 7 Ages because it captures the theme and flavor with simpler mechanics and a shorter playing time, but that game doesn't exist yet.

 
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Hawaka Winada
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thirts said:
Quote:

The game plays like this - Start empire, expand as much as the counter mix will allow, get squashed by a latter starting empire then repeat.


This has not been the case in our games, the players that win have tended to start small empires that gain lots of Glory and use their remaining empires to attack other player's empires that have spread out too much. It is generally not to your advantage to expand to the counter limit, though it makes sense to do so in some cases. But in no way is the game as limited as your description implies.
 
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Jeff DeBoer
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Eugene
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7 Ages
Glad to see my post generate some healty debate and further questions....

Vinci?? What is fun about Vinci?? It is simplistic...has not connection to reality or a real theme...just basic mechanics of math expansion on a map...boring....7 Ages is a real game with real civilizations with real names and real leaders that are all historically accurate...I like to think there is something more edifying to our gameplaying than merely moving bits on a board....like Vinci....My daughters love this game as they can learn history and in fact remake history by playing this game with their Dad...not many games where that can be said...other than HoTW which had its faults that this has fixed...

2-3 hours to play one age is perfectly fine with this game if that is all you want and you will get an excellent feel for the game and have fun doing it...I chose to play 8, 12 and 10 hours and completed 3-4 ages to experience the grand progression of history. My theory is that if a game is good (no, excellent) then I would much rather play it for 8-10 hours than just two at multiple sittings. That is why I have 2 game tables in my home...one for the "one-off" EuroGames...on the lighter side...and then the main table for the game masterpieces that true "gamers" thrive on.

Anticipation?? Long wait?? I had never heard of 7 Ages until just one month ago...what does that have to do with what someone thinks about this game...it does say that it took Harry and his team 7 years to develop the game, but IT SHOWS in how well the game plays and all the rules for a game like this on only 12 pages!! Incredible..that simple...yet that complex, exhilirating and fun.

This game seperates the men from the boys....



 
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Jeff DeBoer
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Eugene
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David Brown says:

The game plays like this - Start empire, expand as much as the counter mix will allow, get squashed by a latter starting empire then repeat

My response:

We certainly don't play it like that....many empires with elite units or barbarian empires are started just to slow down another player or to protect your hinterlands...it is great to have three empires adjacent to each other with little overlapping glory point conditions and protect your flank....you are over-simplifying...much more to the strategy...in fact that is half the fun of the game.
 
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Pierce Ostrander
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Not a Eurogame
7 Ages is definitely not a euro game. If you do not like games like Advanced Civilization, then you certainly won't like this. In fact, I would say that this game is more like Civilization than it is like any other game (they are both epic empire building games) except it is much less abstract, without being much more complex, which is quite an achievement.

The biggest difference from Advanced Civilization are:

1. 7 Ages spans all of human history and covers the entire globe. There are 110 empires that can enter play each with distinguishing characteristics, capabilities and unique ways of earning glory (victory) points.
2. The primary “mechanic” in 7 ages is card play/hand management (contrast to Adv. Civilization which I view as primarily as a trading / building game) Each card has 4 different possible functions (empire, event, artifact or numerical value). This creates trade offs and decision-tension that add interest to the game.
3. Victory is awarded for earning “glory points” through managing multiple empires at once and throughout the game, rather than by managing a single empire from beginning to end.
4. Units are of different military types with different characteristics (spear, sword, archer, ballista, chariot, lt. horse, hs. archer, elephants, galley, sail, air (fighters and bombers), nukes and even ABMD) rather than a single abstract type with no distinction.
5. With an expanded range of military types conflicts are more involved and varied and the emphasis is on empire building and combat, rather than on expanding population and having conflict at the margins.
6. in 7 Ages there are a wider variety of calamities (negative event cards and artifacts) many of which can be truly calamitous, because the complete destruction of an empire is bad for a player, but by no means will put him/her out of the game.
7. In Civilization “Civilization Cards” are purchased with the fruits of trade and these cards give you new/expanded abilities. In 7 Ages, “progress” is the fruit of trade and yields a range of benefits from the right to build certain unit types, bring specific, historical leaders into play (e.g. Shakespeare, Ghandi, Napoleon, Roosevelt) as well as gain technologies (paved roads, printing, radio, railways, satellites, the interent etc.)
8. An expanded range of fruits from “Civilizing” including specific religions and governments (with both benefits and penalties) as well as technologies and “wonders” (Colossus, Forum, Great Wall, Temples, Oracles, Moon Landing, etc)

Both games proceed through “turns” that consist of a series of multi-player participation phases that keep engagement and interaction to the max while limiting down time. Both games are a race: Adv. Civilization is one big race of your single empire against those of the other players; 7 Ages a race for “glory” by cycling multiple empires. 7 Ages has workable abbreviated versions, whereas Adv. Civilization does not, but both are more satisfying when played from beginning (which varies in 7 Ages – you don’t always start at the beginning of human history, but instead the players “bid” for a start period, based on the initial deal of cards that they get) to end.

And to restate, 7 Ages does this without much added rules complexity. It is more complex, but the complexity is embedded in the details on the cards and for the specific artifacts. Other added complexity is in the addition of leaders (which can be left out of the game, without having a significant impact on balance or execution) and more involved conflict (which can be simplified by use of house rules – but which is still not that complex, especially when the conflicts involve only a few units on each side, which is most of the time). Trade in 7 Ages is much simpler and less time consuming, because unlike Advanced Civilization, it is not the heart of the game, but just a single aspect of it.

I think this covers most of the big differences, but like I said at the start, they are both epic, empire building games, so if you like one you will definitely like the other!

Foob
 
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