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Subject: getting all the tech = sure way to victory? rss

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teasel bonne
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well i've played a few games of this and to be fair i'm somewhat frustated... i like the game but it seems like there is no way to score more than a player who simply gather all of the grey resource in the first era and then spend every single action building tech/green cards... the other player usualy don't go for tech (because for them it's a sucky scoring card) so the tech player has free reign over them and each tech let you build the next one for free and as such it's a pretty easy way to play which always score big and doesn't seems to have any glaring weakness... it's even worse when you start with a gray resource wonder like alicarnasso since that also let you fish for one of the starting tech you might have missed on the first era

so what are your toughts?

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Fernando Robert Yu
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The only advice I can get is to use green cards to build your wonders and/or to discard for gold. Take advantage too if he is focusing mainly on green cards by dominating the military against him. Going for blue cards is also another good strategy to offset someone going green since blue cards can also rack up a ton of points.
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David Bell
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How to win using a Science Strategy in 7 Wonders [Illustrated]
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Scott Douglass
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I'm going to assume that you're playing with just the base game.

If you're convinced that heavy science is the dominant strategy, then you aren't playing very well. To be sure, if one person builds all of the science cards, they can score a ridiculous number of points, but science is the most easily disrupted of the major scoring avenues. It's also highly dependent on the card distribution. If most of the science cards in an age are in a single hand, they'll have trouble getting enough science in that age to score enough. If one player is going heavy green, the other players, especially the one passing that player cards, should be waiting to build stages of their wonder until they can bury a science card that the science player needs. Unless it's Halicarnassus, if someone is going all in science, and you need to discard a card for coins, it should probably be a science card. I'm not saying that heavy science can't be strong, but it requires the cards to come together just right, and it's vulnerable to disruption.

You also need to consider the effect of going heavy science on age 3. If one player is only taking science cards, then the other players have less competition for civilian and guild cards, which will tend to increase their scores. If one of your neighbors is focused so heavily on science that they will completely disregard military, consider building 1 or 2 military structures. Beating someone in all 3 ages in military with just a card or 2 can make a big difference. You can certainly go heavier military, but that depends on what your other neighbor is doing.

If 2 players go for science, they will tend to interfere with each other. If they plan on using another source of points, they can still be in a strong position, but this kind of competition is deadly to anyone trying to force a heavy science strategy. I've seen heavy science win, but it's not as common as a balanced strategy or heavy civilian strategy in my experience. Hell, I've probably seen a mercantile strategy win almost as often as all in science. 3 sets is 48 points, but getting 3 sets usually precludes getting many other scoring cards. 4 sets should win the game, but your neighbors shouldn't let you get 4 sets. With leaders I could see getting 4 sets occasionally, but leaders can inflate the scores enough that this isn't a sure win anymore anyway.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Yeah, if *one* player does this he's in pretty good shape. If two players do this, it's marginal, three or more and they are sunk.

One thing that we screwed up in our first few games is remembering that a player can't have 2 identically named cards in front of them - missing this rule was particularly advantageous to science players.
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Aaron Bohm
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teasel wrote:
there is no way to score more than a player who simply gather all of the grey resource in the first era and then spend every single action building tech/green cards... the other player usualy don't go for tech (because for them it's a sucky scoring card)


Well there's your problem.
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Somehow, I don't think discarding a Science for $3 is that great.... sure, you're denying to the green guy, but 1 VP for one card is such a poor option that you're hleping other opponents at your own expense.
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Scott Douglass
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ackmondual wrote:
Somehow, I don't think discarding a Science for $3 is that great.... sure, you're denying to the green guy, but 1 VP for one card is such a poor option that you're hleping other opponents at your own expense.


You're right, discarding for coins is generally a weak play, but if you're going to discard a card for coins anyway, and someone is pulling off a heavy science strategy, the card should be a science card that they need if possible. You should only be discarding for coins 0-1 (maybe 2 occasionally) times per game, but this can still hurt a heavy science strategy.
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Blake Douglass
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sdougla2 wrote:
science is the most easily disrupted of the major scoring avenues.


This is quite true, if you are the only one that notices that the other person is going science, or at the very least the only one that appears to be taking action about it, then it is very simple to disrupt it. You simply build your wonder using mostly one science symbol. If you can deny the science player all but 1 or 2 of one of the symbols, then the number of points they can get from science drastically decreases. Instead of getting 3-4 sets, which can be a game winning strategy, they get 3-4 of 2 symbols, but only 1-2 of the other symbol, reducing their score by somewhere between 12 (1 set plus the difference between 3 squared and 2 squared) and 36 (3 sets plus the difference between 1 squared and 4 squared) points. While the science player will probably get other cards to score points to make up for the cards that you denied them, it still hurts them a lot and can push them down from first to second, or even third place in a 3 player game.

I tend to keep at least 2 stages of my wonder open so I can deny other people cards that would benefit them more than any card in that hand would benefit me. And a lot of the time, even when i am the only one taking action against the science player, i can disrupt what the other player is doing simply by denying them one of the symbols that they need.
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Ben Green
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It's not ideal, but pitching a science card for $3 isn't just 1 VP, it's also denying the 10+ VPs to your opponent. If it doesn't set you back too badly against the other players, then it might be worth it.
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Julian Wasson
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teasel wrote:
Science OP


Learn to hate draft.
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teasel bonne
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Chipacabra wrote:


ah-ah that really does illustrate how i feel laugh

Quote:
I'm going to assume that you're playing with just the base game.


yeah i usualy play the game on BSW,i'd be nice to play with the expansion but alas... well i'll try to be a little more reactive next time i play against SCIENCE
 
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Jacek Deimer
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ackmondual wrote:
Somehow, I don't think discarding a Science for $3 is that great.... sure, you're denying to the green guy, but 1 VP for one card is such a poor option that you're hleping other opponents at your own expense.


Few words about discarding:

I age -> discarding is OK, you lose 1-2 points and get money that open possibilities in II age

II age -> discarding is more painfull, so you only do it, if you have to

III age -> avoid discarding at all cost. If I'm forced to discard in III age, I usually lose...


Strategy:

Suprisingly the best strategy to fight science is to build some science by yourself (at least in 3 or 4 player game), getting 3 science ( 1 each age ) is OK, 1 set or 3 of kind is what I aim to get:

A. 1 complete set:
I age -> take Cog or Compas ( thay chain into military -> 1 point -> not bad, and nice chains;
II age -> take Tablet ( it's harder to get it in age 3) -> 1 point -> not good, but its investment;
III age -> take missing Cog or Compas -> 8 points -> nice;

B. 3 of a kind:
I go this route only if I get second Cog or Compas early in II age.
This gives nice progression of 1 ->3 ->5 points each age.

Geting 1 symbol each age is quite realistic aproach and doesn't screw you too much. If you can get 3 before III age, it's fantastic. If you get 2 in II age and 1 in III age, it's still OK.


Wonders:

Babylon - it's nice anti-science wonder, it's harder to screw yourself when fighting science and easier to screw other. Goal is to get 5 science symbols , 1 complete set and 3 of a kind. You need only 4 cards and 3rd wonder stage. Taking into acount extra card from 2nd wonders stage its quite easy to pull of. Also opens you better options: 2 complete sets or 1 set and 4/5 of a kind. And all of this with minimal effort!

Ephesos, Alexandria and Halicarnasos - because of grey resource it's even easier to start collecting science or fighting it. Just don't pass science card that mathes you starting resource!

Giza - forget all of the above, you have 4 wonder slots, make good use of them!

Olympia - not best suited to fight science but quite ok.


Rhodos - quite terrible for this strategy, do your best and hope other players will do more...


Expansion - Leaders:

With leaders science is much better strategy, it has many leaders that makes it harder to distrupt and allow big points. But those leaders are expensive...

Play yellow cards that give money, they give not that bad points (usually 3 in II age, 5 in III age) and science players really need them!
Try to deny resources and money to science player, force them to discard cards and make hard choices. You just have to try more than in base game.


Expansion - Cities:

Masks - they are double edged sword: they make science more powerfull but also they make investing into science less risky. If you manage to get 1 mask, aim for at least 5 science symbols with possibility of 6. This will score good points and screw them enought.

Money lose/debt - those cards give you OK points and can screw science players badly. It may be worth to give up a point or 2 for that.


Disclaimer:

All of the abowe:
A. Works well for me!
B. Works well in 3 and 4 player games!
C. Works well if you start employing it in I age or at the begining of II age, after that you will screw yourself too much!








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Contig
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You can also save parts of your wonder to tuck green cards under.

Players with green/gray cards don't have time in the first round to collect other resources, so messing up the prerequisite chain can mess them up, or make them run out of coins.

As was mentioned in the link, when green cards are bunched together, the player can only take one anyways. So you mostly just need to act when there's only one green card in what you're passing.
 
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J
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Here is something I wrote once upon a time in response to a similar thread in which a user had a similar complaint and proposed an alternative scoring of symbols to try to "fix" it.

BTW the proposed alternative scoring' which I am in no way endorsing and am hence hiding behind a spoiler tag, was:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

1 point Age 1 science
2 points Age 2 science
3 points Age 3 science
10 points full set

_______________________________
Here is the thing about new groups and science. They either conclude it is worthless or the ultimate strategy.

This comes from 1 of 2 things that usually happens to a new group.

1. People invest a little in science (maybe 1 full set of each) and end up not doing as well as people who don't really invest at all in it instead focusing on military, blue cards and guilds. As a result science ends up looking not so hot and is largely ignored for several games.

2. A player invests all in science and obliterates all the other players. The players are so marred by it that they see science as the only path to victory.

The first issue comes about because new people don't understand the right way to play a science strategy while the second is because new people don't know how to recognize a working science strategy nor what they should be doing in response to it.

While the first scenario is actually more common I've met groups (like yours) where the second scenario has occurred.

Unimpeded science (barring bad luck) is the strongest strategy in this game and will likely score higher than any other strategy (accounting for luck fluctuations).

As such players get used to "hiding" science by say using it to build their wonder or maybe trying to get a set of 1 symbol in order to keep the player going all in science from getting too much science. I've played in groups where the people swore that all in science was a meaningless route because once the table sees what you are trying to do they will collectively try to stop you (which I have seen happen as well).
------------------------
williamj35 wrote:

What's your take on that? Why is it scored the way it is?


A lot of this has been answered in previous posts but I'll try to clarify.

Science is an all or nothing strategy. If you invest in it a lot and early and get a lot of science you're most likely going to win. If you don't invest in it a lot and get maybe 3 science late in the game you will almost definitely lose to someone who didn't invest at all (and also hurt any players trying to invest in it a lot).

Science relies on 2 factors to work.

1 Science leads into science. This is important because if you invest in science rather than resources early on you won't likely be able to afford the resource cost of later science (or most other cards for that matter) but you will be able to build them for free with the "lead into" bonus ability of science.

2. Science must be invested in to be worth while. Usually wonders that haven't invested in science really can't start mid game as they give too few points.

If you remove just 1 of these 2 factors the whole science strategy (and why they are scored that way) falls apart. For example without 1 (ie if science did not lead into science) you cannot afford to take early science cause you would not be able to build the later science and get the points from it all.

More importantly without 2 (ie wonders could invest in science late game and get a reasonable amount of points from it) all you’ve done is quite literally turned the green cards into a slightly different variant of the blue cards.

One of the losing strategies of 7W is to invest all in on blue cards ie get the early ones mid ones and late ones. Like science many of the blue cards lead into one another so this strategy has the first factor working for it.

However it does NOT have the second factor working for it. Regardless if a player has the temple or the necessary recourses the Pantheon (7 point blue alternative cost having the temple) will give both players 7 points. Thus the all in blue player, who didn’t invest in recourses that much, will find himself unable or find it not worth while to build anything but the blues which are being built by other players who are getting just as good points from them.

It’s thanks to this that the age 1 blue cards are probably the worst cards in the game. I will never build them unless they are the absolute last useful card in a hand and I cannot build my wonder.

On the flip side other players who build a green card age 3 as their first green card can expect it to be worth 1 point (pretty poor for an age 3 card) and thus are much less lilely to build it unless they know they must keep it from a science player.

Science is scored that way because it must be invested all in to yield a victory but if it was too easy for the other players to be able to stop it (ie if they could build science late game and get good points from it) than it would be impossible to get a victory in science and the early game science cards would become just as dead as the early game blue cards. Thus it creates a situation which forces the non-science players to acknowledges and impede the science player and in return the science player has to consider if science would be a dead end strategy because of the response from the other players and possibly jump ship before it’s too late.
 
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Jeremy Burke
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We just played yesterday... when we let my wife take all the green cards, yup she wins. So we tuck green cards under our wonders and occasionally build a few as defense. 'Cause if we don't, we lose. Always.

It's like we say in our regular game group (for any game)-- if we don't gang up against Nick, he will win. If we gang up on him, each of us will have a chance to win. If any of us ally with Nick, we're just letting him win. :-)
 
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Chad Miller
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Building a full set of science (one of each symbol) is far from bad. Also, the slots in your wonder exist for a reason. Finally, someone taking manufactured goods in Age I is throwing away a lot of very good setup cards by doing so.

"Science always wins!" is a common newbie complaint, but barring certain broken Leaders configurations it's virtually always beatable.
 
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Chad Miller
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Also, make sure you're enforcing the rule that you can only have one of the same structure in play at a time. Failing to use this rule definitely disproportionately helps science since science symbols have increasing marginal value.
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Scott Douglass
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Allstar64, I think you're overstating how all in science is. Getting 1 set early on can be strong, and getting 2 sets is fine as long as you find another major scoring avenue in age 3. All in science, where you pretty much only score from science cards is certainly a fragile strategy that relies heavily on other players not interfering too much, but that isn't the only way to go science.

Playing just the base game, getting 3 sets means you have a decent shot, but you'll likely need another source of points. 48 points is not a winning score. Getting 4 sets means you should win handily, but it also means that your opponents are awful.
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Timothy Nesbitt
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I want to stress Chad's point here:
You can only have 1 of each structure.
When following this rule it balances green a lot more.
Speaking from experience there are games where I took all the green and still lost.
Sure, in a 2 player game green=win but in games with lots of players the win really depends on who has the weakest neighbors (not necessarily in military but in exploitability).
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Aaron Bohm
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Science is fine, science is not broken... you may just need to revise your strategy a bit.

There is an eb and a flow to science game to game. Your first game, it gets ignored and the one person who consentrated on it kills everyone in score. The next game, it seems like the best strategy so too many people concentrate on it and end up knocking each other down. Science looks like a crappy scorer then and your next game many people avoid it allowing the opportunity for one to monopolize on it. Et cetera.

7 Wonders is a game where you do have to check around the table at what everyone is building and adjust accordingly. Personally, I always try to get at least 1 set of science and, if I'm going to bury a card for a wonder or coins, 8 times out of 10 its going to be that 1 science symbol that completes another player's set.

Otherwise, you are going to be very frustrated with this game in general. After you're done griping about science, military is going to be the next area of frustration as it is the only thing that can potentially net 18 points per card. So, same as science, if you get 2 players who refuse to build military surrounding a third in the middle, he can get a lot of points by just playing 1 card. There is a strat that invests heavily on resources early with the outcome being able to purchase all those pretty lvl 3 builings, an opposite strat that depends on low resources and commerce, chaining, building all blue buildings, etc. All strategies are "unstoppable" until they are, in fact, stopped.
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Blake Douglass
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One strategy that uses science without trying to go all out with it, is getting at 1 set of science, preferably in Age 1, but if you can't get the last symbol in Age 1 it is fine to get it in Age 2. It is even better if you can manage to get 2 sets before Age 3, especially if you do not intend to go heavy science. That way the other players will notice you going science, and instead of denying you the card you actually want, they might deny you a science symbol you didn't intend to take anyway. And this strategy has the benefit of making a hand that would be useless to everyone else useful to you if the hand contains mostly science, you can still get some points where everyone else will only be able to build their wonder. Science also builds military structures, which can help win military against your neighbors, although you never want to try to out military Rhodes, as you will most likely lose, and even if you succeed, the points you get are not worth the cards spent to get them.

If you plan to go science, i think it is best to go with a combination of science with military, civilian, or mercantile. This will make sure that you are not solely dependent on science for points, which makes your strategy much harder to disrupt, as you could be going for anything. This also opens your tactical play immensely, as almost every hand that is passed to you will be useful, and in the rare case that the hand has no useful cards you can use the card that you think would be best for everyone else to build your wonder.
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Julian Wasson
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AnArmyOfBunnies wrote:
If you plan to go science, i think it is best to go with a combination of science with military, civilian, or mercantile. This will make sure that you are not solely dependent on science for points, which makes your strategy much harder to disrupt, as you could be going for anything.


This is rule #1 for 7 Wonders, and most other tableau games. Set yourself up for good plays, and all of your plays will be good. The worst thing you can do in this game is lock yourself into a very specific strategy, because then it's trivial for your opponents to shut that strategy down. Also following through on a strategy despite everything is a great way to lose. If it's age 3 and you've got 2 of each tech and your options are a tablet or 8 points for Pantheon, take the damn points. Most likely that tablet's only going to be worth 5 points, and if your gamble pays off and you get another full cycle you're getting 7.7 points. Which is still less than if you just went for the guaranteed 8. If you didn't set yourself up for that option, you just let 1-3 points walk out the door, which somebody else is undoubtedly going to get.
 
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Matias Vierimaa
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This topic made me just realize that the reason for winning with Greens might also be because your game group is too polite or does not feel it is allright to all other plyers to attack single player.

If this is case, it is simple matter of playing enough to realise that if YOU want to win YOU (and other players) must harass the lone green player.

In our games it is more common to two players to focus on certain type of greens, i.e. one of the three types. In this way each player har their fair chance to typically score 16-25 points for greens(+leaders+guilds).

In such game if you are not playing greens, you just need to decide which player might be leading one and trying to slow him down. If each player will score 4 or 5 points per green card/guild/leader it is not necessarily winning strategy even though you wouldn't harass it at all.

I usually aim to focus on greens if a) other player boards have two wonder stages (less ability to put green cards to building wonder) and b) I have certain add-ons to focus on greens (wonder stage, leader etc.)

I have however made my biggest scores by letting others ASSUME I am going to play greens. In one game with Babylon (A) I simply build two greens in first round to make other players think I will focus on greens. In second and third round, my opponents started to use greens to build their wonder stages (probably thinking more to harass me than making optimum moves). My strategy worked, I focused building optimum
cards and scoring a whopping 88 points with only ten points with greens (Babylon wonder stage 2 + two 1.round greens). Thus, scoring 5 points for each green card and scoring gazillion of points with reds/blues!




 
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