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Subject: 3 Player - Wonderful Game! rss

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Greg Gresik
United States
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We've had 7 Wonders since Christmas - and it has already hit the table about 15+ times. We have played with anywhere between 3 and the full monty of 7.

The most recent game was a 3 player affair between my wife, myself and our 7 year old son.

I drew Ephesos - nice! I will be playing side B. I like Ephesos a lot, as I tend to get tempted into building non-production buldings early, and need to occasionally purchase resources from others. The money at each Wonder stage helps in my "default" strategy (some would suggest de-"faulty").

The wife is going to play Alexandria - but opts for side A (we allow players to choose their side). To me, Alexandria plays weaker on side A, as the second stage is gotten to too late.

My son gets Olympia and opts for side A - a solid choice, imho. I prefer side A as well.


Early on I am lucky enough to snag a timber yard (which produces both resources I need for my 1st and 2nd stage). Later I would add on a loom which basically would set me up to only have to buy 1 resource per wonder stage.

I also set out a couple of blue buildings, hoping to chain off them later (baths and altar to be precise). My opponents build several production buildings in Age I along with some military and a trading post.

Having Ephesus (and it's papyrus production) allows me to also toss in a science building or two by the end of the round. If nothing else, then to steal them from anyone else wanting to go the science route.

This is where things get interesting (as usual). I build a caravansery early, suddenly allowing me to build both my first two stages without purchase. I also find science buildings being passed to me - fine, I'll do it. I make a run at science, building almost exclusively green in the 2nd age, save for walls - so as not to take anymore military minuses. I also build my 1st stage. My opponents go for some blue civiliaztion buildings (my son mainly), while my wife adds her 1st and 2nd stage and dabbles in science (more to block me I think). My son adds no more military though, so I take a +3 on his side (my wife and I tied). My son also added the 2nd stage, prepping for a quick "Palace" free build in round 3, if the opportunity presents

At the start of this stage I have a science "set" and am 2 short of possibly running a second. My first hand of the age - no science. Drat! But I "use" the Palace as my 2nd wonder stage - mainly to prevent my son from building it for free.. Then a hand gets passed to me - 3 green cards!! And all that I need for my 2nd set. I build one, hoping one of the other two will make it back to me. Luckily, it does. I end up with 38 points worth of science (building no guilds) - but getting all 3 stages in too. The other two finish wonders and add blue cards and guilds (my son wisely building the Philosopher's Guild, which would yield him 10 points).

Final scores:

Me - 63
Wife - 50
Son - 43

A few thoughts about the game in general:
1) Not completing the 2nd science "set" would have cost me 10 points, making the game much closer.

2) Military was oddly lacking in this one. Many were burying military. The reason that is odd to me is twofold. Military seems more important in a 3 player game - not less, as every shield counts against everyone you are playing against. Also, the two players I was playing with, have historically tried to "win" military pretty regularly.

Finally, I, like many others, prefer 7 Wonders as a 3 player game (or 4 at most). It it more strategic, imho. With more players, your opening hand never really gets back to you (or at least not with any degree of predicting what might still be there). Also, the fact that almost everything you do affects ALL the players you are playing against - military, economic, guilds, resources, etc. the decisions are much more angst-inducing...and more important.

While I like 7 Wonders as a 5, 6 or 7 - I LOVE it as a 3 or 4 player game. As a 5+ player game, it feels more "tactical" - you simply do what's best for you. As a 3 or 4 player, it is more strategic, as you seem to be able to more directly affect the scores of your opponents - and what cards get back to you.

In fact, it might be one of the best 3 player games in my collection...until I open Stone Age.

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Fernando Robert Yu
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Happy your family had fun. This is one of the games where I can get most of my family to play as well. Indeed a great game!
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