One of the most popular games for large groups is 7 Wonders. The strength of this game is that the game lasts about as long with 2 players as with 7 because the core of the game consists of passing on a hand of cards where you can always pick one card from in your turn. You can also play this game with the two of you, but the game plays better with a larger number of players. In 2015 Repos Production expanded the 7 Wonders family (which, in addition to the basic game consists of a large number of expansions) with a 2 player game that listens to the name 7 Wonders Duel.
In 7 Wonders Duel the players play as one of two leaders of ancient civilizations who are fighting. It is a battle on three fronts, you can defeat the other by military superiority, based on scientific superiority or on the basis of who has the most developed civilization. 7 Wonders Duel is a game in which a lot happens and you have to pay attention to many different things at the same time and weigh them against each other. There is too much happening in this game to go into everything, so we will just discuss the main points in this post.
During the game you collect cards. Some cards are free, other cards are not. There are different types of cards. First of all you have resource maps (for example, bricks, wood or papyrus) that help you to buy other cards later. Other types of maps provide you with civilization points, science or military strength.
The game is played over three rounds. 20 cards are placed in a fixed pattern each round. The maps are overlapping one another and are alternately open and closed. During your turn, you can always take one card from the bottom row. Sometimes you really want to get a card, but you already see that by removing that card you give the other player the chance to get a better card. Sometimes that is enough reason to take a different card.
It is very important to quickly get some resource cards. You really need these to be able to take better cards later. If you do not have the right resources to get a card, you can always pay for it. The price depends on how many of these types of cards your opponent has on the other side. You must therefore ensure that the other person doesn’t monopolizes a type of raw material because that will cost you big time.
Civilization points are important because they can give you the victory at the end of the game. The only question is whether the battle is decided on this front. If a player manages to achieve a certain military superiority (with military points), the battle is immediately decided in his or her favor. The same applies to the science points, if a player has managed to get hold of 6 different science cards, this player also wins immediately. During the game, you have to be careful that you do not accidentally lose because you have let things get worse in the military or scientific field. Then all the civilization points you have collected for the final count, simply won’t matter that anymore.
Conclusion: What makes 7 Wonders Duel so good?
7 Wonders Duel is a tough but fun game for 2. There is so much happening and there are so many things to watch out for, that the game will mainly appeal to fanatical board game enthusiasts. For people who occasionally want to do a quick and fun game will probably find it too difficult or hard.
You have to find the balance in the game between getting hold of the right cards for the final victory while in the meantime secretly trying to get a military or scientific victory. But the other player will try this too, so you also have to keep in mind that you are not being defeated in an unguarded moment in one of the areas while you were busy trying to boost your civilization score. You regularly have to make very difficult choices. And that’s where this game shines. The game also looks great. Only the rules of the game could have been a little bit better structured.