7 Wonders Duel
NAME: 7 Wonders Duel
GENRE: Ancient / Civilization
TYPE: Card Drafting / Set Collection
Players 2, Ages 10+
Play Time: 30 Minutes
In many ways 7 Wonders: Duel resembles its parent game 7 Wonders as over three ages players acquire cards that provide resources or advance their military or scientific development in order to develop a civilization and complete wonders.
What's different about 7 Wonders: Duel is that, as the title suggests, the game is solely for two players, with the players not drafting card simultaneously from hands of cards, but from a display of face-down and face-up cards arranged at the start of a round. A player can take a card only if it's not covered by any others, so timing comes into play as well as bonus moves that allow you to take a second card immediately. As in the original game, each card that you acquire can be built, discarded for three coins, or used to construct a wonder.
Each player starts with four wonder cards, and the construction of a wonder provides its owner with a special ability. Only seven wonders can be built, though, so one player will end up short.
Players can purchase resources at any time from the bank, or they can gain cards during the game that provide them with resources for future building; as you acquire resources, the cost for those particular resources increases for your opponent, representing your dominance in this area.
A player can win 7 Wonders: Duel in one of three ways. Each time that you acquire a military card, you advance the military marker toward your opponent's capital, giving you a bonus at certain positions. If you reach the opponent's capital, you win the game immediately. Similarly, if you acquire any six of seven different scientific symbols, you achieve scientific dominance and win immediately. If neither of these situations occurs, then the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
1 game board
23 Age I cards
23 Age II cards
20 Age III cards
7 Guild cards
12 Wonder cards
4 Military tokens
10 Progress tokens
1 Conflict pawn
I am better at this game than you can ever dream, 21st May 2017
Reviewer: Andrew MacLean-Finney
The original 7 wonders has an okay 2 player mode, but if your wondering if you need this, the answer is yes.
Duel is much tighter than is predecessor in every way. They share enough DNA that learning is going to be a breeze, but now you have 3 avenues to victory: military conquest is a tug-of-war over the red cards, Science will instantly end the game if you can accumulate a large enough variety of Icons, and if neither of these happen it will come to who has amassed the most VPs along the way.
The art continues to be attractive, the symbology is clearer, and the 30 minute play time delivers a very tight experience.
This is my favourite 2 player game, recommended as a quick middle weight strategy game and especially if you have a regular gaming partner.
The expansion (Pantheon)changes a few bits up, I wouldn't call it essential but provides an alternative source of variety.
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