Feb 24, 2015

7 Wonders - Resource Management (in 2-Player)

This weekend brought an opportunity to get in a couple of games of 2-Player 7 Wonders (as per our usual with the Leaders and Wonder Pack expansions).  In past games I have definitely hurt myself due to not having enough resources, but this is the first time I can remember playing a 2-Player game where the resources I needed weren't available at all, even for purchase!

In the first game my strategy was to make sure I got a few gray resource cards and ignore the military based on the leaders I had.  The first age went well.  Then about halfway through the second age I realized that not only did I not have any wood, but I couldn't build the second stage of my wonder as there wasn't three wood available between my neighbours (they each had one).  I never did see the double wood card that round, I think that it was likely the last card in the "dummy" player pile (that doesn't get picked up).  Despite a decent science score, I was defeated 60 to 50.

The board at the end of our first game
 I was determined in our second game to not let the same thing happen!  I had a better variety of resources, even though I didn't have ore, but I figured that shouldn't be an issue as I didn't need it for my wonder and I could always buy it.  Well, I was wrong again.  This time my problem is that I was short on cash, and as a result couldn't buy ore, which ended up causing me to have to pass (either build something else or discard for 3 coins) a few times.  Despite this I managed to get a decent science score (relying heavily on my leaders) and get a 55 to 50 victory.

The board at the end of the second game
Having played a fair number of two-player games I have definitely noticed the difference compared to 3+ players in card availability.  I have pretty much memorized what is available in each age, but that has limitations based on one card in each age not being played (the last card in the 'dummy' player pile) and the ability for the opposing player to play or get rid of cards before you see them (from the 'dummy' pile, or from playing 2 cards the first choice in an age).  Although it can definitely come into play in terms of purposing preventing your opponent access to a card, it can also haunt you if you count on seeing a certain card later on.

Leaders are also interesting in 2-Player as each person only has one leader that the other person doesn't know; the other 3 they saw during the drafting.  This means that you can start to get a sense of a person's strategy before the game begins!

I don't think that these detract from the game at all, they are just differences that I have to watch when playing 2-player, and not let affect me when we play with larger groups.

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