7 Wonders: Duel review

7 Wonders Duel

7 Wonders: Duel was published in 2015 by Repos Production and Asmodee. The game was designed by Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala. Illustrations were done by Miguel Coimbra.

Worldwide and US release date: October 2015.

Before the release date, the game was available for pre-order at various online stores. It became available at retailers in November.

Game Components

  • 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 cards
  • 1 conflict pawn
  • 31 coins (7 value 6, 10 value 3, 14 value 10)
  • 1 scorebook
  • 1 rule book
  • 1 helpsheet

7 Wonders Duel - Gameplay

Game elements

Wonder card

All wonder cards have a name, construction cost, and an effect indicated on them.

Board

The board shows military rivalry between the two cities. It’s divided into zones and spaces.

Military tokens

Military tokens show what you gain if your city is stronger militarily than your opponent’s.

Progress tokens

Progress tokens show what you get if you collect identical pairs of science symbols.

Coins

Coins are your currency. They allow you to build wonders and buildings. At the end of the game, your treasury also gives you victory points.

You can buy ultra-premium metal coins for 7 Wonders: Duel on Amazon

Conflict pawn

The conflict pawn marks military advantage.

Guild and Age cards

Guild and Age cards represent buildings.

7 Wonders Duel - Wonders

Gameplay

7 Wonders: Duel is 7 Wonders for two.

Over the course of three ages, you complete wonders developing your civilization in the meantime. In the beginning of the game, both players have four wonder cards. Only seven wonders can be completed – it means that one of the players will fail to complete all their wonders.

Like the parent game, 7 Wonders Duel is based on card play. The difference is that you don’t draft cards from various hands of cards but take them from a display of face-down and face-up cards.

Setup

The conflict pawn goes into the neutral space in the middle of the board. Shuffle all progress tokens and place 5 of them face-up randomly on the board. (The rest progress tokens go back into the box.)

Each player takes 7 coins from the bank.

7 Wonders Duel - Age 3

Rules

Wonders Selection Phase

Shuffle wonder tiles. Place 4 wonders between the two players face-up.

The first player chooses one wonder. Then the second player chooses two wonders, and the first player gets the remaining one.

Place 4 more wonders between the two players and repeat the selection process again – but this time the second player chooses first.

(In your first game, you’re advised to skip this phase and take pre-selected wonders – see the full rule book.)

One deck per age

Without looking, return 3 cards from each Age deck to the box, draw 3 guild cards, and add them to Age III.

Construction

During the game, you construct wonders and buildings. Buildings have resource cost – some of them are free, some are worth a number of coins.

Resources in a city are produced by brown, grey, and yellow cards and some wonders. To construct a building, you need to have all the resources indicated on the card in the city. If you have some missing resources, you can purchase them in the bank.

7 Wonders Duel - End city

Age

For each age, place the cards in a structure corresponding to the given age.

Players take turns. On your turn, you choose an accessible card in the age structure and play it. To be accessible, the card needs not to be covered by other cards. There are three ways to play a card:

  • Construct a building
  • Discard it in order to get coins
  • Construct a wonder

An age ends when all cards from its structure are played.

Military

Each shield on military buildings and wonders allows you to move the conflict pawn one space in the direction of the opposing capital.

Military supremacy condition: the conflict pawn enters the space of your opponent’s capital.

Science and Progress

There are seven different science symbols. When you gather a couple of identical symbols, you may choose one of the progress tokens on the board and keep it in your city.

Scientific supremacy: you gather six science symbols.

7 Wonders Duel - Scoring

End of the game

There are three ways to end a game of 7 Wonders: Duel – Military supremacy, Scientific supremacy and Civilian victory. Civilian victory means that Age III has ended and both Military and Scientific conditions have not been met. In this case, the winner is the player with the most victory points (military victory points + points from your buildings + victory points from wonders + victory points from progress + your city’s treasury).

Download rules PDF here.

Similar Games

7 Wonders: Duel vs 7 Wonders

7 Wonders

7 Wonders: Duel uses a different mechanism to draft cards. It has some other significant differences from the parent game connected with scientific bonuses, trading, building wonders, and using military cards. But the core of the game remains the same. 7 Wonders: Duel is a great way to enjoy 7 Wonders as a 2-player game.

7 Wonders: Duel vs Machi Koro

Machi Koro

Machi Koro is a Japanese card drafting game. Like in 7 Wonders: Duel you use resources to build wonders, in Machi Koro you use money to construct large buildings. The mechanisms in the two games are quite similar but Machi Koro also uses dice roll. Both games are rather easy to learn.

7 Wonders: Duel – Messe Essen Expansion

7 Wonders Duel - The Messe Essen

The Messe Essen Convention Center is an exclusive wonder that is added to the basic wonders of 7 Wonders: Duel.

FAQ

Q: Is there a digital version of 7 Wonders: Duel for iOS and Android?

A: Developers are working a 7 Wonders app and they even started beta testing it but so far nothing has been published.

Q: Some wonders allow you to take another turn. If I build one of those, then use my extra turn to build another wonder and it will give me yet one more turn, will I just keep going like that?

A: Yes, rules don’t forbid that. That’s why when you’re drafting wonders in the beginning of the game be careful not to let your opponent take all wonders with extra turn possibility.

Q: 7 Wonders supports a 2-player variant. Why do we need 7 Wonders: Duel and how is it different?

A: 7 Wonders: Duel is generally a simpler and shorter game than 7 Wonders. So it allows you to play without emerging into a thousand details. 7 Wonders: Duel was specifically designed for two, so it plays better as a two-player game than 7 Wonders. Duo dynamics is more natural in Duel: there is no dummy, it’s just you and your opponent.

Q: Is science victory possible?

A: Yes, it’s possible. It doesn’t come across very often but it happens sometimes.

Q: What size of sleeves fits 7 Wonders: Duel cards?

A: There are twelve large wonder cards in the game. You may get Extra Large Arcane Tinmen sleeves or Premium Mayday sleeves for them. Then, there are 73 small age cards. For them, you can use Mini European sleeves.

YouTube

Conclusion

7 Wonders: Duel is a civilization card game for two players. 7 Wonders does not need an introduction to the gaming world. All that you love about the classical game is in its duo variant. So if you feel like building wonders with just one friend – 7 Wonders: Duel is your choice!

Watch a review of 7 Wonders: Duel on Dice Tower: http://www.dicetower.com/file/80873

You can buy 7 Wonders: Duel on Amazon