7 Wonders: Duel
Because I've been concentrating on Gameblast, my general games blogging has suffered.
This goes all the way back to 6th February.
Matt came round and we played a couple of 2-player games.
7 Wonders Duel is a 2-player only variant of 7 Wonders. It shares a lot of similarity with that game, but where it differs from the original is in card-drafting. That is to say that 7 Wonders Duel has no card-drafting at all, it would be a bit silly in 2-player game.
Instead Duel uses cards laid out in one of several different 'array'.
Imagine the cards laid out in rows in a pyramid shape, each row having less cards as the pyramid rises, until at the top where only one card is laid.
Now imagine the alternating rows being face up and face down.
Now imagine the tops of the lower cards covering the bottom of the cards above.
That's how cards are laid out in 7 Wonders Duel: It requires a little prep, but not as much as it sounds above.
I guess that this is designed to replicate or replace the drafting mechanic.
When drawing a card, you can only draw a card that has no other cards on it. Thus might be forced to take cards you don't want (or are unknown) to get to the cards that you want.
The rest of the game is more or less the same as the full game. The cards you acquire can be used to generate resources to buy other cards to generate even more resources. There are also scientific, civic and military cards to collect, etc. You create wonders and play over 3 ages.
One area where something new is added is winning conditions. Normally you score when the final round us over: Now if you acquire a certain number of scientific advances, then you score a scientific victory. Additionally; the game has a military track, acquiring military cards moves a marker along the track, move the marker far enough and you score a military victory.
Both of these victories can be achieved before the games traditional ending and add a new dynamic to strategies you can adopt.
Overall, 7 Wonders Duel replicates enough of the original to be similar but is its own thing. However, if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose 7 Wonders every time. Just because it supports more players.
The second 2-player game of the night was Raptor.
Have you ever wanted to play a band of scientists armed with tranquiliser rifles and flamethrowers?
How about a raptor with a taste for human flesh?
If so, then read on.
Raptor takes place on a square-gridded game board with some added scenery. Each player also has their own little board and small deck of cards.
One player takes the role of a group of 10 scientists. This player's objective is to tranquilise either 5 baby raptors, or the mother raptor (which has to be shot with 5 darts).
Player 2 players the raptors. Their objective is to get all of the baby raptors off of the game board, or as is most likely more satisfying, eat all the scientists.
There are 2 types of action in Raptor, those determined by your cards and those determined by your board. Each player has different actions.
Play proceeds as follows:
That's pretty much all the rules.
The card playing mechanic is interesting but potentially frustrating. I seem to remember that some actions are same on both the cards and the board and that each also have a couple of unique actions. I also remember several actions appear twice in the deck, but with higher and lower numbers. If you really want to do something on the card, you play the card with the lower value.
There's also a card that allows you to shuffle your discard pile back into your deck - with a value of one.
There's also a card that does nothing but has a value of 9 - one to play when you hope your opponent is going to play a low value card and you want to do actions listed on your board.
And that's the thing: Your actions may be completely dictated by the actions of the other player. So for someone like me who's a planner it can be frustrating, unless you know all the cards well and have good read on your opponent.
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