7 Wonders Duel Board Game
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- Similar style of play as the award-winning original, 7 Wonders
- Designed specifically for two-player, head-to-head battles
- Build a civilization that will crush your competition and flourish for centuries
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
One of the most celebrated games in the world can now be experienced in a two-player arena. 7 Wonders Duel takes the game play and excitement of the original and adapts it for one-on-one battles. Take control of your civilization and decide to invest in science, military or prestige. Two new ways to win will keep you on your toes and watching every move your opponent makes. If you fail to build defenses your capital city may be destroyed, but ignore technology and your people may be left in the dark ages. It's a constant tug of war. 7 Wonders Duel is an exciting new way to play the game that took the world by storm. Great for both fans of the original and those new to the hobby.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8 x 2 x 8 in||3 x 11.25 x 11.25 in||2.24 x 10.82 x 10.82 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||7.5 x 2.62 x 10.75 in||12 x 12 x 3 in|
|Item Weight||1.25 lbs||2.75 lbs||1.94 lbs||3 lbs||1.54 lbs||2.66 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
The 7 Wonders universe has always had great artwork and gameplay, and Duel meets all that. However, Duel takes a significantly different approach to how cards are built throughout the game. The main 7 Wonders game and all its expansions were based on a hand of cards passing around the circle, and then card-drafting your civilization from that. Duel takes a different approach of laying the cards out in different combinations of face up and face down pyramid shapes, with cards overlaid on top of others. This ensures that both players can see some of the cards that will be available in future turns, though not the face down ones. On your turn, you might hesitate to build a Stone Quarry (even though you really need stone!) because doing so would open up a key card or cards for your opponent. These back-and-forth risk/reward decisions that players will make would be interesting enough on their own, but Duel also adds a twist to three more mechanics: military victory, science victory, and Wonders.
Military Victory. In Duel, at the start of a game players will start with a neutral position on a two-way "tug of war" style military chart. As military strength is built up, the military token will swing back and forth between the two players. If one player is not careful to keep the other's military in check, they can easily be overrun and lose immediately when their opponent's army reaches their capitol city. In the original 7 Wonders, one could often ignore military power entirely and still win. In Duel, if your opponent decides to go for a military win and you ignore it, you will most likely lose. This adds a much appreciated tension to the game and makes the "Duel" moniker very applicable.
Science Victory. Another way for an immediate victory in Duel is to build six unique Science symbols. This is harder than it sounds, since your opponent will be doing everything he can to ensure that you don't. However, since being "too" defensive is equally as poor of a strategy, they'll have to allow you to get close, but not too close. With equally skilled players, these Science and Military victories won't happen as often as the typical "Most Victory points" win, but they are immediate and satisfying when they do.
Wonders. Each player will start with 4 Wonders available to build, and only 7 can be built during the game. The Wonders in Duel are satisfyingly expensive, and several of them have a "take an extra turn" mechanic that can be used strategically to bury a card that your opponent especially wants, and then snatch the next card underneath it before your opponent has a chance to take their turn. This enhances the tension of the back-and-forth card taking because you're never sure when your opponent is going to use it to take two turns at once.
In the ten games that we've played, everything seems near-perfectly balanced. Everything, that is, except one specific Progress token which led to a runaway victory when paired with a specific Guild card. In fairness, we were both new to the game at the time, so I didn't have a game plan to combat it. It may have just been a random "perfect storm". Since then, we've been able to mitigate that from happening.
Other than that minor quibble, I don't really have anything else negative to say.
Duel benefits greatly from the two-player only design. It plays relatively quickly (35 min) but packs a lot of interesting decisions without being too brain-burning (i.e. Five Tribes). After ten plays, you start to appreciate even more the tightness of design. The interplay between the Military/Science/Victory Point strategies keeps you on your toes and ensures that you can't just fall into the same game plan every time.
We're huge 7 Wonders fans in our group, and happy to say that this game would stand up even without the 7 Wonders name. It's easily our favorite "two player only" game that we own. I wouldn't be surprised to see this game get a flood of expansions as well; it's that good.
Quick note on the components: the cards are reduced in size quite a bit from the original game, mostly because of necessity, but that makes it also easy to transport.
Note: full review of this game, including gameplay descriptions, more bad puns, and a lot more pictures available at playbegins.com
There are three paths to victory in Duel: producing buildings and wonders, collecting six science symbols, or reaching the maximum level on the military conquest track. I've played about 10 games to this point, and it's clear that setting up production to earn victory points is the dominant strategy. Focusing solely on the science or conquest path can be rough. Be flexible, though -- your opponent's moves may point out the best path.
LEARNING CURVE: Low. Newcomers should grasp the game easily within 15 minutes, even without knowing how to play 7 Wonders.
GAME FLOW: Quick. There are few (but many times tough) decisions to make on a turn. Since this is only a 2-player game, you don't have to wait long for your next turn.
INTENSITY: Above average. Even though Duel's strategy is rather light, you're often faced with the dilemma of taking a good card while potentially revealing a card that gives your opponent exactly what they need.
REPLAYABILITY: Above average. Each game feels different since not all components are in play every time, and the card matrix helps randomize outcomes.
THEME: Average. During the game, I'm focused more on what the card gives me rather than the building or wonder itself. The original 7 Wonders does a little better in this area.
COMPONENT QUALITY: Average. The building cards are of the smaller Euro-size, but this helps reduce the size of the card matrix. The box insert is designed well to organize game components. The Wonder cards tend to warp over time.
Overall, Duel is one of the best 2-player games in my collection, especially if I'm looking for a quick 30-minute game. Strong recommend.
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