7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Colossus of Rhodes Side “B”

By Brian Durkin
An optimal set up for the Colossus of Rhodes side “B”
What’s the best part of having money? You can buy things. Similar to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, the “B” side of the Colossus of Rhodes gives the player money for completing the stages of this wonder. This key difference between the two sides of Rhodes changes how you build your resource base and what other cards you can afford to play.
This Little Piggy Went to Market

If you can leave Age I with all the commercial structures, then consider that a huge success. Trading Post and Marketplace will allow you to play Forum and Caravansary in Age II, which you will not have the resources to play without these buildings from the first age. Caravansary allows you to skip taking Stone Pit and Ore Vein in Age I, and Forum allows you to avoid relying on manufactured goods and your neighbors’ full support in taking the grey cards. You cannot count on opening and playing Caravansary and Forum every time you play because these cards go fast. I recommend hedging your bets and take Stone Pit in Age I to help facilitate completing the first stage of your wonder. Pay attention to your partners too; do not take Stone Pit if you sit next to the Pyramids of Giza, and instead concentrate on other vital resources your neighbors will not help you with. Anytime you play a commercial structures strategy, you need to fill the gaps of resources your neighbors leave with your own picks. But what should you build to accompany the Colossus?
Wonders that generate money benefit
the most from commercial structures
This Little Piggy Stayed at Home
These Age II cards will make up
the majority of the resources you
will produce during the game.
Decorate the Mandraki Harbor with civilian structures. People like to live by the beach, so accommodate your townsfolk with cheap buildings. I recommend taking several blue cards in Age I. If you skip out on taking brown and grey cards then you will need to capitalize on trees of free construction. Cards like Theater and Altar give you plays in Age II when you have not yet seen crucial cards such as Quarry, Foundry, or the fore mentioned commercial structures. Civilian structures will also boost your score significantly before entering Age III, which will keep the pressure off requiring a high average point value per card in the final age. Between taking blue and yellow cards, do not forget the other primary color.
One of the trees of free construction you can
take advantage of as Rhodes side “B”
This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
Try to take a military structure
in every age
Dennis Leary once said, “Meat tastes like murder, and murder tastes pretty [bleeping] good.” In case you forgot, in order to construct a giant statue of Helios you need to crack some skulls. Rhodes gravitates towards fighting, so battle your neighbors. I recommended taking two military structures for side “A,” but you cannot make time to use a third of your picks on red cards in Age I when playing side “B.” Taking a military structure in Age I and II plus constructing your wonder will still make it hard for your neighbors to win. As stated earlier, you need to pick up civilian structures to score points and access more cards for free. Concentrating too much on red with side “B” will put you in a position where you find yourself not able to play any cards.
This Little Piggy Had None
No green. No grey. In an ideal world you can stick to the primarily colors. You will need to take Foundry and Quarry to finish your wonder, but only take manufactured goods if you realize you probably will not receive a Forum; however, if your neighbors possess all three manufactured goods and you own Marketplace then do not worry about it. Completing your wonder and other cards like Tavern and Bazaar will keep you in business. If you do not have take manufactured goods, supporting scientific buildings will prove difficult. Depending on the seating arrangements you can try going green instead of blue, but I feel blue provides a more dependent and safer victory point progression if you avoid taking grey cards. Playing through the game with the absolute minimal amount of resources cards provides special advantages. Certain cards will go all the way to your home.
And This Little Piggy Went “Wee! Wee! Wee!”
Workers Guild, Strategists Guild, &
Craftsmens Guild are the three best
guilds for Rhodes side “B”
Usually players yell, “Why? Why? Why?” when they see Workers Guild. They cannot fathom any player benefiting from this card, until they notice that this guild skipped its way around the table to make you as happy as a pig. In six to seven player games, almost every guild will make it into the draft. Most guilds possess situation benefits requiring your neighbors to build specific structures. Even if they build the color you need for a particular guild, you still have to pay the usually not so easy cost of the guild. If you did take Caravansary in Age II, side “B” of Rhodes should only need one wood or clay from a neighbor to play Workers Guild (assuming you grab stone and ore for building your wonder). In case you cannot play Workers Guild, do not forget about the mighty Craftsmens Guild. Side “B” of Rhodes lives to play this card. Purchasing all those manufactured goods throughout the game from neighbors will feel more like investing if this guild makes it to you. If you do not manage to see either of these bombs, hopefully Strategists Guild will make its way to you. Playing any of the other guilds involves way too many variables to discuss here because of your assumed lack of brown and grey cards.
Summary of Picks
The following list highlights all the potential cards to look out for when playing side “B.” The order of the cards on the list does not reflect a particular card’s importance versus other cards.
Age I
  • Barracks
  • Marketplace
  • East or West Trading Post
  • Tavern
  • Theater
  • Altar
  • Pawnshop
  • Stone Pit
  • Ore Vein
Age II
  • Caravansary
  • Forum
  • Training Ground
  • Foundry
  • Quarry
  • Temple
  • Statue

Age III
  • Strategists Guild
  • Workers Guild
  • Craftsmens Guild
  • Town Hall
  • Palace
  • Circus
  • Fortifications
  • Lighthouse
Note: Taking a lot of commercial structures makes Lighthouse a great pick in Age III. Lighthouse probably will not score more than five or six points when playing Rhodes, but that still meets my recommended benchmark for Age III. If you cannot secure a Forum, evaluate which manufactured resource you need the most. Loom allows you to play Strategist Guild, but I think Glass gives you better odds and options. It opens up Town Hall and Lighthouse.
Thanks for your patronage in this long journey to cover all the wonders. If you want to catch up on previous articles covering the other starting positions, check out the Table of Contents page to find the list of articles.
How do you feel about this strategy for side “B” of Colossus? What other 7 Wonders content would you like to see in the future?
Let us know what you think. 
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. They make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Colossus of Rhodes Side “A”

An optimal set up for side “A”
“You gonna fook on me?” – Mr. Chow from The Hangover
You neighbors better hate Godzilla as much as you do, because hell has no fury like the Colossus of Rhodes. Built to battle, your neighbors bark up the wrong tree when trying to test your might. But how will you build such a dominating wonder? First it depends on which side you play. Besides beating up on people, side “A” enjoys owning a lot of resources.
Brown Town
Concentrate on these resources
instead of ore. You need wood
and clay to play Caravansary
and Forum in Age II.

 

Rhodes requires a lot of raw materials. You need two wood, three clay, and four ore to finish every stage of this wonder. Besides those resources, I recommend picking up stone too in order to play crucial cards in Age III. Two stone allows you to play cards like Senate, Arena, Town Hall, and Craftsmens Guild. With all the raw materials you will take in first two ages (along with other cards), I do not think you can use picks to take all the manufactured resources. If your draft works out this way, then you can benefit from Chamber of Commerce in addition to Haven; however, I think you will end up with too few cards in play that actually add points. You only care about Caravansary and Forum as far as commercial structures when playing side “A.” Caravansary will round out your raw material requirements. Without Caravansary, you will find your money running dangerously low or overcompensating by taking too many raw material cards. You must play Forum. Too many cards in Age III will prove unplayable because of their requirements without efficient access to manufactured goods. Try finding a card like Vineyard or Bazaar to improve your finances if you know you will not play Forum. Without Forum, you will end up purchasing manufactured goods from your neighbors for several plays in Age III. Take Loom to hedge against a no Forum situation. Loom allows you to play Haven and Strategists Guild in Age III.
 

Purple Nurple
Potential guilds you can play
You can tell the Hanging Gardens of Babylon player to step off with his or her guild playing capabilities. Side “A” of Rhodes can benefit from Craftsmens Guild, Strategists Guild, Magistrates Guild, Philosophers Guild, Shipowners Guild, and of course Builders Guild. Many of these guilds depend on your opponents’ decisions, but Strategists Guild and Shipowners Guild should score at least six points each. Remember that Shipowners Guild requires papyrus and glass, so you will need your neighbors help in order to play this card. If a pack in Age I or II provides no useful cards, consider taking a manufactured resource to increase your odds of playing some of these high scoring guilds. If nothing stellar presents itself in a pack, your frustration will turn you red.
The Kamehameha Wave
Aim to pick up these military structures.

 

The Colossus obviously trains at a hundred times gravity; therefore, you need to ride that Turtle Destruction Wave coming through the Mandraki Harbor. Fight. Fight. Fight! I want to see 16 to 18 victory tokens at the end of the game. I do not want to see 15 strength in military structures. You should never need that much power to take down the science nerds, commercial traders, or civil architects sitting next to you. If you do, then your neighbor has succeeded in tanking you and compromising your ability to win. Expect to play at least one military structure an age. I recommend playing two in Age I. I think it forces neighbors to concede military to you. By playing a military structure in Age II or completing the second stage of your wonder, a neighbor would need to spend a third of his or her picks in Age II on military structures just to tie (assuming you start Age II with two strength). If you take a military structure and construct your wonder in Age II, it puts you so far ahead in military strength that you should never lose. One military structure in Age III will suffice, preventing neighbors from stealing your victory tokens.
Put Civilian Structures in Your Sights
Worry about resources and military strength during the first two ages, but in Age III you will need to pick up a few blue cards in order to round out a good score. Part of your plan when setting up your resource base allows you to play cards like Senate and Town Hall in the last age. These two civilian structures will really help during picks where none of the higher point cards appear and you do not need to take more military structures. I recommend taking a civilian structure in Age II. This relieves some of the pressure to find high value cards in Age III. Keep your eyes out for Haven and Arena as well, since both cards should score about six points for you.
Summary of Picks
The following list highlights all the potential cards to look out for when playing side “A.” The order of the cards on the list does not reflect a particular card’s importance versus other cards.
Age I
  • Raw Materials, concentrate on everything but Ore
  • Any military structure you can play (no more than two)
  • Construct the first stage of your wonder
Age II
  • Forum
  • Caravansary
  • Foundry
  • Training Ground
  • Stables
  • Courthouse
  • Construct at least your second stage of your wonder
Age III
  • Haven
  • Arena
  • Craftsmens Guild
  • Philosophers Guild
  • Shipowners Guild
  • Strategists Guild
  • Arsenal
  • Senate
  • Town Hall
Note: I listed Training Ground in Age II as the military structure to pick up. You do not have to prioritize this card, but it does allow you to play Circus for free in Age III. You normally will not have resources to play Circus on your own with side “A.” In a six player game Circus makes up almost 40 percent of all military structures available in the final age. Taking Training Ground opens up your options. It allows you to stay flexible on when you take a military structure in Age III, plus keep you focused on taking civilian structures and guilds.
Also this strategy only pertains to side “A” of Rhodes. For information on side “B,” check out the next article on June 29th.
What do you think of this strategy for side “A?” Do not forget to comment.
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information
 
For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Lighthouse of Alexandria Side “B”

by Brian Durkin

An optimal set up for side “B” of Alexandria

Do you know what’s better than taking Caravansary and or Forum in Age II? A wonder with those effects built into it. Welcome to side “B” of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the wonder that makes access to resources easy and the possibilities limitless. But what complements these abilities best?
“What You Can’t See Won’t Hurt You … It’ll Kill You!”
You need six commercial structures
to maximize the benefit of Lighthouse
In John Carpenter’s 1980 horror flick “The Fog,” the character Dan O’Bannon couldn’t escape his doomed fate sitting in his weather station lighthouse. Even Stevie Wayne experienced some paranormal activity with some drift wound in her tower. Can you bank on Lighthouse as a safe haven when trying to navigate the unclear future of packs and picks during Age III? I think you can. Just make sure you set yourself up for your neighbors to help you. Be nice to your neighbors on the right in Age II, so they’ll return the favor and not feel inclined to hate draft you in Age III. For example, I cut my opponent on my right from money during Age II by purchasing resources only from the player to my left. It resulted in him needing to wait to construct his third stage during Age III because of lack of money; he used a Lighthouse to construct the final stage of his wonder because he could see how many points it would give me. The lesson: do everything you can to increase your odds. If you choose to go a commercial structures route, you must pick up Lighthouse.

“I’m Blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Doo.”
If the “B” for side “B” of Alexandria stood for anything, it would stand for blue. Regardless of what other types of structures you build, you will take civilian structures with this side. You put yourself in a great position to build a variety of civilian structures when you construct your wonder. Difficult cards to play such as Pantheon and Palace will prove much easier to play with this wonder. In order to construct the stages you need wood and clay (and stone for the final stage). Wood and clay do not lend themselves to constructing many military structures, so assume you will not compete for victory tokens. You can overcome this concession in many ways. Besides your natural resource progression making Spies Guild an easy card to play, your high value civilian structures will offset the difference. Guilds requiring wood and clay can help score big points, as well as Lighthouse if you choose a commercial structures strategy. Starting with Glass, you could always consider another strategy.
Hulk Smash
The recommended scientific structures
to look out for when playing side “B”
Any wonder that starts with a manufactured good possesses the potential to build a green machine of scientific structures. If you choose to go heavy on green cards, you need to take Workshop in Age I and at least two scientific structures in Age II. I recommend taking three scientific structures in Age II (Laboratory, Dispensary, and Library). With four green cards going into Age III it puts less pressure on collecting scientific structures and increases the average point value per card to meet my recommended benchmark of five and half points per pick in Age III. Decide between the green or yellow. Both strategies require a dedication of about one third of your picks, making them mutually exclusive.
Access versus Ownership
Side “B” provides plenty of access to several types of resources without actually taking them yourself. You will need to draft some raw materials in order to construct your wonder levels, but you do not need to take the manufactured goods. Between the second stage of your wonder and the ability to play Forum (not to mention your neighbors taking manufactured resources) you should gravitate away from taking grey cards. This puts you in a great position to exploit Craftsmens Guild. If you notice your neighbors building up on manufactured goods, try to put yourself in a position to access ore and stone to play this guild. Just a couple of days ago a player took a last pick Foundry, allowing him to play Craftsmens Guild. Both his neighbors had Loom, Press, and Glassworks which gave the player 12 points when he played this guild. Obviously this is a “cream dream” scenario, but these types of situations can determine who makes top two. Sometimes the long odds pose the best chance of securing a top position. Also look out for Spies Guild, Traders Guild, and Philosophers Guild. The latter two depend of course on which strategy you concentrate on.
 
You have a good chance of maximizing the benefits of these
guilds when playing side “B” of Alexandria
Summary of Strategies
The “B” side includes “Bridge Over Troubled Water” not “Cowboys from Hell.” Considering the raw materials you need to build your wonder, you will find it difficult to support many military structures. After constructing your wonder you can splash many types of resources, which opens you up to playing several civilian structures including difficult cards like Palace. You can supplement your lack of resource cards with commercial buildings, but make sure you can pick up Lighthouse in Age III. Do you prefer a more progressive point earning strategy? Build scientific structures instead of commercial structures. Either strategy shies away from depending on actual resource cards and relying on free construction or commercial structures and your wonder’s powers to play other cards. You should always benefit from Spies Guild and Craftsmens Guild; however, Traders Guild and Philosophers Guild depend on what you took throughout the game.

Another optimal set up for side “B” of Alexandria


Summary of Picks
The following list highlights all the potential cards to look out for when playing side “B.” The order of the cards on the list does not reflect a particular card’s importance versus other cards. The list includes cards from both strategies.
Age I
  • Excavation, Tree Farm, Mine, or any split raw material card
  • Workshop
  • East or West Trading Post
  • Tavern
  • Marketplace
  • Clay Pool
  • Lumberyard
Age II
  • Caravansary
  • Forum
  • Laboratory
  • Library
  • Dispensary
  • Temple
  • Courthouse
Age III
  • Pantheon
  • Palace
  • Craftsmens Guild
  • Spies Guild
  • Traders Guild
  • Philosophers Guild
  • Lighthouse
  • Arena
  • University
  • Lodge
Note: Pay attention to your neighbors when playing side “B.” If you sit next to players who hoard scientific buildings, their decisions will force you to gravitate towards the yellow plan. If neither of your neighbors concentrates on military structures, after constructing your first stage you can build several different military structures and start competing in this category. I think strategies exist where you can ignore military conflicts, but do pursue them if your opponents will let you win them with ease.
How do you feel about this advice for side “B” of Alexandria? Share your opinion in the comment section below to help build the community of good strategic content for playing 7 Wonders. Let us know what you think.




Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Lighthouse of Alexandria Side “A”

by Brian Durkin

An optimal set up for Alexandria side “A”

In his recent article “Staying Flexible (Or Not),” Steve Sadin wrote the following about his strategies for Scars of Mirrodin draft:
“Sometimes I will go into a draft with a specific plan in mind, … Other times I will go into a draft with a couple of different plans in mind, start working towards one (or more) of those plans with my first few picks, and then fully commit at some point in the second pack.”
You can find the full article here: Staying Flexible (OrNot)
Steve’s opening statements highlight two important predisposed positions for drafting. Should you arrive at the table with a plan you will force, or do you see what happens and keep your options open? In 7 Wonders, I lean towards the former. Your starting wonder already dictates a lot of the cards you will seek out, in order to maximize the effectiveness of your wonder’s powers. Of course every rule needs an exception. The Lighthouse of Alexandria provides so many options that players need to pay attention to signals. With drastically different resource requirements on each side for constructing this wonder, each side requires a different style of play. I’ve isolated four effective strategies for playing Alexandria, two different methods of playing each side.

Mining for Glass: A Commercial Success
Try to select at least six commercial
structures to maximize the points
from Lighthouse
Side “A” only requires stone, ore, and glass to construct all three levels. Each level only requires two of each, so do not anticipate taking a lot of resource cards. Stone and Ore allow you to play Craftsmens Guild. The second stage of this wonder plus some help from neighbors could allow you to play Workers Guild as well. These guilds promote you to take commercial structures and shy away from depending on raw materials and manufactured goods as your resource base. You need to acquire a Trading Post and Marketplace in order to succeed relying on commercial buildings. Alexandria does not generate gold through wonder construction like the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. You need cost reducers and or Tavern in order to survive on minimal resource cards; furthermore, side “A” does not want clay and wood, so you need the cost reducers in order to play Caravansary and Forum in Age II. Even with taking several commercial structures, I still recommend taking stone and ore in order to construct your wonder. Without taking it yourself, make sure you have access to loom and a second glass.


 

Alpha Strike
Stone and ore lend themselves to military structures, so you should compete for victory tokens. As always do not go out of your way to win military contests, but you should score over ten points in this category. You want access to loom because it allows you to play Strategists Guild, which side “A” should always benefit from with its military prowess. Stay on the lookout for Barracks in Age I if you want to play a military structure in that age, since Alexandria side “A” cannot easily play Stockade and Guard Tower.
Look out for these military structures when playing
Alexandria side “A”
Do I Need the Four Thousand Dollar Solution?
If you plan to take scientific
structures make sure you take at
least these three (Workshop,
Dispensary, and Library)
Alexandria allows you to play Workshop, but do you want to field Aggro Shops? Yes and no. For side “A” I like a splash, or add a small amount, of scientific structures. If you play Workshop in Age I, try picking up University and Library (another reason you need access to Loom) in Age II. If you do not grab Laboratory in Age II, then do not take any scientific structures in Age III. I demand an average of about five and a half points per pick for cards in Age III. With only three scientific structures going into the final age, you cannot support my average points per pick benchmark when selecting scientific structures in Age III. Since side “A” leans to fighting, I find it difficult to dedicate so much time to scientific structures (especially in Age II). If you sit next to the Colossus of Rhodes or another hardcore military player, focus on scientific structures more.
Age III: A Match Made in Heaven
No surprise that Alexandria supports Lighthouse. The wonder provides glass and side “A” wants stone, but you need to select at least four commercial structures before Age III. Taking Arena will round out the necessary six commercial structures to make Lighthouse an eight point card. I find it difficult to fully construct this wonder prior to Age III because of all the other cards and goals you need to accomplish; however, do not fret constructing the final stage in Age III because it provides seven points (it surpasses the benchmark). Just complete the last stage early to maximize the benefit of Arena. Besides the fore mentioned guilds (Strategists Guild, Craftsmens Guild, and Works Guild) and commercial structures (Lighthouse and Arena), round out your Age III picks with solid civilian structures. Town Hall belongs with Alexandria, and you can even play Senate for free with Library. Do not forget about Fortifications and Circus to guarantee you score big in military at the end of the game.
Summary of Strategies
You must choose between commercial structures and resource cards, particularly manufactured resources. I suggest going the commercial structures route because it enhances the value of Lighthouse and Craftsmens Guild; however, commercial structures can pose a high risk. With side “A” you need a Trading Post in order to play Forum for free. Without Forum, you could end up missing out on important cards like Strategists Guild. If you do not sell out and go commercial, you need scientific and civilian structures to make up the point difference. Regardless of which path you end up on, you always want to compete for military strength with side “A.” Besides the resources you need to complete your wonder, you want access to Loom. It allows you to play Strategists Guild, Library, and Observatory (if you miss Laboratory).
Another optimal set up for Alexandria side “A”
Summary of Picks
A list below summarizes which cards to look out for in each age. The order the cards appear on the list does not reflect their importance versus other cards. The lists also include cards from each strategy for side “A.”
Age I
  • Mine
  • Stone Pit
  • Ore Vein
  • Loom
  • East or West Trading Post
  • Marketplace
  • Tavern
  • Workshop
  • Barracks
Age II
  • Foundry
  • Quarry
  • Caravansary
  • Forum
  • Library
  • Dispensary
  • Laboratory
  • Training Ground
  • Walls
Age III
  • Town Hall
  • Senate
  • Craftsmens Guild
  • Arena
  • Lighthouse
  • Circus
  • Fortifications
Note: This article only covered side “A” of Alexandria. For information regarding side “B,” stay tuned for the next article out on Wednesday June 22, 2011.
How do you like to play side “A” of Alexandria? Do you feel that this wonder promotes many different avenues to victory? Comment on this article below about whether you agree or disagree with this advice.
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Pyramids of Giza

by Brian Durkin

Optimal set up for Giza side “B”

The Egyptians built the Great Pyramid in approximately eighty years, but you only have eighteen turns to gather the resources and construct this wonder of the ancient world. Providing more victory points than any other wonder, you want to make sure you fully construct Giza every time you play. How do you do this? Easy. Collect resources.
When playing Giza, try to take every type of resource card
The Right Pieces Complete a Puzzle
In order to build this massive and magnificent wonder, you need access to many raw materials. Side “A” requires stone and wood, while side “B” requires those resources plus clay and papyrus. Do not stop there. I suggest collecting them all. You want as many raw materials and manufactured goods as possible. Side “B” naturally promotes you playing Chamber of Commerce in Age III. With access to ore and loom, either side will benefit from Haven. Giza requires so many resources that Haven should always provide you with upwards of eight points.
Haven, Arena, and
Chamber of Commerce provide
the most points from commercial
structures for Giza
This Little Piggy Should Not
Go to Market
Some commercial buildings can help you finish completing your levels, such as Caravansary and Forum, but I suggest avoiding dependence on these types of cards. Commercial buildings require a lot of money or free construction to maximize their potential. Your resource requirements for leveling will cost a fortune if you purchase everything you need; moreover, it will diminish the value of cards like Haven and Chamber of Commerce. Besides the fore mentioned commercial structures, Arena will complete the list of important yellow cards. Avoid the Trading Posts. Only use Marketplace between players who also need to take manufactured resources, and if you can afford to concede playing Chamber of Commerce.
How to Make Patriots
Many nations build national pride through wars and conflicts, such as the 100 Year War for Great Britain and France as well as the Revolutionary War for the United States. Some historians believe Egypt built unity and national pride in its citizens through working on projects as a community, such as building the pyramids. I agree with this strategy when playing Giza. You score so many points with your wonder levels and cards in Age III that you should not need to start a war. I always promote keeping opponents honest with military conflicts by taking a couple cards to mitigate the value a neighbor can generate from military structures; however, you can still win playing Giza if you play zero military structures and take a minus six points in defeat tokens.
Examples of military structures you could play
Pool Party
Nothing is like a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot day, except maybe taking great cards most players cannot make time to play for themselves. Baths in Age I and Aqueduct in Age II provide Giza with some key victory points early on in the game. Since you start with stone and require more anyway, these cards should prove easy to play. Most players need to focus on other crucial cards in the first two ages, and will not take Baths or Aqueduct over another card. Do not let these cards pass you assuming you will see them again, but assume that a copy of each will make its way down to you. From fully constructing your wonder and these two civilian structures, you will score anywhere from 23 to 30 points (depending which side you play).

You want to prioritize Baths and Aqueduct


Keep an eye out for other civilian structures in Age III. Cards like Senate and Town Hall should not prove that difficult to play. If you want to collect all the raw materials and manufactured resources anyway, assume you might place either Palace or Pantheon. If you use a card like Forum over taking the manufactured resources, you make it more difficult to play these high point value civilian structures, so try and stick to the actual resource cards.
Look out for these guilds
because they should benefit
a Giza player the most
When I can I say, “You Just Lost?”
Whenever you open Builder’s Guild you can start talking smack. Of course if you do not prepare yourself to have access to two stone, two clay, and glass then everyone now makes fun of you. Do not be that guy who opens the nuts and cannot take it. Do stand up and dance if anyone ever passes you this card. Builder’s Guild should provide you or anyone next to you an average of nine points. Most players would rather guarantee that they lose by hate drafting this card for money then ever letting you have it.
Look out for these other guilds as well: Shipowners Guild, Spies Guild, and Philosophers Guild. You have no business competing in science, so Philosophers Guild can provide a lot of points. You can further hedge against not taking military structures by positioning yourself to play Spies Guild. Besides Builders Guild, Shipowners Guild provides the highest potential of points. Unlike Builders Guild, many players will pass it because they cannot benefit from playing it themselves.
Summary of Picks
I made a list of cards to look out for in each age. The order of the cards on the list does not reflect their importance relative to other cards.
Age I
  • Raw Materials – prioritize wood and stone, leave with one ore
  • Manufactured Resources
  • Baths
Age II
  • Missing Raw Materials – most likely you will need Quarry and Brickyard (if side “B”)
  • Missing Manufactured Goods – leave this age with at least access to everything
  • Aqueduct
Age III
  • Haven
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Arena
  • Philosophers Guild
  • Builders Guild
  • Spies Guild
  • Shipowners Guild
  • Town Hall
  • Senate
  • Pantheon
  • Palace


Optimal set up for Giza side “A”


Note: You usually will complete your final level in Age III. If you can complete it sooner then go for it; however, do not sacrifice any of the cards you need from the first two ages. The final stage for Giza on each side provides seven points, which ranks above the average value of any pick in Age III.


Simple enough, right? Just take resource cards and awesome stuff in Age III. Do you think a more complex angle for playing Giza exists? If you do, comment below and share your thoughts. We want to know if you agree or disagree.


Let us know what you think.
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks with the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

by Brian Durkin

Optimal set up for side “B”


Haven – a place of safety or refuge.
Before Mausolus’ tomb inspired other cultures to name similar tombs after him, the city of Halicarnassus provided a place of culture and safety for its people. The city guarded channels of water running to the city to prevent sea attacks. Mausolus also spared no expense when it came to decorating the city.
As a city of balance, a player playing Halicarnassus must pick from several different paths of victory. Halicarnassus can compete in civilian, military, or commercial structures. Starting with Loom, do not forget about the fact that scientific buildings can provide you with easy points as well. In order to play any one type of these cards, or all of them, you will need resources.
A Safe Haven of Materials
Don’t forget about Chamber
of Commerce
Haven requires loom, ore, and wood. Halicarnassus starts with loom and wants ore. Picking up one wood should not prove difficult, so expect to maximize the benefits of Haven by taking several raw materials. Many other wonders cannot support this card in Age III, or score enough points from it to make it worth their while to play it. With Halicarnassus’ ability to play cards from the discard pile, you can “back door” different strategies; therefore, you want resources to keep your options open.

 
Consider taking all of the manufactured resources yourself with side “B”. You may not complete your last level, but having the option of a productive hate draft in Age III will not hurt. Since you should have clay anyway from earlier levels, taking the manufactured resources opens up Chamber of Commerce as well.
You need to decide between resources and commercial structures
What about Lighthouse and Scientific Buildings?
I do not recommend taking several commercial buildings instead of actual resource cards, even with side “A”. You could play Lighthouse in Age III, but you weaken the power of Haven. Also you would need to probably take many scientific buildings to make up the point difference. This does not work as well for Halicarnassus as it did for Ephesus. Ephesus has the luxury of starting with papyrus and wanting wood, which opens up half the scientific buildings. Loom and Apothecary provide a free military structure and eventually Arena, but not many points on their own. Unless you bring back scientific buildings from the discard pile or dedicate yourself to playing them, you most likely will score nine or ten points tops (if any at all). Take School in Age II if the opportunity presents itself. Do not count on seeing School because several other people want this card.
The free cards that Apothecary can lead to
The Blue Man Group
You will need more than just ore and clay to build other structures. I recommend you pick up a stone and a wood. Besides improving the value of Haven, it allows you to play many civilian structures if you can access the manufactured resources. Some civilian structures will find you no matter what. Most people pass cards like Courtyard and Statue in Age II. You will usually take these civilian structures either late in the age or early while you wait for the missing resources you need (i.e. brickyard, foundry, glassworks, etc.). In Age III your neighbors will fear and hate the fact that your resource set up will let you play cards like Palace or Pantheon with ease. If they discard these structures for money, then you can just play them from the discard pile with your wonder’s ability.
Test Your Might
Your resource set up also allows you to play several different military structures. You can surprise some neighbors with your military capabilities because they will see loom as your starting resource and assume no contest. Do not expect to crush your opponents in military strength, but you should never end the game with negative six points in military either. Keep your opponents honest and take them down in military when the opportunity presents itself. Your wonder’s ability to bring back cards from the discard pile creates a great way to accomplish this. Many players will forget they can lose military to you this way. If they overcompensate in military structures for this possibility, then concede military and use your wonder ability to bring back something that scores more points.
Optimal set up for side “A”
The Guilds
With your potential resource set up, you could play any guild. But do you want to play any guild? What guilds should you aim to play? Honestly not many. I do not like counting on the obviously good guilds like Builders Guild because I do not expect opponents to pass it to you. Since Halicarnassus can play so many different types of cards, many of the guilds require you to give up a card type and exploit your neighbors’ decisions to maximize their value. For example you could play Strategists Guild, but how many times will you win on military strength? You could play Craftsmens Guild, but if you take the manufactured resources you could just play Chamber of Commerce instead. Spies Guild could score six or more points, but will it score that much if you spend time taking military structures to compete with your neighbors? With Halicarnassus, consider guilds a bonus. Your board will change each time you play to the extent where the guilds that benefit you the most will drastically change as well. Traders Guild is the only exception to this rule. You want resources instead of commercial buildings, so this guild should always score big.
All ten guilds in the game
Summary of Cards to Look For
Below I made a list of cards to look out for in each age. The list also includes cards you can probably count on receiving in each age (Haven and Courtyard) because many players will not benefit from them or play them. The order of the cards on the list does not reflect their importance over other cards.
Age I
  • Clay Pit
  • Raw materials of any type
  • Manufactured resources, especially if side B
  • Apothecary
  • Any military structure you can play without spending money
Age II
  • Courtyard
  • Statue
  • Dispensary
  • Stables
  • Training Ground
  • Brickyard
  • Foundry
  • Forum
  • Caravansary
  • School
  • Any manufactured resources you do not have access to
Age III
  • Haven
  • Arena
  • Palace
  • Pantheon
  • Siege Workshop
  • Arsenal
  • Observatory
  • Traders Guild
  • Chamber of Commerce
Note: Save your wonder construction for later in the game. Side “A” gives you seven points for the last level, which will score more than most Age III cards. The second level on side “A” brings back a card; with a larger discard pile, your odds of playing a better card can improve with activating this level in the last age. Side “B” allows you to bring back a card each time you level, another reason why you should not level in the first age. You want to maximize the points from Haven and build your resource base. You will have no time to build your wonder when spending your picks on resources, military structures, and possibly Apothecary in Age I.

Do not forget to add your comments at the bottom. Do you agree or disagree? If you play this wonder another way, tell us about it.

 Let us know what you think.

Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Statue of Zeus in Olympia

by Brian Durkin

An optimal selection of cards for side “A” of
the Temple of Zeus in Olympia
 
“But I am committed to keeping this city a strong and viable center for commerce and industry, for continuing to make it a place of opportunity for its citizens.” – Jane Byrne
Many people agree that free and flowing trade benefits all; however, the citizen living in Olympia benefits the most from commerce, trading, and commercial buildings. Playing the Statue of Zeus in Olympia requires you to pay close attention to the yellow cards. They will allow you to accumulate money and the resources to invade neighbors to secure a high score.
The Midas Touch of Commercial Structures
Olympia does not require many resources to build its wonder, plus the “B” side’s first level provides an East and West Trading Post. Similar to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, you want to pay attention to your neighbors; buying resources for half the price makes your neighbors’ resources more attractive. You should never need to play more than a couple of raw material cards when playing Olympia. You only need to acquire one wood, two stone, and two ore. This set up naturally forces the player to gravitate towards picking commercial structures. Even if your neighbors somehow do not provide the raw materials you need, you can take Caravansary in Age II to help construct your wonder. I would recommend constructing a couple stages of your wonder in Age II, possibly finishing the third level. If playing side “A”, save constructing your final level for Age III.  Olympia does not have a significant amount of cards that will score seven or more points in the final age; therefore, a high scoring hate draft play will prove useful.


A player using Olympia should collect a lot of commercial structures



Make sure you either have Caravansary or Glassworks leaving Age II, because otherwise you cannot play Lighthouse. Forum can help solve this problem if you do not take Glassworks, but you will most likely need a Trading Post from Age I to play it. Side “B” should expect to take Glassworks because playing Trading Posts does not make much sense with its first wonder level. To maximize the effect of Lighthouse, prioritize commercial buildings in all the ages. The combination of cards like Marketplace and Trading Posts with Vineyard and Bazaar makes money a potentially high scoring category. By taking all of the commercial structures, Lighthouse will make its way to you in Age III because no one else can benefit from it. Lighthouse can score upwards of eleven points when you factor in the money it provides. Besides Lighthouse, Arena should also score big points. Arena poses another reason why you may want to level before or early on in Age III.
Cash is King, but Commerce and Money needs a Queen.
With plenty of commercial buildings and money, what should you produce? Armies! Olympia requires wood, stone, and ore to construct its levels. This positions it to play many military structures. Hope you do not sit next to the Colossus of Rhodes or a player hell bent on “battling”, because you want to play the least amount of military structures as possible to win fights. Losing military conflicts will hurt your overall score in more than one category; it affects the value of Strategists Guild, which you should have no problem playing with Olympia (just find access to Loom).
Circus and Arsenal: the two easiest Age III
military structures to play as Olympia
Do not go crazy trying to slay your neighbors if they resist. If your neighbors want to keep fighting you, then consider switching to civilian structures. You can play Statue and Town Hall with little trouble. With good timing and access to the right resources you could end up playing Baths, Aqueduct, and maybe even Palace. Do not forget that the second level of side “A” allows you to play a card for free each age, helping you play the difficult civilian or military structures.
How to Maximize the Power of Free
Do not count on the second level of side “A” to cheat on resources. If it makes sense to take Glassworks, then take it. You do not want to feel stuck saving your level power to cast a future Lighthouse, making you pass Palace now. Keep that power open to allow you to play a devastating guild as well. For example you should never have the resources to play Philosophers Guild. If your neighbors’ take scientific buildings, then you will rejoice that you can play it for free because of your wonder power. Under normal circumstances keep a look out for Glassworks and Loom because it makes it easier to play Lighthouse, Strategists Guild, and Magistrates Guild.
What Other Guilds Can Olympia Play?
Although Craftmens Guild works well with Olympia’s resource requirements, maximizing its benefits will usually screw up your commercial structures plan. If you take Glassworks and Loom to play cards in Age III, then you hurt your potential score from Craftsmens Guild. If you do not take the manufactured goods, you could run into trouble playing other guilds or Lighthouse. Forum will solve all of these problems, opening up every potentially good guild; however, you will usually need a Trading Post from Age I to play it (two clay has terrible synergy with the rest of Olympia’s set up). If you play side “B” of Olympia, you will not need to take the Trading Posts in Age I. This creates the problem of supporting Craftmens Guild. For one card that may not even make it into the card pool (even with seven players the game excludes one guild from play), do not build your strategy around Craftmens Guild. Positioning yourself to play several guilds and Lighthouse provides a safer probability of receiving the cards you need. Also with side “A” and no Trading Posts you could just use your wonder power to play Craftsmens Guild for free.
Magistrates Guild, Strategists Guild, and Craftsmens Guild
represent the guilds easiest to play with Olympia’s resources
Summary of Top Picks
I compiled a list of cards to seek out in each age. The order of the cards on the list does not reflect their importance or ranking relative to other cards in the same age. I understand that the list includes more cards than picks, but no game plays out in identical fashion. The additional cards attempt to provide more flexibility for this comprehensive list.
Age I
  • East Trading Post
  • West Trading Post
  • Marketplace
  • Timber Yard
  • Tavern
  • Loom
  • Glassworks
  • Stockade
Age II
  • Forum
  • Caravansary
  • Vineyard
  • Bazaar
  • Loom
  • Glassworks
  • Training Ground
  • Archery Range
Age III
  • Craftmens Guild
  • Strategists Guild
  • Magistrates Guild
  • Lighthouse
  • Arena
  • Arsenal
  • Circus
Trading Posts allow you to play Forum for free
Caravansary allows you to play Lighthouse for free
Note: The above list does not include any civilian buildings you may play due to circumstances of how the game unfolds. Use your best judgment. Play the civilian structures that require the least amount of work to play, and only if you can make time to play them. Also remember the progression of what cards in later ages require in order to bypass their resource cost. If you notice that other players at the table took Caravansary, then prioritize Glassworks in Age II if you do not already have it. If you leave Age II without Caravansary or access to Glass, then you miss out on playing Lighthouse (the most important card in Age III).
An optimal collection of cards for Side “B” of Olympia
What do you think?  
 
Does the above picture represent the way you would play Olympia?
Comment below and add your opinion to the discussion.
If you found a better strategy, then tell us about it.
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for Temple of Artemis in Ephesus

by Brian Durkin

Ephesus “A” side

“She blinded me with science!!!” – Thomas Dolby
Your opponents will remember this song when they sit next to you playing Ephesus. Papyrus plus one wood gives you the best potential for playing the most science buildings; therefore, since Ephesus starts with papyrus and wants wood, plan to seek out the green cards. In part two of seven in this 7 Wonders article series, we will discuss today how Ephesus can maximize the benefit of wheels, easels, and tablets. Remember these evaluations consider the card pool for six to seven players.
The Strategy behind Building Science
The secret to scientific buildings lies in the fact that they allow you to play several different types of cards for free (having the right building instead of resources); therefore, playing Ephesus should not require you to pick many raw materials or manufactured goods. Ephesus wants access to all the manufactured goods, and you cannot assume you will play Forum in Age II. Not only will Forum prove difficult to access because of its power level (other people will take it ahead of you), but you need access to clay in order to play it. Of course you can pick up a Trading Post in Age I, but this asks for a lot to go right. I do recommend taking East or West Trading Post in Age I if it makes sense. No matter what your neighbor does as far as collecting resources, it will inherently help you because of the types of cards you want.
Try to position yourself to take at least one of these combinations.
Try to take one or two manufactured goods in Age I, followed by the science buildings in Age I that you can play (example: take Glassworks then look out for Workshop). Do pay attention to what science buildings you pass in Age I, because this affects your chances of seeing them later in the packs (example: if you passed a Workshop but not an Apothecary, prioritize Loom over Glassworks). Also pay attention to your neighbors. If you sit between the Colossus of Rhodes and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus you should prioritize Glassworks. Rhodes and Halicarnassus will help you play the Apothecary tree of cards, so try and take Glassworks followed by Workshop in Age I to open up every possible tree of science buildings.
Taking Workshop or Apothecary opens up the above chain of cards.


These resources you need to
construct your level, but
what about other resources?
Keep a Close Eye on your Neighbor
As mentioned earlier, paying attention to your neighbors will maximize your potential with Ephesus more so than any other wonder. The other six wonders for the most part can rely on themselves or do not care if they have access to certain resources. Rhodes “B” side can operate well not having access to every manufactured resource, as long as it collects ore and stone. The Lighthouse of Alexandria “B” side has two levels which provide resources. The Statue of Zeus in Olympia “A” side can play cards for free with its second level. Ephesus benefits from neighbors by filling in the gaps that the science buildings do not provide. You do not need access to every resource type; you need access to resources for cards you cannot play by having the appropriate building from the previous age.
Do I Want to Fight?
Scientists fight with brains not brawns, and the same holds true for this game. You will have access to some military structures; however, do not make time to fight unless you cannot make a better pick. Keeping players honest in competing over military power prevents opponents from running away with winning the game. Ephesus does not gravitate towards fighting, so do not force it. Military Structures have the highest rate of diminishing returns. Stick with science when possible. Science buildings grow exponentially, and you can cast half of them with access to one wood (Scriptorium lets you play Library and University. School lets you play Academy and Study.).

A good Ephesus player on the science plan should take all of these cards.

What if I don’t have a Green Monopoly?
If you live the dream, then science should prove enough to win; however, your opponents could derail your pursuit of science with a metaphorical “space race.” If this happens, consider putting more effort into winning military struggles. Either Workshop or Apothecary let you play military structures for free; therefore, “beat up” your neighbors if they want to show off their “technological advances.” Play civilian structures when you cannot make a better play, but avoid this. Hope your neighbors invest in civilian structures because Magistrates Guild should prove easiest to play out of all the guilds. Shipowners Guild also does not require that many difficult resources for Ephesus, and it might score at least six points.
With the access to the right resources,
Ephesus can play several different guilds.
The Other Raw Materials
Hope for a neighbor that needs clay, because clay’s the next most important raw material after wood and stone. If you take all the manufactured resources yourself, you can now play Chamber of Commerce. If you miss out on the Trading Posts in Age I, clay allows you to play Forum in Age II. It also opens up Laboratory, Lodge, and Spies Guild. Be aware that a neighbor with clay can probably play Philosopher’s Guild and leach off your science buildings. If the clay neighbor sits to your left, save your last level construction for Age III so you can maximize hate drafting it.
Ephesus can benefit from all of these cards.
Look out for Traders Guild in Age III if you avoided
commercial structures early on in the game.
A neighbor with ore changes your strategies. Now you can possibly play Workers Guild, Craftsmens Guild, and the all important Scientists Guild. The big benefit comes from Scientists Guild where as the other guilds might not provide enough points. These other two guilds only benefit you if somehow you can manage to purchase almost all your resources from other players; therefore, prioritize the East Trading Post and West Trading Post if you plan to play this way. Taking these cards in Age I does open up Forum (Caravansary should never prove difficult for you to play).
Final Thoughts
Although redundant, I will repeat myself: pay attention to your neighbors. Every player playing any wonder should do this, but you will significantly tweak your strategy as Ephesus. If they take clay and stone, then you should focus on wood then ore. If they take all the resources except clay, then focus on clay and commercial structures. Balance your resources against neighbors and which science buildings you want to play and can play for free. Staying flexible keeps your options open and hedges against bad luck. Ephesus can do this by building its resource structure to complement its neighbors. As Ephesus, you ensure you dominance with science buildings by positioning yourself to play any that opponent’s pass to you.
Ephesus “B” side
I would play each side of this wonder the same way. You want to fully level both sides, and the science strategy fits “A” and “B”. To construct the final level on “B” side you need access to all of the manufactured resources. If you take manufactured goods, then stay away from commercial structures. Most likely you will build your resource base with one or the other, regardless of what wonder you play; however, by playing every manufactured good you can play Traders Guild and benefit from your opponent’s building commercial buildings. With so many picks geared towards science buildings, do not base your strategy on playing Traders Guild. If it works out, it works out. Many times you will need commercial buildings to purchase resources for cheaper, accumulate more money, or produce resources yourself.
Remember this guy? What happens when he takes guilds
you can use?
Besides Traders Guild, Magistrates Guild will prove the easiest to play. Other guilds require help from your neighbors. Of course you could access clay with ease from neighbors, but never see the matching guilds. It happens. Consider guilds a bonus, and stick with green cards. Although science buildings can appear as a one-dimensional strategy, it does work. Just with the Scriptorium and School tree, you will score 26 points in green cards alone. Add another match and you now have 38 points. You should make the top two at your table when a significant score in science buildings adds to the points earned from your wonder, money (which you can accumulate a lot of with this wonder), and benefits from random military or civilian structures.
Disagree? Tell us the way you would or have played Ephesus.
If you agree with the science plan, how do you prioritize the cards in each age?
Join the discussion and let us know what you think.
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.

7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for Hanging Gardens of Babylon

by Brian Durkin

“Draft. Lay out the cards in rows of five. There should be six cards.”

In a MTG or WOW draft this pack probably does not contain any goodies left, but in 7 Wonders you just made your first pick. With only eighteen selections during the course of the game, each one has to count; moreover, you need to know what to take and when to maximize your picks.
Today kicks off a series of seven articles for 7 Wonders, covering draft strategies for each starting position. All of these strategies assume at least six players at the table, relying on that card pool for evaluations. Also most of these strategies assume a self reliant position at the table, minimizing the dependence on neighbors providing what you need (for example Babylon cannot expect to sit next to Olympia for easy access to wood). So let’s begin.


 

What does Babylon curve out to? This question attempts to answer what will Babylon want in the last Age. I take this approach to every wonder, because Age III usually contains the most points for each player; furthermore, it signals what you will need to pick up in Age I and II in order to play the Age III cards. Babylon gears itself towards wood and clay. Clay and Wood tend to work well together in the sense that many cards require both types of resources. Regardless of which side you play, plan to level each stage of this wonder and complete each stage prior to Age III. The final age contains too many important cards, and you will not have time to waste picks constructing your wonder.
Consider yourself the guild master when playing Babylon. Since Babylon lends itself to wood and clay, I suggest taking the manufactured goods early in the draft to maximize the final age. With ample access to wood and clay plus the manufactured goods, Babylon can play the following guilds: Philosophers Guild, Traders Guild, Spies Guild, Shipowners Guild, and Magistrates Guild (assuming you can access one stone). Do not let these guilds fool you into thinking you should not take any cards within their type. For example, I recommend picking up two scientific buildings to complete a match or three of a kind. Babylon’s wonder power that provides any scientific symbol (stage two for side A and stage three for side B) puts you in a flexible position when taking Scientific Buildings. Look out for Laboratory and School in Age II, and Lodge in Age III (all of these should prove easy to play with resources alone). Don’t go hard into a Science Buildings strategy, because you can benefit from playing the Philosopher’s Guild.
Traders Guild works well with Babylon’s set up. Most Commercial Structures in Ages I and II supplement missing resources or aid wonders that require many different types of resources. Babylon can operate on only two types of raw materials, allowing you to avoid dependence on the Trading Posts. Of course take Forum if you cannot select the manufactured resources yourself; however, try to take the manufactured resources because Chamber of Commerce should prove easy to play in Age III. Two copies of Chamber of Commerce and few players able to maximize the benefit from it almost insures that it should make its way past players, providing a great late pick for you . Remember, the more resources you can play that benefit you increase the value of Shipowners Guild.
Wood and Clay do not enable many Military cards. Don’t worry. If an opportunity presents itself to compete in military with ease (never over another important card), then keep your neighbors honest in competing with Military; however, you do not mind losing in this category since you can play Spies Guild in Age III. If your neighbors begin to build Civilian Structures instead, make sure you have access to Stone by Age III in the event that you can take Magistrates Guild.
What Happens When The Guilds I Want Don’t Make Age III?
You can’t count on every guild to come your way in Age III, but with five different guilds working well for Babylon you need to prepare yourself to maximize their value. Building up your resource production to benefit from Chamber of Commerce only furthers your potential points in Age III; therefore, make sure you finish leveling this wonder prior to Age III. My only exception to this rule comes from playing side B. If you have not selected any science building prior to Age III, then do not worry about constructing the final level. You do not want to feel torn between taking Science Buildings or Guilds in the last Age, so just make your life easier and forget splashing Science Buildings.
Pick Summary
Below I made a list of the cards to look out for in each Age. I made the lists longer than the amount of picks you can take, because you cannot assume to select the same six cards each time you play. As long as you stick to the list you should find yourself in good contention to win or move on to the next round in a tournament. Note that this strategy does not encompass every possible path of victory for Babylon, but I do feel it will make life the easiest as far as maximizing your wonder and picks coming to you.
The order the cards appear on the lists do not reflect level of importance.
Age I
Tree Farm
Press
Loom
Glassworks
Lumber Yard
Clay Pool
** Do not forget to level if the packs have nothing of value
Age II
Brickyard
Sawmill
Forum
Caravansery
Quarry
Laboratory
School
** Any manufactured resources you missed in Age I
** Finish leveling in this Age
Age III
Philosophers Guild
Traders Guild
Spies Guild
Shipowners Guild
Chamber of Commerce
Siege Workshop
Lodge
** If the pack somehow contains none of these cards, you could potentially play a different Science Building.
Note: I mention taking Forum and Caravansery in Age II only on the lists. Babylon can play these cards with ease given their costs, but probably will not need them as bad as other players. I suggest taking these cards only if you cannot make a stronger selection because it will hurt other players possibly more than benefiting you. Do not misinterpret my advice here. Forum and Caravansery make it to my list of best cards in the game; however, I think Babylon has too much to accomplish in Age II to usually make time to select these cards (when you factor in that upwards of two to three of the picks may include leveling your wonder).
Feel free to comment about your opinion on this approach to Babylon. Do you agree or disagree? Can you do better? Do not hesitate to ask me what I would take in certain scenarios. Your comments and questions benefit the discussion, so contribute and become a part of the strategy guide to 7 Wonders.

Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.