7 Wonders Strategy: Leaders Analysis Part II

By Brian Durkin
Leaders who provide victory points
without any additional requirements
Did not read yesterday’s post? No big deal. Thanks for returning to the site, but you should start with Leaders Analysis Part I before continuing. Some of the jargon and measures of comparing the leader cards may confuse you without reading the first part.
You can find the article here: Leaders Analysis Part I
Four Cost Leaders
Although plenty of leaders fail to beat Cleopatra, a select few surpass her. Many of the best leaders in the game come from this category because of the points or strategies they enable. Most players plan on constructing every stage of their wonder. Unless you play Roma side “A” or Colossus side “B,” Amytis should equal six points. Tomyris played before Age I will also translate to six points (saving you from taking six defeat tokens). She really shines in how she warps the draft at your end of the table. With Tomyris you can just ignore one of the card types and your neighbors earn fewer points for taking the red cards you feed them. Archimedes provides a similar game changing effect. He enables free construction for Age I scientific structures; Age I scientific structures, free construction for Age II green cards; Age II green cards, free construction for Age III scientific structures. With Archimedes alone you possess the power to chain into all the scientific structures without any access to manufactured goods. Since green cards grow exponentially he will give you more points than five if you draft science. His only drawback comes from the fact that the scientific structures must come your way Age I. Bilkis can enable the same strategy as Archimedes with the cost of some more gold. The trade off for spending gold enables the player more flexibility because you do not commit to only discounts on green cards. This flexibility makes a player controlling Bilkis dangerous because he or she can access many more cards.
Leaders costing four gold piecies

Hypatia will need their help in order to score more than five points, putting her behind the William at her cost level. Nebuchadnezzar requires a less difficult structure category to collect in order to rack up points, but you still need to spend a third of your picks on blue cards to make him better than Cleopatra. Remember the definition of a William? Plato fits the latter part by essentially providing no effect or ability. Collecting every color could disrupt your ability to take the best card which in effect will hurt your score. Demanding a guild puts a lot of pressure on you to put yourself in a position to play several different guilds, not to mention the fact that playing only one green card sucks. Gold luck if you plan on turning Plato into an epic fourteen point play. Assuming you abandon constructing your wonder, which I do not recommend, you can only afford four picks in the entire course of the game to not fit Plato’s requirements for scoring fourteen points. Plato needs friends to help him. Halicarnassus and Babylon both provide effects that will support a Plato strategy. Solomon providing an extra card will help fill the gaps like Halicarnassus. You could also turn to the most expensive leaders to help mitigate the problems of tracking down matches in science or guilds.
Five Cost Leaders
If you really want to go Plato-finite then you should consider taking Ramses as well. His ability to allow you to play any guild that comes your way will help activate Plato’s effect. Ramses by himself though does not do much. He requires that not only do you see several guilds to play off of him, but those guilds actually generate a significant amount of points for you. Who cares if you can play Workers Guild for free if Town Hall gives you twice as many points? With Pericles you can take military structures throughout all three ages to boost his value. Although expensive at six dollars, he does provide a type of insurance when fighting your neighbors. You do not mind entering an arms race because each military structure does not generate the same diminishing return as it does for your neighbors; Pericles makes each red card worth at least two victory points. If you really want your leaders to support your military strategy then you should seek out Caesar. Providing two shields really puts you far ahead of your neighbors, especially if you play him before Age I. If you take another military structure in Age II you most likely will win every conflict up until that point. Caesar enables you to earn eight points, signal to your neighbors to stay away from fighting because of your commanding lead, as well as free up picks for other cards because you do not need to spend them on red cards. Do not hesitate to go to a gold playing Caesar as your first leader. Euclid, Pythagoras, and Ptolemy can wait until as late as Age III to join your civilization. Although expensive at five dollars they can provide a lot of points. If either of them completes a match then the leader essentially earned you at least eight points. If you played a three of a kind in a science symbol the matching leader adds nine more points to your score.
Most expensive leaders that focus around military
Would the Real Big William Please Stand Up?
Cleopatra ends the cycle of Williams, but you can extend the pattern. A leader should earn you one more point than the amount of gold you spend on it. All the leaders providing a scientific symbol can translate to more than six points. Caesar should earn you at least six points, not to mention freeing you up from taking a military structure in one of the ages (note: the leaders providing a scientific symbol do not provide this additional effect because you want to collect as many symbols as possible because they grow exponentially). Ramses requires a lot of luck and the right board position to generate more than six points. I think certain players will find him useful, but do not take him as your first leader when drafting. Pericles should earn you at least six points, but usually more like eight or ten. I like the encouragement he gives to keep fighting in military, but he does not surpass the William benchmark with flying colors. I think a military player should enjoy the opportunity to play him, but do not feel like you must have him when playing a military strategy. I would rather draft Hannibal or Caesar every time over Pericles.
Hannibal
Would you also take the leaders that provide military strength over the other red card themed leaders? How do you rank the leaders in the expansion? Which leader do you take first pick over anything? Do you agree or disagree with comparing each card to the Williams?
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: Leaders Analysis Part I

By Brian Durkin

All the leaders that provide victory points
with no conditions attacched
William
[will-yuh m]
Noun
A card in a strategy game that possesses no powers or effects, or essentially provides no relevant ability without the aid of another card or effect.
Origin:
The VS System trading card game released a new keyword called Willpower in the Green Lantern set. Many characters with this keyword had no additional abilities. Willpower by itself does nothing; other cards interact with it. Cards or characters that fit these descriptions earned the nickname William in the gaming community.
Nobody likes playing William-dot-deck. How could a deck filled with cards containing no effects ever succeed? Believe it or not, but some cards actually manage to provide worse utility than a vanilla card. Although not exciting, you know vanilla ice cream delivers every time. The real question comes from deciding whether Mint Chocolate Chip, Chucky Monkey, or Strawberry Blonde Rendezvous will better satisfy your taste buds.
With the new Leaders expansion for 7 Wonders you must decide which leaders will give the most bang for your bucks. Comparing a card against a William creates the simplest benchmark to determine the profitability of an effect. Sell high and buy low, so let’s take a look at the cheapest leaders.
One Cost Leaders
Every leader that costs a single gold besides Sappho (this category’s William) provides an effect that improves your cash flows. Nero and Vitruvius can potentially earn you at least nine gold pieces (equals more than two victory points). I believe Nero provides even more utility. If you declare more incentive to win military struggles it signals to your neighbors that they should dig in for a difficult fight if they want to compete in red cards. Tavern, excuse me. Croesus provides you with a boost in gold that can allow you to play other important cards. The flexibility to spend the money however you want proves difficult to compare to Sappho. If you expect a cash crunch, then take Croesus over Sappho. Same goes for Maecenas; however, his theoretical gold comes from saving money playing Leaders. He only really shines if you expect to play the most expensive leaders. You should not take Maecenas over a William if you draft a lot of the next cost category.
Leaders that cost a gold to play
Two Cost Leaders
Hannibal surpasses everyone in this category. One military structure can win a contest against both neighbors in Age I. Starting off with strength puts you in a great position to win military struggles in Age I and for the rest of the game. If he alone allows you to win two military conflicts then he provides you with four points (plus two instead of negative two). From my experience I find it rare when I cannot play a military structure because of resources, especially if I lose military when I strategized to earn victory tokens. If you set out to go on this strategy you would secure access to the resources anyway. I find it difficult to associate points to Leonidas, especially compared to Hannibal at the same cost. Hammurabi will never give three points from saving you from purchasing resources, but enabling you to play Palace or Pantheon does translate to a lot of points. Civilian structures demand the widest range of resources next to guilds, so I like the flexibility Hammurabi provides. He should allow you to play cards you might not play otherwise, which will translate into direct points. Leonidas cannot guarantee points because you could still lose in military strength to a neighbor. Xenophon and Hatshepsut both strengthen players who rely on commercial structures and or purchasing resources. Unfortunately the gold they provide will almost never account for more than three points alone.  Try to secure other synergistic cards with these two leaders otherwise you will turn out playing a leader worse than a William.
Hannibal
Three Cost Leaders
With about one third of the leaders costing three, you need to identify which ones provide a good investment. Nefertiti, the William, beats out six other leaders in her category. Midas requires you to end the game with at least fifteen gold pieces. Alexander requires you win almost all conflicts in order to surpass four points. Hiram demands you spend at least a third of your Age III picks on guilds, assuming these guilds provide a sufficient amount of points to justify taking them in the first place. Aristotle requires two scientific matches to surpass four points. Unless grabbing a key scientific structure, how often will Solomon convert into more than four points? Essentially all these leaders suffer from high risks that either do not give the player good enough payoffs or warp your draft in a negative way. You do not need to build matches to score well in scientific structures. Hording gold could prevent you from playing cards with better marginal utility. The three cost leaders worse than Nefertit require support from other leaders to really boost their effects. I find it tough to justify taking a risk on Alexander or Aristotle without Pericles or a leader who provides a scientific symbol.  A card like Pericles will provide you with a significant amount of points without little effort or luck; therefore, the best leaders that cost three give you points based on different color cards you play (excluding Hiram). Taking enough raw materials, manufactured goods, or commercial structures to equal or surpass four points should never prove difficult. Justinian might appear hard to maximize but do not let him fool you. If you play military structures, you usually want to play one every age. If you play scientific structures, you want at least three of them (build three of a kind or a match). Civilian structures come in all kinds of cost requirements, making every player capable of playing them. Justinian can reach nine points without diminishing returns to the rest of your picks, making him worth more points than the most expensive William.
The best three cost leaders
 
Who overthrows Cleopatra as the best four cost leader? Which leaders without a William comparison justify spending the gold to play? Find out tomorrow in Leaders Analysis Part II.
But do not forget to share your opinion. How do you feel about the leaders who cost three dollars or less? Do you agree or disagree with the analysis above, and why?
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 Video Coverage: Playing Roma Side “A”

By Brian Durkin
Roma side “A”
Still new to playing 7 Wonders? Could you use more experience with Leaders? Check out the videos below. They cover a six player game of 7 Wonders with the Leaders expansion. Pat Coyle and I sit down to discuss my picks throughout the game, as well as other basic 7 Wonders strategy. Enjoy the Leaders pack and Age I below.
Part One – Leaders and Age I
 With Age I complete, what cards will I focus on in the second age to prepare myself for Age III? Check out my decisions below in the second part of this video series.
Part Two – Age II and Basic Strategy
With twenty-two points going into the final age, I stand a great shot at winning the game. See how Age III unfolds as Pat and I discuss my decisions throughout the game. 
Part Three – Age III and Final Thoughts on Total Scores
What did you think of my picks during the game? Would you play Roma “A” a different way then I did? What specific picks do you think I made a mistake on? Do you agree or disagree with our commentary and strategies for playing the game, and why?
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 “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.