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.