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.

Comments

  1. I think that bilkis is really strong, she provides great flexibility and she would be a first pick for me. then cleopatra is a plain 5 points, not bad, ok she do not provide fun abilities, but who cares? Solomon let me win a game but only when played last and the ability used at the end of the game for a last word over the opponents so you can even out some problems, for example a military sneak attack that can give you 10 points! (or a 4th green card…)

  2. With Solomon you probably won't win military for ten points because the latest you can play him before Age III. I do agree that you need to play him when going science in order to beat a William.I love Bilkis. She creates such a broken ability for the player because she allows you to stay flexible. Bilkis probably can surpass Cleopatra depending on what she allows you to play.

  3. Archimedes only reduces the build cost for science cards by 1 resource, not making them all free.

  4. If you play Archimedes before Age I and play all three different types of scientific structures in Age I, then he essentially allows you to play three matches for free if you keep collecting green cards.

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