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.

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