WBC Coverage: Dominion Finals with Randy Buehler

By Brian Durkin

If someone wagered with another spectator over who would win the Dominion Championship, that person better hope they did not bet with someone from the MTG community. Those players know Mr. Buehler is a force to be reckoned with. Skipping a finals for another board game, Magic: the Gathering Hall of Famer Randy Buehler wins the Dominion Championship at the 2011 World Boardgaming Championship. Check out the video below to see how he overcame the competition, which included Dominion Strategy Founder Edward Fu.

 

 

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Dominion check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Or check out Edward Fu’s site: Dominion Strategy
If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.

WBC Coverage: Dominion Semifinals

By Brian Durkin

Some say that second place is the first loser. Not in my book. Laura Dewalt doesn’t believe in that saying either. Extremely proud and happy with her accomplishment in the Dominion Tournament at the World Boardgaming Championship, Laura sits down with me to discuss her strategies in the final two rounds of the event. By the way, the finals are stacked: An avid board gamer who’s attended the WBC since the beginning (quite an exclusive club of approximately ten or twenty members), Edward Fu (yeah he’s the guy who runs http://dominionstrategy.com/), and Randy Buehler (Magic: the Gathering Hall of Famer who skipped a finals for another game to keep playing Dominion). Laura had no problem killing most of this tough crowd. She what she had to say about her strategies for playing Dominion in the video below.

 

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Dominion check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Or check out Edward Fu’s site: Dominion Strategy
If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.

WBC Coverage: Race for the Galaxy Semifinals

Forget about the Great Eight. The Race for the Galaxy tournament at the World Boardgaming Championship cuts to a final four from a sweet (and skilled) top sixteen. Arguably the best female Race for the Galaxy player, Pei-Hsin Lin needs to win this game in order to advance to another final table.  Brian sits down with her to discuss how she approaches the game and why she chose to play the cards see did. Check out the interview and highlights of the game below.

 

Would you call Develop and assume another player would call Settle on the last turn? Would you consider calling Settle in hopes that another player allows you to play Galactic Federation?

Let us know what you think.

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Race for the Galaxy check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Or check out Robert Renaud’s site: RFTG Stats.com
Interested in purchasing a copy of Race for the Galaxy? Try the following links.
 
If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.

WBC Coverage: Race for the Galaxy Quarterfinals

You need to play with the best in order to be the best. J.R. Geronimo does that on a daily basis. A friend of Robert Renaud, Geronimo plays a lot of Race for the Galaxy. He put up good showings in past tournaments. How did he do this year? Check out the highlights of his quarterfinal match below. Brian Durkin sits down with J.R. and they discuss his approach to the game and his thoughts on this match. Enjoy.

How do you feel about blind trades? Do you like taking the risk or do you find yourself playing more risk adverse?

Let us know what you think.

 

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Race for the Galaxy check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Or check out Robert Renaud’s site: RFTG Stats.com
Interested in purchasing a copy of Race for the Galaxy? Try the following links.
 
If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.

WBC Coverage: Race for the Galaxy Preliminary Round

Robert Renaud works for Google. In his twenty percent time he created RFTG stats.com, a site that data mines games of Race for the Galaxy. Prior to the site he used to keep track of powerful cards from playing with his friends. Did he spend his time well? Yes. This year marks the fourth year the World Boardgaming Championship will run a Race for the Galaxy tournament. So far Robert remains undefeated. Going for the four-pete, Brian Durkin sits down with Robert after his preliminary rounds. They talk about his games and how Robert approaches the game. Check out the video below to hear the interview and see clips of Robert’s matches.

Did you learn anything? Do you agree or disagree with Robert’s analysis of the game and playing in tournaments?

Let us know what you think.

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Race for the Galaxy check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of Race for the Galaxy? Try the following links.

If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.

Dominion Strategy: World Board Gaming Championship – Seaside

By Brian Durkin



Have you mastered the Intrigue only format for Dominion? Expect to survive the first two rounds in the Dominion tournament this year at the World Boardgaming Championship? Good. Hope you took a look at Seaside. Starting with round three the Kingdom will contain only cards from the third set. In case you forgot to study, check out the list below of the most important cards to look out for when playing this format.

10. Salvager
Buying extra stuff comes in handy. Trashing your original deck will pay dividends sooner. The fact that this card provides money in addition to thinning your deck really gives you a turbo boost. Even Chapel requires you take a turn off from purchasing during effective use. Salvage will not let you trash your hand in one fell swoop, but it does make buying some of the best cards in Seaside a lot easier.
9. Caravan
Besides trashing, extra cards help your deck move up the curve to five and six dollars a turn. Caravan really shines from its duration effect. This part of the card allows you to buy bigger and better things because you will start with a larger hand. The fact that it replaces itself without taking away your action for the turn keeps your theoretical deck size down. Back in trading card game history this type of spell earned the nickname cantrip. I guess eople needed a general term for this effect because these types of cards kept popping up.
8. Haven
Another cantrip, Haven does not add to your theoretical deck size. Caravan’s free card could help, but Haven allows you to plan for the future; it sets aside a card from your hand in the previous turn. This helps players save extra cash for future turns. Haven really shines by allowing players who build decks with lots of terminal actions to smooth out their draw, because it prevents you from discarding a terminal action without using it.
7. Fishing Village
Village effects provide the most obvious way to avoid the problem of too many actions in one hand. Native Village and Bazaar provide similar effects, but Fishing Village beats them for three reasons: It only costs three to buy, its duration effect allows you to use it twice, and it also provides money. Your next hand might not need the extra actions, but almost every hand wants extra cash. Fishing Village can turn a bad turn into a good turn if you draw more victory cards and Curses than money.
6. Sea Hag
What a witch. Not only does she give you a Curse, you need to draw it right away! In most games this will really slow your opponents down; however, you must pay attention to the set up when playing with Seaside only. Several cards can help players overcome this devastating attack card. Sea Hag would rank higher if it were not for all the good trash or trash like effects (Native Village) in this set. Try to “lookout” for ways to deal with Sea Hag so you can protect yourself and also not fall for the trap of building a deck around her.
5. Lookout
Talk about a hack for Sea Hag, this card takes the cake on stopping the best four cost card in the game. You will see this card more often when playing with Seaside only, so the witch’s stock goes down. Lookout ranks high because it self-combos; all the other trash effects come from terminal actions, unlike Lookout which you can keep chaining. Leaving a card on top will either prepare you for a better next turn and or set up a card to trash with another copy of Lookout. Playing several Lookouts will thin your deck fast, but you should try to end the chain with a devastating terminal action.
4. Ghost Ship
Your opponents pray to find the Lighthouse in the fog of their deck before your ghastly pirates start beating them down. Ghost Ship reduces the power level of your opponents’ decks by restricting how many cards they can use to purchase new cards and improve their decks. Also your opponents do not benefit from holding bad cards because they will just have to redraw them next turn. Do not forget this apparition draws you two cards, the highest amount a single action card gives in this set; correction, the most cards a single action allows you to draw and keep.
3. Warehouse
Players cannot deny the power level of Seaside. Almost every board will contain a powerful terminal action (or non terminal action). Whoever starts playing Ghost Ship first will pull ahead. Warehouse allows a player to find these broken cards first and faster than his opponents. If you see your Salvager sooner and draw through your deck faster, then you will trash more cards, which makes your deck thinner quicker, and then … notice the chain yet? Although you do not gain any card advantage, Warehouse improves card quality and ensures you see your best cards more often. Allowing you to draw first before discarding makes this card one of the most superior card cyclers the game offers. Who would not want to play the final two cards on this list as soon as possible, as fast as possible, and as often as possible?
2. Wharf
As mentioned earlier, Seaside offers no action equivalent to Smithy as far as gaining cards in hand. Wharf comes close by drawing four cards over two turns. Easily the best duration effect, Wharf guarantees your next turn will do some damage when you start with five cards. The extra buy does come in handy when the set up really promotes combo decks. Games that include Treasure Maps will really accelerate your ability to buy Provinces, so Wharf enables that you can buy more than one a turn. The only way to make Wharf better depends on how well you can improve the quality of the cards you draw with this impressive action card.
1. Ambassador
No surprises here. One of the best trash cards of all time, Ambassador surpasses all other cards in the set when it comes to exponentially increasing your card quality. It allows you to trash two cards at a time while dumping bad cards into your opponents’ decks. Win-Win. This card will warp more boards than anything else. You need this diplomat when available and you need anything and everything to support him in order to succeed at the table.
Honorable Mentions
Keep an eye out for Lighthouse. Preventing Sea Hag, Ghost Ship, or Ambassador from hurting you will go a long way. It also provides a great effect on its own without depending on your opponents playing attack cards to receive value from the card. After Fishing Village, Native Village provides the best multiple action and combo plan. It also gives the player a pseudo trashing effect, but watch out. You may use it too late in the game and remove a great card from you deck.
Native Village
Island on the other hand allows you to choose what you remove. It provides a great alternative to Provinces as well. Sometimes you must make a switch from purchasing Provinces near the end of the game, so you can score more points in the long run. Island allows you to keep pace with points without hurting the consistency of your deck. Anytime Island appears, consider trying an aggressive strategy that does not rely on Provinces to win. So many cards in Seaside cost players little money and the table will rush to fill their decks with them. This creates a lot of board scenarios where the three pile end of game rule might happen before the Provinces run out, so consider stocking up on Islands and or other victory cards.

Island

Have you played Seaside only games were smaller point card strategies prevailed? Do you think Native Village, Lighthouse, Island, and or any other card should make the list? Do you think Sea Hag can fight through the hate included in Seaside?
Let us know what you think.
**Special Thanks to Vishu Doshi for his input on this list.


Additional Information

For more information about Seaside check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of Seaside? Try the following links.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Dominion Strategy: World Board Gaming Championship – Intrigue

By Brian Durkin
The World Boardgaming Championship takes place all this week in Lancaster, PA. I hope to see you at the Lancaster Host Resort for some gaming. If you would like to know more about this event, check out the Boardgame Players Association website for information about the WBC.
The Dominion tournament at WBC continues to draw huge crowds as one of the most popular events for non-collectible card games. If you plan on playing in this event, you need to learn the format ahead of time. This single elimination tournament will only use Kingdom cards from Intrigue for the first two rounds, so your survival depends on your ability to play with these cards. What cards should you look out for in this format?
Tribute
10. Tribute
Limited only to the Intrigue expansion, this card earns a higher ranking than usual. The potential Kingdom set up could benefit a player from adding this card to his or her deck with all the split action cards in Intrigue. If players begin to build Scout decks or buy Nobles just as a Draw/Action engine, Tribute will feel like a Grand Market. This card depends on a lot going right and might not deserve a spot on the list compared to other cards; however, in this format you should reconsider its power level. 

Pawn
9. Pawn
Almost every deck will benefit from a Pawn. The biggest advantage comes from how the modes keep this card relevant regardless of the game state. Early on it helps draw cards and or provide actions, but later in the game it can provide an extra buy if you really start producing a lot of money. Do not over extend on purchasing this card. Playing several Pawns in a row just tortures everyone for wasting time, because you still will just end on one terminal. Unlike Ascension not every card adds points to your score.
8. Torturer
Torturer
Smithy is good. Smithy is better when all your opponents must discard two cards or take Curses. This terminal can do a lot of damage. Torturer does not give your opponents any good options unless they possess trash effects. Torturer’s power level diminishes in this format because of several cards deal with Curses. Do not avoid a Curse strategy. Certain boards will allow this to succeed; however, even a mediocre card like Upgrade can mitigate the power of Torturer. Actions that trash make Torturer essentially just a Smithy, so seek out cards that provide multiple actions. Multiple actions allow for more card drawing and you distribute more Curses. More than one Torturer can create a situation where most trash effects cannot keep up.
Shanty Town
7. Shanty Town
Need to juice up the power of Torturer, Shanty Town does the trick. This card screams, “Combo with me!” Shanty Town’s presence on the board boosts many other cards, such as Conspirator. This set provides an incredible amount of good terminal actions, so Shanty Town will really take your deck to the next level. Of course many times you will not draw off of the first Shanty Town. Who cares? No real loss when you now can play two Torturers. The next card on the list can even help set up Shanty Town’s additional bonus.
Courtyard
6. Courtyard
This card will benefit every player. In decks without multiple actions, it allows you to put a terminal action card on top for next turn instead of discarding it with no effect. In Shanty Town combo decks you can set up what you need. Courtyard digs three cards deep to find more actions if you already earned extra actions. You want to find these powerful actions as soon as possible and Courtyard makes that happen. A great complement to any deck considering four of the top five game warping cards for an Intrigue game include terminal actions.
Swindler
5. Swindler
Swindling first will put you far ahead of your competition. It enables better purchasing power and probably floods your opponents’ decks with Curses. Although many cards in Intrigue minimizing the effect of Curses, Swindler does not need to hit a Copper in order to do damage. Sometimes taking away a player’s Torturer to give him or her a Duke will solidify your lead. Only one other attack card surpasses Swindler on this list, but first you must remember the most powerful ability when playing Dominion.
Trading Post
 
4. Trading Post
Trashing cards out of your deck enables all degenerate decks and combos. No other effect with accelerate your deck’s power level like removing the lower quality cards. Trading Post removes two bad cards from your deck and allows you to acquire a good card, not to forget the fact that this does not count as your buy for the turn. With one play you can trash two Coppers, gain a Silver, and buy a Swindler. Not bad. Trading Post diminishes the power of cards like Torturer and next card on the list.
Masquerade
3. Masquerade
It sends a bad card to your neighbor. It draws you cards. It trashes. Enough said. It creates another reason why Torturer does not make the top five cards. Masquerade even competes with Courtyard’s ability to smooth out your draw. Masquerade changes every game it appears because even a card like Swindler now does not do as much damage. Masquerade still cannot protect you from one attack card.
Minion
2. Minion
Ever play against a Minion deck before? If you said yes, did you want to kill yourself after watching your opponent destroy your hand and proceed to play four more copies of this card? If you said yes then you know you need to pilot the Minion deck as oppose to feel its wrath. No other card self combos as well as this attack. You play several copies for money and then use your last copy to refill your hand. Look out for cards like Mining Village and Bridge because they synergize well with Minion. Most Minion decks need  trashing to reach crazy levels of power.
1. Steward
Nothing trashes better than this card. At a cost of three, you do not fall behind when someone opens with five Copper and beats everyone to Trading Post. Trashing two cards at a time helps fight any player distributing Curses. After you finish trashing all the bad cards, it still provides a relevant effect of either drawing cards or giving you two dollars. You need to build a deck around this card every time it hits the board.
Steward
What cards do you love to add to your Steward decks? Do you think you would build a different strategy if Steward appeared on the table? What other cards shine when playing with only Intrigue cards? Do you think a Duke strategy can work or will most players race for Provinces?
Let us know what you think.

**Special Thanks to Vishu Doshi for his input on this list.


Additional Information

For more information about Intrigue check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of Intrigue? Try the following links.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

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.