A while ago I heard about 7 Wonders: Architects. While I enjoy 7 Wonders, as I only knew the title I thought it was only an expansion. Well, Alpal knew that this wasn’t the case, and asked me to look into how to play it.
So today we got to play 7 Wonders: Architects. And play it we did! Playing on Board Game Arena means no setup or physical manipulation of the board. This means quicker gameplay and fewer rules arguments. A good implementation won’t let you break the rules.
Well on Saturday, we played 9 games in two hours. That includes a five-minute rules explanation in the initial learning game!
7 Wonders is an engine-building game at its core. Sure, you are trying to ‘build’ a wonder, research science, build armies and the like. But you do it by collecting resources and building an unstoppable engine for the end game.
7 Wonders: Architects still has you constructing a building. Instead of saving resources to use later, you spend them to complete the sections of your Wonder.
You can still build armies, research science, and optimise resource collection. The game still has you interacting with those on your left and right. But the engine building and complicated scoring paths have been replaced.
Acquiring cards is simple. Pick the top card from a pile on your left or right or the face-down ‘central’ pile that anyone can pick from. You don’t have to save up, or get specific items to build up to something else.
Resources for each section of your Wonder requires a number of resources. The only catch is that they must all match, or are all different. Gold coins are wild, and no buying from those around you.
Science has also been simplified. Get two the same or three different, and get a Science Bonus Token. Armies work almost the same. If you have more armies than those on your left or right, collect 3 VP for each side you ‘beat’.
Because there are no rounds, some army tokens have horns on them. Once three horns have been collected, war is declared and combat resolved. Simple and straightforward, but still has an element of strategy.
If you ever had any interest in 7 Wonders but are put off by the complicated learning curve, play Architects. If like me you prefer to play 7 Wonders only at the max player count, 7 Wonders: Architects could be a great middle-ground.
Yes, the rules and scoring are simplified compared to the original game. But you can play quickly with lower player counts with rules that are far more balanced. We played 7 Wonders: Architects for two hours straight at three players. I can’t play 7 Wonders at three players once and truly enjoy it!
I enjoyed 7 Wonders: Architects so much, I ordered a physical copy while we were playing on Board Game Arena. It might be a while before I can play the physical version, but I can see 7 Wonders: Architects being in my go-to game pile.
Games like Quacks of Quedlinburg and Downforce have some company in the pile!