How to play 7 Wonders: rules, setup and how to win explained (2024)

7 Wonders is a board game masterpiece that beckons players to craft the tapestry of human history with each strategic card choice.

In this epic journey through time, players become architects of their own civilizations, striving to erect magnificent wonders, bolster their armies, and nurture economic prosperity. With each turn, they face a myriad of choices, from forging alliances and trading resources to advancing scientific discoveries.

The game’s brilliance lies in its elegant design, compressing centuries of progress into a mere handful of rounds. Yet within this concise framework, players craft stories of ambition, achievement, and rivalry.

7 Wonders isn’t just a game; it’s a captivating odyssey that invites players to leave their mark on the annals of time and emerge as architects of the ages.

What’s included in 7 Wonders?

How to play 7 Wonders: rules, setup and how to winexplained (1)
  • Wonder Boards: Each player receives a wonder board representing their civilization, with different stages to complete.
  • Coins: The game’s currency.
  • Science and Guild Cards: These offer various benefits.
  • Resource and Military Cards: Used for construction and conflict.
  • Civilian Structures: These earn you victory points.
  • Conflict Tokens: Used to resolve military conflicts.
  • Wonder Cards: These depict the seven wonders of the ancient world.

How to play 7 Wonders

Player count and game length

7 Wonders is designed to accommodate 3 to 7 players. In terms of game length, the duration of a game can vary depending on the number of players and their familiarity with the game. On average:

  • With 3 players, a game typically takes around 30 to 40 minutes.
  • With 4 players, a game usually takes about 40 to 50 minutes.
  • With 5 players, you can expect the game to last around 50 to 60 minutes.
  • With 6 or 7 players, the game may take closer to 60 to 75 minutes.

Setup

  1. Each player chooses a wonder board and places it in front of them. If it’s their first time playing, it’s recommended to use a simpler wonder, like the Great Wall.
  2. Shuffle the age I cards (brown back) and deal seven to each player. They choose one card to play and pass the rest to their neighbor. Continue until all cards are chosen.
  3. Shuffle the age II cards (gray back) and deal seven to each player, repeating the draft.
  4. Do the same with the age III cards (purple back).

7 Wonders Rules

How to play 7 Wonders: rules, setup and how to winexplained (2)

7 Wonders is played over three ages, and each age consists of six rounds.

  1. Resource Production: In each round, players gain resources from their wonder board, previously constructed resources, and some age cards.
  2. Card Drafting: Players select one card from their hand and place it face-down in front of them. Once everyone has chosen, reveal the cards simultaneously.
  3. Resource Cost: Pay the resource cost of the chosen card by discarding resource cards or spending coins.
  4. Resolve Actions: Each card has a unique effect. These can include providing resources, granting military strength, adding scientific symbols, or earning victory points. Follow the instructions on each card.
  5. Pass the Cards: Pass the remaining cards to the neighbor on your left (in the first age) or right (in the second age). In the third age, pass the cards to the neighbor on your opposite side.
  6. Repeat: Continue this process until you have played six cards in each age.

End of Age: At the end of each age, players resolve military conflicts. Compare your military strength with your neighbors. You’ll gain or lose victory points accordingly. Use conflict tokens to track this.

End of Game: After the third age, count your final victory points, including points from civilian structures, scientific symbols, guilds, military conflicts, and your wonder stages. The player with the most points wins.

Scoring in 7 Wonders

· Civilian Structures: Many cards, especially blue ones, provide straight victory points. These points are usually depicted as a number enclosed in a laurel wreath. Simply add up the points from all your civilian structures.

· Scientific Symbols: Science cards (green) offer a unique scoring opportunity. You score points based on sets of scientific symbols you’ve collected. There are three types:

  • Compasses (Blue): Score points for the number of compasses squared. For example, having 2 compasses is worth 4 points (2×2), while 3 compasses are worth 9 points (3×3).
  • Tablets (Yellow): Score points for the number of tablets squared, following the same principle as compasses.
  • Gears (Green): Score points for sets of gears. The points are based on the Fibonacci sequence. For example, having 2 gears earns you 3 points, while 3 gears earn you 8 points.

· Guilds: Guild cards (purple) provide points based on specific conditions, often related to what your neighbors have built. Read the card’s text to determine if you meet the requirements for scoring.

· Military Conflicts: Military conflicts occur at the end of each age and can yield or lose you points. Compare your military strength to your immediate neighbors. If you have more shields than a neighbor, you earn points equal to the conflict token difference. If you have fewer, you lose points. If tied, no one wins or loses points. Track these points with conflict tokens.

· Wonders: Your wonder board can also grant you points as you complete its stages. Refer to the wonder’s specific instructions to determine how many points each stage is worth.

· Coins: At the end of the game, you can pay 3 coins to gain 1 victory point. This can be a valuable way to convert excess coins into points.

After tallying all these points, the player with the highest total is declared the winner of 7 Wonders. In case of a tie, the player with the most coins wins. If it’s still tied, the tied players share the victory.

For the official rules, see the link below:

How to win 7 Wonders

  1. Diversify Your Resources: In the early game (Age I), it’s essential to secure a variety of resources. This flexibility allows you to build a wide range of structures in subsequent ages. Focus on acquiring resource-producing cards or trade with your neighbors to ensure you have access to all types of resources.
  2. Plan Your Wonders: Each player has a unique wonder with stages to build. These stages provide various benefits, including victory points, resources, and special abilities. Plan your wonder stages strategically to complement your overall strategy. Some wonders provide essential resources, while others grant free cards or points.
  3. Adapt to Your Neighbors: Keep an eye on your neighbors’ choices, especially during card drafts. If your neighbors are pursuing military strategies, consider investing in military structures to protect yourself or compete for military victories. Similarly, if they’re heavily focused on a specific resource or type of card, try to diversify your strategy to avoid direct competition.
  4. Science Synergy: Science cards can yield substantial points if you collect sets of symbols. Prioritize one or two types of science symbols (compass, tablet, or gear) early on, and actively pursue cards that feature those symbols. A well-constructed science strategy can lead to a significant point advantage.
  5. Guild Cards: Guilds provide unique scoring opportunities based on your civilization’s development and your neighbors’ choices. Try to collect guilds that will reward you for structures you’re already planning to build or that complement your opponents’ strategies.
  6. Economy Management: Coins are essential for paying resource costs and obtaining specific cards. While you don’t want to hoard coins excessively, managing your economy efficiently can give you an edge. Keep an eye on your coin income and balance it with your card choices.
  7. Adapt to Game Progression: Your strategy should evolve as the game progresses through the three ages. In the early game, focus on resource acquisition and building a foundation for your strategy. In the mid-game (Age II), start specializing in specific structures, and consider military or science paths. The late game (Age III) is when you should focus on completing your wonder and collecting high-point-scoring cards.
  8. Don’t Neglect Military: Even if you don’t aim for a military victory, having some military strength can be valuable. Winning military conflicts against your neighbors can earn you points and discourage them from pursuing a strong military strategy.
  9. Maintain Flexibility: While it’s crucial to have a clear strategy, don’t be too rigid. Adapt to the cards available, your neighbors’ choices, and the state of the game. Being flexible and open to adjusting your strategy can lead to success.
  10. Keep an Eye on the End Game: As you approach the end of the game, prioritize cards that will score you points immediately or during final scoring. Consider spending excess coins to gain additional points.
How to play 7 Wonders: rules, setup and how to win explained (2024)

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