7 Wonders » Rules » Some Misplayed, Forgotten or Misunderstood Rules or Situations

Author: Nikoms
Below are some things we have played incorrectly in our group - hopefully you will avoid these pitfalls. We only currently play the base game, so the below do not include situations from "Cities" or "Leaders" (although some of the commentary following might).


1)Resources produced by yellow cards or completed wonder stage abilities cannot be bought by neighbors.

2)Resource cards just built that turn do not produce resources that turn so thus may not be used by you or neighbors for production. They DO count toward special cards (Bazaar and Vineyard).

3)Pass left in Age I, right in Age II and left in Age III.

4)The starting resource produced by a wonder (in the upper left corner) can be bought by neighbors – but does not count as a “card” of that color for any other purpose.

5)You pay 2 coins for EACH resource you buy from a neighbor (unless you have cards/abilities that reduce this cost – which then do so for each resource).

6)You can only buy however many of a resource a neighbor produces.

7)You may not spend coins to buy resources on the same turn they were earned. (i.e. you can only build with what resources you and your neighbors have available at the beginning of the round).

8)Gold is NOT “spent” for VP before determining tie breaker.

9)You can’t build the exact same building twice in your tableau.

10)The Lighthouse – counts itself both times (coins and VP), according to the updated rules.

11)When discarding unused guilds, the identity of both the discarded and the used guilds should be kept a secret.

12)According to the rules, Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game. This is highly debated.


I will update the first post as others post suggestions.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 6:53 pm
Author: Menghini
You could add another card to point 10:

The Secret Society (Cities expansion, black card) gives 1 coin and 1 victory point for every black card (also including itself, just like the Lighthouse).
Sat Jan 5, 2013 7:05 pm
Author: allstar64
Nikoms wrote:

2)Resource cards just built that turn may not be used by you or neighbors.

10)The Lighthouse – counts itself both times (coins and VP), according to the updated rules.


The Vineyard and Bazaar DO count brown/gray cards played by your neighbors on the same turn.

Nikoms wrote:

3)Pass left in Age I, right in Age II and left in Age III.

The back of each age card shows a symbol indicating which way to pass


Nikoms wrote:

7)You may not spend coins the same turn they were earned.

You may spend coins the same turn they were earned to pay for payments forced on you by other players (New symbol on the Catan wonder and several cards in cities expansion)

Nikoms wrote:

12)Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game.

Mostly untrue. While players can play A while others play B during the same game I'd advise you to allow players to pick which side they want to play rather than forcing players to play a particular side since the A sides of many wonders are very inferior to their B sides.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 7:09 pm
Author: ousgg
allstar64 wrote:

Nikoms wrote:

12)Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game.

Mostly untrue. While players can play A while others play B during the same game I'd advise you to allow players to pick which side they want to play rather than forcing players to play a particular side since the A sides of many wonders are very inferior to their B sides.


Almost entirely untrue. A Wonder's abilities are only as good as you - or your opponents - make it. Any time you've seen a B-side lose to an A-side Wonder is sufficient to disprove this theory. Or are you suggesting that there is a strict hierarchy of all 14 Wonder boards?

Sat Jan 5, 2013 7:26 pm
Author: Nikoms
allstar64 wrote:
Nikoms wrote:


3)Pass left in Age I, right in Age II and left in Age III.

The back of each age card shows a symbol indicating which way to pass


True - but we were constantly forgetting to switch, as we were looking at the fronts.



allstar64 wrote:

Nikoms wrote:

12)Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game.

Mostly untrue. While players can play A while others play B during the same game I'd advise you to allow players to pick which side they want to play rather than forcing players to play a particular side since the A sides of many wonders are very inferior to their B sides.


Actually, the rules themselves state that the two sides, while different and B more complex, are indeed balanced for play in the same game.

Finally, for these things that I listed are things my group has struggles with at times. We do not have the expansions (yet) - so these "suggestions" or "don't screw up what we did" will not often take into consideration the expansions.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 7:26 pm
Author: markgravitygood
"7)You may not spend coins to buy resources on the same turn they were earned."

As newbies, We cover this by placing any money you owe to a neighbor for resources purchased, on the cards you are passing them for the next round, keeping said coins seperate from their cache of coins. For newbies (us), this worked well as we were going around the table doing each players action in turn (not simultaneously), making sure we did it right.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 8:11 pm
Author: allstar64
Nikoms wrote:

Actually, the rules themselves state that the two sides, while different and B more complex, are indeed balanced for play in the same game.


I am well aware that the rulebook claims the two sides for all wonders are balanced and in my experience the rulebook is for the most part lying. I have played the game a lot and am very familiar with all the wonders and I find that the A sides are only worth using if all the players are pretty much brand new. That way inexperience can balance out the weaker wonders.

In the case of Rhodes, Ephesus, Alexandria and Halicanarsus their side Bs are so so much better than their side As that I see no reason to ever consider using their side As if you have one of them.

Babylon and Gizah, if nothing else, have more interesting side Bs than As and for this reason I always choose side B with them although I will concede that if you wanted to you could probably play their side As.

Olympia is the only Wonder whose side A is reasonably comparable to its side B. The other 6 wonders have extremely expensive stage three on side A wheres Olympia's is relatively cheap. Additionally while Olympia side B can be good a lot of its power is based on your neighbors getting good stuff you can use and I can tell you it is super frustrating when you are Olympia side B with uncooperative neighbors.

Now there are people who disagree with me on this which is why I am a big advocate of letting people decide on their own which side they want to play cause I hate being forced to play the game while being at a disadvantage right from the start.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 9:07 pm
Author: I Eat Tables
ousgg wrote:
allstar64 wrote:

Nikoms wrote:

12)Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game.

Mostly untrue. While players can play A while others play B during the same game I'd advise you to allow players to pick which side they want to play rather than forcing players to play a particular side since the A sides of many wonders are very inferior to their B sides.


Almost entirely untrue. A Wonder's abilities are only as good as you - or your opponents - make it. Any time you've seen a B-side lose to an A-side Wonder is sufficient to disprove this theory. Or are you suggesting that there is a strict hierarchy of all 14 Wonder boards?



Oh dear, it's the 'existence of tiers' debate all over again.

In short, there are two things to note about wonder strength.
1) There is a hierarchy of power, which says that each wonder ON AVERAGE is better/worse than each other.
2) This hierarchy matters considerably less than player skill and considerably less than the ebbs and flow of luck in an individual game.

If you're denying point 1, then you are claiming that all 14 sides (and possibly more with expansions and promos) are perfectly balanced with one another. This is of course absurdly difficult to believe, there's bound to be a number of small imbalances - perhaps Halikarnassos A averages 0.5 VPs per game more than Rhodes B, or the like. Point 2 however is the limiter on this - a good player with a bad wonder is still probably going to beat a bad player with a good wonder. And even if the players are equally skilled and you give the best wonder to one and the worst to the other, the player with the worst wonder might still get luckier and win. But if they played 100 games, you might see the one with the better wonder win maybe 55-60 games.

Now, you'll notice I'm not making claims as to which wonders are so good and which are so bad, nor am I trying to make a claim as to how big the gap is, I'm just making the point that it almost certainly exists.

If I were to start looking at the actual wonder boards, well Halikarnassos seems to be the most obvious point to start. Firstly the B side gives the same amount of VPs as it's built, but at any given stage of construction, it's almost strictly superior to side A: stage 1 is 2 VPs and 4 coin vs. 3 vps (and 4 coin is more than 1 VP, of course!). Up to stage two is 5 VPs and 8 coins to 3 VPs and 9 coins - one coin worse, but two coins up. And finally after totally constructing the Wonder, side A gives three coin less. All this of course could be well balanced if the B side was harder to construct... but it isn't. The A side, in addition to giving less, is also harder to build! Needing two of the same manufactured good is a serious issue - your neighbours won't build it for you, most likely, forcing you to build a card just for that last stage, or forego the final stage of the wonder. Halikarnassos A is just so close to being strictly worse than Halikarnassos B that it's hard to maintain that they're closely balanced.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:26 pm
Author: ousgg
I Eat Tables wrote:

In short, there are two things to note about wonder strength.
1) There is a hierarchy of power, which says that each wonder ON AVERAGE is better/worse than each other.
2) This hierarchy matters considerably less than player skill and considerably less than the ebbs and flow of luck in an individual game.


I agree with this, although I defy anyone to carry out an analysis that actually NAMES that hierarchy.

Most of the rest, I disagree with. Materialistically, sure - side B of the Mausoleum is better than side A. But that takes no account of how they relate to the other wonders on the table, nor when you might wish to build your Wonder (in the third Age, to deprive LHO of cards, and when money is of less use?). I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game. That's quite beside the point that it's impossible to play Mausoleum A and Mausoleum B in the same game, and therefore it doesn't actually prove anything.

Edit: I didn't think it was the Mausoleum. Substitute Temple.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:43 pm
Author: Slow Dog
I Eat Tables wrote:

If I were to start looking at the actual wonder boards, well Halikarnassos seems to be the most obvious point to start.

I assume you're talking Ephesos, not Halikarnassos.

Quote:

The A side, in addition to giving less, is also harder to build! Needing two of the same manufactured good is a serious issue - your neighbours won't build it for you, most likely, forcing you to build a card just for that last stage, or forego the final stage of the wonder.


That's an odd definition of "harder". Stage 3A requires one resource you haven't got, 3B two. While I accept there are subtleties, 7VP for building a press doesn't seem too terrible to me.
Sat Jan 5, 2013 11:06 pm
Author: Reid666
Quote:
That's an odd definition of "harder". Stage 3A requires one resource you haven't got, 3B two. While I accept there are subtleties, 7VP for building a press doesn't seem too terrible to me.


I'd like to say that there is no subtlety here...

If you build any resource card, you usually expect it will help you in building several structures or making money. If you build a Press, its only use is 3rd stage of your wonder. You don't need 2xPapyrus for anything else , so no one will ever buy 2 from you.


In the end you will get 7 points from your 3rd stage. That's 3,5 point per card. Unless you manage to build it before Age III, it's terrible play. If you built it in Age II, new problems arise:

1. Taking almost useless Press in Age I or II can hinder your plays in Age III. Generally it's better to have as many usefull cards as possible before Age III. You wan't to be able to build as many high cost blues, reds and guils as possible, extra Press doesn't help.

2. By using up all of your wonder slot's before Age III you won't have option to deny card's from your opponents or to get out from hands with nothing good to play.


I'd would take a risk and make conclusion that it's better to forget about your 3rd stage or hope that your neighbour will build this extra Press you need for it.

All in all, A sides with manufactured good put you in bad position from the beginning of game. For me that makes them one of the weakest wonders (only A side of course).
Sat Jan 5, 2013 11:45 pm
Author: freddieyu
allstar64 wrote:
Nikoms wrote:

Actually, the rules themselves state that the two sides, while different and B more complex, are indeed balanced for play in the same game.


I am well aware that the rulebook claims the two sides for all wonders are balanced and in my experience the rulebook is for the most part lying. I have played the game a lot and am very familiar with all the wonders and I find that the A sides are only worth using if all the players are pretty much brand new. That way inexperience can balance out the weaker wonders.

In the case of Rhodes, Ephesus, Alexandria and Halicanarsus their side Bs are so so much better than their side As that I see no reason to ever consider using their side As if you have one of them.

Babylon and Gizah, if nothing else, have more interesting side Bs than As and for this reason I always choose side B with them although I will concede that if you wanted to you could probably play their side As.

Olympia is the only Wonder whose side A is reasonably comparable to its side B. The other 6 wonders have extremely expensive stage three on side A wheres Olympia's is relatively cheap. Additionally while Olympia side B can be good a lot of its power is based on your neighbors getting good stuff you can use and I can tell you it is super frustrating when you are Olympia side B with uncooperative neighbors.

Now there are people who disagree with me on this which is why I am a big advocate of letting people decide on their own which side they want to play cause I hate being forced to play the game while being at a disadvantage right from the start.


yeah when the wonders are picked randomly I let the players use which sides.

And no, not all side A's are inferior. Rome's (from 7 Wonders: Leaders) side A is better for me.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:14 am
Author: Speedbump858
I will first state that I do not consider myself to be anything more than an above average player. In my experience, having played the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus well over 100 times, I can tell you the following: 1. I have only managed to win 2 times with that wonder. 2. Those wins occurred in games where there were 3-4 people that were new to the game.

That particular Wonder regardless of side is highly dependent on the other players not playing against you when possible. Most games where I get stuck with that Wonder with other "seasoned" players usually results in nothing good in the discards because they know I can fish for it. It actually becomes part of the decision making process when weighing out which card to keep, play or discard for coins.

That being said, it is my least favorite wonder to play as you are always playing not to be last.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:19 am
Author: allstar64
I'm assuming the above comments were directed to Ephesus

ousgg wrote:

Most of the rest, I disagree with. Materialistically, sure - side B of the Mausoleum is better than side A. But that takes no account of how they relate to the other wonders on the table, nor when you might wish to build your Wonder (in the third Age, to deprive LHO of cards, and when money is of less use?). I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game. That's quite beside the point that it's impossible to play Mausoleum A and Mausoleum B in the same game, and therefore it doesn't actually prove anything.


Your comments here make no sense. As I Eat Tables clearly showed taking only points into account Ephesus A is inferior to B at every step of the way. In terms of money it is 1 coin superior at stage 2, hardly enough to make up for its other shortcomings. When you add in that until stage 3 the resource requirement for building are identical then there really is no early game interaction between your neighbors which should affect which side you want to play.

In regards to the final step.

Slow Dog wrote:

That's an odd definition of "harder". Stage 3A requires one resource you haven't got, 3B two. While I accept there are subtleties, 7VP for building a press doesn't seem too terrible to me.


The issue here is what is harder to get?

1 resource that experienced neighbors will not consider building for you (as you supply them with it already) and if you get yourself (without the forum) will never be used to build anything else in the game? or

2 resources which are very essential in the end game and that all players should be trying to get access to anyway?

The developed resources are very important cause a lot of cards in the endgame need at least one and finding yourself missing one will instantly make it impossible to build several age 3 cards (one of the reasons Alexandria B is so much superior to Alexandria A). Hence experienced players learn to be very careful in age 2 and secure all 3 of the developed resources going into age 3.

Needing to get 1 Scroll (or any developed resourse) for your wonder (Like Gizah B) is actually not that bad since you pretty much want to get it anyway. However in the case of Ephuses, Alexandria and Halicanarsus side A the game makes you get a second copy of one you already have. A second copy of a developed resource you already have (barring the forum) is harder than getting the two developed resources since down the line the two developed resources are much less of a waste than the 1 repeated one.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:19 am
Author: Nikoms
Point 12 updated.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:31 am
Author: ousgg
Quote:
Your comments here make no sense. As I Eat Tables clearly showed taking only points into account Ephesus A is inferior to B at every step of the way.


No. No, no, no. No, it isn't.

Quite apart from the mythical 'other shortcomings' of which you speak (and there transparently are no 'other shortcomings' bar the ones we're discussing), have you ever played a game of 7 Wonders collecting purely money for the win? I'd be surprised if you have.

Therefore, control of money in Ages I & II is much more than just a VP conversion. There is no 'golden law' that dictates that 3=1VP throughout the entire game. If I earn money early, who is most likely to end up with it? My neighbours. Maybe I'll get 50% back, but unlikely if I've been neglecting resources by pissing about with my Wonder.

(by the way, our house rule is that you can look at your opening hand before picking Side A or Side B, which increases the strategy level in Age I)

Therefore, if I pick up a hand of science cards in Age I and have a wonder that produces a manufactured good, it is in my own best interests to weaken the economy of the game. I can't deprive others of the cards themselves, but I can deprive them of the ability to buy them.

And furthermore, all these arguments work on the assumption that you will be able to build all three (four) stages of your wonder, guaranteed. I don't know what sort of dumbass gamers you play with, but if my table see a chance of depriving someone of Wonder-building goods, then it will be taken.

Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:36 am
Author: allstar64
ousgg wrote:

There is no 'golden law' that dictates that 3=1VP throughout the entire game


No but there is a golden law that says 3=1VP at the end of the game. I'm of course referring to the rule which says 3=1VP at the end of the game.

From this it can be inferred that 3is at least >= 1VP no matter what point in the game you are cause if you opt never to use it than the worst return you get on your money is 1 vp.

Since my post above was only looking a the situation where you were building Ephesus for it's VP advantage and nothing else (ie you never use the money you got from your wonder) it was looking at a situation where 3=1VP and hence

Side A Side B
Stage 1: 3 VP Stage 1: 3 1/3 VP
Stage 2: 6 VP Stage 2: 7 2/3 VP
Stage 3: 13 VP Stage 3: 14 VP

clearly showing B has a VP advantage.

The "mythical 'other shortcomings'" which I was referring to was the fact that good players would know how to use money and since side B gets you money sooner and gets you more of it overall Side B has additional advantages in the hands of someone who knows how to handle their money.

This is especially true in leaders and cities where money become much much more important to have throughout the whole game.


Quote:
Therefore, control of money in Ages I & II is much more than just a VP conversion. There is no 'golden law' that dictates that 3=1VP throughout the entire game. If I earn money early, who is most likely to end up with it? My neighbours. Maybe I'll get 50% back, but unlikely if I've been neglecting resources by pissing about with my Wonder.


You do realize the above statement can be summarized thusly:

"Although at the end of the game 3=1VP during the game it's less than that because you'll mismanage your money in such a way that it will help your opponents more than it will help you."

If you actually meant 3is better than 1VP during the game than I would agree with you but that would seem to go against the point you are trying to argue.

Also I'm unsure why you are trying to make arguments about why a pure money strategy is bad (again I'd agree with you) when what we're talking about is a comparison of 2 sides of the same wonder.

Quote:
(by the way, our house rule is that you can look at your opening hand before picking Side A or Side B, which increases the strategy level in Age I)

Therefore, if I pick up a hand of science cards in Age I and have a wonder that produces a manufactured good, it is in my own best interests to weaken the economy of the game. I can't deprive others of the cards themselves, but I can deprive them of the ability to buy them.


Which is fine and I will concede with certain wonders you might want to switch to a different side if you see resources are/are not available to you but I have never heard of anyone else playing this variant especially since if you are playing with leaders you would not have to pick your side until after you have finished drafting leaders.


Quote:
And furthermore, all these arguments work on the assumption that you will be able to build all three (four) stages of your wonder, guaranteed. I don't know what sort of dumbass gamers you play with, but if my table see a chance of depriving someone of Wonder-building goods, then it will be taken.


So far the only wonder I've presented any specific for is Ephesus As I've illustrated above not only do these arguments work on the assumption that you will be able to build all three stages of it but they work no matter how many stages of it you've built.

The "dumbass gamers" I play with are of many different skill levels including beginner but of my regular group plays with all expansions and have learned the danger of being denied a resource as well to deny resources themselves if it doesn't shut down their game which overall is much easier to do against side A wonders than side B wonders due to the higher stage 3 cost many of them have. I will say this though. Non of the gamers I've played with, not even the beginners, have such a poor understanding of their money that they end up helping their opponents more with it than they help themselves.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 2:05 am
Author: allstar64
Speedbump858 wrote:
I will first state that I do not consider myself to be anything more than an above average player. In my experience, having played the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus well over 100 times, I can tell you the following: 1. I have only managed to win 2 times with that wonder. 2. Those wins occurred in games where there were 3-4 people that were new to the game.

That particular Wonder regardless of side is highly dependent on the other players not playing against you when possible. Most games where I get stuck with that Wonder with other "seasoned" players usually results in nothing good in the discards because they know I can fish for it. It actually becomes part of the decision making process when weighing out which card to keep, play or discard for coins.

That being said, it is my least favorite wonder to play as you are always playing not to be last.


I'm always interested in hearing how games with Mausoleum of Halicarnassus go. It seems to be the wonder with the largest range of opinions. I've seen opinions the same as yours which say it is pathetically weak (on A side I would agree). I've also seen opinions that it is impressively strong and nearly overpowered.

On B side I would say it is very balanced and one of the stronger wonders. I always enjoy using it and usually place fairly well though my games usually have 4+ players in them and the more players there are the stronger Halicarnassus becomes.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 2:10 am
Author: ousgg
allstar64 wrote:

From this it can be inferred that 3is at least >= 1VP no matter what point in the game you are cause if you opt never to use it than the worst return you get on your money is 1 vp.

...

"Although at the end of the game 3=1VP during the game it's less than that because you'll mismanage your money in such a way that it will help your opponents more than it will help you."


Gee, the phrase 'multiplayer solitaire' might just have been invented with you in mind.

That's just not how the money and goods arbitrage works in 7 Wonders, unless you have a group that is dedicated to winning with scores of less than 40.

Unless you are able to demonstrate to me that all 18 cards you pick through the course of a game are based on the argument "I have logically proved that this card will earn me 2 or more VPs at game end AND is stochastically superior at doing so than any other card in my hand", then I have no choice but to disbelieve those arguments.

Quote:
Non of the gamers I've played with, not even the beginners, have such a poor understanding of their money that they end up helping their opponents more with it than they help themselves.


I'm not even sure what this means. I don't think it's even possible to gift someone a win by giving them lots of money.

Why are you suddenly introducing Leaders and Cities into the discussion? This strikes me as an attempt to divert attention from strategy in the base game only, which is what I was discussing, because that is what we play.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 2:41 am
Author: Reid666
Almost all wonders from base game have better B sides (only exception may be Olympia, but it's stil arguable).

Let's take magnificient Ephesus B for example. It's advantages over side A:

1. 3rd stage is much more easier to build. With side A it's very propable that you won't be able to build 3rd stage at all. (Or it won't be worth building because you will have to lose additional card)

2. Side B gives you 1 more point, it's simple math. This can't be argued.

3. Side B gives you money as soon as 1st stage, this can be critical in many situations. With expansions it's even more important.


Similar points can be made about other wonders from base game, Ephesos is just very good example, where the difference is visible at first glance and easy to calculate.

And 2 side notes:

I. 3=1VP . That's simple, and it's never less than that. Of course if you mismanage your money by spending it when you had better options in hand, them it's completely your fault. I've seen players spend 8 gold to build a Palace, when they had much better options in hand...
It's just bad play, I can understand that, but I can't understand this statemant about Ephesos:

Quote:
I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game.


What are you trying to say? How are you going to weaken economy by taking side A? Both side A and B have the same resource costs. Difference is that with B side you get money sooner. It doesn't mean that you have to throw them away into "the economy" as soon as possible. What does it mean is that you get more fexibility in your plays with your 1st stage, not second like with A side.

The other difference is that 3rd stage of B side is actually buildable and overall you will get 1VP/3 more than with side A. With again mean more flexibility. Remember you don't have to throw this extra coins into "economy", you can save them and be happy with VP they provide.

So Ben, could you once again explain me (and others) in detail, how are you going to: weaken the economy, maximize your chance of winning or even make a good decision by choosing side A of Ephesos that is so strictly inferior to the side B? It's hard to imagine for me, but maybe I'm missing something?

II.
Quote:
That's quite beside the point that it's impossible to play Mausoleum(Ephesos) A and Mausoleum(Ephesos) B in the same game, and therefore it doesn't actually prove anything.


How is this point relevent in any way for this debate?

Sun Jan 6, 2013 3:29 pm
Author: BlackSheep
Nikoms wrote:
2)Resource cards just built that turn do not produce resources that turn so thus may not be used by you or neighbors for production. They DO count toward special cards (Bazaar and Vineyard).

7)You may not spend coins to buy resources on the same turn they were earned.


I think the easier rule here is that you have to build with what you have available right now. You can't try to build hoping that extra money or resources will be available after cards are revealed.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 3:55 pm
Author: Nikoms
BlackSheep wrote:
Nikoms wrote:
2)Resource cards just built that turn do not produce resources that turn so thus may not be used by you or neighbors for production. They DO count toward special cards (Bazaar and Vineyard).

7)You may not spend coins to buy resources on the same turn they were earned.


I think the easier rule here is that you have to build with what you have available right now. You can't try to build hoping that extra money or resources will be available after cards are revealed.


Good point - updated point 7.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:27 pm
Author: I Eat Tables
Ben, if you get a lot of money from Ephesos (yes I did mean Ephesos, not Halikarnassos, of course!), then there's nothing stopping you from not spending it. 3 money is one victory point that gives you the option of trading it away to get extra resources and the like. It's not mandatory.

If you're playing Ephesos B and you willingly take the money and blow it away quickly, then lose because your opponents have a better economy than you, then it's entirely your own fault. I'm not saying hoarding the money is a good idea, but the point is, money is 3 gold = 1 VP at the end of the game, nobody can take that away from you, AND it gives you extra options. It's strictly superior to 1 VP in every way.

Regarding difficulty to build, here are the stage costs for easy reference:
A:
2 Stone, 3 VPs
2 Wood, 9 coins
2 Paper, 7 VPs

B:
2 Stone, 2 VPs+4 coins
2 Wood, 3 VPs+4 coins
1 Paper, 1 Silk, 1 Glass, 5 VPs+4 coins

When I look at it like that, it really does blow me away how much better side B is. People have already made the argument for why 2 Paper is a terrible cost. The paper you build is totally worthless, and all it does is let you build the last stage of the Wonder. Really, you might end up taking one if you have a terrible hand and the alternative is discarding, but that's about it. Or if you get the Forum, but if you get the Forum, you can probably build side B perfectly fine.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:34 pm
Author: ousgg
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.

Every argument I have seen is attempting to mathematically prove that Side B is better, with no appreciation that there is dynamic between you, the neighbouring Wonders and indeed the people at the other end of the table. You simply cannot carry out 'what would be of most VP benefit' calculations without acknowledging that this is an interactive game.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:37 pm
Author: allstar64
I was under the impression that the discussion that we were having was specifically related to whether Side A of Ephusus is inferior to side B of Ephusus with my position being it is and your position being it isn't. Therefore I've assumed every point you've brought up has been somewhat relevant to this specific discussion and I've done my best to interpret them as such. Seeing how your previous post doesn't actually address anything relevant to whether Side A is inferior to side B or bring up new points I believe that my position has been sufficiently argued and clearly shown by both me and other people here and that there really isn't much more I need to add to what has been said.


I.
ousgg wrote:
allstar64 wrote:


"Although at the end of the game 3=1VP during the game it's less than that because you'll mismanage your money in such a way that it will help your opponents more than it will help you."

...

Quote:
Non of the gamers I've played with, not even the beginners, have such a poor understanding of their money that they end up helping their opponents more with it than they help themselves.


I'm not even sure what this means. I don't think it's even possible to gift someone a win by giving them lots of money.


I don't know how you can be unsure of what it means when you were the one who originally brought it up. You said:

ousgg wrote:

Therefore, control of money in Ages I & II is much more than just a VP conversion. There is no 'golden law' that dictates that 3=1VP throughout the entire game. If I earn money early, who is most likely to end up with it? My neighbours. Maybe I'll get 50% back, but unlikely if I've been neglecting resources by pissing about with my Wonder.


Again I'll remind everyone that we are talking about the merits of Ephusus side A vs Ephusus side B which is why I assumed that you were making this statement in an attempt to support your position that Ephusus side A is not inferior to Ephusus side B cause if you were not doing so than this statement would merely be an attempt to divert attention from the discussion at hand.

As such I did my best to interpret this statement that you yourself made in such a way that it was relevant to our discussion and supported your position that Ephusus side A is not always inferior to Ephusus side B. Since you talk about early money and Ephusus side B gives you early money while Ephusus side A does not the only interpretation of your statements which makes sense is that you believe that early money is bad because as you yourself said "If I earn money early, who is most likely to end up with it? My neighbours. Maybe I'll get 50% back, but unlikely if I've been neglecting resources by pissing about with my Wonder."

Note I do not think this at all. This is just my attempt at understanding what you yourself said previously which was why I addressed it.


II.
ousgg wrote:

Why are you suddenly introducing Leaders and Cities into the discussion? This strikes me as an attempt to divert attention from strategy in the base game only, which is what I was discussing, because that is what we play.


You're joking right? In your arguments on whether side A of a particular wonder is better than side B you were the one who said

ousgg wrote:

(by the way, our house rule is that you can look at your opening hand before picking Side A or Side B, which increases the strategy level in Age I)

Therefore, if I pick up a hand of science cards in Age I and have a wonder that produces a manufactured good, it is in my own best interests to weaken the economy of the game. I can't deprive others of the cards themselves, but I can deprive them of the ability to buy them.


Which at best is an unofficial variant that I personally do not know anyone else who plays with. However when I talk about official expansions in regards to your unofficial variant all of a sudden I'm the one making an attempt to divert attention. Nowhere in this thread did anyone, not even you say that were were only talking about the base game and even if we were you were the one who first de-railed that by bringing up an unofficial variant and using that in your argument on the merrits of Side A vs Side B

III

ousgg wrote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING


Yes which means that 3 = 1VP is your WORST POSSIBLE RETURN on any money you get as long as you manage your money properly. If I have a card that gives me 9 gold and 1 that gives me 3 vp that are effectively identical in every other way I'm going to play the one that gives my 9 gold cause the worst case scenario is I don't spend the money and I earn 3 vp from it anyway.

Hence from this we can conclude that to a competent player who doesn't mismanage his money 3 is at worst 1VP at any point in the game since the worst return you can get from it is not spending it at all.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:46 pm
Author: ousgg
allstar64 wrote:
I was under the impression that the discussion that we were having was specifically related to whether Side A of Ephusus is inferior to side B of Ephusus


If that is the case then this is a pointless discussion.

A) Obviously, Ephesus A and Ephesus B will never take part in head-to-head competition under normal rules.

B) As I've been trying to point out throughout, the interactions and large-scale ramifications of picking each one are probably incalculable and therefore either one could be better depending on the table situation and the opening deal.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 4:52 pm
Author: Reid666
Ben it's a bit sad that you are avoiding discusion after you made some bold statements without any reasonable arguments that they are valid.


Maybe you could answer this few questions and enlighten all of us:

1.
Quote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME? How should we value it. Mybe this will tell us why we have arguments here!

2.
Quote:
Every argument I have seen is attempting to mathematically prove that Side B is better, with no appreciation that there is dynamic between you, the neighbouring Wonders and indeed the people at the other end of the table.


And what if I told that I (and propably rest of people who argue with you) took into consideration and deeply appreciate all interaction and dynamics between you, your neighbours and rest of people you play with? I think we all do this kind of calculations, and taking them into account we can compare 2 sides of single wonder.

I. Maths don't lie, and it clearly shows that Ephesos B will provide you with more points at the end of game than side A.

II. Now we will use our knowledge and experience about interactions and dynamics in 7 Wonders. This tells us 3 things:

A.Cost that include 2 of a single manufactured good is very difficult to pay. This makes Epheoses B better than A.

B.Generally money is better than raw VP, bacause it gives you flexibility, it has a lot of added value. Epheoses B has more value in the form of coins. This mean more options. B is better than A

C.Having extra money early gives your more flexibility early. Generally it's better to achieve flexibility sooner than later. Epheoses B is better than A in doind this.

III.We add some common sense here:

We are comparing both side of Ephesos, we are not comparing it to other boards at the moment. Both sides add money to economy. We know that, we acknowledge that, its clear for us!

Quote:
You simply cannot carry out 'what would be of most VP benefit' calculations without acknowledging that this is an interactive game.


Doing all analysis abowe we can clearly state that Ephesos B will be superior to Ephoes A in almost any situation.
You don't get any extra benefits when you play A over B.
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)

Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.

3.Could you answer my previous questions? I think it's very important because it asks about big hole in your evaluation of wonder boards!


Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game.



What are you trying to say? How are you going to weaken economy by taking side A? Both side A and B have the same resource costs. Difference is that with B side you get money sooner. It doesn't mean that you have to throw them away into "the economy" as soon as possible. What does it mean is that you get more fexibility in your plays with your 1st stage, not second like with A side.

The other difference is that 3rd stage of B side is actually buildable and overall you will get 1VP/3 more than with side A. With again mean more flexibility. Remember you don't have to throw this extra coins into "economy", you can save them and be happy with VP they provide.

So Ben, could you once again explain me (and others) in detail, how are you going to: weaken the economy, maximize your chance of winning or even make a good decision by choosing side A of Ephesos that is so strictly inferior to the side B? It's hard to imagine for me, but maybe I'm missing something?


Do you have any arguments to back your quoted statement. Other than saying we don't know dynamics of he game or that we play solitaire...
Sun Jan 6, 2013 5:32 pm
Author: ousgg
Well, I thought I'd made these points clear, but to reiterate:

Quote:
Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME?


That depends entirely on how much money I have, how much my neighbours have, and the resources available to me. Admittedly, I don't have an algorithm to plug all those numbers into because wasting that amount of time doesn't endear anyone to other players during a half-hour game. But there are clearly game situations where it's necessary to value money highly, and others where it's not. It's not a question where I can give you a mathematical answer - it wouldn't surprise me if it were not actually possible to formulate a mathematical answer.

Quote:
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)
Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.


Right there. There is no evidence that you have taken all interactions beyond the three that immediately occurred to you into account. All your inferences are completely correct if you are the only player in the game.

And 99%? I think not. I could possibly accept that B may be a better choice than A 60% - maybe 75% - of the time. But I don't believe you can prove it by making these assumptions and neglecting the other factors at work.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 5:51 pm
Author: markgravitygood
Another way to look at it is if you have 1G and a resource you know your neighbor needs to purchase a card you just gave him in Age 3, then is that 1G equal to 1VP because you know your neighbor is going to buy that resurce for 2G from you? Of course not.

But, do you "count your chickens before they hatch"?

I would not. to me, it's a potential VP, not a guaranteed VP. What if he misplays it, cashes in for 3G or does some other crazy-ass thing, and you lose by 1 VP?

Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


It's not an insane way to look at it. It's just 'different' and a more conservative approach to VP estimation during the game.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 5:56 pm
Author: BlackSheep
ousgg wrote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3:gg: = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


markgravitygood wrote:
Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


I don't see how three coins is ever worth less than a VP, though. At worst, you put it aside and never spend it and it's worth one VP. At best, you spend it for something better, use it to buy off debt, or double/triple its value with Leaders cards.

Plus, in the final scoring three coins beats 1VP on the tiebreak.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:04 pm
Author: Reid666
ousgg wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
I was under the impression that the discussion that we were having was specifically related to whether Side A of Ephusus is inferior to side B of Ephusus


If that is the case then this is a pointless discussion.


No it isn't, we can easily compare them, and your points below are not relevant or flawed.

Quote:
A) Obviously, Ephesus A and Ephesus B will never take part in head-to-head competition under normal rules.


This doesn't stop you in any away from doing reasonable and valid comparison. If it does, please tell me WHY?

Quote:
B) As I've been trying to point out throughout, the interactions and large-scale ramifications of picking each one are probably incalculable and therefore either one could be better depending on the table situation and the opening deal.


Well, have you ever played this game? It's quite easy for me to estimate implications of choosing one side of board to another. Look at a basic situation.

1.Start of new game (no expanions). Ephesos B puts you in better position than A because:
It gives you more potential options , that are easier to achieve than options provided by side A. Owerall you can get more points from it with less effort

2.When you build your 1st wonder stage of B side you will be in better position than if you build 1st stage of A side. 4 coins can make big difference!

3.If you would like to build 3rd stage of wonder, it's easier with B side. Even if you don't plan to build 3rd stage, it will be easier with side B to do it, if you are forced to because of bad hand or desperate need to deny a card. And if something goes wrong extra coins provided by 3rd stage may still save your game!

As you see it's all about potential value, and what's potential value of side A? That you willl have to srew yourself to build your 3rd stage, that you have less options, less flexibility?

When you face side B, you see a potential with steady income of gold and light costs of wonder stages!
When you face side A, you see a trouble (2xPapyrus) from the beginning!
Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:08 pm
Author: Nikoms
BlackSheep wrote:
ousgg wrote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


markgravitygood wrote:
Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


I don't see how three coins is ever worth less than a VP, though. At worst, you put it aside and never spend it and it's worth one VP. At best, you spend it for something better, use it to buy off debt, or double/triple its value with Leaders cards.

Plus, in the final scoring three coins beats 1VP on the tiebreak.
This is obviously not where I intended this thread on going, but as long as it has, I will throw in my 3 cents (pun intended).

I beleive part of Ben's point is that if you have 3 coins, they could certainly be "wasted" to yield fewer than 1 VP in the long run - especially if you hand them to an opponent(s). For example, if I spend 1 in each direction (1 to my left neighbor, 1 to my right) and those happend to give them EACH an extra VP at the tend of the game - and the 1 I keep gives me 1 extra VP, I have netted -1 VP versus my opponenets - especially if the resources I ourchased didn't help me significantly in the long run.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:10 pm
Author: ousgg
Reid666 wrote:

When you face side B, you see a potential with steady income of gold and light costs of wonder stages!
When you face side A, you see a trouble (2xPapyrus) from the beginning!


To be honest, I'm more likely to flip it randomly because Ephesos is a weak (and boring) wonder, but that's a whole different argument.

For a start, I'm not sure I accept this argument about the stage 3 costs. Is papyrus-papyrus really a harder cost than papyrus-glass-loom? Obviously, there is a good chance that I will get shut out of the second papyrus, and I am quite likely to shut myself out of it anyway (I don't think there is any other use for a second one, there are plenty of other ways to earn 7VP and I could well pick up a Forum in round 2 in any case). With two manufactured resources to collect for side B, surely there is an equal chance that I could be shut out of one of them?

This recurring theme of 'potential value' doesn't add up for me either. It's impossible to reasonably assess the potential value of any card you receive during Age I, which negates any calculations you are doing re: your money.

Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:26 pm
Author: Reid666
Quote:
I beleive part of Ben's point is that if you have 3 coins, they could certainly be "wasted" to yield fewer than 1 VP in the long run - especially if you hand them to an opponent(s). For example, if I spend 1 in each direction (1 to my left neighbor, 1 to my right) and those happend to give them EACH an extra VP at the tend of the game - and the 1 I keep gives me 1 extra VP, I have netted -1 VP versus my opponenets - especially if the resources I ourchased didn't help me significantly in the long run.


I completely agree with this, but... it's just bad play or mismanagment of money. The debate Ben started is not about good or bad plays, but about direct comparision of balance and power level of 2 sides of a single wonder board. Having Ephesos as nice example. (But it's nice only because we can very easily calculate this difference in most situations and use math to show itclearly. Personally I think that other wonders have bigger imbalance between A and B sides)

And I'm very sorry for hijacking your thread (albeit with others)...
Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:34 pm
Author: ousgg
Yes, apologies for hijacking the thread, but this is interesting discussion.

Quote:
(Personally I think that other wonders have bigger imbalance between A and B sides)


Halicarnassus was the first one that came to mind for me. The actual Halicarnassus, not the one we got wrong before. I'm currently of the opinion that, playing against strong opponents, Side B is next to useless.

I'm pretty sure I'd rather play Side A of Babylon, too.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:40 pm
Author: Reid666
First of all, Thankyou for your answers, let me reply:

ousgg wrote:
Well, I thought I'd made these points clear, but to reiterate:

Quote:
Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME?


That depends entirely on how much money I have, how much my neighbours have, and the resources available to me. Admittedly, I don't have an algorithm to plug all those numbers into because wasting that amount of time doesn't endear anyone to other players during a half-hour game. But there are clearly game situations where it's necessary to value money highly, and others where it's not. It's not a question where I can give you a mathematical answer - it wouldn't surprise me if it were not actually possible to formulate a mathematical answer.


But do you value it less than 3=1VP, ever? This was only question I wanted to ask, if not them everything is fine with mine and others calculations. We took it as basic value of gold when we've compared both sides of Ephesos. It's a bit irrelevant for this comparison how much more gold can be worth. (It would only make Ephesos B even better).


Quote:

Quote:
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)
Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.


Right there. There is no evidence that you have taken all interactions beyond the three that immediately occurred to you into account. All your inferences are completely correct if you are the only player in the game.

And 99%? I think not. I could possibly accept that B may be a better choice than A 60% - maybe 75% - of the time. But I don't believe you can prove it by making these assumptions and neglecting the other factors at work.


I have to admit that I took factors that would prove that one side of Ephesos is better than other. I've got conclusion that B is the winner. Please tell what kind of factors I've missed that can make Ephesos A better?

About the percentage, it's much closer to 99% than to 50% for Ephesos B.

This is the only example I could imagine when Ephesos A will be better:

All 3 things have to happen for A side to be better:
A. You are in desperate need of 1 extra coin when building 2nd stage.
AND
B. You have access to 2x Papyrus
AND
C. You don't have access to 1 of 2 other manufactured goods: Loom or Glass or both of them.


It's extremely unlikely situation and also is almost irrelevant. Why irrelevant? Because in situation described abowe you are almost for sure completely screwed. Without access to one of manufactured goods it's hard to do very well in Age III. And if you are in such shortage of resources, discounts and coins, that difference between 8 and 9 gold when you build 2nd stage is so important for you tells that you are propably already in trouble.


And could you answer my last question from that post:

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game.



What are you trying to say? How are you going to weaken economy by taking side A? Both side A and B have the same resource costs. Difference is that with B side you get money sooner. It doesn't mean that you have to throw them away into "the economy" as soon as possible. What does it mean is that you get more fexibility in your plays with your 1st stage, not second like with A side.

The other difference is that 3rd stage of B side is actually buildable and overall you will get 1VP/3 more than with side A. With again mean more flexibility. Remember you don't have to throw this extra coins into "economy", you can save them and be happy with VP they provide.

So Ben, could you once again explain me (and others) in detail, how are you going to: weaken the economy, maximize your chance of winning or even make a good decision by choosing side A of Ephesos that is so strictly inferior to the side B? It's hard to imagine for me, but maybe I'm missing something?

?
Sun Jan 6, 2013 7:06 pm
Author: markgravitygood
My hair hurts.surprise
Sun Jan 6, 2013 8:04 pm
Author: Reid666
Quote:
Halicarnassus was the first one that came to mind for me. The actual Halicarnassus, not the one we got wrong before. I'm currently of the opinion that, playing against strong opponents, Side B is next to useless.

I'm pretty sure I'd rather play Side A of Babylon, too.


I.Halicarnassus - it's a bit tricky to evaluate, but I still think that Side B is better than A.

Main points why:

1.Again, very hard to build 3rd stage on side A.

It's a big issue, neighbours won't build Loom for 2 reason: They can buy it from you or even from their other neighbour. And because by not building it, they will hurt your plans.

Forum could save your day, but it will be higly contested card because: It's usually highly contested. And in this situation both your neighbours will wan't it, as they don't plan to build a Loom.

2.Difference between A nad B:

A: 10 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 3 plays from discard

So, with side B you need 2 discards worth of 3,5 VP each (on average) to break even with points on side A. It's not so hard to get some unwanted Pawnshops,Gardens, some yellow or low scoring guilds or even your own discard from age I or II. So in bad scenarios you should at least break even. But it can be much much better, especially if you build your 2nd and 3rd stage in Age III.

3.The best moment to play a card from discard is the last move in Age III. You will have best choice and should get something nice. But with side A you can't do that if you wan't to build your 3rd stage. You have to build 2nd earlier without such a good choice of discards.

4.Hali scales with number of players, the more players in game the better choice you have and higher chance to get something really juicy.

5. It depends on strategy, it will help every strategy, but science will get most from it. It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.

But, yes, it is harder to evaluate this Wonder because you have take into account more factors than with Ephesos.

II.Babylon - here difference is even harder to evaluate.

I would say it depends on strategy:

1. If you play heavy science strategy they are more or less the same:

Side A: 10 points, wild science symbol
Side B: 3 points, wild science symbol, at least 2 points from 2 last cards ( if discarded for money and it's a bit unreasonable to build 2nd stage in Age I, so usually you will play last cards at end of Age II and III).

So side B may provide you with less points, but it's a bit of gamble, you may get something usefull or valuable. If not you can just build your 3rd stage with this extra card. On the other hand side B has easier costs of each stage so for me it evens out.

2.. If you play mixed strategy, with only one set of green card, them Side A should be better. You can easly get this set before end of Age II.

3. If you don't plan to build science at all, them Side B is clearly better as you only have to leave your 3rd stage and you get some use from 1st and 2nd stage.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 8:21 pm
Author: allstar64
I too apologize for hijacking the thread and take responsibility for being the one who first opened pandora's box. My intent wasn't to start a massive discussion but to bring attention to an issue which bugs me a lot.

Namely the (IMO) rumor that the side As and Side Bs of all the wonders are balanced. The fact the rulebook says this too makes it fairly difficult to convince some people. The reason I hate this is cause I regularly see more experienced players telling new players (I go to several public game meetups)to play the A sides cause they are easier to understand whereas I believe in some instances (like Ephesus, Rhodes, and Alexandria) not only are both sides very easy to understand but you have a clear advantage playing the B side vs the A side. In my eyes its almost like tricking new players to play with a disadvantage in some instances.

Also thanks Jacek for taking over the "value of money" debate since your opinions on the matter seem to directly line up with my own. While our views on it are the same I think you did a much better job explaining it. And thanks for helping show very clearly that as far as benefits go Side B Ephesus is superior to side A Ephesus.

I'll tackle this argument

Quote:
For a start, I'm not sure I accept this argument about the stage 3 costs. Is papyrus-papyrus really a harder cost than papyrus-glass-loom? Obviously, there is a good chance that I will get shut out of the second papyrus, and I am quite likely to shut myself out of it anyway (I don't think there is any other use for a second one, there are plenty of other ways to earn 7VP and I could well pick up a Forum in round 2 in any case). With two manufactured resources to collect for side B, surely there is an equal chance that I could be shut out of one of them?


This is actually a valid argument for side A vs side B on which I'll gladly address. I'm going to look at it from 2 different angles, one being your priorities and one being how blockable it is.

I. Resource priorities

Now first of all I don't think anyone will deny that no experienced player wants to go into stage 3 lacking any of the developed resources (and to be clear when I say lacking I mean 100% lacking, no forum, no commerce, no city, no leaders which can get you it). Lacking just one developed resource instantly makes several cards impossible to play.

Therefore experienced players will (should) play very carefully to make sure they end up with access to all 3 resources going into stage 3 no matter what wonder they are playing making a cost of "all three developed resources" slightly redundant since you really want all 3 developed resources anyway.

Now a comparison of costs. Given that you already have 1 scroll is getting a second scroll a steeper cost or is getting a Loom and a Glass a steeper cost?

Equipped with the knowledge that you should be getting access to all 3 developed resources anyway I would rule that getting a second scroll is the steeper cost. While your wonder may not need the loom and the glass it doesn't change the fact that you should still be trying to gain access to them going into the third age so by requiring two scrolls it changes your overall "developed resource priorities" from trying to get access to all three to trying to get access to all 3 AND an additional scroll.

On the other hand side B has no need for the second scroll and just wants one of each... which you pretty much want anyway hence its resource priority is trying to get access to all three and is relatively unchanged.

II
If it were just for the priorities I would select B over A but when you get to being blocked it just becomes even worse (or better). If it was simply "Side A needs access to 1 scroll while side B needs access to one loom and one glasss" than yes side B would be easier to block but this ignores a few key things.

Remember all players want access to all 3 developed resources however you are correct in think that there is nothing else in the entire game that needs 2 scrolls and that includes all the current expansions and it is this fact that is a death sentence to Ephusus side A.

In regards to Side A By virtue of being next to you your opponents will have access to 1 scroll. Also assuming competent opponents they will be aware that a second scroll is useless to them but valuable as gold to you and as such should avoid building a press. Basically they can block you without even trying cause you are supplying to them the very resource you are desperate to get a second of. You can double up yourself but baring the forum this is not a great move since nothing else in the game needs 2 scrolls.

On the other hand side B wants a loom and a glass. If the opportunity is there your opponents will of course try to block it from you but this is no different from normal. If the opportunity presents itself your opponents will try to block you from a developed resource regardless if your wonder needs it or not so no big change there. However unlike side A you are not providing them with the resource that you are desperate to get. Your opponents are not going to deny you a glass if it means they themselves are denied also.

Hence while both are blockable side A is pretty much always blockable without really trying while side B is blockable only if the opportunity is just right.

Another reason I hate Ephusus, Alexandria, and Halicanarsus side A is cause I basically feel I'm gambling on getting the forum or I can kiss stage 3 of my wonder goodbye

If people want to talk about other wonders when we're done ripping Ephesus apart I'll gladly partake in that although on the subject of Halicarnassus I would say Side A is one of the worst (if not the worst) Wonder in the game while Side B is one of the best.

EDIT: oh hey look I was too slow. lets see if there's anything I can add.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 8:50 pm
Author: allstar64
1. Babylon
Personally Babylon is my least favorite wonder from the base game cause I find it the least flexible. I have no specific reason why I think Side A or B is stronger but I always play side B because if nothing else I find it much more interesting however this is purely my opinion and if people want to argue that side A is stronger and should be the side played if you want to win I have no obvious counter arguments to present.

2. Halicarnassus is a completely different story. I find its B side far superior to its A. I view its A side as being possibly the weakest wonder in the game and its B side being one of the strongest.

Quote:
1.Again, very hard to build 3rd stage on side A.


Agree nothing to add

Quote:
3.The best moment to play a card from discard is the last move in Age III. You will have best choice and should get something nice. But with side A you can't do that if you want to build your 3rd stage. You have to build 2nd earlier without such a good choice of discards.

Super agree nothing to add
Quote:
4.Hali scales with number of players, the more players in game the better choice you have and higher chance to get something really juicy.

Still agreeing, still adding nothing

Quote:
2.Difference between A and B:

A: 10 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 3 plays from discard

Agree again but will add this time.

In regards to Halicanarsus B
For the most part you only want to build stages of Halicanarsus on the 6th turn of a given age. Doing so guarantees that the card you take back will be of the same age as the turn you spend building your wonder. If I say use turn 1 of age 2 to build a stage of my wonder I have most likely spent a age 2 turn to build an age 1 card. Usually pretty poor. There are exceptions but for the most part its all about turn 6.

Another nice thing about building on turn 6 of an age is you are guaranteed at worst to take back the better of the last two cards remaining in your hand (use the other to build your wonder stage and discard the better of the 2) so you actually sacrifice very little when you build your wonder during turn 6

Although Halicanarsus has 3 stages it is the only wonder whose wonder stages become strictly weaker at each stage. Interestingly the power of "taking back a discard grows in strength as the game moves into later ages hence why it works out. Why is this important? Halicanarsus B has one of the most expensive first stages of its wonder needing 2 of a resource that pretty much no other wonder requires in the early game. It is very possible to find yourself in age 1 unable to build your first stage. Other Wonders are hurt by this. They need to finish their wonder to claim that juicy Giant prize (usually about 7 points) at the "end of the rainbow" (final wonder stage)

However Halicanarsus just shrugs it off. Its stages 1 and 2 can very easily be played in stage 2 and 3 while it can just ignore its final stage. Unlike the other wonders there is no urgency to make it to the end.

Now as we've tried again and again to illustrate side A is very much in danger of losing its 3rd stage due to the double loom cost so if you are (forced to) play side A and you sense this happening you can save your second stage for the final turn of the game and forego your third stage.

Thus I believe its worth noting that if you finish only 2 stages (very possible with either side) that the benefits are

A: 3 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 2 plays from discard

An outright win for B.

Quote:
5. It depends on strategy, it will help every strategy, but science will get most from it. It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.


Here I disagree with you (a little). Personally I think that Halicanarsus favors no particular strategy above any other and has pretty unique advantages no matter which way it goes. It's weakness comes from losing the flexibility of when it wants to build its wonder stages (turn 6)

Science: Can pilfer discarded science cards plus starts with a developed resource.

Military: Gets (almost) last say in any military fight if at least one military card has been discarded

Resources: gets one last chance in age 2 to recover a resource that you are chronically short on.

Guilds/Commercial(yellow): Possible for one to be bad for another player but good for you hence might be left over.

However you must select your path carefully based on what other players are doing. If 2 other players are going science than science is out. If your neighbors are spamming military than that's gone too.

Personally I see discarding cards to build them back later a very poor move since it basically halves the value of the card you discarded. Its much better to aim to set yourself up to build the card and take back something else when you do build your wonder.

However I will concede that I play a lot of games with 5 players +/- 1 so usually there is something good there and that it might be worth it to discard a valuable card if you are very committed to a strategy and there is really nothing better you can do.

6. Hallicanarsus B playing against strong opponents is next to useless

Here's something I hear a lot which I say no it isn't. Note my comments will mostly cover 4-6 players. In 3 player I still think its good but definitely takes a dive.

Now I'm a big advocate of building your wonder only in turn 6 of an age unless you know there is definitely something good for you in the discard. Using 5 players as an example with no Babylon B on turn 6 of an age you build your wonder. Of the cards matching the current age you are are guaranteed to get the best card of your 2 remaining cards + 1 card from every other player (6 cards total) minimum. The best card out of 6 isn't too bad (yes I know the obvious comeback I'll address that in a second). The worst is 3 player with Babylon B which has a minimum of 3 cards if no one discarded. The best is 7 players with no Babylon B in which case the minimum is 8 cards to pick from (matching the age) and can even be more if people discarded.

Now the obvious comeback is that "you might have a wider choice but its just the trash that no one else wanted". The thing I find silly about this is how much garbage do you think is in the game? its not like there are any really really bad cards (though there are cards bad in certain situations)

Going Age by Age now
Age 1: Lots of opportunities. Maybe a science, maybe a military but the least useful cards are probably the Blue cards or a lone resource.
Regardless of what you take back you are getting 2 points plus a free build. There are a few cards in age 1 that are worth just 2 points so this alone is ok however lets say you take back a blue card worth 2 or 3 points. This makes your first stage worth 4/5 points which is superior to several other first stages. Even just taking a resource isn't bad if its one you need/don't have.

Age 2: Again maybe a science or military depending but more importantly it gives you one last scan for resources (which I would think are common last turn discards) that you are missing and on top of that 1 point.

Age 3: Now here's where Hallicanarsus has it made. It still has chances for military or science but on its last turn it has a choice of I'd say around 5 age 3 cards (adjusted for player number, discards during the game and wonders present). You are pretty likely to find something good out of 5ish age 3 cards and I've taken back some pretty good stuff from civilian structures, to commercial buildings to guilds to cities or even military. Even if its the last pick of the litter picking your final card from 3-8+ cards while ignoring price is very strong when most of the other players must pick from 2 cards.

Oh and I'll also note that Hallicanarsus is very good with leaders that give bonus points for having certain card sets (like one of each color) since it plays more cards on average than any other wonder and has increased flexibility at the end.

Now I have been praising Hallicanarsus a lot (I like the wonder and have won several times with it) but I will also admit its not all sunshine and rainbows. It is possible to get screwed and there are situations that turn out pretty badly for Hallicanarsus.

In a game where no one went science Hallicanarsus can expect to find a lot of science cards in the trash which if you weren't going science is pretty bad. However in this situation the fault is more with you since you have one of the best science wonders and if no one else was aiming for it you should have been.

The worst situation is where you have a few other science players making science a weak choice but you also have a lot of people ignoring military for whatever reason. Unlike science cards military cards are not good in bulk and if a lot of people are ignoring it than it doesn't get played that much in age 3 and a lot of discards will be red cards that are no use to you. I've had this happen from time to time and is the only time i felt really burned by Hallicanarsus.
Sun Jan 6, 2013 11:40 pm
Author: Reid666
@allstar64

Great and extremely detailed analysis of Halicarnassus. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Both, the analysis why side B is better and "players guide" are very thorougt and it would be hard to add anything else!


I have only few comment here and there:

1.
Quote:

Its stages 1 and 2 can very easily be played in stage 2 and 3 while it can just ignore its final stage. Unlike the other wonders there is no urgency to make it to the end.

Now as we've tried again and again to illustrate side A is very much in danger of losing its 3rd stage due to the double loom cost so if you are (forced to) play side A and you sense this happening you can save your second stage for the final turn of the game and forego your third stage.


An outright win for B.


I've almost forgotten about this case .
Usually I build 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age II. This gives me a knowledge about cards that are left in discard pile. If there is something valuable here like Science or a good black card (mask,tabularium, military from Age II, diplomacy, Sepulcher) or even Aqueduct , I'm very happy to get it back in the middle of Age III when I've got very weak hand. 3rd stage is of course waiting until end of Age III.

I just mention it to show that sometimes it may be reasonable choice to build a wonder stage in the middle of Age and not only at the end.


2. Here is this one case where we disagree a little:


Quote:
Quote:
5. ... It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.



Here I disagree with you (a little)...

Personally I see discarding cards to build them back later a very poor move since it basically halves the value of the card you discarded. ...


Here I agree with you and disagree a bit at the same time.
Generally discarding for money is a bad move. But how bad it is depends on how many points you have give up. This depends on current Age. My own benchamarks how many points an Age card should give you are as follows:

Age I - 2 points on average
Age II - 4 points on average
Age III - 6 points on average

I don't take into consideration Age I & II cards that prowide resources (or discounts) as they are necessary to advance your development.

Taking into account that each discard is worth at least 1 point, you are giving up 1,3 or 5VP respectively.

With all abowe in mind, here is my attitude to discards:

Age I - NOT THAT BAD, 3 coins may have more added value than 1VP you are giving up. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age II - ACCEPTABLE in some situations, when you extremely need coins and know that lack of money will cost you even more points in next round or Age. -3VP is painfull but may be worth it. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age III - ALMOST ALWAYS TERRIBLE, losing 5VP may cost you a game, avoid at all cost. So don't discard Palace to get it back with your wonder



Quote:
... Its much better to aim to set yourself up to build the card and take back something else when you do build your wonder.


I completely agree that it's better to be able to build every science and/or military card in Age I & II, but my experience is that it may be hard to have an economy that allow you to build every science card in Age I or at the beggining of Age II.

I mentioned especially science and military cards because:

A. For science symbols it doesn't matter from which Age they come. And if you go heavy science this extra symbol discarded in Age I or II and returned later can make a difference of 7,9 or even 12 (if it completes 3rd set) points in your score. In other words still very good points, even taking in consideration VPs lost because of discard.

B. Military - in right situation it can make a difference of 8-12 points, still well worth of giving up 1-3Vp beforehand.

Rest of my opinion comes strictly from the perspective of science strategy (and mostly with Leaders and Cities expansions):

Money is much more valuable for science strategy than for other strategies. It just really hard to build great economy when playing science. On the other hand it's also very hard to asssemble perfect resourceless chains. This means that science player will have to spend money from time to time. But the other side is that he usually cannot expect to get too much money from his neighbours.

Expansions makes money even more important:

Leaders - Science has best leaders possible in the game, they also tend to be most expensive. But they have great conversion of gold to points. I think it's reasonable to give up few VP and discard for coins that will allow you to play a leader card providing 9+VP.

Cities - First of all money works as a "debt shield". From my experience science is most hurt by debt as usually it has least money (or none at all). Second, you may wan't to play few black cards that require coins (masks,secret warehouse, architect gabinet).



Quote:
However I will concede that I play a lot of games with 5 players +/- 1 so usually there is something good there and that it might be worth it to discard a valuable card if you are very committed to a strategy and there is really nothing better you can do.


I on the other hand almost exclusively play 3 and 4 player games. They are for sure different than 5+ but offer better knowledge of what will be passed to you. But with less discards to choose from... Propably that's why I try to avoid building 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age I (unless I discarded something valuable myself) and wait until end of Age II just to have better choice.

All in all it comes to maths, if you still get decent points, taking into account what you've lost by discarding and gained by bringing card back ( of course in raw VP/gold, not taking into account any added value), them I'd consider it a good play.


Now let's talk about Olympia A and B, or maybe another time...
Mon Jan 7, 2013 2:18 am
Author: allstar64
Reid666 wrote:
@allstar64

Great and extremely detailed analysis of Halicarnassus. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Both, the analysis why side B is better and "players guide" are very thorougt and it would be hard to add anything else!

Hey Thanks


Quote:
I've almost forgotten about this case :).
Usually I build 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age II. This gives me a knowledge about cards that are left in discard pile. If there is something valuable here like Science or a good black card (mask,tabularium, military from Age II, diplomacy, Sepulcher) or even Aqueduct , I'm very happy to get it back in the middle of Age III when I've got very weak hand. 3rd stage is of course waiting until end of Age III.

I just mention it to show that sometimes it may be reasonable choice to build a wonder stage in the middle of Age and not only at the end.


Yeah I forgot to include that in my writeup. I said there were exceptions but I never said what they were.


It's also been a long time since I've done a Halicanarssus science strategy and I have admit the wife and friend of one of my regulars plays with us sometimes and they are quite literally the robotic science types. It doesn't matter what wonder they have or what other people are doing they WILL play science. The wife even teaches new players... and goes all in science (in my eyes one of the most scarring experience you can give a new 7 wonders player) so yeah my play style shifts when they are in. They don't always play but I have gotten used to science being a dead end strategy when they are in.

Quote:
Age I - NOT THAT BAD, 3 coins may have more added value than 1VP you are giving up. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age II - ACCEPTABLE in some situations, when you extremely need coins and know that lack of money will cost you even more points in next round or Age. -3VP is painfull but may be worth it. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age III - ALMOST ALWAYS TERRIBLE, losing 5VP may cost you a game, avoid at all cost. So don't discard Palace to get it back with your wonder :P


That's actually very fair. Never really thought about it that way. My issues with discarding stem from "experienced players" telling new players playing Halicanarssus (PS when I'm in command new players never get Halicanarssus or Babylon) to discard high point age 3 cards to build them back. You know a watered down version of Olympia A

Oh and speaking of Olympia we need a finale and I think you and I both know that Olympia makes the best finale. I'd suggest doing a Rhodes Alexandria Combo next cause they are quite easy to do. I'll do it now actually.
Mon Jan 7, 2013 2:53 am
Author: kaziam
Halicarnassus B is much better with expansions, specifically Cities. I think the addition of expansions does alter this discussion a bit. I personally like Halicarnassus, but it shines with 5 to 6 player counts. It also preys on noobs.

Giza B is also better with Cities. In a vanilla game of 7 Wonders it takes a fair amount of planning to finish off Giza B, but with 3 more turns it is really no big deal. That makes Giza A slightly inferior, unless you have an alternate play that will net you 10 more VPs.

As for Ephesos, I will always take 3 coin over 1 VP with the Cities expansion as being out of coin makes you ripe for debt. And players with the right black cards in hand watch the table to see who has no coins. devil

Rhodes B seems inferior with Leaders and Cities. You're telegraphing a military strategy, and between military leaders, dove tokens and black 5 x military card in Age I it's really a crap shoot. You're giving up 7 VPs for essentially the hope that your neighbors let you win.

And don't get me started about Catan...




Mon Jan 7, 2013 3:03 am
Author: allstar64
I. Ephesus: Argued into the ground
II. Babylon: Somewhat covered
III. Halicanarsus: Completly covered

IV. Rhodes


This one is pretty easy.
Side A---------------------------Side B
Stage 1: 3 VP--------------------4 VP (3 Coins) +1 Military
Stage 2: 3 VP 2 Military---------9 1/3 VP (7 Coins) +2 Military (total)
Stage 3: 10 VP 2 Military

Ok this one mostly speaks for itself. Side B gives almost the exact same benefit as side A in 1 fewer stages. If you consider that your extra play is at worst "discard for 3 coins" Side B is clearly superior in the end.

As for the cost although their costs are slightly different Side A comes off as being more expensive. Both have a 4 ore stage and a 3 "other resource" stage but A had an additional "2 resource" stage that B does not.

As for the benefits themselves Side A makes it very very slightly easier to get an extra military since building its first two stages is slightly easier than building Side B's first two stages.

However this doesn't come close to making up for the benefit that side B has with granting you money bonuses.

I could go on but this one really speaks for itself.

V. Alexandria

Alexandria is the last of the Wonder's whose side A is so unbelievably inferior to its side B that I cannot fathom anyone even considering playing side A.

Interestingly Side A is actually worth more points than Side B but the benefits of Side B far far outweight anything Side A has.

First off the benefits of the 3 stages:

Side A starts off with 3 VP stage. This is about equal to the Age 1 Pawn Shop. An alright VP count but by no means a strong card.

Side B starts off with a caravansary for the same effective cost (2 of the same resource). Ok stop right there. We are effectively putting one of the strongest cards in the entire game up against a card that "not-even-close" to being a strong card. Nuff said

Stage 2 A gets its caravansary while B gets a forum. Unlike the Caravansary from B1 side A doesn't get a free forum. The forum is another brilliantly strong card which all but guarantees that you will not be developed resource screwed in the end game. Again Side B clear winner.

Stage 3 is the same for both so nothing to say here.

Now we clearly see that benefitwise B blows A out of the water. How about costs? It's even more pathetic here.

Stage 1: is effectively the same.
Stage 2: B is 1 resource cheaper thanks to it's stage 1 caravansary.
Stage 3: Not content with B kicking A around in every way possible up to this point A was granted the cursed double developed resource while B just needs 2 non-developed resource.

B is so unbelievably superior its not worth talking about it.
Mon Jan 7, 2013 3:19 am
Author: sthrjo
Nikoms wrote:

12)According to the rules, Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game. This is highly debated.

I have tried to evaluate the different A and B sides objectively and mathematically in this old thread, "Ranking the civilzations special abilities...". It was so obvious that B sides are a bit stronger than A sides that I did not even remember to mention it in the text. Only Babylon A and B are equally strong (or weak). My evaluation is indirectly backed up by threads based on experience, referenced from the thread.
Mon Jan 7, 2013 5:46 am
Author: mumushanshi
allstar64 wrote:
IV. Rhodes

As for the cost although their costs are slightly different Side A comes off as being more expensive. Both have a 4 ore stage and a 3 "other resource" stage but A had an additional "2 resource" stage that B does not.

While I agree with your general point that Rhodos B is often a little stronger than Rhodos A, I feel that this resource comparison needs a little elaboration.

I find that 3 stone + 4 ore is often not the most efficient combination of resources to have (unless you are buying off your neighbour's pyramids). Usually 1 stone ought to suffice for Rhodos.

The main benefits of the extra 2 stone are: Aqueduct and Walls, and Circus in 4+ players.
The other cards rendered playable by the extra two stone are:
Town Hall, just an average Age 3 card
Arena is not so good for Rhodos B
Library and Academy are Science cards which Rhodos often does not have much use for
That leaves the Guilds:
Craftmen's (grey resource), usually solid but unspectacular; and
Builder's (wonder stages) which is usually very good; but you cannot be sure that it is in the game.

However, the fact that Rhodos has access to a lot of ore negates the main benefit of Walls, ie. the chain to Fortifications. Rhodos will be able to build that with resources. A nice tactical play by Rhodos A is to stuff Walls under the Stage 2 wonder.
On the other side of the coin, the Circus should ideally not be built with resources by Rhodos but rather as a chain from Training Ground.
Aqueduct is, of course, a strong Age 2 play but its main drawback is that it is a dead-end card, with no powers and enabling nothing further.

Whereas on side A, the resources required are:
Stage 1: 2 wood - wood is an important resource anyway
Stage 2: 3 brick - which allows, significantly, the Siege Workshop (and to a much lesser degree, the Forum)

Basically, I feel that the resources needed for Side A are more balanced and give greater flexibility than those for Side B.
Mon Jan 7, 2013 6:29 am
Author: Reid666
I'd like to encourage everyone interested in this kind of discussion to take part in a poll running here:

How would you rate the Wonders?


Results can give a much more broad view about the power level of different wonders/sides.


Wed Jan 9, 2013 10:06 pm
Author: VictorDeLeon
I came unto an unsettling situation yesterday : in the final point count, a player had 2 venetian masks, 3 same science cards and Babylone (I'm French so I don't know the exact english names). He said he scored 36 points, but in the rules it says you can get up to 4 science cards and ONLY the science guild and Babylone.
Is the scoring right? Or should he have 3 for same science card, 1 for a mask and 1 for Babylon so 25? or even just 16? Where in the rules would be a clear explanation?
Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:54 pm
Author: Reid666
With each mask he could copy a card with a right symbol from one of his neighbours. If they had right symbols to copy, then yes he could get 6 of the same symbol and score 36 in the end. The phrase in rulebook is only an example of possible combinations in base game.

Both expansions, Leaders and Cities include more science symbols and more combinations. In theory you could get 10 of the same symbol: 4 green cards, 1 leader, 3 masks, Science Guild, Babylon.

Just remember, when using multiple masks, you can't copy the same physical card twice.

EDIT:

CLarification is in Leaders rulebook, page 9, FAQ section, second column, 3rd entry:

"Scientific Symbols

Q: Do the scientific symbols given by leaders
also count in the composition of the sets?

A: Yes, each scientific symbol, no matter where
it comes from
(green cards, guilds, Wonders,
Leaders), counts for both scores (identical
symbols and sets of 3 different symbols)."

I think it's pretty good and broad clarification, that covers any future sources of science symbols as well.
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:13 am