Bid for greatness

While I had a good time with my old gaming group in Glasgow – thanks guys! – it was good to be back on home territory, and finish 2014 with an entertaining, if frustrating, session.

John, Laurie, Sheer, and Yehuda joined me. We started with old favorite 7 Wonders. However, at Sheer’s (excellent) suggestion, we tried out the Cities expansion.

The expansion includes:

  • Black cards
  • New wonders: Petra and Byzantium
  • New guild cards
  • New leader cards (which we did not use as we were not using the Leaders expansion)
  • New card effects (such as Diplomacy, that avoids military conflicts)


Laurie went for a green and blue strategy, but lost out because Yehuda was nabbing all the good green stuff. Sheer’s blue and orange strategy failed to get going. John was following a red strategy, with minor scores elsewhere. My red, blue, and purple strategy was OK, but not good enough to put me among the contenders. ¬†Instead it was John and Yehuda who fought it out at the top, with Yehuda claiming his first win in the game for a while.

It was noticeable that the new cards had an impact; for example, Yehuda’s green score was boosted by being able to copy one of Laurie’s cards. Without it, John would probably have won.

That was such fun, we played the same game again. (One aspect of the game that keeps it fresh is that there are more guild cards than needed. So, each game only uses a subset, and you never know what is available. It’s an element of luck that can be frustrating, but it is also great fun.)

This time around, Sheer blew us all away with a combined red, blue, and purple strategy that amassed a whopping 76 points. My 67 points – attained with 0 purple points! – was the closest.

After that, we played the classic Knizia game, Medici. As Yehuda described it, a pure bidding game. He and I had played it before. Everyone else was denying any prior knowledge.


After a quick explanation, Laurie raced into an early lead. I was at the back. In the second round, Laurie was still in the lead. I was still at the back. However, in the final round, Yehuda’s accumulation of a couple of commodities got him enough bonus points to shoot him into the lead. That gave him the win. I was still at the back, though I had close company!

Good stuff. I suspect we will want to try out the Leaders expansion for 7 Wonders as that new stuff did add a bit of zip to the game.

Let’s hope 2015 is a year of great gaming.