New to Me – October 2020

What is this? A “New to Me Games” post? This is the first since August! So basically skipping September.

That’s what COVID has done to us.

It’s not for lack of trying, but I have been so “not in the mood” to play games right now. The only outlet I have right now is playing 2-players with the wife, but I’ve been in such a depressed state that each Sunday when we talk about playing games, I end up deciding I’m not up for it.

It’s not her issue. It’s mine.

I’m hoping that will change this weekend, but we’ll see! But “this weekend” will be November, so that will be next month’s post (we have two Roll Player expansions as well as perhaps Speakeasy Blues or It’s a Wonderful World this month, so maybe?)

We’ll see.

Yes, COVID does suck, but as Jess’s dinosaur says, extinction sucks worse, so wear your mask and avoid people!

I’m really having difficulty with gaming and COVID. Maybe I’ll do a separate post about it, but as you can see from the lack of blog content the last couple of months, I’m really not enjoying this.

I’m going to try and do more in November, but we’ll see what happens.

One of the “self-care” things I am doing for myself is not worrying too much about not posting as often.

Not as much as avoiding huge asteroids would have helped the dinosaurs, but it’s something!

It’s helped somewhat. Though I’m sorry if you’ve been looking for more.

Hey, I’m Canadian, so I’m always going to apologize.

So, without further adieu (all of my adieu was taken away by the Roman Senate anyway), let’s get this started!

7 Wonders Duel: Agora (2020 – Repos Production) – 1 play

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala

Artist: Miguel Coimbra

Players: 2

I’m a big fan of the 2-player game 7 Wonders Duel, really enjoying playing it on our lunch breaks when we were in the office. In fact, I was going to be doing a review of it sometime in the last 6 months but our unexpected “no going back to the office due to COVID” left the game trapped on my shelf there.

No chance to get pictures meant no review.

That will soon be rectified.

But anyway, the second expansion, Agora just came out and not only is it available in stores but it is also available on Boardgame Arena.

That’s where a co-worker and I have given it a test drive.

What does 7 Wonders Duel look like?

It looks like this (though this is with Agora so a few of the cards will look different if you’re just playing the base game).

Boardgame Arena actually tells you how much a card will cost both you and your opponent!

On your turn, you will be take a card that’s uncovered from the tableau and either build it, discard it for money, or use it to construct one of the four Wonders you’ve selected at the beginning of the game.

The resource cost is in the top left corner under the colour tab. You just need to produce the resource in order to meet that requirement. You don’t actually have resources to “spend”.

You can also win immediately by collecting 6 unique Science symbols or by crushing your opponent with military strength.

Agora adds a new way to win immediately, though: dominate the Senate (shown below the military track above).

What does the Senate do?

The cards that you can choose from during each age now consist of a certain number of Senators.

Some of them are Politicians and will let you take a certain number of Senate Actions, though you are restricted in placing influence to the two Chambers that are reflected in the section on the card.

You can move influence from anywhere in the Senate, but you can only place influence in the area that the card tells you.

Some are Conspirators, that will either let you place influence in any Senate area or perhaps you might want to try a Conspiracy?

What are Conspiracies?

They are cards that will let you do something really hard-core to your opponent.

But they take time to prepare.

First, you must take a card and use it just to “prepare” the Conspiracy. It’s just like building a Wonder: the card does nothing but that.

Then, at the start of a future turn (it doesn’t have to be the next one), you can trigger the Conspiracy.

Conspiracies can be quite powerful. The one in the shot above lets you move a decree from one Chamber to another, effectively making two decrees for whoever controls the Chamber.

Oh, what’s a decree?

I’m glad you asked.

Decrees are special abilities given to the player who controls that Chamber with the most influence.

They give you some special benefit like having a Red card cost one resource less or something like that. Or maybe make the buying of resources you don’t have cheaper.

Control of the Senate Chambers at the end of the game also gives you points.

And if you control all six Chambers, you also get an automatic victory immediately!

I’ve only played with the expansion once but I have to say my first impressions of it are really positive.

It adds a number of interesting decisions to the game space, making it a lot less automatic than just the base game.

I’ve only played with the Pantheon expansion once as well and it was a couple of years ago, so I’m not sure how well it goes together with this one. Or whether you might want to play them both individually.

My first thought is a big thumbs up for Agora. The Senate Chamber is interesting and it also gives you another reason to buy blue cards (in addition to the victory point value, of course) because they give you multiple Senate actions when you recruit a Politician.

The Conspiracies are cool. They can be quite harsh but they do cost a bit to implement. First, you have to take the Conspirator and forego its influence placement action in favour of the Conspiracy.

You then have to spend a turn preparing the Conspiracy, burning another card and turn to do it.

When they go off, though, it can be game-changing.

I really like Agora and can’t wait to play it more often.

Kudos to Boardgame Arena and Repos Production for allowing them to have it on the site.

Have you played 7 Wonders Duel? Are you excited about this expansion?

I’m not sure if it’s out in retail yet but I definitely wouldn’t mind trying it on the table when I have a chance. Will I buy it immediately?

Probably not because I’m not sure how much I’ll get this to the table during these COVID times.

But eventually?

Yeah, definitely!

Let me know what you think in the comments.

5 Comments on “New to Me – October 2020

  1. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #140 – 131 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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