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Knowledge Is the Strongest Wall

Defending Your City in 7 Wonders: Duel

15 April 2016 | 7 Wonders Duel


“All men by nature desire knowledge.”

From the earliest days of civilization, humans have desired knowledge—of the natural world around them, of their own capabilities, and of their enemies’ plans. Countless great civilizations could have avoided disaster if they had the benefit of precise knowledge of their rivals’ schemes. Knowledge is power, after all, and that proverb is no less true in your games of 7 Wonders: Duel.

7 Wonders: Duel is a card game of civilization building that pits two players against each other in a head-to-head struggle for supremacy. Over the course of three epic ages, you’ll construct buildings and wonders that produce resources, encourage trade, and provide victory points. Of course, collecting a large number of victory points is only one way to win the game; you can also achieve a scientific or military victory. Scientific or military victories end the game immediately, and even if you were ahead in every other way, you still lose if your opponent marches into your capital, burning and pillaging.

Today, we’ll explore the ways that you prevent your opponent from winning mid-game by achieving a scientific or military victory over you!

We Will Hold Them Here

To claim a military victory in a game of 7 Wonders: Duel, you must construct buildings that provide you with red shield symbols. Whenever you construct one of these buildings, you can move the Conflict pawn one space towards your opponent’s capital for each shield symbol on the card. If the Conflict pawn enters your opponent’s capital, you immediately win.

The first thing you need to know if you want to prevent your opponent from winning a military victory is how many shield symbols there are across the ages. There are twenty-four shield symbols, split across the cards from three ages—and unfortunately, there are only nine spaces between the starting position of the Conflict pawn and your capital city. It seems like it’s easy for your opponent to march into your city and sack your city, but it’s actually relatively easy to stop.

The important thing to remember is that each shield symbol that you claim for yourself works for you in two ways. First, it moves the Conflict pawn one space away from your city, which means your opponent needs more shields to win a military victory. Second, claiming a card with shields removes them from the total number of shields remaining. 

When you combine these two facts, there’s a simple mathematical solution to the problem: if you can claim just eight shields (one-third of the total) over the course of the game, it’s impossible for your opponent to win a military victory. By gaining eight shields, you force your opponent to move eight more spaces, meaning he now needs seventeen shields to win. However, if you’ve claimed eight shields, there are only sixteen left in the deck—making a military victory for your enemy impossible!

Of course, there is a catch. The Strategy progress token gives all newly built red buildings an extra shield—which can dramatically increase the amount of military progress your opponent can make. While your opponent has the Strategy progress token, you’ll need to fight much harder to keep him from overwhelming your city.

Our Science Is Unmatched

There is another way that your opponent can steal victory right out of your hands as well: by executing a scientific victory. To gain scientific supremacy over an opponent, a player must obtain six different scientific symbols. Fortunately for you, if you’re trying to prevent your opponent from claiming victory in this way, there are exactly six scientific symbols spread across the cards of the three ages. What’s more, there are only two copies of each symbol!

What this essentially means is that to prevent your opponent from claiming a scientific victory, you only need a single pair of scientific symbols. Once you have that pair, there are only five different types remaining in the cards—insufficient to claim a scientific victory.

As with the military victory, however, there is a catch. The Law progress token counts as a scientific symbol for your opponent, and if he obtains it, he only needs five different scientific symbols from the cards. To absolutely keep an opponent with the Law token from claiming scientific supremacy, you’ll need two pairs of scientific symbols, which can be significantly harder.

An Adaptable Strategy

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”

Any strategy in 7 Wonders: Duel can be countered by your opponent. The key lies in threatening your opponent on multiple fronts. Watch your opponent carefully and apply pressure where he leaves an opening. Only one civilization can stand triumphant at the end of a game of 7 Wonders: Duel