Two Player Variant for 7 Wonders

After a long day at work, sometimes you want to play games, but not be too taxed. You may also not enjoy aggressive play between two players, such as with a significant other. The board game 7 Wonders is accessible and laid back, but deep enough to remain interesting after many plays. In its base form it is great, but sometimes you want game play to be as simple as possible.

The base two player rules call for a third dummy player. The dummy player is useful as a strategic tool, but increases the complexity and effort per turn. Play the game as defined in the base two player rules, but with the following adjustments.

Variant Rules

1. Ignore the dummy player's move, but still rotate the hands to the dummy player each turn. One suggestion is to discard a random card from the dummy player's hand each turn to maintain the correct number of cards per hand.

2. Remove the military cards from the deck. This includes the red cards and the guild cards that score based on red cards/defeat counters. Each age has three red cards, so the three starting hands are reduced to six cards, instead of seven.

3. No free builds. If the dummy player is not discarding, resources become less relevant and players have access to extra buildings. This, in turn, increases the power of the free build. If the dummy player is discarding, then this is an optional rule. No free builds is a fun option, if you enjoy resource accumulation and usage.

Overall, the game maintains its pace and fun, but with less things to track. A typical score comes out around 40-50 with victory by no more than 10.

Design Notes

Removing the military cards changes the resource balance. As a naive investigation, the total resource cost of all military cards in a two player game is 7 Wood, 9 Ore, 8 Brick, 5 Stone, 0 Papyrus, 2 Loom and 1 Glass. The total resources cost added up over all buildings is roughly similar for Wood, Ore, Brick and Stone, and similar for Papyrus, Loom and Glass. Hence, Stone and Papyrus are stronger, while Ore and Loom are weaker.