Official 7 Wonders Rules
7 Wonders is a dedicated card deck game that features ancient
civilizations. At the start of the game, each player randomly
receives a gameboard called a 'Wonder board.' Each board
depicts one of Antipater of Sidon's original Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World. Players place cards representing
various materials and structures around their Wonder boards.
The boards are double-sided; the wonders on side A are
generally easier to build, while those on side B grant
more interesting benefits.
7 Wonders is played over three ages, known in the game as
Ages I, II and III, each using its own decks of cards. In each
age, seven cards are randomly dealt to each player.
The game uses a card-drafting mechanic in which, once
per turn, each player selects a card to play from his or her hand, then passes the remaining cards (face-down) to the next player. This process is repeated until five out of the seven cards have been played. At this point, each player must choose to play one of his remaining two cards and discard the other.
Each age card represents a structure, and playing a card is referred to as building a structure. To build a structure, a player must first pay the construction cost, in coins or in one or more of the seven resource types, then lay it down by his or her Wonder board. A player lacking the resources available may pay his direct neighbors to use their resources, normally at two coins per resource, if available.
Instead of building a structure, a player may choose either to discard an Age card to earn three coins from the bank or to use the card to build a stage of his or her wonder. The Wonder boards have from two to four stages, shown at the bottom of the board. To build a wonder stage, a player must pay the resource cost listed on the stage, then put an age card underneath the wonder board in the appropriate place.
Types of Cards
There are seven types of Age cards, representing different types of structures, and are determined by the color of their background:
Red cards (military structures) contain 'shield' symbols; these are added together to give a player's military strength, which is used in conflict resolution at the end of each age.
Yellow cards (commercial structures) have several effects: they can grant coins, resources and/or victory points or decrease the cost of buying resources from neighbors.
Green cards (scientific structures): each card has one of three symbols. Combinations of the symbols are worth victory points.
Blue cards (civic structures [mistranslated as 'civilian' in the game rules]): all grant a fixed number of victory points.
Brown cards (raw materials) provide one or two of the four raw material resources used in the game (wood, ore, clay brick and stone).
Grey cards (manufactured goods) provide one of the three manufactured goods used in the game (glass, papyrus and textiles).
Purple cards (guilds) generally grant victory points based on the structures a player and/or his neighbors have built.
Brown and grey cards only appear in the Age I and II decks; purple cards only appear in the Age III deck.
At the end of each age, military conflicts are resolved between neighbors. This is done by comparing the number of shield symbols on the players' red cards, and awarding victory points accordingly. Once all three decks have been played, players tally their scores in all the different developed areas (civil, scientific, commercial, etc.) The player with the most victory points wins.
In the base game, there are seven means of obtaining victory points:
Military victories - 1 point for each victory (having the most shields) during the first age, 3 for the second age and 5 for the third age. Each defeat makes a player lose 1 victory point regardless of the age.
Gold coins - One point for every 3 coins a player possesses at the end of the game.
Wonder stages - Many of the wonder stages grant a fixed number of victory points.
Civic structures (blue cards) - Each structure grants a fixed number of victory points.
Commercial Structures (yellow cards) - Age III commercial structures grant victory points based on certain structures a player has built.
Guilds (purple cards) - The guilds provide several means of gaining victory points, most of which are based on the types of structure a player and/or his neighbors have built.
Scientific structures (green cards) - Each green card has a symbol on it - tablet, compass or gear. One card of a type grants one victory point, but two cards grant four; the number of points granted is equal to the number of symbols possessed squared. Additionally, each set of tablet, compass and gear possessed is worth 7 points.