The first game on the evening was 7 Wonders. Playing this game was Ted, Anna, Brian and myself.
7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player, as inFairy Tale or a Magic: the Gathering booster draft. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided as in Bauza’s Ghost Stories.) Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.
In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Unlike Magic or Fairy Tale, however, each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you’ll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you’ve already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions.
Though the box is listed as being for 3-7 players, there is an official 2-player variant included in the instructions.
Ted won the game by researching lots of science.
The second game of the evening was To Court the King.
In this game, the players are petitioners at the royal court, trying to gain the King’s favor. To do so, they must first gain the help of the servants and petty officials at the court, who can then help them gain access to the nobility, who, in turn, can help to reach the king.
The game is played in turns. On their turn, a player will gather his dice, roll them, set aside at least one, and roll the remaining dice again, until all dice have been set aside. After that, he gets to select a character who will help him. Each character requires a certain combination of dice (such as two pairs or dice that show at least 30 points). The character will give the player some benefits on later rolls, such as an additional die or the ability to modify the results of a roll.
The game ends when a player gains the support of the Queen (and temporary favor of the King, winning ties in the final roll-off). Now, all players try to gain a dice result of as many equal dice as possible (7x 2s, 8x 6s, etc). The player who gets the longest, highest result gains the favor of the King and wins.
Contents: 12 Dice, 60 character cards, 5 player aids, 1 marker, rules.
I won this game.