7 Wonders: Armada

The latest 7 wonders expansion. Is it any good? Spoiler Alert: Yes, yes it is. Read about it here.

7 Wonders: Armada
Posted November 25, 2018 by Jay Kay
  • Designer(s): Antoine Bauza
  • Playercount: 2-8
  • Length: 30 - 60 min

Contents

8 fleet boards 48 Naval Conflict tokens
32 Ship figures (8 each in 4 colors) 31 Victory tokens
24 Armada cards 11 value 1 tokens
8 AgeI cards 12 value 3 tokens
8 AgeII cards 7 value 5 tokens
8 AgeIII cards 1 value 7 token
27 island cards 17 defeat tokens
9 of level 1 7 value -1 tokens
9 of level 2 5 value -2 tokens
9 of level 3 5 value -3 tokens
2 Incursion tokens 6 Ground Conflict tokens
6 coins of value 6 3 Victory tokens
4 game aids 1 value 1 token
2 Naval Conflicts/ Discard 1 value 3 token
2 Naval Conflicts/Turn resolution 1 value 5 token
Score booklet 3 Defeat value -1 tokens
Rulebook  

Overview

This 7 Wonders expansion allows you to build fleets of ships to conquer the seas. New Armada and Island cards enrich the game and increase the interaction between players.

The flow of the game is slightly changed, but the victory conditions remain identical to those of the base game of 7 Wonders.

At the beginning of each Age, the players each get a hand of 8 cards. They will play an extra card during each Age. At any time a Red, Yellow, Green, or Blue card is played, the player will be able to move the ship of the same color one space, and access to various advantages, such as discovering islands, military power, victory points, etc. There's an extra cost you need to pay to do this, and can be either resources or coins.

Set up

The set up remains pretty much the same, you add the same amount armada card to each age as there are players, in the same way the black cards are added in Cities.

The islands are shuffled according to their age and put in 3 face-down decks.

Give all players a fleet board, which is to be placed next to the wonder, and each player receives ships of each color; Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue.

Blue Card with Naval ability
This card is worth 5 VPs, and lets you move a ship of any color forward
Rule changes

There are some slight changes to the rules and some changes to some of the game semantics:

  • Military conflict is now referred to as Ground Conflict.
  • Shields are now Ground Shields.
  • The new cards are called Armada Cards.
  • After the Ground Conflict, there is now a Naval Conflict stage, where you make naval warfare against ALL other players.
  • You may now move a ship on your fleet board when you discard a card, instead of gaining the 3 coins.
  • There is now a cap of 10 points for the guild cards.

The fleet boards

This is the biggest gameplay changer, but it's pretty straight forward.

A player who has played a Red, Yellow, Blue, or Green card will have the option to pay an additional cost in order to move the ship of the same color one space on the fleet board, which will grant the player benefits of different types (Red for military, blue for more VPs, yellow for money, green for islands).

You can also discard a card to move a boat of any color. Building on your wonder also makes you able to move a boat of a certain color.

Island
A basic Island worth 3 VP. There are more advanced ones. :)
The islands

The islands are discovered with the Green tack on the fleet board and give you access to private resources, Ground Shields, Naval Shields, and other good stuff. You'll get to choose one of 4 different islands.

Naval combat

After each age, you will resolve ground combat just like before, but there will also be Naval combat, where everyone participates. It pretty much works like this; Everyone compares their naval strengths, and the winner gets X amount of VP, and the runner up gets a bit less. In bigger player counts even the third place gets a couple of points. Of course, this scales with the ages, much like ground combat. However, the one with the LEAST Naval strength gets a lot of negative VP points, so skipping Naval Power altogether might not be a good idea.

This expansion also lets you do ground combat against non-neighboring civilizations on 4+ player games, with special cards. Cool stuff!

7 wonder naval combat
The naval combat scoreboard.

OPINION

The good:

  • This expansion was bound to add more interaction between players, for example, to wake war on your non-neighbors in 4+ player games, which it succeeds with.
  • One extra card per age is nice, which makes it 9 in total with Cities.
  • More paths to victory, thanks to the fleet boards, and the islands.
  • The fleet boards different, (and with different wonder track) make Wonder + board pairing a unique challenge to solve.
  • Straightforward rules, if you have played 7W before this will not be a problem to get started with.
  • You now have another option except the 3 coins when discarding a card, which is nice.
  • The introduction of the 10VP cap on the Guild Cards.. Very welcome!

The bad, sort of:

  • The science cards (the green cards) might make going for 1 type of science stronger than collecting the sets.
  • It might be hard to keep track of the opponent's naval strengths.
  • Ship miniatures tend to fall off the tracks from time to time. They are kind of fiddly.
  • Adds playtime, especially with new players. This is probably the biggest drawback.

CONCLUSION

This expansion makes good on its promises on increased interaction and adds a lot of content without slowing the game too much, a very welcome addition to the family! Our favorite along with Cities.

Rating: 8/10

The rules are available here.

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