Published on January 2nd, 2017 | by Nicole Jekich0
Favor of the Gods
7 Wonders Duel: The Pantheon Expansion
7 Wonders Duel (the 2 player civilization builder set in the 7 Wonders world) welcomed its first expansion, Pantheon, earlier this year. Asmodee North America says is best that…
“Pantheon enables you and your opponent to earn the favor of deities from five ancient cultures, transforms the gameplay of Age III by replacing Guilds with Grand Temples, and introduces new Wonders and Progress tokens.”
Now let’s start with the cool new god cards!
Deities of the Ancient Mediterranean
Pantheon is an expansion that gives players to option to worship gods and/or goddesses of different cultures and in return, receive an in-game boost or ability that will help them on the way to victory. Players will choose the 5 gods that will be in play after revealing Pantheon tokens during the First Age. As a player reveals a Pantheon token, that player gets to choose which god of the Pantheon they want on the board and where along the temple to place that god. Placement along the temple piece of the board matters greatly as the closer the god is on the tracker to you, the cheaper the cost to use their one-time ability. Gods that are further away from a player on the temple tracker will be more expensive.
The five cultures represented in the god and goddess cards are Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Roman, Greek and Phoenician. The full art portraits definitely do the divinities justice! Miguel Coimbra’s art continues to wow and adds fantastical life to these gods and goddesses.
The Egyptians are masters of building wonders of the world in honor of their gods and pharaohs. Anubis forces an opponent to discard a card previously used to construct a wonder. The affected player doesn’t lose any instant bonus they already received and have the opportunity to rebuild that wonder with a new card and receive those benefits again! Isis gives you the ability to take a card from the discard pile and use it to build a wonder for free. Ra lets you steal an opponents unconstructed wonder and add it to your tableau to build.
Enki grants a player the ability to choose two of the discarded Progress tokens not in play and add it to the god’s card. When a player invokes Enki, they can choose one of the two Progress tokens for free and discards the other. Ishtar grants a player the “Law” science symbol. Nisaba allows a player to copy one science symbol from a green science card in an opponents tableau.
Aphrodite grants a player 9 victory points. Hades gives you the ability to build a previously discarded card for free. Zeus destroys a gray resource card of your choosing.
The Roman gods are fueled by military and war. Mars immediately grants a player+2 military. Minerva gives a special shield token that stops the military token from advancing beyond the Minerva shield token. This ability is only used once. Neptune is a vengeful god as a player can discard a military token and ignore its affect and then also choose a different military token and apply its affect (usually forcing a player to lose coins).
Astarte places 7 coins on her card that are separate from the bank and safe from an opponents abilities. A player that invokes Astarte can use these coins as normal during the game but each coin left at the end grants additional victory points. Baal has a nasty curse that will let you steal a brown or gray resource card from your opponent and add it to your tableau. Tanit is a goddess I’ve personally invoked a couple times in our few games of 7 Wonders Duel. Her ability to grant you 12 gold
7 Wonders has always had a strong commitment to creating a diverse art and to have women equally represented in their games. The Pantheon expansion continues this commitment as players have many gods and goddesses to choose from that come from a variety of cultures. This expansion also beautifully sets up a way to easily add more god and goddess cards in future expansions.
Seamlessly Integrated into Base Game
The Pantheon temple board piece fits on the outside of the previous military tracker and Progress token area making it feel like it was part of the game all along. It requires a bit more table space as the god cards and the mysterious door card will be displayed in the six slots above the board like floating on the clouds above Mount Olympus.
In addition to the god cards, Pantheon adds two new wonders, new Progress tokens and Grand Temple cards to replace Guild cards in the 3rd Age. The two new Wonder (The Sanctuary and The Divine Theater) are only playable with the Pantheon expansion as both have abilities that reference and relate to the gods and goddesses. The new Progress tokens offer more fun and alternative strategy. Mysticism allows a player to score 2 victory points for collected Mythology and Offering tokens (the new tokens that come out during the First and Third Age). Poliorcetics (wow that’s a mouthful!) forces a player to lose one coin for each movement down the military tracker. Engineering allows a player to construct any card for 1 coin if it has a chaining symbol.
The Grand Temple cards, the dark purple cards that replace Guild cards in the Third Age, gives more victory points for each temple that a player builds. If a player has the matching Mythology token as the Mythology symbol on the Grand Temple card, building that temple is free. The Grand Temple cards offer a flat number of victory points if a player builds the them. Grand Temple cards give more reliable numbers of victory points than the Guild cards which gave points based on the number of a specific card type.
The Two Player Game Heats Up
The gameplay for the most part remains unchanged though players may take longer turns with the additional strategies and options to consider. During their turn a player can now choose to 1) Construct a building, 2) Discard a card from the structure to receive coins, 3) Construct a Wonder or 4) Activate a card from the Pantheon.
I welcomed the new strategy options as some of the abilities are game changers at the right time. From the few times Luke and I played, Pantheon felt like a great expansion to combat a growing inequality in the game. Each of the Pantheons featured abilities that affected a certain area of the game: military, science, resource building and constructing Wonders.
If you’ve played the basic Duel game many times or have an ongoing rivalry with the same opponent (like Luke and I!), Pantheon gives you plenty of new ways to tackle building your civilization and trying to wreck havoc on your opponent in the process. I highly recommend picking up this expansion at your local game store*.
*Shout out to Gamma Ray Games for ordering the 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon expansion and having it ready for us on the release date and for all the cold Rainiers during our first playthrough!