7 Wonders Duel is one of our favorite board games. It combines long-term strategic planning with short-term tactical insight into a relatively simple and quick game. No wonder we consider it the best board game for two players. In this post we review the Pantheon expansion to 7 Wonders Duel.
What’s added by the expansion
In the expansion we meet the gods of the ancient history. The players have the opportunity to call the gods of the Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Greek, Egyptian, and Roman mythology. In the first era, there are five mythology tokens placed on certain closed cards in the structure. When you open one of those cards, you receive the mythology token and must choose a god from the mythology in question and place, face down, it in an open spot in the Pantheon.
At the start of the second era, the god cards are opened and become available for the players. In the second and third era, instead of buying a card from the structure, you can choose to call a god from the Pantheon. Each god has an unique effect. For example, Ishtar, one of the Mesopotamian gods, grants you a scientific symbol, identical to that of the law progress token. Baal lets you steal a brown or grey card from you opponent’s city.
The effects of the gods of the Mesopotamian mythology are all related to science. The effects of the gods of the Phoenician mythology are all related to economic and financial resources. Of the Greek gods one gives victory points, one puts a card of your choice to the graveyard and one gains a card from the graveyard. The Egyptian gods all relate to Wonders. And the Roman gods relate to the Military track.
The game ends the same as the original game. You can win either by scientific supremacy, military supremacy, or civilian victory.
The Pantheon theme
The theme of Pantheon fits seamlessly in the theme of the base game. Gods of the ancient history go really well with the historic wonders of 7 Wonders Duel. Also, the graphic design of the new cards and tokens looks very good. From the theme of the expansion and the way the new elements are placed on the table, it is clear the game designers tried their best to make the expansion as good as possible.
Many of the new elements are nicely thought out. For example, in the base game, there is a disadvantage to opening new cards in the structure. In Pantheon however, players are rewarded for opening certain cards with an offering token. Opening new cards is way less disadvantageous if you can choose were to place a new god or get a discount on buying one later. There are also three new progress tokens, one of which boosts military strategies by destroying one gold of your opponent for every military point you obtain.
The most important addition of the expansion is that the gods boost military and especially scientific victories. In normal 7 Wonders Duel you’re extremely unlikely to win by scientific victory. The Mesopotamian gods make scientific strategies much stronger by giving opportunities to obtain extra science symbols, and the Roman Gods can grant extra military points.
The Pantheon Expansion improves the already great base game. It has solid artwork and provides a better balance between the scientific, military and civic victory conditions. Therefore, we definitely recommend picking it up to improve your 7 Wonders Duel games.