Greek Mythology is filled with epic tales of gods, demigods, heroes, and monsters. These stories have existed from millennia and much of western culture has its roots in this fictional time period. Now you can take on a role as one of these champion as you battle against other players and their unique champions to become the ultimate legend.
What Is 7 Fortunes?
7 Fortunes: Greek Mythology Edition is a battle arena board game in which players take on the role of champions from Greek mythology as they battle to control relics and glories while collecting drachmas and hero points. It is the first release by Alpha Wolf Games and the Kickstarter Campaign launched on June 2nd. 7 Fortunes is seeking funding with a pledge of $55 for the core edition. There are other pledge levels as well. A digital version (playable on Steam or Tabletopia) of the game is available for $22 (which also includes a digital copy of the art book) while higher priced pledge levels include both core game, digital version of the game, play boards, art book and even sound files for use during play. The campaign is featuring early bird discounts on all pledge levels for the first 3 days. 7 Fortunes can be played with 2 to 6 players 12 years and up.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
7 Fortunes Components
Note: My review is based on playing the digital version of the game, so it is subject to change and may not reflect final component quality of the physical game.
Here’s what’s included in the core game, not including stretch goals:
- 35 Champion cards
- 35 Champion Strategy cards
- 80 Stacking Deck cards
- 7 Relic cards
- 3 Glory cards
- 5 Epics Cards
- 1 Hand of Midas card
- over 300 chips (Hero Points, money, etc.)
- 1 Spinner
- 4 Dice (2 white, 2 yellow)
- 6 Reference cards
- 1 Price board
The Champion cards are the players’ characters for the game. There are 35 different champions from which to choose and each also comes with a strategy card that provides guidance and tips for playing as that champion. Champion cards are divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. These help players pick a level that is suited to their experience. A beginner Champion has just as much chance of winning as an advanced. There are just less special abilities to keep track of during game play.
In addition, there are 16 other cards which players can purchase and battled over featuring relics, epics and glories as well as the Hand of Midas. These cards can be purchased and the prices of some vary according to the price board. Most of these have two abilities. One you gain while you posses it. The other ability is activated when you play the card. They also have rewards you earn each turn they are in your possession. Each of these 51 Champion and item cards features beautiful, original artwork.
A deck of cards for the stacking part of the game feature numbers and suit symbols. They are used during an early phase of the game for trying to win drachmas which are the money units of the game. A price board keeps track of the current prices of the important items in the game such as relics and glories. Their prices increase each time they are purchased. A spinner is used to select suits for the stacking part of the game. Chips are the currency of the game and represent drachmas as well as hero points. The dice are used for battles between champions.
How to Play 7 Fortunes
Before beginning play, the Glories, Relics, and the Hand of Midas cards are all placed on the table so that all players and easily view and access them. Each player is then given a set of the 5 Epics cards. The Price Board is also placed in easy of view of all players with tokens nearby to keep track of the current cost of items. Next each player rolls a die to determine roll order, from highest to lowest. Then in roll order, players select a clan suit as well as a champion. The highest roll also gets the ROA or right of action token. This essentially determines who goes first during a turn. There are a few different ways players can draft Champions depending on which mode of play has been chosen. One player is chosen as the banker and deals out 7 drachmas to each player. Finally, the spinner is spun to reveal a suit that will be used to get Olympus Wins during the stacking game.
Playing the Game
The game is divided into turn cycles with each turn consisting of four main steps. The first step is wagering. Here players can choose to wager as many of their drachma as they wish. However, if a player runs out of drachma and has no way to earn more, they are out of the game. The player with the ROA places the first wager.
After wagers have been made, the player with the ROA deals out a card from the stacking deck to each player. They contain numbers ranging from 1 to 7. Starting with the ROA player, players can “hit” to draw another card or stay. The goal is to get as close to 7 without going over and busting. Cards with a 4 on them can count as either a 1 or a 4. Once the ROA player stays, then the next player can hit or stay until all players have stayed. Half of the players with the highest hand that have not busted win and receive drachmas equal to what they have wagered. The rest lose their drachmas to the bank. For games with odd numbers of players, the half rounded up win.So in a 3 player game, 2 players can win each turn. The stacking game also allows doubling down and splits. There are additional ways to earn more drachma called Olympus Wins. Most of these use the suits of the cards. For example if you get a 7 total with all cards of the same suit, you get a Bronze win. If you have four cards and stay under 7 you can get a silver win. Higher wins require hands to match the spinner suit.
After players have collected their winnings, or lost their wagers, the game moves to the per-turns phase. Here players look at their Champion card and the items they have in their possession to determine how many drachma and/or hero points they earn. The banker then distributes these.
Next comes the action phase. Beginning with the player with the ROA, players each are allowed to take one action. Some Champions or item abilities allow for extra actions. Players can choose to buy a relic or glory that is available, duel other players for drachmas and hero points, summon epics, and even convert hero points into drachma at a rate of 5:1 unless an ability allows you to do it for a better exchange rate. After all players have completed their actions, they tally up their current victory points to see if anyone has won. Drachmas and hero points each count as one victory point and additional victory points can be earned by possessing relics and glories as well as through special abilities.
Winning the Game
There are three different ways to win the game. The first player to reach 150 victory points and hold onto them for a full round is the winner. Some Champions can win with less victory points due to special abilities. Another way to win the game is if all relics are in play for an entire turn cycle. Then the player with the most victory points wins. Finally, if there are ever only two players left in the game, with the exception of a two player game, then the player with the most victory points wins the game. While it may seem like it will take a long time to reach 150 victory points, it can happen sooner than one might expect. A typical game can last from 20 to 60 minutes.
Why You Should Play 7 Fortunes
I had the opportunity to play a digital version of 7 Fortunes with the game’s designer and his brother. At first, the game seems a bit confusing with the various parts of the turn cycle. However, after playing through a couple turn cycles, I got the hang of it. The Champion strategy cards are great to help players learn how to play as each of the Champions. I played as Jason. Not only did he get 5 hero points each turn, he could get the Golden Fleece for free which granted an additional 10 hero points per turn. However, Jason did not have any way to earn drachmas on a regular basis. Therefore, when wagering I had to be careful since I could not afford to lose all of my drachmas or I would be out of the game. After losing a duel to Neptune, I decided to purchase the Helm of Hades which made me invisible and prevented other players from initiating a duel against me.
For Champions like Jason, the stacking game is the main way to earn drachmas which are need to purchase items and epics. Therefore, I quickly learned to go for the Olympus Wins. Not only did I work hard to win against the other players, but tried to earn the extra rewards. The Bronze Win rewards 10 extra drachma as well as 5 hero points while the Diamond Win, the highest, pays out 50 extra drachmas and 20 hero points. Since you only need 150 victory points to win, getting the 70 victory points from the Diamond Win puts a player almost halfway there in a single turn. The push your luck aspect of the stacking game makes this part of the turn even more exciting since you may have a sure win but want to hit one more time to try for an Olympus Win.
During the action phase, it is important to try and purchase from the 7 relics, 3 glories, and the Hand of Midas. These 11 items not only provide victory points, you get extra victory points as you possess more than one of each type. The special abilities are what make getting these items even better. For example, the Bows of Artemis and Apollo allow you to steal another players action during a turn cycle. I had this played against me so know the pain first hand. Not only did the other player get his own turn, he also got a second turn while depriving me of my turn. I personally think that cost me the game.
While there are only one of each of the cards mentioned above that players purchase and use, Epics are available to everyone at all times. These powerful actions can really change the course of the game. However, every time they are used, the price goes up for the next purchase to use them. Pandora’s Box destroys any relic held by a player and returns it to the table so it can be purchased. It also gives the player who used this epic 10 hero points. The Trojan Horse lets you steal half of another player’s drachmas, unless they can roll a six. The Muses is a great one when you want to take another player’s Glory. It sends all of the Glories held by that player back to the table and lets you choose one to keep for yourself. If that was not enough, you also get 10 hero points. The only thing that can stop Epics from being played against you is to get the Nemean Lion Skin. However the lion skin is not completely invulnerable. The Thunderbolt of Zeus can be played to take it or Hercules can battle for it.
The experiences I have shared about playing 7 Fortunes are some of the reasons I really enjoyed playing this game and want to play it again and again. The game is well balanced. Just when you think you have relics and glories that make you unstoppable, someone comes up with a counter. The fact that the game’s designer included strategy cards for each champion illustrates that players are encouraged to try different tactics and learn to play as each of the Champions. I love the fact that there are 35 unique champions. Right there, you could play the game at least 35 times and have a different experience each time. Add in the fact that you are playing against different Champions and that adds to even more replayability. As you can see in some of the images in this article, the artwork is incredible. In fact, one of the higher pledge levels includes a physical artbook with larger versions of the art on the cards.
The first few games for new players may take a bit longer to play. However, once everyone understands the rules and gameplay, the game goes fairly quickly. A group should be able to play a few games of 7 Fortunes during a single gaming session or game night. There is also not a lot of down time during play. Since there are several parts of the turn cycle, essentially games within a game, and players are involved in each, the game keeps moving. You need to pay attention to what others are doing so you can try to counter it on your turn.
I highly recommend 7 Fortunes for those who enjoy Greek mythology, games with cards, and for those who seek replayability and trying different strategies and tactics to win a game. Even if you are not a big fan of the Greek myths, the game play is a lot of fun and filled with player interaction. The digital version, which I played, is quite affordable and is scheduled to be released a month after the end of the Kickstarter campaign. This is great if you have friends with whom you want to play but are separated by distance or not able to assemble in person as frequently as you like. The higher pledges include the physical copy of the game as well as a digital copy so you can get playing right away while waiting to hold the actual cards in your hands. I encourage you to check out the 7 Fortunes Kickstarter Campaign to see for yourself and go from “zero to hero in no time flat.”
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