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I got to play with the Seven Wonders Leaders expansion for the first time last night, and it certainly adds an extra dimension to the game. I was able to assemble a lethal combo of Xenophon (2 extra coins every time I built a commercial structure), Hatshepsut (1 coin back for each neighbour I bought resources from each turn) and Midas (+1 victory point per 3 coins at end of game) to finish with 38 coins in my coffers, and a narrow 73-72 point win over the guy who'd amassed 52 points of science alone (gulp)!

If this was Agricola or Race for the Galaxy there would be acres of statistics out there on which leaders are likely to give the biggest boost in the hands of a skilled player. So I was wondering, if anyone else has drafted the Leaders, which cards should one be looking out for as likely to put your game into overdrive? Are there any leader combos that are potentially broken or unfair?

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Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any hard data of the sort that RftG or Dominion players collect.

That said, Bilkis (once per turn, pay 1 to the bank for 1 of any resource) is my pick for best all-around leader. She lets you get away with playing fewer resource cards and avoids enriching your neighbors.

Other choices are more situational:

Imhotep (resource discount for Wonder stages) is great for Giza B or Wonders that have an inconvenient cost.

Hammurabi (resource discount for blue cards) is good unless you're committed to a maximum-science strategy.

The vanilla VP leaders are pretty good for their cost, and since in general you will be happy to pay 1 coin for 1 VP, the largest ones, Cleopatra and Nefertiti, are strongest.

If you can get two leaders that support either science or military, that can be strong. It does sort of commit you to that path, so if you draft 2 military leaders and your neighbor decides to pursue a military strategy, you might find yourself frustrated. Either one, although science moreso, is high-risk/high-reward.

Of the military leaders, Caesar and Hannibal grant shields, which give you a leg up and signal to your neighbors that you're not worth fighting. Alexander and Nero give you bonuses for winning. Pericles is expensive, but can be worth 8 or 10 points if you're going military. Leonidas provides a discount for military, although if you often get a fair number of brown buildings anyway you might not need the discount.

Of the science leaders, Archimedes provides the discount, which (in contrast to military) can be important especially in Age 1 since the science costs require advanced resources. Hypatia and Aristotle make your green cards and sets worth more. Euclid, Ptolemy, and Pythagoras provide science symbols; they're expensive but can be worth lots of points if they fill up a set or give you the 5th card of a kind.

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