I've played several games of Seven Wonders now, and I'm still figuring out a lot of the strategy. I've learned that every card has its place and advantages, but the one group of cards that seems most useless is the blue cards in age 1.

It's not that the blue cards in Age 1 are bad, it's just that the other alternatives seem better. If you can take almost any brown, gray, or yellow card instead it seems like it's almost always a good idea to do so because the will help you get more points for every single turn in the future instead of just being worth 2 or 3 at the end of the game. If I can take a green card instead of a blue I'll usually do it unless I'm really short on money and have to pay my last coins for it. I'll also usually prefer red over blue in the first round because they usually give you close to the same point value at the end of the round as well as help you win future wars.

If you don't need the extra 3 coins from discarding or are planning on using them to get some Age 2 blue cards I can see them being valuable. But won't you usually be able to use the money to get something much better? And isn't it usually a better idea to focus on getting resources so you won't need to use the free-construction benefit? When is it a good idea to pick the Civilian Structures in the first Age?

3 Answers 3


A good question to ask yourself here: does everyone in my playgroup have the same distaste for blue cards that I feel? If so, if they're predisposed to ignore them in favour of "cooler" cards, you could easily make a killing by snapping them up.

I will agree that something like the Pawnshop (3 victory points, that's it), doesn't seem like an exciting card, though it could make for a perfectly acceptable last or second-to-last pick: better than nothing right? But stuff like the Altar or Theater, which are the first stages in the Altar-Temple-Pantheon and the Theater-Statue-Gardens chain, may be deceptively good. 2 victory points for a pick doesn't seem great. 12 or 11 points (respectively) for 3 picks is slightly better. Are you playing a resource-light game where something like the Pantheon will be way out of your reach in Age III? Then Altar could prove a much better pick for you than some other random nonsense.

Remember that every time you pick a resource, it costs you a pick. Is picking up 3 resources better value for money than getting 12 easy points from the Altar, Temple and Pantheon chain? You're already 12 points down, pick for pick, due to your concentration on resources, so you'd better hope you can make plenty of profit out of spending them...

I wouldn't want to praise the blue cards too highly: resources are the backbone of the game and you definitely don't want to end up in a situation where you have nothing to do in the final Age apart from discarding for coins! But an experienced player who understands the chains, and which early picks can get you valuable later picks for free, can definitely make a tidy profit. Just make sure the players with all the resources don't buy "your" upgrades out from under you to screw you over!

  • I agree for the most part, but I wouldn't describe picking an early blue as 12 easy points as you have to actually be passed those cards first. That's not too hard in a 3 player game, but in a game with 5 players there are good odds that you might never even seen the corresponding blue cards you're looking for. And if you're opponents are skillful enough, they might just deny you the card in the first place. Sep 13, 2011 at 20:00
  • @Crazy: Hence the first line of my answer. If other players like collecting blue cards, then you don't want to be fighting for them. I actually played a 6-player game of Seven Wonders last night and picked up a couple of first round blue cards: but when I noticed that a couple of other players at the table were also collecting them, I abandoned that line of play pretty fast. But if everyone else is fighting over military or science or what have you, a blue strategy is very much on. Sep 14, 2011 at 9:43

I agree that it is pretty rare for taking these to be right, although I have to say I would usually prefer taking one to taking 3 bucks unless I know I will have money issues. There are a few circumstances, however, when it makes some sense.

  1. If you start with a rock resource because of your wonder, or happen to have built a rock resource, and are not planning to build more rock, consider the 3VP blue with an upgrade path to the 2nd round blue that costs 3 rock.
  2. If you are going science-heavy, planning on using upgrades more than resources, taking one of the upgrade-able blues may give you more options in the 2nd age. For example, if you are heavily buying manufactured goods and not buying basic resources, being able to upgrade to (basic-resource-heavy) blues may help. Of course, you only buy these as a fallback plan, but it is a case where you could prefer them to resources.
  3. You are using a pure yellow card strategy and are not buying resources - then you'd prefer a blue to a resource. Early, while you are still poor, play a free blue rather than spending 2 bucks on a resource from your neighbor, as you will need that cash later when you can spend it more efficiently.
  4. You see that you can force your neighbor to build resources (or do badly in the game) because both you and her other neighbor are going resource-lite. Then build a blue (helpfully passing her the resources), and make sure to build a trading post pointing in her direction.

As other answers have pointed it out, it really depends on what you're doing with the game, and what others are doing.

For example - building brown and grey cards is a great strategy if your neighbors aren't, because then they'll buy them from you. If they are... then maybe you should consider just buying theirs.

Reds are an easy eighteen points... so long as your neighbors don't build them. If they are, then you might want to consider spending your turns building something else.

Blues, like any color, will rarely win the game in and of themselves, but can be a huge hand in doing it - think 20-30 points.

You're right that the 2-3 points probably aren't a game winning amount (though remember that you could have got 10 points from blues, just from Age I ) - their value is definitely far more in the free upgrades.

Certainly what I recommend is: in most cases, if you're going to build Age I blues, build them with the intention of building the Age II and Age III upgrades because that's where their real value is. If you're not planning on building the upgrades, I'd suggest that build browns/greys or yellows would be better instead.

I would suggest that your strategy is bad if trashing blues for cash is an optimal move.

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