7 Wonders is a beautiful game. It has fantastic artwork and a vibrant range of colors that demand attention. Yet as you play, cards sprawl and clutter every inch of the table like a plague. Amidst the hustle and bustle of construction this beauty can get lost. Wonders that once stood as majestic odes to prosperous civilizations fade with time (and return to the box from whence they came). It is my mission to restore these wonders to their former glory and preserve their beauty for all to see!
As of late I have taken up component arrangement as a way to showcase the components and artwork that can easily get overlooked. The splendor of symmetry, the charm of color, the elegance of organization. With 7 Wonders I wanted to take things a step further and pay tribute to the 7 ancient wonders with my own 7 breathtaking and timeless arrangements. Along the journey I wanted to make sure each arrangement was distinct and showcased a unique aspect of the game and its components. This is 7 Wonders, 7 Ways.
Arrangement 1 – The Circle of Society
There are two things that I gravitate towards when setting up an arrangement, analogous color progression and curved symmetrical organization. This is a perfect example of both and thus I got it out of the way first. In 7 Wonders, color is used to represent the different facets of society. Organizing by color gives a natural way to view this ancient world at a glance. A prosperous society flourishes in times of peace represented by the 6 construction steps between conflict with the symbol of armistice in the center. Moving outward each branch is built on the foundation of inspiring leaders and great monuments. Cities prosper around these cornerstones and vibrantly display their works for all to look on with awe.
Arrangement 2 – A Timeline of the Ancient World
And yet every empire has a beginning and end. There is a linear progression represented in 7 Wonder’s three ages that define this inescapable flow of time. Looking back through the lens of history it’s the major accomplishments that are remembered, everything else returns to dust. I’ve highlighted each of the wonders with a colored border to represent the remnants of the society that built them. Because I have a disposition against straight lines I also made things a bit wibbly wobbly as we all know time can be.
Arrangement 3 – Branching Out
There are many ways to show how civilizations grow and interact. Sometimes they are tightly woven together and at other times they drift apart. Here we see each nation branching out and progressing along their own specialized path. Despite their efforts to reach out to their neighbors they are each trapped in an isolated spiral.
Arrangement 4 – Building Up
The trouble with cards is they have very little dimension. It’s easy to model the branching out of society but it is much harder to show the building up. Rather than force it and demonstrate the fragility of a house of cards I prefer to take a more subtle approach. Looking closely reveals the shadows cast from upward progress. And then suddenly, it all ends at a pinnacle where you stand waiting to have your efforts tallied and judged.
Arrangement 5 – A Wonderful Foundation
The wonders of the ancient world were marvels that towered over empires. The fabric of society was woven under their feet to color the surrounding landscape. It can be a disorienting and overwhelming spectacle indeed, society isn’t always so neat and orderly.
Arrangement 6 – Everything Revolves Around Money and Power
I’m going to break my immersion in the theme for a second to demonstrate how 7 Wonders is a drafting game. Cards circle the table as coins are exchanged and arms are gathered for the inevitable conflict. Everything revolves around money and power after all. Well, that and victory points.
Arrangement 7 – A Mural of Our Accomplishments
It’s a shame that up until this final arrangement the artwork was used primarily to color my elaborate shapes. Just as artwork can get overlooked during gameplay, it was intentionally buried and hidden away to serve a greater purpose in my designs. Yet it is often what gets our attention and draws us into a game to begin with. So it is fitting to end by displaying a mural of the breathtaking artwork that will grace your table.
Much More to Come
I am very happy with how these 7 arrangements turned out, each distinct in it’s own way. I hope that it was a proper tribute to a game that has not gathered dust on our shelves. If you enjoyed these pictures you can see many more arrangements on our Instagram and follow along with what’s coming next on my Twitter (@UpliftAndrew).