7 Ages Collector's edition Development Posted on 17 Mar 11:30 , 20 comments

Latest update: 19 March 2023 (changes in red)

Happy new year! I hope you are enjoying the festive season and 2023 is our best ever. As part of this new year wish, we are on course for releasing 7 Ages: the collector's edition at Spiel 2023 in October this year.

To make it the best ever, we are now playtesting the Collector's edition of this deep dive into history and I'm interested in your views as to how we can improve the game before we send it off to release.

7 Ages is a game covering 6000 years of human history from 4000 bce to today. Up to 7 players lead up to 21 dynasties that decide the fate of the world across the ages.

 To begin, please feel free to download the draft (PDF) 7 Ages: the Collector's edition Rules & Players' Guide (17 Mar 2023).

Please note that the most recent version of the 7 Ages Rules & Players' Guide will be uploaded to the downloads section of our site as they are updated.

There are 10 new options (Not the full deck, Enhanced start, Enhanced play, Neutral Kingdoms, Secret Victory, Deus Vult!, Quick conflict resolution, Marines, Hocking the crown jewels and Artefact effects), 3 of which (Neutral Kingdoms, Secret Victory, Deus Vult!,) require some of the 7 Ages expansions to be played (specifically the Kingdoms, Victory and Religions expansions) The rest of the rules work with both the original 7 Ages game as well as the Collector's edition. As these rules now include all the errata, streamlines and clarifies the rules, and adds many fun new twists, we recommend you use it in your next 7 Ages game, whatever the edition.

After checking out the latest rules, please feel free to provide your feedback in the comments section below on any potential problems, more new ideas and ways we can further improve the rules.

I once heard that if everyone on the planet shuffles a pack of 52 cards and deals them out once a minute, we would not have had two decks ever come out the same since the beginning of time. This is because the number of combinations of 52 cards is 8.07 x 10^67 (52 x 51 x 50....x 2 x1, i.e. an 8 followed by 67 zeroes). This compares with the estimated number of grains of sands on earth (7.5 x 10^18), the estimated number of stars in the universe (10^24) and the estimated grains of sand in the universe (4 x 10^92).
7 Ages: the collector's edition doesn't have 52 cards, it has 165. And each card can be played 4 ways (empire, artefact, event or value for trade and conflict resolution). Thus the number of possible ways of dealing out the 7 Ages deck once is an astonishing 1.19 x 10^395 (660 x 656 x 652 x ...x 8 x4). And a deck may be shuffled and dealt a dozen times a game.
Thus if every grain of sand in the universe was itself a universe, and every grain of sand in those universes were universes and every grain of sand in those universes were universes you still wouldn't have remotely the grains of sands equal to the number of ways of playing one deck in 7 Ages. On top of this you have all the counters, ages and actions to choose from so the replayablitiy of the game is as close to infinite as any other game ever produced.
Of course you don't need to worry about any of this, just feel safe in the knowledge that you are a pathfinder. No matter where you take your game, you will truly be the only player in the world (along with the other players in your game) that ever has, or will, go down that particular historical path in the history of the universe. And needless to add, we all have to get cracking playing 7 Ages until the end of time if we want to find out an infinitesimally small percentage of ways of playing the game.
All this with only 10 pages of standard rules (one of the biggest changes to the game was to move all the artefact effects into the optional rules reducing the standard rules by 5 pages and making the game much easier to get into for new players)!
Update 7 January 2022: While you are perusing the rules, a couple of questions to muse on, both concerning new artefacts.

1) This should be fairly straightforward, should Social Media be a green or red artefact?

2) Environmental Sustainability is slightly trickier. While the person who plays environmental sustainability gets a green artefact, glory for placement, and glory each production action, is that enough for someone to play it considering the halving in economy? Should everyone lose the game if Environmental Sustainability is not in play at game's end?

I can see both sides of both issues. Based on the image, my slight preferences might be apparent on at least one of these issues but what do you think? For each issue, which is the more historical? Which is the more fun? If they conflict, which wins? For your consideration.


7 Ages: the Collector's edition Ratings
Players: 2 - 5 (Classic), 2 - 7 (Deluxe)
Ages: 12+
Time to play: 77+ minutes (variable, determined by number of players and starting and ending age)
Complexity: Moderate

7 Ages: the Collector's edition Components list

7 Ages the Collector’s edition, comes in a variety of games and expansions.

7 Ages Collector’s edition Classic game consists of:

  • 2 x A1 (594 x 840mm) full colour hard-mounted maps of the world;
  • 7 full-colour countersheets (15 empires and markers comprising 560 x 5/8" (16mm) and 500 x 1/2" (13 mm) counters, CS 1-7);
  • 110 full colour civilisation cards; and
  • Rules & Players’ Guide (you’re reading it).

7 Ages Collector’s edition Expansion set consists of:

  • 7 Ages Ancients & Kingdoms expansion (11 civilisation cards and 112 x 5/8” and 20 x ½” Kingdom & common units, & Cadence markers, CS 8)
  • 7 Ages Medieval expansion (3 empires, 11 civilisation cards and 128 x 5/8” and 20 x ½” empire units, CS 9);
  • 7 Ages Modern expansion (3 empires, 11 civilisation cards, and 128 x 5/8” and 20 x ½” empire units, CS 10);
  • 7 Ages Religions expansion (11 civilisation cards and 200 x ½” religious markers, CS 11); and
  • 7 Ages Trade & Victory expansion (11 civilisation cards, 7 cloth bags & 200 x ½” glory markers, CS 12).

7 Ages Collector’s edition Deluxe game consists of:

  • 7 Ages collector’s edition Classic game; and
  • 7 Ages Collector’s edition Expansion set.

For a grand total of 2 large maps, 165 civilisation cards and 21 empires comprising 896 x 5/8” counters & 960 x ½” counters (12 countersheets in total).


Update: 18 Sep 2022: Thanks everyone for your input on 7 Ages: the collector's edition's development. The latest version of the rules is now available for free download on the downloads section of our site.These rules are perfectly compatible with the current 7 Ages game and should add many new strategies and wrinkles to your next game.

The biggest changes based on your input is that we now have an alternate quick conflict resolution system (one round) and have moved all the effects of artefacts into the optional rules. This last single change has cut the standard rules down form 16 pages to 10 (9 if you exclude the 1 page complete movement and conflict resolution example). It is amazing how much game you can get in only 10 pages of rules (Monopoly is 4).

7 Ages: the collector's edition will be going to the printer's around May 2023. Thus If you have any further comments please post them below as soon as possible so we can make 7 Ages the definitive history of the world game.