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Subject: Poison and Multiple Intelligences rss

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Less snark is my goal.
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Poison is a light, fast card game that delivers a lot of fun in an attractive wrapper. Except for the scoring, which can be a little confusing, the game can be explained and ready to go in about 2 minutes for experiended gamers and 5 for non-gamers.

Components
42 cards in 3 colors of portions and 8 poison cards, 3 flat cardboard cauldrons. The game components are top-notch and the cauldrons, while pretty are not strictly necessary for play.

Game Play
The game is really a match with each player getting to deal once and the scores of each round added to come up with a match victory.
The delaer deals out all the cards, so that some players may have more than others. Because the game is played in rounds, this will even out before the end of the game. On his turn a player must play one of his cards into one of the potions. The poison cards (which are green) are worth 4 points and may be added to any pot. The other cards are purple, red, and blue and have values from 1 to 7. Each cauldron may only have cards of one color (or poison) in them at a time. When the player puts his card in, if it brings the cauldron total to over 13, he must take all the cards in the pot currently and leave only his card behind.
The round ends when all cards have been played. The scoring is done by adding up the number of cards each player has in his hand. Poison cards count double. The only caveat is that if any player has more CARDS of a color (other than green) than the other players, he may ignore all those cards. If there is a tie, both players must count the cards. The game ends after each player has dealt once and the winner is the person with the lowest total score.

Intelligences
This review is part of a series of reviews I’m doing as I evaluate games my wife may use in her classroom or that I’m using with my Boy Scouts. Apart from the normal review, I try to identify the kinds of intelligence that the game will use. For an explanation of multiple intelligences, see: my blog post at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/786097

Logical-Mathematical
The game relies heavily on math so being able to add and subtract rapidly is key to playing and winning the game.

Naturalist
The game is about sets of colors, so naturalists often do very well at it.

Age Appropriateness
There is nothing inappropriate in the game, but the requirement to add can make it difficult for younger players. One possible fix is to leave a die or other indicator to show the current total for each cauldron.

Overall
This is a great game for drilling on basic math skills. The game is great fun and players often end a round certain they now know how to win.
 
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Skip Maloney
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uhh. . to interject here. . .IMHO, the need for math skills in this game is somewhat over-stated. Anybody capable of adding to 13 should be able to grasp what's going on. It may take a while to develop a strategy or set of tactics that will create a predictable path to victory, but the issue is hand strength and timing, not math.

I fail to see the need for subtraction and I don't see the need to be rapid about one's addition. Take as much time as you need. Choosing what to do AFTER you've added is important.

If anybody needs to know the total points in any cauldron, they can ask. It happens frequently, but mostly because someone at the table is seated too far away and can't see the numbers, not because they are challenged mathematically.

Not sure just what a Naturalist is (sorry, I didn't journey to your referenced site), but the colors are almost incidental; a way to identify the necessary differentiation of the three cauldrons. Could have been done with shapes or size or almost anything that would have made the contents of the three cauldrons different.

Actually, the cards are NOT numbered 1 through 7, they are 1, 3, 4, 5 & 7. In each color, there are two 4s and three each of 1, 3, 5 & 7. The poison cards are all 4s.

You don't add 'points' at the end of the game, at least not if you consider the numbers on the cards to be points. You are counting the number of cards you have in your possession. Sheer numbers. Poison cards are worth 2 cards.

Drilling basic math skills? Poison is about making the right decision(s) to win the game; one's personal means to an end based on available data. It may be beneficial to players who need practice adding up to 13, but that mathematical skill alone will not win you the game. It can hardly be considered the 'point' of the game, even in a class.
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my eye
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Quote:
Each cauldron may only have cards of one color (or poison) in them at a time.

Additionally, there can never be more than one cauldron of each color at a any given time.
 
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Less snark is my goal.
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I don't think the addition is the point of the game, but if you can't add, then the game will be terribly slow. I've played games where I was the only person who could add the numbers and it was not any fun. That's the point of the addition. If you can't add up the values in the cauldrons on your own, then you're missing a lot of the game and won't be able to develop much in the way of strategy.
Subtraction comes in once you know the value that's there. If the cauldrons has 8 in it, you need to somehoe determine that 4 is safe and 5 means you're taking the cards.
Naturalists tend to be good at grouping things based on their characteristics whatever those characteristics are.
I've edited the errors in fact. Sorry.
 
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Tim Myers
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mib668 wrote:
... If the cauldrons has 8 in it, you need to somehoe determine that 4 is safe and 5 means you're taking the cards. ...

I think you mean 5 or less is safe (gives you 13 or less) and if you play 6 or more you take the cards (gives you 14 plus).
 
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