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Subject: For the Meeple, by the Meeple (Review of Red7) rss

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Michael Carpenter
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For the Meeple, by the Meeple


SUMMARY




Red7 is a competitive card game for 2-4 players. The goal of this game is simple, be winning at the end of your turn. Fail to do so, and you're eliminated. Players will have to use a combination of luck and strategy to stay ahead of the competition if they wish to win Red7!

THE BOARD


There is no true board in Red7 but there is a main area between the players that cards can be played to impact all players.



This card always starts the game in the middle of the table and essentially functions as the board in Red7. However it is referred to as a canvas in the rulebook.


THE COMPONENTS


Red7 comes with a deck of 49 cards divided into 7 cards of 7 different colors. These colors correspond with the colors of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each of the colors has cards ranked 1-7. The colors are also ranked by importance and follow the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V sequence associated with rainbows. Therefore, the red 7 is the highest valued card and the violet 1 is the lowest ranked card. The number value of a card is the first indicator of rank then the color.

Red 7
Orange 7
Yellow 7
Green 7
Blue 7
Indigo 7
Violet 7
Red 6
...
...
...
Red 1
Orange 1
Yellow 1
Green 1
Blue 1
Indigo 1
Violet 1



However, the value and color of these cards is not the only factor associated with determining the worth of each card. Each of the 7 colors of cards has it's own rule that manipulates the determining factor of the value of the cards a player has used.

The rule for the red cards is that the player with the highest valued card in their palette according to its number and place in the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V sequence is winning the game.



The rule for the orange cards is that the player with the most of one number in their palette is winning the game.




The rule for the yellow cards is that the player with the most cards of one color in their palette is winning the game.



The rule for the green cards is that the player with the most even numbered cards in their palette is winning the game.



The rule for the blue cards is that the player with the most different colors of cards in their palette is winning the game.



The rule for the indigo cards is that the player with the most cards in numerical order in their palette is winning the game (the cards do not have to be in order within the palette, just present).



The rule for the violet cards is that the player with the most numbers under 4 in their palette is winning the game.



The game also comes with reference cards explaining how to determine who is winning and each color's rule and rank.

The deck of cards in Red7 is a pretty standard deck of card in terms of quality and deems no complaints.



THE GAMEPLAY


To begin the game players will place the red canvas card in the middle of the table. The card is to be used as the first rule that should be followed when determining which player is winning the game. However, the rule may change throughout the game. Then each player receives 7 cards to form their hand. Each player is also dealt a random card face-up to their palette. The player to the left of the highest face-up card that was dealt goes first to start the game. In the basic game players will never receive more cards throughout the game.



On a player's turn he or she must do one of three things; play a card to their palette that ensures that they are currently winning the game at the end of their turn, play a card to the canvas (this card is played on top of the initial red canvas card, thereby eliminating it permanently and changing the rule that must be followed when determining who is winning the game), or play a card to the canvas and a card to their palette to not only change the rule but then abide by the new rule, thus making them the current leader at the end of their turn.

This is an example of the first turn of the game in Red7. The players have been dealt their initial 7 card hands and a random card face-up to their palette. Since the player on the left has received the blue 4 the player with the orange 2 will go first. This is because the 4 is higher than the 2, the color would only become a factor if both number values were the same.



The current rule is the initial red canvas card that states that the leader is the player with the highest ranked card according to number value and R-O-Y-G-B-I-V, if necessary. Since each player has already received one card in their palette, the first player must play any card in his or her hand that is higher than the blue 4 or change the rule in the canvas. In this case, the player has chosen to play the indigo 6 (which is higher than the blue 4).



Next, the player on the left must play a card to his or her palette, play a card to the canvas to change the rule, or play a card to both his or her palette and to the canvas.

The player has decided to play the red 7. The red 7 is considered the highest ranked card and will make the current player the leader at the end of his or her turn. Since the red 7 is the highest ranked card in the game this forces the first player to change the rule, rather than playing a higher card.




The first player must now decide which card in his or her hand will change the rule on the canvas to allow them to be the leader at the end of his or her turn.

The player has chosen to play a green card to the canvas because the rule for the green cards is the player with the most numbers even numbered cards is the leader. Since the first player (player on the right) has two even numbers (a 2 and a 6) and the second player has only one even numbered card (his blue 4), the first player is the current leader. The number of the new green card in the canvas has no influence on determining the leader.



An important aspect of this game is understanding how to determine who is winning. Players should first see who has the most cards that fit the current rule. If there is a tie, players should then see who has the highest numbered card that fits the current rule. If there is still a tie then players should see which of those cards has the highest ranked color.

If the rule is most even cards and both players have two even cards they should check to see who has the highest even numbered card. In this example the player on the right has played an indigo 6 to give himself two even-numbered cards. The player on the left must now not only play an even number (if choosing not to change the rule) but it must be a 6 in a color that ranks higher than indigo so his choices would be the Red 6, Orange 6, Yellow 6, Green 6 or Blue 6. The player on the left could not play the Violet 6 and be considered winning the game at the end of the turn.

If a player cannot make a play on their turn that allows them to be the leader at the end of their turn then they are eliminated. This includes if the player does not have any cards at the beginning of their turn.

The last player to be eliminated takes all the cards in his or her palette that fit the current rule and places them under his or her reference card. These cards become part of your scoring pile. Cards are worth their face value in points.

In a 2 player game you play to 40 points, 3 players to 35, and 4 players to 30. The game may also end if there are not enough cards to deal a new round because there are so many cards under reference cards (scored). In this case the player with the highest total wins the game.

FINAL THOUGHTS


Let me start by saying I enjoy Red7 quite a bit. I do not enjoy a ton of light card games but there are a few that I will definitely play and this is one of them. My interest in Red7 comes from the blurred line of strategy and luck in the game. There is enough strategy to make you think on your turn but because of the design of the game there is also a good amount of luck that will not let you overthink this game. It is almost as if the cards do play you but you don't notice it. I wouldn't enjoy this game if the game controlled your moves even the slightest bit more but as it stands, it is just the right balance for a light filler.

Even though there is an element of luck and you can simply play the most obvious card in your hand, a better player will win this game more often than a mediocre player. Since there are seven rules and the rules function well with one or more attributes of each of the cards there are smarter ways to play your hands. With that said, there are times when you simply cannot outplay your opponent because of the hands that have been dealt but I would say a very large portion of the games you will play will take intelligent choices to win.

One aspect of strategy in this game when playing with two players that I believe gets a little misused is trying to play one card every turn rather than playing one card to the canvas and one card to your palette. Obviously, at first glance you want to conserve your cards and play one at a time to make sure you have as many cards available for your next turn as possible, but in the nearly 50+ rounds of this game I have played I have seldom seen a player lose because they do not have any cards at the beginning of their turn. Sometimes it is more valuable to change a rule and then play a card to your palette early in a round that puts you in an advantageous position for the remainder of the round than try to play whatever rule is in the canvas because this rule has often times been played by a player that has chosen it because his or her hand plays well in that rule. You do not want to have to play two cards on your turn late in the round unless absolutely necessary and that often happens when you have spent the early portion of the round simply playing one card at a time that runs with the other player's strategy.

As you add a third and fourth player the luck begins to outweigh the strategy a tad but it doesn't tip the scale too drastically. I think the games plays fine with four but I think the sweet spot is three because four players adds just a little too much looking at the other palettes for the weight of this game. I don't mean to sound as though thinking is a bad thing, I just feel like with four there are too many times when you play a card and then someone says "Oh wait, that doesn't work!" and then you have to decide which other card will work and it slows a fast-pace game down a tad. This is a very minor thing but I do think it gives three players the slight edge in my experience.

Overall, the game is good. I have not seen the game break down because of any specific strategy and I have never seen the game fall flat with any group. For the price you will not be let down by this game if you like filler card games. I definitely suggest picking this one up the next time you need to hit the dollar mark for free shipping!!!


I would actually love to hear some opinions from those who have played this game about the luck vs strategy balance. I gave my perspective from a casual approach to this game but I would like to know the hard facts about probability of nearly unbeatable hands and other aspects of luck vs strategy. If you have any thoughts please leave a comment!!!



Rating: 7/10



If you enjoy my reviews please recommend and check out my geeklist For the Meeple, by the Meeple
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-matt s.
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Eugene
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We rarely play the 'basic' game and always add the additional rule where if the card you play to the canvas has a number higher than the number of cards you have in play, you get to draw another card. This can help to mitigate weak hands and also balances if you are playing two cards because you can get one back. I would recommend adding this rule as soon as you have the basic gameplay down.

Only recently did we play the full 'advanced' rules with the actions on the odd numbered cards and we loved it and found it even better with interesting decisions. If we aren't playing with new players I think we'll always play with those rules. One comment on this is the '1' action (place a card from another player's palette on top of the draw deck) can be devastating to another player - this is both good/interesting (because it is the weakest card value), but also sometimes annoying (for the player affected).
 
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Scott Russell
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Clarkston
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If we have new players, we play the first hand with basic rules, add the draw when palette card is more than your cards in play rule for the second hand, then add the odd number extra actions from third hand on.

 
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Michael Carpenter
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I didn't go into the advanced rules but we have played with them and do enjoy them. The basic isn't a bad amount of game for the time length though so we will mix up basic/advanced rules quite frequently.
 
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Grant Fikes
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Abilene
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MariettaTennis wrote:
This is an example of the first turn of the game in Red7.



The current rule is the initial red canvas card that states that the leader is the player with the highest ranked card according to R-O-Y-G-B-I-V. Since no player has put a card in their palette, the first player can play any card in his or her hand. In this case, the player has chosen to play the lowest ranked card in the entire game, the violet 1. Since there are no other cards in play the violet 1 is considered the highest ranked card and will make the current player the leader at the end of his or her turn.




You NEVER have an empty palette in this game!!

At the start of the game, every player has one random card dealt to his/her palette. One of these cards is the highest card, and is winning the game of Red; the player to the left of that player has the first turn.
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Michael Carpenter
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mathgrant wrote:
MariettaTennis wrote:
This is an example of the first turn of the game in Red7.



The current rule is the initial red canvas card that states that the leader is the player with the highest ranked card according to R-O-Y-G-B-I-V. Since no player has put a card in their palette, the first player can play any card in his or her hand. In this case, the player has chosen to play the lowest ranked card in the entire game, the violet 1. Since there are no other cards in play the violet 1 is considered the highest ranked card and will make the current player the leader at the end of his or her turn.




You NEVER have an empty palette in this game!!

At the start of the game, every player has one random card dealt to his/her palette. One of these cards is the highest card, and is winning the game of Red; the player to the left of that player has the first turn.


Hilarious. Maybe a little overboard, but funny nonetheless. I apologize for the omission. I will edit the review right away.
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Grant Fikes
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MariettaTennis wrote:
This is an example of the first turn of the game in Red7. The players have been dealt their initial 7 card hands and a random card face-up to their palette. Since the player on the right has received the orange 2 the player with the blue 4 will go first.


Number always trumps color, so the blue 4 outranks the orange 2. The ranking of the cards is as follows:

Red 7
Orange 7
Yellow 7
Green 7
Blue 7
Indigo 7
Violet 7
Red 6
Orange 6
...
Indigo 1
Violet 1

MariettaTennis wrote:
Hilarious. Maybe a little overboard, but funny nonetheless. I apologize for the omission. I will edit the review right away.




I'm glad you enjoy this game, based on your review score, but a rules mistake is a rules mistake.
 
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Michael Carpenter
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mathgrant wrote:
MariettaTennis wrote:
This is an example of the first turn of the game in Red7. The players have been dealt their initial 7 card hands and a random card face-up to their palette. Since the player on the right has received the orange 2 the player with the blue 4 will go first.


Number always trumps color, so the blue 4 outranks the orange 2. The ranking of the cards is as follows:

Red 7
Orange 7
Yellow 7
Green 7
Blue 7
Indigo 7
Violet 7
Red 6
Orange 6
...
Indigo 1
Violet 1

MariettaTennis wrote:
Hilarious. Maybe a little overboard, but funny nonetheless. I apologize for the omission. I will edit the review right away.




I'm glad you enjoy this game, based on your review score, but a rules mistake is a rules mistake.


Now that is just simply a rule I have always played wrong! Maybe this will give me a chance against my wife. Probably not, but maybe. That's obviously not how I interpreted the rule the first time I played Red7. Back to the editing! With your help this review will actually be useful to people. lol I have a strong feeling I'll still enjoy the game once we play it correctly though. The idea of the game is fun.
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