As the Major knows, I’m frequently interested in the opportunity to mess with the rules (see Anti-Qwirkle)
I once asked game designer Dirk Henn about a house rule I’d come up with for his (classic!) game, Alhambra.
He said he liked the rule and went out of his way to tell me that any change to any game of his was fine as long as we were having fun. What more could a gamer ask for?
Love that guy!
RED7 is a game for 2-4 fun people of, as the publisher suggests, age 9 and higher. YMMV. I think a lot of 8 yr olds will do fine. It was designed by Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik, with art by Alanna Cervenak and is made available by Asmadi Games.
The essence of the game is to be the last one standing.
In the very short version of the game, the winner is decided after one hand. 5-10 minutes. “That’s it. You win. Whadya wanna play now?”
We usually play what (LINK) Asmadi (LINK) calls the “advanced rules”. But I promise you. None of the advanced rules are all that advanced. If you have the time, you should try them. ‘Cause more fun is better than less fun.
We usually choose the shorter version only if we’re using the game as a “summoner.”
Summoner? When two or more of us are here waiting for one or more of the others to arrive, we choose a game like Red7 to play and, as soon as more players arrive, we finish the hand we’re on and play something with the whole group.
(The thinking is that our starting a game without them magically “summons” them to show up already!)
Surprising how often this works.
Red7 is a game of cards, 1-7 of each of 7 colors. Suits if you will.
There are also personal cards to help each other to remember stuff.
Seven cards are dealt to each player. Then one additional face up card in front of each to start their “Palette”.
The “Canvas” (In many card games, called Discard) pile is then started with the special red card that says, “YOU ARE CURRENTLY PLAYING RED. HIGHEST CARD WINS”
Following that rule, the person to the left of the highest Palette card, goes first.
When it’s your turn, you have 4 choices
- Play a card to your “Palette” (As in painting, a “palette” is a place where the artist mixes her colors. How clever!)
- Play a card to the “Canvas” pile (Another artistic reference.)
The top card on this pile always indicates what the current rule is.
- Do both 1 and 2. (The Palette card MUST be played first)
- Do nothing. And lose!! We all know what that means and like it much less than the alternative. Included in this rule is if you begin a round with no cards in your hand. If you can’t play, you lose.
The rest is simple. SO simple.
If, after you’ve played your card or cards, you’re winning, using the top discard as the rule, you continue.
If it’s Not, you throw all your cards in and “kibbitz” (special gaming term).
So what are these rules he’s been talking about?
There are 7 colors of cards. Each color presents a different rule, when played to the discard pile.
Red: High card wins. The highest card in each players “palette” is compared to the other players’ highest card. In the case of a tie, it’s broken by color in this order, from highest to lowest:
Ranking of colors is: Red, Orange, Yellow Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet
- Orange: Most of one number Wins. Current player looks for her strongest combo. If she has three of a kind, she looks around the table to see if anyone has more or a higher set of trips.
- Yellow: Most of One Color Wins
- Green Most “Even” Cards Wins
- Blue: Most Different Colors Wins
- Indigo: Most Cards in a Row Wins
- Violet: Most Cards Below 4 Wins
Tie Breakers are very important in this game, since you’re always comparing your hand to the other players’.
“Tie Breaker” is a very popular term in board games.
For example, a game ends in which both you and I have met the requirements to win. But who wins? You? Me? Both of us??? (Some games actually suggest a shared victory, which is SO in the Major Fun Wheelhouse!!
But, most of the time, they’re looking for one winner and one or more tiebreakers are used to determine that luckiest of sons of guns.
Red7 actually has many tiebreakers built right into the game.
The first one is highest card. Then colors. Each player is given a card that shows the various card colors from the mighty RED (as in the title) to the lowly violet (Poor thing!)
So, if the “rule” is most of one color and you and I each have three of one color, we look for the highest card among the cards we’re comparing. High card wins. If we both have a 7, for instance, we use the color rule for breaking ties.
In Red7, a big part of the rules is “change the rules”. As you’ll see in a moment.
Every turn….or at least most of them…you may want to change a rule to better suit the cards in your hand. Or to even have a legal play to make.}
I know you’ve been wondering about the “Advanced Rules”.
As I said, they’re not at all difficult.
- On the turns where you play a card to the Canvas pile, if the number on that card is greater than the number OF cards in your Palette, you get to pick an extra card from the deck. An extra card means more options when it’s your turn.
- Keeping score. In the advanced game, you’re playing more than one hand. when you win a hand, take all the cards in your Palette that helped you win (like a 4,5,6,7 when the rule was Indigo: Most cards in a row) and place them face down under your reference card. The face value of those cards represents your score for that hand.
- When someone reaches 40 points in a 2-player game, or 35 in a 3, or 30 in a 4, the game’s over
- Then everyone turns over their buried cards and totals them High total wins.
I TOLD you it was easy!!