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Subject: Pointillism - Smearing - "Things to Keep in Mind" rss

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Tom Rosen
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On page 11 of the rules under "Things to Keep in Mind: Pointillism" it says under the second bullet:

"Smear to win tricks in colors that other players won't lead. So a hand with a lot of red and yellow cards but no orange may be able to support an orange bid!"

I haven't played yet, but have just read the rules and I don't understand that advice. On page 6, it explains that when you smear, the second card you play "must be in the Secondary Color made by combining the two primary colors." So it would seem to me, if you have no orange cards in your hand then you'll never be able to smear red into orange with your yellows, or smear yellow into orange with your reds.

Either I'm not understanding the rules or that advice on page 11 is wrong or there's some third possibility I'm not thinking of
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Robert Seater
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Thommy8 wrote:
Either I'm not understanding the rules or that advice on page 11 is wrong or there's some third possibility I'm not thinking of

You are correct; the piece of advice isn't phrased right. It should actually read

"Smear to win tricks in colors that other players won't lead. So a hand with a lot of red and yellow cards but low value orange cards may be able to support an orange bid!"

You can't reliably win an orange trick with mid-value orange cards, so normally you shouldn't bid in that case. However, if you back it up with good red or yellow cards, then it can work.

If someone leads a red 4 (pretty strong) and you smear it into orange with a yellow 1 (turning it into an orange 5), an orange 5 will take it (winning the tie). Normally an orange 5 isn't going to win anything!

Of course, someone after you in the round might top your 5. However, the fact that you are smearing means that some of your opponents have already made their play, there is a good chance that the player(s) who could have beaten your mid-value orange card won't get to play. In contrast, leading an orange 5 has basically no chance of winning the trick, since anyone else who can beat you will get a chance to do so.
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Robert Seater
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Similarly, you can use a strong hand of red and yellow cards to support an orange bid by Mixing. You can't lead orange without an orange card, but you can follow and win with just yellow and red. A red 5 and a yellow 5 together will beat any single orange card.

Of course, the danger of relying on red+yellow mixes to win orange tricks is that you can't control when orange gets let. It's pretty safe to assume that it will eventually be led, so that isn't too much of a risk. However, before orange gets led, red and yellow tricks might have sucked your red and yellow cards out of your hand, ruining your plans.

In general, an important fact about the deck distribution is that a pair of primaries can potentially the best secondaries. Until you've seen the red and yellow 5's come out, your orange 9 isn't a sure thing.
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Tom Rosen
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Thanks Robert. That makes sense and is helpful advice as I get ready to try this one out soon.
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Jeffrey Allers
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Good question, Tom. I hope you enjoy the game!

And thanks, Rob, for the all the development work you put into the game, and for continuing to support it here!
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Amanda Daly
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Something else worth noting is that you should probably have a lot of red, or a lot of yellow, but not both, if you hope to win tricks by smearing into orange. If you have a lot of red and yellow cards, you probably will be forced to follow the primary colors too often, and you won't actually get to smear when you want to.
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Robert Seater
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kadnama wrote:
Something else worth noting is that you should probably have a lot of red, or a lot of yellow, but not both, if you hope to win tricks by smearing into orange. If you have a lot of red and yellow cards, you probably will be forced to follow the primary colors too often, and you won't actually get to smear when you want to.

Indeed!
 
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