Canon: The Card Game (Further Reflections / Questions)

I had students play Canon: The Card game again today.

For original rules and reflections, read here.

This time a few new issues / questions arose.

Firstly: how to end the game naturally.  The  rules state that once only one person has cards in hand and makes a final move, then the game is over.  Yet, I wonder how this can be the case.  One can make this game last perpetually if one continues to draw cards and never discards them or continues to take cards from the common canon.  We might have a couple players with no cards and a couple with five.  If we keep going around and around with each person taking a turn, someone in one round with no cards will have to draw something to take a turn the next round if more than one person is still holding cards.  At this point, an extra person will hold cards, prolonging the game.  Of the five games played in two classes today, none ever got to a point where only one person had cards.  I gave all the games a 20 minute time limit – we have other things to do.

Secondly: related to the first, if one runs out of cards, but everyone still has cards, does one still play or is one “done”?  If one is “done” then a strategy must be to keep as many cards as possible so you can be the person to mess up everyone else’s matches between personal and common canons.  If one must continue to play, then the possibility that everyone will run out of cards in the same round is a very slim one (see first issue/question).

Thirdly: can one “pass”?  I saw nothing in the rules for allowing someone to refrain from moving in a round.  I, therefore, did not allow it.  That person had a perfect match between personal and common canons and making  a move ruined it.

New Strategies:

While most strategies remained cutthroat today, there was a new cooperative strategy.  If one saw that others put the same card in their personal canon, then one should try to put the same card in one’s personal canon, decreasing the likelihood that someone would remove such a card from the common canon.  That is, if three people put the Gospel of Mark in their personal canon, there is a Mark in the common canon, and you draw a Mark card, play it in your personal to increase the likelihood of Mark surviving.

Because I gave a timed game, there was a useful strategy of killing time.  That is, if there is a minute left, you have a  good match, it is your turn, and you are pretty sure the next person will ruin it, just kill time.  I may have to institute a “delay of game” rule.  This person did not win, but kept someone else from winning too.

There was one more new strategy: playing dumb.  Of course, this is common in card games and pool – pretend you have a lower skill level than you do to lull others into making mistakes.  This person lost the game.




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