Celestial Rainbows FAQ

Celestial RainbowsHere are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Celestial Rainbows:


Q: What does a player do if they are unable to take any actions, other than “last resort” on their turn? Say….they cannot “build,” there are no Magic Power cards in play, and a “swap” doesn’t gain anything?

A: The Last Resort is really that. This is how you unstick yourselves, however unpleasant it may be. It is worth going around the table once and letting each player swap cards to make sure everyone is stuck, before anyone uses a last resort.


Q: In a two player game, we found that neither player had any action that would further the game? We were stopped in our tracks…since no new cards are added to anyone’s hand if no action is taken; we must be interpreting something wrong.

A: Again, this is a case for the Last Resort.


Q: When using “last resort,” is the old card put back in deck, or permanently removed from the game?

A: It is permanently removed!


Q: Isn’t it rare to ever have a Magic Power card with two matching cards underneath, and no other cards next to the Magic Power card….thus how can a Magic Power be used?

A: Using Good Karma to remove cards next to a Magic Power is risky. Few games see more than one or two Magic Powers being gained by the players. The Double Rainbow card is critical to getting rid of cards next to Magic Powers; it is hard to help the next player play Good Karma when you don’t know which card will be placed next to it. The worst games end up where players make an effort to achieve a Magic Power and do not succeed. So we’ve found that at first, players will use Good Karma cards willy-nilly, just to be disappointed. More experienced players sometimes shun Good Karma actions altogether, while the most experienced groups will carefully evaluate the cards next to a Magic Power to figure out if they can lock it down quickly enough to warrant an attempt, and then that must be the focus of the group.


Q: Can cards next to the Magic Power card be used to build the rainbow?

A: First, a swap action needs to exchange the card next to the Magic Power with a player’s card. Once in hand of the player (face-up or face-down), that card can be used in a separate Build the Rainbow action. It is good to plan swaps with the cards next to Magic Powers to make sure not too many of a particular card is lost when the cards are cleared.

Q: When a swap is made with a face down card for a face up card, does the face down card remain face down, or is it turned face up?

A: When a face-down card is swapped with a face-up card, the face-down card is turned face-up and the face-up card is turned face-down. One of the key elements of play is using swaps to help the rest of the players know what cards are where. But you can never swap a card with another player?s face-down cards.

Q: Other than a swap, when would the face down cards ever be played? What is the purpose of the face down cards?

A: You can Build the Rainbow, but it is optional. You can also use a face-down card to play a “Good Karma”. Essentially the two key differences to the face-up and face-down cards is that a face-up card is required to be used to Build the Rainbow, and you cannot swap cards with another player’s face-down cards.


A very experienced group may spend a couple rounds rearranging their cards so by the time any are discarded one or two rainbows are prearranged, and everyone has good knowledge of the other players face-down cards. However, once face-down cards start getting played and thus replaced, there may not be time for “communicative” swaps if there is pressure from Magic Power cards or required Builds.


Q: Do you have to take two actions on a turn?

A: Yes. You can always make a non-exciting swap. Again, swapping face-down cards with face-up cards is the way players communicate where different cards are.


Q: Before any turn, should all players always have 2 cards up and 2 cards down?

A: Yes, except for the final two rounds, since cards played are no longer replenished (or in the optional two-player rules).



Below is a link to a strategy article: