mikeh wrote: ↑
18 Jan 2019, 14:18
Another possibility is that it is the orders of birds as a whole that are subordinate to the orders of gods as a whole. But then what he is emphasizing, the similarities, and the divisions among gods, drops out as irrelevant to the playing of the game. All that matters is the four kinds of birds and the hierarchy of the gods, from 1 to 16. At best the only function of the 4x4 matrix is to provide a convenient picture in one's mind for remembering the order from 1 to 16, which goes by columns instead of rows.
I think this is correct. This "picture in one's mind" is what I mean by "four themes", the structuring principle around moral qualities.
I really think that Marziano is here inventing
the very idea of a separate and permanent set of trumps. We are seeing the process by which he thought it up, starting with four moral characteristics, based on a moralization of the four suits. Then he abstracted the 4x4 gods from this, and gave them their own linear hierarchy.
For what this looked like, visually, we have Marcello's testimony as well - 16 celestial princes and barons, and four suits with their kings. So it was structured like a Tarot deck, which is what he compared it to. A trump sequence, and four suits.
For the rules, I find the easiest way to imagine it is like basic Tarot.
Making the gods effectively part of the bird suits, as you are, seems to make no practical difference in play.
If you have to follow suit, and the four Virtue gods are Eagle suit, then the high trump played of that suit still wins, and lower trump of that suit loses.
If you cannot follow suit, and play instead a higher trump than any card played in the suit led, you win. If you cannot follow suit, and play a lower trump than a trump played in the suit led, you lose the trick.
So e.g. in a game of four players, 10 of Eagles led. Second has only the King of Eagles remaining, plays it. Third has no Eagles or Virtue gods, so plays Neptune (6, Riches). Fourth plays Apollo (5, Virtues, Eagles). Apollo wins the trick because he is higher than Neptune.
Let’s say it is the same as above but player three has no Eagles or Virtues to play, so plays Venus (4, Doves Pleasures). If player four can follow suit and plays Jupiter, he wins because Jupiter is higher. If he can follow suit and plays Mercury 9, he loses because Mercury is lower than Venus. If he cannot follow suit and plays Juno 2 Riches Phoenices he wins, becaue Juno 2 is higher than Venus 4. Et cetera.
Nothing changes whether you regard the gods as "super court cards" of the four suits, since they are numbered in their own hierarchy. A higher will beat a lower, whether you had to play it or not. If you can, your higher trump following suit will beat a lower trump. If you can't, your higher trump will beat a lower trump whether of the suit led or not. The suits themselves have no ranking, Eagles is not higher than Doves.