“Information is oxygen to the State. Cut off the flow and your enemies will wither away before you like flowers in the desert.”
- Romano Liao, BattleTech
Revolutions are seldom pleasant. This, on the other hand isn’t a Revolution – it’s a Coup.
Rikki Tahta’s new masterpiece is set in the same dystopian universe as The Resistance and is a deception based game about seizing absolute power. In Coup, players are politicians, out to destroy their rivals through a combination of ruthless game-play and blatant lies.
To put it simply, each a game of Coup, is sometimes about playing the game but always about playing the players.
In a round of Coup, each player is dealt a pair of cards, each depicting a character. Each card represents both the player’s ‘influence’ of life points and also the type of actions they are ‘legally’ allowed to perform. These cards are kept hidden from the other players.
A player can stick to the straight and narrow, taking actions which are character agnostic such as gathering small numbers of coins from the pot or calling a Coup, burning seven coins and automatically (and unblockably) destroying one of their opponent’s influence cards.
Alternatively, a player may take any one of the following actions. If you influence the Duke, you may collect three coins from the pot instead of 1 or 2. If you control an Assassin, you may kill off a character card for three coins. If you own the Ambassador, you may trade cards with the draw pile. If you are the Captain, you may steal two coins from an opponent. If you include the Contessa, you may block assassinations. Of course, if you don’t control the right combination of characters, you can blatantly lie and perform the action anyway.
What’s the future without a little skulduggery?
If nobody challenges you or counters your action, you get away Scot-free. If a player gets challenged, then things get muddy. If the player has the card in hand, they flip the card over draw another card and the challenger has to flip a card, effectively losing influence. If a challenger cannot reveal the right card, then they have to flip their cards.
Last player with influence wins.
Ultimately, this all lends Coup a vicious layer of deception which benefits the player who can lie through the teeth… or not as the case may be… While ‘cheating’ ones way through the game by bluffing the table is a perfectly valid way to play, as many games of coup have been won by a player quietly biding his time and playing the straight game. It’s equally rewarding to watch an opponent eliminate themselves entirely by misreading the intentions of a player and calling the supposed bluff of an opponent quietly minding his own business, only to discover they’ve been played.
Ultimately, as with most games in the bluffing and hidden traitor genre, it’s always the table politics and the ability of the players that sells games like Coup. A table of players able to look each other in the eye and lie, bribe, plead and cajole each other is always going to get far more out of Coup than a more reserved quiet group. That isn’t to say Coup is a bad game; I know many gamers who loathe games built around a deductive ‘traitor’ mechanic for their own valid reasons and I would be remiss if I said it was for everyone. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Coup - it’s something we could pick up and learn in less than five minutes, yet a game we played incessantly for the better part of the day afterwards.
If you’re a fan of games in this genre, as I am, then you’re bound to have good fun with Coup.
- Coup is a bluffing themed card game which tests both the ability to bluff and deduce an opponent’s intentions.
- Fast paced games of around 10 minutes a round.
- Highly attractive foil coated components with a cyberpunk theme.
Consider This If You Like: Citadels, Masquerade, The Resistance
GET YOUR COPY AT PARADIGM INFINITUM TODAY!
Coup is a card game set in a dystopian future where the oppressed masses rise in revolt and throw the government into chaos. To take command, players try to destroy the influence of their rivals in a game of bluff and deception set in The Resistance universe. A game of Coup can be played by 2-6 players with a play time of 10 to 15 minutes.