Coup Game

Date Fri, February 16 2018

Coup came highly recommended on Reddit. I suspect those folks knew that it had been a Kickstarter game, but it snuck up on me quickly. It was on my wishlist for a while once I realized it existed. To be honest, I was a bit burned out on board/game games. At least, I thought I was. It might actually have been that I was burned out on party games. So I didn’t buy new ones for a while.

Don’t get me wrong. Coup will work well at many parties as long as your friends and family don’t mind a little strategy thrown in with your luck. The element of strategy will make this game appeal to people who don’t like luck-based social games quite so much, but it’s still easy to learn.

Coup is a bluffing game. Think Werewolf or something similar. I’ve played a few, but most require more people than I can guarantee. I was happy to see that Coup only needs two and first played this with my sister.

The deal starts with two coins and two cards to each person. You can get payment from the bank or steal from another character depending on the characters in your hand, which other players do not see. You must spend money to perform certain actions. The rules do state that your “money” must be visible to all players at all times.

The deck is made up of 15 cards, five of each character type. Each character has special actions (getting extra money from the bank, stealing, assassinating, blocking any of those moves), and most characters actions are canceled out by another character or two. This might sound complicated, but each player gets a cheat sheet that nicely lays out the character abilities (proactive and reactive) as well as how a coup works. For example, a player with an assassin can choose to take out another player, but if the victim has Contessa, they can block the assassin.

Things get interesting because you can bluff. You can say you’re using an action (or a reaction to another play) because you have a card. if someone challenges you on it, and you’ve been bluffing, you lose one of your cards to play by turning it up. if however, you weren’t bluffing, you can show that you have the card. Then, you can replace it with a new card in the deck, so no one

When both cards are lost, you are out of the game. Games are over in just a few turns with two people. Adding more people would equate to longer play, and I think Coup will scale nicely.

It would increase difficulty, however, because you’re trying to recall the two cards that each of your opponents has. Remember that you don’t know for sure which cards they have, only what they’ve been bluffing. And if anyone has unsuccessfully challenged another player, that player will have traded in a card. This could potentially happen twice, resulting in a player with new cards from what he or she was dealt.

All the while, you’re trying to determine what your best moves are and to prevent other players from getting enough money to stage a coup. Any character with enough coins (7, and players must stage a coup if they have 10), can stage a coup, which is always a successful attempt at taking out another player.

Thus, players lose cards to assassinations, to challenges, or to coups depending on luck of the draw (yours and your opponents’) and your ability to bluff. My sister and I sat down to play the game for the first time and quickly played several more. It’s a bit like rock-paper-scissors. Sometimes you don’t win, but you just can’t stand it, so you go again because it’s quick and easy enough to do so.

I’m pretty excited to play Coup with a larger group (you can play up to 6 people) and see how others like it.

The great news? Coup costs lesss than $13 for Prime members (still less than $15 for everyone ele)! It’s pretty much a steal!

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