Coup (board game) strategy

We review the micro game of bluffing & social deduction, Coup. This new version, published by Indie Boards & Cards, is set in the same universe as The Resistance. Players are trying to be the last one alive sầu as influence as characters are assassinated và coups are attempted.

In 2012, a tiny thẻ game called Love Letter took the gaming community by storm. This unassuming micro game went on lớn win numerous awards & really was the catalyst that jump started micro game genre. Since then, there have sầu been quite a few new micro games that have graced our tabletop. Today, we are going lớn look at a game of bluffing and deduction called Coup.

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Originally published in 2012 by La Mame Games, it wasn’t until Indie Boards và Cards ran a $166,000+ kickstarter chiến dịch for a new edition of Coup that the game really came khổng lồ the forefront. Set in the world of The Resistance, Coup has players vying for power in a game of bluffing, bribery, & manipulation. Is Coup a worthy addition to the micro game genre or should you hotline its bluff? Read on!

Coup is a bluffing & deduction game for 2-6 players that plays in about 10-15 minutes. Coup plays best with 4-5 players.

Game Overview:

Coins in Coup allow players to launch a coup attempt at another player, thus getting closer lớn winning.

In Coup, your goal is khổng lồ be the last player standing. Each player starts the game with 2 influence, represented by facedown character cards. Each turn, a player can take an action from either a set list, or a special action based on what character cards they were secretly dealt. The key is, players can lie about which character they have. However, if you are caught in a lie, you will đại bại an influence (character card). Although if it turns out you weren’t bluffing, then the accuser loses an influence. If a player loses both of their characters, they’re out of the game. Whoever is the last player khổng lồ have sầu a character thẻ left is the winner.


In its little box, Coup actually holds a good amount of high unique components. In the retail game (we’ll talk about the Kickstarter version later), players get a dechồng of 15 character cards, illustrated in a style to match Indie Board và Cards’ previous game, The Resistance. Since Coup is phối in the same “world”, it makes sense to have similar artwork. However, even though they are in the same universe, don’t kid yourself, the theme in Coup is only skin deep.

Moving on, also included are 6 very useful player sida. Since this is a game of bluffing, it’s very helpful to lớn have this information at the player’s fingertips. They last thing you want to lớn be doing is asking what characters powers are when you are trying to nhái it.

Finally, the game comes with 50 coins that will be used to lớn launch a coup attempt in a game. My Kickstarter edition had metal foil coins that looks pretty sliông chồng. The only issue I had was getting the box to cthua thảm once I punched out the coins. They didn’t all quite fit perfectly in my copy. I’m not sure if that was also an issue with the retail copy.

How lớn Play:

The player aid in Coup makes learning the game a breeze.

As is the norm with micro games, the rules in Coup are very simple khổng lồ learn. Each player starts the game with 2 coins và 2 influence (face down character cards). The 15 card deông chồng contains 3 copies of each character & there are 5 different characters, each with their own powers:

• Ambassador: Draw two character cards from the draw deông chồng, choose two lớn keep (from aước ao the 4 you now have) và return two. You can also bloông chồng someone from stealing coins from you.• Assassin: Pay three coins và to lớn assassinate another player’s character.• Contessa: Blochồng an assassination attempt against your character.• Captain: Take two coins from another player, or stop someone from stealing from you.• Duke: Take three coins. You can also bloông xã someone from taking the foreign aid action.

Instead of taking your character action, you can take one of these three actions:

• Income: Gain one coin.• Foreign Aid: Gain 2 Coins (may be blocked by the Duke)• Coup: Pay seven coins và start a coup against an opponent. That player must thảm bại a character. (If you have sầu ten coins, you must take this action.)

On your turn, you will take one of the above sầu actions & then the next player takes their turn. The bluffing aspect enters the game because you don’t actually have sầu lớn have sầu the character of the action you are taking. You can lie. I might have the Captain & the Assassin, but I can still take the Duke action. However, if another player calls my bluff, I have sầu khổng lồ reveal the appropriate character. If I can’t (or don’t), I đại bại an influence (flip one of my face down characters face up).

If I did have the appropriate character, the challenger loses the influence. I then shuffle that character bachồng inlớn the deck & draw a replacement.

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When a player loses both of their influence, they are out of the game. The game ends when there is only one player remaining.

There are 5 different roles cards in Coup, with 3 copies of each in a deông xã. If you can catch someone lying, they will be one step closer to elimination.

trò chơi Experience:

I think one of the reasons Love Letter was so successful was how accessible it was. Super easy lớn learn & the game will work with just about any group (gamers or not). One thing I’ve learned about Coup through my many plays is that you really want to lớn have the right group of players. I you have sầu a timid group of introverted players; Coup really isn’t going khổng lồ be the game for you.

Each player starts with 2 face-down cards, their influence. If a player has lớn thua trận an influence they must flip a face-down thẻ face-up. When both yours are flipped up, you’re out.

The majority of the fun I have in Coup is in the interaction between players. You want players who will lie, trash talk, challenge và pretty much be in each other’s faces. If you have sầu a quiet group who just takes their coin each turn, the game is going lớn be very boring. However, with the right group of people, Coup can be a good amount of fun. Gather up a group of people that lượt thích khổng lồ read other players enjoy social deduction và basically bicker with each other, and you have sầu a winner on your hands.

Diving inlớn the game mechanics, overall I’d say that the thẻ powers work really well together & encourage interactivity. I think the designer did a great job of making each card feel useful in its own right, & also fit inkhổng lồ the game as a whole. Sometimes one card will feel more powerful than another, but after you get used khổng lồ the game, they all come inkhổng lồ their own at times.

However, being a micro game, Coup will suffer from the usual flaws of the genre. It’s a game you will play a few times và then put baông chồng on the shelf for something else. For all but the most die-hard fans of deduction & bluffing games, you are not going khổng lồ find a ton of staying power here. I found myself really loving Coup with my early plays, và then gradually getting a little tired of it. While the 5 cards work great together, there are still only 5 of them. So you will be seeing the same cards and same actions over & over again. This can cause Coup to lớn thua some of its luster after repeated plays.

That being said, it is easy to teach to lớn new players. The rules make sense và the actions are intuitive sầu. However, I’ve sầu learned that it usually takes players a few games before they truly “get it”. Most new players will take their coins, not lie much và just try và win. These early games can sometimes be fairly low key. However, once you get a group of experienced players together, this is where Coup really shines. I’ve sầu had the most fun with Coup when we are bluffing, accusing and otherwise being a loud group of annoying gamers.

In addition khổng lồ the 3 mặc định actions, each character card provides a special action only they can take.

One final thing I wanted lớn bring up is that if you are a completionist, you might want khổng lồ steer clear of Coup. Indie Board & Cards goes all on on Kickstarter exclusives & the retail version is a bit underwhelming in comparison. The Kickstarter version of Coup contains better components, twice as many cards and even a 6th role thẻ. Comparatively, the retail version just feels inferior. To get everything for Coup, you are probably looking at the second hand market. I should also add that frequently Indie Board & Cards will require you to lớn buy inlớn unrelated Kickstarters for their other games khổng lồ get cards for Coup. This can be a source of great frustration that I’m personally not a bạn of. You’ve been warned.

Final Thoughts:

Overall Coup is a clever game that will appeal to lớn the more social gamers out there. For the strategy gamers out there who just want lớn keep their head down và think three turns ahead, this is definitely not the game for you. But if you enjoy a game of deduction, bluffing or ones with high social interaction, then I think you can have some great fun in Coup. My first thought after playing Coup was that fans of Poker would get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Even if you are on the fence about if this game is for you, the nice thing is that it only costs about $12. At that price, it’s an easy purchase just to lớn check out. Although it is a shame that you can’t get everything the Kickstarter backers got.

For me, Coup will probably hang out on my shelf more often than not. I think the game is fun to lớn play every now và then, but I found it lớn get a little stale after repeated plays. I should note that there is an expansion due out in the future that might help with that, but for now I’ll probably go baông xã lớn Love sầu Letter for my micro game of choice. That being said, with the right group of players, I won’t hesitate lớn play it again.

If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, you can get it for $12.

Final Score: 3 Stars – A clever micro game that works well with very social people. Its laông chồng of depth can cause it lớn stale after repeated plays.

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Hits:• Quick game play that’s easy to learn• Will appeal lớn the more social groups• Well done components• Portable nature fits its play style

Misses:• Laông xã of variety can shorten its life• Feels lượt thích retail buyers are punished for missing the Kickstarter• Needs the right group of players.