Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Coup: Rebellion G54

Product-Coup: Rebellion G54

Producer-Indie Board and Cardboard

Price– $30 here http://www.amazon.com/Coup-Rebellion-G54-Card-Game/dp/B010HEZHII/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1447554861&sr=1-3&keywords=coup

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 10 minutes (3-6 players)

Type-American

Depth-Light

TL; DR-Simple, social, dystopian fun! 96%

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Basics-Who will reign supreme?  In Coup, each player uses their influences and perceived influence to do various actions in an attempt to outmaneuver and out right eliminate their opponents.  Players are dealt a number of cards that indicate who they have guaranteed influence with.  These cards are dealt face down.  Each turn a player chooses one action to take among the seven different actions available.  Two of these actions are either gain 1 credit or spend 7 credits to hurt a player.  When a player is hurt, they reveal one of their cards, and that card no longer counts as under their influence.  The other actions are all represented by different personalities in the world, and you can select any of those actions to take  However, any player may challenge who you are.  If you can show that you have the face down card for the action you took, the challenger loses a life, you reshuffle the displayed card into the deck of remaining cards, draw one, and take that action.  If you can’t show the card or won’t, then you lose a life!  If there is no challenge, then the action occurs. Play continues with each player taking one action each turn, possibly resolving challenges, killing other players, until there is only one man or woman standing!

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Mechanics-Coup is a quick game!  You only have seven actions to consider each turn, so it moves really fast, and you have to stay on your toes as players challenge one another.  But it works well.  The game comes with a ton of different roles, so few if any games can really be the same.  How the different roles play together and apart is a really an interesting dynamic.  I normally don’t like elimination games, but this one plays in under 10 minutes even with high player count, so a new game is about four minutes away at any given time.  It’s not perfect as players have to balance the game itself.  Victors can run away really fast in this one!  But that is a problem of all social games.  4.75/5

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Theme-This version of Coup is set in a cyberpunk dystopian setting, and it works really well!  Players vie for power under the watchful eye of an all powerful government, and you constantly feel like you’re on shifting ground.  Getting called out on a role you have feels like you called in a mark and now they might not help in the future.  Bluffing feels like you’re using smoke and mirrors to intimidate your opponents into thinking you have more power than you do.  It feels like a compact political thriller-watching House of Cards at 90x speed since you get done in 10 minutes or less! 5/5

Instructions-The instructions to this one are not that bad, but it buries a few leads.  Something really important to note is how challenges work if you reveal a card.  If you have the role card in your hand, and you show it, you shuffle and redraw a new role card.  You may get that card back again.  That’s really important because it’s a one off line in the rules, but it’s one of the most important parts of the game’s mechanics and theme.  Overall the rules are compact enough to explain the game, but not large enough to be intrusive for a game that will take you more time to open than play.  Maybe a tad more detail would help, but in general it’s done well enough. 4.5/5

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Execution– This game gets a five out of five for a few reasons-most of them for being smarter than me.  When you open the box, there will be two cardboard hunks you won’t know what to do with.  These hunks are card dividers.  It took me a few minutes, but once I understood their brilliance, I was amazed.  The game has solid, chunky cardstock to divide the randomizer cards from the role cards.  That is absolutely simplistic smarts that many much more expensive games leave out.  Also, this game is set up for expansions to fit in one box.  If you’ve seen base Coup, then you know the astounding number of expansions it has.  And, Indie Board and Card built this game to be ready for more.  Aside from that, the art is amazing.  I like what I see here.  Want to see all the pieces in the box?  Here is a full unboxing of the game: https://youtu.be/UwFf7454gMs 5/5

Summary-So here is the rub-this is a phenomenal game that some of you will only despise.  This is a great game, but it is a social game.  If you don’t like social manipulation, then you will absolutely hate this game.  I had amazing games of Coup, but some people have left the table because they can’t manipulate others well.  If you like social games, but want a bit more strategy than “Are you a Werewolf?” this is a great, short, and cheap game you should get to the table. 96%

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