There is nothing quite like the Coup card game. Playing will feel like you’ve suddenly stepped into a sci-fi political thriller! You’ll have to play strategically and think fast to win this game, but we all know outwitting your opponents won’t be easy.
What is The Coup Card Game?
We first need to set the stage to fully understand this card game. In the Coup universe, the world government is controlled by powerful and corrupt CEOs. This has caused an economic collapse and a huge divide between the wealthy and poverty-stricken classes of people.
Tired of the way things are, a resistance movement is formed and aims to overthrow and divide the ruling classes. This is where you, the players, come into things. Each player takes on the role of a powerful government official, aiming to use these uncertain times to your own advantage.
To do this, you’ll need to manipulate others and bribe and bluff your way to the top, and stomp on anyone getting in your way. Every player is out for themselves in the Coup card game, and while you might form an alliance for a while, there can be only one winner!
Now I know what you might be thinking; this all sounds very dramatic for a card game. But in a way, it’s no different from being a money-hungry property developer in Monopoly or one of the many quirky characters in Clue, is it?
Things are just a little more detailed and dystopian in the setting. Anyone who plays RPG board games will likely be familiar with similar themes. Now, the actual gameplay of Coup is all about cards (of course) and coins.
Players will start the game with two cards and three coins. Then, in your turn, you’ll be able to take several different actions and can utilize your cards to spread your influence. Each card you get represents certain characters, each with their own special skills.
Now, you won’t be battling each other like in the Pokemon card game, but you must strategize carefully to ensure you outwit the other players. We’ll discuss how this works in the rules section below. But before that, let’s take a look at what is included in the Coup card game.
What You’ll Need To Play?
You’ll need a Coup card set to play this thrilling card game. The coup started out on Kickstarter, just like the other very popular game, Cards Against Humanity, but nowadays, you can find it available in shops and online.
There is also an expansion set available called Coup Reformation. The expansion adds a new character card to the game and additional cards so up to 10 players can play the game. With the standard Coup card set, a maximum of 6 people can play.
There are 5 different character cards in the standard set; each character has duplicates. So, multiple players could have the same character card. Fifty coins are also included with the standard set. Let’s take a closer look at the rules for the Coup card game.
Rules And Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
While it might have a very thrilling and imaginative backstory, the aim of this card game is quite simple! You need to use your cards and influence to knock the other players out of the game. But doing this will require quick thinking and a very good Poker face.
The first to do is choose a dealer; you can do this however you like. A good rule to follow is to choose the oldest player. The previous round’s winner should be the new dealer if you’re playing more than one game.
The dealer should shuffle the deck of cards and give each player two cards. Cards should be dealt face down. Players should also be dealt two coins. Once all the cards are dealt with, the remaining deck should be placed in the center.
Players should then carefully look at their cards, and then the game can begin! The dealer will go first, and the play should continue in a clockwise motion. Now, to make things a little easier to understand, we’ll first look at the characters before examining how the gameplay works.
The Character Cards
Before we look at the rules in detail, we’ll quickly outline what each character card allows you to do. We have also included the Inquisitor card, which is included with the Coup expansion set.
The Duke: You can take three coins from the treasury and block another player from taking foreign aid.
The Assassin: With this card, you can pay three coins and assassinate another player’s character card.
The Contessa: With this card, you can block an assassination attempt against one of your cards.
The Captain: You can take two coins from another player or instead choose to block a player from stealing coins from you.
The Ambassador: With this card, you can draw two more cards from the deck and exchange them with your current cards. You can choose to exchange one or both, or if you don’t like the cards you got, you can simply put them back in the deck. You can also block another player from stealing coins from you.
The Inquisitor: You can draw one card from the deck and exchange it with one of your current cards. Or you can instead force another player to show you one of their current cards and exchange it with your new one. If you do choose to force another player to take the card, you mustn’t look at it. This card can also block someone from stealing coins from you.
So, as you can see from the list, some cards are more versatile than others. However, you can decide to do a non-card move on your turn if you prefer. These movements are more simplistic but carry much less risk.
Income: This is a simple one; if you use Income on your turn, you simply collect one coin from the treasury.
Foreign Aid: This works in a similar manner but is a little riskier; with Foreign Aid, you can take two coins from the treasury.
Coup: If you have at least 7 coins, you can launch a Coup. This means you can choose one player, and they must eliminate one of their cards. The player can choose which to discard. If you have 10 or more coins, you must launch a Coup on your turn.
So, now you know how the cards and movements work in Coup, let’s outline how your turn works. In your turn, you can choose to play either a character card movement using their special skills or a regular non-card movement.
But this is where things get interesting because you can play any character movement even if you don’t have their card! Be warned, though, this comes with substantial risk because any player you attack can challenge you.
Let’s say you attempt to use the Assassin card’s special skill but don’t have it. If a player challenges you and you can’t show the card, you will instead need to flip up one of your current cards and lose an influence.
Let’s say you have the card and can show it. If this happens, the player who challenges you will instead have to flip up a card, and they will lose an influence. You will then take your Assassin card, place it back into the deck, and draw a new card.
The game continues in this fashion until only one player has any card/s left. This player will be the winner of the game! It might be tempting to play it safe, but if you want to win the Coup, you’ll likely need to bluff your way to victory at some point.
Coup – A Thrilling Game of Deception!
Coup is a thrilling game of cat and mouse! To win, you’ll need to carefully think about each move and balance when to bluff and when to tell the truth.