MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

Coup is one of my favorite games. It is most fun to play with 4–5 players, and it involves a great deal of bluffing and deceit.

How the Game Works

The deck contains 15 cards, and there are 3 copies of each card. This means, there are 5 unique cards in the deck that have different powers (duke, captain, assassin, ambassador, and contessa). At the start of the game, each players is dealt 2 random cards. No player is supposed to show another plaer what their cards are. Throughout the game, each players tries to be the last one “alive”. Along with the cards, there are also coins circulating around. You can kill other players by either collecting 7 coins and “couping” another player, or by the following along to the special properties of the cards (for instance, using the “assassin” card lets you assassinate another player. These cards allow you to either gain or forfeit coins, however, so you must be alert as to how many coins each player has, as well as strategizing which cards they might have so you might counteract or defend yourself.

Game Mechanics That Make Coup Fun

Coup involves competing with other players, and the game rewards the last player left remaining. Surviving at the end demonstrates that the winning player was able to survive other attacks or strategize cleverly against other players to take them out. It means that the winner was able to deceive other people of what cards they possessed and that they were one step ahead of their opponents in the game. One of the reasons why Coup is also so interesting to play is that it can also involve elements of fellowship. At any point in the game, players can collaborate together to take out another player, and then later, backstab them to remain victorious. So, these flashes of fellowship eventually do end, but they bring out a very intriguing social dynamic while playing. The game also involves some level of fantasy, as players are given identities with their cards(for instance, they may be given a background as a Duke). Because players don’t know for certain what other cards players may have(they can only guess based on the kinds of coin collecting moves or killing moves another player is making), bluffing is also allowed and allows people to pretend their identity is that of another card they might not actually have. This element of social deceit is perhaps the best part about the game, because if caught bluffing, other players can target you, and so it is important to act consistent with each move. Keeping track of other people’s cards and coin levels also makes it quite challenging because players have to juggle a lot of information, so ultimately, this becomes a game of great strategy (and luck).

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