Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Coup - and not a lot else....

Players: Dan, Paul I, Paul II, Alturo, Jon, James III (or Jim), Andy, Soren, Tonio, Tom, Tom II and Tom II's mate...
Despite the absence of our intrepid Essen trio, our latest recruits more than made up for them not being around. And even Tonio turned up for a bit (ie the 'bit' before anyone else turned up...)
Sorry for the total lack of any reports this week - life events seem to be catching up on me...
Games played tonight were:
Coup: Guatemala 1954
Soren had brought this along after buying it from the designer at London on Board. And Jon was so impressed, that he immediately bought Soren's spare copy. This has all the usual Coup goodness, but with 25 different roles to choose from. In other words, 25 different ways to kill James...
Here's a brief summary:
For those who have played Coup before, this game will be instantly familiar - yet deliciously different. Games are still played with 3 copies of 5 different roles, and the winner is still the last man standing, but this time the roles are selected from a pool of 25 different ones, guaranteeing that each game will be different from the last.

Each game will have a 'Finance' role (think Duke), a 'Communication' role (think Ambassador) a 'Force' role (think assassin) and 2 special roles (think Contessa or Captain). Because there are so many roles to pick from, the 'counter-actions' have been simplified enormously. Many of the roles cannot be simply blocked by producing another different role, but a number of them can be blocked by another player claiming to have the same role (like Captain - Captain in the original game). Rikki has posted a list of the roles elsewhere, so I won't bother going into detail here.

This new version feels slightly more 'thinky' than the original, which I find can start to feel a bit scripted after numerous plays with the same group. Because each game will likely be played with a different set of roles, players have to consider how these roles might interact, and therefore what the most effective strategy might be. Don't get me wrong, this is still a quick game, full of bluffs and plenty of interaction, but it can't be played on auto-pilot in quite the same way as the original sometimes can.

In short - this is a total hit for me. I loved the original Coup, and this is more of the same, but with so much more variety. The artwork is great, the theme interesting (I won't go into detail about whether or not it makes light of a politically sensitive historical situation) and the box is functionally small.

If you liked the original Coup then chances are that you'll really enjoy this too. If you weren't taken by the original game, then CG54 is unlikely to change your mind on that one, unless your main beef was that the original didn't have a great enough variety of roles...
Small World - Paul and Alturo joined Jon for a classic 3-player game. As always, it's as much about pointing the finger at the perceived leader as it is about anything else. And Jon proved to be the master of misdirection, although only by a few points from Alturo.
Also played tonight was Greed, ? Sentinels of the Multiverse, Epic Spell Wars and Splendor.

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