2 May

Coup House Rules to Keep it Interesting

Disappointed by the lack of assassinations on family game night? These alternative Coup rules are guaranteed to instigate more treachery!

Alternative Coup Rules - Coup House Rules to Keep Games Interesting

When we get together for an evening of Coup, we aren’t shy about our intentions. The group I play with has no qualms with bluffing or pulling out the biggest, baddest cards. With or without an Assassin, we see our fair share of attempts being made, and more countering Contessa‘s than the game comes with. Hmmm… someone is bluffing!

That’s the whole point of the game. But imagine if no one bluffed (or no one was very good at bluffing)? What if everyone just wanted to get along, and therefore refused to use Assassin cards. Friends don’t kill friends, right? Not when playing Coup! It’s a game, and you’re not killing your friends, you’re just killing the noble members of society your friends have influence over.

But alas, I hear and read about Coup players who lack willpower, determination, courage, creativity, fortitude, deceptive personality – whatever words you want to use to denote the inability to do society’s wrongs. They will unwaveringly collect coins until they have enough to stage a coup, guaranteeing an elimination without deceit or counter.

Players such as this who are unable to do the dastardly deeds are not uncommon, and do not generally effect the enjoyment of a game among more wily players. But when several players such as these join a single group, it can create for one intensely boring and repeat endgame!

Coup House Rules to Encourage Treachery

If there’s one word that should never be associated with Coup, it’s “boring”. So, in the spirit of maintaining excitement through uncertainty, here’s a selection of house rules I came across that will encourage players to utilize Assassin cards, whether they have them or not.

Roll Die For Coup Target

Disappointed by the lack of assassinations on family game night? These alternative rules for Coup are guaranteed to instigate more treachery!

This is, by far, the best and most effective Coup rule variation I’ve come across. From what I hear, it works quite well!

Whenever a player pays coins to stage a coup, they do not get to pick their target. Instead, they roll a die to see who the target will be.

Each number on the die will be assigned to a player base don their position. The player left of the attacker is, by default, #1. Next is #2, and so on. Only potential targets are assigned a number. If any unassigned number is rolled, the attacker must roll again.

This method eliminates a player’s traditional ability to target any player they wish, making use of the Assassin role much more appealing in order to eliminate the most threatening targets.

Let’s take a look at two possible extensions of that rule you might enjoy.

Roller’s Choice

To make things even more interesting, try assigning the attacker a number also. For example, in a 4 player game, the attacker is #4. If the attacker’s number is rolled, they get to choose their target, just as they would by traditional Coup rules.

Electing Targets

Alternatively, if you are playing with a group of 4-6 players, the attacker could have the option to elect possible targets. In a 4 player game, the attacker could choose 2 of the 3 opponents. In a 5-6 player game, he/she would choose 3 potential targets for the coup.

If you initiate this alternative Coup rule, do not also use the ‘Roller’s Choice‘ rule described above. The purpose of rolling for targets is to reduce the chance of the attacker hitting their intended victim, thereby increasing the appeal of Assassins.

Coup Cost 10 Coins

Still not enough assassinations going on? Try raising the cost of a coup from 7 to 10 coins. Not only will players have to abide by random targets, it will cost more coins to do it.

Potentially Problematic Scenarios

Traditional rules are put in place for a reason. Altering the game with house rules can create problems. In this case, if all Assassin holders have been identified and/or their cards eliminated, it’s not possible to bluff an assassination. This won’t ruin the game, but the fact that Coups have been made so much more difficult becomes rather annoying at this point. Whether you see that as a hindrance or a challenge is up to you and your Coup game night groupies.

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History of Coup Card Game
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Coup Game for iOS

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