In Coup: Rebellion G54 (G54), the last player with influence in the game wins, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area. Before each game players choose five character roles from a randomised deck. Characters have a unique variable power, and the deck is formed by three iterations of each role for fifteen cards total.
Much like its predecessor, G54 is a game of bluffing, bribery and manipulation. While it carries over many of the main mechanics of the original Coup, the randomness of the role selections from game to game add in an element of chaos that actually helps keep the game from becoming stale and analytical.
While players of Coup have always been rewarded for well executed and adaptable strategy, G54 has it in spades. You will not only need to learn all the new roles and the combinations that will come about, but you will also need to quickly adapt to what has been dealt in the game while still managing to focus on the bluffing and manipulation at play.
The game ramps up the complexity ever so slightly with the addition of its new roles, while many are simple and easy to grasp, its new advanced roles that add to the complexity. The game comes with clear definition between both the basic and advanced cards and it is suggested to start the game with the suggested roles found in the setup portion of the rule book.
Just as much as the original, G54 has a lot of replay value. That being said if you are playing with people less inclined to gaming it might be best to stick to a selection of roles that lend themselves closer to the original Coup. The game is simple enough to crack it out anywhere and the time it takes to get through a number of rounds really makes it a good go filler game.
As with most of Indie Boards and Cards games the components are quite good, while not opting for thick tile similar to the roles found in One Night Ultimate Werewolf isn't preferred, what comes in the box definitely meets the standards of what you pay for and for a game of such a small footprint.
The game is going to take a bit of learning to fully grasp, the original Coup was easy to play, difficult the explain and even harder to master, however the real challenge in this version is the constant relearning of new cards, one issue I have found is players are too afraid to look in the centre of the table to the reference cards and opt to simply look at the cards in there hard, giving themselves away. After a few games you will begin to understand a role, only to have it disappear in the next one. This game requires some patience and commitment to truly appreciate.
This version opted to do away with the 2 player variant found in the original and I think that was a good call, Coup is best played with no less than 4 players. While the game hinges off player elimination, which is more often than not resented, this game actually utilises the mechanic quite well. Sitting out after being eliminated only lasts a matter of minutes and the tension of watching what is going on and seeing who will win is almost just as fun.
G54 continues the world building of Indie Boards and Cards Dystopian Universe (the family of games that includes Coup, The Resistance, Grifters and One Night Revolution) and adds a whole bunch of depth solely through its inclusion of so many roles. While the story is stuck on and has no real baring of game play, the artwork and flavourful mechanics really bring you into this cyber punk world.
Coup was a fantastic filler game that I personally liked at first, but it quickly began to wain on me, Coup: Rebellion G54 takes the wonderful mechanics of the original and expands upon it, if you have never bought Coup, or you are like me and needed something fresh to bring you back in, this is a great pickup!
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