By Rikki Tahta. La Mame Games
In the not too distant future, the government is run for profit by a new "royal class" of multinational CEOs. Their green and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation. Out of the oppressed masses rose The Resistance, an underground organization focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of The Resistance have created discord, intrigue and weakness in the political courts of the noveau royal, bringing the government to the brink of collapse. But for you, a powerful government official, this is your opportunity to manipulate, bribe and bluff your way into absolute power.
To be successful you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. In these turbulent times there is only room for one to survive.
(Note: The versions of Coup have slightly different contents. This may not match your version's contents)
15 character cards
(3 of each, Duke, Assassin, Captain, Ambassador, Contessa)
12 alternative art cards - use as replacements for character cards or for playing with more than 6 players. See varient rules section.
(2 of each, Duke, Assassin, Captain, Ambassador, Contessa, Inquisitor)
6 summary cards
Shuffle all the character cards and deal 2 to each player. Players can always look at their cards but must keep them face down in front of them. Place the remaining cards in the middle of the play area as the court deck.
Give each player 2 coins. Each player's money must be kept visible. Place the remaining coins in the middle of the play area as the Treasury.
Give one summary card to each player. This is for reference only. Players should familiarize themselves with all the actions and characters before starting the game.
The person who won the last game starts.
To eliminate the influence of all other players and be the last survivor.
Face down cards in front of a player represent who they influence at court. The characters printed on their face down cards represents which characters that player influences and their abilities.
Every time a player loses an influences they have to turn over and reveal one of their face down cards. Revealed cards remain face up in front of the player visible to everyone and no longer provide influence for the player. Each player always chooses which of their own cards they wish to reveal when they lose an influence.
When a player has lost all their influence they are exiled and out of the game.
The game is played in turns in clockwise order.
Each turn a player chooses one action only. A player may not pass.
After the action is chosen other players have an opportunity to challenge or counteract that action.
If an action is not challenged or counteracted, the action automatically succeeds.
Challenges are resolved first before any action or counteractions are resolved.
When a player has lost all their influence and both their cards are face up in front of them, they are immediately out of the game. They leave their cards face up and return all their coins to the Treasury.
The game ends when there is only one player left.
A player may choose any action they want and can afford.
Some actions (Character Actions) require influencing characters.
If they choose a Character Actions a player must claim that the required character is one of their face down cards. They can be telling the truth or bluffing. They do not need to reveal any of their face down cards unless they are challenged. If they are not challenged they automatically succeed.
If a player starts their turn with 10 (or more) coins they must launch a Coup that turn as their only action.
Take 1 coin from the Treasury
Take 2 coins from the Treasury. (Can be blocked by the Duke)
Pay 7 coins to the Treasury and launch a Coup against another player. That player immediately loses an influence. A Coup is always successful. If you start your turn with 10 (or more) coins you are required to launch a Coup.
[If challenged a player must show they influence the relevant character]
Duke - Tax
Take 3 coins from the Treasury.
Assassin - Assassinate
Pay 3 coins to the Treasury and launch an assassination against another player. If successful that player immediately loses an influence. (can be blocked by the Contessa)
Captain - Steal
Take 2 coins from another player. If they only have one coin, take only one. (can be blocked by the Ambassador or the Captain)
Ambassador - Exchange
Exchange cards with the Court. First take 2 random cards from the Court deck. Choose which, if any, to exchange with your face down cards. Then return two cards to the Court deck.
Counteractions can be taken by other players to intervene or block a player's action.
Counteractions operate like character actions. Players may claim to influence any of the characters and use their abilities to counteract another player. They may be telling the truth or bluffing. They do not need to show any cards unless challenged. Counteractions may be challenged, but if not challenged they automatically succeed. If an action is successfully counteracted, the action fails but any coins paid as the cost of the action remain spent.
Duke - Blocks foreign Aid
Any player claiming the Duke may counteract and block a player attempting to collect foreign aid. The player trying to gain foreign aid recieves no coins that turn.
Contessa - Blocks assassination
The player who is being assassinated may claim the Contessa and counteract to block the assassination. The assassination fails but the fee paid by the player for the assassin remains spent.
Ambassador/Captain - Blocks Stealing
The player who is being stolen from may claim either the Ambassador or the Captain and counteract to block the steal. The player trying to steal receives no coins that turn.
Any action or counteraction using character influence can be challenged.
Any other player can issue a challenge to a player regardless of whether they are involved in the action.
Once an action or counteraction is declared other players must be given an opportunity to challenge. Once play continues challenges cannot be retro-actively issued.
If a player wins a challenge by showing the relevant character card, they first return that card to the Court deck, re-shuffle the Court deck and take a random replacement card. (That way they have not lost an influence and other players do not know the new influence card they have). Then the action or counteraction is resolved.
If an action is successfully challenged the entire action fails, and any coins paid as the cost of the action are returned to the player.
3 players. Each start with 2 influence cards and 2 coins. The remaining 9 character cards make up the court deck.
Natasha has been dealt the Contessa and the Duke. She and takes 3 coins. No one challenges her. She now has 5 coins.
Sacha has the Captain and the Contessa. But on his turn he bluffs and claims to have the Ambassador. No one challenges him so he takes two new cards from the Court deck. An assassin and a Duke. He keeps the Assassin and his original Captain and returns the Duke and Contessa to the Court. He still has 2 coins.
Haig has been dealt an Assassin and a Duke. On his first turn he claims the Duke and takes 3 coins. Sacha thinks Haig is bluffing and challeges him. Haig shows a Duke and wins the challenge. Haig keeps the 3 coins that the Duke provided him but he has to return his Duke card to the Court. He shuffles the Court deck and takes a new random card, a Contessa. Sacha lost the challenge and has to lose an influence. He chooses to lose his Assassin, turns it over and leaves it face up in front of him.
After the first turn:
Natasha has 2 influence remaining(Contessa and Duke) and 5 coins Sacha has 1 influence remaining (Captain) and 2 coins. Haig has 2 influence remaining (Assassin and Contessa) and 5 coins. One Assassin has been revealed and is face up on the table.
Natasha continues to claim the Duke. She takes 3 coins, no one challenges her. She now has 8 coins.
Sacha just takes Income of 1 coin. He does not have to claim to influence any characters and no one can block it.
He now has 3 coins.
Haig claims the Assassin, pays 3 coins to the Treasury and attempts to assassinate Natasha. No one challenges his Assassin, but Natasha claims to have the Contessa that blocks the Assassin. No one challenges her so the assassination fails. The 3 coins remain spent so Haig has now 2 coins.
Natasha now spends 7 coins to launch a Coup against Haig. A Coup cannot be blocked. Haig loses an influence and chooses to turn over his Contessa. Natasha has 1 coin remaining.
Sacha claims the Captain to take 2 coins from Haig. No one challenges Sacha's Captain but Haig claims to have an Ambassador that blocks the Captain. Sacha chooses to challenge. Haig cannot show an ambassador and loses his last influence, turning over his Assassin. Sacha recieves his 2 coins from the Captain's successful steal and now has 5 coins.
at this stage
Natasha has 2 influence remaining (Contessa and Duke) and 1 coin.
Sacha has 1 influence remaining (Captain) and 5 coins.
Haig is out of the game.
Two Assassins and One Contessa have been revealed and are face up on the table.
Note: Double Dangers of Assassination
It is possible to lose 2 influence in one turn if you unsuccessfully defend against an assassination. For example, if you challenge an assassin used against you and lose the challenge, you will lose 1 influence for the lost challenge and then 1 influence for the successful assassination. Or if you bluff about having the Contessa to block an assassination attempt and are challenged, you will lose 1 influence for the lost challenge and then lose 1 influence for the successful assassination.
Total (Lack of) Trust
Any negotiations are allowed, but none are ever binding. Players are not allowed to reveal any of their cards to other players. No coins can be given or lent to other players. There is no second place.
Two Player Coup & Two Player Variant
When playing Coup with two players, the starting player receives only 1 coin at the beginning of the game.
As a variant, Coup can be played with two players with these changes to the setup:
Divide the cards into 3 sets of 5 (each set has one of each character). Each player takes one set, secretly chooses one card and discards the rest. Shuffle the third set and deal one card to each player and then put the remaining three cards face down as the court deck.
Remove all the 3 Ambassador character cards from the Court deck and replace with 3 Inquisitor cards.
The inquisitor has the following character actions, only one of which may be taken in a turn:
Exchange - Exchange one card with the court. First take one random from the Court deck. Choose which, if any to exchange with your face down cards. Then return one card to the Court deck.
Examine - Look at an opponent's card and force an Exchange. First the selected opponent chooses one of their face down cards to show the Inquisitor. The Inquisitor looks at that card and may either hand that card back, or the Inquisitor may force the opponent to draw a new card randomly from the Court deck before returning the given card to the Court deck.
As a counteraction the Inquisitor may Block Stealing.
More than Six Player Variant
coup can be played with 7 or 8 players by including 4 of each of the selected character cards in the Court deck (20 cards total). Coup can be played with 9 or 10 players by including 5 of each of the selected character cards in the Court deck (25 cards total).
Note: Playing with more than 6 players can significantly increase playing time, and may lead to long waits for those that are eliminated early. It is best recommended for experienced players and exceptional situations.
Game Design: Rikki Tahta, La Mame Games
Development: Haig Tahta & Sacha Tahta
Testing: Everyone at La Mame
Graphic Design: Luis Francisco
Illustration: Jarek Nocon
Funded with Kickstarter. Thank you for your support.
Accessible rules transcribed by Richard Gibbs for 64 Oz. Games accessibility kit in accordance with copyright law, 17 U.S.C. ยง 121: