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Subject: Coup vrs Citadels vrs Mascarade rss

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Mark Langston
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I am planning on purchasing one of these with some early Christmas money, but am having trouble deciding which one I want because they look so similar. I was wondering if I could get some help as to what makes each game different as I consider which one to buy...
 
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Clare Cannon
Wales
Trefforest
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I have played all three and I rate them
d10-1Mascarade
d10-2Citadels
d10-3Coup

Mascarade: rated 6.5, Really nice simple game idea that very quickly gets quite complicated as roles swap -or not- so often its very hard to keep track. The few 6 player game I played all suffered at the end with several people being close and there not being enough to stop them all from winning.Simple enough concept that the daughter can play, and whilst she cannot yet see board positioning she is damn good a picking a character and keeping track of it. If she has a bit more confidence playing with a group of adults she would have won, but she doubted herself and checked she was correct which allowed another player to slip in a grab the victory.

Citadels rated 5, Interesting role selection aspect but the rest of the game is a little lacking.I can see how different game groups will change this game significantly and I can see that an agressive group who utilise the assassin and warlord a lot will drag the game on.
I like the expansion giving different roles and I believe this will help a lot in making the game play very differently everytime however for me the rest of the game play which is a major part of the game itself just wasn't all that much fun.

Coup rated 2, No so much a hidden identity deduction game as a 'have a wild guess as to who I am game', as the hidden identities change constantly and are shuffled into and out of the deck, regardless of whether you guess correctly or not. There is absolutely no reason for you to ever bluff as you will lose your card and the card abilities aren't good enough to warrant the risk.Only played a single game but it seemed the player that won was the player who did not participate, i.e. never accused anyone, never trying to block any one etc, etc. I like the idea of having two 'lives' as it were however this game is about as much fun as guessing whether the next card in a standard deck is red or black.

I hope thats helpful to you
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Des Lee
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I would actually rate them in reverse order to Clare

1. Coup. This is my regular gaming group's current favourite filler. Plays really quickly, 10-15 min for a 4-5 player game. The key to this game is not actually to bluff all the time, but to know when and how to bluff. This means that it plays best once you have played it a number of times and know how to react to certain situations.

2. Citadels. Fun, but IMO it plays a little long for the weight of game that it is. There is some logic to trying to work out someone else's role selection.

3. Mascarade. Quite a chaotic game as it can be hard to track a card across the table, especially if there's been several swaps and no reveals for a while. Fun, but again IMO it plays a bit long for what it is. Good for larger groups.
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bort
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exparrot wrote:
Only played a single game


You should probably play some more Coup
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Clare Cannon
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Trefforest
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Quote:
Quote:
exparrot wrote:
Only played a single game



You should probably play some more Coup


Coup was such a wonderfully fulfilling experience if I NEVER play it again it will be too soon. A single game was enough.
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Donald Walsh
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Have not played Coup, but heard from another player in a Mascarade game that the games are very similar.

Citadels is a very good game, and was one of our favorite fillers a while back. But it gets too long with more players and games drag on. So for us Mascarade was a stone-cold-Citadels-killer. A bit chaotic with more, but fun and fast.
 
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Remus Rhymus
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Once players are familiar with Coup, the mechanics fade and the meta-game shines forth. The ultimate, super-quick, outshit-a-shitter game.
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Geki
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My preferences are
1. Mascarade
2. Coup
3. Citadels

Mascarade has a great innovative spin on ideas already explored by the other two but is neither shallow as coup can sometimes be, nor overdrawn and mostly random as Citadels becomes when played with many players.

Geki
 
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Samo Oleami
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Mascarade only if you have a really big group. Then it's great. I'd say 8 and up (probably okay with 6 and up). The bigger the group the better.

Maacarade and Citadels are Faidutti - meaning zany, chaotic with big swings.

Coup is the most psychological of the bunch - you need to lie and structure how you tell a lie. You have to create a bit of strategy that will support your lying.

Citadels is different - more double think and running your engine to build your city district (or something). Probably best of these for 3 players, but a different animal.

Another game I would recommend you to consider is Kakerlakenpoker Royal - it's a game about lying and bluffing, kinda similar to coup, but with no player elimination and more freeform. Seems too simple, but with repeated play it with the same group will get as much depth as coup.

So:
- big group, big laughs: Mascarade
- deep thinking and bluffing: Coup
- running your engine and doublethink take that: Citadels
- laughs and lying and bluffing: Kakerlakenpoker.

Party game scale:
Mascarade > Kakerlaken > Citadels & Coup (Citadels is a bit thinkier but creates more laughs)

Lying and creative play:
Kakerlaken > Coup > Mascarade > Citadels

Thinking and doublethink
Coup > Citadels > Kakerlaken > Mascarade

Getting away with doing stuff on your own:
Citadels > Coup > Mascarade > Kakerlaken

(I would own all of them)
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zombie homer
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I have only played Coup and Citadels and love them both.

I guess it depends on the preference of you and your group. Firstly, the duration of these 2 games are different. If you guys game for an hour, you can either get 1 game of Citadels in, or 4-5 games of Coup.

Secondly, their mechanics are quite different IMHO. In Citadels, you are trying to select the role that helps your own, or hurt your opponent's city building effort, without being predictable. The role selection phase is always fun for us, trying to speculate what other players have selected, and living with the fear of being assassinated.

In Coup, players can vary their game play by lying through their teeth, or tell the truth in a manner that makes others doubt you and call your 'bluff'. It provides more direct player interaction and trash-talking fun, with almost zero downtime as you will be observing one another's actions.

That being said, Coup is currently getting more plays being the newer game, and we love it for its short duration and how we always go for that 'one more game!'
 
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Rob Harper
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All three are great games, in my opinion.

I'd say that Citadels is the odd one out as it is a longer game which involves building (and, to some extent, defending) a position, and this can take quite a while to play if you have slow players or there is a lot of offensive stuff going on. Of the three options I'd say Citadels is also the better one with two or three players (though I know many people out there don't like Citadels with small groups).

Coup and Mascarade are both more like poker: it's all about the bluffing and trying to read the other players. Lots of fun and you can play both of them a lot during an evening. You may even want to.

A note to the OP, though: you don't give us much to go on. We can all give our opinions, but you haven't told us what sort of games you enjoy best, what the group you play with is like, and you haven't rated or commented on the games in your collection.
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Graham
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I find they all fill different roles.

Coup needs players who are willing to get under each others skins, out bluff each other, and stare each other down. For example, I was introducing a load of players and talking about how you can block an assassin (with a countessa) as well as call it as a bluff, and how that might be a tactically better move. The next player calls assassin targeting me and without missing a beat I called countessa. And he stares at me. Did I call that because it pushed the decision of calling bluff over to him? Did I call it because we had just been discussing it and I was thinking he would think I had it? Did I twist the conversation so that I could call it and have them think that I was only calling it because we had discussed it and so they would call me out when I had it all along? Did... he muses the twists of logic and calls.

I had played the entire table like a fiddle to get to that point. I flip my countessa with a smile.

But that's what the game needs. Players willing to twist several moves ahead and play the meta-game. You know what you have, but can you act like you don't? Or do you make a mistake for people to "catch" you (e.g. not using the captain to block money stolen from you and then declare a captain on your turn) in a cunning double bluff. You have to think ahead and know what you are after.

By contrast Mascarade is organised chaos. You can get information on your character, but it costs (either your turn or some money). Everyone has to be happy to go with the flow and to spend time switching cards. Its a much more relaxed game where long term strategies don't work (unlike coup).

Citadels is a different beast. Yes it has hidden roles, and yes they change. But they change at the start of each round. Its much more structured experience than Mascarade's chaos and a more random one than Coup's meticulous meta-game experiences.

Each has its own role with my gaming groups:
Coup fits as a filler and I can see it getting play straight after itself. Player elimination might be an issue if someone falls early. Reminds me of Poker.

Mascarade is one of my starter games. Get a large number of people round the same table and start a game day off without starting grudges. This is the one that makes people laugh the most.

Citadels will continue seeing play down the pub, whilst the others are filler length this is a full length game.

So which is best?

Well, I own all 3 and all 3 see play. It depends on your group and how they will take it.
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Bob Gallo
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So, I guess the OP has gotten every combination of recommendation by now whistle

Let me add my voice to those that absolutely hated Coup. To be fair there are people in my rather large group that think it is a great game, those people are wrong devil

I'm curious if the OP is more interested in a very short bluffing game or hidden role games in general. There are much better hidden role games than the 3 on this list.
 
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Falmouth
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I agree that this is a very disparate trio for comparison. They are hidden role card games but each fills a very different niche.

Unless you don't like hidden role card games, then they fit the same "I'll never play this" niche.
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