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Subject: Help! I don't get it... rss

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A J
United States
Riverside
California
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So I was really excited to get this game out for the first time over the weekend. We played with 8 people with the recommended characters:

Judge
King
Queen
Fool
Peasants x2
Bishop
Witch

After a couple rounds, something seemed a bit off. Barely anyone called another's bluff -- rather, everyone just used the ability they thought they had. There appeared to be very little incentive to use a turn to swap-or-not. We thought maybe it was because everyone was too sure of who they were, so we swapped the Fool out for a Spy.

The round with the Spy seemed to be better, but still not enough of people calling each other out. I considered swapping another character out for an Inquisitor, but by then everyone was tired of the game.

I feel the potential of the game is there, but for some reason it's not coming out right somehow. What is everyone else's experience? What are we missing?
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James Newton
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In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, my avatar is a scan of a hand-drawn caricature by cartoonist Jim Naylor which was done at my company's 20th anniversary dinner.
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ayejae wrote:
So I was really excited to get this game out for the first time over the weekend. We played with 8 people with the recommended characters:

Judge
King
Queen
Fool
Peasants x2
Bishop
Witch

After a couple rounds, something seemed a bit off. Barely anyone called another's bluff -- rather, everyone just used the ability they thought they had. There appeared to be very little incentive to use a turn to swap-or-not. We thought maybe it was because everyone was too sure of who they were, so we swapped the Fool out for a Spy.

The round with the Spy seemed to be better, but still not enough of people calling each other out. I considered swapping another character out for an Inquisitor, but by then everyone was tired of the game.

I feel the potential of the game is there, but for some reason it's not coming out right somehow. What is everyone else's experience? What are we missing?

Firstly, did you remember that the first four actions *must* be to swap-or-not? Also, in a larger group these players really should be swapping with the next four players so that they don't know who they are.

Secondly, if no-one swaps then surely the Bishop won - getting two coins a turn, he wins after four turns unless the Witch swaps with him, but then he just builds up to the same level as the Witch and then wins on the next turn (I am assuming that the Bishop and/or Witch stop the other coin-gaining characters from winning before that).

Basically, without swapping and challenging, only the King, Queen, Bishop or Peasants can win because the other players abilities cannot get them more coins - and only the Bishop and Witch can slow other players down. So the other characters should be swapping and then challenging (sometimes even if they know they aren't the character called) to stop someone just race ahead to 13 coins.

In the games I've played, it has usually been the character who was known but then not swapped by other players (because they were focussing on messing with other players, or using their abilitiy to get coins themselves) who won, especially if they were allowed to just get coins 3 turns in a row.
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Christian K
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It is typical that this can happen in the beginning and yes, the players that are not winning have the responsibility of swapping with the players that are winning.

Swapping is actually also okay, because you have a 50/50 shot of getting a free action on the turn of the person you swapped with.
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Carl G
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It's up to everyone to keep things confusing for others. Folks who know who they are have a big advantage. Make sure everyone knows they should steal powerful cards (or pretend to). Also call folks out. It's not only a good way to catch them in a bluff, it lets you see what card you have for only a coin. Just don't do it right before your turn or you have to swap.

But ultimately it's one of those games that's super dependent on the group getting into it, like Coup or One Night Werewolf.
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Mike Beiter
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Tonawanda
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At our table, the game is all about swapping. We LOVE the fool. He is in every game. He creates so much chaos. You are able to swap 2 players cards ensuring they both will doubt who they have.

Those first 4 turn swap or not's are essential to game flow.

The second someone gets 10+ coins, their card should be swapped away, or their fortune stolen if there is a Witch in play.

We also find that the King places a huge bulls eye on themselves. People try and swap away the king from people at most opportunities.

I also often notice that the winner of the games are determined usually just by a lack of people swapping their cards from them. Once someone hits the double digits in coins it should be everyone's responsibility to either take some of their fortune or get their money making card away from them.
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A J
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Yeah, we did play with the swap-or-not for the first 4 players.

Actually, it wasn't the Bishop that won -- it was the peasants that won, because they would get 4 gold every round.

After watching the Gamenight episode, I'm wondering if this game is better with less than 8 people. I'm thinking there were just so many players that everyone stopped thinking very far ahead and just focused on themselves too much.
 
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Mike Beiter
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I think 6 to 8 is the best number. It still works fine with more I have found. I believe we had a 12 player game once and it was a blast.
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