Maybe it's my experiences with Project Gipf lately that gave me this idea.
I don't like the coups in Junta, as I mentioned in my recent review. One day, while playing BANG! it hit me. BANG! is like a Junta coup. There is someone in control (the Sheriff and the President). There are 'good guys' (the Deputies or the loyalists) and 'bad guys' (the outlaws or the rebels). And in both games, for the most part, no one knows who is a 'good guy' and who is a 'bad guy' until the shootin's over.
And, since BANG! is much more fun than a Junta coup, I thought...why not play a game of BANG! to resolve a coup attempt. (See where the Gipf thing comes in now?)
Initially, I thought about it like this. In a Junta coup, the generals are strong, the minister is in a good position (four police stations, or entrenched in the Chamber), the Airforce commander is mobile (paratroops) and the naval commander is kind of screwed.
There are rebels (who have attacked the President, or taken the first move) and loyalists (everyone else). The battle is basically an attempt to dethrone the president (that is, by default the president wins). With this in mind, here is my idea.
BANG! in Junta
1a) Remove the cards which grant extra units from the deck.
1b) Keep those cards in, but instead they can be played at the start of a coup. They don't grant extra units, but do allow a one-time bonus of 3 cards to be drawn.
2) Seating changes during every cabinet assignment. Players move around the table so that the order of seating (clockwise) goes: President, Air Force Commander, General 1, General 3, Navy Commander, General 2, Minister of Internal Security. This has the following ramifications: The Minister is the President's "Right Hand Man", figuratively and literally. The Airforce Commander has enough mobility to strike the President quickly. The Generals 1 and 2 have almost symmetric positions, General 3 is a rung below, and at the bottom of the ladder sits the Navy Commander.
3) A coup can only be started by someone with a coup excuse card, and can only be started if they chose 'Headquarters' as their location. This makes coups a little harder to start (because if you think someone is going to start a coup, and you don't want this to happen, you assassinate them at their headquarters first). This is designed to offset the fact that coups will be more common because they aren't so long to play out. I also like this idea, because it gives the 'location' decision a little more weight, rather that just 'do I go to the bank or not?'
4) When the coup starts, break out the BANG! cards. There are no special abilities, except the varying number of life points that each player gets. This is to reflect the differing abilities and positions of the players in basic Junta. Generals get 5 life points, Minister, Airforce Commander, and Navy commander get 3. President gets 6. (The president's life point total can be adjusted if you find he dies too often). The player starting the coup (i.e. playing the Coup Excuse card) is the First Rebel.
5) The president draws a number of cards equal to his life points (i.e. 6 by default). If someone was assassinated this turn, the president draws three extra cards (regardless of the number of successful assassinations. Everyone else has two choices (in order). A) Draw a number of cards equal to their life points, or B) Draw twice that number, and flip their card over to the Rebel side.
Lastly, everyone discards down to their number of life points.
6) Starting with the President, everyone takes they turn according to the rules of BANG!. Anyone who fires on the President flips their card to the Rebel side. Anyone who runs out of life points sits out the rest of the coup (they are not 'killed' in the Junta sense).
On their turn, a player can play a political card which allows them to deploy more units. They immediately draw three cards from the BANG! deck. If anyone other than the Minister plays such a card, the Minister draws a card from the BANG! deck.
7) The coup ends when the president runs out of life points, or when the BANG! deck has been exhausted twice. To adjust the length of the coup, adjust the number of reshuffles of the BANG! deck.
8) If the president ran out of life points, the Junta has won. If the president lives, a vote is called. The president is 'Pro-president', and all surviving players (i.e. those that weren't assassinated before the coup, or who ran out of life points during the coup) must declare themselves 'Pro-president' or 'Pro-Junta'. If the President wins, he may send one 'Rebel' to the firing squad. If the Junta wins, all 'Rebels' vote on a new President, and this new President sends any one person to the firing squad.
This is basically replacing the coup with a modified game of BANG!. You go twice through the deck, and if the president still lives, he retains control of the country.
There are two things I haven't decided for sure. One is the number of life points the President should get, and the other is the number of times through the BANG! deck you should go before you declare a presidential victory. These two things have been estimated here.
I like the general approach, though I'd really like the various offices to have special abilities and a Bang!-style card deck being redesigned to get a little Banana Republic atmosphere into the coup procedure.
Besides, I'd want coups to be resolved well under five minutes. I could see something Bang!ish being played out in that time, say players only getting their initial hand and only new cards when killing someone off or so.