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Subject: A Clever Game of Cat and also Cat rss

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Danny Rupp
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Covert Action is at its core a VERY fun game. It will likely appeal the most to fans of games like Werewolf and Mafia, but new players can quickly get sucked into the fast-paced rounds. Players are dealt a card at random which designates their team and role on that team (team is open information, role is hidden). Each team has a Sniper (or a Cleaner who has to figure out if there is not a sniper and then act as one) whos objective is to shoot the other team's sniper. Each team may also have a mole, who is actually working against their team and wins only if the team they appear to be on loses. The sniper's team can also win if the Sniper shoots the mole that has infiltrated them.

Once the cards are dealt out a round commences until one player shoots another, then all roles are revealed and if the shot was successful (shooting another sniper or your mole) then that team wins the round and recieves P-L-A-N cards. Once one player has spelled out PLAN they win the game. Teams change every single round, so the more you help your team win the more likely you are to get enough cards to win.

The most interesting part is that there are no rules for how long or short a round has to last, it just happens that once the cards are dealt the round ends when someone shoots. Non-snipers who shoot only lose the round for their team, and a shot which hits a bodyguard is a failed shot (the teams who didn't shoot win the round). Possibly most impressive is that the game successfully supports between 4 and 14 players and can have either two or three teams. It is an excellent alternative to Werewolf because all players get to play for the whole game and you are much more likely to play an important role for your team, however the more complex gameplay may deter the more casual players in your group. Overall a very fun game and all of my friends seem to love playing it!
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Gabe Covert
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I had to thumb this post, simply because of the Monarch quote...

Go Team Venture!
 
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Randolph Bookman
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Couple of questions. How does this game play out. In your experience is it a lot of table talk or is it strickly just who can shoot first
 
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Marshall P.
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shieldwolf wrote:
Couple of questions. How does this game play out. In your experience is it a lot of table talk or is it strickly just who can shoot first


I've played the game and I agree with this review. I enjoyed the game quite a bit. To answer your question, it's a lot of table talk. This game can bomb with players who clam up (just like werewolf can). The rounds are still pretty brief though, but that's part of the excitement. There's a palpable sense of tension knowing that a shot can ring out at any time and end the round. You really need players who get into the spirit of the game though.

I've found that the best approach is to interrogate your own teammates first. See what you can establish about their roles, maybe even establish that you don't have a mole on your team. As I got more experience I would always communicate with my teammates first.
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Marshall P.
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I'll also add that while it may support 4 to 14 players some numbers are definitely better than others. In my opinion the ideal numbers are 6 or 9. Two teams of three or three teams of three, both work really well. Teams of three work best because there are four roles per team, one of which is always removed from the round, leaving three in play. It's possible to add more bodyguards or take them out to accomodate other numbers, and this works ok. But I think it's definitely best with 6 or 9.
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mdp4828 wrote:
I'll also add that while it may support 4 to 14 players some numbers are definitely better than others. In my opinion the ideal numbers are 6 or 9. Two teams of three or three teams of three, both work really well. Teams of three work best because there are four roles per team, one of which is always removed from the round, leaving three in play. It's possible to add more bodyguards or take them out to accomodate other numbers, and this works ok. But I think it's definitely best with 6 or 9.


I agree on the 6 or 9 - or maybe 12?

We played with the Saboteur a little, too. Fun little role, but makes it pretty chaotic. The vendetta element is a little confusing, remembering that the Sab. functions like a bodyguard for that team if he doesn't plant (which is trying to kill that team's Sniper). When we had it in, the shots were flying around pretty good, since it adds an individual advantage, and in some setups we had with it, the odds to hit were pretty good.

I'd recommend the regular game with 6,9, or maybe 12 though like Marshall said.
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Danny Rupp
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Sorry it took me a month to notice the comments here, Marshall already pretty well summed it up though.

The only time I've EVER experienced someone shooting without at least a little table talk is when my wife plays. She enjoys the game more than werewolf, but she still takes to shooting immediately whenever she gets the sniper and typically (not surprisingly) the target is almost always me. Worst part is so far the odds have worked out that most of the time she's right when she shoots me.

Real answer: there's always table talk, because it is a losing strategy to just shoot off the cuff because the odds are against you.
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Richard Hutnik
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shieldwolf wrote:
Couple of questions. How does this game play out. In your experience is it a lot of table talk or is it strickly just who can shoot first


To play well, you need to probe, ask questions, posture and fake a bunch. This is to get clues as to who is whom. This is particularly true for the Cleaner, who has to determine if his team has a sniper.

All this talk leads to table talk that is fun.

Let me give you one example from a game I played. Here I am, I am the sniper on my team. I have someone on my team blabbing to people to have them shoot me. Well, taken as a sure sign, I shoot him. His is the mole for the team, and our team wins. That was SO rewarding.

I know people were doing absolutely stupid questions like, "Are you the mole?" I mean, sheesh. Ok, I guess it was a way to judge my reaction. But seriously, how does a mole answer that?
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Chris Talbot
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docreason wrote:
I know people were doing absolutely stupid questions like, "Are you the mole?" I mean, sheesh. Ok, I guess it was a way to judge my reaction. But seriously, how does a mole answer that?

To quote some Werewolf players: Some people don't like to lie ... or are just really bad at it. I played Werewolf with a guy at Origins a couple of years back who would look right into your eyes and ask "are you a werewolf?" He was really good at finding werewolves.

Anyway, I like Werewolf but would like something similar that works without a GM. This game sounds like it might be what I'm looking for.

Are the PLAN cards dealt randomly so that it could take you several winning rounds to actually get all the cards you need or do you take the letters in order as you win rounds?

Chris
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Jacob Davenport
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ctalbot wrote:
Are the PLAN cards dealt randomly so that it could take you several winning rounds to actually get all the cards you need or do you take the letters in order as you win rounds?


The PLAN cards are random. When we first tried just playing to a score, like to five points, it changed the game in weird ways once a teammate of yours had four points and you didn't. In that situation, you didn't want your team to win. That was no good.

So each player on the winning team gets a random card. You might win with just four cards, or you might end up winning only after drawing ten of them. Since the cards are hidden, the end of the game is a surprise but generally goes to the player who has won the most rounds. A very simple mechanism, and not very interesting, but it met all the design criteria. Really, I don't pay attention much to the scoring, I just want to try to win each round, and the scoring works for that. At least, it doesn't get in the way.
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Richard Hutnik
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Continental Drift wrote:
ctalbot wrote:
Are the PLAN cards dealt randomly so that it could take you several winning rounds to actually get all the cards you need or do you take the letters in order as you win rounds?


The PLAN cards are random. When we first tried just playing to a score, like to five points, it changed the game in weird ways once a teammate of yours had four points and you didn't. In that situation, you didn't want your team to win. That was no good.

So each player on the winning team gets a random card. You might win with just four cards, or you might end up winning only after drawing ten of them. Since the cards are hidden, the end of the game is a surprise but generally goes to the player who has won the most rounds. A very simple mechanism, and not very interesting, but it met all the design criteria. Really, I don't pay attention much to the scoring, I just want to try to win each round, and the scoring works for that. At least, it doesn't get in the way.


The game is meant to play quick and have fun. It isn't a game meant to be taken that seriously, just enjoyed A LOT. The PLAN cards fit that. I am tempted to put this game up with CA$H N GUNS in the general fun mayhem category.
 
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Kieron Mitchell
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Questions:

1. Whispering to teammates? What are your thoughts? Is this in the spirit of the game (could be whispering to the mole, so it seems ok).

2. re: Cash and Guns...would it add to this to let everyone have a gun they could actually point?

3. Any ideas on why the low ranking?
 
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