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We can call this post the Kickstarter edition, as I own all of these games thanks to the crowdfunding website. These four games are three parts hidden role (including two more one night games that I seem to love so much) and one part deck building/card battling. Time to deal the cards and get started!
Coup: Rebellion G54
I’ve written and raved about Coup: G54 previously and it’s no surprise as to why — a spin on the Coup formula, bringing in tons of new roles for nearly endless game setups. The only issue with Coup: G54 is that it was nearly impossible to find. When my coworker bought his copy, he could only find it at a single shop in Maine.
Indie Boards and Cards decided to essentially print an HD remake, folding it into their “dystopian universe” of games like Resistance, and calling it Coup: Rebellion G54. It plays exactly the same as Coup: G54 in that you choose five roles out of 25 to play with, each player has two cards, can perform/lie about being any role in the game, and must be the last player standing. What’s really nice about this version is the art. While the hand-drawn art of the original Coup: G54 is alright, the sharp, futuristic design of these new cards truly stands out. The box is large enough to house vanilla Coup in it as well, making it your one-stop shop for all things Coup.
A few other improvements over the original Coup: G54 are here as well, like thick card dividers, bigger coin chits, and unique miscellaneous markers like the disappearance and treaty tokens. There are even a few new roles, like the Priest who steals one coin from each other player. All in all, this is an improvement over Coup: G54 in every way. I recommend it highly.
I was a casual Magic: The Gathering player when I was younger. I still have my cards around here somewhere with my white/black, red/blue, and green decks. MTG has influenced countless games after it, including another that I’ve reviewed before, Star Realms. Epic is also made by White Wizard Games and bring the classic trading card game feeling in a single package.
Epic does a great job of streamlining a lot of the timesink elements of TCGs. First off, there are four factions of cards in the box. You can make a deck out of each faction, but I found that the synergies were too strong so I’ve been playing by just shuffling all 120 cards together and creating random decks of 30 cards. Most TCGs have some sort of resource generation, whether it be lands in MTG or mana in Hearthstone. In Epic, you have one gold per turn and cannot stash gold for future turns. Cards cost either zero or one gold, period. As usual, there are dozens of action words that appear in bold on the cards that have different effects, but the majority of them are ones you’ve encountered before: summoning sickness, flying, untargetable, resurrection, etc.
One of the cool parts of Epic is how quickly it plays. Players start with 30 health, but since any card can be played on turn one thanks to the single gold rule, you could play a 30/30 flying creature immediately. If your opponent can’t deal with it, game over. I haven’t seen a game go quite like this, but it’s possible. Numbers do fly quickly in Epic with creatures being summoned and killed on both offense and defense. I’d say that Epic hit it’s single box, no extra purchases necessary mark. I’ve played about a dozen head to head games and a three-player free-for-all. You can also play larger free-for-alls, teams, one-versus-all, or cooperatively against boss cards. After all this talk, I need to get this game back to the table.
One Night Revolution
I like One Night games. I also like what Indie Boards and Cards puts out with games like Resistance and Coup. The marriage of those two things had me written all over it.
One Night Revolution holds a lot of similarities to other One Night games — hidden roles, each team trying to eliminate a member of the other team, and secret actions that occur when players’ eyes are closed. There are three big differences with One Night Revolution. To start, the teams are separated from the actions. You receive both an ID card telling you which side you are on, the government or the rebels, and a separate token which determines your role. There are still three ID cards face down in the middle, so the exact team composition is unknown. The second change is that actions don’t take place in a predetermined “A follows B follows C” order, but in seat order. Once you perform your action, you close your eyes and tell the next player that they are up. Third, some roles do different things depending on which side you are on.
Switching the role order from predetermined to seat order introduces a great level of randomness. It also severely impacts the standard “if you did this, then I did this, then he did this, then X must be the enemy” discussion that tends to pop up in ONU Werewolf. The problem is that there are only as many roles as there are players in the game, so you can’t lie about a role that might be face down in the middle of the table. I think that problem was really driven home by me only playing with four total players. I’d like to play a few more rounds, but One Night Revolution might not be for me.
One Night Ultimate Vampire
One Night Ultimate Vampire, the latest entry in the ONU Werewolf franchise, takes the introduction of tokens and alternate win conditions from the previous Daybreak expansion and brings them up to 11. Nearly all of the roles in ONU Vampire occur in the new dusk phase, which takes place before the standard night phase. Each player starts with a face-down Mark of Clarity, which does nothing. Vampires take the place of werewolves, waking up first and identifying each other but also replacing a player’s mark with a Mark of the Vampire, putting that player on the vampire team. Cupid replaces two players marks with Marks of Love, meaning that if one of those players dies, so does the other. The Assassin places a Mark of the Assassin on a player and can only win if that player dies while the Priest reverts both their and another players marks back to Marks of Clarity. You get the idea.
After all of these dusk roles take place players open their eyes, view their marks (but not their cards), and change their game accordingly. Then, any night roles take place. At the end of it all, either a Vampire dies and the villagers win or the Vampires all live and they win.
The heavy leaning on marks allows ONU Vampire to work well as a standalone game. There isn’t much card movement with the new roles, so the post-night discussion phase has a different feel to it. ONU Vampire can also be mixed in with the other ONU games, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to try that yet. There is a large section in the rule book titled Epic Battles dedicated to these vampire vs. werewolf vs. villager situations. The next time I get my group together, it’s epic battle time. But, even as it’s own game, ONU Vampire is fun to play.