Brutal Honesty

Playing more Coup with new players, I find that honesty is a surprisingly powerful and common strategy. I do not know if the people I was playing with were hesitant to bluff, but almost every loss of influence/death was caused by false challenging someone else’s claim. It was a game of self-inflicted injuries.

I am sure I have played with other groups that lied constantly. I wonder what the curve is: start with minimal bluffing, because you do not know the game well enough to lie believably; lie shamelessly now that you know the odds better; go back to honesty how that people are expecting you to lie shamelessly?

: Zubon

4 thoughts on “Brutal Honesty”

  1. Do you know if there’s some FAQ or detailed rules somewhere? I play the french version with friends, and some stuff is unclear. The big problem is the ambassador: if you read the docs, EVEN if you have one “dead” card, when you use the ambassador you draw 2 cards, add your hand (both hidden and “dead”) and keep two of them. This makes the ambassador the only card allowing you to “revive” one card and go back to two hidden cards, which seems a bit overpowered and leads people with one dead card to always try ambassador…..

    1. That seems clearly wrong to me. A quick Google suggested problems with the French translation. We have always understood Ambassador as “draw 2, discard 2.” Dead cards stay dead. If you have a dead card, you draw two (now have 3) and discard two (now have 1). Dead cards are not in your hand.

      1. Thanks for the link. I had searched google, but had not thought about going on a specific forum. BTW the situation is MUCH worse than what you can imagine from that forum post. In the french rules:
        – you never have cards in your hand, they are on the table in front of you either face up (dead) or face down (alive)
        – when you lose one card it’s turned face up, but it stays in front of you,
        – the text of the ambassador, translated, reads something like “It allows the player to draw two cards. The player has then 4 cards. He choses two of them and returns the other two to the deck. The deck is then shuffled.”
        …you can easily guess why it’s so easy NOT to understand how it works.

        1. Strictly those first two are the English-language rules as well. Some groups refer to “hand” more metaphorically than others. I learned the game from folks who held onto their cards, but I try to teach new players to leave them on the table. If nothing else, it makes it harder to accidentally show your neighbor.

          I don’t recall if the fellow who taught me included the bit about leaving the dead card face up, but it is in the rules and I rather like it. It places some limits on late game bluffing, and it makes it rather strong to have the 3rd [whatever] when two are already face up and dead. “Yes, I am claiming to have the third Captain. Do you want to challenge me?”

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