In the not too distant future, the government is run for profit by a new "royal class" of multi-national CEOs. Their greed and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation. Out of the oppressed masses rose The Resistance, an underground organization focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of The Resistance have created discord, intrigue and weakness in the political courts of the noveau royal, bringing the government to brink of collapse. But for you, a powerful government official, this is your opportunity to manipulate, bribe and bluff your way into absolute power.
In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.
Each player starts the game with two coins and two influence - i.e., two face-down character cards; the fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique set of powers:
Duke: Take three coins from the treasury. Block someone from taking foreign aid.
Assassin: Pay three coins and try to assassinate another player's character.
Contessa: Block an assassination attempt.
Captain: Take two coins from another player, or block someone from stealing coins from you.
Ambassador: Draw two character cards from the Court (the deck), choose which (if any) to exchange with your face-down characters, then return two. Block someone from stealing coins from you.
On your turn, you can take any of the actions listed above, regardless of which characters you actually have in front of you, or you can take one of three other actions:
Income: Take one coin from the treasury.
Foreign aid: Take two coins from the treasury.
Coup: Pay seven coins and launch a coup against an opponent, forcing that player to lose an influence. (If you have ten coins, you must take this action.)
When you take one of the character actions - whether actively on your turn, or defensively in response to someone else's action - that character's action automatically succeeds unless an opponent challenges you. In this case, if you can't reveal the appropriate character, you lose an influence, turning one of your characters face-up. Face-up characters cannot be used, and if both of your characters are face-up, you're out of the game.
If you do have the character in question, you reveal it, the opponent loses an influence, then you shuffle that character into the deck and draw a new one, perhaps getting the same character again and perhaps not.
The last player to still have influence - that is, a face-down character - wins the game!
Spillet er på engelsk.