For this weeks review we look at our number 8 spot of our top 10 expansions that we own. Claire and I don’t always see eye to eye on all of the social deduction games we own, but Coup is definitely one that we both thoroughly enjoy. In the story of Coup Reformation, the resistance has gained popular support and entire regions are in open rebellion. In a desperate attempt to stay in control, some government leaders are publicly supporting the reforms demanded by the resistance. However, allegiances are constantly shifting, and can be bought for the right price. The opportunity for intrigue and bluffing has never been greater. The cost of failure couldn’t be higher. Even with talk of reformation, only one can survive.
Reformation is an expansion to Coup, but the base game is required in order to play. This expansion comes with two additional character cards from the base game and with one new character known as the inquisitor for a total of 15 character cards. The inquisitor can exchange a card with the court deck, OR examine/force another player to exchange, and it also blocks all stealing. The inquisitor role is very good to take the place of the Ambassador especially with a higher count of players in a game. With this card you can generally declare the Contessa earlier on in the game, and the Assassin is more likely to leave you alone. This also allows for more mind games, because you could allow Foreign Aid to go through even if you are the duke, or allowing the Inquisitor to look at your cards even though you are the Contessa. Then, in the likely event that an Assassin tries to kill you, you then claim Contessa. They won't believe you because you didn't use it before. With all of these extra cards and the addition of the new Inquisitor influence, the expansion still relies on the tokens from the base game.
The Allegiance cards are a nice new addition to the game. Players are either in support of the government (Loyalists) or the resistance (Reformists). Each player begins with an Allegiance card and places the corresponding side face up in front of them. Going clockwise, each player alternates allegiance from the previous player, placing their allegiance card in front of them. A player cannot Coup, Assassinate, Steal or block a Foreign Aid attempt by another player of the same allegiance unless all players are the same allegiance. Conversion can take place if you pay 1 coin to change your Allegiance or pay 2 coins to change the Allegiance of another player. The coins that are payed for these actions are placed in the Treasury Reserve. There's also the embezzlement action. Unless you have the Duke, you may take all of the coins on the Treasury Reserve card. However, anyone can challenge that the player attempting to embezzle has the Duke. If the player does have the Duke, they must concede and lose the challenge, thereby returning the coins to the treasury and lose an influence card. If the player does not have the Duke, (and does not concede) they must show their influence card, the challenger then loses and the revealed influence is shuffled back into the deck and a new card is drawn just like the base game.
While there are some enhancements in this expansion, there is one drawback that stands out to me. This game does not scale very well. The base game went up to 6 players, and this expansion allows up to 10. Eight players tends to drag out too long depending on the group, but 10 players? I've never played with 10 players in this game, but I can only imagine the amount of time that would take. This game plays best with 5 to 6. The length of time is 15 minutes on average, but that does not happen when you have 8 to 10 players at the table. Reformation is a lightweight social deduction game and a good little expansion for Coup. We both really enjoy Coup and while the expansion is a very good game, I wouldn't say it necessarily makes the game better, it just adds a few new add-ons that make the game a little different. For some games, the expansions are required to either make or save the game, but Coup is already a very good game by itself and Reformation is a game that is very affordable and portable like its predecessor, and certainly one of our favorites, but not required in this case.
Coup - Reformation
Overall Meeple Rating: 7.5/10
1) Inquisitor Influence
2) Allegiance cards
3) Supports up to 10 players
4) Treasury Reserve card
5) Conversion and Embezzlement actions
Have any thoughts or questions? Leave a comment below.