You are a popular Guatemalan citizen in 1954. The CIA has just orchestrated the first coup toppling the old government, and now the country is in chaos with different factions competing for power, and rival interest groups offering help to advance a potentially friendly president. In this environment, anyone can become President if they can find the support and eliminate their rivals.
In Coup: Guatemala 1954 (G54), 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. Before each game starts, five random character roles are chosen from a randomizer deck. Each of the five characters has a unique variable power that can be used by players, and a summary of their roles is kept in the center of the table for everyone to see at all times. Each character role has three associated influence cards, and these influence cards are retrieved and form the playing deck of fifteen cards (three cards each of the five chosen roles).
Each player starts the game with two coins and two influence cards – i.e., two face-down character cards. On your turn, you can take any of the actions of the five characters in play, regardless of which characters you actually have in front of you, or you can take one of two general actions:
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 (or don'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 and choose to 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!
Coup: Guatemala 1954 is a new standalone game that takes the same simple Coup mechanisms and rules, but with a variable deck of 25 characters, and in each game you choose to play with five out of the 25, so the relative power and advantage of each character changes from game to game. This is more of a gamer's game than the original Coup as you can create a deck to increase bluffing, deduction, negotiation or luck.