Regime Card Game: Early Thoughts

Since releasing Suspense: the Card Game, I've been considering a loosely expanded idea for another deduction game that works for more players and has more opportunities for interaction and catch-up. I was thinking about the current mini-trend of vaguely geo-political Hunger Games themed games like Resistance and Coup.

So, this is Regime, in which you are trying to influence the secretive Leader, the true political power behind-the-scenes in a shadowy, unstable body politic. Lure constituents into your bloc so you're in the Leader's good graces by the end of the game.

The Deck
The deck is comprised of 30 cards, divided into five factions (suit). Within each faction, three are considered low-rank (no border around the suit), two are considered mid-rank (circle around the suit), and one is considered high-rank (circle and rays around the suit).

Deal 6 cards to each player. (5 cards if playing with six players.) The first player chooses one card from his hand to put face-down in the middle of the table, establishing a Leader that determines the victory condition at the end of the game.

Turns begin with the first player taking first turn. On a turn, play a card from your hand face-up in front of you. When you play a card, you may also use the ability on that card, noted by the diagram on top of the card.
  • Trade 1 card between your hand and your bloc.
  • Trade 1 card between your hand and an opponent's bloc. 
  • Trade 1 card between your bloc and an opponent's bloc.
  • Trade 1 card between your bloc and an opponent's hand (random).
  • Trade 1 card between your bloc and the Leader.
  • Trade 1 card between your hand and the Leader.
The game ends when the 1st player has only one card in hand. (Everyone else has two remaining in hand.) Leader is revealed, then players score.

You score points by having bloc members that match Rank and/or Faction of the Leader. For each bloc member that shares an attribute with the leader, score the stars on that bloc member. If your card is a double-match, it scores twice.

Just like Suspense, it's critical to deduce the "secret card" in the middle of the table in order to score points. You could get lucky and collect a bunch of low-rank bloc members, which is certainly most likely to score, but also scores the least. This makes the game a bit less cut-throat than Suspense, which is very much an all-or-nothing game with a tiny escape valve. Here, deducing the secret card is still important, but you have a bit more leeway since you have two categories in which you may score. You also have plenty of opportunity to manipulate the victory conditions or other players' sets. I'm eager to test this out as a future release in early 2014. We'll see how it turns out!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.