4 Cards, 1 Liar

You’ve been on this ship for far too long. You’re sick of the food, the waves, and now your crewmen. It’s time for a change. A mutiny is at hand.

Why would you say something like that? YOU'RE FREAKING ME OUT!
What a nice little boat. It would be a shame if anything…”happened” to it.

A chaplain, boatswain, navigator, and helmsman are stuck on a boat. One of them is planning a mutiny. Your goal is to find out who the mutineer is before they enact their terrible plot to take over the ship. Or YOU could be the mutineer, set on overthrowing the crew and making the captain walk the plank.

It is a simple premise for simple game, since Mutiny consists of only four cards and some rules. That’s it. It makes “microgames” like Love Letter seem bloated by comparison. Each card has a role, powers, and a set of numbers on it. These numbers are used to determine who is the mutineer at the beginning of the game. When the game starts, one person declares what minute of the hour it is. For example, if the time is 7:45, the person that has the number 45 on their card is the mutineer. Yes, it is possible to memorize the numbers, but it hasn’t been a big deal when playing. If you come across that issue, then just shuffle 4 aces and the ace of spades decides the mutineer.

This is the boatswain!
There’s only so many pictures I can take of 4 cards.

The roles of players and their powers are public knowledge, but don’t worry, there is plenty of room for lying. The game is played in two rounds; a round of voting to determine an innocent person, and a round of voting to condemn the mutineer. Each role has a different power for each round, like looking at another person’s card, casting two votes instead of one, or changing someone’s vote. Each of these powers are optional, but they definitely give flavor to the game. The boatswain can search cabins, the chaplain can receive confessions, and the navigator can make course corrections.

The main focus of this game is trying to convince fellow shipmates of your innocence, whether that is actually true or not. Being quiet is too suspicious, but so is voicing your opinions. Actual information is hard to come by, but even then, you can’t trust the person giving the information. The rule book is very minimal because the game is played above the table with your words, actions, and facial expressions. Can you look into a person’s eyes and convince them to sentence an innocent person to death?

This picture is angled!

One of my favorite part of the game is if you are playing with five or six people, the extra players act as a jury, a neutral third party that can stand outside of the arguments and run the show. The jury gets to participate in voting, so players can look to them for salvation or their own doom. It’s fascinating what you can see when you cannot be found guilty.

Mutiny plays very quickly, has a lot of interaction, and can be taken and played anywhere. Overall, Mutiny is a fantastic game and it is definitely worth your time to check it out. But why should you trust me? I could be the mutineer…

You can print out your own copy of Mutineer here: http://moonyeti.com/mutiny/index.html

Rob Cramer
Board games, board games, board games, board games. Board games? Board games. And Star Wars.

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