A venerable who’s who of a game inspired by Philippine history, now open for pre-order at GamingLib stores and online!
Arguably the most foundational tenet of studying history in school is the saying, “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” We know reading and studying the work of Jose Rizal, particularly the epic Noli Me Tangere and its sequel El Filibusterismo, is almost an unspoken rite of passage in our education systems here, and there’s a feeling of pride in being able to read and comprehend it as a student.
But an internationally beloved board game like Coup, getting a Philippine history-inspired twist and featuring the characters from Noli Me Tangere… Wow. What we would’ve given to have something like this when we were in high school!
Revealed during the All aBOARD EXPO event at Shangri-La last October 13-15, Coup: Philippine Edition envisions gamers and history enthusiasts alike embarking on a thrilling journey through the Spanish Colonial Era. This localization of Coup promises a unique and immersive gaming experience set against the backdrop of a vibrant city governed by a feeble and corrupt court.
In this captivating rendition of Coup lovingly illustrated by the talented Filipina artist Camille Chua Tan of Frillion Art, players find themselves transported to a tumultuous period in history, navigating the intricacies of a Spanish Colonial city. Players will find themselves engaged in a narrative rich with symbolism and historical significance, creating a bridge between entertainment and education. Let’s take a glimpse at the characters of Noli reimagined for the world of Coup, shall we?
Crisostomo Ibarra as the Duke
Awaiting the approach of destiny, Ibarra looks outside the frame, envisioning the future with determined eyes. In his hand, a watch, its ticking hands a reminder of time running out.
The Duke is portrayed here by Crisostomo Ibarra, retaining echoes of the color scheme set by the original Coup. As the son of the late Filipino landowner Don Rafael Ibarra, Crisostomo, more commonly referred to as Ibarra, brings a wealth of knowledge and influence from his experiences abroad to the elite circles of colonial society in the Philippines. Through the use of purple and violet tones, there is a romantic quality in Ibarra, and with a hint of hopefulness in his gaze, makes for a very compelling piece.
In gameplay, a player may use the Duke to counteract an opponent’s attempts to collect foreign aid. In successfully doing so, the player trying to gain foreign aid will receive no coins that turn.
Elias as the Assassin
Quickly awakening to misery and suffering, Elias wields a blade of vengeance. Behind him, a life abandoned, for he believes himself a child of cursed blood.
Elias represents the Assassin; imposing and ruthless in his stance. Elias is introduced as a mysterious and skilled boatman, and as the narrative unfolds, it is revealed that he has a personal vendetta against the oppressive forces in the society. Having gone through hell and back, Elias is an outlaw and vagabond revolutionary who resents the power of the Catholic church and the Spanish government over the Philippines. The way his hair falls adds to the movement and drama of the piece, while gold and yellow bases allow the cold, frigid blue in the subject to pop. A strikingly cold portrayal.
When using the Assassin card, a player pays 3 coins to the Treasury and launches an assassination against another player. That player immediately loses an Influence–unless they can block with the Contessa.
The Gobernador-Heneral as the Captain
The Gobernador-Heneral looks directly at the player, steely eyes and medals proudly displaying his authority. The specific Gobernador-General in the novel is not explicitly named, as "Noli Me Tangere" is a work of fiction, but it reflects the historical context of the Philippines during the late 19th century. While deeply respected by the friars, townspeople, and even the abusive Guwardiya Sibil members, the Gobernador-Heneral quietly opposes the Catholic church’s over-inflated power in Filipino society. Upon his shoulders rests the weight of balancing his loyalty to the King and his knowledge of the people's unrest.
The Captain is a card of power, befitting of the Gobernador-Heneral as its representative character. His power and control is illustrated in the epaulets, medals, and sash in his uniform, and an endless, dark evening sky contrasts a calculating look in his eye, almost as if to challenge you.
Using the Captain card allows a player to take 2 coins from a chosen opponent; 1 if they have only 1. This however can be blocked if the chosen opponent plays the Ambassador or the Captain.
Padre Damaso as the Ambassador
Holding the symbol of righteousness, Padre Damaso looks upon us unflinchingly, his smile belying wickedness and shame. He is a Spanish friar and serves as the parish priest of San Diego, the town where much of the story is set. This arrogant, pedantic, shameless, and loudmouthed priest doesn’t hesitate in slandering people he deems nonreligious and likely to undermine his power. Behind him, a church and bell tower, where the saints look down in judgment.
A sickly, twisted green aura surrounds the Ambassador, fittingly portrayed by Padre Damaso. All of the elements come into play to form this unnerving image; the religious iconography, church fixtures, and prayerful pose all tied together by the twisted bow that is his wicked smirk.
In playing the Ambassador, players exchange cards with the Court. They take 2 random cards from the Court deck, choose upto two, to exchange with their face down card. These cards are now returned to the Court deck.
Maria Clara as the Contessa
A woman well-regarded in San Diego for her high society status, Maria Clara and Ibarra are childhood friends engaged to be married, but torn apart by gravely unjust and corrupt circumstances. With her face coyly obscured by her fan, the beautiful, tragic Maria Clara speaks only through her eyes. Under the azotea, secrets are the only true currency.
What is there to be said of Maria Clara? Her beauty, wrapped in red and framed by her fan, evokes a charming, flirtatious sort of secrecy. Given the romantic backdrop she shares with Ibarra, it almost looks inviting.
A player being assassinated may play the Contessa to counteract and block an opponent’s use of the Assassin card against them. In doing so, the assassination fails and the player is spared from losing an Influence, but the fee paid by the opponent who played the Assassin remains spent.
Coup: Philippine Edition is at the intersection of art, history, and gaming. Designed by the talented Camille Chua Tan, this game promises to transport players to a bygone era, inviting them to engage in a strategic battle for dominance amidst the corrupt backdrop of a Spanish Colonial city. As pre-orders flood in, anticipation builds for the release of this culturally infused gaming experience, destined to leave a lasting impact on both the gaming community and those with a passion for Philippine history.
“It would be fun if we can put Maria Clara and Ibarra in Coup. We like Maria Clara and Ibarra simply because it is innate in Filipinos.”
- Chief Meeple Hans
"In Maria Clara and Ibarra's story, there's this important nugget about history – you can't hit rewind and fix the past, but you sure can soak up some wisdom from it."
-Duane Galang, Creative Director for Coup: Philippine Edition
Exclusive Offer: Pre-Order at a Special Price of P1199!
Gamers and history enthusiasts can secure their copies through https://www.gaminglib.com or at any GamingLib stores and All aBOARD XP play spaces. As a special treat, the pre-order comes at a discounted price of P1199.
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Gaming Library aims to be the go-to resource for board games, providing not only titles that can be enjoyed by families, but also to be enjoyed by friends both newcomers and veterans alike. By pulling from different resources from all over the world, we at Gaming Library curate an impressive collection of games for consumers to choose from, suitable for anybody from casual players to hardcore hobbyists. In doing so, we hope to provide the best means to foster activities that strengthen family ties and friendships, while teaching relevant skills and practical critical thinking that can be applied to your everyday life.