I’ve been working on Silver games for almost two years now, developing different cards, playtesting, getting amazing artwork, and assembling sets of cards into stand-alone games. Silver was always going to be the entry-level game that anyone could play. Silver Bullet was the interactive iteration of the game, with highly tactical elements allowing players to more directly affect their opponents. And those needed to be out there as the first two releases, because they’ve set the stage for Silver Coin, which is the first Silver set designed for gamers who like to strategize more than to just play tactically. As a result, it’s my favorite Silver game yet.
Silver Coin’s card set focuses on faceup cards, as well as the ability to turn cards over (faceup or facedown) to change the state of the game. The result is a game that has more strategic potential than any of the Silvers before it, allowing players to craft intricate combos that involve multiple card abilities chained together, resulting in incredibly satisfying turns. Taking cards from the discard pile isn’t limited to matching your other cards, but also setting up future combo’s; three cards deal specifically with faceup cards in the discard pile.
But at its heart, Silver Coin wants you to think ahead one or more turns, with more options than ever before. One of the cards that enables this is my favorite from this game, the Curator (2). The Curator lets you do one of two different actions when he is faceup in your village: You can either rotate one of your cards 90˚, or you can discard any rotated 90˚ card. On a base level, this means that every other turn, you can get rid of a card from your village by rotating it on turn 1 and then discarding that rotated card on turn 2. But that’s just the beginning. Because the Curator, like most faceup cards in your village, lets you activate an ability before you draw a card, you could discard a 90˚ card at the beginning of your turn, and then pick it up as your turn. If it’s a faceup village ability card, you just found a way to flip up one of your cards, and as a bonus, you’ll be discarding another card from your village. You can even use the Curator on himself, rotating and then discarding him…even if he’s your last card!
The game’s cover features the Pixie, who graces the 3 card. The Pixie’s ability, while faceup in your village, is to turn over any card, in your village or someone else’s. However, this does come at a cost; when you use her ability, you have turn her card facedown. The Pixie and the Curator make a great little combo: use the Curator to rotate the Pixie one turn, and on the next turn discard her at the beginning of your turn. Then take the now faceup Pixie and exchange her for some other card you don’t want, and use the Pixie to flip another one of your cards faceup (or an opponent’s card facedown).
Yet another village card you’ll find incredibly useful is the Con Artist (1), which when faceup in your village gives you an extra turn by turning the Con Artist facedown. Combine that with the Curator/Pixie combo above, and use your second turn to Curate the now-facedown Pixie back to a 90˚ rotation, and you’re all set to do the same thing on the following turn (plus, of course, you get a “real” extra turn thrown in there to do whatever else you’re doing). You can repeat that until you run out of cards or until your opponents plead and beg you to just cut it out, because clearly that’s not fair. :D
There are ways to thwart your opponents’ plans if someone else is doing that to you, however. The Golem (11) lets you swap the top discard with any card, putting that card at the bottom of the discard pile, where it will no longer be of use to anyone. The Assassin (8) also discards a faceup card to the bottom of the discard pile, but there’s no replacement for it…so the village you take it from (including your own) will have one fewer card. The Huntress (6) lets you turn any card facedown and then turn another one faceup. The Village Idiot (12) can totally turn things around, as it allows you to move one card (faceup or facedown) from each village to a neighboring village, in either clockwise or counterclockwise directions. Finally, if you have your own Pixie, you can just use her ability to flip down one of those annoying cards (like the aforementioned Curator).
One of the decisions you always have to make in Silver Coin when you have some sort of ability, is to use it to help yourself, hinder others, or ideally, do both at once. Helping yourself makes you a target, but if you focus too much on stopping others, you won’t be making your village any better.
Finally, the scariest card in the entire game, when it is in someone else’s village, is the Regifter (0). If this cute little puppy is faceup when the round ends, that player gets to give another one of their cards to any other village before scoring. Players with a Regifter often hold on to cards they’d normally discard, especially ones with higher values, because they know they’ll be able to send those cards (and their points) to some well-deserving opponent. Of course, this can backfire by a player turning a regifter facedown right as the round ends, sticking a player with that high value card themselves!
The Silver Coin card set adds so much to Silver, building on top of the basics from the first two sets, transforming Silver into a strategy game with tremendous possibilities.