Designed by Jamie Thul
Players 2-4
Length 15-20 minutes
Extra Material The extended deck, tokens (suit chips, cubes, or coins) for points

A breezy set collection game of competing cons.

You've got a list of heists that will cement your name as the greatest con artist of all time, but so does every other con in this town. Put together schemes and execute them to claim money and fame, but don't forget the basics: don't pass up a golden opportunity, keep an ace up your sleeve, and tie up your loose ends.


Remove The Excuse from the deck and set it aside; it will not be used.

Remove the six Crowns (crown.png) from the deck, shuffle them, and place them face-up on the table. Add three point tokens to each of the first two Crowns, two points each to the second two Crowns, and one point each to the last two Crowns. Each Crown represents a city, and the points opportunities for a job.

Shuffle the remaining cards, dealing five to each player as a starting hand. Place the deck between the players, and flip the top three cards face-up near it. This is called the draft area.

Game play

The last player to have boasted about their accomplishments goes first, as true cons are in it for the glory - not the money - and play proceeds clockwise. On your turn, you must take one of two actions: Scheme or Run a Con. After taking an action, your turn is over.

When you scheme, you add two cards to your hand. These cards may come from the top of the deck or the draft area. If a card is taken from the draft area, reveal a replacement card from the top of the deck and add it to the draft area face-up, before continuing. Your hand is limited to seven cards, so if you scheme with six cards already in hand, you will only add a single card to your hand.

Run a Con
When you run a con, you discard any number of cards from your hand, all of which must have a single common suit. Pawns (pawn.png) and Courts (court.png) are used just like any other card, while Aces may be added to any set of cards, without matching the common suit.

Now in order, you score the con, take advantage of opportunities, and create new opportunities.

1. To score the con, identify the primary suit (the common suit) and the secondary suit (second-most common suit); the con is worth points equal to the count of cards showing the primary suit multiplied by the count of cards showing the secondary suit. Take tokens for these points from the supply.

2. To take advantage of opportunities, take any point tokens on the Crown that matches the primary suit.

3. To create new opportunities, identify any orphaned suits in the cards - suits that only appear on a single card. Add point tokens equal to the count of cards showing the secondary suit to each Crown that matches an orphaned suit.

For example, you run a con and discard The Battle wyrms.pngknots.png, The Betrayal wyrms.pngknots.png, The Desert wyrms.pngsuns.png and the Ace of Knots knots.png. The primary suit is Wyrms, and the secondary suit is Knots, so you score 3 x 3 = 9 points. You also score any points on The Calamity (crown.pngwyrms.png). Lastly, since the Suns suit is only present on The Desert, it is considered orphaned, so you add 3 points to The Bard (crown.pngsuns.png).

Game End

After the deck runs out, each player receives one more turn before final scores are tallied. Whoever has the highest number of points goes down in history as the greatest con artist of the era, and the right to boast of this achievement in and out of the game.


Aces are great for boosting your points when you run a con by matching the secondary suit.

Paying attention to your opponent's card draws is critical. A large set of cards will likely put a lot of points out on the Crowns if you have orphaned suits, giving them easy opportunity to score, and a single card could be discarded to collect the points on a Crown that you were about to score.


With two players, the game moves very quickly, so playing 2 out of 3 games is recommended.

With three or four players, you should reshuffle the discard pile when the deck is emptied, and continue play until it runs out a second time.


P.D. Magnus and Todd F for feedback, ideas, and rules checks.


The original work-in-progress thread on Board Game Geek


For point tokens, suit chips work fine, or cubes, coins, candy or whatever else you have on hand. It is helpful to designate one color of tokens as 5 points and one color as 10 points, which reduces counting at the end of the game.

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