microfilms

[microfilms] is a micro-deduction game set in the world of [redacted]. Designed by David J. Mortimer (Pocket Imperium) and Dávid Turczi ([redacted]), [microfilms] pits spy against spy in the Ambassador’s high-stakes game of intel and intrigue. Be the first player to find the intel and reveal the identities of your opponents, and you’ll infiltrate the Ambassador’s organization. Reveal your hand too soon, and you’ll end up in the shark tank.

Finding Your Seat at the Table

microfilms componentsShould you choose to try your hand at the Ambassador’s game, you will play as either an agent or a freelancer. Agents are trying to locate intel and clear their names. Freelancers all have a unique agenda and disrupt the Ambassador’s plans.

Roles are randomly chosen and distributed based on the amount of players. Action cards are distributed and the remaining action, item, Alliance, and microfilm cards are shuffled together to form the draw deck. Poker chips are then passed out to set players, and everyone receives one Suspicion token.

Playing the Table

While at the table, you may do one of five actions: Draw a Card, Pass, Bribe, Take an Action, or Attempt a Win.

Draw a Card: Draw the top card from the draw deck or the discard deck and take it in hand.

Pass: Gain 1 franc from the house.

Bribe: Offer a card to another player. The target player can either accept the bribe or decline the bribe. If the target player accepts the bribe, they flip their Suspicion token to its Cleared side. If they decline the bribe, the target player pays 1 franc to the active player.

Take an Action: Play an action card or pay francs. There are four possible actions:

Steal: Play a Steal/Blackmail card to steal 2 francs from an opponent.

Cash Out: Play a Cash Out/Blowback card to take 3 francs from the house.

Interrogate: Play an Interrogate/Blackmail card or pay 1 franc to the house to interrogate an opponent.

The target player shuffles all of their cards along with their identity card under the table and hands their cards to the active player. The active player then secretly looks at one of the cards, shuffles them under the table, and returns the cards to the target player.

Blackmail: Play a Steal/Blackmail, Interrogate/Blackmail card, or pay 2 francs to the house to blackmail an opponent. The target player responds in one of three ways:

  • Pay 2 francs to the active player.
  • Defend the blackmail by discarding a Cash Out/Blowback card.
  • Decline to submit to the blackmail in which case all of the following things happen:
    • The Suspicion token of the active player is turned to the Cleared side.
    • The Suspicion token of the target player is turned to the Suspect side.
    • The active player takes a random action or item card from the target player.

Attempt a Win: Reveal their identity and meeting the conditions of their secret identity.

At the end of a turn, the player’s hand limit is checked. If their Suspicion token shows Suspect, they may hold 1 action or item card. If their Suspicion token shows Cleared, they may hold 2 action or item cards. All excess cards are placed face up on the discard deck in the order of the active player’s choice.

Winning the Pot

Agents: In order to win as an Agent, the player must be Cleared and reveal a microfilm.

All cards are revealed and alliances are determined. If the Agent was one of the allied players and revealed the microfilm of the lone player, then both allied players win. If the Agent was the lone player and revealed the microfilm of either allied player, the lone player wins. In any other case, the opposing Agent(s) win.

Journalist: In order to win as the Journalist, the player must be Cleared, reveal a microfilm, and name the agent who holds the matching identity.

The named agent gives their identity card face down to the Journalist, who checks to confirm the claim. If the Journalist is correct, they win the game. If the Journalist was wrong, they are eliminated from the game and play continues.

Hitman: In order to win as the Hitman, the player must be Cleared and name the opponent who holds the Ace of Spades in hand.

The named player gives all the cards in their hands to the Hitman, who checks to confirm the presence of the Ace of Spaces. If the Hitman is correct, they win the game. If the Hitman is wrong, they are eliminated from the game and play continues.

Information Broker: To win as the Information Broker, the player must be Cleared and name the locations of both Alliance letters during or after the second evening.

The Alliance letters may be located in a player’s hand, the draw deck, or the discard deck. The Information Broker doesn’t need to specify which letters are in which locations. They check the locations named. If they are correct, they reveal the cards and win the game. If they are wrong, they are eliminated from the game and play continues.

Interpol Officer: In order to win as the Interpol Officer, the player must be Cleared and name a player to be arrested during or after the second evening.

The target player must have their Suspicion token on the Suspect side and hold one of the five blood-stained action cards in hand. The named player gives all the cards in their hand to the Interpol Officer. If the Interpol Officer is correct, they reveal a blood-stained card and wins the game. If they are incorrect, they are eliminated and play continues.

Will you gain access to Ambassador’s organization, or will you sleep with the fishes?

The World of [redacted]

[microfilms] is set in the Cold War world of [redacted] where men knew how to drink a martini and women knew not to trust a man who claimed to know how to drink a martini and features the same art and mechanisms.

Artists Mihajlo Dimitrievski, Katalin Nimmerfroh, and Todd Sanders worked on the [microfilms] art recreating the visual feel of [redacted].

[microfilms] v [redacted] cards

[microfilms] v [redacted] cards

The double-blind interrogation mechanic appears in the Interrogate action in [microfilms], ensuring you’ll know your opponents know that they don’t know what you know about their cards.

As [microfilms] is micro-deduction game, it plays more quickly than [redacted], with games averaging 15 minutes depending on the number of players. The more you play, the sharper your mind and tongue become, so you can live in a world where men knew how to bet and women knew how to win until the casino closes. And, as we all know, the casino never closes.


[microfilms] is debuting at Spiel in Essen, so bring your best poker face and take a seat at the Ambassador’s table. You can also pre-order the game here.

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