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Tradecraft: Spies for Hire
Tradecraft: Spies for Hire
by (Web published), Escape Velocity Games (2014)
Player Count
3 to 6

Player Ages

Playing Time
30 minutes
  • Card Game
  • Deduction
  • Murder/Mystery
  • Modern Warfare
  • Spies/Secret Agents
  • Print & Play
  • Designers
  • Steven Cole
  • Mechanisms
  • Partnerships
  • Simultaneous Action Selection
  • Hand Management
  • Card Drafting
  • Player Elimination
  • Take That
  • Artists
  • Steven Cole
  • Thomas Tamblyn
  • Rating: 6.9/10 from 18 users


    trade·craft (tr?d′kr?ft′) n.
    The methods used in clandestine operations such as espionage.

    Knives in the dark. Secret plans. Information. Disinformation. What more could a spy ask for?

    It's the height of the Cold War and you are a spy. You have a mission to accomplish and you would like to avoid being killed while doing it. And you want your side to win, of course. But who, exactly, is on your side?

    Tradecraft is a hidden role card game where 3-6 players take on the roles of either Soviet or American spies during the Cold War era. Rather than using social deduction, players will have to carefully watch to see which cards are drafted and how they are played to decipher friend from foe. Players may never willingly show their role to another player, but may say whatever they want about it, even the truth if necessary. The game is played over the course of several rounds and can usually be finished in less than 30 minutes.

    Each round has 3 phases:

    1. Deal Cards - Roles and tradecraft cards will be shuffled and dealt randomly.
    2. Choose Cards - Players will pass a portion of their cards to the left 3 times to draft the cards they want.
    3. Play Cards - Cards are then executed in descending order, information flows, and bullets fly.

    Scoring is based on the side winning the round (1 point) and completing a public or secret missions (usually 1 or 2 points).

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