Touring the Table with Zach: Internal Affairs- Board Game Review

In Internal Affairs (2015), players are caught in a war between the triad and the police force. Playing as an undercover agent, they will attempt to reveal the identities of the other players while protecting their own. All the players in the game keep their identity a secret, but through the ebb and flow of the game, a player’s allegiance to either the police force or the triad may change whether they want secrecy or notoriety.

Image result for internal affairs 2015 board game


Internal Affairs is a social deduction and elimination game. The game begins with each player randomly drawing three code cards and three ID cards. Each code card will have a number from one to fifteen and each ID card will indicate whether the player is a police mole or a triad mole. The player will place the code cards upside down in front of them in ascending order. Directly under those three cards they will assign their three ID cards. The player knows which team they are on by whichever type of mole is the majority in their ID cards. For example, if out of their three ID cards two of them indicate that they are a triad mole and they are currently playing for the triad to win the game. Through action cards though, these ID cards can sometimes be given to other players, which means player’s loyalty may change from police to triad or vice versa.

On their turns, the players draw action cards and additional code cards and each player can attempt to guess another player’s upside down code card. To increase the chances of deducing what the hidden code cards are, the player can give the interrogated player a new code card to put in next to the hidden ones. Since the code cards must be put in ascending order, the added code card can help reveal what the hidden cards’ numbers are. When another player guesses the number a single hidden card, that card is then revealed by the player along with the ID card that corresponds with it. If a player ever has two of the same type of ID cards revealed, then they are locked into that team and they must do everything in their power to help their teammates win. The game ends when two players of the same team are revealed and the team that didn’t get revealed wins.

Internal Affairs is designed for 5-8 players, but alternative rules are included for playing with 2-4.

My experiences:

In the first game I played, I was revealed as a triad mole in the first three turns of the game. I was very unlucky because I had received a 14 and a 15 for two of my code cards and on the first play of the game, I was given a 14 to add to my line of code. Now when you add code cards you can choose to place them on either the right or the left side if they are the identical number to your hidden cards. The smart play for me would have been to place the 14, that I had received, in between my hidden 14 and 15. That way the players would know that one of my cards was a 14 or 15 and the other might be a 14 or lower to them. I did not do the smart move on my first play of the game and I placed the newly acquired 14 in front of my hidden 14 and 15. This made it very easy for the opponents to guess my numbers. I made a rookie mistake, but it was truly embarrassing because I thought that the game was over for me before I had even taken my turn. Yet, the nice thing about Internal Affairs is that even when you are revealed to the other team it does not eliminate you from the game. You still get to play and try to guess the other player’s code.

Internal Affairs consists of a lot of guessing but the strategy comes out of how effectively you can use the cards to make your guessing easier. The game is a lot of fun especially if you enjoy playing with probability as you try to guess the code. The bright side to my first game was also that my team managed to win it. Even though I was revealed in the first three turns. We played well and I tried my best to reveal the police moles in the game. That was the best thing about the first game I played, even though I was devastated at the beginning of the game. Overall, I ended up having a great time because the game always allows to try to play for your team. Internal Affairs is an enjoyable game that is not overly complex yet intriguing. I would recommend the game to anyone


Official site:


—  Zachary Klozik, Poetry Editor

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