Additional Rules from the Rulebook
A player with no cards left in his Deck shuffles first; a player who still has no cards does not trash a card or gain a card. If the order matters (such as when piles are running low), resolve Swindler in turn order starting with the player to your left. Gained cards go to discard piles. If a player trashes a 0-cost card such as Copper, you may choose to give him Curse (if there are any left). You can give a player another copy of the same card he trashed. The gained cards have to be ones from the Supply, and you have to pick a card that's left if you can (you cannot pick an empty pile). If there are no cards in the Supply with the same cost as a given player's trashed card, no card is gained by that player. A player who Moats this does not reveal a card from his deck, and so neither trashes a card nor gains a card.
The Secret History of Swindler
In an article on Board Game Geek, Donald X. Vaccarino commented on the development of Swindler:
- A cursing attack that cost $3 didn't make the grade, and I needed a replacement. This card from the 4th set fit the bill. Originally it was "Each other player trashes the top card of their deck and gains a card costing 2 less that you choose." Hitting Copper all the time made it very weak. I changed it to "a card with the same cost" and that made it a lot better - now Coppers turn into Curses. That's the version that got added to Intrigue, and it was tested a bit like that but was still pretty weak. I made it good enough by adding the +2 coins. The attack part is nice but needs that much help.