So Frankly...

So Frankly...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Irresistable: A Review of The Resistance

I already have my first "nickel" for the year.  (A nickel is a game you have five plays of in a year).  Our last gaming group session ended with seven of us at the table, a fantastic number for The Resistance, and we played five games by the end of the night.  Given the length of some of our games, some of you are asking how late it was when we broke up.  I think it was around 9pm.  That's normally very late for us, but the next day was President's Day, and most of us were either off or could flex our office hours.  On top of that, the game only takes about 30 minutes to play.  However, it can be a pretty intense experience, so its easy to play again and again.

Cover of The Resistance
The Resistance is a game for game of deception and deduction for 5-10 players - almost a party game.  The players are part of a resistance cell that is fighting against a dystopian government - something along the lines of the government in The Hunger Games.  They have to complete three missions against the Government to win the game.  The catch is that there are traitors in the cell; roughly half the players are actually Government agents.  These agents are working to prevent missions being successful.  If the Government agents can cause three missions to fail before three succeed, the agents win the game. 

But who are the Government agents?  No true Resistance member knows!

At the beginning of the game, cards are passed out which assign each player to be a true member of the Resistance or a Government agent.  Everyone closes their eyes.  The Government agents then open their eyes to see and identify each other.  They close their eyes; then everyone opens their eyes.  Now the agents know who is who, but the Resistance members do not!

There aren't really turns in this game.  Without too much detail, this is how the game plays:

Each round, a team will be selected to go on a mission.  If the team is approved, the team then secretly votes for the mission to succeed or fail.  For most missions, one "fail" vote is all it takes for the Government to win that mission.  The game then revolves around each side trying to have teams put together that will achieve their goals.  The Government agents must deceive the Resistance members into including them to win.  There is an included expansion, The Plot Thickens, which gives an individual a little bit of knowledge to share about another player, but is everyone telling the truth?

The game is just great, for three reasons:

Simplicity.  This is an easy game to teach.  A couple of minutes  of explanation will have everyone in the game.  Furthermore, no one has to be familiar with strategy games to play.  Most of the gameplay is in conversation, and everyone knows how to bluff, right?

An alternative setting for the game

Brevity.  There is almost always time for a 30 minute game.  The only catch might be that one game isn't enough!

Number of Players:  At five to ten players, this will cover most small get-togethers and family gatherings.  It may not be suitable for children under 10 or 12 though, since someone looking you in the facing and calling you a liar takes a little bit of a thick skin - particularly when you know that they are the one lying!

 If you want to see more, the game was recently featured on the YouTube webshow TableTop.  Click here to see it.

There is another version of this game set in the Arthurian Legend: The Resistance: Avalon.  I haven't played it, but the gameplay is the same.  Either one would be a great addition to your collection!

It's Your Move!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

More Games than You Think

It happened again.  I was asked how many games we own, and my response (around 300) dropped a jaw.  Eyes darted around, looking for an escape route.

Yes, I know that's a lot of games.  In my defense, I only got one for Christmas (Coup), and it really wasn't a gift. I was something I backed on Kickstarter months ago, and it arrived just before the holidays.  I only bought seven games this year, including Coup.  I traded for three more.  One game I received as a review copy (Clubs), and another new game is a print-'n'-play game.

The funny part is that most people have more games than they imagine.  When I count games, I count the children's games that are still around the house, mass market games that we could probably donate to a thrift store, and all of the specialty card games (like Clubs) that are stuck in a drawer in the house.  I also count specialty decks of traditional cards, like a Canasta or Pinochle deck.  I include expansions.  Chess sets count, though only as one entry.  (That would add another 10 entries if I counted them separately!)

So, realistically, how many games do YOU own?  My guess would be more than twenty-five, and a number of you more than fifty.  Make sure you count them the way I do.  That copy of Hi Ho! Cherry-O counts.   And include that copy of the Monsters, Inc. memory game.  Honestly, you also need to count that specialty deck for Old Maid that your aunt bought your little girl for her birthday.

'Fess up.   How many?

I bet it's more games than you think.

It's Your Move!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Personal Yearly Summary

I'm back.  A few days ago I wrote about the gaming group and what we've played this year, but now I want to review what a great year I have had gaming.  Doing this helps me appreciate what a good year I have had, and maybe it's interesting to you.  And maybe it will show the variety of games that are available today.

Image by Tom Conder
This was a much better year than last year.  I played twice as many games in 2013 as in 2012 - or nearly so. Last year I played 65 games.  This year I played 127.  Much of this is due to the regularity of the gaming group meeting, which didn't happen in 2012.  Furthermore, I was able to play a few more games during the time I was laid off.  One of the guys in our game group gets off early from work at times, and we were able to get together for a few games.  That was great, and with my new job, it might be able to continue at times.

The truly amazing thing is how many titles I was able to play: 47.  That is more titles played in a year than any time since I started recording my plays in 2008.  Of those, nearly 20 titles were games I had never played before.  This isn't the most new games in a year, but that is probably going to get harder to do as my gaming career goes on.  What excites me about these numbers is the variety of games that I played, and the variety of gaming experiences that I had.

By far, the highlight of the year was playing Dune.  This was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had.  But there were more.  I was able to play some classic games like El Grande. Shogun and YINSH.  There were a few mediocre games, but no real duds this year, which is remarkable.  It was a great year.

There are a few of these games that I need to play a few times before I review.  But that brings me to my goal for 2014, which is to do a better job at reviewing games.  I only reviewed six games this year, which is pretty sad.  I feel as though I owe all of you, my readers, an apology.  This year, I specifically plan to do at least one review a month.  That's still not a lot, but I will try to grow that number as the year goes on.

What are your gaming goals for the year?

It's Your Move!