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!

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