The Resistance (game)
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|Players||5 to 10|
|Setup time||less than 6 minutes|
|Playing time||15–30 minutes|
The Resistance is a social role-playing card-based party game. The game's premise involves a war between government and resistance groups, and players are assigned various roles related to these groups. Like other deductive reasoning party games, The Resistance relies on certain players attempting to disrupt the larger group working together, while the rest of the players work to reveal the spy working against them.
Games take upwards of half an hour, and are played with five to ten players. The Resistance was initially playable with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards, but the newest version of the game includes extra cards which cannot be simulated in such a way. The published version of the game includes a board to track progress, role cards, voting cards, mission success and fail cards, tokens, and additional game-modifying plot cards. The Resistance is regarded as more complex than similar party games, giving the players more information and opportunity to deceive. Thematically, the game shares the same dystopian setting as Coup and Grifters, two other games by Indie Board & Cards.
There are also unofficial online versions of the game, at ProAvalon and The Resistance Plus, where people can play with each other, via in-game chat function and simple graphic version of the game.
The Dystopian Universe
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In the not-too-distant future, the government is run for profit by a new "royal class" of multinational CEOs. Their greed and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation.
Out of the oppressed masses rose the Resistance, an underground band of partisan fighters focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of these rebels have created discord, intrigue, and weakness in the political courts of the nouveau royale, bringing the government to the brink of collapse. However, government spies have infiltrated the Resistance, attempting to thwart their missions of overtaking this malignant government. During all this strife, several government officials see an opportunity to manipulate, bribe, and bluff their way into absolute power, destroying the influence of their rivals and driving them into exile.
Meanwhile, on the fringes of this world, grifters are operating, eager to take advantage of every opportunity to profit from the chaos caused by the Resistance. Powerful crime bosses are building their criminal organizations, carefully recruiting new operatives with specialized skills. These criminal teams steal from the government, powerful corporations, and each other via cons, blackmail, daring heists, and a multitude of other nefarious deeds.
At the start of the game, one third of the set of players (rounded up) is randomly and secretly chosen to be government spies infiltrating the rest of the group (the Resistance). One of the players (either a spy or Resistance member) is selected to be the Mission Leader. The government spies are made aware of each other without the Resistance knowing – the only thing the Resistance knows is how many government spies exist, not who they are. This process is conducted by the first Mission Leader, who instructs the group to close their eyes, for the spies to open their eyes and see each other, for the spies to close their eyes again, and then for everyone to open his eyes and begin the game (with long pauses at each stage). Players may never reveal their identity cards to other players (unless the game is being played with "Plot Cards" as discussed below).
|Number of players:||5||6||7||8||9||10|
During each round of the game, the player to the left of the previous Leader becomes the new Leader. The Leader selects a certain number of players to send out on a mission (the Leader may choose to go out on the mission themselves), starting with Mission 1. The table below shows the required number of players to go out on each mission. All of the players then discuss the Leader's choice and, simultaneous and in public, vote on whether to accept the team make-up or not. If a majority of players votes no to the proposal or if it is a tie, leadership passes on to the next player to the left, who proposes his own mission. This continues until a majority of players agrees with the current Leader's mission assignment. After five rejected mission proposals in a row, the Spies automatically win the game.
|Number of players:||5||6||7||8–10|
Missions marked with an asterisk (*) require two fail cards to be played in order for the mission to fail.
Once a mission team is agreed on, the players then "go" on the mission. To "go" on a mission, players on the mission are given a set of Mission Cards, one for indicating Success, the other indicating Fail. The Resistance must turn in, face down, a Mission Success card, while the spies may either secretly turn in a Mission Success or Mission Fail card. The cards are shuffled and then revealed. If all cards show Success, the Resistance earns one point. If even one card shows Fail, the spies have sabotaged the mission and earn one point (except for the above-noted exceptions on Mission 4, where it may be necessary for 2 Fail cards to be played in order for the mission to fail).
The game continues until one team accumulates 3 points.
In the game's second edition, the full game comes with several additional Plot Cards which are handed out by the Leader at the start of each round. Plot cards have special effects when played. These effects allow a player to view specific hidden information, or to change the usual flow of play. The Plot Cards are not included in the third edition, though the Inquisitor role is.
A variant of The Resistance was released in 2012 called Avalon. In Avalon, instead of Imperial Spies and Resistance Fighters, the game pits Arthurian Knights against the evil Mordred and his minions. The gameplay is significantly changed by the addition of a role called Merlin, a good player who is told at the beginning of the game who the evil players are. If the evil players lose the game, however, they have one last chance of redeeming themselves by correctly guessing Merlin's identity. If they can do this, the evil players win. As well as the Loyal Servants of Arthur and the Minions of Mordred, there are character cards with special powers. Percival, on the side of Good, knows who Merlin and Morgana are at the start of the game, but not which player is Merlin and which player is Morgana. Percival must ascertain who is Merlin and then protect them. Mordred, on the side of Evil, does not reveal his identity to Merlin at the start of the game, leaving Merlin in the dark. Oberon (Evil), does not reveal himself to the other Evil players at the start of the game, nor does he gain knowledge of the other Evil players. Morgana, on the side of Evil, appears to Percival as potentially Merlin.
Hidden Agenda introduces three rule modules to the base game that may be played alone or combined with one another.
- Assassin Module: This ruleset reflavors the roles from The Resistance: Avalon to be compatible with Resistance's dystopian setting, e.g. Merlin becoming the Commander.
- Defector Module: One spy and one resistance operative are defectors who randomly swap their allegiances within the game.
- Trapper Module: The Leader selects an additional operative to go on the mission thereby increasing the odds that a spy is selected, but the leader must select, view, then discard one player's mission card.
Hostile Intent also introduces three more rule modules to the base game:
- Inquisitor Module: The Inquisitor may secretly look another player's loyalty after each mission. It is open information who has the Inquisitor ability, and it is passed on to whichever player was just examined.
- Reverser Module: Both spy and resistance sides have one Reverser which can alter the results of any mission they're on.
- Hunter Module: Both spy and resistance sides have one Chief and one Hunter in their ranks. Each Hunter must identify the opposing side's Chief to win.
The Plot Thickens
The Plot Thickens adds new rulesets to the game and includes new copies of base game components including character cards, mission cards, and tokens. The plot cards from the second edition return to the third edition, and the Sergeant and Rogue modules which were originally released bonuses with the 2014 Kickstarter campaign for Hostile Intent and Hidden Agenda make an appearance.
- The Plot Thickens Module: Plot cards are single-use abilities granted to each Mission Leader for use later at critical times.
- Sergeant Module: When embarking on a mission, that turn's Leader may assign another mission member the Sergeant role. The Sergeant may secretly view and alter one other player's mission card.
- Rogue Module: One spy and one resistance operative are considered Rogues and have win conditions separate from their respective teams.
Differences from similar games
The Resistance was designed to have several distinctions from similar games like Mafia or Werewolf. In Mafia, a player is eliminated during every day round and every night round. Being eliminated from the game early prevents one from playing most of the game. In The Resistance, on the other hand, players are never eliminated, and get to play in every round. In Mafia, the players never have any information about the mafiosi given away by the game (until they successfully lynch a mafioso). The players never know which way any of the mafiosi voted. In The Resistance, a failed mission gives definite information that at least one of the players who went on the mission is an Imperial Spy. However, in games like Mafia there is a Narrator, a person with an omniscient point of view which allows more of the storytelling aspect that Resistance lacks.
Pros of choosing this game:
- Do not need a judge or 'referee' (like in Mafia).
- There is no out; everyone is involved in the game until game over.
- Require more complicated logical analysis.
- High involvement in each character.
Werewolf is sometimes used to refer to The Resistance.
Deception is a similar game using investigators and items clues to guess who is the murderer.
Similar digital games
Since 2014, several creators published websites enabling online gameplay. In addition to the standard version of the game, the Avalon variant, Hunter module, and The Plot Thickens expansion are also supported. The site also includes a few original roles enabled by the online environment.
- "Indie Boards & Cards – The Resistance Rules". Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Travis Worthington (2010-11-28), The Resistance Rules Overview, retrieved 2016-08-20
- "Kickstarter: The Resistance - a new look coming soon". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "The Resistance: Avalon | Board Game | BoardGameGeek". boardgamegeek.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Milenković, Vladimir (25 July 2017). "The Resistance(Avalon) game during IOI 2017 - Codeforces". Codeforces. Retrieved 4 August 2017.