Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Gregg Miller
Resistance Is Futile!
Don Eskridge’s: The Resistance, 2nd Edition
Resistance is a game that Matt “The Favorite” and I got some fellow convention attendees to try out with us during the Day 1 game and socializing block of time for Nerdtacular 2013. It is a rather formal method of playing “Team A vs Team B” style games such as the party favorites Werewolf or Mafia.
The Resistance is a game about a group who’s trying to overthrow the government, and they’ve got a set of missions that will allow them to do so, if enough of them can succeed. However, a small group of Spies have infiltrated the Resistance, and are trying to stop them.
I would advise that one person with a firm grasp on the rules be designated as the one who calls out instructions. This person should be selected before loyalty is determined. Before the game gets into the thick of things, all of the five-to-ten players are dealt a loyalty card, denoting which side of the struggle you’re going to be playing on for this game. Everyone is allowed to look at their own loyalty card, but nobody else’s. At this point, all players will be instructed to close their eyes, maybe lower their heads as well, but in general, everyone needs to not see everyone else. When the signal is given, the Spies will open their eyes, so they are fully aware of who their allies are. The call will be given for everyone to close their eyes again, then everyone, including Resistance members, will open their eyes.
Play will now enter a cycle, and depending on how many players there are, the game determines how many missions are on the line. In order for the Spies to win, one of two conditions has to be met: three missions have to fail or five mission planning phases pass without a majority of the players agreeing to send the selected mission members on the current mission.
Each Mission has a Leader, who is selected in turn order, and is passed to the player on the left, when a condition mandates that the role of Leader is passed. The Leader will select a number of players to be assigned to the mission, as dictated by the board corresponding to the number of players in the game. The Leader may select themselves as one of the participants. Once the Team is selected all players can conduct a public debate, asking questions about why members were selected, if the mission is a good idea or not, and more. In a public vote, everyone decides if the Team should go on the mission. If the majority of players say no, or if it’s a tie, then the Team is scrapped, and the next Leader in succession starts this previous phase again.
With the Team selected, each participant is given a pair of cards: Success or Fail. If the participant is a Resistance member, they always have to secretly select their Success card. Spies may choose to either select the Success card (to hopefully mask their loyalty), or the Fail card. Once all the cards are submitted, all unused cards are collected, and then the selected cards are collected by the Leader to be shuffled and mixed, then revealed. If a single Fail card is found in the collection (In certain player size groups, 2 Fail cards are required), the Mission fails, and a point is given to the Spies. This also reveals the fact that a Spy was a participant in that Mission. Once the outcome of the Mission is decided, the next Leader in succession takes over, and the first phase of picking the Mission Team begins again.
In the Second Edition, Plot cards were added to the game, allowing more methods to discover the loyalties of Spies and Resistance members, as well as hiding identities, hijacking who’s in charge, and more. Primarily, these cards are meant to be used with players who’re more used to the game, and wanting more depth and tools at their disposal.
This game has a few advantages to other similar party games. In The Resistance, all players participate from beginning-to-end, where as games like Mafia can have a player removed at the start, and making it so that player needs to find something to occupy their time until the game ends. Also, the game is incredibly fast. Perfect if you’ve got about thirty or forty-five minutes, and you can self regulate how long the voting phase goes on.