By: Ashley Quirke
The Resistance is a social strategy game for 5 to 10 players. The players take on roles as members of a highly trained team set on taking down a corrupt government. The only thing stopping them? The government spies that have infiltrated their ranks! The game involves two factions: The Resistance and The Spies. At the beginning of the game, players are dealt a card that tells them what faction they belong to. Gameplay revolves around players conducting five missions. The goal for players on the Resistance is to ensure that at least 3 out of the 5 missions succeed, and the goal for the spies is to see to it that 3 of the 5 missions fail. The game starts with everyone closing their eyes with the exception of the spies. The spies are the only ones who know everyone’s identities in the game. This allows them to work together to shut down the Resistance.
Each round involves a mission and a few votes. It all starts with a team leader, the team leader’s job is to select people to go on the round’s mission. The number of people allowed on the mission changes with both the number of people playing, as well as what round it is. For example, the first round with 5 players requires 2 people to go on the mission, while the 5th round requires 3. After the mission team is chosen, players vote to approve or disapprove the team. If the team is disapproved, the player to the leader’s left becomes the new team leader, and they have to select a new team. If the team is approved, the mission goes ahead. If 5 teams throughout the entire game get disapproved, the spies win.
Next, each mission team member votes to either pass or fail the mission. Only the spies are allowed to vote fail, but they can vote to pass as well! This can be an important strategy in trying to deflect suspicion away from you if you’re a spy! Once the vote is over, the result is recorded and round 2 beings.
One of the things I really like about this game is the strategy. If you’re a spy, there are many ways to try to bluff people into thinking that you truly are Resistance. One is to try to get put on the first mission, but vote to pass it. This makes people think that you are trustworthy. The next time you get put on a mission, fail it but deflect suspicion on to someone else. When my group of friends play, the spies use me for this all the time, and it works! If you’re on the Resistance, a good strategy is to try to figure out who the spies are as soon as you can. Pay attention to who the team leaders are putting on missions, this can give you a lot of clues.
One thing to be careful of when you’re playing is mixing up the voting and discard piles. Voting is done using cards and markers. There have been instances where I’ve played where we have mixed up which one is which, and missions have failed that were supposed to have been passed. It’s helpful if the players hold on to the marker they plan on discarding until after the vote has been taken.
There are expansions available for the game that add new roles and characters into the mix. For example, one expansion adds a character named Merlin, who knows who the spies are, as well as an Assassin character. If the Resistance succeeds on 3 missions, the spies can win if the Assassin correctly guesses who Merlin is, so Merlin must be very careful not to be overt about knowing who the spies are! The replay value is extraordinary, it’s become a staple at all my games nights. If you enjoy yelling at, laughing with and betraying your friends, then this game is definitely for you!