Updated: Jun 14
Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of hard cider. That’s right the Game Night Crew are coming to the end of their voyage down the Silsden Canal, but we still have time for one last game before we hand back the keys to our trusty and completely seaworthy craft.
We set off from East Marton knowing we had an incredible 24 locks to do before nightfall, however we were seasoned sailors now and a few little locks posed no problem. In fact, it would prove to be open water that was our undoing. With Phillip at the helm and myself on the throttle we decided to open up the taps and attempted to powerslide round a particularly tight right hand bend… We ended up in a tree, lodged quite firmly on the opposite bank with a tour group of grannies waving to us as they sailed serenely by.
The rest of the journey was plain sailing though as we approached the final leg, just one lock to go. We pulled into the bank and Steve leapt off to help tie up the barge as Phil and I brought the back end in. However, as Steve hit the bank it gave way and he slipped, falling into the water as our vessel, swung towards him. There was nothing we could do, putting on the power would only hasten Steve’s demise as he was crushed between the metal hull and rocky shore.
On the opposite bank Bob and Vince called out in terror. Steve scrambled, grabbing the thick and luscious vegetation and just in the nick of time he pulled himself from the water and away from the steel tub that was barrelling towards him.
And so it was that we pulled into Skipton with one of our number wet and shaken but I knew how to fix the problem, GAMES!
A Quick Overview
The Resistance takes place over the course of 5 rounds. At the beginning of the game the players are dealt a loyalty card, either they are loyal members of the rebellion or corporate spies sent to bring down the resistance from the inside. The spies know one another while the rebels have no idea who is loyal.
Each round of the game one player is nominated as the leader and must choose a number of players to go on a mission. The chosen players are dealt two cards, one is a success, the other a fail. They then each play a card into the centre of the table and those cards are shuffled and revealed one at a time. If all the cards are a success the mission succeeds, however a single fail card will tank the mission and give a victory to the corporation players.
The first team to secure 3 victories is the winner.
The game is not in the game!
If you just read my description of the game you would be forgiven for thinking… is that it? Five rounds where not everyone at the table picks from two cards and then those cards are revealed… Let me get my inhaler, the excitement is too much. However, the truth is that the game is in the players minds and in the table talk and the suspicion that every single round compounds until it reaches fever pitch and someone attempts to flip the table only to realise it’s bolted to the deck of the boat and puts their back out!
No one knows anything, except for the spies. In a 5 player game the team leader must choose 2 people to go on the first mission. If they choose a spy does the spy fail the mission? If they do the other players know that one of the two players is a spy… but which one. If they don’t the resistance is one step closer to victory.
The leader changes and he appoints a new team. If the last round succeeded does he send those people again? Or does he send the three other players? After team leader Bob makes his choice all players can vote on the team that has been chosen. This gives the players some control over the outcome. If a majority of players veto the current team the next player becomes leader and a new team is chosen. As suspicion builds you can use your vote to influence the others. As a spy, winning over non-spies is the only path to victory. Making them believe you are one hundred percent on their side only to stab them in the back with the final reveal.
Rounds 3 through 5
If the spies have not won one of the first two rounds they are going to have to reveal themselves now or lose. Suspicion is at its highest and the game is getting really good. The rounds take longer, there are more votes, more vetoes and the table talk has started to get personal.
This is not a game you want to play with someone who can’t separate real life and playing a game… not if you want to keep them in your life. However, if instead you are looking for a way to jettison them then this game is a cheap way to avoid an awkward conversation at a dinner party five years down the road.
Did they like it?
As you can probably tell by now I am a big fan of The Resistance and of all secret identity social deduction games. My group however seemed to take to it too. I think the simplicity of the game appeals to them, it’s all about the atmosphere and the discussions and the analysis because the mechanics of the game just get out of the way.
However this is also a game that can outstay its welcome. It’s fun to be suspicious of your nearest and dearest, to see just how conniving Steven can really be, to see just how brazenly Bob can lie to Mrs Bob. However it can also wear you down and it’s nice to stop and have a palate cleanser and to remember, it’s just a game.
You can play the resistance with nothing more than a deck of cards with Spy or Not-Spy written on them and some counters that mark if you want the mission to pass or fail. However Indie Boards and Cards have made a really nice edition with some great art and components for really a very small price.
The box is small enough to fit in the side pocket of a bag and the game plays quickly and easily. For me this a no-brainer, a simple game to pull out and have fun with any group regardless of their gaming pedigree.
However just realise that some personality types are not going to love this game but remember it is just a game.