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Game Review: The Resistance
At Board Game Night at Ithaca Generator tonight we played two new games (both recently shown on TableTop). I think both are worthy of reviews.

The first game we played was "The Resistance", published by Indie Board and Games. The Resistance is a traitor-in-your-midst style game, and like others in that genre, the enjoyment and play comes out of the player interactions more than the actual game mechanics. Unlike "Are You A Werewolf" (the other major game in this genre I've played), the game is balanced in terms of speed and keeping players involved.

The story line of the game is that the players are a cell in a resistance movement fighting against a post-corporate-takeover dystopian regime. The goal of the cell is to successfully perform missions against the government. However, within the cell are government infiltrators/spies, who are trying to remain undercover while thwarting the missions of the resistance cell.

The basic play of the game for 5 players is simple: After a setup phase where two spies are secretly chosen and allowed to be known to each other, the players try to complete 5 missions. For each mission, the cell leader selects 2-3 members to be on the mission team, and then the cell votes to approve the mission plan. If the plan is rejected, the next player becomes cell leader and forms a new mission plan. When a plan is accepted, the mission team votes by secret ballot on the success or failure of the mission: loyal resistance members must vote "success", spies may vote "success" or "fail". If there is at least one "fail" vote, the mission fails. Success or fail, the next player becomes the new cell leader for the next mission. If 3 missions succeed, the Resistance wins; if 3 missions fail, the Spies win.

The game is well balanced; 5 missions is not a lot of rounds, so the game goes quickly. All the players are in the game until the very end, and except for a brief bit at the beginning, all the communication between players is in the open. The game mechanic of missions, choosing teams, voting, etc adds more "real" information about who is on what team to play with, but doesn't make it a game of pure logical deduction, but it isn't a game of pure deceit and argument either. As such, it is challenging, blufftastic, and fun, with lots of repeat play possibilities. It is a bit mentally/emotionally taxing, so we quit after three games not because we were getting bored, but needed a break. We were all agreed that the 13 year age minimum was reasonable.

The game is designed for 5 to 10 players, with the main variants being the number of spies as well as the number of mission team members on each mission. A 5 player game has 2 spies and the missions are 2-3-2-3-3 in team size. A 10 player game has 4 spies and the missions are 3-4-4-5-5 in team size.

I suspect that this game will be a favorite at game nights to come.

If you want to see how it's played, I've linked to the TableTop episode about it.