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Subject: So I have the Merlin and Assassin promos...... rss

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Mark Shilling
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But I am not sure whether I should try and use them in my upcoming games night and here is why...

I have a group of friends who have played vanilla resistance a few times. I have an upcoming games night and we are going to play resistance again. This time, I will have 6 players who have played at least once and 3 players who are new to resistance and who are not big gamers.

When we have played before we have used the plot cards but.... We have had an occasion where certain cards came out and basically outed a spy (who was in his first game) and it left a bit of a sour taste for him.

I have Merlin and the Assassin promo cards and am thinking that we could use these instead of plot cards.

Is it wise to try this in this setting?

Could we use them together with plot cards?

Does it make the game easier than with plot cards?

Is it a better experience with/without?

What would you guys recommend I do in this situation?

 
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Charlie Theel
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I would definitely use them. When explaining Merlin, just make sure to point out you do not want to be obvious.
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Travis Worthington
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I would play "vanilla" resistance, no plot cards, no merlin/assassin.

Some may be able to jump right into the deep end with either of these - but many can't. vanilla resistance works great, and is balanced at 5&6 players without either the plot cards or additional roles. The tournaments we ran at GenCon and PAX were done with 5-6 player tables and very experienced players with equal win rates between spies and resistance.

Lots of press here on BGG that the Avalon roles are better - but my view playing with many different people with different experience levels is that both the plot cards and merlin role can result in bad experiences for a group that is not that familiar with hidden identity games. They are both great fun with experienced groups that know how to deal with being "outed" - in that you are never really out of the game.

That said, if you only play with plot cards designated for 5-6 players there is only one card that even semi outs you. You don't play with the cards that don't have a 5 or 6 on them.
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Travis Worthington
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Sorry - didn't see that you would have 9.

But I would still recommend that you play vanilla resistance. It might not be that balanced but it will likely be more fun if you start off without either the plot cards or merlin/assassin.

With newer players it is far too easy for an inexperienced merlin to essentially ruin the game for everyone. Its a tricky role to play well, and more often than not the first time someone plays it (even an experienced resistance player) they end up outing themselves.

I would answer differently if everyone was very familiar with werewolf/mafia and many other logic based hidden identity games - they would have the experience to draw upon. But there is enough new things for a "non-gamer" to take in with base resistance already so adding a complex role (or even the plot cards) is likely going to overload them.

Have fun, invite them back for a next time and then add in some of the more complex things.
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Pasi Ojala
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T Worthington wrote:
both the plot cards and merlin role can result in bad experiences for a group that is not that familiar with hidden identity games.


Simply just playing a hidden identity game can result in bad experiences for someone that is not familiar with them.

The key is to take it as a learning experience, and in the case of Avalon, a game takes only that long and the next one is just around the corner. Anyone playing Merlin for the first time is probably going to make the same mistakes.
 
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Charlie Theel
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Oh I missed that 3 of the players had never played before. In that case, I would play a game Vanilla and see what they think. If everything is smooth, maybe then include Assassin/Merlin.
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Jesse Chapman
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T Worthington wrote:
Its a tricky role to play well, and more often than not the first time someone plays it (even an experienced resistance player) they end up outing themselves.


I'd also add here that the Merlin role is tricky for fellow Resistance members to hide well, which is equally important in my opinion. I'm one of the more experienced players in my group. When I'm not Merlin but am Resistance I spend most of my time talking in code and not making solid statements. That really puts a lot of the heat on me, and takes it off Merlin. When you're playing as Merlin, if other players are just spouting incorrect statements constantly ("YOU'RE A SPY CLEARLY" when they're not) then it makes your job immensely more difficult.
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Clyde W
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I would play with Merlin/Assassin for your first game. Just have 'em jump right in.
 
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Mark Shilling
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Wow, that's a lot of great advice and opinions. Thanks! Since it's all quite contradictory I'm not sure what I will do. Have to give it some further thought!

Cheers
 
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Mark Shilling
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If I decide to go with Merlin and Assassin do I have to remove any specific plot cards or can they all go in the mix together?
 
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Clyde W
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superdupergeek wrote:
If I decide to go with Merlin and Assassin do I have to remove any specific plot cards or can they all go in the mix together?
Oh, if you're playing Merlin Assassin I would ditch plot cards entirely. But, no, you don't need to remove any plot cards, you just need to change the way they work. Instead of looking at a player's role card, you have to look at their "allegiance". You may do that any way you choose (using voting tokens, mission cards, etc.). Because if Assassin looks at Merlin's role card, then it's basically an autowin for spies.
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Mark Shilling
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Would you say that there is a recommended minimum number of players below which I should NOT use Merlin and Assassin?
 
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Clyde W
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Nah, you can use them at any count...they're best at 7, like the regular game, and strongly encouraged at 8+.
 
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