Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Introducing the Avalon version of Resistance

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the game The Resistance, a social deduction game designed by Don Eskridge in the style of the ever-popular Werewolf. In this game, players assume the role of either a Resistance freedom fighter, or a spy for a repressive government that is trying to thwart the efforts of the Resistance rebels. The fun part is that these roles are assigned secretly, meaning that you don't know whether or not other players are on your team. Players must then vote together to decide which of them goes on a mission, which will either pass or fail - the outcome depending on a secret vote cast by those who were elected to go on the mission. And here is where the heart of the game kicks in: players will use discussion, deception and intuition in an attempt to identify the members of the opposing force and ensure victory for their team.

If ever a game had the potential to pack an incredible social game experience in a box, The Resistance is exactly that kind of party game! It's a superb social game, very similar in feel to the well-known Mafia or Werewolf, but arguably better. How could a social game be better than Werewolf? Well, for one thing, there's no player elimination. There's also room for more deduction, because players have more data to work with, based on how players vote and based on the outcome of various missions. It also handles smaller groups from as few as five or six players. So if you enjoy social games with hidden roles, and if you're a fan of Werewolf in particular, The Resistance is essential! It has attracted a devoted fan-base and has generated some serious momentum in the game industry, even appearing in an improved second edition that enhanced its aesthetics further.

The year 2012 saw The Resistance continue its fairy tale ride of success, when it appeared in a rethemed edition, which is the subject of this review: The Resistance: Avalon. Avalon takes the engine of Resistance, adds a couple of small tweaks, and a new King Arthur theme. This re-skinned version of The Resistance has proven so popular, that Avalon has leapfrogged the original game in the BGG rankings, and recently entered the Top 50, making it the #1 ranked Party Game on BGG. That's quite an accomplishment, and it's great news for its designer Don Eskridge, and for its publisher, the hard-working Travis Worthington from Indie Boards & Cards. In this pictorial overview, I'll show you what the Avalon version of The Resistance looks like, explain how it's different from the original game, and share some concluding thoughts.

COMPONENTS

Game box

The game box of this edition is the same size as the second edition of The Resistance, and features one of the loyal servants of King Arthur.


Box cover

The back of the box introduces the theme of the game, namely the battle between the forces of good (King Arthur and his loyal servants) and the forces of evil (Mordred and his minions).


Box back

Component list

Let's pull everything out of the box and give you a complete list of what you get with the game.

● 14 Character Cards (4 for optional use)
● 3 Score Tableaus (double-sided)
● 5 Score markers (double-sided blue/red)
● 1 Leader token
● 5 Team tokens
● 20 Vote tokens (10 Approve & 10 Reject)
● 10 Quest Cards (5 Success & 5 Failure)
● 1 Round marker
● 1 Vote marker
● 2 Loyalty cards (optional use)
● 1 Lady of the Lake token (optional use)
● Instructions


Everything you get inside the box

Character cards

The character cards are the cards that are secretly dealt to players to determine which team they're on. The standard game features six Good characters (blue) and four Evil characters (Red), each with unique artwork, and marked with the insignia of their team. The cards also feature a quality linen finish.


Six Good characters and four Evil characters

One important difference from the original Resistance is that two of these characters have special roles: Merlin (Good) and Assassin (Evil). Merlin gets to know who all the Evil players are at the start of the game, but must use this knowledge wisely, because if the Good team wins by getting three successful quests, the Assassin member of the Evil team may consult with his team-mates and try to guess who which member of the Good team is Merlin; a successful guess means the side of Evil wins after all.


Merlin and the Assassin

Scoring tableaus & markers

The Avalon edition comes with three double sided scoring tableaus, similar to those of Resistance, and there is an appropriate tableau for each number of players (5-10). The main track indicates the required number of players that go on each of the five quests, while the voting track at the bottom of each tableau is used to keep track of the number of consecutive attempts to form a team. The tableaus are made of thin but durable card, and feature beautiful artwork that is unique to each different tableau.


Scoring tableau cards

To help keep track of quests won or lost, there are five double-sided score markers, which are placed on the scoring tableau depending on who won the mission - blue Arthur insignia artwork on one side for a successful quest achieved by the good guys, red Mordred insignia on the reverse for a failed quest achieved by the bad guys.


Scoring markers

There's also two additional tokens, a round marker to keep track of the rounds, and a voting track marker to keep track of how many consecutive attempts there have been for making a team (which is important to keep track of, because five failed votes in a row means that Evil wins the game).


Round & voting track markers

Team leader & member tokens

The Team leader (who proposes teams) has his own token (a crown), in order to clearly and visibly designate which player this is. Along with this are five cardboard team tokens that are used by the team leader to indicate who he is proposing to be on a team. These tokens help make it easy to propose teams, by placing tokens in front of the players nominated for a team to complete a particular quest.



Vote tokens

Players will indicate whether or not they support a proposed team by using vote tokens, each player getting two (Approve and Reject). These are handy cardboard tokens and are very clearly labelled. Some folks dispense with them and just have players do a thumbs up/down gesture simultaneously, or use black/white stones, so there's lots of ways you can do this.

Quest cards

These Quest cards are what players who go on a quest will use to indicate whether it succeeds or fails.



Optional extra: Additional characters

In addition to the standard characters, Avalon introduces several optional character cards that have special powers. On the side of Good, Percival can know who Merlin is from the start of the game (which helps the Good team). On the side of Evil, Mordred can remain hidden from Merlin (which helps the Evil team); while Oberon is on the side of Evil but remains hidden from the other minions of Mordred and also doesn't know who they are (which helps the Good team); and Morgana reveals herself to Percival as a false Merlin (which helps the Evil team).


Percival, Mordred, Oberon, and Morgana

Optional extra: Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake token gives the player who holds it the ability to look at the loyalty of another player. Since specific character names must remain secret (e.g. the Lady of the Lake may only know a player's loyalty, not whether they are Merlin or the Assassin), the player under scrutiny shows the Lady of the Lake one of the two loyalty cards (blue = Good, red = Evil) rather than his actual character card. The Lady of the Lake's ability can be used after the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quests, and after another player's loyalty has been examined, that player gets the Lady of the Lake token to use at the end of the next quest. This assists the Good team, and is best used for games of 7 or more players. The loyalty cards can also used when playing with the Plot Thickens expansion.


Lady of the Lake token plus the two Loyalty cards

Rules

The game comes with an 8 page English language rulebook, which includes rules for the optional characters and other optional elements, such as the Lady of the Lake, and a Targeting variant which allows players to complete quests in the order of their choice.


Sample spread from the rulebook

CONCLUSIONS

How Avalon differs from the The Resistance

I won't be covering all the rules or gameplay of Avalon, since my pictorial review of the original game of The Resistance covers the basics quite comprehensively, and the game-play of Avalon isn't really much different. The core of the game is the same and unchanged, so this article is more for those who are already familiar with The Resistance or are wondering about how Avalon is different.

1. Different theme: Instead of the futuristic sci-fi theme of The Resistance, Avalon brings the setting of the game into the world of King Arthur and his knights. We've seen traitor type games doing this before (e.g. Shadows Over Camelot), and this setting really does lend itself to a game of this nature, especially where there are unique character roles. Given that there are certain characters that have a special function (e.g. Merlin), the characters of Avalon really do help bring to life a story-line most people are familiar with, and if they wish, players can enhance this by storytelling and by providing details about what the quests are as the game progresses. Ultimately the theme is going to be a matter of preference, but the change to the Arthurian theme does work well, in my opinion, and for me personally it makes the game easier to introduce and explain to people.

2. Different artwork: Obviously this goes hand in hand with the previous point, because the changed theme has to be supported by new artwork corresponding to it. Generally speaking the components of Avalon have the same look, size, quality, and feel as the components of The Resistance, the only real difference being changed artwork. Not surprisingly the artistic style used for the characters is reminiscent of some of the other games from Indie Boards and Cards (e.g. Flash Point). The artwork for both games is a welcome departure from the traditional style of artwork we've seen in many European games in recent years, and it is quite good; I especially think that the scoring tableaus in Avalon are very nice.

3. Plot cards removed: The Plot cards were a mini-expansion that was incorporated with The Resistance from the beginning, and while not necessary for 5-6 player games, they are widely considered to be necessary for games with more players in order to ensure that the game isn't too imbalanced in favour of the Spies. These Plot cards aren't included in Avalon, and I have mixed feelings about this. On the plus side, they were another means of getting information that players could use as part of their deduction - or to sow further confusion, doubt, and deception! But at the same time, they did add a layer of complexity that could become fiddly and confusing, especially for first time players. Thankfully the Merlin/Assassin roles of Avalon, along with the other optional roles that can be added to the game (especially the Lady of the Lake), really do accomplish the same goal of ensuring balance in a more elegant way. Given these additions to Avalon, the Plot cards are quite unnecessary, so I don't think I'll miss them. In that regard Avalon is probably more newbie-friendly too.

4. Merlin and Assassin roles added: Avalon gives a special role to one player on the Good team (Merlin) and one player on the Evil team (Assassin). This changes the game - in a good way - because it means that one of the players on the side of Good has perfect information about who the Evil guys are, but he has to be very careful in how he uses this knowledge otherwise he'll be eliminated by the Assassin at game end and still lose. These roles gives some valuable assistance to the Good team, which is particularly welcome in games with a larger number of players. With the original Resistance, games with 7 or more players tended to favour the Spies, making the Plot card expansion almost essential for a larger group, but this comes at the cost of needing to add more complexity to the game, which new players aren't always ready for. The Merlin and Assassin roles keep the game more balanced without sacrificing elegance, and accomplish this in a much more streamlined way. They also add a real element of suspense, because a victory for the Good team isn't guaranteed if the Merlin player is ferreted out at the end. Admittedly, the Merlin role can be tricky to play well, and an inexperienced Merlin can ruin the game by giving themselves away too easily. But overall this small change really helps the game, and most people who are familiar with Merlin/Assassin, wouldn't go back to the vanilla form of the game.

5. Optional Character roles added: Still not happy with game balance? Avalon also adds four other characters that can be added to the game easily, either individually or together as desired. Percival and Oberon will generally make the game easier for the Good team, while Mordred and Morgana will make the game easier for Evil team. These are welcome additions that you can incorporate into the game to assist with game balance, but they also inject new elements into the game for experienced players who are looking to change things up. A very nice addition, again more elegant than the Plot cards. It's not a good idea to introduce all these right away with new players however.

6. Optional Lady of the Lake ability added: The Lady of the Lake also helps the side of Good, by giving players opportunity to learn the loyalty of some of the other players as the game progresses. As such, it accomplishes some of the same things as the Plot cards from the original Resistance, but in a more straight forward and simple manner. Just as with the optional characters, the Lady of the Lake is an optional item that can be added once you get more familiar with the game or feel the need for it. It's another elegant change to the original game, that I really like.

7. Optional Excalibur and Lancelot promo cards: Backers of the original Kickstarter campaign for Avalon also received 10 additional cards for the game, which apparently will be coming back into stock and distributed via the BGG store in the next month. The Excalibur mechanic adds an ability where the Leader can select a player who can attack another player on a Quest. The Lancelot character can switch allegiances (hence it comes with two cards, plus seven other supporting cards) - an intriguing concept that has met with mixed feedback. I haven't played with these, since they don't come with the retail package.

Customize the experience to your preference: It bears mentioning that there is a certain amount of fluidity between the two Resistance games. They really aren't terribly different, and perhaps the biggest choice that needs to be made is that of theme and artwork. Although there are two ways to play the game (Resistance style using Plot cards or Avalon style using special character roles like Merlin/Assassin), it's easy enough to play both of these ways with whatever copy of the game you have:
Want to play the Resistance style with your Avalon cards? If you really do like playing with the Avalon theme but want to use the Plot cards from the Resistance, they are available for separate purchase here on BGG (link), or you can just add them in from your copy of The Resistance.
Want to play the Avalon style with your Resistance cards? If you really want to play with The Resistance theme but want to use Merlin/Assassin characters from Avalon, you can try to get hold of the two Resistance-themed promo cards of Merlin and the Assassin made for this purpose (link), or it's easy enough to designate some of the characters from The Resistance with these and the other optional roles. See the detailed suggestions and discussions about adding Avalon roles to The Resistance in the BGG forums (here and here and here and here and here).



What do others think?

There are going to be people who just don't find highly social bluffing games like The Resistance or Avalon at all appealing, and in this review I'm not going to highlight all the reasons why that might be. If you really don't care for this genre of games, you probably haven't made it this far in the review anyway, because this kind of party game just won't be your cup of tea. What I am interested in is some of the things that dedicated players of both games might consider to be weaknesses of Avalon, or the ways in which they think it improves upon The Resistance.

Q. What do people generally think about Avalon?
A. They love it.

There's a lot of good things that can be said and have been said about the overall experience of Avalon, so I'll start by sharing a few of these very positive general comments:
"Great deductive fun. This game is deeper than it appears at first glance, particularly with an attentive and enthusiastic game group." - Gustavo Sanchez
"Really good game where you play the players and not the game. Fast, furious and a great way to practice your acting skills and poker face." - Marlon Montes
"Truly great social game; all the good parts of Mafia while greatly reducing the downsides (excessively limited information and player elimination)." - RedScharlach
"One of the best social werewolf-life games." - Antti Yli-Tainio
"The game that managed to dethrone my all-time-favorite - Werewolf. Brilliant!" - imagicnation
"The best negotiating game for large groups - now with higher production value and a more available theme." - Kristian Amundsen Østby


Q. Which version of Resistance do most people prefer?
A. Avalon.

What I'm especially interested in is how Avalon compares with The Resistance. There are always going to be fans who prefer one or the other, but at the end of the day the ratings and rankings speak quite clearly. The Resistance is ranked #74 and has an average rating of 7.55, while Avalon is ranked #46 and has an average rating of 8.03. It's not my intention to rile those who prefer The Resistance over Avalon, but the reality is that most people have a clear preference that Avalon is the better of the two games. So let's hear from some people who clearly state that Avalon is their preferred flavour of these two great games:
"An even better way to play Resistance. The new characters have the good players bluffing as much as the bad." - John Smith
"The Resistance is a good game. Avalon is a great game." - Asmor
"With thirty games of Avalon under my belt (and 40 of Resistance), I can say that Avalon is much better." - GeekInsight
"I would rather play Avalon over Resistance pretty much every time. It's that much better." - Clyde W
"JUST as good, if not better, than the original. The player powers add so much to an already near perfect game." - Ryan James
"Truly amazing game - perfects what was already a strong game in "The Resistance"." - jmzero
"I also love the theme and variant changes from the original game." - David Morcerf
"Took Resistance TO THE NEXT LEVEL." - Derek Thompson
"Adds many levels of depth to what was already my favourite game." - Christopher LCP Mendes
"It's The Resistance, but better!" - Paul Burton
"It took what I loved about The Resistance and improved upon it." - Claus Madsen


Q. Why do most people prefer Avalon?
A. Because its character roles are an improvement on the Plot cards from The Resistance.

The masses have spoken, and the clear consensus is that Avalon is the better of the two games, but why? The main reason has to do with folks loving what the character roles add to the game, which they consider to be better than the Plot cards from The Resistance:
"I feel as though I can't go back to the old version now. The roles add such a depth to the game." - Ian Zang
"Liked this better than original, with Merlin and most other characters." - Stephen Sanders
"The addition of all the roles in Avalon though, most notably Merlin, takes the game to the next level." - Sam London
"Plot Cards were always the weakest part of Resistance. Roles is clearly superior, and I don't see me ever playing the former again." - Colin Sham
"Avalon adds special roles and unique abilities to the already impeccable "The Resistance". These new features not only mix up the play for players bored with the original, but also generally improve it, demanding greater involvement from the Resistance players and giving them a much needed edge over the expert spy players in my crew." - Michael Esau
"This game actually takes what was great about The Resistance, implements a few new twists using special characters, removes the Plot Cards--which tended to bog down the game--, and incredibly makes the game better!" - Shane Larsen
"Our family loves the first edition of The Resistance and now Avalon introduces some juicy new roles that take the fun up a notch." - Mark Tyler
"This is a better version of The Resistance. The plot card in the original game were fun but could be very random, and the fact that they were public information often made them hard to play well." - schwarzott
"The addition of roles makes for a different game which adds the initial information for Merlin, and Perceval. With multiple different characters available to play with the odds on either side, the game offers more variability and makes for an even better experience." - Ludovic Roy
"The new roles just make the Resistance so much better. The fact some people know more than others means there's a lot more going on but the need to hide identities means you can't be too obvious. Brilliant, just brilliant." - Geoff Thomas
"The Resistance is one of my favourite games and Avalon is even better, with nicer components, gorgeous artwork and some interesting options and twists with Merlin and the Assassin adding extra tension." - Craig Somerton
"Plot Cards can turn a 30 minute game into a 90 game (for my group). The Avalon roles do the same sort of stuff but in a smaller amount of time ... The thing I like best about Avalon is that it has an extreme level of customizability. Moreover, the Merlin mechanic levels the playing field." - Clyde W
"This one is actually considerably better than the original. The different characters force you to consider the different perspectives more carefully - what do you know about people, what do they know about you, what does everyone think they know. Forget your plot cards, characters are where it is at!" - Claudio Campuzano
"Avalon is, by far, the superior game. I will take individual roles over the "plot cards" any day. Not only can you use the roles to balance and fine-tune the game based on your group, but I find that people tend to be more engaged in the game if they have a specialized power that they can use, or that they need to look out for in other players." - Shawn George


Q. How does the Merlin mechanic change the game?
A. It forces extra deception, requires additional deduction, and helps ensure balance.

Most people appreciate the fact that Merlin gives one Good player perfect information that he can't openly disclose, while giving Bad players something else to figure out. Here's what people have to say about the addition of Merlin and the Assassin, and why it improves the game:
"The core change is Merlin, which is just an incredibly subtle and well-designed role. The tension is absolutely perfect--he knows, he wants to help the team win, but if he's obvious about it the team will lose." - Eric Walkingshaw
"Merlin's hard to play well, harder than spy even, but once you discover the many tricks you can play, the game becomes something else entirely." - Clyde W
"My issue with the original Resistance is that the optimal way to play is solely to engender trust. Once your group learns to do that the game loses a lot on tension. Avalon fixes that by giving everyone a reason to be deceptive! Merlin makes every game tense, even for experts." - Paul Smith
"At first I thought the addition of Merlin might ruin the game, but it adds something brilliant. Playing a Spy is usually hard, because you have to hide what you know. Now there is an additional character that has to play with this burden." - Wyckyd
"It really changes the game. It gives the spies something to figure out as well, now they have to look closely at the interactions between the rebels. It's really fun, but it makes it much, much harder for spies to fail three missions... With Merlin, finding Merlin is arguably the more important goal for the spies." - Klaus Aldrich
"Merlin/Assassin roles intensify the core gameplay - trying to figure out who's who - giving evil players a mystery to solve, and giving a good player complete information (at least until other roles start being included)." - Robert Stewart
"That Merlin card adds a layer to the game that I think alleviates pressure on everybody. If you're a good guy you at least know you have Merlin on your side when everyone is pointing fingers at you. And if you're the bad guy you know you can fail but have one last shot. Both sides are also occupied with deducing who is who, rather than just the bad guys manipulating everyone else." - monawhat
"Merlin also does this by adding extra knowledge to the pool (in this case concentrated in a single player), but the whole Merlin/Assassin mechanic also adds a lot of depth to the game. Merlin is tough to play well, but having him and the Assassin in play means that literally everybody at the table has a reason to lie through their teeth. The bad guys are still trying not to get found out, but the good guys are also trying to disguise themselves as Merlin so he doesn't get assassinated." - DorkmasterFlek


Q. Why might you not like Avalon?
A. Because of the theme, or the Merlin mechanic.

One obvious reason why some critics might prefer The Resistance above Avalon is of course because of the theme; the medieval Arthurian setting won't appeal to everyone, and this is purely a matter of taste. There were some issues with the components when Avalon was first released and which attracted some criticism, but to the best of my knowledge these have all been resolved in the latest reprint (October/November 2013); all the typos and other such complaints appear to have been corrected in the copy of the game that I have, and the quality of the voting chips seems okay so far, but if you're fussy it's still probably worth following the advice about a sealant here. Not everyone is a fan of the Merlin mechanic, especially since the Evil team can win by a random guess by the Assassin at the end, or if Merlin accidentally reveals himself too easily during the game; it's certainly a role that needs to be played in a very subtle and careful way.

Q. Which version of Resistance should you get?
A. Avalon.

By now it's probably quite obvious what experienced players would suggest you do: Get Avalon!
"The only thing you get in the original that's not available in Avalon are the plot cards. They're missed a bit, but the Merlin/Assassin dynamic adds a LOT to the game. Mordred, Oberon, Morgana and Percival as well. No question, go Avalon." - Asmor
"I like the variablilty of Avalon, the theme of Resistance, and the gameplay of both. I own both but if I could only have one, Avalon." - Clyde W
"You can play the base concepts of both with either set. You get the extra roles with Avalon, versus the Plot cards in the base game. The plot cards add a LOT of complexity, more so than the new roles. Therefore I'd go with Avalon instead." - Derek Thompson
"There's also a lot more support for fine-tuning Avalon than 2nd Ed - you could customise your plot card deck, but the additional roles in Avalon are specifically designed to be optional and tilt things toward one side or the other." - Robert Stewart
"Just get Avalon. You can play the original rules using the Avalon set by removing Merlin/Assassin. And Avalon includes new extra roles and the lady of the lake. Also, you can buy the plot card set (which comes in the original Resistance) for like 5 bucks or something." - Brendan Little


For some further good comments and discussion about how the two games are different and which to get, see these threads: here or here or here. The advice given by Travis Worthington here is particularly useful; he suggests that there is an increasing level of complexity starting with vanilla Resistance gameplay, then Resistance with Avalon roles, and then Resistance with Plot cards, and that most people will prefer Avalon's simpler system of roles above the complexity of the Plot cards.



Recommendation

At the end of the day, if you're making a purchasing decision between The Resistance or The Resistance: Avalon, a big consideration will be which thematic flavour you prefer. As for the differences in game-play, my personal preference and the general consensus of opinion leans towards the special roles of Avalon rather than the Plot cards of The Resistance. But whichever theme and artwork you prefer, you can fairly easy customize your playing experience to incorporate the style of game-play that you like best, such as by adding the Merlin/Assassin roles to The Resistance. If you're new to both games, Avalon is probably the one to get, so that you have everything that you need right out of the box, with multiple options for changing things up as you go. Instead of Plot cards, it relies on different character roles, which effectively reimplements some of the ideas of the Plot cards in a far more elegant way, and it works just beautifully.

Ultimately, fans of the genre can hardly go wrong with picking up a copy of Avalon. I've said it before and I'll saying it again: given the huge amount of games published in recent years, being in the BGG top 50 is a tremendous honour. And to be ranked as the #1 Party Game on BGG is an outstanding achievement. These numbers say volumes about how good the Avalon flavour of The Resistance really is! When The Resistance first appeared, I suggested that it would win the Golden Geek award for best party game. It didn't, because the award ended up going to Telestrations in 2010 (currently ranked #219 on BGG) and to Dixit Odyssey in 2011 (currently ranked #95 on BGG). So I'm pleased to see Avalon leapfrog over both of these games, and even over the original Resistance, because it means that this wonderful game is finally enjoying some of the success it deserves.

The Resistance is a fantastic game, and in my opinion Avalon makes it even better. It removes some of the unnecessary complexity and length that is created by the Plot cards, and replaces it with some clever roles that ensure balance, give players more to think about, and give options for variability. The theme works well too, and for me personally if there was just one Resistance game I could keep, it would be Avalon. Effectively, Avalon is The Resistance 2.0. If you enjoy games with a high degree of social player interaction and discussion, bluffing and bluster, few experiences can match what is offered by The Resistance: Avalon! Highly recommended!



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

Subscribe to this list to be notified when new reviews are posted.

If you made it to the end of this review and found it helpful, please considering giving a thumbs up at the very top of the article, to let me know you were here, and to give others a better chance of seeing it.
  • [+] Dice rolls
Werner Bär
Germany
Karlsruhe
Baden
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
EndersGame wrote:
Q. Which version of Resistance do most people prefer?
A. Avalon.

What I'm especially interested in is how Avalon compares with The Resistance. There are always going to be fans who prefer one or the other, but at the end of the day the ratings and rankings speak quite clearly. The Resistance is ranked #74 and has an average rating of 7.55, while Avalon is ranked #46 and has an average rating of 8.03.

Part of this difference comes from the pre-selected audience: People who didn't like The Resistance won't try Avalon in the first place, resulting in less low ratings.

But People who rated both still prefer Avalon, just by some smaller margin.
At the moment, there are 1768 people who rated both games.
This group rates The Resistance: Avalon at 8.06, and The Resistance at 7.81.
42 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Small nit:

The targeting variant is in the original Resistance rulebook as well (at least in second edition - it's been too long since I saw a first edition rulebook for me to be sure) so it's not an addition for Avalon.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rmsgrey wrote:
Small nit:

The targeting variant is in the original Resistance rulebook as well (at least in second edition - it's been too long since I saw a first edition rulebook for me to be sure) so it's not an addition for Avalon.

You're quite right, Robert, thanks for pointing that out. I just checked the rulebooks from the first and second editions of The Resistance, and they both do mention the targeting variant, so I've removed mention of it from my above review on Avalon.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Marshall
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Useful review.

I played The Resistance to death when it first came out and initially loved it, but tired of it as it often degenerated into a drawn-out squabble with the level of debate only rarely rising above 'You're a spy!' - 'No, YOU'RE a spy!' i.e. Werewolf. Especially with loud/domineering players - or those who can't let a point go - it became an extended pain in the ass. The last time I played I deliberately made random choices on all the votes and missions - and still came out on the winning team. That ended my interest.

That said, losing the plot cards seems a good thing - I found them fiddly and detracted from the basic simplicity of the game, so maybe I'll try the newer version.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Rudisill
United States
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First, great review. I loved reading it.

This game has been very high on my "to buy" list for quite some time, I've just been looking for an excuse to pull the trigger. After this review, I've taken it off that list. I have a friend who is color blind, and he already struggled telling the difference between resistance and spy on the old cards. He had to use "Fist = resistance and Triangle = spy". But now? The blue/red color differential is still there, but the symbols are much more similar. In fact, I initially thought that they were the same until I took a very close look at the Loyalty cards and saw that there was a slight difference.

And that's really disappointing to me. I know that games are often going to put flavor and theme over functionality, but I'm sure that there's a way for them to keep the beautiful imagery while still making the game more accessible for everyone.

Ah well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Werner Bär
Germany
Karlsruhe
Baden
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tcrudisi wrote:
But now? The blue/red color differential is still there, but the symbols are much more similar. In fact, I initially thought that they were the same until I took a very close look at the Loyalty cards and saw that there was a slight difference.

How about the Text "Loyal Servant of Arthur" vs "Minion of Mordred" on the cards?
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tcrudisi wrote:
This game has been very high on my "to buy" list for quite some time, I've just been looking for an excuse to pull the trigger. After this review, I've taken it off that list. I have a friend who is color blind, and he already struggled telling the difference between resistance and spy on the old cards. He had to use "Fist = resistance and Triangle = spy". But now? The blue/red color differential is still there, but the symbols are much more similar. In fact, I initially thought that they were the same until I took a very close look at the Loyalty cards and saw that there was a slight difference.

And that's really disappointing to me. I know that games are often going to put flavor and theme over functionality, but I'm sure that there's a way for them to keep the beautiful imagery while still making the game more accessible for everyone.

Ah well.

Tim, I appreciate your concern. It's something I'm sensitive to personally, because one of my best friends is colour blind. It's been infuriating for both of us when there were games we couldn't play simply because publishers hadn't taken this into consideration.

You're absolutely right that there is a way for them to keep the beautiful art and still ensure the game is accessible to color blind gamers. And that's to put text on the cards, clearly stating whether a character is a "Loyal Servant of Arthur" or a "Minion of Mordred". Which they have done. Hurray!



So that's good news for you - Avalon can go back on your "to buy" list!
15 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i agree I prefer this version…but really, I would have preferred a single game with all the options. I'd like Avalon-themed plot cards to have been included…but now with Coup coming out and fleshing out the scifi resistance world…id rather have had The Resistance beefed up with the new roles and mechanics in the same setting. the product line is a bit confusing now, and id prefer a single shared world and look and feel from Resistance games…i owned resistance1, traded it when i got avalon, and would trade avalon if a "complete" version of original resistance was released with the merlin and role mechanics added in…my 2 cents.

it IS a great social game. and we prefer euros and strategy card games usually and avoid coop and negotiation games for the most part...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Kauk
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is not a party game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. UDO
United States
Chandler
AZ
flag msg tools
designer
badge
[This space intentionally left blank]
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Given that they are also providing the Merlin and Assassin cards for the original Resistance version, would you say that it brings the two more to par?

I supported Coup on kickstarter and chose to get a copy of the resistance over Avalon based on info I found at the time. It will have those two cards but now your excellent review makes me doubt my decision...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pikkusiili2000 wrote:
Given that they are also providing the Merlin and Assassin cards for the original Resistance version, would you say that it brings the two more to par?

I supported Coup on kickstarter and chose to get a copy of the resistance over Avalon based on info I found at the time. It will have those two cards but now your excellent review makes me doubt my decision...

Yeah, me too, though I'm getting the Resistance promos for my friend who already owns the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Todd Kauk wrote:
This is not a party game.


It depends on your level of involvement. The game can be played quite casually, but for me the best part is the subtleness of giving and getting information, getting into the heads of the other players, and when a spy, setting good guys up for a fall and other mindgames.

Fist people go with the obvious and their gut instincts of lie detection, then team suggestions and voting patters of beginners give more information, but that stops when people get to certain level and then the whole game is raised on a whole new level. In the best games the spies play like perfect servants and you are back to instincts again.



5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pikkusiili2000 wrote:
Given that they are also providing the Merlin and Assassin cards for the original Resistance version, would you say that it brings the two more to par?

I supported Coup on kickstarter and chose to get a copy of the resistance over Avalon based on info I found at the time. It will have those two cards but now your excellent review makes me doubt my decision...

I don't think you made a bad decision. The Kickstarter for Coup included the option of getting several promo items for The Resistance, including the Merlin/Assassin Promo, and an [thread=1065639]Inquisitor token[/thread] whose ability mimics the Lady of the Lake. With those items you can effectively play the Avalon version of the game in the Resistance world, and they do make the games almost on par, as you say.



That doesn't give you all the optional characters, but you don't really need these anyway. If you feel you really want to try these extra characters, you can simply designate existing Resistance characters with these roles (see the ideas in these forum threads: #1 and #2 and #3 and #4 and #5).
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Cheng
Taiwan
Taipei City
n/a
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Todd Kauk wrote:
This is not a party game.


Oh, it is, if the party last 8 hours into the next day's dawn, and you have official record keeper and a big blackboard to keep everything organized.

Some people even left and came back in the morning to continuously play Avalon.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James 3
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pikkusiili2000 wrote:
Given that they are also providing the Merlin and Assassin cards for the original Resistance version, would you say that it brings the two more to par?


merlin/assassin cards do make it similar to basic avalon game, but i think not having percival and morgana and all the other optional roles really limit the variability after a few plays. LAdy of the lake functionality is there now too, but not lancelot, and not the basic alt roles. and i don't like the idea of "just knowing" the bald guy == percival to simulate the roles.

this could have been a single game in one theme very easily, with ALL options done in same style. getting the optional roles into scifi, or the plot cards into avalon style would make one version "complete", but whichever you choose now, you'll be missing some option. I was happy with switch to avalon i guess though i preferred scifi…but coup has me really conflicted on it now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Travis has printed cards of all Avalon roles set in sci-fi Resistance universe, we just need to hound him to sell them to us.


9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jo L.
Belgium
Gent
flag msg tools
badge
My scythe... I like to keep it next to where my heart used to be.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Todd Kauk wrote:
This is not a party game.


From thefreedictionary.com:

par·ty
n. pl. par·ties
1.
a. A social gathering especially for pleasure or amusement.
b. A group of people who have gathered to participate in an activity.

It's true that Avalon has more meat to it than the regular party game which is aimed at having casual fun in a large group. But the thing about Avalon is that you can make it as meaty or as light as you prefer, depending on your gaming group.

If you look at the word "party" as "a party of 5-10" for example, then I think it fits the definition perfectly as it's a game that works well with more people (or "larger parties" if you will).

I don't recommend playing Avalon with 5 though because games are very random and over very quickly without much information being given away. However, this game has quickly become a favorite of mine, and of so many people in my gaming group like no game has ever done. I think at least seven or eight people I know bought it after having played it for the first time. That's nothing short of amazing. Avalon is like a benign virus spreading throughout my town

Thanks for this review. More people need to play Avalon. Impossible to be disappointed with this game. Currently my absolute #1, followed by Through the Desert and Tikal.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
EndersGame wrote:
There were some issues with the components when Avalon was first released and which attracted some criticism, but to the best of my knowledge these have all been resolved in the latest reprint (October/November 2013); all the typos and other such complaints appear to have been corrected in the copy of the game that I have


This was a nice review; thanks for posting it.

Quick question: did you happen to buy Avalon from an online retailer? I'm looking to purchase a copy from this latest print run, but I don't know how to differentiate between the new and old versions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PraxisMakesPerfect wrote:
but I don't know how to differentiate between the new and old versions.


Could we say the difference between the printings is unkown to you?

whistle
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Schnoor
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
a1bert wrote:
PraxisMakesPerfect wrote:
but I don't know how to differentiate between the new and old versions.


Could we say the difference between the printings is unkown to you?


Ha ha. But seriously, it's not like they slapped a sticker saying "Now with typos fixed!" on the boxes from the newest production run. How would anyone know without buying it and opening it?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.