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Patrick Brennan
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The Hostile Intent expansion is an interesting addition to the core Resistance game, especially for those who haven’t branched over to playing Avalon. I generally explain it as sort of a halfway house between core and Avalon, introducing some roles – each side gets a “hunter” and a “hunted” - to the core game.

Having played nothing but Avalon since it came out, it was a nice feeling getting back to the raw essence of the game without having to deal with all the multiple roles. We originally moved to Avalon because it felt as if the base game didn’t quite provide enough information, but playing with the plot cards perhaps provided too much information and overwhelmed some games. This expansion tries to fill that “just right” spot, providing enough new information to make the base game more interesting, but not enough to overly complicate or overwhelm it.

I’ve only played 5 and 6 player games and in those, the secret roles handed out now include one Hunter and one Chief (the one being hunted) for each team. The Spies will know amongst themselves who is who (given there’s only two Spies), but the Resistance won’t know who is who among their 3 or 4 members. The game proceeds normally, except that with each mission the leader allocates one player not on the mission to be the investigator. If the mission succeeds, the leader will get to ask one player whether he’s a chief or not; and this is answered secretly and truthfully via the return of an “answer” card. If the mission fails, then the investigator instead asks someone of his choice.

The aim is still to get to three mission successes before your opponents, but at that point, your Hunter must reveal themselves and identify the opponent’s Chief. A success means you win, a fail means that this third mission is reversed and your opponents get it instead. If the opponents don’t have 3 wins at this point the game continues, but if they do, they get a shot at identifying your Chief. A successful result means they win, but if they fail then you get another shot and so on, much like a penalty shootout. In practice, it doesn’t get to this because you generally get enough information through the game to isolate it … but it’s fun when it does!

This investigation process is the main reason we enjoyed this version more than the base. From the second mission on, players wanted to know from the leader who was going to be the investigator, and that fed information into whether the mission would be approved or not. It wasn’t an obligation that the leader had to commit to, they could renege if they wanted (they never did), but that, and the additional discussion on what the investigator would do if the vote failed, provided an additional interesting input into each vote, knowing what information might be gleaned if the mission failed AND what might be gleaned if not. As a result, we were far quicker to get missions approved, more typically on the first or second proposal, whereas in normal games, our missions might go to the 4th or 5th proposal (as the resistance try to maximise the opportunities for catching spies out from their voting patterns). The trend to faster mission approvals, and getting to the more interesting and fun part of the game, was a big factor in why the players enjoyed the game more. There was probably just as much discussion as if a mission had lasted more proposals before approval, but it was a more interesting and fruitful discussion re how best to use the investigation card (rather than just trying to spot voting patterns).

Another enjoyment factor was that as a Resistance player you were never quite sure whether the chief you’ve just uncovered is on your side or not (you do with 7+ players, but not with 5 or 6), which means you can’t just go blurting it around he’s a chief because you might be giving the spies the information they need to win the game. Which makes for a cagey old affair of still trying to uncover the other chief while trying to identify for sure which side the first one is on.

There’s a few other rules, like the Spies can end the game early with a successful accusation, but that’s the guts of it. I didn’t feel the need to play the expansion with the plot cards, but obviously having the option to include these for another layer of chaos and fun is good to have. The expansion probably makes it a bit harder for the Spies because the investigations add more information to the deduction process, but that process contributes significantly to an increased fun factor as well. I haven’t had a chance to try out the other roles that come with the expansion (variety’s gotta be good though!), but all in all, we enjoyed exploring the changes that this expansion brings, and I’d have to say it’s now my preferred variant to play with the base game.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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PBrennan wrote:
The Hostile Intent expansion is an interesting addition to the core Resistance game, especially for those who haven’t branched over to playing Avalon.


And what are your thoughts for those who already play Avalon, is this just redundant?
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Patrick Brennan
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No, I don't think so. The Investigation step takes the game to a nice place that Avalon doesn't go, adding fuel to the conversation pre-vote rather than post-vote.

Also, after a while Avalon falls into similar patterns with experienced gamers so I think this adds a fresh direction to the "Resistance/Avalon" experience. I've also now seen some of the new variants that are coming as promos and per Hostile Agenda, which look really interesting as well. So it looks like there's plenty of new options, especially when you mix and match with the plot cards ... something that Avalon doesn't have. But of course, in the end it depends how much you play and how "jaded" you are, if at all, with the Avalon play patterns to assess whether it's of interest.
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Matthew Schnoor
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We playtested this variant today. I made it work with my existing Avalon deck, using good+bad Lancelots as the hunters, Percival as the good chief, and Mordred as the bad chief. For the investigator token, I used a small pewter sword (which also doubles as Excalibur at times) so people actually got to have something tactile and vaguely threatening to hold. It brought out a deeper connection with the role, I hope.

In a game with 8 players (5 good, 3 bad) this variant added a whole new dimension of chaos, politicking, and interesting accusations. Most of us were experienced Avalon players, so we had a base of experience.

For the first game, I drew Mordred (evil chief) and our hunter (evil Lancelot) was lucky enough to be chosen as the investigator on a quest that was approved (led by our teammate, naturally) AND happened to correctly figure out who was Percival (good chief) on the first try. However, due to a misstep during quest #4 (which required two fails to fail) in which BOTH of my evil teammates were chosen but only one of them played their fail card (GAHHH!) the good team won #4, and then the good team won #5. Good Lancelot (good hunter) made a lucky guess at the end of quest #5, picked me, and that was that.

For the second game, I drew Percival (good chief) and generally tried to keep my head down (without trying to seem obvious about it). Team good had some missteps early in the game, but we eventually got a perfect team on quests #5. Beforehand, the evil team attempted to win quest #4 but was unable to solidify their win, since bad Lancelot (evil hunter) guessed incorrectly. Once bad Lancelot was revealed, he tried to throw good Lancelot (who was rather sore from not being given the sword during earlier quests) under the bus, but good Lancelot made a convincing case for his true identity. Then another player on team good investigated Mordred (evil chief) as a lucky guess. By the end of quest 5, Mordred basically conceded because he knew that he was already discovered as a chief.

We found there was an interesting dynamic in the choosing of the teams. Most quest leaders found that they preferred to choose themselves as the investigator, which meant that they didn't need to choose the perfect team as long as they understood how team evil planned to fail things. Team evil also found that it was to their disadvantage to fail three quests early in the game, because then bad Lancelot (evil hunter) needed to reveal themselves to solidify their third victory, which made it somewhat easier for good Lancelot (good hunter) to guess the identity of the evil chief.

Very chaotic, and very fun! I look forward to playing this variant again, and eagerly anticipate having the official version in the expansion.
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Patrick Brennan
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Don't forget though, the investigator must be someone who's not on the mission team ...
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Matthew Schnoor
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Correct, the investigator did not play a success/fail card as the other people on the quest.

One idea that occurred to me, and I don't know if the expansion rules cover this. What about the player counts for each quest? In an 8-player game, is it possible to use the same counts (3-3-4-5-5)?

On quests #4 and #5, does the leader get to choose 5 people PLUS an investigator, or is the investigator included in the total count (yielding only 4 people on the quest)?

If the former is true, it seems like it would be nearly impossible to get a "perfect team" on the last quests for 7-player and 8-player games.
 
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Patrick Brennan
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Wording this another way, you choose the mission team per the required number. The investigator *cannot* be one of these people.
 
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John Q.T. Nguyen
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Hey, Patrick! Thanks for the session report and review. Is the Investigator role that's being discussed the same thing as what's listed as being the Inquisitor Module?

Quote:
Inquisitor Module: The Inquisitor is an optional player ability first seen in Avalon. The player with the Inquisitor will be able to look at the affiliation of another player and is a simple way to ensure every game is full of interest twists and turns as the Inquisitor uncovers the truth (at least their version of the truth).


The description for this Module makes it sound like it is the same as the Inquisitor Tile (effectively the Lady of the Lake in Avalon) which allows you to discern someone's actual allegiance, and which passes from the person it was originally played by to the person it was played on for the next round.

What you are describing for the Investigator role allows you to discern whether or not someone is the Chief, and is determined by the Leader of the current round.

I'm just wondering, if these are one and the same, whether or not things are still being hashed out as to how they will work in the final version of the game or if these are two wholly different things entirely. In any case, I think what you are describing sounds much more interesting.
 
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Patrick Brennan
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No, they're two separate things. The Inquisitor checks for allegiance but doesn't check if you're a chief; the Investigator checks if you're a chief but doesn't check your allegiance (in 5-6 player version anyway - with 7+ you see their allegiance if you find a chief, but you don't see their allegiance if you don't find a chief).

The investigator is more interesting because it's an integral piece of information that goes into each vote, whereas the Inquisitor only shifts once after each approved mission.
 
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John Q.T. Nguyen
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Oh, interesting... Thanks for the clarification. I can see how playing with both the Investigator and the Inquisitor in the same game could lead to some headaches trying to keep everything straight!

I take it that means the Investigator role is part of the Hunter Module then. Did you get to playtest any of the other Modules? If so, how were they?
 
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Patrick Brennan
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Correct. For the others, I've perused their rules but not had a chance to play them.
 
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Josh Bishop
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Did you use the Coordinator, Pretender and Dummy Agent roles? What abilities do they have?
 
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Patrick Brennan
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Nope, sorry.
 
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Clement Tey
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tubbytwins wrote:
Most quest leaders found that they preferred to choose themselves as the investigator ...

You can't choose yourself (the leader) or anyone on the team as the investigator. Even if you are the leader but not on the team, you still can't choose yourself.
 
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