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The Resistance: Avalon» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Avalon with 9 players too easy for the good team rss

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Jean-François Genest
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Last night we played Avalon for the first time with 9 players. (6 Good, 3 Evil). I was playing an Evil.

The 3 players that were chosen by the leader for the first quest were Good and the quest succeed. So, for the next quest, we send the same 3 players + 1 player (unfortunately the leader was lucky and choose another Good). This was a very conservative and logical choice and really efficient. I wanted to say something but I choose to say nothing because it seems logical to me that if I disagree, it will kind of reveal me as an Evil guy (I would have vote for if I was Good, so anyone who is opposed to this STATISTICALLY LOGICAL suggestion is Evil in my opinion).

So because of the laziness of the group (all newbies + some of them being very low profile people with minimum interest in the game)this was an easy (and maybe lucky?) win for the Good players,(they choose the same 4 people for the third quest.. why not?).

I felt like the game as been played on automatic pilot with no real choices.

So I have two questions:
1- When a game go this direction, what can an Evil do to interfere without revealing himself?
2- The "strategy = no strategy, say nothing, let things happen" of the 6 Good players was indeed a real good strategy for this game. It upsets me a little because the lazy players win a flat game so it comforts themselves that they "played" correctly and that the game itself is not so good because barely nothing happens... a vicious circle...

Any suggestion will be appreciate!
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Tables
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9 players is weighted towards evil, most of the time. With 9 players it's very hard to get good information on enough other players to get a solid read on the situation.

What you described was an anomaly situation. Assuming you were playing base Avalon, without Merlin's intervention there's a 5/14 chance that the first mission leader will pick all good players. The chance the next person is added is good is only 1/2 as well, giving 5/28 odds in total. So it's not great chances. On top of that, a spy failing M2 in that situation is really good, since it means good guys have very little information after 2 missions - a spy could very easily have passed M1 and then failed M2, so nobody is trustworthy. Basically, if M1 passes it's bad more often than not to simply play M1 +1 as M2.

What do you do as a spy in that situation? Well firstly, you have Merlin to look out for. Even after the resistance does this, evil can just pick out Merlin and win. Try to bait out Merlin if you can, see if saying anything makes someone perk up and say something very directly against you. And bear in mind picking the completely clean team M1 is already unlikely, so there's a good chance Merlin steered good towards that team to begin with.
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GeekInsight
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Well, a couple of things. First, if you have a group that isn't into it, then the game is going to fall flat no matter what. It's a social deduction game. And if your group is uncomfortable with that genre, nothing is going to save it.

Second, as Tables said above, Evil always has the Merlin angle. If you don't feel like there's anything you can do to fail a mission, try to say some outrageous things and see if you can get Merlin to contradict you. At game end, just assassinate him and win.

But, if I were evil in your situation, here's what I would do. I would make an impassioned argument that just because the three people didn't fail the mission, that doesn't mean there isn't a spy/minion on the mission. After all, minions can play successes, too.

In fact, if they are all happy to go again, I might argue that that shows there was an evil player on the mission - eager to go again and throw a fail. I would also muddy the water by analyzing who voted to accept the team and who voted to reject the team. Throw enough confusion (and if there are new players, maybe convince them) that there is enough reason to change up the teams.

The only thing you can't do is sit back and let them pick good teams. It only seems super logical because you are evil and know they happen to be right. You have to let them see the error in their logic - and argue as though you are good and don't know the truth.
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Jeff Wood
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Point out that the number of accepting votes for the team means that Evil is happy with the team, else at least one more would have rejected it. This means likely there is a sleeper agent in that group.

Let the paranoia grow. And then kill Merlin, the git, he's the one arguing that it just meant it was a good team. sauron
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Why say nothing?

If you're not in the team, then from your point of view (everyone's good in this game) the team more probably has at least one spy in it. And with certain number of players and teams a spy is certain, because you're a good guy, and without you the mission will certainly fail.

If you say nothing, you're taken as a dumb loyal who is not helping the team, or Merlin knowing it's a clean team, or a minion happy that there is a minion in the team.

Play more. You'll learn.

(Good advice above too.)
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Jean-François Genest
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I played several games tonight with 5 players who were really playing the game and it was awesome!

Thanks all for your good advices... I'll surely use them :)

Yes, Geeklnsight, the problem yesterday with 9 players (an office party) was that few players were really in the game and the rest of them were potentially not even thinking about faking a success if they were evil... so it was like arguing with nobody... It wasn't a good group I must admit (all non boardgamers). The classic: one player absorb by something outside the game, another trying hard to break the game (it's main objective), one player who don't talk and don't give is idea..etc Merlin even fold is card so I'll need to sleeve them because now you can easily distinguish the Merlin card from the others.

I thought that it can be fun if everyone gives a little chance to the game, but as I suspected, there were too much rotten apples...
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Krawhitham B
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Try playing 10 games with 9 players.

Sometimes games will go the way yours did, but in my experience 9 and 10 player games go in favour of evil.
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Clyde W
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OP, did you shoot Merlin at least?
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turzin wrote:
Last night we played Avalon for the first time with 9 players. (6 Good, 3 Evil). I was playing an Evil.

The 3 players that were chosen by the leader for the first quest were Good and the quest succeed. So, for the next quest, we send the same 3 players + 1 player (unfortunately the leader was lucky and choose another Good). This was a very conservative and logical choice and really efficient. I wanted to say something but I choose to say nothing because it seems logical to me that if I disagree, it will kind of reveal me as an Evil guy (I would have vote for if I was Good, so anyone who is opposed to this STATISTICALLY LOGICAL suggestion is Evil in my opinion).

So because of the laziness of the group (all newbies + some of them being very low profile people with minimum interest in the game)this was an easy (and maybe lucky?) win for the Good players,(they choose the same 4 people for the third quest.. why not?).

I felt like the game as been played on automatic pilot with no real choices.

So I have two questions:
1- When a game go this direction, what can an Evil do to interfere without revealing himself?
2- The "strategy = no strategy, say nothing, let things happen" of the 6 Good players was indeed a real good strategy for this game. It upsets me a little because the lazy players win a flat game so it comforts themselves that they "played" correctly and that the game itself is not so good because barely nothing happens... a vicious circle...

Any suggestion will be appreciate!



Interesting... Can't even remember the last time i played with 9 players (instead of 8 or 10), but i just actually had to check the rules to confirm that at 9 players it's really a 6/3 split between good and evil (instead of 5/4)... seems strange actually...

otherwise i'd just have to repeat everything that has already been said.

Resistance and similar games sometimes simply bomb due to the group. Once you reach a threshold of too many players not being interested or simply not "getting" the game there is hardly any way to save it.

Nice to hear you had fun with some 5-player games. Avalon can really shine at any player count.
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Rob Rundle
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As others have said, the game you described was an unfortunate fluke. They happen from time to time even in games with all experienced players (though it's much less likely then).

To help avoid this kind of thing, it is important to give even first time players at least a little bit of instruction on strategy:

emphasise that the spies can choose to succeed a mission to avoid being exposed early on (newbies generally do this - they're so afraid of being found out); and

emphasise that loyal servants of Arthur have to talk to provide cover for Merlin - say you're good, and make accusations or suggestions about other players being bad or good - doesn't matter if you don't have a good reason for it ("I've just got a feeling about her...", or even if you believe what you say - just talk; and

warn them that they must always be ready to change their mind about someone - new players being loyal servants of Arthur often get a fixed idea in their head that so-and-so is a spy - for no reason at all - and 90% of the time they're wrong and it's fatal for the good guys, who actually need to trust that person in the last quest or two; and

be aware that there are always multiple logical ways that things can happen, so if they accept one vocal person's theory of what has happened so far in terms of who voted up/down the quests, don't ignore another view that differs - if it still works, then it might be true; and

if you haven't the foggiest what's going on, pick someone you think might be on your side and trust what they say.
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