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Subject: 9v1 They're all working against me!!! rss

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Jason Jullie
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9v1 – They're all against me!

So last night I experienced my single most frustrating game of The Resistance (but it was still great fun). We had a ten man group with about a 50/50 mix of newbs and experienced players. This was the second game we played of the night (after we had one game to give everyone their bearings). We added the plot thickens to game for this go round to give the spies a harder time. Here is the setup:

Spies:
Myself
Curtis
Doug (newb)
Trey (newb)

Resistance:
Drew
Jeff
Rob
Nathan
Jon (newb)
Brandon (newb)

It was a pretty fair mix of players to each side. Myself, Curtis and Rob are the group's stronger players (meaning we push the conversations along) and there was a good mix of experienced players on both sides. However, little did I know this was going to be a disaster, as the spies were completely on different wavelengths the whole (albeit very short) game.

Brandon started out as the leader and proposed a mission with Doug, Drew and himself. We had a short round of table talk and approved the mission. The three of them went off and returned successful with Doug choosing to stay hidden for the round. In retrospect, this was probably a bad idea. Curtis was next up on the leader rotation and we tend to have the leader attach himself to the same group as the first mission if it was successful. The logic being that if a spy was hiding in the first mission the resistance will be able to infer something about the second leader based on his reaction to putting himself with the same group. A spy would be reluctant to add himself to a group that already had one spy in it because of the difficulty with deciding who will throw out the failure card for the mission.

This ended up being a problem. It might have been best for Doug to kill the first mission and cast all three of those players into suspicion to give Curtis free reign to pick a fresh group with only one spy.

Also in the first mission, Rob was given a card that had him show his character card to Brandon (who cleared him as resistance). This gave both Rob and Brandon confidence in each other and give us spies a possible way out of putting Curtis on the team. With Curtis now the leader, there was a debate between just adding him to the same team or adding Rob (as he had been cleared by Brandon). I immediately latched onto this idea as it would be a great boon for the spies. I gave my support to Rob and it looked like we would be able to get that team to go (with two of the biggest mouths at the table both allied).

However, inexplicably Curtis started arguing against me. This was the first “WTF!” moment in my head. While I thought it was a good idea for Curtis to offer some opposition to my arguments (so we didn't seem too aligned), I couldn't believe how adamant he was arguing for a two spy mission. Unfortunately he wouldn't relent and I was forced to stop my line of argument so as not too draw any extra attention to the somewhat unorthodox group logic I was suggesting.

After some healthy discussion, the team of Curtis, Doug, Brandon, and Drew was approved. Now I switched gears and started to figure out how to orchestrate who would play the “fail” for this mission (either Doug or Curtis). Luckily, in the previous round Trey was given a card that would force a player to play their mission card face up ("In the spotlight"). There was some suspicion around Curtis so several people were for the idea of making Curtis play his card face up. “Great!” now we have a way to coordinate between Doug and Curtis. Trey would play the card on Curtis, Curtis would play a “Pass” face up, and Doug would play a “fail” face down with the other two team members. I take great pains to discuss exactly how it will play out in as much detail as I can.

“We'll play the card on Curtis and he'll have to play his pass face up. Even a spy would never play a fail face up. He'll have to play a pass.” I said this several times as clearly as I could without drawing too much suspicion.

But here comes the second WTF moment. Rob sees that we have to distribute another card ("Keeping a close eye on you") that will let us look at a player's submitted mission card. He starts arguing to save Trey's card for now and play it together on the next round for a double whammy of mission card revealing. Obviously the spies can't have this and I start a somewhat weak argument against Rob. To my dismay, Trey latches onto Rob's idea and appears to be ready to roll with it. Now I'm about to start pulling my hair out. I have to argue with Trey for 5 minutes to get him off the ledge. About 4 minutes into it I remember that Trey is a Spy and I can't believe that I'm having to jump through all these hoops to get him back on track.

Before the mission goes out, we have three cards to distribute. Here comes a succession of events that nearly cause me to lose it (to the point where I leave the room under the guise of getting a drink and have to yell and vent to myself). A very important card is up to hand out that will force a player to look at the character card of the guy to his left or right. I'm very nervous about this because the other two spies are newbs and I'm pretty sure they are going to botch things up. I consider myself a pretty devious SOB and really think that I need this card for the well being of the spy team.

As Curtis is deciding who to give the card to, I start making some arguments for me to have it. I don't have a ton of reasoning to back me up, but I sell it as best as I can. Curtis vehemently opposes me on this idea and I'm really struggling to figure out a way to get my hands on the card. Again, I'm flabbergasted with Curtis's actions. I can see that he is trying to show a rift between the two of us, but I fell that it's endangering the team (especially considering how important this card is). I make a few comments that give him an opening to give it to me in a joking way, but he appears to want to make sure we aren't seen as a team more than he wants this card to help the spies out. He gives the card to Doug and my worst fears start to come to life.

Doug gets it and chooses to look at Brandon's card. Before doing so he looks straight at me. I ever so slightly shake my head hoping that he takes that as me telling him not to accuse Brandon of being a spy. After looking Brandon's card he looks back at me again and I again shake my head. Doug then takes the world's longest pause before the world's worst lie, “He's a spy.” And no one at the table believes it. I'm crushed. It was exactly what I feared would happen. New spies like the idea of accusing resistance members of being spies because it seems like a good move. However, I find it muddies the waters much more if a spy early in the game clears another resistance member (and that's why I was dying for that card).

So the spies have really stubbed their toes so far and we haven't even gone on the second mission. Curtis still has to hand out another pretty powerful card that will allow someone to look at a played mission card. This is a fairly big deal that can really sink the spies. Again I campaign to get the card but again he opposes me and gives to the resistance member Nathan!!! WTF! I just can't believe it. In my opinion Curtis is taking the “let's make sure they don't think we are on the same team” idea too far and is putting the spies in some insane peril.

Anyway, back to the mission. It's time to hand out cards and get going. Before we do so, Trey decides to bring up the argument for keeping his card in hand for now and playing it as a double whammy next round!!! Seriously!!! This is my nightmare! I can't believe this! How many times can I scream WTF in my head? I nearly flip the table over at that point. But again I talk him down and he's going to use the card this round. However, now the table decides they want it played on Doug. Ok, that's fine.

Again I careful explain, “Play the card on Doug and he'll be forced to play his pass card. Then the other three will play their's as normal.”

So Doug plays his card faceup and the other players turn in their mission cards. The mission cards are revealed and all three are “pass”! Great Ceasar's ghost, what the hell is happening here!? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! What happened? How did that mission pass?!! Who shot JR?!

After the game, Curtis explained that he somehow thought that Doug would play a “fail” faceup. Obviously this would be a terrible move effectively taking him out of the game and leaving no doubt to his allegiance. No one was sure why he thought that, but our goose was essentially cooked at that point. We would need three failed missions in a row to pull out a victory.

The table is embroiled in some serious debate and I have a few players on my side of the table with me. However, a few of the experienced players on the resistance side have got most of it figured out and it's very tough to put up much of an argument in the face of some of the moves the spies have made. I work like crazy to get teams with spies formed, but none of them get approved. We end up not approving 4 missions in a row and it comes down to the fifth leader. The resistance will be forced to accept whatever team he proposes. Unfortunately, the leader is a resistance member and he has things well figured out. He picks 3 other resistance members and they go on to pass the mission with ease.

It was a simply devastating loss for the spies. We could never get on the same page and ended up killing ourselves in a comedy of errors and inexplicable decisions. I've never seen the spies work so poorly together in a game and I about had an embolism. However, after my heart rate returned to normal I was able to joke about it and laugh it off. It was great fun even if we did so poorly. There's nothing like a great game of Resistance!
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Paul S
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Good report. I could almost hear you screaming Sounds like your comrades had a Leeeeroy! moment.

There's nothing worse than seeing someone on the same team take the obviously bad route.

Interestingly, once the game's finished it's easy to forget the pain - I've enjoyed the games I've lost just as I've enjoyed the wins.
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marc lecours
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I am always amazed at how great this game is. It is so simple. You described in detail the first two rounds of the game. There are only a few decisions to make. Yet there is so much going on. Great report.
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Clyde W
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Interesting, you pass out your plot cards after a mission has been approved? We always pass ours out at the beginning of a new round (ie, after a mission has just occurred).

Super rough round. As an experienced player that plays with newbies a lot, I feel for you. But don't worry: after a few more games though those guys won't be making the same mistakes.
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Jason Jullie
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clydeiii wrote:
Interesting, you pass out your plot cards after a mission has been approved? We always pass ours out at the beginning of a new round (ie, after a mission has just occurred).


Yeah, after re-reading the rules, we might have been playing with the wrong timing on that distribution. For whatever reason, I thought that the plot cards were handed out once there was a "successful leader" (one who got a team approved). But it appears that it's just the first leader for the round.

Quote:

Super rough round. As an experienced player that plays with newbies a lot, I feel for you. After a few more games though those guy won't be making the same mistakes.


Yeah, it was really tough to gauge, mid-game, how much I needed to explain to my team. Being a resistance member with newbs is a little easier as you can overtly describe why things are good for you. With the spies, you are often times arguing against some conventional wisdom and can't fully explain why something needs to be done a certain way. For instance, I couldn't tell Trey that he had to play that card on Doug or Curtis so they wouldn't both play "fail" cards. I had to find some other logical reason to play it right away.

In the end, it was still a great time. It's fun to get the juices flowing and the blood boiling with a group of friends. Even if they almost drive you to madness.
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s m t
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Nice session report.
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Jan
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great session report!
 
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George Leach
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I believe you played with a couple of rules wrong.

AFAIK the card that makes you reveal your mission card reveals it to the player with the card ONLY, not the whole table. This really changes the power of the card and makes it a useful Spy tool as well. You also don't choose to play the card before mission cards are selected, you wait till they've chosen before declaring if you're going to use it or not so everyone should be placing their choice face down in front of them for a few seconds before gathering them up to be shuffled.

You're now also aware that plot thickens cards are dealt immeditaely after a mission attempt.

In terms of tutoring your newbs, hopefully they'll now realise that 'outing' themselves in round one isn't so bad afterall.
 
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Travis Worthington
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First great session report by the way!

Jugular wrote:

AFAIK the card that makes you reveal your mission card reveals it to the player with the card ONLY, not the whole table. This really changes the power of the card and makes it a useful Spy tool as well. You also don't choose to play the card before mission cards are selected, you wait till they've chosen before declaring if you're going to use it or not so everyone should be placing their choice face down in front of them for a few seconds before gathering them up to be shuffled.



There are two different plot cards that affect the mission cards - one forces the mission card to be played faced up as the session report states. Need to say you are using this one before the players select which mission card to play.

The other lets one person look at the played mission card before it is shuffled into the mix. This one can be used after players have selected the mission card they want to play.

Without the names of the cards being used its hard to say that this was played incorrectly.
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Jason Jullie
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T Worthington wrote:


There are two different plot cards that affect the mission cards - one forces the mission card to be played faced up as the session report states. Need to say you are using this one before the players select which mission card to play.

The other lets one person look at the played mission card before it is shuffled into the mix. This one can be used after players have selected the mission card they want to play.

Without the names of the cards being used its hard to say that this was played incorrectly.


Correct, this is what we had. In the first round, Trey received the card that forced a player to play his card face up ("In the spotlight"), In the second round, Nathan got the card that allowed him to look at the mission card that was played by another player ("Keeping a close eye on you").

I'll edit the report for clarity.
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