Recommend
35 
 Thumb up
 Hide
27 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

The Resistance» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Where does The Resistance succeed where other similar games fail? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jeff Forbes

New Hampshire
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Two other similar games

Having played The Resistance two times, I feel totally qualified to review it. Seriously. I have played several other similar games, such as Werewolf, Are You The Traitor?, and a couple others. The former two are what I am making a comparison with in this review.


Werewolf is the standard to which all social/mafia/killer type games are judged. In Werewolf, the tension is created over continuing rounds where more "villagers" are getting killed by the werewolves, and the villagers get their own chance to perform a lynching too, trying to suss out who the werewolf is.

Where werewolf succeeds partially is that it generates a natural tension. There is somewhat forced player interaction, as the villagers must discuss who they want to lynch, as their numbers dwindle and the werewolves try to mislead other players.

But it's not without flaw. The first couple of rounds of werewolf tend to completely lack direction. Players don't have anywhere to start, so I've experienced some rather awkward silences. As the game gets going, it gets more interesting, but there is no hard evidence for anybody to see, just the soft evidence of the people that have been killed overnight, and whether the person lynched was innocent or not.

Some variants of Werewolf allow for different players with special abilities, but I think that for the most part, this adds unnecessary complexity to the game.

Are You the Traitor? is a more recent variant on the same basic theme. I forget exactly how it went, but what was clear to me when I played was that with the different roles in the game, you essentially had one decider, but the roles themselves were random, and there was no evidence given as to who was who. There was no build up - everyone had a role, and some of the roles had literally no point (see Guard). The result with the group I played with was that it was a total flop. Half of the people involved didn't even know what to say, or have anything relevant to say at all. And to top it all off, the side that "wins" got a semi-random amount of points. The game does not come to a climax, either. Nobody is eliminated, the game is simply played for a few rounds. This type of scoring does not work in this sort of game.

The reason Are You A Traitor is a flop is the exact reason The Resistance is not.



What makes The Resistance different?
First, you start knowing several things: who the leader is, and who each consecutive next leader is. You know how many people are traitorous, and you know how many people are required to take part in the next mission. You are aware that the leader themselves may actually be one of the bad guys, and that future leaders may also be.

This is quite important in a game like The Resistance. In Werewolf, there is a defined ending. Either the villagers are all killed, or the werewolves are all lynched. In The Resistance, there is also a defined ending: first to win 3 missions.

Each round, in Werewolf, the player roles are not shuffled around (obviously). Players simply argue, with no direct evidence, who the bad guy is, other than their continuing presence. This is somewhat problematic, as Werewolf is so predominantly social that I have found the best players tend to be the more charismatic ones, because there is no hard evidence at all in the game. There is a mystery, but you are given no evidence to figure it out with!

Contrast that to The Resistance.

You gain evidence on each mission who is who. If the leader is suspected to be one of the bad guys, you can vote any of their suggested teams down. Everyone has some power in the game, and when a mission fails, direct evidence is gained on suspect players.

There is also an aspect of doublethink. As a leader, you may try to pick teams consisting only of the rebels (the good guys) if you yourself seem to be under suspicion. This might either remove suspicion the next time around, or possibly misdirect players to think one of the good guys was actually a spy.

Not bad, for such a quick game!


Does it have legs?

I've only played it twice, so I don't feel particularly well equipped to say, but I can make some educated guesses. The somewhat more logic based gameplay versus Werewolf will appeal to less social gamers, but leaves room for charismatic or particularly wily people to mislead others.

The very quick nature of the game does not seem to lend itself towards more than a couple consecutive plays. I could see a mid-sized group playing 2-3 times - enough so that all of the players get a shot at being the leader. But I don't see people having the desire to allow games to go on for uncounted hours, either. This is pretty much a good thing.

The mechanisms used in this game are somewhat reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, and how people interact with cylons or suspected cylons, but the short nature of the game, and simple fact that people will care less about the outcome keep it from being as emotionally intense.

I think The Resistance will find its niche as a fairly common aperitif sort of game. It plays as quickly as any filler does, and does not demand any significant setup/breakdown time. It allows for some social interaction but will appeal to the logical side that many gamer-type people seem to have. It can serve as a spot between a couple big games, or a fun way to end the night when everyone has just finished playing.

It forces interaction between players in a way that no similar game quite manages to do, and yet leaves room for a little bit of creative thinking. Just don't try to outsmart yourselves too much!

Who might The Resistance work well for?

Gamers of any preference that like quick filler games to be more dramatic and more social than, say, a game of 7 Wonders

Those that are looking for something different to spice evenings up.

Those who like "find the traitor" type games, of course.

Those who often get stuck trying to play games with mixed crowds of gamers and non-gamers.


Who might not like it?

People who don't like games that feature any social interaction.

People who don't like traitors or light games.

Conclusion
The Resistance is a game that many people will find a happy home for in their collection. It could go on to being a quiet classic that most gamer types seem to own; we'll have to look back in 10 years to find out. Not everyone is going to love it, but a lot of people are going to like this game a fair bit.

I generally don't enjoy games derived from the Werewolf tree, but The Resistance bucked that trend for me - I quite liked it. And I think you probably will, too.
34 
 Thumb up
1.17
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Migas
United States
Akron
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Does it have legs?
Yes. I cannot get enough of this game. I have played it 7-8 times in a row at my game club with around 10-12 uber game geeks. It is not just being used as a light filler.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Compulsive Completist
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have to admit I am not a big fan of the theme with names like "The Resistence", "Operatives", "Imperial Spies", and "Empire". It all sounds like a Star Wars game that may struggle to find fans in my group.

Is the theme over-bearing? Present? Negligible?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hockey Mask wrote:
I have to admit I am not a big fan of the theme with names like "The Resistence", "Operatives", "Imperial Spies", and "Empire". It all sounds like a Star Wars game that may struggle to find fans in my group.

Is the theme over-bearing? Present? Negligible?


Negligible I'd say. This coming from someone who isn't a big fan of the game, but not because of the theme. I wouldn't let the theme stop you from trying it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Nelson
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We have people in my gaming group who love it. It also works well in that, we have certain people who, when playing Mafia/Werewolf, are unable to remain silent even when dead; this is not a problem in Resistance. I don't enjoy playing as a spy, so I usually just watch, but it can be entertaining.

As for the theme, I'd say it's much more prominent in the writeup here than in the game. I knew the basic theme, but I assumed it could be people in any war (Dutch resistance against Germans, for example). The main ways in which the theme shows is:
- People have to select a team to go on a mission
- People accuse each other of being spies

Those could easily be made to work with a different theme. So I'd say light, but present.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Nothing will come of nothing.
badge
Speak again.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't played the game yet, but I know I will like it. As soon as I read the rules I knew. It is going to be great fun.

That is a sign of a good game to me: If you can get excited reading the rules (specifically, not a general outline).

I suspect it will have worse theme than WW though. In WW the narrator element, and the regular closing of eyes, builds the tension in a really powerful way. Also WW is more fun for observers I would assume.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hockey Mask wrote:
I have to admit I am not a big fan of the theme with names like "The Resistence", "Operatives", "Imperial Spies", and "Empire". It all sounds like a Star Wars game that may struggle to find fans in my group.

Is the theme over-bearing? Present? Negligible?
When I play it with the liberal artsy types, I explain the theme as French resistance vs Nazi spies. It works.

I also agree it's not just light filler but can be a very deep game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Glassco
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
I'll be a dissenter and say it hasn't had very good legs in our group. The problem is that, in about five or six plays, the spies have won every. single. time. It seems as if the person choosing the final mission has to get every single spy correctly identified, and that hasn't happened yet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Worthington
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BruceGee wrote:
I'll be a dissenter and say it hasn't had very good legs in our group. The problem is that, in about five or six plays, the spies have won every. single. time. It seems as if the person choosing the final mission has to get every single spy correctly identified, and that hasn't happened yet.


Have you tried playing with the plot cards? Without them the game is heavily weighted to the spies when playing with 7 or more players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T Worthington wrote:
BruceGee wrote:
I'll be a dissenter and say it hasn't had very good legs in our group. The problem is that, in about five or six plays, the spies have won every. single. time. It seems as if the person choosing the final mission has to get every single spy correctly identified, and that hasn't happened yet.


Have you tried playing with the plot cards? Without them the game is heavily weighted to the spies when playing with 7 or more players.
Agree. In fact, I would say plot cards are an unfortunate necessity when playing with more than 7 players, as the game is too hard on Resistance at 8+ without plot cards, but plot cards add considerable length to the game. I prefer to play a bunch of shorter 7p game than one or two longer 8p games, for sure.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren Nakamura
United States
Columbus
Mississippi
flag msg tools
http://www.destructoid.com/author.phtml?a=1364
badge
Darren@destructoid.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hockey Mask wrote:
I have to admit I am not a big fan of the theme with names like "The Resistence", "Operatives", "Imperial Spies", and "Empire". It all sounds like a Star Wars game that may struggle to find fans in my group.

Is the theme over-bearing? Present? Negligible?


Completely negligible. I recently ran a PBF of this game and made it take place on a tropical island. The Star Wars thought never even crossed my mind, actually.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!
badge
You know what would be funny...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dexter345 wrote:
Hockey Mask wrote:
I have to admit I am not a big fan of the theme with names like "The Resistence", "Operatives", "Imperial Spies", and "Empire". It all sounds like a Star Wars game that may struggle to find fans in my group.

Is the theme over-bearing? Present? Negligible?


Completely negligible. I recently ran a PBF of this game and made it take place on a tropical island. The Star Wars thought never even crossed my mind, actually.


Agreed - the general take on the theme by a lot of casual gamers I've introduced it to is to raise their fist in the air and say "Viva le Resistance!" It's a common enough idea that it's not limited to star wars. And apart from calling the two teams "Resistance" and "Spies", you don't even need to use the rest of the terminology. Heck, we've even "dumbed" it down to saying blue team/red team to make sure people understood. Of course, in that game one of the spies claimed to be on the green team - maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Forbes

New Hampshire
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BruceGee wrote:
I'll be a dissenter and say it hasn't had very good legs in our group. The problem is that, in about five or six plays, the spies have won every. single. time. It seems as if the person choosing the final mission has to get every single spy correctly identified, and that hasn't happened yet.


Quote:

Does it have legs?
Yes. I cannot get enough of this game. I have played it 7-8 times in a row at my game club with around 10-12 uber game geeks. It is not just being used as a light filler


YMMV of course. It won't work for everyone.

I think I played with 6 and 7 people. 7 is definitely tougher. Use the plot cards for that. We didn't use them in our plays, but they will help the good guys win. :P
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neil Sorenson
United States
Springfield
VT: VERMONT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
jforbes wrote:



Who might not like it?

People who don't like games that feature any social interaction.


Reading that line on a site about playing board games made me chuckle at first and then I realized that those people really do exist! How else could stuff like Dominion be so popular otherwise?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kakupacal wrote:
jforbes wrote:



Who might not like it?

People who don't like games that feature any social interaction.


Reading that line on a site about playing board games made me chuckle at first and then I realized that those people really do exist! How else could stuff like Dominion be so popular otherwise?


Right. Or Blackjack for that matter, or Chess, or Puerto Rico.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Sham
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
That's exactly what a Cylon would say!
badge
All is dust...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pmigas wrote:
Does it have legs?
Yes. I cannot get enough of this game. I have played it 7-8 times in a row at my game club with around 10-12 uber game geeks. It is not just being used as a light filler.


I'm also amazed that anyone believes that 'quick games' means that people will get sick of the game quickly. There is very much an element of "another quick round" that sucks people back in. We've played this game for about 4, maybe 5 hours in a fairly large group of 8.

You end up with grudges, payback, people referring back to other games where a particularly excellent deception was executed. Someone inevitably wants 'another shot' at winning, and the quickness of the game means that very few players refuse another go.

And while it's very social, you can play the game intensely, or you can play very laid back. It's not a big deal, unlike other social games where if one person is just mailing it in, it might spoil the game for everyone else. Personally, I switch between the two just to mix things up and keep my tells from revealing whether I'm spy or not!

I'd say you might start as light filler, but I wouldn't be surprised if your gaming group suddenly found (after yet 'another game') that they didn't have enough time to play anything else.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Agree. Was my most-played game of both BGG.CON and of 2011, by far.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Forbes

New Hampshire
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ridel wrote:
pmigas wrote:
Does it have legs?
Yes. I cannot get enough of this game. I have played it 7-8 times in a row at my game club with around 10-12 uber game geeks. It is not just being used as a light filler.


I'm also amazed that anyone believes that 'quick games' means that people will get sick of the game quickly. There is very much an element of "another quick round" that sucks people back in. We've played this game for about 4, maybe 5 hours in a fairly large group of 8.

You end up with grudges, payback, people referring back to other games where a particularly excellent deception was executed. Someone inevitably wants 'another shot' at winning, and the quickness of the game means that very few players refuse another go.

And while it's very social, you can play the game intensely, or you can play very laid back. It's not a big deal, unlike other social games where if one person is just mailing it in, it might spoil the game for everyone else. Personally, I switch between the two just to mix things up and keep my tells from revealing whether I'm spy or not!

I'd say you might start as light filler, but I wouldn't be surprised if your gaming group suddenly found (after yet 'another game') that they didn't have enough time to play anything else.


If my group were like that, I would probably be looking for a different group. We occasionally play games twice in a row (Most common in 2p asymmetrical games like A Few Acres of Snow or 2 de Mayo), and usually do a quick game twice (occasionally a 3rd time if we're waiting for someone), but we generally prefer meatier fare, and The Resistance is something that would play twice, but most of us wouldn't want to play it or something like it many times consecutively. I know I wouldn't. The absolute worst gaming experiences I have ever had have been in groups of people that can't get away from one game. This isn't to say that other people didn't enjoy it or that it is "wrong" to do so, but I'm not that sort of person, and neither are most of the people I play with.

Again, this is something that will vary from person to person, and group to group.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Compulsive Completist
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all the replies about the theme. I didn't want to hijack the thread but didn't see my question worthy of its own post. I will definately keep an eye on this one. I am a fan of werewolf and like the tweaks this seems to have.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lingwei ko
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
This is not the clue you are looking for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ridel wrote:
pmigas wrote:
Does it have legs?
Yes. I cannot get enough of this game. I have played it 7-8 times in a row at my game club with around 10-12 uber game geeks. It is not just being used as a light filler.


I'm also amazed that anyone believes that 'quick games' means that people will get sick of the game quickly. There is very much an element of "another quick round" that sucks people back in. We've played this game for about 4, maybe 5 hours in a fairly large group of 8.

You end up with grudges, payback, people referring back to other games where a particularly excellent deception was executed. Someone inevitably wants 'another shot' at winning, and the quickness of the game means that very few players refuse another go.

And while it's very social, you can play the game intensely, or you can play very laid back. It's not a big deal, unlike other social games where if one person is just mailing it in, it might spoil the game for everyone else. Personally, I switch between the two just to mix things up and keep my tells from revealing whether I'm spy or not!

I'd say you might start as light filler, but I wouldn't be surprised if your gaming group suddenly found (after yet 'another game') that they didn't have enough time to play anything else.


Agreed. I introduced this to get people warmed up but we wound up playing only this the entire evening.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Daley
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BruceGee wrote:
I'll be a dissenter and say it hasn't had very good legs in our group. The problem is that, in about five or six plays, the spies have won every. single. time. It seems as if the person choosing the final mission has to get every single spy correctly identified, and that hasn't happened yet.

I'm not sure about your group, but in our group we missed the "two fails" rule. If you miss that one, it's *VERY* easy for the spies to win. I find it quite different with that rule in place.

"Exception: for Mission #4, at least two Fail cards are required to fail it. "

Once the spies need two fails, it can become much more apparent who is who, and the fifth mission becomes all that much easier for the resistance. But maybe you didn't miss that rule... It slipped by us for at least two game nights, so I thought maybe it slipped by you too.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
flag msg tools
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a game with a huge level of depth, where the answers constantly change based on the group you're with. If I'm with a group that has played together a lot, I need to think different than if I'm playing with newbies. Now mix those two together, and you need to view each individual differently based on their history with the game, what they know of it, what they think is good play, dangerous play, etc. One guy may have just been burned by dropping 2 fail cards on a mission with his spy buddy. Another has never seen that happen, and thinks he can pull it off. You know that guy one, if a spy, is less likely than guy 2 to put another spy on the mission with him. Now, multiply that by the many different places you can be at in the game and the different personalities that you play with and you have innumerable amounts of things to try to keep track of, burning even the most logical brains. But, you can also play it as a quick filler without thinking much about it! It feels really great to figure out who the spies are, or to get that guy who always figures it out off on the wrong path as a spy.

The only problem I've found with it is when some people want to play a strategy game of logic and others want to play a quick filler.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
AB
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Jythier wrote:
The only problem I've found with it is when some people want to play a strategy game of logic and others want to play a quick filler.


This happens in a lot of other games as well though where some people just want to play and have fun and others want to analyze and AP a game to death. It's really not restricted to "social" games like The Resistance but I do see your point and it's one of the biggest reasons the game will either be a hit or miss with a group... everyone should be mostly on the same page with how seriously they are playing the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
flag msg tools
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This did happen in PBF: 11 which cause some to say that The Resistance is unsuitable for Play by Forum, which is completely insane after the rousing success of all the other games. It's only unsuitable to that particular combination of players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jythier wrote:
This did happen in PBF: 11 which cause some to say that The Resistance is unsuitable for Play by Forum, which is completely insane after the rousing success of all the other games. It's only unsuitable to that particular combination of players.
I browsed PBF11 every few days and always had a fun time reading it, even if the players themselves weren't.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.