Toy Corner

Mastering the Art of Deception: A Review of The Resistance Board Game

Apr 16, 2024

the resistance board game

Published by Indie Boards and Cards, the same company behind the popular family board game Flash Point Fire Rescue, The Resistance is a far cry from cooperative play. It is a game that I regularly played in the past with friends and I felt like it only kept getting better each time that I played it. I will go into depth of the Resistance board game and let you decide if this game is for you.

Overview of Resistance Board Game

This third edition, demands both tactical thinking and sharp intuition from its players. But before we delve into the thick of the action, let's focus on the tangible framework of this immersive game, which lies in its components and setup.

In the box, you'll find 10 character cards that are split into six resistance members and four spies. There are 10 mission cards evenly split between success and failure. Besides these, you'll also come upon 5 team tokens, 20 vote tokens (half approve, half reject), 5 score markers, one round marker, and one vote track marker.

In addition to these, one leader token and three score tableaus make their appearance. The tableaus are double-sided, each showing a different player setup catering to the number of players. Last but far from least, you'll also find an inquisitor token that's employed in the Inquisitor expansion.

To add another immersive layer, The Resistance also encompasses a set of optional plot cards. These cards act as game-changers, granting abilities to take actions outside the conventional voting mechanics, thereby serving a thrilling cocktail of unpredictability to the gamescape.

The Resistance Board Game Third Edition is designed for simplicity, the setup takes just about a minute. How's that for a quick dive into the game?

Once you've figured out the number of players, pick up the tableaus that match. Then, decide upon the number of spies and resistance members you need.

The game also comes with integrated game boards. These aren’t your traditional gaming platforms but rather act as the all-knowing overseer to help visually track the success, and failure of missions, and even how many times a mission is rejected.

How to Play the Resistance

Roles of Players

The exciting component of the resistance board game lies in the player roles. Everyone is secretly assigned a role, each with its unique set of responsibilities and stress factors. Are you an honourable agent fighting for justice, or have you secretly infiltrated the resistance team with allegiance to the oppressive government?

It's essentially a game of hidden identities and bluffing where players have to intuitively play their roles and cope with the chaos. Perhaps you'll find it more fun to play a resistance operative than a spy, or vice versa. That's the beauty of the gameplay; it keeps you hooked irrespective of your role!

the resistance player roles

There are five missions in the game, each helmed by a different team leader. The leader gets to select the team tasked with determining the mission's outcome. All players then vote to approve or reject this team. The suspense during this segment is off the charts!

The chosen team secretly votes amongst themselves to establish the result of the mission. A single negative vote can potentially sabotage the mission, tipping the scale in favour of the spies. Every decision in the game is a crucial binary choice – approve or reject, pass or fail.

Plenty of discussions and accusations occur among players, making it a fascinating social deduction game. Talking and arguing about the leader's choices is arguably the best part of the game.

The game ends once one side manages to sway three missions in their favour. The resistance wins by successfully completing three missions, while the spies triumph by either sabotaging three missions or creating enough disarray through failed votes to stymie the resistance's operations.

Pros and Cons of The Resistance Board Game

Undeniably, the Resistance stands out for its freshness and adventure. Indie Boards and Cards have designed a truly thrilling game that mirrors the exciting world of spies and missions.

Firstly, what hooks me each time I play is the necessity for strategic decision-making and bluffing. These aspects tap into each player's intuition and persuasion skills, making the experience dynamic and engaging, regardless of the outcome. It's a game of wits where even honourable members of the resistance must conceal their identities, keeping the intrigue alive throughout.

Secondly, the exclusive feature of hidden identities adds a unique dimension to the gameplay. It's a guessing game that keeps you on your toes, compelling you to strategise effectively. Who is the traitor? Who can you trust? It's as much a psychological mind game as it is a board game.

Thirdly, the setup and components of the Resistance are noteworthy. The game is playable with a sizeable group, best suited for 5 to 10 players. This makes it an excellent choice for party nights or social gatherings, contributing to some unforgettable times.

However, every game has its quirks. In the case of the Resistance Board Game, here are a couple of things that can occasionally dampen the fun.

One minor drawback is that the initial sessions can sometimes be rather flat when only loyal players are chosen for missions. I remember when I first introduced the game to my friends; we had two such instances right off the bat which resulted in the resistance winning with zero fun. Although these situations are incredibly few and far between, they can feel a bit disappointing when they occur.

Finally, the number of players can affect the game's excitement level significantly. While it's off-the-charts phenomenal with 7-8 players, fewer or more players can tilt the scales towards a less thrilling clip, leading to the occurrence of anomalous games. For instance, with more than 8 players, the objective is not necessarily to figure out who all the spies are, which tends to dilute the intensity somewhat.

Strategies to Win The Resistance

Let's consider some tactical approaches that could tip victory balances in your favour. Remember, we're dealing with a world of espionage and hidden identities, so cunning and guile are paramount.

As with any game that involves secret roles and deception - bluffing is an indispensable skill in The Resistance Board Game. You should brush up on your poker face as you will need to learn how to hide your emotions when playing as a government spy. In a world of resistance members and infiltrated spies, the ability to deceive your opposition is vital.

As a spy, it's important to balance the desire for mission failures with the need to maintain your cover, which may involve voting for mission success at times. This requires quick thinking and good bluffing skills. Additionally, understanding player tendencies and observing their behaviours can reveal valuable clues about their allegiances. This involves noting patterns in voting processes and changes in behaviour, which are essential in a game determined by majority missions swayed.

the resistance board game components

Lastly, the right team composition can be the difference between victory and defeat. This principle was firmly set in during the mission proposition phase. As a resistance member, you want to make sure your team isn't carrying any spies who will sabotage the mission. And what if you're a spy? Well, then you'd want to secretly cause problems while appearing helpful. Your team selection will reveal a lot about your gameplay strategy in the long run.

Final Thoughts

As I have previously mentioned, having played it so many times it is no secret that I am a fan of the game. The gameplay evolves continuously due to the need for bluffing and also catching other people out. This is really a test of your ability to deceive and detect deception, to adapt and overcome. With the Resistance, you will learn about your friends' bluffs and who they can really become when winning is on the line.