Who can you trust in The Resistance (2nd ed)?

The Resistance 2nd Edition Box
Today we will be covering the first board game that we have played with our friends a few years ago: The Resistance (Second Edition). In this game, you are a group of soldiers working for the Resistance going on missions to free your comrades from The Empire. However, there are spies working in right under your nose, but you don't know who they are. The Resistance is a game for 5-10 people and a single game lasts an average of 30 minutes.
This game of social deduction tests how well you know your mates, and usually results in you hating each other for lying to each others' faces. Remember that girl you thought couldn't hurt a fly? Boom, she's a spy working for the other group now and she's been lying all the time. Remember that bastard who lies to your face all the time? Boom, he's actually telling the truth this time and you failed your mission because you didn't want to trust him. Being a spy is more fun than being a good guy in this game because you can mess with people's minds.


What's in the box
The one in our hands in the Second Edition, which contains "The Plot Thickens" expansion module instead of the Inquisitor module and a different artwork from the Third Edition. This game comes with the following components:

5 Team Tokens
5 Score Markers
20 Vote Tokens
1 Leader Token
1 Round Marker
1 Vote Marker
10 Mission Cards
6 Resistance Operative Cards
4 Spy Cards
15 Plot Cards
3 Double-sided Game Boards

Whew, that's quite a number of components but if you're just playing the base game or just playing with 5 people, you don't use most of them. The cards are thicker than normal cardstock so it can survive without sleeves, and the tokens are made of cardboard.

Rules and Gameplay

The rulebook
The fun part with The Resistance is that there are many ways to play it. The most common would be the base game, which you can play without the Plot cards. The number of Spies and Resistance Operatives in a game are dependent on the total number of players. You can refer to the Game Boards to see the required number.

First, select the board that corresponds to the number of players in your group. Pick the required number of Operatives and Spies from the character card pool, shuffle it, and distribute them among the members face-down. The members then take a look at their cards to know their role. It's possible to play the Avalon version using this game, by just putting a label with the character names on the cards.

Once everyone has established their own roles, what I and my friends like to call "The Prayer Session" begins. Everyone closes their eyes, and an assigned leader begins the prayer (note that everyone's eyes remain closed unless otherwise instructed, including the one leading the prayer). A typical prayer session goes like this:

"Everyone, close your eyes."
"Spies open your eyes. Spies look around and make sure you know all the other spies."
**Note: If you are playing the Avalon version, there are other conditions to trigger the eye-opening.
You can use the pre-game ritual MP3 for Avalon here.
"Spies close your eyes. Everyone's eyes should be closed."
"Everyone open your eyes."

A main rule in this game is that players may say anything they want at anytime during the game as it's mainly a bluffing and deduction game. The round begins with the leader choosing the people who are going on the mission. The number of people required to go on a mission is written on the board, and the leader switches every turn either clockwise, counter-clockwise, or any metric you prefer. Players then vote on the selection using the vote tokens. This is where most of the debate is located, as spies would usually try and convince the operatives that their fellow spies are good people (since they know the identities of fellow spies), and friendships would usually end (just kidding).

The success of a mission depends on the majority of the mission cards. Each selected member on the mission are given a success or fail card, and at the end of the round they give their selection face down, where the leader shuffles it (so that you won't know who gave what) and reveals it. The Operatives can only ever give a success card, while the spies can choose either success or fail. It's common for spies to give a success on the first mission, in order to trick people into thinking they are good. The game ends after 5 missions, and the majority is the winner.

If you wish to play The Plot Thickens expansion, you grab plot cards which correspond to the number of players and put them in a pool. The cards are marked on the left side to indicate whether they are used in a 5, 6, or 7+ player game. At the beginning of each round, the leader draws plot cards (1 for 5-6 players, 2 for 7-8 players, and 3 for 9-10 players), then gives each card to a player of his choice (not including himself) who are part of the mission. Plot cards are not hidden and should be revealed once they are drawn from the pool. Cards with a star symbol on them are used immediately and discarded, cards with a "1" symbol can be held until the player chooses to use it, and cards with a square symbol are active the entire game.

Some other variants of this game is to have blind spies (the prayer session is skipped, and the spies don't know each other), or to play the missions on the board in no set order (the leader chooses which mission he wants to go on, but the 5th mission cannot be selected until 2 other missions have been completed).

This is a good ice-breaker game and my group just loves it, especially the ones who are new to board games. It's easy to explain (relatively) and the looks on people's faces once the spies are revealed at the end are just gold.

Length and Replayability

Halfway in the game
The game lasts considerably longer the more people there are in your group, as they usually try and shoot each other down during the missions. It's not a filler game, as this game can be played the whole night while having a laugh with your friends. A 5-player game usually takes us 20-40 minutes.

It's extremely replayable especially with all the expansions and variants available, and the game is different each time you play it as it varies with the style of bluffing each of your friends have. If you want to bond with your friends more, play this game.

The Resistance wins in this round!
Overall score

We think this is a solid board game for anyone. There's a lot of other bluffing and deduction games out there, but this is one of the well-known ones and also the easiest to acquire in the Philippines as it's a relatively famous game.

View the BGG game page here

Thank you for reading and may you all have a nerdy week ahead of you :)

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