Tabletop Tuesday: Hidden Identity Games (Part 2)

The world is run by a corrupt government (hmm sounds familiar…) and change by conventional means is impossible. So you join a group of committed, like-minded individuals, with the goal of overthrowing the government. You become: The Resistance.

The Resistance is a game of deduction, deception and heated discussion. It first released back in 2010 and is one of the most popular hidden identity games out there.

Who’s who… or isn’t?

The 5 to 10 players at the table are randomly dealt player cards consisting of either Resistance Operatives (always in the majority) or Imperial Spies (aiming to sabotage missions). Of course there have to be a bunch of undercover liars at the table to instigate all the arguments! As is the norm, all players close their eyes and only the spies are instructed to open their eyes. Why are the evil guys always in the know?! The spies then close their eyes and everyone reopens together. At this point the accusations normally already start flying around the table!

The Empire must fall. Our mission must succeed. By destroying their key bases, we will shatter Imperial strength and liberate our people. Yet spies have infiltrated our ranks, ready for sabotage. We must unmask them. In five nights we reshape destiny or die trying. We are The Resistance

The Resistance

Main Goal

Once everyone has calmed down, the first mission can be embarked on. The first team leader (hereafter rotating clockwise) nominates a certain number of players, depending on how many rounds have been played, to join on a mission. The other players then vote to approve the team, based on how badly it smells of spies.

The approved team then embarks on their mission, each armed with a “pass” and “fail” card which are played anonymously. The Resistance wins once three missions are passed. The Spies win when three missions fail. Obviously, Resistance Operatives will ALWAYS play a pass since they need the mission to be successful. Imperial Spies on the other hand, can decide to avoid suspicion and also pass a mission. As a spy, you ideally want to stay undercover long enough to gain the trust of the Resistance. This could be key in giving the Spies the edge in the late game. Spies can also outright sabotage missions since it only takes one “fail” card for a mission to be unsuccessful. Cue the finger pointing!

Liar Liar!

In The Resistance, no one gets eliminated. So, even if a spy gets caught in a lie, nothing can stop them from sticking with that lie or further sowing confusion to protect the other spies. Your best friend will lie directly to your face or throw you under the bus, all to remain undetected.

The game mechanics are super simple and it’s almost impossible to deduce who the spies are only by closely following the voting. The focus of the game lie in the discussions and confrontations that follow. It’s great when you have someone at the table who is outspoken and not scared to challenge people and question their motives in somewhat ridiculous ways. The key is analyzing the every word of the other players, try and pick up on their “tells” and catch them in a lie. It’s all about building an opinion on who to trust… and who not to.

I myself am more of an introvert, or at the very least not confident enough to outright confront someone. Thus, I found it slightly more difficult to take part in the discussions. Instead, I preferred to sit back, enjoy the show, and hope no one suspected me for a spy. Despite this, the game was still enjoyable and I found myself gaining confidence and engaging more with each round played.

Games, sports, music, series, reading. I think I have too many hobbies.

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