Thursday, December 19, 2013

Board Game Review: The Resistance

Plotting to overthrown evil governments and corporations is not that uncommon a theme in gaming but how often do you get to be one of the spies trying to crush the uprising?

In The Resistance by Indie Boards And Cards, the players take on the role of the member of a group trying to topple the tyrannical and corrupt government that has taken over the world.  Not all is as it seems though, as spies have infiltrated the group and threaten to stop them as they stand on the brink of victory.  Will you help defeat the tyrants or are you one of their pawns trying to bring down... the Resistance!

What's In The Box?
Cracking open the box, the first thing you'll find a set of nicely laid out instructions complete with examples of the entire turn process clearly laid out (always a plus in my opinion).  In addition to this there are also three double sided and illustrated play mats (which one you use depends on how many players there are), numerous tokens and markers made of very sturdy cardboard, and the various cards that you will use through out the game all printed on high quality material.  Add to this a tray liner which clearly separates the tokens and cards and you are looking a very polished looking game.

How Do You Win?
Winning is easy.  All the members of the Resistance have to do is succeed at three of five missions.  That'll be easy right?  It's not like there are spies that have infiltrated your group who will do everything in their power to make sure you don't succeed.  Oh wait...

How Do You Play?
The first thing to do is grab the play mat for your size group.  How many spies there are and how many people are required for each mission is all determined by the number of players, from two spies for a five player game up to four spies for a maxed out ten player game, and all of this is laid out on the play mats.  This also lets you know how many of each type of character card should be dealt out to the players.  Shuffle the character cards and then deal out one card face down to each player.  Once everyone has a character card, all the players should secretly look at their card to see which side they're actually on.  After everyone has looked at their character card the fun really begins.

First someone in the group should have everyone close their eyes.  Next the same person should tell the spies to open their eyes and look around so they known who their co-conspirators are.  After a few seconds, everyone should be told to close their eyes and then have everyone open their eyes so the game can begin!

One of the players is designated team leader and they get to choose who they want to send on the first mission.  Once the potential team members have been announced, the group has to vote on whether to accept the proposed team or reject it.  If the team is rejected, a new team leader is chosen and the process is repeated but be careful; if the team is rejected five times in a single round the Resistance looses!  Once the team is approved, then its time to send them on their mission.

Each member of the team is then given two mission cards face down, one a success card, the other a failure card.  These are used to vote whether the mission succeeds or fails.  Each team member secretly votes and hands their chosen mission card to the team leader who shuffles and then reveals the result.  Success means that the mission goes off without a hitch but if even one failure shows up the mission fails and someone who was on that mission was a spy.  Spies are the only ones who can choose to fail a mission so if a failure card shows up everyone who was on the mission is suddenly suspect!  Who can you really trust and who will sell you out to the authorities?  To make things even more interesting, the later missions require larger teams making failure that much more likely if you're not careful.  The game (and the mounting paranoia) continues until there are either three successful missions or three failures.

How Does It Measure Up?
The Resistance is a great party game as long as you don't take it too seriously.  I can see how you could over analyze everything as you try to figure out who the spies are but that's definitely not our style.  We tend to play it much looser, with accusations flying left, right, and center, and so far everyone we've played it with have had a blast.  I definitely recommend giving this one a try.  Until next time...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Random Updates: Gamer Rage... AKA: Apparently You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Annoyed?

I can honestly say that the week leading up to Thanksgiving was one of the most hardcore weeks of gaming that we've had in a while.  Fourteen games just in seven days which I think might be a record for us this year.  Even crazier was the fact that eight of those games were just King of Tokyo!  Maybe it was just too much gamer goodness or a lack of caffeine that night or even just the aftereffects of a headache that had been lingering in the back of my melon for most of that time, but so it was that I descended into that rarefied state known as gamer rage... or so I'm told.

It was the tail end of this string of games and we were playing Resistance with some friends of ours.  For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the game, it involves looking at cards without your neighbors being able to see said same cards.  Great party game if you play it right and at some point I'll get off my butt and write a review of it but back to my point.  As for our group, there were a number of preteens and teens with all their youthful exuberance and sugar laden metabolisms but it was cool.  We were having fun throwing accusations around the table as we tried to bring down the corporation.  There were a couple of times that I noticed people almost literally bending their cards in half and so I asked people to please be careful with the cards and not bend them when they looked at them without actually singling anyone out.

After putting this out there several times I noticed one of the girls was almost crushing her card in her hand so I called her out on it.  I told her in a firm voice that I had mentioned what she was doing in passing a few times already and I asked her to please not crush the card in the future.  To me this was a completely reasonable request.  After all, it wasn't the fact that she was bending one of the cards in the game, it was the fact that she was doing something that I'd politely asked people to please not do. You'd think that this would resolve it right?


The next day, our friend texted my wife and asked where they could get a replacement for the game because she was so upset by what I'd said.  Personally I was and still am kind of stunned by this.  It had nothing to do with the fact that it was the game that I was annoyed, it was the simple fact that she was continuing to do something that I'd asked the group politely not to do.  If she was banging on the table or yelling in my ear and I'd said something would it have prompted the same reaction?

Sometimes I just don't got people.

So how about you folks out there?  Does anyone have a tale of gamer rage you'd like to share, either real or assumed?  I'd love to hear about it so go ahead and tell us about it in the comments below.  As for me, I think I need to have a cup of soothing camomile tea while I put together a game review for my next post.  Until next time...