Review - The Resistance

(5-10 players, aged 13+, 30+ minutes playing time)
The Spy cards
Designed by Don Eskridge, published by Indie Boards and Cards

This was a game I picked up whilst at Essen 2010 following the very positive comments by a number of my travelling companions. As a game in the style of Werewolves of Millers Hollow it was one I had particular interest in for my work with Imagination Gaming as there is no need for a narrator and none of the players are excluded along the way . My first game was played whilst in the Channel Tunnel across the top of our car on the return trip from Essen. There are not many designer games that can be played whilst on the move.
The Resistance cards
In The Resistance players draw a card to indicate the role they are to play in the game. Each player is a member of the resistance however some players will be government spies (indicated on their role card by the red colour and the absence of a fist in the top right hand corner ) intent on causing dissent within the group, sabotaging
the missions the resistance go on - whilst obviously hoping to remain undiscovered.
This is a game of conversation and subterfuge. During the course of the game the resistance will have a series of leaders who will need to pick an increasingly large number of groups to go on 5 separate missions.

The Team card (left) and the Leader card (right)
The nominated leader (this moves around the group in clockwise fashion for each new mission) has to choose a team for a mission. In doing this he may question the various players, players may offer their services or indeed indicate that they do not wish to go on the mission, challenge the suitability of other players etc. Having heard the answers, suggestions (these become more vocal as the game progresses) and general banter the leader chooses a team (indicated by giving the individuals a team card) which may or may not include themselves. The whole group then get a chance to vote on whether they agree with the Leaders team selection using the Voting cards provided.  Depending on the number of players and which of the five missions is being undertaken the teams range from 2-5 players.

The Reject (left) and Approve (right) voting cards

If the voting rejects the team the Leader has selected  the Leader is effectively sacked and the Leader role passes to the next player in a clockwise direction. It is then the new Leaders task to build a team for the mission, learning from or not (!) the previous failed vote. The spies win if after 5 votes the group is unable to decide on a team to undertake the mission in question.

The Success (left) & Failure (right) Mission cards
Assuming that the leader is able to get a team approved, they then go on their dangerous mission. Within the game this means each member of the mission takes one of two cards and puts this face down in the centre of the table. One of the cards indicates that the mission will be sabotaged whilst the other indicates a successful mission. The cards are then shuffled and turned face up. If any team member has played a sabotage card then the mission fails. The mission’s success or failure is then recorded on the Tableau (control mat) by placing a blue or red marker. If 3 of the 5 missions are sabotaged then again the spies win, whilst conversely if three of the missions succeed then the resistance wins. This is a tough game for the resistance to win but one that by its nature has lots of accusation of falsehood and protestations of innocence, which become increasingly amusing as some of the missions, inevitably fail.
The Tableau (control card)
Who will this work for?
1.  Those gamers who like narrative type games where there is lots of social interaction.
2.  Anybody who likes games likes Werewolves of Miller Hollow.
3.  Non gamers looking for a game to use as part of:
Playing Resistance in the Channel Tunnel
        - A team building exercise or;
        - To help develop communication skills
4. Anybody looking for a game to play whilst on the move, in a car or train even over the top of a car!

The disadvantage is that The Resistance can only accommodate 10 compared with up to 18 for Werewolves.

Did it work for us? 
It is quick to explain and quick to play, however it is the first time our group has played a game of this type and they took a while to get into their respective roles. Time will tell whether they enjoyed it enough to make it a regular part of our gaming sessions. It worked well with the numbers we had as a way of bringing everybody together, however we don’t often get that number so this may impeded further exploration of the game. All that said everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and had a good laugh although some of the resistance not the spies, obviously under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs (or maybe they were confused) sabotaged a mission!

If anything the game is let down by the cards which are unnecessarily confusing, apparently some of the cards are red and or green – news to me (although they show up better in the photos than I had expected), I am colour blind and even if the colours were not confusing enough then the symbolism of the cards lacked a simple clarity that would aid explaining the game and ensuring that players got the most from their first encounter with it.

If you liked this review then other games I have reviewed can be seen here


  1. Hi there.

    Thanks for the review. We have just purchased this great sounding game and are looking forward to our first playthrough!

    Looking at the rules, I have a question: on the tableau, under the 'mission size' table, there are stars printed against the team sizes for round 4. These are clearly visible in your photo too.

    I can't find any reference as to what these mean?



    1. Thanks for the feedback. As to your question I am sorry but I can't remember, and I will not be able to look at the game till Sunday or Monday.

    2. stars mean that those missions can only fail with 2 or more failure cards

  2. I believe the answer is:

    "The 4th Mission in games of 7 or more players requires at least two Mission Fail cards to be a failed mission."

    I hope you enjoy the game.