Game Buzz: One Night Resistance

I wanted to put up a quick post today, and this seemed like a quick game to cover:

image by BGG user toulouse
image by BGG user toulouse

One Night Resistance is a joint venture between Indie Boards and Cards (publishers of The Resistance) and Bezier Games (publishers of One Night Ultimate Werewolf).  The game was designed by Ted Alspach, owner of Bezier Games, and is for 3-10 players.  You are members of a resistance force trying to overthrow the government, and some members of your group may be spies.  You have one chance to figure out who is a spy and assassinate them.  This game is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, and is well overfunded.

The game will come with 13 ID tokens, 16 specialist cards, 16 specialist tokens, a leader token, an HQ tableau, and reference cards for everyone.  You begin the game by mixing together ID tokens – one Resistance token per player in the game and three spy tokens – then passing one to each player.  These are kept secret and the three that were not used are placed face down on the HQ.  You then deal out one specialist card per player, which gives you a secret special ability.

Everyone then closes their eyes.  The spies open their eyes and see who is on their team, then they close their eyes again.  Beginning with the leader, each player then opens their eyes and performs their specialist action.  You can look at your specialist card, but not your ID unless allowed by your action.

  • Observer: Figure out who the spies are.  This essentially means nothing – it’s like a Villager in Werewolf.
  • Inquisitor: Look at one other ID.
  • Signaller: If you’re a spy, tap a spy on your left or right.  If not, tap the player on your left or right.
  • Thief: If you’re a spy, you look at your ID.  If not, you switch IDs with someone else and look at your new ID.
  • Reassignor: If you’re a spy, switch an ID with one of the ones in the HQ.  If not, switch two IDs.
  • Analyst: View a player’s specialist card.
  • Confirmer: View your own ID.
  • Revealer: Flip another ID face up.  If it’s a spy, flip it face down.
  • Blind Spy: If you have a spy ID, raise your thumb during the spy reveal but don’t open your eyes.  If not, you don’t do anything.
  • Defector: If you’re a spy, you can look at your own ID.  If not, switch your ID with a spy ID on HQ if there are any.
  • Rogue: If you’re a spy, switch a Resistance player’s ID with a spy’s ID.  If not, look at your own ID.

(these were taken from an Imgur photo, I have no idea if they still reflect gameplay)

Once you have done your action, close your eyes and say “Mission Accomplished.”  Play then goes to the next person.  Once everyone is finished, the leader checks his ID before asking everyone to open their eyes.  Everyone then must declare which specialist action they took by taking a token, but you can lie.  You may end up taking a token from someone else who lied (or told the truth as the case may be).  Everyone then discusses what happens and tries to figure who the spies are.  If you’re a spy, you’re trying to sow distrust and misinformation.  After a preset amount of time, everyone must vote.  The leader counts down, then everyone simultaneously points at someone they think is a spy.  The person with the most votes is assassinated.  If multiple people are tied, they are all killed.  The only way someone is not killed is if everyone got one vote. Assassinated players flip up their ID tokens.  If a spy was killed, the Resistance wins, even if a Resistance player was also killed.  If no spy was killed, the spies wins.  The only exception is if all three tokens in the HQ were spy tokens.  Then the Resistance wins as long as no one died.

To talk about this, I need to talk a little bit about Werewolf.  I have grown to despise Werewolf in recent years.  I hate the way the player elimination works out, and I hate that you’re basically taking wild shots in the dark to try to find a werewolf.  I understand it’s roleplaying, but it’s not fun to me.  It’s like dealing a deck of cards and trying to figure out with no information who has the three of clubs.  However, One Night Ultimate Werewolf was brilliant.  It took the good parts of Werewolf – specifically, the different roles and the deduction elements – and compressed it into a far shorter game that doesn’t leave anyone sitting mutely on the sidelines while everyone else continues to play the game.

I like The Resistance quite a bit more than Werewolf, but even that has fallen off my table.  I got pretty tired of it.  There’s no moderator, there’s no player elimination, it’s shorter, but it’s still that shot in the dark mechanism.  I think this will rejuvenate the game for me and make it into a much better experience.  I like that everyone has something to do, and it’s not just about guesswork.  I like that there’s actual deduction involved, and some chaos as IDs can get switched around.  It looks like a good, tight, FAST game.  Go check it out – I think it will be a good time.  Thanks for reading!

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