Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Resistance, Part 1: Box Contents

Good evening, ladies and gentlegamers!  We know it's been a while since we last posted a review up on Games & Tea, and we hope you haven't missed our incessant ramblings too much!  There will be a little article up shortly which will explain what's been keeping us from our precious reviews, but in the meantime we're going to try and restore a sense of normality to our world as we bring you our thoughts on Don Eskridge's The Resistance; a game of general deception, deduction and back-stabbing for 5-10 people.
The Resistance is a party game, which means that all players get to interact during every turn, as opposed to each player taking their turns separately.  The players take on the role of a resistance cell attempting to overthrow a malignant government.  However, a number of the team (dependant upon the number of players) are, in fact, government spies, and it's their job to sabotage the resistance's missions and cause them to fail.  The game takes place over the course of five missions - if the majority are successful then the resistance win the game, if the majority fail then it's victory for the spies.
The true resistance members are tasked with the using deduction to identify the traitors in their midst, whilst the spies have to exercise their deception skills to throw off suspicion and worm their way into the resistance's trust.  We'll address how this all works in the second part of the review, but in the meantime let's take a look at what you'll find inside the box...
First of all, you have the three Score Tableaus.  That's right, The Resistance contains tableaus - not tables - leaving us feel as though we were perhaps a little bit too lower-class to be playing this game.  These three cards are double-sided, with each side containing a scoring chart for games of 5-10 players.  The tableaus keep track of how many missions have been successes or failures, how many times the current mission team has been voted on (more on that later), as well as providing a quick reference on how many players need to be sent on each mission.  Each side of each card also features some rather nice artwork, which give the players something of a glimpse in the world in which their resistance cell operates.
Next up, we have the tokens.  The rifle tokens at the top are simply used to indicate which players have been chosen to go on a mission, the Reject/Approve tokens are used for voting on the mission teams, the large diamond-shaped token goes to the team leader, and the circular tokens are all used for tracking information on the Score Tableau.
There are three different types of cards in The Resistance, and the first are the Character Cards.  These are dealt out randomly at the beginning of the game, and let each player know whether they are a resistance operative (blue), or a government spy (red).  Unlike the Scoring Tableaus, the artwork on the cards does seem to be somewhat hit-and-miss, with dome of the cards still featuring rather nice images, but others being kindly described as a little bit ropey.
The second type of cards are the Mission Cards.  Each player on the mission is given a pair of these cards and must choose one to submit face-down to the team leader; Success if they want the mission to succeed, and Fail if... well, you can probably guess the rest!
And finally we have the Plot Cards!  These are part of the The Plot Thickens expansion which comes with the main game.  These allow extra actions to be taken each turn which can help to uncover the spies' identities, or, if played by a cunning spy, can throw further doubt and suspicion into the minds of the loyal operatives!  For the purposes of our review game we'll be leaving these out, but they're easy enough to add in once players have a basic familiarity with the rules.
All of the cards in The Resistance do have a satin finish to them, which we have seen in a number of games.  This does, unfortunately, make the cards more susceptible to wear and tear, and so an investment of sleeves is highly recommended.
So that's the box contents for The Resistance!  It's not an overwhelming set of box contents, but one of the hallmarks of a good party game is that it's enjoyable to play without an overabundance of complex rules and gaming pieces (look at Cards Against Humanity for a perfect example!).  Come back for Part 2, where we'll run through the mechanics of the game and give our thoughts on the experience as a whole!

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