If you are a fan of social deduction games, you have likely played one or both of The Resistance and One Night Ultimate Werewolf (ONUW). The two are quite different games, but they come down to a common denominator – how well can you accuse your friends of being the bad or good guys, and have your team come out on top?
I had no idea that a project mixing the two together mad scientist style was in the works until I was at the Gathering of Friends. Ted Alspach sat down to teach us One Night Resistance (ONR), and I was super excited, having a great love for both of the games that spawned this mix. I honestly had no idea what to expect, and whether it would lean more towards the ONUW or the Resistance side of things. Turns out it’s a pretty great combination of stuff that’s good about each game.
The one thing about the Resistance that holds me back from playing it more often is the length of a game. Picking mission teams, then taking the mission and going through enough rounds of this to determine which side wins can be lengthy, depending on your game group. There are only two types of IDs in this game: Spy or Resistance. Everyone has that on a face down ID card, like the ID cards in ONUW – and then there’s a mix of 3 in the middle ONUW style, to mix things up a litle when it comes to the night round. The operation of the game is based on the “specialist” roles, and how they operate depending on whether you’re a spy or Resistance.
This is where it got really exciting for me! I enjoy the ways that the ONUW roles let you do something a little different depending on who you are. But for ONR, it really drives the game. We had a 6 player game, which meant 6 Resistance IDs and 3 spy IDs – 3 in the middle for the specialist cards to tinker with depending on who was carrying them out! The night phase doesn’t require a moderator app, and instead the actions are carried out in a player order with everyone’s eyes closed, and when you’re finished your action you close your eyes and state “Mission Accomplished”, indicating it is OK for the next player to take their turn. Here’s what can be done in the night, and how this lines up to the more familiar ONUW roles):
After the night round comes back to the leader, they get to look at their ID card, and then everyone opens their eyes. Unlike ONUW which just launches into crazed accusations and discussions, the ONR “day” round then circles around the group again, where you have to claim a specialist role token. You have to do this, and it’s kinda tricky – because if someone after you claims your role, they take your token and you’re left with nothing but a bunch of explaining to do! Or some finger pointing and accusations, depending on what side you are on..
I quite enjoyed the aspect of the game between the night actions and the post-day specialist claims. It can often be hard to get the discussion rolling in ONUW if people aren’t sure what to say – so running around the group getting people to a “starting point” for the discussion and deduction of which spy players they want to assassinate. And ala ONUW, if a spy is assassinated, the Resistance wins; if a Resistance member is assassinated, then the spies win! As a spy, I had a rousing time trying to deflect accusations and pretend I was Resistance. Poor Adam ended up with the defector with no spy cards in the middle to choose from, which made him an easy target for us hidden 3 spies to leap upon.
This game would be a great go-to for any game group, and terrific for people starting out with social deduction, similarly to ONUW. I think that ONUW and the Resistance stand alone enough from ONR that all three have a place on my shelf, because they all do different things (and especially with the range that ONUW Daybreak adds!). There were a number of specialist roles we didn’t get a chance to play, so I am looking forward to trying these out when I get my hands on a copy.
The Kickstarter launched the day we played the game and had already been funded wildly past the goal, which is amazing! It ends today, Wednesday April 29th at 11pm EDT – you have plenty of time to still get in and get an advanced copy of this before it’s too late!