The Resistance


  • 10 Character Cards
  • 10 Mission Cards
  • 15 Plot Cards (cards used in "The plot thickens expansion)
  • 5 Team Tokens
  • 20 Vote Tokens
  • 5 Score Markers
  • 1 Round Marker
  • 1 Vote Track Marker
  • 1 Leader Token
  • 3 Score Tableaus
  • Objective

    The Resistance is a social deduction game with secret identities. Players are either members of the resistance attempting to overthrow a malignant government, or spies trying to thwart the resistance. The resitance wins the game if three missions are completed successfully; the spies win if three missions fail. The spies can also win if the resistance is unable to organize the mission team at any point in the game (5 failed votes on a single mission).

    A fundamental rule of the game is that players may say anything that they want, at anytime during the game. Discussion, deception, intruition, social interaction and logical deductions are all equally important to winning.

    The Cards & Tokens:

  • Character cards- determine the player's affiliation(each player is either a resistance operative or a spy). A player's character card may not be reveal at any point in the game nor the character art discussed.
  • Leader Token- Designates the player that will propose the Mission Team
  • Team Tokens- Allocate positions on the Mission Team
  • Vote Tokens-Approve or reject the Leader's proposed mission team
  • Mission Cards-Determine Mission success or failure.
  • Plot Cards Additional actions used in "The plot thickens" expansion
  • Setup:

    Select the tableau corresponding to the number of players. Place the tableau in the center of the play area with the score markers, team tokens and mission cards adjacent to the tableau. Place the round marker on the tableau's 1st Mission space. Give each player a set of two vote tokens.

    Randomly select a leader; The leader receives the leader token. Use the chart below to determine the number of resistance operatives that will be in the game
    Players 5 6 7 8 9 10
    Resistance 3 4 4 5 6 6
    Spies 2 2 3 3 3 4

    Shuffle the appropriate number of character cards. Deal one card to each player face down. Each player secretly looks at the role assigned to them on the character card. In the accessible version, the shape of a box can be felt on the character card with an X in the middle on spy cards. Boxes without an x in the middle are resistance cards. This can be easily felt even by people who do not know Braille.

    Spies Reveal:

    Note- This rules for Spies Reveal of the accessible version are significantly changed from the original rules. After all the players know their affiliation, the leader must ensure that all the spies know one another.

    In the accessible version, starting with the leader, all players take turns passing their character cards around the table one at a time. Players who are spies may feel the bottom of the character card as it is passed to see if that person is a spy. Players who are not spies may not feel the character card. It is advised that they are passed under the table and that players do not watch each other in order to minimize the chance that a sighted player will gain unfair advantage.

    In the normal version, the following script is read "Everyone close your eyes" "Spies open your eyes. Spies look around and make sure that you know all the other spies" "Spies close your eyes. Everyone's eyes should be closed." "Everyone open your eyes".


    The game consists of several Rounds: each Round is comprised of a Team building phase and a mission phase.
    Build the Team
    The team building phase consists of Leader picking the players that he would like on the Mission Team followed by all the players voting to approve/reject the Mission Team.
    Resistance Strategy Tip: Get on the team
    As a resistance operative you need to get on the mission teams, letting even a single spy on the team is enough to make it fail. The leader gets to propse team members, but everyone gets a vote. If the leader's proposal doesn't get enough votes then the next player becomes the leader and gets to propose a new team
    Mission Team AssignmentAfter appropriate discussion, the Leader takes the required number of Team Tokens(using the following chart) and assigns each Team Token to any player including himself. Note a player may only be assigned one Team Token.
    Players 5 6 7 8 9 10
    1st Mission Team 2 2 2 3 3 3
    2nd Mission Team 3 3 3 4 4 4
    3rd Mission Team 2 4 3 4 4 4
    4th Mission Team 3 3 4 5 5 5
    5th Mission Team 3 4 4 5 5 5
    ExampleThe first mission in a five player game requires a Team of two players. The leader passes Team Tokens to Paul (himself) and Charles, then calls for a vote.

    Spy Strategy Tip: Act like resistance
    The resistance players are out to get you - think fast and remeber if you act and vote like a resistance player you will be harder to spot. All the resistance operatives will want to go on the missions, and so should you.
    Resistance Strategy Tip: Build trust in yourself
    A good resistance player not only determines who the spies are, but also builds trust in themselves. The best way to build trust is to explain to others what you are attempting to do and why. When interrogated the spies can stumble in a web of deceit and expose themselves. Mission Team Vote: After the appropriate discussion, the LEader calls for a vote on the team assignments. Each player includes the Leader, secretly selects one Vote Token. When all players have selected Vote Token ready, the Leader asks for the Votes to be revealed. All players flip over their Vote Tokens so everyone can see how they Voted. The Mission Team is approved if the majority of Votes approved and fails if a majority rejected the assignments; a tied vote is also a rejection. If the Mission Team is approved, play continues in the Mission phase. If the Mission Team is rejected, the Leader passes in a clockwise manner and the Team building phase is repeated.
    The Spies win the game if five Mission Teams are rejected in a single round (5 consecutive failed Votes).
    Example: Paul, Charles, Candice and Ian Approve, Ralph Rejects - the Vote is approved, play continues in the Mission Phase.

    Spy Strategy Tip: Change your MO
    From game to game spies can get stuck in predictable patterns of behavior, such as never failing the first mission. If the resitance operatives can predict your behavior, they are more likely to uncover your identity
    Resistance Strategy Tip: Trust no one
    If you don't trust everyone on the team then strongly consider rejecting the proposed Mission Team. Good resistance players will usually use three or more votes per round, carefully watching who is voting yes and asking them why. Remeber the spies know each other and sometimes you can catch them approving a vote just because a spy was on the proposed team.
    Conduct the Mission
    Each player on the Mission Team must secretly decide to either support or sabotage the Mission. The Leader passes a set of Mission Cards to each Mission Team member. Each player on the mission selects a Mission Card and plays it face down in front of themselves. The Leader collects and shuffles the played Mission Cards before revealing. The Mission is successful only if all the Cards revealed are Mission Success cards. The Mission fails if one (or more) Mission Fail cards have been played.

    Note: The Resistance Operatives, must select the Mission Success card; Spies may select either the Mission Success or Mission Fail card.

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

    Note: It's suggested that two different players shuffle the played and discarded Mission cards before revealing.

    After the Mission has been completed, advance the Round Marker to the next Mission space on the Tableau. Indicate a Mission Success with a Blue Score Marker or Mission Fail witha Red Score Marker in the Mission space. The Leader passes in a clockwise manner and the Team building phase of the next Round begins.

    Example: Paul gives himself and Charles a set of two Mission cards. Paul selects the Mission Success card and place it face down in front of him, Charles places the Mission Fail card face down in front of himself.

    Paul takes the two Mission cards and shuffles them before revealing that the Mission failed. Place a Red Score Marker on the First Mission space on the Tableau, advance the Round Marker to second Mission space on the Tableau and advance the Leader token clockwise.

    Game End:

    The game ends immediately after either three successful or three failed Missions. The Resistance wins if three Missions are successful. The Spies win if three Missions fail. The Spies win the game if five Mission Teams are rejected in a single round (5 consecutive failed Votes).
    Spy Strategy Tip: Never Give up
    Even if you are caught as a spy, you sitll have a valuable role to play in keeping the other spies safe. Use your status as a known spy to create confusion and discontent among the resistance operatives while protecting the remaining undercover spies.

    Resistance Strategy Tip: Use all the information available
    Information in The Resistance comes at multiple levels. First are players' voting patterns, second are Mission results and third are cues you can decern from player interactions. Resistance Operatives must use all the information at hand to root out the Spy infestation.

    The Resistance is a game highly dependent upon the group playing it, feel free to experiment with different variants. Two popular variants are:

    Targeting - The missions do not have to be undertaken in a set order. The Leader first chooses which Mission to go on(using the Round Marker on the Tableau) before completing the Team Assignment phase. The number of players on the team corresponds to the Mission selected by the leader.

    The players Vote on both the Leader's proposed Mission and the Team.

    Each Mission can only be attempted once. No Mission is required. The 5th Mission can not be selected until two other missions have been successfully completed.

    Blind Spies - Skip the Spies Reveal Step

    Spies Winning too often? It's not easy to overthrow a powerful government. You can expect the spies will win a significant proportion of the time with the core game rules, particularly when played with 7 or more player. The Plot cards in the "The Plot Thickens" expansion(included) provide additional information for the resistance operatives, and opportunities for the spies to be more deceitful.

    The Plot Thickens
    An expansion for The Resistance

    The "Plot Thickens" introduces Plot cards. These cards provide additional opportunity for Character affiliations to be identified or concealed.

    The Plot cards are marked to indicate which cards are included in the game for the number of players present. Games of 5-6 players use 7 Plot cards: Games with 7+ players use all 15 Plot cards.

    Plot cards are not secret. Flip over Plot cards as soon as they are drawn and keep them exposed as long as they remain in play.

    Distributing Plot Cards

    At the beginning of each Round the leader draws Plot cards (1 for 5-6 players, 2 for 7-8 players and 3 for 9-10 players) and distribute the drawn Plot cards to the other players(not himself). Remember there are only 5 Rounds in the game.

    Playing the Plot Cards

    After the name of the card the number of players and the type of card is printed in brackets in braille. There are three types of plot cards. Cards with the Leader symbol(a star) will have an 'l' in brackets in braille. They are used immediately and then discarded. Cards with the 'one' icon will have a 'o' in brackets in braille and are held until used. One card with a square icon with the letter 'p' in brackets that remains in play for the entire game. If a situation arises in which multiple Plot Cards could be used, precedence and order is determined by proximety to the Leader(starting with the leader in a clockwise manner). Each player gets one chance to play any applicable cards, a player may not pass and then subsequently elect to play cards later in the same opportunity. Information gained by the use of a Plot card can be discussed, but a player's Character, or Mission cards may never be shown to other players.

    Detailed Card Descriptions

    Overheard Conversation: - Use immediately - The player to whom the Leader passes this card must look at the Character card of one adjacent playher.
    Opinion Maker - Permanent Effect - The player to whom the LEader passes this card must select and reveal their Vote token before any other players have selected their Vote tokens. This card remains in effect until the end of the game. If two "Opinion Maker" cards are in play those players must reveal their votes simultaneously.
    Establish Confidence - Use immediately - The leader must past their Character card to any other player for examination.
    Open Up - Use immediately - The player to whom the LEader passes this card must pass their Character card to any other player (including the Leader) for examination
    No Confidence - One Time use - The player to whom the Leader passes this card may use this card to reject an approved Mission team (successful Vote). Using this card counts as a failed Vote.
    Keeping a close eye on you - One time use - The player to whom the Leader passes this card may use this card to examine a played Mission card. Using this card does not require a player to announce its use before the Mission cards are played, nor does it effect the Mission card played. Multiple Mission cards may be checked in a single round, but no more than one player may check a single player's Mission card on a round.
    Strong Leader - One time use - The player to whom the Leader passes this card may use this card to become the Leader. Use of this card must be declared before the Leader takes any actions (draw Plot Cards or distributing Team tokens). When a "strong" leader is played another "Strong leader" may not be played until a Vote has been taken.
    In the spotlight - One time use - The player to whom the LEader passes this card may use this card to force a player to play their Mission card face up. The player playing this card must declare its use and the target player prior to any player on the Mission team selecting their Mission card.
    Take Responsibility - One time use - The player to whom the Leader passes this card must take one Plot card from any other player.

    Example: The Leader draws "Overheard Conversation" and "Strong Leader". The leader passes "Overheard Conversation" to Deniz, who immediately uses it to look at Paula's (who is seated next to Deniz) Character card. Deniz may make any (true or false) statement regarding Paula's affiliation, but may not show anyone (other than himself) her Character card. The leader passes "strong Leader" to Charles, Charles may not play the card immediate, he holds the card to play in the future.


    If I've never played the Resistance before, should I try the Plot cards in my first game?

    It is not recommended, try playing a couple times first without the Plot cards first. If after a few plays you feel you want more information then try adding them the next time you play.


    Game Design: Don Eskridge
    Game Development: Travis Worthington
    Graphic Design/Illustration: Luis Francisco, Jordy Knoop, Michael Rasmussen, George Patsouras, Jordan Saia, Maryam Khatoon, Luis Tomas, Vinh Mac, Alex Murur
    Acknowledgements: Thanks to Brian Carpenter, Eric Hehl, Martin Burley for playtesting and the Berkeley Boardgamers, Mike Lee, Pete Vasiliauskas for assisting the development of "The Plot Thickens" expansion. Special thanks to Eric Zimmerman, Katie Salen, Chris Jones, the BGG community, the Eskridges, Narae, Thomas and Jessica, DoPa, Team Don, and many more.

    Accessible rules transcribed by Richard Gibbs for 64 Oz. Games accessibility kit in accordance with copyright law, 17 U.S.C. ยง 121: