Thursday, 14 November 2013

Resistance is Futile - The Resistance: Avalon session

Pete recounts a game of The Resistance: Avalon played Tuesday 5 November.

We ended the night, like many a recent NoBoG evening, with a game of The Resistance: Avalon - the Arthurian themed reworking of Don Eskridge’s The Resistance. This occasion would provide a triumph for the forces of good and a right trashing for the evil minions of Mordred.

With seven being the number of players (it might have been nine, but for Robin dashing for a bus and Nicky preferring to make an early break for home to putting up with all the smack talk) we looked at the balance between good and evil and decided that the three minions of Mordred [evil spies!] would need a bit of a handicap to prevent anything similar to a recent 3-0 mauling in the favour of evil. We decided to play with Oberon [a spy, but he is not known to, and does not know the other spies] in addition to Merlin, Percival and the Lady of the Lake to really stack things in favour of good. We did not, however, account for the fantastic good fortune to come which would seal a rapid and crushing victory for the brave and valiant loyal servants.

The Introduction
Having had a couple of recent games which were somewhat ruined by certain information being missed or accidentally revealed during the set-up, I have taken it upon myself to perform a particularly thorough and highly patronising version of the introduction to the game. We used some dubious finger counting method to determine that Bondy should take the first player crown (putting myself in position three). I looked at my secret role card and saw that I was Percival, I took a moment to compose myself and then began my awkward diction.

When I opened my eyes to see who Merlin was, it was none other than my good friend Rich sitting immediately to my right in position two. I tried very hard to maintain my composure while finishing the intro talk and (as I always do, no matter what my role) immediately proclaimed myself as “not a spy” then proceeded to question the others at the table starting with Rich. He said that he was also not a spy, to which I responded that he must be telling the truth as I know him well enough to know if he is lying. I asked everyone else and made some wild accusations based upon nothing as I am not particularly adept when it comes to discerning a tell, but hoping that perhaps someone might accidentally give something away.

Round One
It was time for Bondy to propose the first mission and, through a twist of luck, we managed to persuade him to send myself and Rich. We seem to have settled into a bit of a pattern of voting down the first few mission proposals as it is believed that it is better to try to get as much information as possible by seeing who sends who and who votes for what proposals - the belief being that more information can only help the good guys [as long as Merlin doesn’t give himself away] - so I voted to reject, even though I was on the mission and knew that both myself and Rich were good.

When the vote was revealed it showed all rejects, which I declared was the perfect result: if there was a spy on the mission then at least one of the spies would have voted for it; no-one accepting the mission proposal meant that the spies didn’t like it. Rich, knowing full well that we were both good, agreed to send us two again. The vote and the mission passed.

Round Two
Now it was my turn to set the mission. I argued that the first one was almost certainly two good guys and then put forward sending Clive sitting to my left along with myself and Rich on the grounds that he was the most convincing at claiming not to be a spy. I actually had no idea, but wanted to test out if Clive was a spy by watching Rich’s vote. Rich voted reject but everyone else voted to accept so I took this to mean Rich was telling Percival that there was a spy on the mission - confirmed by how the spies had clearly all voted for it as well. Regardless, the mission went ahead but bizarrely it passed.
With all the talking I’d been doing, Richard (position seven) chose to use the lady of the lake on me and confirmed that I was good. I still didn’t know for sure he wasn’t a spy, but at least it gave me the LotL card to use next and it drew suspicion away from me.

Round Three
With the previous mission passing, and the same number of people required (three), everyone on the table was arguing for sending the same people on the next mission so Clive duly obliged and the vote was passed, but this time the mission failed! Now I knew that Clive was a spy but I couldn’t work out why he had passed the second mission.
Now I was able to use the LotL card to check another player’s allegiance and I chose Fletch, not least because he was the next person after Clive. He showed me a blue card and the game was all but won for good.

Round Four
With me having already been confirmed as trustworthy, I was able to tell everyone convincingly that Fletch was also good. It was also straightforward to point out that, only one out of Rich and Clive was a spy but the fourth mission required two fails for evil to win. By sending the same three of us again along with Fletch, we were guaranteed a win for good and this is what happened. The spies voted against the proposal but it passed and the mission succeeded with one fail.

The Assassin
I was insistent that only the Assassin should reveal his character card to preserve the unlikely but hilarious possibility of accidentally assassinating Oberon. Bondy revealed the assassin card, the spies conferred, I joined in pretending [badly] to be Oberon, accusations were cast on all the good guys except Rich and finally Fletch was brutally slain. The loyal servants had walked it.

The Truth
Player 1: Bondy - Assassin [evil]
Player 2: Rich - Merlin [good]
Player 3: Peter [me] - Percival [good]
Player 4: Clive - Oberon [evil]
Player 5: Fletch - [good]
Player 6: Sam - [evil]
Player 7: Richard - [good]

On reflection, the set-up helped us, but the spies may have handed us the game by a) proposing a mission with no spies on it and b) allowing a mission with a spy on to pass. However, I can understand Bondy proposing two good guys in the thought that the first mission is always rejected; it might have been a good way of alleviating suspicion on himself later. Ultimately we were very lucky to end up with both Merlin and Percival on all of the missions. I don’t think we will stack things so heavily in favour of good next time.

[Re-published from Pete's post on BGG - Resistance is Futile...]

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