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My first thought was that it was always a bad idea to fail the first mission as a spy. As there are only two people on the mission, the spy has revealed himself to one of the players.

With 5 players though, it seems like the spies give too much away when succeeding. Is failing the first mission (as a spy) a bad idea even in a 5-player game?

Are there any other situations?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

No.

You should almost never let the first mission succeed as a spy. So what if your opponents know that one of the participants is a spy? They don't know which one, and they won't be able to win without figuring out which of you it is.

By making the first mission fail, you give your opponents fewer opportunities to make mistakes as the game progresses. This greatly outweighs the fact that failing a later mission reveals less information.

You do need to get your acting skills into high gear immediately after the mission is revealed as a failure, however. You have to pretend it's obvious to you that your mission-mate was a spy, and appear extremely frustrated if the other players side with her. This can be challenging, but you can't afford to sacrifice a victory point to avoid it.

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Having played the game many more tines, i can now see how accurate your answer is –  Andrey May 17 '12 at 13:17
    
One thing to mention is that breaking a set pattern of always failing the first mission can be a good thing. I have seen some very good games where a spy will let the first 2 missions succeeded and then watch the chaos and confusion when the next 3 missions fail. Having a group of people trying to determine the who the spy is after the first 2 missions worked when missions 3 and 4 both fail can be very enjoyable. –  Joe W Apr 9 '13 at 3:26

In The Resistance, the biggest danger is having a consistent strategy that is predictable. As a spy, I usually don't fail the first mission if there's only one other person on it, but sometimes I will. If there are 2 other players on it I'm much more likely to sabotage, but still not every time. Being on a successful mission almost guarantees that I'll be included in later missions with more people allowing me to cast doubt more effectively on others because "I was on that successful mission!"

In groups where people tend to play too consistently I find myself getting bored; it seems like the game is determined completely by luck of who gets picked to go on missions.

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This is a great answer. If you do the same thing every time as a spy, you will be easier to spot. You need to mix it up a bit. –  theon Mar 4 '13 at 13:30

I'd say no.

I've never played with just 5 players - only with 6, 7 and 8. And we're all still pretty new to the game seeing as the spies have always won and hardly any teams get rejected.

Basically, the question is if an early start is better than reduced suspicion. In most of our games the first missions have succeeded, even though some contained spies. In our later games the spies usually only won with the 4th or 5th missions, so I'd guess that with more proficient resistance players it becomes more lucrative to fail the first mission.

Five players is a difficult situation though, since there is only one other spy. I'd say that you should probably not fail the mission unless you or the other spy are directly after the second mission member. You'll want to quickly establish evidence that you are not the spy.

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