Was playing a game of The Resistance with some people who haven't played it before. What I found, is that of the five games we played, the Resistance only won one of them.

I think the reason for this, was a social dynamic of people not wanting to argue, and 'let's just get on with the game' so vote for the mission to go ahead, even though there's a good chance there's a spy on the mission.

Are there any good strategies for getting people more vested in the outcome of the mission, or is this simply a matter of 'playing with the right people'?

4 Answers 4


All games require people to be at least somewhat invested in playing properly, otherwise what's the point in playing in the first place?

I think the issue is made clear in your line about how there "was a social dynamic of people not wanting to argue, and 'let's just get on with the game'" - sorry, but arguing in The Resistance IS the game. Without the discussion, it's just a game of voting. It's already a short game (20-30 minutes), what is to be gained by rushing through it?

Sounds to me like the group weren't that up for playing. It is a game that requires the right group of people as you say. Although I will add the caveat that lots of people I didn't think would be into it will often surprise you with how invested they get.

Some people will take at least one game to establish properly how it works and what opportunities are available (and yes, you may need to artificially inflate the drama a little by throwing some accusations around perhaps more than you normally would). Some people however simply will not get it and won't get invested (my brother for example, couldn't understand why the spies would bother lying - which makes no sense, but whatever).


This problem doesn't seem specific to the game at hand, though of course, you'll probably find it easier to convince people you know to play a game seriously, or choose a game that they will enjoy and/or make the game enjoyable for others.

There are a number of reasons why people don't play games just to win: http://onigame.livejournal.com/34424.html


The problem with The Resistance is it really requires the right group of people to play with, and the right mindset.

It is so small it could be considered a casual game, but it's complex enough it can be considered more advanced (not for beginner-boardgamers).

I personally find no interest in it - and I love most board games - light or heavy. I also run into the issue where I just don't really care who wins or not. This is likely due to my preferences in gaming; this game just doesn't spark interest for me.

I love similar games to this - such as Battlestar Galactica - and I take that game very seriously.

I would think that the same is true for your other players; you have to find a game that everyone likes.

Even if friends say they like a game - you can tell if people are really having fun or not by how much they care about the win


  • Find a game everyone likes.
  • If people don't care about winning/losing, chances are they're not having fun with the game.

The only way to make people care about something that they don't already is to wager something.
I am not suggesting that you need to wager in The Resistance, or that it is even a good idea, but there is no other way to get people who don't care to care.

Also I would mention that most games don't work if the people playing it don't care.

  • Also I would mention that most games don't work if the people playing it don't care. I disagree with this entirely. Take a game like say monopoly. A player can not care about playing it, but still enjoy playing for a social experience. It doesn't matter to the others if they win or not. For them, its a matter of going through the motions of rolling the dice etc.
    – dwjohnston
    Jul 8, 2014 at 22:03
  • @dwjohnston One player making bad deals, and king-making in Monopoly will quickly ruin the game. I also said most. Apples to Apples works
    – Andrey
    Jul 9, 2014 at 13:49

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