All gamesThe ResistanceRulebook

    The Resistance Rulebook

    Rulebook Original Source

    Game Components

    • 11 Character Cards (10 Characters and 1 Leader)
    • 5 Team Cards
    • 20 Vote Cards (10 Approve and 10 Reject Cards)
    • 10 Mission Cards (5 Success and 5 Failure Cards)
    • 15 Plot Cards (Cards used in "The Plot Thickens" expansion)
    • 6 Score Markers (3 Blue and 3 Red Markers)
    • 1 Round Marker (Black disc)
    • Score Tableau


    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 Resistance 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, intuition, 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 revealed at any point in the game, nor the character art discussed.

    Leader Token – Designates the players 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

    Set Up

    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 and Spies that will be in the game.


    Shuffle the appropriate numbers 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.

    Spies Reveal

    After all the players know their affiliation, the Leader must ensure that all the Spies know one another by repeating the following script:

    "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."

    Game Play

    The game consists of several Rounds; each Round is composed of a Team building phase and a Mission phase.

    Build the Team

    The team building phase consists of the 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 propose 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 Assignment

    After appropriate discussion, the Leader takes the required number of Team Tokens (using the chart below) and assigns each Team Token to any player including himself. Note a player may only be assigned one Team Token.

    Players5678 - 10
    1st Mission Team2223
    2nd Mission Team3334
    3rd Mission Team2434
    4th Mission Team334*5*
    5th Mission Team3445

    Missions marked with an asterisk (*) require two fail cards to be played in order for the mission to fail.

    Spy Strategy Tip: Act like the resistance The resistance players are out to get you - think fast and remember 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 their web of deceit and expose themselves.

    Mission Team Vote

    After appropriate discussion, the Leader calls for a vote on the Team assignments. Each player, including the Leader, secretly selects one Vote Token. When all players have their 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).

    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 resistance 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. Remember 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 with a Red Score Marker in the Mission space. The Leader passes in a clockwise manner and the Team building phase of the next Round begins.

    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 still 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 that you can discern 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 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 players. 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.