FTW Staff Picks - The Resistance: Avalon

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.

The Resistance: Avalon

Genre: Social Deduction

Designer: Don Eskridge

Player Size: 5 to 10 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: Werewolf, Mafia 

The Resistance: Avalon is not a hidden gem. Among board game enthusiasts and even entry-level gamers, Avalon is a popular choice for large-group gaming. Board game cafes are not libraries, so you can usually expect a lot of chatter and volume. But by far the loudest game among the many in our library is Avalon. It can get even the quietest member of your group to reach upper decibel levels. 

Avalon is not for everyone. I've seen it almost ruin many friendships. And still, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable experience. Much like Werewolf and Mafia, this is very much a game that exercises social skills with just a splash of logic and reasoning. It's a game that puts the focus on something as rudimentary as conversation. And so no matter how experienced one is with games, anyone can jump right into Avalon and pick it up very quickly. 

The Resistance: Avalon is a standalone game that came from the original The Resistance. The biggest difference is the roles added to each game. You could argue The Resistance has plot cards which were removed in Avalon, but I've never found any enjoyment in them. Compare that to the very integral role that Merlin has in Avalon. In fact, when I first bought the game and introduced it to my friends we would just refer to the game as "Merlin". Avalon, in my opinion, makes the original Resistance obsolete and I would always advise players to just skip right to the superior experience. 

People often ask me what my most played game is, and without hesitation I answer "Avalon". One summer, I played the game almost daily, in sessions that would average 2-3 hours at a time. My play count is easily over 150. For a game with very little variance in gameplay, that's a lot of hours. And even now, if someone were to ask if I wanted to play Avalon, I wouldn't even blink. Always down, always ready. 

Earl OliverosComment