Identify and eliminate the Undercovers among the citizens. Players will be assigned the same word but the Undercovers will hold a different word from the rest. Choose your words carefully and do not give too much hints to let them in on the secret!
Addicted to social deduction games? Well, here’s one! Liberals and Fascists are fighting in a political war to win your votes. Fascists are led by Hitler who is in hiding and Liberals need to stop him!

Liberals must learn to trust each other and win votes to control the elections, thus saving the world. Watch out for Fascists who will do whatever it takes to win those votes and gain enough power to win.
Be a part of the Resistance who will go on missions to stop the evil government. Be careful as the government Spies are hidden in the group and will do anything in their power to sabotage your missions.
Have you ever gotten yourself in awkward conversations at parties? Never again! With Start Talking, you can kick start conversations with our library of topics. Good luck and break the ice!

Date Posted: 2017-10-24
I started board gaming awhile back, introduced by a fellow friend that I meet only twice a year. He will usually bring 3 different games and the group will always have a blast playing them. So I thought, why not buy those board games and have a blast with my other friends and family! Unfortunately, the journey was not that easy.

'Board games?! I hate Monopoly/Risk/Jenga/Uno.'

Everyone would have heard of Monopoly, Risk, Uno and other mass-marketed games. Unfortunately, these games barely scrape the immense possibilities of board gaming. Modern board games feature a new level of strategy, cooperation and interesting mechanics.

What works best with my friends is to tell them that the games are similar to those game they have heard before but much, much better.

'I don't play board games - sports/video games are so much more engaging!'

It is perhaps normal for people to view board gaming as boring and monotonous when they compare it with sweaty, speedy sports and the explosions in video games. And it will only be a losing battle if you try to convince them otherwise. Instead, try to find a similar mechanic or theme between their idea of fun and the board games you want to introduce and emphasize the areas that board games do better.

For example, if they love creating viruses and spreading across the world in Plague Inc, show them Pandemic, a game where players attempt to squash an infection but instead of playing it alone, they get to play it together with their friends! Or what if they like playing real-time strategy games such as Starcraft and Red Alert? Show them Power Grid where players fight for resources to power cities using power plants but instead of playing it with the computer or a distant online opponent, they get to see the look on their friends' faces as they outsmart them in resource management and deception.

Organizing a Successful Night of Board Games

Truth be told, the biggest mistake is to call it a "Night of Board Games". Non-gamers might have too many preconceptions of board games and making it the central part of the event is setting yourself up for failure. Make it a gathering for your friends to catch-up, of good food and good music. Let the board games be something of an 'oh look I have some games for us to try out'.

Start with 'Gateway' Games

Gateway games are easy to learn, fun to play for the first time and does not take too long to complete. But you cannot randomly pick any of the community-chosen gateway games on Boardgamegeek and expect it to roll smoothly. Read our article titled 8 Games to Introduce to New Players for more information.

Remove Distractions!

To really enjoy board games, players should get a certain level of focus. They are built painstakingly by the game designers to immerse players in an alternate reality. Ask everyone to keep their phones away and switch off the TV. Playing music in the background is fine but make it something ambient.

If there is a meal segment during the gathering, let them socialize while they eat so they do not have to during board gameplay time.

Speaking of food...

Have Good Food

Good food is a sure fire way of enticing your friends and family to gather at the table. Let them know that they can socialize and even play simple "drinking games" while they are at it. Soon, taking out your board games will feel almost natural to bring to the table.

Theme, theme and more themes.

Another trick is to find relevant themes to the occasion. For example, you could play One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Mysterium and Arkham Horror during Halloween. You could also play Pandemic and Dead of Winter after an episode of Walking Dead or any other zombie-related movies.

By making the theme of the board game relevant to the overall theme of the occasion, your guests are more likely to view them favorably.

Using just these few tips above, I managed to get my friends and family hooked into board gaming. For them, they preferred Cooperative and Strategy games instead of the Bluffing games as they felt slightly uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I would probably sneak 1 in pretty soon...

Date Posted: 2017-10-07
Secret Hitler is a game where you and your friends are secretly divided into two teams, Liberals (the "good" guys) and Fascists (the "bad" guys). One of the Fascists will be additionally designated as "Hitler", and there are some related rules that we will go over later. Their objectives are to enact 5 Liberal or 6 Fascist policies respectively.

Basic Gameplay

Players will take turns to be the President, usually clockwise around the table. The President will then select a player to be the Chancellor and all the players (including the President and Chancellor) will vote "Ja" (yes) or "Na" (no). If more than half of the players vote "Ja", the President and Chancellor will form the Government and go into session. Take note that the last elected President and Chancellor cannot be nominated as the Chancellor.

During a session, the President will secretly view the top 3 policy cards of the Policy Deck. These 3 policy cards can either be all Liberal, Fascist or a mix of both. The President will discard 1 of them, keeping it face-down from everyone else. Thereafter, the President will secretly pass the 2 remaining policy cards to the Chancellor. The Chancellor will choose 1 of the policies to enact and discard the other, still keeping it face-down from everyone else.

Special Cases

If there are already 3 Fascist policies enacted and Hitler is voted in to be the Chancellor, the Fascist win the game. If there are 5 Fascist policies enacted, "Veto Power" is unlocked. Veto Power allows all future Chancellors to reject both policies given by the President if and only if the President also agree. Otherwise, the Chancellor will have to enact one of the given policies as usual.

Presidential Powers

Depending on the number of players, the President will be granted several of these powers when a number of Fascist policies are enacted.

"Policy Peek" allows the President to secretly view the top 3 cards in the Policy Deck. "Special Election" allows the President to choose the next President. Take note that turn order will revert back to normal after the specially chosen President's turn ends. "Execution" allows the President to kill any player, who will leave the game permanently. "Investigate Loyalty" allows the President to check whether a player is Liberal or Fascist, but will not be able to see whether they are Hitler or not.

Tips for New Players

If you are a Liberal, always tell the truth. Remember that Fascists (except for Hitler) know each other and creating confusion will only confuse other Liberals. As the President, always give the Chancellor both Liberal and Fascist policies whenever possible, and as Chancellor, always enact Liberal policies. Never, ever say you are the Fascist as it will only harm your team.

If you are Fascist, create confusion. Keep pretending to be a Liberal and only enact Fascist policies when you can make it seem like you have no other choice. As the President, pretend that you had no choice but to give the Chancellor both Fascist policies and as Chancellor, pretend that you only had Fascist policies to enact. Additionally, help Hitler gain the trust from the Liberals by allowing them to enact Liberal policies and do not accuse them of being a Fascist.

If you are Hitler, pretend to be a Liberal. Enact Liberal policies and rely on your fellow Fascists to enact Fascist policies. As President, you may occasionally pretend to have gotten all Fascist policies and had no choice but to give the Chancellor only Fascist policies. However, do not overdo this!

Final Tip

Last but not least, have fun! Secret Hitler is ultimately just a platform for you and your friends to engage with one another. At the end of the day, they will remember not whether the Fascists or Liberals won but the exciting stories and conversations that happened.

Play Secret Hitler here!
Date Posted: 2017-09-30
The Resistance is a social deduction game where you and your friends are divided into 2 teams, the Resistance and the Spies. In this game, the Resistance plan to overthrow a malignant government in a series of missions while the Spies secretly try to sabotage them. Their objectives are to succeed 3 missions or fail 3 missions (out of 5) respectively.

Basic Gameplay

In the Team Building phase, players take turns to be the Leader who will select 2 or more crew members to go on a mission (including themselves). All the players will then vote to Approve or Reject the team. If more than half of the players approve the team, they will go to the Mission Phase. Otherwise, the next player on the left will be the Leader and the Team Building phase restarts. Take note that the Spies will win the entire game if there are 5 consecutive failed voting rounds.

All players will then secretly choose whether to pass or fail a mission. Resistance members must choose "Success" while Spies can choose whether to choose "Success" or "Fail". All the cards will then be revealed to everyone and the mission fails if there is at least 1 "Fail" card.

Tips for New Players

As a Resistance member, always tell the truth. Remember that the spies know one another and creating confusion will only harm your team. Many new players will approve teams without a second thought, unfortunately, this will reduce the information that your team can work with. Rejecting will give more Leaders to pick their crew members and more opportunities for you to see other players' voting patterns. Use these opportunities to find inconsistencies in players' behaviors and decisions.

As a Spy, create confusion. The Resistance members do not know each other and will try to figure out players' identities throughout the game. To minimize their chances, pretend to be a Resistance member and target to discredit a real Resistance member consistently. Changing targets may cause people to be suspicious. New players tend to pass the first mission unconditionally however, this gives you only 2 more successful missions as a buffer. Instead, try to fail the first mission and blame the other player for failing it. Even if you fail to completely convince the table, the Spies have 1 more failed mission in their hands.

Final Tip

The Resistance has been a party staple for many years as it has given people a platform to uniquely engage with each other. It is not about winning or losing. It is about the exciting stories and conversations that will be brought up weeks after the most recent game was played.

Play The Resistance here!