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Resistance: Winter Soldier

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The Resistance: Winter Soldier is a social deduction game with secret roles. Players are either loyal agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to successfully complete its anti-HYDRA missions, or HYDRA infiltrators trying to sabotage them.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents can win either by completing three out of five Missions successfully or by discerning and rehabilitating the Winter Soldier; the HYDRA agents can win either by sabotaging three Missions or by discerning and assassinating Nick Fury.
All characters are of course spies, so a fundamental part of the game is deception and deduction. Players are free to discuss--and free to lie. They must rely on both social and logical deduction to win.


4 Double-Sided Score Tableaus (1 side per player count from 5-12)
10 S.H.I.E.L.D. Character Cards
 - Steve Rogers/Captain America
 - Nick Fury
 - Natasha Romanov/Black Widow*
 - Maria Hill*
 - Bucky Barnes**
 - 5 General Agents: Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Sharon Carter, Sam Wilson
8 HYDRA Character Cards
 - Winter Soldier
 - Alexander Pierce*
 - Arnim Zola*
 - Baron Zemo*
 - 4 General Agents: Brock Rumlow, Jack Rollins, Grant Ward, Jasper Sitwell
12 Mission Cards (6 Success, 6 Failure)
24 Vote mini-cards (12 Affirmative, 12 Negative)
5 double-sided (S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA) score markers
1 Vote Track marker
1 Mission Leader token
2 Loyalty Cards*
Scarlet Witch Token*

* denotes an optional character or power (detailed later)
** only used for a rehabilitated Winter Soldier

Set Up:

The number of players will determine which Score Tableau to lay out and how many of each type of Character Card to deal. First, choose the appropriate Score Tableau and lay it out on the table/ floor/ wherever you’re playing. Put the Score Markers and Mission Cards next to it. Hand one of each Vote Card (Affirmative and Negative) to each player. Next, determine how many S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA character cards to hand out:

# of Players S.H.I.E.L.D. Cards HYDRA Cards
5 3 2
6 4 2
7 4 3
8 5 3
9 6 3
10 6 4
11 7 4
12 7 5

These numbers include special character cards: Steve Rogers, Nick Fury, the Winter Soldier, and whatever optional special characters you may be playing with. Beyond those, the rest of these cards should be general S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA agents.
Shuffle all the character cards, and choose a Leader to deal them to each player (including him/herself) without looking at them. Once everyone has a character card, they should look at it in secret.

HYDRA Reveal:

The HYDRA infestation is rampant within S.H.I.E.L.D., and has been ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. adopted the HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola as one of their own, not realizing that he had never turned away from the darkness. Zola’s minions may be in the minority, but their signature “Hail HYDRA!” salute allows them to know each other while remaining hidden from all but one hero. Nick Fury knows all, yet must divulge his knowledge carefully--if HYDRA finds him, they can assassinate him and rule the world!

After everyone has looked at their card and determined whether they are a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent or HYDRA infiltrator, the Leader should ask who Captain America is so as to pass leadership on to someone known to be trustworthy. Captain America should use this script:

Everyone, please close your eyes and extend your hand into a fist in front of you.
HYDRA agents, please open your eyes and look around so that you may know each other. Fists in the air are so out of style, so please extend your thumbs as your new “Hail HYDRA!” salute.
Everyone close your eyes. HYDRA agents, leave your thumbs up. Everyone else, keep them down.
Nick Fury, open your eyes so that you may know the infiltrators in your midst.
Everyone close your eyes and put your hand in a fist in front of you, thumbs down.
Everyone open your eyes, and let’s begin.


The game consists of (up to) five missions as follows: the Lemurian Star (Mission 1), the Roosevelt Bridge (Mission 2), Camp Lehigh (Mission 3), the Triskelion (Mission 4) and the Insight Helicarriers (Mission 5). Before each mission, the group must agree on a team to complete it. The number of players on each mission team will depend on both the total number of players in the game and which mission you are playing:

# of Players 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Mission 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4
Mission 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5
Mission 3 2 4 3 4 4 4 5 5
Mission 4 3 3 4 5 5 5 6 6
Mission 5 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6

The Leader (Captain America on the first mission) will propose a team, and the group can (and should!) discuss it before voting on it. Each player may vote however they like, with the exception of the Winter Soldier: as a slave to HYDRA’s will, they are not allowed to reject any proposed teams containing at least one HYDRA agent. To vote, each player will secretly choose a Vote Card (either Affirmative/Yes or Negative/No) and place it face down on the table. They should all reveal their Vote Cards at the same time. A majority vote is required to approve a team. If the proposed team is approved, play proceeds to the mission; if it is rejected, the Vote Track marker is moved along the path on the score tableau and a new team is proposed. In either case (i.e., whether the next team is proposed for the same mission or the next mission), leadership passes to the right for the next proposal/vote.

Note: Three rejected teams in a row (for the same mission) are an automatic mission failure.

To actually proceed with the mission, give each team member one Success and one Failure mission card. Loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (except Maria Hill, if you are playing with her) must play the Success card; the Winter Soldier must play the Failure card; HYDRA agents other than the Winter Soldier may play either card. It is in their interests for missions to fail, but they may choose to strategically succeed missions in order to build trust. Each team member should place the card of their choice into the lid of the game box (discarding the other into a separate pile), and the Leader will shuffle and read the cards. If only Success cards are played, the mission succeeds; if even a single Failure card is played, the mission fails.

Exceptions to the above: If there are an even total number of players with a mission team of 5 or more players, two Failure cards are required to fail the mission. If there are 9 or 11 players, two Failure cards are required to fail Mission 4. These exceptions are marked “Two fails required” on the appropriate Score Tableaus.

After a mission succeeds or fails, place a Score Marker (with the appropriate side--S.H.I.E.L.D. or HYDRA insignia respectively--facing up) in its spot on the Score Tableau. Proceed to the next round.

Winter Soldier Rule:

At any point during the game, Captain America may try to guess which player is the Winter Soldier. However, he must do so carefully, for if he errs, the power of the heroes will dwindle! Once Captain America accuses a player of being the Winter Soldier, they must reveal their Character Card, and one of three outcomes will happen.

  • If a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is falsely accused: That agent must step out as a friendly fire casualty.
  • If another HYDRA agent is discovered: That agent is exposed and eliminated, but at the cost of also taking down Captain America.
  • If the Winter Soldier is exposed: Captain America is able to save his oldest friend, James Buchanan Barnes! The Winter Soldier should swap out their HYDRA character card for the Bucky Barnes S.H.I.E.L.D. character card. With the Winter Soldier turned to the side of good, the heroes will be able to discuss their knowledge openly, securing the success of their task.

Endgame/Winning Conditions:

After 3 successful or 3 failed missions, the game draws to a close. If 3 missions end in failure, the agents of HYDRA win the day and bring out the jackboot. But if 3 missions succeed, the good guys aren’t out of the woods just yet! First, Captain America (if still in the game) will get one more chance to guess the Winter Soldier’s identity. If he is correct, he secures the win for the heroes. If he is incorrect, the HYDRA agents will come out of the shadows and the Winter Soldier will get one chance to identify and assassinate Nick Fury. (He may and should discuss his guess with the other HYDRA agents, but ultimately it is his decision.) Assassinating Nick Fury will also secure the win for HYDRA--but if the Winter Soldier’s guess is incorrect, the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. will prevail!


You can add in these special characters in any combination you like, although it is probably best to play the basic game first and add/change one special character at a time to avoid getting confused:

  • Natasha Romanov/Black Widow (S.H.I.E.L.D.): Has the special power of knowing Nick Fury’s identity. Using her knowledge wisely can help keep him safe.
  • Alexander Pierce (HYDRA): Has the special power of appearing as Nick Fury (i.e., both he and the real Nick Fury reveal themselves to Black Widow).
  • Arnim Zola (HYDRA): Has the special power of staying hidden even from Nick Fury’s all-seeing eye.
  • Baron Zemo (HYDRA): While a member of HYDRA, Baron Zemo does not work from within S.H.I.E.L.D. and is therefore locked out of the loop of other agents. He does not open his eyes with them during the reveal phase.
  • Maria Hill (S.H.I.E.L.D.): Best to use in games of 10 or more. She is a triple agent--a good guy pretending to be a bad guy pretending to be a good guy! Maria Hill opens her eyes with the HYDRA agents at the start of the game and acts strategically to make both the good guys and the bad guys trust her. However, like Nick Fury, she must keep her identity a secret--at any point before the fifth mission is completed, the Winter Soldier can assassinate her and secure the victory for HYDRA!
    Of course, this too is a double-edged sword, as if the Winter Soldier guesses wrong he exposes not only himself but another HYDRA agent!
  • Scarlet Witch: Works best in games of 7 or more people. Not a character card in her own right, but rather a power that passes from player to player. At the beginning of the game, this token goes to the player on Captain America’s left; immediately after Mission 2, that player will examine the loyalty of any other player of their choosing. Scarlet Witch passes the two Loyalty Cards to the player under examination, and that player must pass back the correct one. Players may not lie about their loyalty. However, Scarlet Witch is free to lie about which Loyalty Card was passed. The Scarlet Witch token is then passed to the player who was just examined to use after Mission 3. In total, Scarlet Witch is used three times--immediately after Missions 2, 3 and 4. A player who has used the Scarlet Witch token cannot have it used on them.
    Be sure to modify the Reveal phase to accommodate any other special character powers.