Gayme Night: Build Community And Practice Resisting With These Two Tabletop Games

Hello queermos, and welcome to Gayme Night, a new once monthly column where I encourage you to host an evening with friends and family where you play board games. Why? Because board games are fun and they foster community, and we need all the fun and community we can get as we continue to power through this Trumpian dystopia.

Speaking of Trumpian Dystopia, have I got some games for you! The Resistance and Coup are set in a science fiction universe in which a corrupt government rules at the behest of corporate billionaires. THIS DOESN’T SOUND FAMILIAR AT ALL, RIGHT? Anyhow, in Coup, we play as billionaires trying to overthrow each other’s factions within said ruling class, and in The Resistance, we try to take down said corrupt government. Both games are all about lying your face off.


The Resistance

Wil Wheaton’s tabletop has actually featured both of these games, so you can check them out. Here’s the all-out psychological warfare of The Resistance, and played by lady-nerd favorites Felicia Day, Allison Scagliotti, Ashley Clements, and Amy Okuda.


The Coup

Here’s Coup, a much shorter microgame that doesn’t make me yell as much, as played by Wheaton, the Fine Brothers, and Felicia Day.

Sounds fun and not at all topical, right? Now I bet most of you have played board games, but who here has thrown a game night? I bet a lot fewer of you have! So I’m going to give you some fun stuff to make it much easier to put together a game night of your own.


Invite Your Guests

The Resistance requires five to ten players, and Coup requires two to six. So you’ll want to invite four or five guests to make five or six players, including you! I hand drew you an invite image that fits nicely into a Paperless Post. You can also use it on Facebook or Eventbrite or however you’re managing your guest list. Or just use this as inspiration to draw your own.


Plan Fun Makeup

If you check out my doodled invite, you’ll notice that my character is wearing some fun eye makeup. That’s because the Assassin card in Coup is wearing some fun eye makeup.

So I think it’d be a good idea if we all wore some fun and funky makeup. You can even get together and do said makeup before you play the games for a full on 90’s sleepover vibe. Because we’re gunning for sci-fi billionaires, I’d say we should lean into metallics. Since it’s just for game night, grabbing a set of metallic eyeliners and eyeshadows on the cheap is a good way to go. I found a set of eight eyeliners for $13.95 and a pallet of 32 eyeshadow colors for $3.95.

Remember to be culturally sensitive with your makeup! The way I make sure to do this is to impersonate David Bowie. Or! You can imitate the makeup on the assassin card for greater verisimilitude. Fun game night eye makeup is for all genders and gender expressions. Remember the Autostraddle butch eyeliner tutorial by Julie and Brandy? You can apply that to some rad gold liner! Or you can do something entirely different! Follow your heart!


Play With a Playlist

One of the things I’ve learned from playing D&D is that a playlist makes everything so much more immersive, so much cooler. Give your night the right atmosphere with this futuristic playlist I made you! It’s 44 minutes long, so grab up your Spotify and put this on a loop. The juxtaposition of future-peaceful and future-stressful is very intentional. If you stick it on shuffle, you never know what you’re gonna get, much like the experience of approving missions while playing The Resistance!


Share Photos!

Because this is a monthly situation, I’d love if it y’all shared photos with us! That way, each month, I can post photos of last month’s game night here. I especially want to see photos if you went full tilt into eye makeup this month, because that’s just fun. Photos of our queer-ass game nights help diversify the image of what it is to be a huge nerd, so tag us on Insta or email them right to me (ali [at] autostraddle.com).

A quick note. I link to the games purchasable on Amazon here because I want you to be able to order them and play them IF you don’t have a game shop in your area. If you do have a game shop in your area, I strongly recommend giving them your patronage. We want those place around—it’s how people find and play new games they’ve never played before. 

Staff Writer for Autostraddle, Part-time Faculty at The New School (teaching digital storytelling), Managing Editor for Scholar & Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research On Women. Follow me on Twitter @AEOsworth or on Instagram, also @AEOsworth.

A.E. has written 544 articles for us.

21 Comments

  1. I love The Resistance, want to try Coup, and just started a monthly ga(y)me night last month! I will def encourage all my people to wear rad eye makeup so we can send you pics.

    Also, Ali, if you will be at A Camp can we have a gayme night or two? Or even if you aren’t, I am happy to spearhead this for science/Instagram/general enjoyment.

    • Alas, my wife is graduating from law school smack in the middle of this Camp! And also alas, I’ve proposed pajama game night for at least two camps, maybe three, and it never seems to fit! But maybe you can get it started and I’ll join you next year?

  2. I played Coup at Thanksgiving and all of us cousins had a blast. There was a lot of “you are completely full of shit and I am 100% sure you are lying, but I can’t risk losing my last influence so I will let you go.” It was great

  3. Yes – I’m so excited to see this column! I actually played The Coup for the first time last week and had a blast. I somehow love both these games even though I’m an awful liar and just the *thought* of withholding truth makes my heart race. It’s happening right now, for real.

    Anyway, I like to think the anxiety-inducing stress of these games is just preparing me for the end times! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  4. I really like the title of this article. Unfortunately I just can’t ever seem to enjoy The Resistance (or similar “social deduction games”–they often seem to turn into too much shouting and stress for me). My wife and I are really into board games though, so I’ll be sure to check out the column often!

  5. How perfectly timed! I’m attending a boardgame night tonight. I love the Resistance but it only plays well with my non smartass friends. My smartass ones just don’t talk the entire game which is what I think makes it fun. Also I’ve been into co-op games like Hanabi lately because working together is fun!

  6. I love both of these. Since first playing the Battlestar Galactica board game my friends and I accuse each other of being the Cylon while playing Resistance and it makes gameplay more exciting/loud. I look forward to future columns.

  7. Yay board games!

    I like Coup, and think Love Letter is even more fun. Works best with around 4 people I think, 2-player is good but possibly a bit too easy, especially for the starting player.

    I’ve not played The Resistance, but have played The Resistance: Avalon. Not sure of the difference but that one is definitely one of my favourites.

    A way more elaborate version of these withholding information/deduction-style games I’ve been playing recently is Battlestar Galactica. It’s super good, even as someone who hasn’t seen the TV show.

  8. I would definitely start with Coup and its expansion (Reformation, which can accommodate up to 10 players). I have seen friendships crack under the tension of the Resistance. Also, Coup is more accessible for non-gamers and a good warm-up for more adept players.

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