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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: General house rules for use of both expansions rss

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Jose Velazquez
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My own house rules for using Pegasus + Exodus are based on multiple threads and posts I've read and my own tastes. I expect comments from the BGGers which play BSG using the expansions and variants over them.

- No cylon leader. Except for a 6-7 player game, we don't like the role of the leader and the imbalance in his agenda cards. In case of a 6-7 player game (if using the 7player variant), if a player is interested in a long-time strategy approach to the game, it's okay for us. Don't know if dividing agenda cards in 'easy' and 'hard' would be useful. I suspect it won't.

- No new crapica. It favors the humans, and we prefer the ionian nebula option.

- We use "Mr skeletor/Frank LaTerra" Super Cylon Fleet variant. We like it, is that simple. Scar raider is allowed.

- Crisis deck. We divide the base game crisis deck in two halves (35 cards each). We put the 2nd half crossed-oriented below the 1st. Then we mix pegasus + exodus crisis deck and put it adjacent. We draw each time from a different deck to give more opportunities for the expansions' crisis. If a crisis card isn't playable (it mentions the Pegasus ship and it isn't in play -see below-), we put it on top of the 2nd half of the base game crisis deck. If those cards were to be drawn later (we shuffle the 2nd half after the 1st is depleted and discarded) and are still no playable, we discard them.

- Pegasus ship. The game starts with no Pegasus. It can be discussed if Helena Cain is eligible at the start for theme's sake. The ship Pegasus is only put in play if the admiral draws destination cards after a jump and the card chosen shows the Exodus or Pegasus expansion icon. If Pegasus is in play, we use the variant (from razor's edge variant) in which each time Galactica can receive a hit from a Cylon ship, Pegasus is also rolled for a possible hit at the same time.

We expect to play a great bunch of game sessions, but are also aware of the BGGers opinions on these, so please be at home replying.
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Could you explain the Cylon fleet variant? I'm interested in what it does.
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ackmondual
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There was interest in my group to play 7p w/o a CL. 3 regular cylons at that. It was discussed here on BGG that 3rd, full fledged cylon would make it much easier for the cylons, so someone suggested a variant where the 3rd cylon gets the Sympathetic Cylon Smpathizer card. Doesn't matter which one really. All that it means is he can sitll reveal on his own terms, but can't use Cylon Fleet nor get a super crisis upon revealing. Some CL agendas may be unbalanced, but at least it's not a OP as 3 cylons.

I like NC. It forces you to think outside the box. If the argument is that it's too easy for humans, cylons have been winning many of the gmaes in our group, so we could go against that for a change of pace. Plus, I like how some of the character dynamics are completely different when you don't have Galactica locations nor space anymore. For example, Starbuck and Apollo are generally considered good characters, but they quite suck on NC. OTOH, Kobol is too simple, and typically easy for the humans. IN can be more fiddly than people are in the mood for.
 
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Jose Velazquez
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@Martin Dorrington:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/673840/bsg-variant-super...
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Adria D
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ackmondual wrote:
OTOH, Kobol is too simple, and typically easy for the humans.

We found Kobol a bit dull on the last jump cycle (after hitting distance 8) so now when we use Kobol, we set up the battle of the Ionian Nebula anyway, so there's something to do other than feed the engine room or scout for jumps. You could also just draw a random cylon attack card to resolve at this point; it's just a means of spicing things up.

We also usually start our games with a random cylon attack card rather than the standard starting basestar/raiders/civilian ships 'cause that got a little dull.

We only use cylon leaders for 6 or 7 player games, and we use a set of agendas (with a few tweaks) found in the Pegasus forums. And we use our own Crossroads cards.
 
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Roberta Yang
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ackmondual wrote:
I like NC. It forces you to think outside the box.

How so? In my experience, NC is incredibly mindless - humans XO Shipyard every turn, Cylons activate Breeder's Canyon every turn.

I suppose it takes some thinking outside the box to realize that letting civvies die pre-NC doesn't hurt at all and only the Morale and Non-Civvie-Pop resources actually matter, but that only requires a single meta-game realization ever, and from then on your games with New Caprica just have you playing with a weird anti-thematic skewed set of priorities and only two of the original six lose conditions posing serious threats.

ackmondual wrote:
Plus, I like how some of the character dynamics are completely different when you don't have Galactica locations nor space anymore. For example, Starbuck and Apollo are generally considered good characters, but they quite suck on NC.

Different people react to this differently, I suppose; my group is always annoyed that Pilots (already less useful in Pegasus thanks to the Pegasus guns and the unimportance of civvies in space) get made even more useless on New Caprica (and its Crisis deck accepts Piloting even less often than the regular Crisis deck).
 
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ackmondual
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salty53 wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I like NC. It forces you to think outside the box.

How so? In my experience, NC is incredibly mindless - humans XO Shipyard every turn, Cylons activate Breeder's Canyon every turn.

I suppose it takes some thinking outside the box to realize that letting civvies die pre-NC doesn't hurt at all and only the Morale and Non-Civvie-Pop resources actually matter, but that only requires a single meta-game realization ever, and from then on your games with New Caprica just have you playing with a weird anti-thematic skewed set of priorities and only two of the original six lose conditions posing serious threats.
In space, you don't really have that many more choices.... Once you know who to trust, then XO the humans like mad crazy to protect civvies from cylon ships. If there's no threat from cylon ships, then use Engine Room or LS to get jump icons. You're achieving the same end results through different means is all.

And while you can let some civvy ships die, I wouldn't want to be going into NC with so few civvies. You want to stay beyond that threshold where you don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Honestly, I wouldn't want to play NC all the time. However, I do like variety, so I am damn glad that it was introduced. Kobol was getting stale.

BTW... going to NC doesn't make Food any less of a threat. I've played enough games to see games lost by Food, but those have been much less compared to any other way.

salty53 wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Plus, I like how some of the character dynamics are completely different when you don't have Galactica locations nor space anymore. For example, Starbuck and Apollo are generally considered good characters, but they quite suck on NC.

Different people react to this differently, I suppose; my group is always annoyed that Pilots (already less useful in Pegasus thanks to the Pegasus guns and the unimportance of civvies in space) get made even more useless on New Caprica (and its Crisis deck accepts Piloting even less often than the regular Crisis deck).
The new piloting cards Run Interference and Full Throttle work for pilots only, but in the whole scheme of things, it wasn't enough. Overall, it sounds like your beef is with the Pegasus exp itself then... NOT NC. Those are 2 separate things.
 
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Ah. I've seen that before, I thought it seemed interesting, I may have to suggest it to my group for a game at some point.

Anyway I'm not sure if it's what you intended but I figured, I might share some of my groups house rules which we've used for a while. A few are probably ones people have seen, one or two might be new.

1) Whenever a human player discards a treachery skill card, the highest valued treachery card (current player chooses in case of a tie) discarded that turn is instead shuffled into the destiny deck. This does NOT apply if cards are being discarded from the destiny deck (e.g. as a result of the 'Consult the Oracle' Quorum card). In addition, humans start the game with +1 morale.

I think this is a rule someone took from Razor cut to make treachery more threatening

2) Roslin's weakness now reads: "Each time the fleet jumps, you are sent to sickbay"

I thought up this one a few months ago, to make Roslin able to be the president. Personally, I think this needs more tweaking as it's pretty crippling at the moment, but, meh

3) Cain's weakness now reads: "While you are the admiral, you must choose the first option on all Admiral chooses crises." Her OPG now chooses the second destination from the top of the destination deck (leaving the top destination where it is)

This was made for thematic reasons (it makes people dislike Cain as Admiral) and balance reasons (it makes Cain less powerful)

4) Tory's general ability now lets her draw only 1 skill card per Quorum Card

Tory was pretty broken before. She's still one of the best characters with this change.

5) After the Crossroads phase/jumping to 8 distance, reveal the final loyalty card in the loyalty deck. If it is a "You are a Cylon" card, then for the rest of the game, in each crisis step draw one crisis and one super crisis. You apply the text effect/skill check of the Super Crises, and the Cylon ship activation and jump prep of the crisis.

A more drastic change to the endgame. We've only seen this rule come into play twice, and it still doesn't really seem to be enough. It certainly makes the endgame more exciting, though!

6) The Piloting card Protect the Fleet (0 strength) now reads 'Skill Check: If at least one other piloting card (including another Protect the Fleet) is in this skill check, the current player may activate one unmanned viper'

PtF was virtually worthless before, as it was very rare to be able to activate and even when it did activate, it was very rarely much use. This at least solved one of those problems.

We've also tried a few other character tweaks (one tried recently is that Apollo cannot use AVP while in sickbay, it was reasonably successful) but this is the core we generally use.
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Roberta Yang
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ackmondual wrote:
In space, you don't really have that many more choices.... Once you know who to trust, then XO the humans like mad crazy to protect civvies from cylon ships.

That's easy to say, but how do you go about protecting said civvies? Do you use Communications to make them scurry away? Launch a Pilot to block with Evasive Maneuvers? Have a Pilot Maximum the raiders? Command more unmanned vipers out as shields? Shoot down the raiders with Main Batteries? Ignore the raiders to focus on destroying the Basestars instead? Repair damaged locations? Ignore the combat entirely and just try to get jump icons to escape as quickly as possible?

On New Caprica, there is no such decision; the answer is always to XO Shipyard.

And on the Cylons' side, do they play their Super Crisis or save it for later? Do they activate ships to attack directly, or go to Caprica to get more ships or a nice Skill Check? On New Caprica, again, no such decision exists; Breeders' Canyon is the only location worth using.

ackmondual wrote:
If there's no threat from cylon ships, then use Engine Room or LS to get jump icons.

Or the Press Room. Or repair stuff. Or have the President use the Quorum deck.

ackmondual wrote:
You're achieving the same end results through different means is all.

So, um, remind me how New Caprica requires more lateral thinking than space when, even compared to your oversimplified analysis of space play, New Caprica still requires less thought? "IF combat, THEN protect civvies in some way; IF not combat, THEN get jump icons" still takes more analysis than "XO Shipyard".

ackmondual wrote:
And while you can let some civvy ships die, I wouldn't want to be going into NC with so few civvies. You want to stay beyond that threshold where you don't put all your eggs in one basket.

But that threshold is incredibly easy to avoid, and anything beyond that is irrelevant. When playing with Kobol, it matters whether you arrive with all 12 civvies left or just 5; with New Caprica, it makes no difference at all. Staying above that minimal threshold at which the Occupation Forces can actually kill you is a joke.

With New Caprica, the potential to lose blank civvies actually makes it preferable to let several civvies die in space, since you'll lose them anyhow on New Caprica so it doesn't hurt you at all, and you know you need to evacuate one fewer ship if a blank gets destroyed.

ackmondual wrote:
Honestly, I wouldn't want to play NC all the time. However, I do like variety, so I am damn glad that it was introduced. Kobol was getting stale.

Oh, it provides variety all right - as long as it's still shiny. I don't know anyone who didn't enjoy New Caprica the first time they played it.

I also don't know anyone who still enjoyed New Caprica the fourth time, after they realized it played out the same every time and lead to this weird skewing of resource priorities.

ackmondual wrote:
BTW... going to NC doesn't make Food any less of a threat. I've played enough games to see games lost by Food, but those have been much less compared to any other way.

Food was never the most prominent threat in base game, but spending a third of the game using an alternate Crisis deck that is far kinder to Food made it no threat at all. Being a less common loss condition in base game makes every extra hit New Caprica gives it hurt more, not less.

ackmondual wrote:
Overall, it sounds like your beef is with the Pegasus exp itself then... NOT NC. Those are 2 separate things.

Where is this coming from? My complaints were that Food and Fuel are nerfed as threats, which is only true with New Caprica; that Morale and non-civvie-Pop are incredibly vital resources where even one point is very important, which is only true with New Caprica; that letting civvies die doesn't hurt at all anymore and instead actually helps, which is only true with New Caprica; that Pilots have nothing to do on New Caprica, which is only true with New Caprica; and that New Caprica involves taking the same Action every turn, which is only true with New Caprica.

My only comment that stands in any way in the absence of New Caprica is that the Pegasus board makes Pilots less valuable (and laughs at loss by damage, which I didn't mention explicitly but implied when I said only Morale and Pop were significant threats). On what information do you infer that my complaints relate to the whole Pegasus expansion rather than specifically to New Caprica? I really would like to know how you reached this interpretation.

I Eat Tables wrote:
3) Cain's weakness now reads: "While you are the admiral, you must choose the first option on all Admiral chooses crises." Her OPG now chooses the second destination from the top of the destination deck (leaving the top destination where it is)

What if she draws Build Cylon Detector with no nukes remaining?
 
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salty53 wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
In space, you don't really have that many more choices.... Once you know who to trust, then XO the humans like mad crazy to protect civvies from cylon ships.

That's easy to say, but how do you go about protecting said civvies? Do you use Communications to make them scurry away? Launch a Pilot to block with Evasive Maneuvers? Have a Pilot Maximum the raiders? Command more unmanned vipers out as shields? Shoot down the raiders with Main Batteries? Ignore the raiders to focus on destroying the Basestars instead? Repair damaged locations? Ignore the combat entirely and just try to get jump icons to escape as quickly as possible?

On New Caprica, there is no such decision; the answer is always to XO Shipyard.

And on the Cylons' side, do they play their Super Crisis or save it for later? Do they activate ships to attack directly, or go to Caprica to get more ships or a nice Skill Check? On New Caprica, again, no such decision exists; Breeders' Canyon is the only location worth using.


Granted there aren't as many decisions on NC, but there are alot more than one....
--kill the OF that's about to kill a civvy ship, or take the chances that it's not a civvy that loses 2 resources? ..... how about taking a 1 in 4 chance that it's the morale ship that will absolutely end the game?
--Should a pilot use up MF to reroll vs an OF? Perhaps.
--It's not uncommon to find a human in Detention. You still have 2 humans left to get the XO chain going, but with both expansions, XOs are only 14/30 skill cards instead of 14/21. Those odds go from 2/3 to just slightly less than 50%. For someone who's in Detention, you won't be able to spam Shipyard for that turn.
--If Morale is low you really need to get someone out of Detention and away from NC.
--If executions are an option, you can consider using it to circumvent current bad PG cards, but at the cost of a morale and bleeding skill cards.
--Still have cents hanging around within strking distance? You'll need to deal with them before cylons or the NC crisis deck activates them FTW.


--Cylons can also use Occupation Authority to move up and OF and place one. Breeders Canyon should only be used if you're trying to sink a low resource... or if you want to push the fleets to return while the humans aren't ready for it yet. If they still need to evacuate civvies, then now they got 2 fronts to deal with.
--NC already forces decisions onto cylons well before you reach there. If there are cylon location spots to be used, they need to make a judgement call and reveal sooner, or simply hit those spots earlier if they're already revealed.

When you consider the locations to available actions ratio, NC doesn't come off as that bland. It's more bland than space, but not that much moreso.


salty53 wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Overall, it sounds like your beef is with the Pegasus exp itself then... NOT NC. Those are 2 separate things.

Where is this coming from? My complaints were that Food and Fuel are nerfed as threats, which is only true with New Caprica; that Morale and non-civvie-Pop are incredibly vital resources where even one point is very important, which is only true with New Caprica; that letting civvies die doesn't hurt at all anymore and instead actually helps, which is only true with New Caprica; that Pilots have nothing to do on New Caprica, which is only true with New Caprica; and that New Caprica involves taking the same Action every turn, which is only true with New Caprica.

My only comment that stands in any way in the absence of New Caprica is that the Pegasus board makes Pilots less valuable (and laughs at loss by damage, which I didn't mention explicitly but implied when I said only Morale and Pop were significant threats). On what information do you infer that my complaints relate to the whole Pegasus expansion rather than specifically to New Caprica? I really would like to know how you reached this interpretation.
You made it sound like NC was the only thing you didn't like about Pegasus. Otherwise, you may have written a review or just in general comments that stated you didn't like Pegasus overall due to the points you just mentioned (Pegasus making pilots even less useful, etc.). Fine... fair enough. Fuel does get nerfed a bit, but it's still possible to lose due to it. And it is nice to not have to cling on to fuel in some death grip.

As for pilots having nothing much to do in Peg only....... looks like you and everyone else who felt that way got their wish. CFB makes them useful again. Granted, there does seem to be the notion that NOW, they're essential, let alone having more things to do.
 
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salty53 wrote:
I Eat Tables wrote:
3) Cain's weakness now reads: "While you are the admiral, you must choose the first option on all Admiral chooses crises." Her OPG now chooses the second destination from the top of the destination deck (leaving the top destination where it is)

What if she draws Build Cylon Detector with no nukes remaining?


Good question. It hasn't come up as a problem yet. The only obvious answer is it can't be chosen, so the first 'possible' choice is the bottom one.
 
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I Eat Tables wrote:
salty53 wrote:
I Eat Tables wrote:
3) Cain's weakness now reads: "While you are the admiral, you must choose the first option on all Admiral chooses crises." Her OPG now chooses the second destination from the top of the destination deck (leaving the top destination where it is)

What if she draws Build Cylon Detector with no nukes remaining?


Good question. It hasn't come up as a problem yet. The only obvious answer is it can't be chosen, so the first 'possible' choice is the bottom one.
Humans automatically lose the game
 
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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion » Forums » Variants
Re: General house rules for use of both expansions
Few thoughts, New Caprica is nice for variety, and I enjoy it more than Ionian Nebula to be honest, as it's either humans win handily with cylons being eliminated, humans wins with cylons not being eliminated, cylons win with a hostile CL in a six player game.

Keeping Pegasus off until you go to an expansion destination seems annoying more than anything else.
 
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