Scott Yost
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My table has struggled with finding the right balance of secrecy rules on personal goals. (see also http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/603990/increasing-the-te...) Rather than just discouraging leaking information via the secrecy rules, I'd prefer to discourage leaking information by making it a goal of the traitors to uncover that information. (inspired by the discussion of co-op\secrecy\traitor mechanisms at http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2011/11/9/flash-duel-betrayal-at-... )

The basis of the mechanic is to protect the secrecy of the personal goals by giving the cylons an incentive to figure it out. Here's the first draft of the mechanic:

Add a new action available to cylon players:

Action: Choose a human player and accuse them of a specific Personal Goal. If they have it, they must reveal it to the table. The personal goal immediately fails and the humans lose the resource as depicted on the card.
If they do not have it, they may first publically discard any personal goals or Final Five loyalty cards for no effect. Then they must privately show you their remaining loyalty to prove that they're not holding the accused card.

notes:
I'd recommend this variant to playgroups who are dissatisfied with how personal goals are playing at their table, especially if you're finding that the humans cooperate tactically to achieve personal goals during the endgame. (after cylon reveals) If personal goals are working at your table, don't break them.

This variant assumes each player has perfect knowledge of the available personal goals, via some player aid. I find that in a group with enough familiarity with the game, this effectively happens anyway.

I needed to deal with the problem of proving that you don't have the wrongly-accused card. Traditionally you'd reveal all loyalty cards, but that raises other problem - does it trigger Final Five for example? You could just rely on good sportsmanship and say that if we later see that you do have that personal goal, you cheated and you lose the game. But even that has some problems - there are situations where a human player will draw a loyalty, and they could draw the card they previously denied having. This is what led me to the implementation above, although I'm not sure it's the best one.

There needs to be a cost to the cylons for guessing wrong. (and it feels like it should be higher than the cost of the one wasted turn). I let the humans jettison Final Five and Personal Goals for this reason, as it also solves the above problem of what to do with those cards now that they have been exposed.

Depending on turn order, it still may be possible to leak your goal as long as you can do it in a streak of human turns so that the Cylons can't act.

A cylon Baltar or other player who has inspected loyalty cards does have an advantage here - that doesn't feel like a huge problem to me.

As a revealed cylon in the endgame, one action for a guaranteed resource loss may not be a strong move compared to the other options on the board. (a super crisis, for example) I'm not sure whether that’s a problem or not - if it's a goal that the humans are going to try to complete because they need the resource, then it's probably valuable for you to stop them. If the personal goal wasn't going to hurt them, they were probably going to elect to fail it anyway, and then no variant is needed anyway.

I didn't have the humans replenish their free discards from the loyalty deck . I didn't like the idea that a botched cylon accusation could end up filling your hand full of new personal goals with very little time to complete them.
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Mooseared Ferenczy
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I like the idea of it, until I think of the one or two games where a cylon passed off a fuel PG and fuel became a close resource. It is great in theory but the ability for a cylon to force the failure of a PG can be game ending in some circumstances. Also, a wasted action towards the end game can be devastating for a cylon player.
To be honest, I've had very few problems with PGs because they so rarely come up and my group just tends to do them spur of the moment. Our bigger problem is that people are really unsubtle about Final Five cards.
 
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Roberta Yang
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The problem is that most personal goals don't really have ways of going about achieving them subtly. If I'm Tyrol and my personal goal tells me to acquire two titles, anything I do toward achieving that goal will be publicly visible and painfully obvious.

The proper solution is to write new personal goals that can actually be achieved without asking others for help (what is Baltar supposed to do to make the Admiral choose a 1-distance destination without telling the Admiral to do so, brig everyone else in the game?), not to punish players for taking the only possible course of action toward achieving poorly-designed goals.
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Scott Yost
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Hmm, thanks for pointing that out. I had forgotten the case where a revealed cylon had passed the goal. That's not satisfying with this idea.
 
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Joe Benavides
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salty53 wrote:
The problem is that most personal goals don't really have ways of going about achieving them subtly. If I'm Tyrol and my personal goal tells me to acquire two titles, anything I do toward achieving that goal will be publicly visible and painfully obvious.

The proper solution is to write new personal goals that can actually be achieved without asking others for help (what is Baltar supposed to do to make the Admiral choose a 1-distance destination without telling the Admiral to do so, brig everyone else in the game?), not to punish players for taking the only possible course of action toward achieving poorly-designed goals.


Actually, Roberta brings up a good suggestion. Making the goals more simple but still possibly time wasters could make them more playable. It could force Humans into less efficient moves because they're better than ending the game with their goal unfinished. An example from the top of my head: Activating the Weapons space on Galactica two turns in a row without a jump in between. You could call it "Personal Goal: Vengeance" Sure there are many games where this is done anyway, but imagine a pilot or the president getting this goal...
 
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ackmondual
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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion » Forums » Variants
Re: A personal goal variant to discourage violating secrecy
salty53 wrote:
The problem is that most personal goals don't really have ways of going about achieving them subtly. If I'm Tyrol and my personal goal tells me to acquire two titles, anything I do toward achieving that goal will be publicly visible and painfully obvious.
hmm, maybe I'm missing something... why can't I be a cylon Galen trying to mad grab for power? Once I get the presidency, if I can just use one Arrest Order to brig a human, PP (Pres. Pardon) to get a suspected cylon/CL out, or lower a crucial resource, then I'd say the bluff paid off. As admiral but not president, we jump and the cylon Galen chooses a suboptimal destination and loses the wrong resources. Sure, he just outed himself, but many say that a 1-distance is so awful that again, that cylon Galen has done his damage.

salty53 wrote:
The proper solution is to write new personal goals that can actually be achieved without asking others for help (what is Baltar supposed to do to make the Admiral choose a 1-distance destination without telling the Admiral to do so, brig everyone else in the game?), not to punish players for taking the only possible course of action toward achieving poorly-designed goals.
Sometimes the admiral gets that PG, so it'll be completely in his hands.
 
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