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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Doc Cottle Character rss

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Andy
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UPDATE: After all the discussion here, I made a final version into a character sheet! Apologies for the lack of craftsmanship, I blundered my way through GIMP (a free image editing programme) to make this. It is very different from my original ideas!

Cottle v.1.1


Cottle v1.0


I've always thought that Doc Cottle should be a playable character in BSG, and I've seen a few attempts to draw up a character sheet for him but I thought I'd add my own thoughts. As yet he hasn't been tested out, so I'm not entirely sure how balanced he is. Constructive criticism welcome!

Major Sherman 'Doc' Cottle


SUPPORT

Draw
2 Engineering
2 Leadership
1 Politics

Passive
Doctor - Action: While in the Sickbay you may discard one or two Engineering cards to allow that number of players in the Sickbay to take a Movement action. Unless sent to the Sickbay because of injuries, you may draw all five cards at the start of your turn while you are there.

Once Per Game
Power of Life and Death - When a player other than you is executed, you may discard all your skill cards to save their life.

Flaw
Blind Loyalty - When given an Executive Order by the Admiral, President or CAG, you must follow that player's instructions precisely.

Setup: Sickbay

Logic Behind the Ideas
The aim is to make Doc Cottle a different kind of Support character, one who focuses on keeping the team out of the Sickbay rather than just repairing things. He draws 2 Engineering cards but can discard both on his turn to 'free' 2 players from Sickbay.

The Once Per Game ability is designed to be useful both as human or cylon, with the aim being to try and avoid saving the wrong side and makes it even more important for Cylon Cottle to work out who his fellow cylon is. This obviously requires there to be at least two cylons (so a 5+ player game) and if one cylon has revealed then Cylon Cottle's OPG power becomes decidedly less useful... Anyone got any ideas here?

The flaw, having to do exactly what a titled character tells you to when given an Executive Order, hopefully gives some opportunity for cylons to force you to do unpleasant things (although perhaps not attempt to Brig or Airlock yourself...) or will make life a little harder for Cylon Cottle to reveal when XO'ed.

Succession
Admiral
Cain, Adama, Saul Tigh, Helo, Gaeta, Apollo, Dee, Starbuck, Kat, Boomer, Anders, Doc Cottle, Chief, Cally, Zarek, Ellen Tigh, Gaius, Tory, Roslin

President
Roslin, Gaius, Zarek, Tory, Ellen Tigh, Apollo, Gaeta, Adama, Helo, Chief, Cally, Cain, Dee, Boomer, Doc Cottle, Saul Tigh, Anders, Starbuck, Kat

CAG
Apollo, Starbuck, Kat, Boomer, Anders, Helo, Adama, Cain, Tigh, Gaeta, Dee, Chief, Cally, Zarek, Ellen Tigh, Gaius, Doc Cottle, Tory, Roslin
(As much as I love to think of Cottle zipping around in a Viper in his youth, I can't see him being chosen as CAG in a hurry!)
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M. B. Downey
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I like the OPT in regards to drawing all five cards in sick bay. The action portion is wonky.

His OPG is somewhat intriguing.

The drawback is terrible. His rank is a major, so I fail to see why he as an officer should have to blindly follow orders more so than anyone else. It also would be really difficult and very silly to implement. It is not a drawback if both are human, either, which is different from everyone else's.

I have no alternate suggestions at the moment.
 
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Steye
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I like your ideas! A different kind of character(play) would be nice!

Passive
How many times do characters end up in sickbay during one game? Normally most characters get XO'd out of sickbay. If the Doc isn't in sickbay those players would have to wait for Doc to move to sickbay and get them out. So how effective is this?

Almost every passive can be used in some way or form for Cylon purposes. This one cannot. Here are two options:

-While Doc is in sickbay, characters there may draw 2 skill cards (instead of 1) but the Doc decides from which skill deck(s).

-While Doc is in sickbay, you may decide to keep a character in bed for one turn. Discard one engineering card to do this.

Action: While in the Sickbay you may discard one or two Engineering cards to allow that number of players in the Sickbay to take a Movement action. Unless sent to the Sickbay because of injuries, you may draw all five cards at the start of your turn while you are there.

Once per game
Great!!! Perhaps there should be a minimum of skill cards to save a life?

Flaw
Good! Perhaps you could do something with the Hippocritic Oath? Do no harm? Cannot use any weapon locations (except armory) OR cannot choose to execute a character (on a crisis card).

Let me know what you think!
 
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Robert Stewart
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Flaw:

Chain Smoker: At the end of each of your turns, discard a skill card
 
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Matt Epp
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Good ideas, if a little cumbersome. Not sure if these are better.

OPT
Movement or Action: Move any characters from Sickbay to a Galactica location of your choice. When you begin your turn in sickbay, you draw all 5 cards as you normally would.

I like the OPG as written.

FLAW
You may never make a choice or take an action that would result in the possiblity of any player being executed (excluding Cain's abilities)
 
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Jason Z
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I think Cottle's a great choice for a new character, and the card draw is right on. But I tried to think like a cylon, and here are some loopholes I think you should consider.

Sickbay is a hazardous location and you can't voluntarily move there. As written, Cottle has to wait for a crisis or damage to get him into sickbay, and then he has to sit there the rest of the game or he'll lose his passive ability. It makes characters like Ellen or Zarek seem free spirits by comparison. Consider making him able to move to sickbay voluntarily, or able to use his "Doctor" ability from anywhere. (Or maybe anywhere on Galactica outside of the brig...up to you).

You wanted to make his OPG better for a Cylon. Maybe his OPG could also let you execute or empty the hand of someone being sent to sickbay, although that could be overpowered. As written, if you're a cylon you can at least sometimes soft reveal. "For this crisis just take the option to execute Cain, I only have one card and it's low so I don't mind saving her." And then not do it.

As an unrevealed but open cylon, I can think of plenty of times I'd rather XO Cottle then do anything else. "Now Cottle, I know it took you all game to get yourself into sickbay. Too bad. I want you to leave sickbay, go to Pegasus by discarding your highest value green skill card, and start an airlock check targetting the other human. Play scientific research if you have it, and then contribute positively to the check as much as you can while adding no negative cards." Sounds better to me than almost any reveal power.

Also need to place him in lines of succession and provide a starting location, although the latter seems obvious.
 
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M. B. Downey
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How about being able to use a move action to move someone out of sickbay, or send someone there? Works for both humans and Cylons. Maybe discard a card or two to do it?
 
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Andy
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Wow, thanks for all the feedback and ideas so far! I've made a summary-of-sorts of peoples' comments and my responses.

Passive
Steye wrote:
How many times do characters end up in sickbay during one game? Normally most characters get XO'd out of sickbay. If the Doc isn't in sickbay those players would have to wait for Doc to move to sickbay and get them out. So how effective is this?

Almost every passive can be used in some way or form for Cylon purposes. This one cannot. Here are two options:

-While Doc is in sickbay, characters there may draw 2 skill cards (instead of 1) but the Doc decides from which skill deck(s).

-While Doc is in sickbay, you may decide to keep a character in bed for one turn. Discard one engineering card to do this.

These are really good points. A good passive should be able in some way to be used by a cylon. I also think that a good passive should just be one statement which can be used for good or evil, though.

Eppic wrote:
Movement or Action: Move any characters from Sickbay to a Galactica location of your choice. When you begin your turn in sickbay, you draw all 5 cards as you normally would.

I think there should be a distinction between whether Cottle is in the Sickbay voluntarily (draw 5 cards) or as a patient (draw 1 card). Cottle isn't indestructable - I think he should be able to be sent to Sickbay as a 'patient', too.

Whitecrab wrote:
Sickbay is a hazardous location and you can't voluntarily move there. As written, Cottle has to wait for a crisis or damage to get him into sickbay, and then he has to sit there the rest of the game or he'll lose his passive ability. It makes characters like Ellen or Zarek seem free spirits by comparison. Consider making him able to move to sickbay voluntarily, or able to use his "Doctor" ability from anywhere. (Or maybe anywhere on Galactica outside of the brig...up to you).

I wasn't aware of this rule, I thought it was more a case of there would be no point in moving to the Sickbay because of the penalty. In Cottle's case, he would be able to move to the Sickbay freely and, in doing so, not be affected by its penalty and so draw 5 cards on his turn.


How about this:
When a character is sent to Sickbay, you may discard [2 skill cards/1 Engineering card - not sure which is best?] and immediately move them out to a location of your choice. (They must discard cards as normal to travel to locations not on Galactica.)
The key thing here is that you don't prevent people from going to Sickbay, but you can move them out instantly. This would mean that Cottle doesn't have to move to the Sickbay to use his passive, and has some control over where his patients/victims go. Cylon Cottle will either have to justify not using this, or move his victim to a bad location. This also solves the clunky rules about Cottle being able to draw all 5 cards while in the Sickbay and it being a hazardous location.

downeymb wrote:
How about being able to use a move action to move someone out of sickbay, or send someone there? Works for both humans and Cylons. Maybe discard a card or two to do it?

Or this seems solid, too.

Once Per Game
Steye wrote:
Great!!! Perhaps there should be a minimum of skill cards to save a life?

Hmm, I can see why discarding a minimum number of skill cards would be good, but on the flipside the cost shouldn't mean that the perfect opportunity for Cottle to make an impact is lost because he happened to empty his hand on last turn's crisis. What do you guys think about this?

Whitecrab wrote:
You wanted to make his OPG better for a Cylon. Maybe his OPG could also let you execute or empty the hand of someone being sent to sickbay, although that could be overpowered. As written, if you're a cylon you can at least sometimes soft reveal. "For this crisis just take the option to execute Cain, I only have one card and it's low so I don't mind saving her." And then not do it.

Not sure about being able to execute people in/going to Sickbay. If anything, it just doesn't seem in his nature as a doctor - I like abilities to have a vague link to the TV show, the OPG link being (end of season 1 spoiler)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cottle saves Adama's life after he is shot by Sharon at the end of Season 1

The Sickbay execute also seems like a slightly less wieldy version of Cally's OPG (execute a character in the same location as you). I really like the thinking with tricking people into relying on your OPG and then simply not using it - crafty cylon is crafty!


Flaw
downeymb wrote:
The drawback is terrible. His rank is a major, so I fail to see why he as an officer should have to blindly follow orders more so than anyone else. It also would be really difficult and very silly to implement. It is not a drawback if both are human, either, which is different from everyone else's.

My influence here is the fact that Cottle is a loyal character who is always on the side of the established authority. He's not an idiot, which is why only titled characters can order him freely. I do accept, however, that this flaw has no real drawback if both players are human, as long as the XO'ing player does not act selfishly. This flaw hits Cottle when he is being XO'ed by the opposing side, but I would argue that the potential negative affects on you (either as a human or a cylon) outweighs the fact that it doesn't really have an effect if the XO'er is on the same side as Cottle. Opinions on this?
Whitecrab wrote:
As an unrevealed but open cylon, I can think of plenty of times I'd rather XO Cottle then do anything else. "Now Cottle, I know it took you all game to get yourself into sickbay. Too bad. I want you to leave sickbay, go to Pegasus by discarding your highest value green skill card, and start an airlock check targetting the other human. Play scientific research if you have it, and then contribute positively to the check as much as you can while adding no negative cards." Sounds better to me than almost any reveal power.

My intention here wasn't so detailed - an XO allows another character to take a movement action and one normal action or two normal actions, so the idea was that the XO'er could decide these actions. I'm not sure what I think of them being able to control how you use your hand, but perhaps without this the flaw becomes less annoying for you (which is what it should be).
Steye wrote:
Good! Perhaps you could do something with the Hippocritic Oath? Do no harm? Cannot use any weapon locations (except armory) OR cannot choose to execute a character (on a crisis card).

Eppic wrote:
You may never make a choice or take an action that would result in the possiblity of any player being executed (excluding Cain's abilities)

Very possible. Do No Harm: You may not contriubte to skill checks, or make a crisis card choice, involving the execution of a character.
rmsgrey wrote:
Flaw:

Chain Smoker: At the end of each of your turns, discard a skill card

Same as above, a good suggestion.

Other
Whitecrab wrote:
Also need to place him in lines of succession and provide a starting location, although the latter seems obvious.

Good point - I'll edit this into the original post.



Wow, that was long! What do we think? Loving all the ideas flying about!
The Doc is impressed.
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Darin N
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We use a version of Doc Cottle, photoshopped character sheet and everything.

Vast majority of his skill set game character created by:

Alasdair H
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Skillset

1 Politics
1 Leadership
2 Engineering
1 Leadership / Politics

his abilities are as follows.

OPT

Chief Medical Officer -- Movement : Move a character from sickbay to any location. That player may then take 1 action. Executive Orders may not be played on this turn.

basically it's an XO, if someone is in sickbay, but takes up cottles movement step as well as blocks out chaining XO's

OPG

Medical Examination -- Action : Once per game, you may look at a player's hand, make them discard any number of cards that you choose, then they draw that many skill cards.

Basically giving them a physical, doesn't sound terribly amazing. but if your president has 'let on' they have Political Prowess, you can give them a prostate exam and force them to discard it. We all know politician's have their heads up their backsides...

Or if Kat is in game, and you need to jump you can give her a "physical" to get a higher chance at a 5 or 6 to jump w/o losses


Flaw

Non-Combatant -- You cannot activate the Armory location

We haven't lost a game yet to his downside, but we did have a game where we had 2 sympathetic cylons and one cylon in a 4 player game... Cottle was the last surviving human player, and a Centurion was on board... Cottle won, along with both sympathizers

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The reason for the loyalty discrepency is due to the way we do the loyalty deck. we build a "pre exodus" loyalty deck, and have an "execution" deck for post sleeper phase executions consisting of 5x YANAC and 1 Sympathetic Cylon. we also play with hidden agendas so the sympathizer can stay hidden instead of insta-revealing. one of these days we'll need to post our variant in it's entirety... cause it works REALLY well, we almost prefer 4 player games to 5 player games because of our sympathizer mechanic.

We also have a Romo Lampkin character that we are still working on... He's currently quite powerful as a soft revealed cylon, so we 'may' need to think about tweaking him. He's also been a cylon in 4 or 5 out of the 5 or 6 games that he's been in... so we're still in the play testing phase, and don't have alot of data about him as a human.
 
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Andy
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Kantas wrote:
OPT

Chief Medical Officer -- Movement : Move a character from sickbay to any location. That player may then take 1 action. Executive Orders may not be played on this turn.

basically it's an XO, if someone is in sickbay, but takes up cottles movement step as well as blocks out chaining XO's

Not sure how I feel about this... he can XO someone for free and then take an action himself? Seems incredibly good. I guess this would mean that if you draw an XO card yourself it wouldn't be possible to circumvent your own passive by using it instead, though. In my head, the fact that Cottle can take a player out of the Sickbay is great in itself, because that character will draw 5 skill cards instead of 1 on their turn and other players don't have to waste their own XO's to get them out. If I were to use this I'd probably not give characters moved from Sickbay another action but not restrict the use of XO's. I like this, though!

Kantas wrote:
OPG

Medical Examination -- Action : Once per game, you may look at a player's hand, make them discard any number of cards that you choose, then they draw that many skill cards.

Basically giving them a physical, doesn't sound terribly amazing. but if your president has 'let on' they have Political Prowess, you can give them a prostate exam and force them to discard it. We all know politician's have their heads up their backsides...

Or if Kat is in game, and you need to jump you can give her a "physical" to get a higher chance at a 5 or 6 to jump w/o losses

This sounds good. Situational perhaps, but so is my OPG for Cottle. And good human/cylon potential arrrh

Kantas wrote:
Flaw

Non-Combatant -- You cannot activate the Armory location

We haven't lost a game yet to his downside, but we did have a game where we had 2 sympathetic cylons and one cylon in a 4 player game... Cottle was the last surviving human player, and a Centurion was on board... Cottle won, along with both sympathizers

Yeah, this seems like a 'nice' flaw to have because the Armory isn't super important. Extending it to not being able to use Weapons Control or the Pegasus locations Pegasus CIC and Main Batteries would fully achieve the 'non-combatant' effect, but is possibly too harsh (no other character is unable to use more than 2 locations).

Where does your Doc rank in title successions? I put him in the middle for Admiral, mid-low for President and very low for CAG.
 
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M. B. Downey
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Another kind of wonky idea for a OPG would be something like preventative policy. He could prevent a loss of population that turn, or increase reduction of population? Call it something like Mass Immunizations.

Oh! A really interesting flaw just hit me! How about he cannot activate a location if someone is in sickbay. That seems really intersting and both very character appropriate. Maybe call it Needed In Surgery or something.

In this case, it might not go well with the move someone out of sickbay OPT, though. Maybe if that were changed to an action and not movement?
 
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David Turczi
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I've just read Cottle here http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/408686/ but combining it with ideas in this thread, it makes it better.

Thoughts:
- I like the can move from Sickbay thing
- I like the he can draw 5 in sickbay thing
- I love the cannot activate Armory (and maybe Weapons Control) thing

However as intrigueing is to save someone from execution, it's very pro-human.
Hell no! Hey, Doc! If we fail this Defending a Prisoner, will you save me? Yeah Sure muhahahaaaa...

I love it.

Small nitpick: why should he draw politics?
 
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M. B. Downey
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He deals with the politics of the whole Hera thing, and keeps Rosin's secrets and helps her escape. I think he was involved enough to get a politics.
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David Turczi
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downeymb wrote:
He deals with the politics of the whole Hera thing, and keeps Rosin's secrets and helps her escape. I think he was involved enough to get a politics.


This is me convinced.

I've seen his OPT worded so he uses Repair to save people from Sickbay. Any way to incorporate that?

 
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Alasdair H
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Captain Crumpet wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this... he can XO someone for free and then take an action himself? Seems incredibly good. I guess this would mean that if you draw an XO card yourself it wouldn't be possible to circumvent your own passive by using it instead, though. In my head, the fact that Cottle can take a player out of the Sickbay is great in itself, because that character will draw 5 skill cards instead of 1 on their turn and other players don't have to waste their own XO's to get them out. If I were to use this I'd probably not give characters moved from Sickbay another action but not restrict the use of XO's. I like this, though!


In our experience, having Cottle's get out of sickbay free ability be that powerful has been important, since it often comes up even if lots of people are sent to sickbay that he doesn't get to use it. After all, whoever is in there has to be after him in turn order. We've spent entire games with everyone being sent to sickbay on Cottle's crisis card and him unable to get them out before their turn.

I also like the decision it requires when you can choose to send someone, since if he is sent to sickbay, he can move himself and take two actions, but at the drawback of only drawing 1 card. We've won a game with him moving himself to FTL control, fixing it and then jumping. But given his once per game isn't terribly exciting and we have him fairly low on all successions (For ease of memory, we put him directly below Dee on all three), I think he's pretty balanced.
 
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Andy
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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion » Forums » Variants
Re: Doc Cottle Character
I've changed my thinking about my Cottle ideas quite a lot now since my original post (thanks everyone for chipping in ). My original concept for him was that he could use the Sickbay as a location to 'repair' players in the same way that other Supports use the Hangar Deck to repair vipers, but I'm now thinking this is just too clunky. For his passive, it's a toss-up now between Admiral Thraawn's 'XO someone out of Sickbay on your turn as a movement action' and my earlier suggestion of 'Discard (an undecided amount of) skill card(s) when someone is sent to the Sickbay to immediately move them out'. The second option would mean that Cottle wouldn't be restricted to helping people after him in the turn sequence, but has a higher cost and is less powerful.

I also think that my original flaw is, while exciting, bad. I'm leaning towards him not being able to help execute a character now, sounds really interesting. Downey's 'Needed in Surgery' suggestion would have nice synergy with my original idea of Cottle using the Sickbay to heal people, but I think it would make his turns too controlled - if someone is in Sickbay, you basically have no choice but to go and make them better.

Oh and the 'draw 5 cards in Sickbay' was intended as a part of Cottle being able to use the Sickbay to heal players, because if he's not injured he shouldn't suffer the Sickbay penalty. But as I said, too clunky really. Shouldn't tamper too much with the game's basic rules!
 
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