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One reason I believe board games to be superior to video games is how easily one can adjust the rules and try new ways of playing. BSG is my favorite board game and over the years, I have introduced many variants and house rules to customize this game. I want to share my complete set of house rules so the community can critique and maybe try out some of these ideas for themselves.
Expansion components that I use
Pegasus: Pegasus Board, Treachery Cards, Characters, Crisis cards, Destination cards
Exodus: Cylon Fleet Board, Viper VIIs, Characters, Destination cards, level 6 skill cards (not 0s)
Rationale: I omitted the "Skill Check" Zero value skill cards because I feel they slow down the flow of the game. I also like that skill cards can be used for multiple purposes, but "Skill Check" skill cards can only be used for skill checks. Also, skill checks do not need to be more unpredictable. Note that I also remove any crisis cards that have "consequences" since that is tied to "Skill Check" cards. I know that leaving the 6 value cards is a net gain for the humans, but that is okay with me since the game is still plenty challenging for the humans.
1. Rally Characters
Rationale: The varied and thematic characters in the game is one of my favorite parts of BSG. It is more fun for players to have access to more characters during the course of the game. This variant also allows for humans to adjust to losing key abilities when a cylon is revealed. It serves as a fun balancing mechanism with some safeguards to prevent it from being a game breaking advantage to humans.
a) Conditions for when the rally character rule activates:
When a second or fourth resource goes to red (half starting value)
When a "you are a cylon" loyalty card is revealed
b) When rule activates, active player picks a human player with exactly one character under their control to receive a "rally" character. If there are no eligible players, then there is no effect. The player chosen can pick any character that has not been in the current game. If there are no eligible characters to be chosen, then the rally character rule has no effect.
c) If Gaius Baltar is selected. Shuffle in an extra "you are not a cylon" card into the loyalty deck and draw one loyalty card. If Sharon "Boomer" Valerii is selected an it is after the sleeper phase, do the same and put her in the brig.
d) General rule modification about titles: Titles are attached to characters rather than players. No titles are reassigned when a new character enters the game. When a character otherwise loses the title (by leaving the game, controlling player is revealed as a cylon, character is thrown in the brig or voted out of office), then the title is reassigned considering all eligible characters in play.
e) At the start of a turn, if the active player has more than one character, the active player chooses one character to play out the turn. Any temporary or location based penalties incurred by any of the player's characters are still assessed and cannot be avoided by choosing a different character. For example, brig and sickbay penalties still apply. Also, during another player's turn, only one character's special benefits can come into effect.
f) Note that each player still only has the option of one "once-per-game" ability activation.
g) If a player with multiple characters is revealed as a cylon, all his characters are removed from play and he just keeps one character stand for cylon player spaces.
h) "Executive Order" targets a character, not a player, but the character must belong to another player.
2. Post Execution Loyalty Deck
Rationale: One of the great aspects of BSG is the feeling that you can't really trust the other players because one of them might be a cylon. Under official rules, if a human is executed, that player's loyalty to the humans is then perfectly known until the sleeper phase or the end of the game. Some players may be tempted to meta-game and take the morality hit just to secure knowledge of a loyal human player. The establishment of the Post Execution Loyalty Deck makes it so the loyalty of an executed player becomes uncertain.
a) When a character is executed and the player's loyalty card(s) proves the player to have human loyalty, follow steps A to D as normal (page 7 Exodus rulebook). For step E, executed player instead draws one loyalty card from the Post Execution Loyalty Deck (PELD).
b) The PELD is composed of 1 "you are a cylon" card and a number of "you are not a cylon" cards equal to the number of players.
c) If the execution occurred without a skill check, add an extra "you are not a cylon" card to the PELD before drawing any new loyalty card(s).
d) If Gaius Baltar is selected as the replacement character, shuffle in an extra "you are not a cylon" card into the PELD, then draw an extra card from the PELD (shuffle in first, then draw two).
e) If Sharon "Boomer" Valerii is selected as the replacement character and it is after the sleeper phase, shuffle in an extra "you are not a cylon" card into the PELD and draw an extra card from the PELD (shuffle in first, then draw two). Then, place Sharon Valerii in the Brig.
3. Cylon Spaces diminishing returns
Rationale: Being a revealed cylon is relatively boring. It is also more interesting for the humans when there is an unrevealed cylon among them. This variant gives revealed cylon players more interesting choices by having the cost of activating most cylon space actions increase on each subsequent activation. At the same time, this variant encourages cylons to stay unrevealed as long as possible because if they reveal too early, they will be less effective as the game progresses. The "human fleet" action remains free of cost to ensure that a revealed cylons always have an available action.
a) When a player reveals to be a cylon, the player does not discard any cards, but keeps the whole hand.
b) When a cylon player takes a cylon space action other than "human fleet", the player must discard any number of cards whose value sums to greater than or equal the current activation cost. The activation cost is then incremented by one to a maximum of 6. A standard D6 die can be used to keep track of the current activation cost. The starting activation cost is zero.
Miscellaneous House Rules:
4. When a cylon is executed, the character does not go to the resurrection ship. At the start of the executed player's turn, player decides what action spot to take (other than resurrection ship) and leaves character stand there. The effect is that an executed cylon player cannot get a super crisis card.
5. When there is a cylon activation on the main board and there is at least one ship on the Cylon Fleet Board, the pursuit track advances.
6. The lower left-hand spot of the Basestar Bridge cylon action spot is not an option.
7. The damage tokens for Pegasus and Galactica are mixed together and are blindly drawn from an opaque pouch or bag when there is ship damage.
8. The civilian ship tokens are blindly drawn from an opaque pouch or bag.
9. The basestar damage tokens are blindly drawn from an opaque pouch or bag.
10. Cally Tyrol nerf: Cally's Quick Fix ability requires that she discard one skill card from her hand.
- Last edited Sun Nov 6, 2016 7:12 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Nov 6, 2016 7:09 pm