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Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Fix for having You are a Cylon as last card in the Loyalty Deck rss

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David F
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At the end of the game after everything else, turn up the last card in the Loyalty Deck. If it's "You are a Cylon", perform the following steps.

1. Mix all 8 Personal Goal Loyalty Cards together, draw 2 and lose the resource on each card (so you lose 2, usually different, resources)
2. Activate all Cylon ships.

The mechanical reason is to try and give the other Cylon (or no Cylon in a 3- or 4-player game) more help besides simply a little paranoia. The thematic reason is that this other "hidden Cylon" stopped other players from fulfilling personal goals. At the end of the game, guaranteed resource losses and Cylon activations are the only interesting ways to try and swing the game (Crisis Cards are not interesting here, since both teams will simply throw the kitchen sink at it), and both these procedures do not stack/overlap with each other too much. It's more of a final push to see what sticks and tips the boat.

Thoughts? Are the "human penalties" at the end too lenient or too harsh?

EDIT:

Here's another idea. which I like a lot more.

Once the fleet reaches Distance 7 or higher:

1. A revealed Cylon player may pass the last card in the Loyalty Deck face-down to a human player of his choice. Skip this step if there are no revealed Cylon players.

2. At Distance 7 or higher, do not shuffle a YANAC card into the Loyalty Deck if a game effect instructs you to (i.e. only Executions and 1 or 2 Crisis Cards. You do not draw a YANAC card afer revealing a Personal Goal at distance 7 or higher in the game rules).

3. If a game effect instructs you to draw a Loyalty Card in the Loyalty Deck and it is empty, do not draw one.


So, if there are 2 revealed Cylons, they can still pass out the Sympathizer or Sympathetic Cylon card if it's the last card. If there is 1 revealed Cylon, he can try to pass out the Sympath. or the 2nd Cylon card in case either wasn't drawn. If there are no revealed Cylons, then paranoia is still high and don't deal out the last card. But there is still an option for the unrevealed Cylon to try and execute a human if he believes the last card is a Cylon card.

If the Ionian Nebula is used, do all this at Distance 8 after the Crossroads Phase, since the Crossroads Phase often induces a messy round of executions that turns the last Cylon.
 
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Emily R
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Still too lenient, imho. I'm not sure if any penalty would be enough.

An extra Cylon gets you, at minimum: one skill check they can safely spike before revealing, their reveal power, their supercrisis, and any ship activations or resource losses they cause with their remaining actions. And more importantly, it causes the human side to lose an entire player.

Those things are going to be a heck of a lot worse than two random resources and a ship activation. These rules just mean that the humans have to hang around XOing the President to play Speech/Rationing/Dogsville/Unsavory Connections until all resources are above two, instead of just making the final jump and getting it over with.

I just don't think this game is built for having random effects add or subtract Cylons.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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I'm still in favor of my simple adjustment: if the last loyalty card is a Cylon card then reduce the lowest resource dial by one. It's quick and simple: by that point you don't want more stuff to have to do in the game.
 
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Evan
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Sounds fine to me, but here's yet another alternative: FTL sabotage. When the humans make their game-ending jump, check the last card; if it's the cylon, they have to go through one more jump cycle.
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Michael Kefauver
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Eh... Extra jump cycle, without the threat of the end-game setup, would be pretty cut and dry. No starting ships means no overt damage, and Humans could (if with Peg.) engine room every turn with little fear. With the extra boon of knowing there were no other cylons, XOs would abound, and they'd probably cruise to an easy win.

If there was another 'final battle' set-up, I'd say it would be too hard, since the Humans' combat resources are diminished from the first 'round'.

I'd say a straight-up, non-variable penalty would probably be best, since then the Humans could plan for it, as could the lone cylon.
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Garcian Smith
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I'm opting for my own idea... though I do not own this expansion.

If you are a revealed Cylon, when you take the Resurrection Ship action, before you do any of those actions, you may draw the remaining loyalty card, then decide which of the two cards you want to keep and place the other as the remaining loyalty card. Of course, you should do this in secret.

The net effect is that for the cylon player: If the card was a "Cylon" card, he now has access to it and can convert a player. If that was a "You are not a Cylon" card, then he can still give a card to a player to arouse suspicion.

For the remaining players, they still do not know if the card that is placed back is which card. They do know that the Cylon player knows what that card is however.

This ensures that it is possible for the game to have two cylons. The other effect is that if there is a "Cylon" card in the remaining pile, the Cylon player will probably take it, rather than leaving it there.
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Alexander Mercer
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As an alternative, draw one of those discarded attack cards and do another Jump Cycle.

I do think Revelade's solution has more elegance to it however.
 
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Matthias Wlkp
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Revelade wrote:
I'm opting for my own idea... though I do not own this expansion.

If you are a revealed Cylon, when you take the Resurrection Ship action, before you do any of those actions, you may draw the remaining loyalty card, then decide which of the two cards you want to keep and place the other as the remaining loyalty card. Of course, you should do this in secret.

The net effect is that for the cylon player: If the card was a "Cylon" card, he now has access to it and can convert a player. If that was a "You are not a Cylon" card, then he can still give a card to a player to arouse suspicion.

For the remaining players, they still do not know if the card that is placed back is which card. They do know that the Cylon player knows what that card is however.

This ensures that it is possible for the game to have two cylons. The other effect is that if there is a "Cylon" card in the remaining pile, the Cylon player will probably take it, rather than leaving it there.


That is a really nice solution! thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

It would need some more clarification due to Pegasus rule, that if you reveal a a Cylon, you immediately hand over your excess loyality cards to other player.

I think it could work like this:

After you reveal as a cylon, take the bottom card of the loyality deck. Then put one back and distribute the other ones.
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Evan
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Unless we're taking seriously the possibility that a Cylon would ever find a Cylon card on the bottom and then put it right back instead of using it, how is this any different from just preparing the Loyalty Deck with a YANAC card at the bottom? (...and in turn, how is that any different from just preparing the deck the old way?)

(I guess it's different in that it gives the first revealed Cylon slightly more power over the Loyalty deck, but I don't really see the point in that either)
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Jason Miceli
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kobold47 wrote:
Sounds fine to me, but here's yet another alternative: FTL sabotage. When the humans make their game-ending jump, check the last card; if it's the cylon, they have to go through one more jump cycle.


I like this idea the best, with Domino's addition... essentially there could have been a hidden saboteur the whole time, which results in the humans needing to jump one MORE time. Additionally, draw one random Cylon Attacks card and immediately resolve it.

Perhaps this doesn't perfectly bring the less common situation back into balance, but it's far better (and thematically cool) than the stock rules. Plus it puts those older cylon attack cards to good use
 
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Garcian Smith
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kobold47 wrote:
Unless we're taking seriously the possibility that a Cylon would ever find a Cylon card on the bottom and then put it right back instead of using it, how is this any different from just preparing the Loyalty Deck with a YANAC card at the bottom? (...and in turn, how is that any different from just preparing the deck the old way?)

(I guess it's different in that it gives the first revealed Cylon slightly more power over the Loyalty deck, but I don't really see the point in that either)
Well, there is that possibility that the player might leave the Cylon card there... though I admit I would take the card.

The real question is if the designers felt the game could work with one-less cylon. The reality is that most games will have 2 cylons versus one in a 5+ player game, so I just assumed the game would mostly be like that.

The mechanic of including a penalty for another player to convert as a Cylon does make executions more riskier to do, but it comes at a cost of making the Cylon team a "toaster" short.

Another question I'm wondering is how many executions people usually have in a sitting of this game.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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Revelade wrote:
Another question I'm wondering is how many executions people usually have in a sitting of this game.


We're averaging about one per game since Exodus. It's a little more than that from Saturday's game, but only because I was unrevealed Cylon Roslin and the deck kept giving me President Chooses Crises that had the option. But by the same token one of the games last weekend had none.

In general, if a Cylon is found early they might or might not get away before they're Executed, and if a Human is executed it's usually because of a game effect. We don't go Airlock happy or anything.
 
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ackmondual
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jsciv wrote:
Revelade wrote:
Another question I'm wondering is how many executions people usually have in a sitting of this game.


We're averaging about one per game since Exodus. It's a little more than that from Saturday's game, but only because I was unrevealed Cylon Roslin and the deck kept giving me President Chooses Crises that had the option. But by the same token one of the games last weekend had none.

In general, if a Cylon is found early they might or might not get away before they're Executed, and if a Human is executed it's usually because of a game effect. We don't go Airlock happy or anything.
I like playing with Pegasus for that reason. The Airlock doesn't get used that much, as I've been noticing with Cally's OPG so far. It's really the threat of it that's doing the most damage.
 
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David F
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jsciv wrote:
I'm still in favor of my simple adjustment: if the last loyalty card is a Cylon card then reduce the lowest resource dial by one. It's quick and simple: by that point you don't want more stuff to have to do in the game.


I favor a more random approach (2 random resources, drawn without replacement) because it fits better with the spirit of the game, and the humans can plan around the lowest-resource ding. Also, that forces the humans to try and reach distance 8 with at least 2 fuel instead of 1 fuel, which can really change the game. The Activate Cylon Ships addendum also takes care of the case where basestar damage and boarding party might make a difference instead of resources.

A very important point you made is "by that point you don't want more stuff to have to do in the game." Which makes the extra jump-cycle idea my least favorite. Go through all the jump cycles in a weird/unsatisfactory way since you only had 1 Cylon all game, then play another cycle with 1 Cylon again, with the knowledge that all the humans can XO each other to death? No thanks for me. Plus it's weird having 2 jumps without destinations (the fake-end and extra-cycle-end).

Revelade wrote:
I'm opting for my own idea... though I do not own this expansion.

If you are a revealed Cylon, when you take the Resurrection Ship action, before you do any of those actions, you may draw the remaining loyalty card, then decide which of the two cards you want to keep and place the other as the remaining loyalty card. Of course, you should do this in secret.

The net effect is that for the cylon player: If the card was a "Cylon" card, he now has access to it and can convert a player. If that was a "You are not a Cylon" card, then he can still give a card to a player to arouse suspicion.

For the remaining players, they still do not know if the card that is placed back is which card. They do know that the Cylon player knows what that card is however.

This ensures that it is possible for the game to have two cylons. The other effect is that if there is a "Cylon" card in the remaining pile, the Cylon player will probably take it, rather than leaving it there.

Very intriguing. However, the net effect is the same as playing with the Loyalty Deck pre-Exodus, because once the revealed Cylon looks at the last card, the other players know that the last card is YANAC and can once again Execute each other as Loyalty checks without fear of repercussion, and complete Personal Goals without fear or switching to the other team. Again, this really changes the Exodus game.
 
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David F
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Circadian wrote:
Still too lenient, imho. I'm not sure if any penalty would be enough.

An extra Cylon gets you, at minimum: one skill check they can safely spike before revealing, their reveal power, their supercrisis, and any ship activations or resource losses they cause with their remaining actions. And more importantly, it causes the human side to lose an entire player.

Those things are going to be a heck of a lot worse than two random resources and a ship activation. These rules just mean that the humans have to hang around XOing the President to play Speech/Rationing/Dogsville/Unsavory Connections until all resources are above two, instead of just making the final jump and getting it over with.

I just don't think this game is built for having random effects add or subtract Cylons.

There are also crappy Cylon players too A Cylon might try and fail to spike a check, get executed or reveal in the Brig either through flawed play or bad luck.

I guess the point is not to add a Cylon artificially, but more of a situation where if it comes up that there was only 1 Cylon all game, and the humans would have lost after following the steps I listed, then I'd give the human a win with an asterisk.
 
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Garcian Smith
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selwyth wrote:

Revelade wrote:
I'm opting for my own idea... though I do not own this expansion.

If you are a revealed Cylon, when you take the Resurrection Ship action, before you do any of those actions, you may draw the remaining loyalty card, then decide which of the two cards you want to keep and place the other as the remaining loyalty card. Of course, you should do this in secret.

The net effect is that for the cylon player: If the card was a "Cylon" card, he now has access to it and can convert a player. If that was a "You are not a Cylon" card, then he can still give a card to a player to arouse suspicion.

For the remaining players, they still do not know if the card that is placed back is which card. They do know that the Cylon player knows what that card is however.

This ensures that it is possible for the game to have two cylons. The other effect is that if there is a "Cylon" card in the remaining pile, the Cylon player will probably take it, rather than leaving it there.

Very intriguing. However, the net effect is the same as playing with the Loyalty Deck pre-Exodus, because once the revealed Cylon looks at the last card, the other players know that the last card is YANAC and can once again Execute each other as Loyalty checks without fear of repercussion, and complete Personal Goals without fear or switching to the other team. Again, this really changes the Exodus game.


Well, there has to be some things kept in mind. First of all, most of the games will have 2 cylons out there in play, than with 1 YAAC loyalty in the reserves. So even if there is a YAAC card that the Cylon player passes to a player, it's going to come out rarely than a game where there are two Cylons chosen.

Secondly, I do not think it is as automatic as you put it. What if the case is that the cylon player purposefully leaves his YAAC in the extra pile? Are we still to assume that the player that the YANAC is given to should be executed? In a gun-hungry group that you describe, perhaps.

Whether or not the player given the extra loyalty card from the Cylon player gets a YAAC or not, how they are seen is based upon how they act. A player who just got a YAAC could act just as helpful as they did before they got it.

I guess the idea here is that I don't believe your scenario is as simple as black and white. If you have a group that immediately executes a player who gets another loyalty card from a Cylon, then the Cylon player can take full advantage of that. At the same time, if they are more cautious, the person with the extra card will still have to "act" loyal, which is what the game is about anyway.
 
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David F
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You missed my point. I did not say at all that players will immediately try to execute the one who just received a loyalty card. I said that this would be almost the exact same as playing without the extra Loyalty Card, because there is no threat of turning Cylon.

And there is no way, no how you are going to leave a Cylon card in te bottom when you check it. You, as a revealed Cylon, would have absolutely no control over getting somebody to draw that Loyalty Card (and even then, it's 50-50 somebody will draw it), and if by some ridiculous stroke of luck somebody does draw that Cylon card, it would have been seveal wasted turns devoid of the presence of a 2nd Cylon.

This is almost the same as playing without an extra loyalty card in the deck and does not work.
 
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ackmondual
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Anybody do stats on how often the 2nd cylon card will NOT get dealt out? It seems rare, but the thread is interesting anyways.

In practice, I think the suspicion that that undealt 2nd cylon card should be enough.
 
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Garcian Smith
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I think we should consider how Corey and FF designed this function. Is there a particular reason why they would have a possibility of a weakened Cylon team?

The Final Five and Hidden Loyalties seem to have made it more difficult for the humans... perhaps this is in to alleviate that?

If it is simply a design scheme that is made for a reason, I'm fine with playing the game as is.

The problem is seeing how the game would be balanced for both a 1-cylon and 2-cylon game without any additional changes. It just seems theoretically that a 1-cylon game would be easier to play if you are human.

If they wanted another incentive not to execute human players, I'm sure there would be other ways than this. It's a rather puzzling observation.
 
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Here's another possible variation: At the start of the last jump cycle, reveal the spare loyalty card. If it's a 'You Are A Cylon' card, immediately draw and resolve a supercrisis. This variant is incompatible with New Caprica and would need a corollary or two to fit properly with Ionian Nebula. It should go great with Kobol, however, as Kobol's final jump benefits from some added pressure.
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ackmondual
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Shredding Day wrote:
Here's another possible variation: At the start of the last jump cycle, reveal the spare loyalty card. If it's a 'You Are A Cylon' card, immediately draw and resolve a supercrisis. This variant is incompatible with New Caprica and would need a corollary or two to fit properly with Ionian Nebula. It should go great with Kobol, however, as Kobol's final jump benefits from some added pressure.
People commonly complain about retaining the suspense of not knowing who to trust. If you do it this way and there's already one cylon out, some people may have gripes that humans are now free to XO each other without penalty.

If playing without the CFB, I may consider making Massive Assault so that the jump prep token starts 2 spaces in the "negative area" (so not only do you need 5 spaces to reach auto-jump, but you need an additional 2 spaces for a total of 7).
 
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Todd France
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ackmondual wrote:
Anybody do stats on how often the 2nd cylon card will NOT get dealt out? It seems rare, but the thread is interesting anyways.

Pretty simple:
In a 5 player game there are 11 Loyalty Cards.
2 of those are "You are a Cylon" cards.
1 Loyalty Card will not get dealt.
There is a 2 in 11 (18%) chance that the last Loyalty Card is a "You are a Cylon" card.
The percentage for no second Cylon halves for every post Sleeper Phase Execution.
The numbers are more convoluted for pre-Sleeper Executions...
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David F
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Here's another idea.

Once the fleet reaches Distance 7 or higher:

1. A revealed Cylon player may pass the last card in the Loyalty Deck face-down to a human player of his choice. Skip this step if there are no revealed Cylon players.

2. At Distance 7 or higher, do not shuffle a YANAC card into the Loyalty Deck if a game effect instructs you to (i.e. only Executions and 1 or 2 Crisis Cards. You do not draw a YANAC card afer revealing a Personal Goal at distance 7 or higher in the game rules).

3. If a game effect instructs you to draw a Loyalty Card in the Loyalty Deck and it is empty, do not draw one.


So, if there are 2 revealed Cylons, they can still pass out the Sympathizer or Sympathetic Cylon card if it's the last card.

If there is 1 revealed Cylon, he can try to pass out the Sympath. or the 2nd Cylon card in case either wasn't drawn.

If there are no revealed Cylons, then paranoia is still high and don't deal out the last card. But there is still an option for the unrevealed Cylon to try and execute a human if he believes the last card is a Cylon card.

If the Ionian Nebula is used, do all this at Distance 8 after the Crossroads Phase, since the Crossroads Phase often induces a messy round of executions that turns the last Cylon.
 
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Jason Miceli
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So, we just played a 4 player game last night and ended up having no cylons. We tried the FTL Sabotage idea above, which was only mildly interesting and it was still a cake-walk for the humans. Bottom line (for me) is that there SHOULD be the intended number of cylons in the game, either at the beginning of the game or at least half way through.

So we're going to next try using the legacy loyalty deck building method, where there are no extra cards. For our group, we don't care much about having executed people coming back as definitely human, which is presumably the reason why this new mechanic was added in the first place.

Anyone else experience the overwhelming sense that it's just wrong to not have all the cylons in the game? Any other bright ideas out there on how to fix this at a more fundamental level? The FTL Sabotage type fixes just aren't nearly as fun as actually having a cylon in the game, and in short we'll try just eliminating the possibility of this issue occurring altogether - will let you know how that goes!

Anyway - just wanted to raise this post back into the light.
Me
 
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Victor Brueggemann
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I'd rather just go the route of;
Quote:
If the last remaining loyalty card says, 'You are a Cylon', then the Humans lose. Period.
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