Jason Beck
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I've decided to include both my comments on altering the lines of succession and my suggestion for a small variant for the "Assign Vice President" Quorum card in the same post since they deal with similar things.

Vice President

First: the Vice Presidency. The Quorum card allows you to assign a Vice President, which has the effect of making the Administration location unable to target anyone but that person.

This has always struck me as a bit odd, since it seems like the Vice President ought to be inserted into the line of succession rather than being the only target for Administration. (Indeed, Tom Zarek makes this point in the first season, when he asks Roslin what will happen to the government if she is gone and there is no VP.)

I propose this fix: Draw 2 Politics cards and give this card to another player. Keep this card in play. While this player is not president, he is considered "next" in the presidential line of succession regardless of his original place in it. Discard this card if this player ever becomes president.

This has the effect of making the VP more in line with how, thematically, it should work, as well as not shutting down the Administration location. (And, for Pegasus users, of side-stepping the issue of whether or not a CL can become VP.)

~

Presidential Line of Succession

With regard to the lines of succession, I take a little thematic and mechanical issue with how they are structured. I actually have no real problem with the Admiralty or the CAG, and my concerns are only with the presidential line of succession.

Parts of it are fine (Apollo should, thematically, be higher up, but for balance reasons I don't think he should be), but the middle is a bit odd.

(I am including both Pegasus and Exodus characters in this line.)

I would propose the following line:

1. Laura Roslin
2. Gaius Baltar
3. Tom Zarek
4. Tory Foster
5. Ellen Tigh
6. Lee "Apollo" Adama
7. Felix Gaeta
8. "Chief" Galen Tyrol (up from 10)
9. Callandra "Cally" Tyrol (up from 11)
10. Samuel T. "Longshot" Anders (up from 16)
11. Karl "Helo" Agathon (down from 9)
12. William Adama (down from 8)
13. Helena Cain (down from 12)
14. Anastasia "Dee" Dualla (down from 13)
15. Saul Tigh
16. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (down from 14))
17. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace
18. Louanne "Kat" Katraine

I have bumped Chief and Cally up in the line for their work on New Caprica with the resistance and with the labor union (additionally, they are quite far down the Admiralty and CAG lines anyway).

I have also bumped Anders up considerably for his leadership roles on both Caprica and New Caprica (and he remains quite far down the Admiralty list anyway), which were both in quasi-civilian capacities, unlike Adama, Cain, etc., who are purely military leaders.

Those are the only real changes; everyone else has more or less gotten bumped down a couple of spaces accordingly. I also dropped Boomer below Tigh, since Tigh has far more leadership experience than her (and did technically declare martial law and assume the civilian government's powers).

~

Sorry for the wall of text. Thoughts? Issues? Concerns about balance? Are these tweaks to the VP and line of succession irrelevant?
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Matt Vollick
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I have no concerns regarding balance at all. You could randomly assign the president and admiral titles at the start of the game and I'm sure it would play out fine.

The one beef I've always had is the inclusion of Ellen Tigh as a Political Leader (even if it's the bottom level). There is no way thematically from the show Ellen Tigh would become President before Lee Adama would.

I also like the proposed change to the Vice President quorum card.
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Jason Beck
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Vollick1979 wrote:
The one beef I've always had is the inclusion of Ellen Tigh as a Political Leader (even if it's the bottom level). There is no way thematically from the show Ellen Tigh would become President before Lee Adama would.


I agree (and have always agreed, really) with this assertion, though in this case I think it's clear that the mechanics are trumping theme simply because they more or less have to.

Plus, I mean, I do think that there is an element of balance involved, and it seemed odd to me to push Ellen farther down the line, since then you could have weird scenarios like a pilot starting as president.
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Eric Spencer
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I agree with you that the VP card doesn't seem to make much thematic sense. I like the way your tweaking of the card works, thematically, but I have a concern with it in practice. It feels like to me that the presidential line of succession is pretty unimportant. Unless the president is killed (and I only own the base game, so this can't happen), the line of succession is mostly ignored throughout the game. The card as it's written prevents anyone else from 'stealing' the presidency, which is the most common way the title changes hands (at least I would guess), and I worry that your tweak would make the VP card considerably less useful. Sorry for the rambling. In short, I like it thematically, but I worry about it in terms of gameplay.
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Carl Bussema
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Of course, with rules as written, you could have a 5-player game (with both expansion) with Apollo starting with all three Titles...

Apollo
3x support characters
1x Cylon leader

Nevermind that Cylon leaders are an awful idea in a 5-player game and the card balance is not great (although it's surprisingly not bad, if heavy on blue, but I figure a little SR now and then into an important check could compensate, plus Jury Rigged and Calculations are awesome). It would just be funny.

If you go to six players and add any Military leader, a pilot still starts the game as President (or v.v. if you swap Political/Admiral).

Your changes look fine to me, too.
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Jason Beck
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Well, sure, you can engineer weird situations where you get non-traditional characters starting in leadership roles, I just meant in general.

As to having three support characters, I wonder if it wouldn't be worth instituting the same rule with regard to other character classes (i.e. can't select another one until every group has been chosen), since there are now three of them, rather than one or even two. But, I guess that is another discussion.

~

Spence, your points are well taken. There are a couple of crises that move the presidency, as well as, as you say, death, so you're right, it probably wouldn't come up terribly often, but does the original use of the VP card come up that much more often?

As an addendum to the altered VP card, you could tweak the Resignation Quorum card to read, "...Then choose another character, give him the President's title, and discard this card. If there is a Vice President, you must choose that character."
 
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Eric Spencer
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Fair point that the original VP card isn't something that I've seen played a lot either. In fact, the only time I can remember playing it myself is when I was an unrevealed cylon Tigh, declared martial law and played it on the other player I knew was an unrevealed cylon. And somehow they still didn't brig me since they trusted the other player so much.

I do agree with your reasoning behind the succession re-ordering. I would guess the lines come up a lot more with expansions. Being used to the base game, the titles almost always end up with their 1 or 2 spot.
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ackmondual
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Colonial One wrote:
Vollick1979 wrote:
The one beef I've always had is the inclusion of Ellen Tigh as a Political Leader (even if it's the bottom level). There is no way thematically from the show Ellen Tigh would become President before Lee Adama would.


I agree (and have always agreed, really) with this assertion, though in this case I think it's clear that the mechanics are trumping theme simply because they more or less have to.

Plus, I mean, I do think that there is an element of balance involved, and it seemed odd to me to push Ellen farther down the line, since then you could have weird scenarios like a pilot starting as president.


that's my thought too. I always say, if theme were THAT prevalent, then there should've been a special rule that Boomer MUST be given a cylon card either at the start of the game, or during sleeper phase.


Hurricanespence wrote:
Fair point that the original VP card isn't something that I've seen played a lot either. In fact, the only time I can remember playing it myself is when I was an unrevealed cylon Tigh, declared martial law and played it on the other player I knew was an unrevealed cylon. And somehow they still didn't brig me since they trusted the other player so much.

I do agree with your reasoning behind the succession re-ordering. I would guess the lines come up a lot more with expansions. Being used to the base game, the titles almost always end up with their 1 or 2 spot.


From my observations, playing Assign VP wasn't really a matter of trust as it was a way to get 2 Politics cards. It wasn't always the best Qcard, but if all your other Qcards suck, getting 2 yellow isn't too bad. With Tory in play, it's a way to get 2 yellow + 2 of anything.
 
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David Montgomery
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InfoCynic wrote:
Of course, with rules as written, you could have a 5-player game (with both expansion) with Apollo starting with all three Titles...

Apollo
3x support characters
1x Cylon leader



Actually, you could do this in a 6 player game, if you ignore the character selection rules and let someone take Starbuck.
 
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Joe Benavides
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I'm 100% behind you on the VP redo. Every game I have ever played in where it was used, it completely stopped anyone from ever using the Admin location again, so it needed to be changed. Putting it the way you have it written makes it much closer to the show but it does bring up an interesting observation about the line of succession. Why would Roslin ever choose Baltar with this card? He's already next in line. So, as long as you're moving the line of succession around to make more sense, with the VP card changed to reflect that move in succession, I think Zarek should be second on the list ahead of Baltar for exactly that reason.

Not a necessary change, but it makes more sense than the way it is now, particularly with the VP change you've made.
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Jason Beck
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I'm not sure moving Zarek accomplishes anything. Why would Roslin make Zarek her VP if he's #2, then? I mean, really, I think the question is less, "Where are you in the succession?" and more, "Do I trust you?", which I think was still true for the previous wording, but this, as you say, doesn't shut the usefulness of Administration down.
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ackmondual
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...... this is becoming more and more like Battlestar Galatica: The Role Playing Game.
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Zen Fairborn
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Colonial One wrote:
Why would Roslin make Zarek her VP if he's #2, then? I mean, really, I think the question is less, "Where are you in the succession?" and more, "Do I trust you?", which I think was still true for the previous wording, but this, as you say, doesn't shut the usefulness of Administration down.


I personally agree with Zarek being ahead of Baltar in succession, and its not because Rosalin trusted Baltar more than Zarek. Its more "who would have been able to elect themselves to the role of president?"

In my opinion, Baltar only got to his position due to the assistance of Rosalin (and some voices in his head). Without her/ them, he would have had some difficulty to move up the ladder I believe. Most of Baltar's "political successess" seemed rather luck-based then skill-foucsed. Zarek on the otherhand has been a major mover-shaker.

I also agree with Ellen being below Lee. I appreciate she is a Political person, but very much not a Leader. I'd have even reduced her down to support (my group doesn't even use her as while she was notable, she was notable for being a "Crisis" if anything at all.... hmmm... may need to make a Crisis card about her then :D )

- - - -

Liking your idea for the VP adjustment. Makes a bit more sense than how it stands. Good work.

Also approve of Chief and Cally moving up the ladder, along with Saul. All points legit and justifyable.
 
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Joe Benavides
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Colonial One wrote:
I'm not sure moving Zarek accomplishes anything. Why would Roslin make Zarek her VP if he's #2, then? I mean, really, I think the question is less, "Where are you in the succession?" and more, "Do I trust you?", which I think was still true for the previous wording, but this, as you say, doesn't shut the usefulness of Administration down.


If we're talking about game play mechanics alone, your change to the VP Qcard already makes choosing Zarek useless as there will never be a game where Roslin, Baltar, and Zarek are all being played at the same time. You're right, as well, that moving Zarek up a space makes no real difference (except when starting a game with Baltar and Zarek but no Roslin). The change is purely thematic, made appropriate only by the logical change made to the VP Qcard. I completely agree with everything you've done so far, I support bumping Zarek only because it's a change that makes the game a tiny bit more logically consistent with the show and has effectively no cost to make.
 
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Kenneth H
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zfairborn wrote:
I also agree with Ellen being below Lee. I appreciate she is a Political person, but very much not a Leader. I'd have even reduced her down to support (my group doesn't even use her as while she was notable, she was notable for being a "Crisis" if anything at all.... hmmm... may need to make a Crisis card about her then )


Ellen would love to be below Lee. And have you seen the Unexpected Reunion crisis card?

Anyhow, I would appreciate this change to the VP Quorum card. Have you considered making it both? The VP is highest in line of succession, and any Administration activation has to target them if they aren't currently President? It's not necessarily 100% thematic, but in my eyes, it would really make you consider play of the card carefully. It would ask for the same careful analysis that assigning a Mission Specialist usually does, as opposed to just being another way to draw two Politics cards.
 
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Pieter
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The ideas are fine. But isn't the impact of this really, really small?
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Joe Benavides
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
The ideas are fine. But isn't the impact of this really, really small?


Sign of a good game. All of the changes proposed are small corrections.
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Jason Beck
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Flamethrower49 wrote:
Anyhow, I would appreciate this change to the VP Quorum card. Have you considered making it both? The VP is highest in line of succession, and any Administration activation has to target them if they aren't currently President? It's not necessarily 100% thematic, but in my eyes, it would really make you consider play of the card carefully. It would ask for the same careful analysis that assigning a Mission Specialist usually does, as opposed to just being another way to draw two Politics cards.


But part of the problem with the card as-written is that it tends to more or less shutdown the Administration location's usefulness, so retaining that function would seem to not solve that specific problem, at least.

Flyboy Connor wrote:
The ideas are fine. But isn't the impact of this really, really small?


Yes, but, as a raving BSG fanboy, anything that increases thematic fidelity is like OMGINEEDTODOTHIS.
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ackmondual
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Colonial One wrote:
Flamethrower49 wrote:
Anyhow, I would appreciate this change to the VP Quorum card. Have you considered making it both? The VP is highest in line of succession, and any Administration activation has to target them if they aren't currently President? It's not necessarily 100% thematic, but in my eyes, it would really make you consider play of the card carefully. It would ask for the same careful analysis that assigning a Mission Specialist usually does, as opposed to just being another way to draw two Politics cards.


But part of the problem with the card as-written is that it tends to more or less shutdown the Administration location's usefulness, so retaining that function would seem to not solve that specific problem, at least.


Yeah, you'd need to activate Admin twice.... once to pass Admin and make the VP pres., then another time to make someone else the pres. instead. I'm a bit annoyed the card didn't say "discard after you become president".
 
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Allan Cybulskie
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zfairborn wrote:

In my opinion, Baltar only got to his position due to the assistance of Rosalin (and some voices in his head). Without her/ them, he would have had some difficulty to move up the ladder I believe. Most of Baltar's "political successess" seemed rather luck-based then skill-foucsed. Zarek on the otherhand has been a major mover-shaker.


Remember, though, that Baltar was elected as Caprica's representative without his even actually trying (or being aware of it!), and that Roslin nominated him for Vice President because she felt that his natural popularity as a celebrity meant that he'd have a better chance of being elected over Tom Zarek than the person she'd originally set up for the role. Zarek might have been a mover and shaker, but Baltar was generally a more popular option, all on his own.

If there were other ways to pass the line of succession -- like through brigging -- this change would leave the card as being useful, but with this change the card's not all that useful. It basically protects someone getting executed, but neither human nor Cylon Presidents care that much about that case. Without this card forcing another method of moving the Presidency than Administration, it's quite underwhelming as a Quorum card.

Maybe if you added that the Vice President can discard this card to declare an Administration check Passed or Failed it would work, since it gives the VP power and moves the succession, making it so that you do have to be careful about assigning it to someone else. Otherwise, it seems to be a card that you just use to get 2 Politics cards and to get Tory some cards if she's in the game.
 
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Carl Bussema
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How about adding "Reduce the difficulty of Administration checks to elect the holder of this card by 5"? This makes it easy but not entirely automatic (and lets you do fun things with Iron Will) to make the VP the new President if you decide to impeach the old one without actually executing him or her.
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J Chav
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I highly Doubt Adama would let those enlisted take the Presidency over his experience!
 
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Cheza Moonmaiden
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I really like these changes.

Lee can't be positioned above Ellen. In general all political leaders take the top positions in the line of succession. It's the same with the admiral title (military leader) and CAG (pilots). So as long as Lee is considered a pilot, he would be needed in a viper rather than as a president.

I also like the changes of the "Vice President" quorum card. We've only used Administration once, so even if the options are rare, this change should enable some trust/mistrust gambling.
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