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Subject: First game of BSG Express rss

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Patrick van Gompel
Netherlands
Borkel en Schaft
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I wanted to write a short review, but I think we had a rather unusual game. The players agreed that the game idea was fun but weren't sure whether the balance was ok. So, here's just a little session report.

First of all, the players were impressed by the nice design of the downloadable material. Somebody argued whether the + and - signs on the dice were readable enough, but another said that if you accidently looked behind the other's screen, you couldn't tell what it was.

As far as I know, one player was familiar with BSG as well as the boardgame, one had seen BSG and the others (including me) didn't know much about BSG.

Right from the start, there were two Cylons in play (but of course, nobody knew that). One of them was already quite suspicious in the first round, since he submitted a -2 after throwing three dice for a crisis. We failed the crisis and two parts of Galactica were damaged. Of course, we tried to brig him the next round. Funny thing was that the vote was called for by the other Cylon, which of course we didn't know by then. (later we heard that he did this because he wanted to try to brig the humans and making himself less suspicious) Anyway, the vote unluckily failed.
Next turn, the suspected player submitted a +4 on a vital dice roll and soon it wasn't that clear that he had to be a Cylon. After all, he could have just thrown three times -2, and that was exactely what he told us of course.

So the game went on and we didn't have much trouble beating the crisis. Soon the first jump was there and our fine Admiral had a +4. The second set of loyalty cards was dealt and a funny mistake happened. A player remarked: 'Hey, why is this card different from the other one?' So then we all realized that he was a Cylon. We had a good laugh
A funny guy, nevertheless, he went into the brig by the next player's call for a vote.
Since the crisis were fairly easy to beat (sometimes with a lot of luck though), most actions were focused on 'prepare for jump'. So it didn't take long for the second jump. The same Admiral as before submitted a +4 die again, so we went straight to number 6 on the distance track and only had to jump one last time to win.
The other Cylon (the one not in the brig) revealed himself and demoralized a player. Since two other players were already demoralized during the last crisis, it was the first time in the game that there was actually some real threat going on. Especially since the Press Room was broken (no morale boost). But it was all too late.
Sad thing was that a Cylon himself threw two dice with a jump symbol which was the last one needed to jump.

The humans had won, but it was all too easy. We had some good laughs during the game and I think we all enjoyed it. But for the 'winning and balance' component of the game we were unsure.
For myself, it is way too early to give a verdict (hence, no review) and I realized that two times a +4 thrown by an Admiral is quite a low chance. But this can happen any time and gives a rather big variation in the game (and play time). I am not sure what to think about a game with an Admiral throwing two times +4 or for example seven times a double -1. That's such a huge difference in my eyes.
Of course, since this was our first game, we all made some mistakes: the Cylon shouldn't have told us about the 'two different loyality cards' he had, and the other Cylon would have been better off not throwing the dice which made us victorious (instead; choosing the crisis) and the humans should have been more carefull with not reparing the Press Room.

Anyway, we had a fun game which I think we all enjoyed. For me, I am quite curious how a next game will play.
So thank you very much for this free Print&Play game!
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Good report, thanks.

On the +4 jump thing, one of the options that's being tried in the current PBF game is to treat the rolls all as +/- 1 or 2 (roll both weak dice, treat +3 as +2, everything else as listed). So far I think that works much better as you get a little more dependability on your game length.

The issue we're running into now is getting stuck just short of jumping trying to make sure we're in good shape before we hit sleeper.

As with any PnP game, there's still room to tweak it, I think.
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Patrick van Gompel
Netherlands
Borkel en Schaft
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Thanks, sounds like a good idea. I might try that next time.
 
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Evan Derrick
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
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Thanks for the session report, Patrick! It's really nice to get feedback like this. It really helps identify areas of the game that probably need a little finessing.
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