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Tony's Stupidly Long Thoughts on Battlestar Galactica, Pt. 2: Pegasus

Fat Tony
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Nothing like family, friends and games...and music and beer...and pizza and bean dip...and actually having time to play games...
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As I explained in the first post in this series, my comments for Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game and its expansions had gotten long enough that I felt the need to separate them out into blog posts. This time, we're talking about the Pegasus expansion, the first released for this game.

My comments for this expansion come with two big caveats. First of all, there are some key components that I've only used with my PBF group, as you'll see if you keep reading. Secondly, a good chunk of this expansion has been re-written or just plain tossed out with the Daybreak expansion. I'm currently in the process of revising these comments and adjusting my rating accordingly.

The Beast Itself: I like it, although it works best if you're also using the Cylon Fleet option from the Exodus expansion, as they balance each other out pretty well. It's almost always better to use the Pegasus CIC location over Galactica's Weapons Control (I'm still not sold on Main Batteries: I prefer sending Vipers to deal with Raiders), but using the Pegasus weapons is not a safe bet. You also gain the ability to soak up damage, but this is offset a bit by the fact that human losses due to damage were rare to begin with. If you're not using the CFB, you could probably leave this out with minimal house-ruling, although you'll miss the Airlock (see below).

New Caprica: My only experience with the NC objective so far is via PBF. The choice of practical actions is somewhat limited, which I think is okay: you don't want it to drag on forever. I also don't necessarily agree that you want to lose civilian ships before reaching NC: in theory, you will have lost all of the population or whatever that was on those lost ships, which is bad in the long run. My tabletop group will get around to trying it eventually, but we're in no hurry, and I could see it being a "one and done" kind of deal. When playing via PBF, at least, it's become my least favorite objective. I just find Ionian Nebula and Search For Home to be more fun, and if we're not using those, I'd rather take it easy and head for Kobol.

Cylon Leaders: Great in concept at least. When playing Cylon Leaders with the Agenda cards (and to be fair, I've only used the Agenda cards when playing via PBF) in this expansion, the CL can be a bit cut off from the main action, and the Agendas themselves are of wildly differing degrees of difficulty and require very different strategies. The Cylon Leader Motive cards from Daybreak are far better and mostly correct these issues.

New Human Characters: More playable characters are always welcome, and there are some good ones here, with one big issue: Cain's once-per-game ability can be severely game-breaking. A house rule or some sort of official fix may actually be in order: my favorite suggestion is to reshuffle the Destination deck before drawing, so the Blind Jump can't be set up with a Scout. Overall, I prefer the characters included in Exodus and Daybreak.

New Skill cards and Treachery deck: All are very cool. Reckless checks are a great concept, and the Treachery deck adds a whole new dimension to the game. Both of these were improved upon with Daybreak, of course (and in the case of the Treachery deck, completely replaced). I also prefer the new Investigative Committee cards to those in the base game.

Airlock and Executions: Probably the most controversial part of a pretty controversial expansion overall. The concept is fine and basically mechanically sound, and the concerns expressed over players employing a "execute everyone until you know who the Cylons are" strategy were mostly unfounded: not only is it against the spirit of the game, it's terribly inefficient. (That said, the revisions made in Exodus don't hurt.)

Random: Movement abilities (on character sheets and skill cards) are a cool concept that I would have liked to have seen more of in later expansions. And of course, plastic baseships. Awesome.

I've been playing BSG since before this expansion came out, and at this point, it's hard to imagine not using it. However, given the improvements and revisions made in the other expansions, it's hard to call this an essential purchase. My guess is that most BSG players will want it eventually: the Pegasus board is nice to have, and you'll probably want Caprica Six, Admiral Cain and some of the other iconic characters included in this set.
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