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Subject: Exclusive player bidding on chrysis cards rss

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Star Fox
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One particular tactic that came to mind, that seemed a little bit cheap but effective, was exclusive bidding on the skill checks on the chrysis cards.

The main problem that I found when playing as a beginner with other beginners, was that we all bet in skill checks, and because of the secrecy rules on page 20 meaning that we cant talk about what we play, either we seriously overbid and waste cards, or we underbet, and maybe the destiny deck was unlucky, and then we lose, and it would have been better to not bid at all and just save cards for later.

The other problem with everybody bidding is that a cylon infiltrator can sabotage it. And if everybody plays into it, we have no idea who the traitor is.

I propose a strategy where each person takes it in turns to throw everything they have at a chrysis, and everybody else leaves them to it and doesnt bid at all
If you save up until it is 'your turn' then you will start with your 10 card maximum, and draw up to 15. 15 cards is over your limit, but you are not forced to discard until the END of your turn. The average card value is a little over 2.0, so with 15 cards you expect a bidding power of around 30 points, which is huge.
Now, obviously not every card will be useful in the skill check, but a good proportion of them will be. You can expect to be able to bid at least 12. Perhaps even close to 20 with a politician character, which should allow you to win most skillchecks on your own.

Now, the destiny deck tends to only sway the balance by about 4 points either way, any more than that is unusual
Around half the time the destiny deck cancels itself out, and to get 2 high value cards against is increibly rare.

So, if one person throws all of their useful cards into the skillcheck, they will win because they know exactly how much they are putting in, and they know the exact target they need to reach. They could overshoot it by 4-5 points or so just to compensate for the destiny deck if it happens to be unlucky, and they know for a fact that it cannot be sabotage because nobody else adds to it.

If any other player does add to it, and goes against this mutual human player strategy, you can presume they are a cylon and immediately brig them.
Now, of course they can sabotage future skillchecks from the brig, but only by a maximum of one card, so you can compensate by that as well by just adding a few more points to the total.

Now I know what you're thinking; you waste all your cards in a skillcheck, you will not have cards left for quite a while, you only pick up 5 cards per cycle, and only on your turn.
But with everybody else playing the same strategy and taking it upon themselves to take all the strain in a chrysis, everybody else would NOT be bidding, and would be saving up their own cards until their turn comes around again.


To me, it just seems a much better strategy to:
>prevent cylon sabotage on skillchecks
>prevent underbetting and wasting all bets made into the check
>prevent serious overbetting and winning a check, but wasting several cards in the process.

Anybody tried anything like this?

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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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All of the things you are trying to prevent -- Cylon Sabotage, wasting cards with major overkill, major underkill by miscommunication/miscounting -- are major parts of the game. Especially the base game.
Without them the game would be very boring.

If you're having trouble, try using Investigative Committee more often or something.
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David Montgomery
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Potential problems can arise in this. The main two are:
1) Crisis checks that don't involve colors you have. For instance Pilots getting a Yellow/Green check and having maybe 1 or 2 cards to contribute.
2) Wasted cards on choice crisis cards and/or cylon fleet cards.

I do agree that you need to limit who plays in, but you can't always pin it on the current player.

The secrecy rules do allow for players to state "high" or "low" when they play cards, as well as "medium" only if they play multiple cards.

Strategic timing of Investigate Committee will also help you with card use and playing into skill checks wisely.
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Star Fox
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jozxyqk wrote:
All of the things you are trying to prevent -- Cylon Sabotage, wasting cards with major overkill, major underkill by miscommunication/miscounting -- are major parts of the game. Especially the base game.
Without them the game would be very boring.

If you're having trouble, try using Investigative Committee more often or something.


That's exactly what i do. i love playing as a politician. i IC every chance i get, providing it's an important skillcheck.

but the thing is we've only ever had a human victory twice.
cylons seem to almost always win, even when they are, to be honest, fairly inept.

i've been a cylon a few times and i had no idea what i was doing.

i was a pilot and they caught me because there were about 5 low level pilot sabotage cards in the chrysis check that sabotaged it, and i was the only pilot.

they brigged me, but i still won anyway.

sometimes it feels that even if none of us were cylons, the chrysis cards would end up killing us anyway, even without cylon players helping out.

so recently we've started tipping the balance by starting the humans off with a point or 2 of extra resources.
even then, it's a close game.

i think it's mainly down to the skillchecks. we can beat the cylon fleet. it's fairly easy, and theres no skill to it. just the luck in the dicerolls, and we always grind them down eventually.

obviously it is a major part of the game, but i want strategys that will save cards for later, and still win every check when we really really need to.

 
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Paul W
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Having players solo checks is a very useful tactic at times, but there will be many times when no single player has the ability to pass a check by themselves.

It's a great tool to keep in mind, but you're not going to be able to rely on it exclusively.

As far as game balance, keep in mind that the game is humans vs. cylons + the game system. From the very first game, the game system already plays as effectively as it's ever going to, whereas the players aren't. This naturally results in the game tilting towards the cylons. As players improve, the effect lessens, as in fact many experienced players feel that the base game is tilted somewhat towards the human team.

The humans have to play well to get those results, though. Liberal use of XO's, Investigative Committees, Scouting, and the Press Room are keys to strong results for humanity in the base game.

Oh, one final thing...you will *not* be able to beat every check. An important skill for humans is knowing when to go for a skill check and when to cut your losses and contribute nothing at all.
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mathguy6189 wrote:
Potential problems can arise in this. The main two are:
1) Crisis checks that don't involve colors you have. For instance Pilots getting a Yellow/Green check and having maybe 1 or 2 cards to contribute.
2) Wasted cards on choice crisis cards and/or cylon fleet cards.


i figured both these problems could be avoided by players continually scouting the chrysis deck at every opportunity.
cylon fleet appearances can be sent to the bottom of the deck, while skillchecks are left there to be faced.

this leaves the pilots with little do do with their skillset, but seeing as there is very little fighting to do with this tactic, I figured a pilot could be spending their turn scouting, or farming for cards in the press-room/science-lab/consolidate-power-cards

everybody else would be doing the same thing, in conjunction with scouting to remove all cylon fleet appearances

with no cylons on the board, their movements are irrelevant. It is only the cards that make them appear that need to be avoided.
 
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fizzmore wrote:
It's a great tool to keep in mind, but you're not going to be able to rely on it exclusively.


yeah, but the problem is maybe if you do need help, the person 'helping' you, is actually a frackking toaster who is sabotaging you!.
And if you fail the check, maybe you blame them, but maybe they will just say it was a really unlucky destiny deck.

Hard to tell.

At least if it is just me, I know EXACTLY what came from the destiny deck.

And with that knowledge, by process of elimination I can play the odds of what will come out the next few skillchecks as well.
 
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fizzmore wrote:
Oh, one final thing...you will *not* be able to beat every check. An important skill for humans is knowing when to go for a skill check and when to cut your losses and contribute nothing at all.


Oooooh.. THAT is what we're missing! thanks!

we have always bid into every single skillcheck, pass or fail.
there has never been a single one where we all agreed to not try, and just let it reduce our resources.
At least, not that I remember.
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Paul W
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Yeah, the worst outcome of a check is not failing it...it's throwing in a bunch of cards and *then* failing.
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fizzmore wrote:
Yeah, the worst outcome of a check is not failing it...it's throwing in a bunch of cards and *then* failing.


agreed. laugh
 
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Starfox4 wrote:
yeah, but the problem is maybe if you do need help, the person 'helping' you, is actually a frackking toaster who is sabotaging you!.
And if you fail the check, maybe you blame them, but maybe they will just say it was a really unlucky destiny deck.

Hard to tell.


Yeah, but that's a large part (most) of the game, and you'll be missing out on it by playing this way. Have you tried playing the game solo as a learning experience? It's quite boring, and trivially easy to win, without the player interaction.

More importantly, you're writing all of this from the human perspective, but have you considered what a game played like this would be like for a cylon player? With little or no opportunity to sabotage, they'd have no choice but to reveal on their first turn just to have something to do. They'd miss out on all of the fun of trying to remain hidden and deciding when to use their reveal power.

I think you'd lose a lot of what makes BSG special if you adopted this tactic.
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Starfox4 wrote:
If you save up until it is 'your turn' then you will start with your 10 card maximum, and draw up to 15. 15 cards is over your limit, but you are not forced to discard until the END of your turn.


Then, boom, you get a crisis without a skill check and you lose 5 cards that you could've played for their effect instead (like scouting).

I think everything else important was said already.
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Hendrik R
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Starfox4 wrote:

i think it's mainly down to the skillchecks. we can beat the cylon fleet. it's fairly easy, and theres no skill to it. just the luck in the dicerolls, and we always grind them down eventually.


If as a group you're still struggling with skill check strategy, you should not use the CFB. Including it is a serious step up in difficulty and removes most opportunities to make up for sloppy play by drawing cards from the Press Room, for instance: you just won't have time for it anymore. So you should be at a point where you can scrape by without needing those extra cards in many cases. Even then, CFB games are probably tilted slightly towards the Cylons with experienced players, while the base game is strongly tilted towards the humans with experienced players.

New players often underestimate the importance of sound skill check decisions, i.e. which check to go for and which one to deliberately fail, and how much each player should contribute. Once you gain experience in these two points, it will feel easier. It is often a good idea to use a 'light' variant of what you propose: have only two players contribute. That makes estimations how much is needed from each one much easier, and if there's a clear spike, you still have quite a lot of information.
 
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What is CFB?
 
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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Starfox4 wrote:
What is CFB?


Ignore what Henrik said about "CFB". That's an expansion option you don't need to worry about right now. He got confused when you used the phrase "Cylon fleet".

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You may be spending too many actions dealing with Cylon ships rather than scouting and/or drawing cards - for example, with the initial setup, it takes 4 raider activations to lose any civilians, or 2 heavy raider activations to get boarded - if you use Communications to move the civilians once the Raiders have moved at least once, then it takes another activation before they're under threat, and they're now defended by a Viper too. If you use FTL when you risk 1 population, then, on average, you'd jump before the Raiders could take out your civilians...

The base game is more about running away from Cylons and only fighting back when you have to than about taking out the pursuing fleets - for that, you need Exodus.

With experience, you'll get a better feel for when a skill check is worth going for, and when it's better to just let Destiny do what it wants - generally, if the pass has a positive effect, it's worth chasing hard; if the pass is "no effect" and the fail doesn't do much either, then it may be better to skip it even if you're reasonably sure you can pass it simply to have the cards to deal with a worse one later...

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Wim D
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another problem (or 2) of the suggested strategy is:
- The turn after the one you contributed your 15 skill cards, you will have only the 5 from the start of your turn. So the same player getting 2 skill checks for crises in a row, will not make it.
- When humans have played their cards into their checks, and only cylons have full hands, they go to admirals quarters and brig you. You wont be able to fight that with an empty hand of skill cards.
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quit and nuts wrote:
another problem (or 2) of the suggested strategy is:
- The turn after the one you contributed your 15 skill cards, you will have only the 5 from the start of your turn. So the same player getting 2 skill checks for crises in a row, will not make it.


they wont be betting all 15 cards. most of the skilltypes they have might not match for that chrysis anyway.
maybe for the next chrysis they will be different, so you will have saved over some relevant cards from last time.

it also wouldnt take all 15 cards to win the check anyway. most checks can be done in about 5 cards, or maybe a couple more if most of your cards are low values.
 
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