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Subject: Loyalty deck question rss

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EDG
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I'm a bit perplexed by the loyalty deck (using all the expansions).

It's going to be a three player game, so the default is that there are 5 You Are Not A Cylon cards and 1 You Are A Cylon card. That makes sense to me, because that means there is definitely going to be a Cylon in the game at some point (if not in the three cards that get dished out at the start of the game, then definitely in the Sleeper phase). And even if Gaius and Boomer are played with their extra YANAC cards, all the loyalty cards are still going to be dished out by the end of the game so there has to be a Cylon in there somewhere.

But now, since I'm playing with Exodus I have to add an extra YANAC card, which means that there's a (small) chance that the Cylon may not show up during the game *at all*.

Is that the intent of the change in Exodus? So it's now possible that we could play a session of the game without any Cylon players at all?
 
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Carl Bussema
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Yes, Exodus adds the possibility that one Cylon card will not be dealt. There are a lot of suggestions in the forums for how to handle this... a popular one is to reduce every resource by 1 at the end of the game if that happens.

Personally, I've stopped using that rule because it really ruins the game to play short one Cylon.
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The possiblity of a Cylon card not being dealt is the intention of the Exodus rules. This is meant to be offset by the personal goals and possibility of execution, since these cause players to draw a new loyalty card and it avoids execution being a complete loyalty check (which is sometimes cited as a problem with the Pegasus rules). The Exodus loyalty rules do work better with more players, since that at least ensures 1 Cylon, but, in a 3 player game, it is possible to have no Cylins show up at all. I probably would not run a 3-player game with the Exodus loyalty deck because of this.

The uncertainity the Exodus rules introduce can lead to really tense game situations, but it can also produce boring games with little threat. There are a number of suggestions for house rules to compensate for this, and I have heard of several playgroups that have abandoned the Exodus loyalty deck due to the problems they've had with too few Cylons in the game, but other groups are very happy with the changes because of the increased uncertainity, especially after executions. If you can get alarger group togther, I would suggest trying the Exodus deck for a few games and see how it works for you.


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EDG
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OK, thanks (I did spot the other threads on the subject after I posted) - one more somewhat relevant question springs to mind.

Let's say we have Bill Adama, original Gaius and Boomer playing in a normal (not Exodus) game. So the loyalty deck now has 8 cards (1 Cylon, 7 YANAC).

So, initial loyalty cards are:

Adama: 1
Gaius: 2
Boomer: 1

In the Sleeper phase, each player gets extra cards:
Adama: 1
Gaius: 1
Boomer: 2

All Loyalty cards from the deck are used up after the Sleeper Phase. So what happens if someone is Executed after the Sleeper phase? The rules seem to tell you to add a YANAC card to the existing deck, but since there are no cards left does that mean that a new (post-execution) character is always going to be Human?

If Exodus is being used in this scenario then there's still one more Loyalty card left in the deck, so there's still a chance that a post-execution character could be a Cylon. But then if someone else gets executed after them we're back to the situation of having an empty loyalty deck.

So what happens? Are all post-execution characters in this scenario automatically human? Or have I missed something?
 
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If you are not using the Exodus loyalty deck rules, you do not deal someone a new loyalty card after execution.
 
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There are two, subtly different sets of rules for execution:

Pegasus: an executed human discards all loyalty cards and only gets more if a Cylon reveals or Sleeper happens

Exodus: an executed human discards all loyalty cards, shuffles an extra YANAC card into the loyalty deck, and draws a new loyalty card.


Pegasus loyalty rules suffer from one morale being a comparatively cheap price to pay to guarantee the loyalty of the Admiral or President - particularly in a game to New Caprica, where a Sleeper-Cylon Admiral's best strategy can be to play human until Galactica's return and then end the game before enough civilians can be evacuated.

Exodus loyalty rules suffer from sometimes missing a Cylon out of the game entirely.
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Definitely ignore the "extra card" rule from Exodus if you're playing with less than 5 players.

The 3-player situation is dire enough, you shouldn't waste your time with zero Cylons.
 
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OK, but the question remains: If there aren't any cards left in the loyalty deck after an execution, what loyalty cards do new characters get? If they're human and they just reuse the Loyalty cards they just discarded (+1 YANAC in Exodus) because they're back in the deck, then you know their new character is going to be human don't you?
 
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They don't get any loyalty cards. They are guaranteed human. Which is why people don't like that rule either. There is no perfect solution!
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One thing that does sort of address the Exodus Loyalty Deck imbalance is the Mutineer from Daybreak. But only sort of.
I think with the Exodus Extra Card rule _and_ Personal Goals _and_ Mutineer, it nearly approaches balance.
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Pegasus:
No extra loyalty card in deck
On execution, prove loyalty:
* If human, lose -1 morale, discard all cards, reincarnate, pass titles. DO NOT DRAW A NEW LOYALTY CARD.
* If Cylon, discard all cards, move to Res Ship, pass titles. if distance 6 or less pass all remaining loyalty cards (if any) to the single other player of your choice.

Exodus:
1 extra YANAC in deck
On execution, prove loyalty:
* If human, lose -1 morale, discard all cards, reincarnate, pass titles. Shuffle 1 extra YANAC into loyalty deck and then draw a new loyalty card.
* If Cylon, same as Pegasus.
 
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Huh. OK then... all the answers here make it clearer to me. Thanks!

I guess I will use the Exodus execution rule, but I won't add the +1 YANAC at the beginning, and see how that goes.
 
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One group, we leave out the +1 when NOT playing with Exodus' Conflicted Loyalties. That was indeed another reason for using Exo's loyalty card system.

In truth, it was about the journey, not the destination* for one of our games.... 5p game, 1 cylon who revealed early and he was the only one. It was epic not b/c we won, but b/c we barely won. If there were 2 cylons, we'd be LONG dead. The cylon may not have officially won, but he got made props for doing so well vs. 4 humans.

*that Eward James Olmos quote never gets old

.

Consider using a variant for if one less loyalty card gets dealt out. -1 of each resource at game's end, -2 resources if a game with only 1 cylon (such as 3p and 4p games).

Instead, for games where there's supposed to be total 2 cylons, instead of -1 resource, cylon gets to damage 1 or 2 location at games end. 2 to 3 locations for 1 cylon games.

I suppose it could work for centurions too, advance 1 centurion 1 or 2 respectively for 2 and 1 cylon games respectively.
 
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EDG_ wrote:
OK, but the question remains: If there aren't any cards left in the loyalty deck after an execution, what loyalty cards do new characters get? If they're human and they just reuse the Loyalty cards they just discarded (+1 YANAC in Exodus) because they're back in the deck, then you know their new character is going to be human don't you?
If you're playing Pegasus loyalty rules, then there are no cards in the deck post-Sleeper, and an executed player just has no new loyalty cards (so an executed Human stays Human)

If you're playing with Exodus loyalty rules, then there's always at least one card in the loyalty deck (which could be the last Cylon) and an executed character adds one and draws one, still leaving at least one, which could be a Cylon.
 
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I find my games are more fun with rules as written regarding the extra YANAC card. I also think the balance is fine with experienced players.

I have played several games where a cylon was able to convince the humans that the last card is a cylon, creating a false atmosphere of security, then striking at a key moment, causing humans to lose. This tactic would not be possible without the rule about the extra undealt loyalty card. As a result of the popularity of this tactic, humans are always suspicious of any indication that the undealt card is a cylon, which balances things out even if that card does happen to be a cylon. Also, a cylon (at least in a 4+ player game) should always mitigate the risk that the loyalty card is a cylon by making an effort to cycle that card (executions, etc.) Without spending effort on this, cylons would be too strong because they got a boost in Exodus and Daybreak.
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Our group's last two games were only 3 player (people bailed/didn't show), using all four expansions combined. We've had this happen on several occasions, but BSG is such a beloved game that we are fine playing anything from 3-7 players, and having tons of fun.

The first game, we used the Exodus +1 YANAC deck, playing with both Exo loyalty sets, and using the Ionian Nebula destination. We spent the entire game with the usual baseless accusations about loyalty, struggling to get to the nebula, and rarely encountering any allies/tokens. The game ended with a human victory, no one got brigged or sent to sickbay, everyone had two or less trauma tokens, and we had come to the conclusion we were all human about half way through the final jump cycle. It was the most boring game we ever played.

Game two was set up pretty much the same, but using Kobol as the destination due to time constraints. But, we ditched the +1 loyalty card, while keeping in the rest of the Exo loyalty options. I was playing alternate Helo as the CAG, was a Cylon from initial loyalty draw, spent most of the game "helping", while using my Piloting cards as an excuse for not being able to help everytime, revealed at Five distance with everything but food at 3 or lower, and went about wrecking things as best I could. Ended on a close Cylon win, fun was had by all, and we didn't miss the extra loyalty card in the least.

My opinion is, use Exodus Loyalty as written, except in 3 player games (or 4 player w/CL), to insure a Cylon shows up. I think the normal level of parinoia in a 4 player w/ mutineer should cause enough problems to compensate for those extremely rare no Cylon games, especially when also using Exo's Final 5 & Hidden Agendas.
 
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We set up the loyalty deck without the extra card, but if the player is executed before sleeper phase, we will shuffle their loyalty card back in and give them a new one. This prevents the use of executions as an early game loyalty check. But, it can still be done after the sleeper phase.

We also don't use the Pegasus board or the Pegasus crisis cards, which are the worst sources of executions as a loyalty check.
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MasterDinadan wrote:
We also don't use the Pegasus board or the Pegasus crisis cards, which are the worst sources of executions as a loyalty check.
I agree. If you play without the extra loyalty card you also shouldn't use the Pegasus board and the Pegasus crises.
 
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I think our group has more or less abandoned the Exodus execution rules. We had at least one game where a single cylon ended up fighting through a 6 player game by himself and it convinced us that we prefer the Pegasus approach. It's fine to say that the cylon should push for more executions in that situation, but in our group, if someone starts saying, "Hey, why don't we execute somebody?" that's a sure-fire way to get yourself labelled as a Cylon unless you can make a very convincing argument.
 
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Mighty Pope wrote:
I think our group has more or less abandoned the Exodus execution rules. We had at least one game where a single cylon ended up fighting through a 6 player game by himself and it convinced us that we prefer the Pegasus approach. It's fine to say that the cylon should push for more executions in that situation, but in our group, if someone starts saying, "Hey, why don't we execute somebody?" that's a sure-fire way to get yourself labelled as a Cylon unless you can make a very convincing argument.
Also, executions are only very common (and can be done on-demand) in Pegasus. If you play Exodus alone, executions are so infrequent that you are unlikely to make use of that last loyalty card even if you try to.
 
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Mighty Pope wrote:
I think our group has more or less abandoned the Exodus execution rules. We had at least one game where a single cylon ended up fighting through a 6 player game by himself and it convinced us that we prefer the Pegasus approach. It's fine to say that the cylon should push for more executions in that situation, but in our group, if someone starts saying, "Hey, why don't we execute somebody?" that's a sure-fire way to get yourself labelled as a Cylon unless you can make a very convincing argument.
Also, executions are only very common (and can be done on-demand) in Pegasus. If you play Exodus alone, executions are so infrequent that you are unlikely to make use of that last loyalty card even if you try to.
Exodus wants you to rely on Personal Goals for cycling the Loyalty Deck. Which is an even shakier procedure/incentive to get that last card, admittedly.

There just is really no perfect solution which satisfies both of these conditions:
1) Loyalties are unclear after an Execution or Personal Goal resolution.
and
2) The number of Cylons in the game matches the designer-intended balanced number post-sleeper.

I appreciate the problem that they're trying to solve here.
I can think of some solutions that would work with a PBF-like moderator, but otherwise nothing that holds water after thinking about it for too long.
 
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