Lane Taylor
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I asked this in the base game forum, and someone recommended this might be a better place to ask.

I am getting BSG and all the expansions (I've recently moved and I wasn't the one with this game in my previous group....)

So, which options/expansion? Assuming I have 7 players, what are the minimum expansions?

1) Mostly new players. Only a few of the group have played it before, and I think they only played the base game.

2) After some experience, what's a good balance between some fun options and keeping it under 3 hours?

Thanks.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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My suggestion for new players is to start slow and play the base game at least a couple of times. It also gives an idea if there are specific issues in the way the group approaches the game, so you can introduce the expansion modules that best 'fix' those issues or change the game into the direction your group likes.

For example, if the game is too hard for humans, add Pegasus (without New Caprica). You can then try New Caprica. Some groups like it and some don't. Adding New Caprica will change the strategy a lot, so you have to go through the rules of NC very carefully before starting a game.

In the base game the occurrance of cylon attacks can vary wildly. A game can be very easy or very hard for humans depending on that (and vice versa for cylons). It may be that the pilots get bored because they don't have much to do. In that case you should try the Cylon Fleet Board from Exodus. It keeps a constant cylon threat and you also need to escort civilian ships out of harm's way, because they are not 'cleared' when the fleet jumps, unlike in the base game (you can 'just' jump from your problems instead of facing them).

Also, final five and personal goals from Exodus give extra twists to the loyalty cards.

If you have 4 or 6 players, add Daybreak to get a working Cylon Leader mechanics and Mutineer for those games.

All expansions add a good variety of crisis cards, skill cards, and characters, and it takes a while to think of how to use each new tool.

When you have played some, add everything.

With practice the game length goes down and with CFB it is more predictable as well. We play a base+pegasus+exodus+daybreak game to Kobol (distance 8) in 2-2.5 hours, to Earth (distance 10) an hour more. Our first Daybreak game to Earth took 5 hours, so you learn, do you not?

Also, there is lot of useful discussion about the expansions already, so check the old threads. What to include is a regular question in these forums.
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Sean B
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With 7 players, you absolutely need Daybreak because Cylon Leader (go ahead and toss in Peggy's cylon leaders since you have them, there's no mechanical issues there) and Mutineer are necessary. I suggest leaving the non-treachery skill cards in the box, though: skill check effects are easier to stomach for new players if they are ONLY present in the treachery deck. I find that skill card effects are the hardest thing for players to learn in each expansion, so it may be a good idea to slowly install those over time.

And yeah, play to Kobol a few times before experimenting with NC/Earth/IN. Then you can tailor to people's tastes.
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Carl Bussema
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Even after years of playing (although for other in my group, it might be 2-4 times a year), including Exodus since it was released, I still have people asking to clarify SKILL CHECK abilities. So yeah, that's a pretty good idea to leave them out for beginners. Grab the Investigative Committees from Pegasus; no sense getting used to the crutch of playing those and getting to see Destiny.

You will have rules questions when you play. If you don't want to stop and look them up (please consult our excellent Unofficial FAQ - http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Battlestar_Galactica_FAQ), then be prepared (and prepare your play group) that you will make a decision and move on, and make sure they understand that you could easily be wrong in your decision but of course you will try to be fair. The best rules advice I can give you is "when in doubt, read the card 100% as literally as possible and do exactly what it says." You'll be right 99% of the time doing that.

Good luck and have fun!
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Wylann wrote:
I asked this in the base game forum, and someone recommended this might be a better place to ask.

I am getting BSG and all the expansions (I've recently moved and I wasn't the one with this game in my previous group....)

So, which options/expansion? Assuming I have 7 players, what are the minimum expansions?

1) Mostly new players. Only a few of the group have played it before, and I think they only played the base game.

2) After some experience, what's a good balance between some fun options and keeping it under 3 hours?

Thanks.
I've had good times with just Daybreak. Use the setup in the rulebook for a Cylon Leader and Mutineer. There are too many things in BSG base game, so one could argue that instead of having to worry about 20 different things at once and only really being able to focus on 5 at a time, you now have 30 different things to worry about and can still only worry about 5 at a time.

I'm concerned about "let's play the base game for 3 to 10 times first" suggestions because some people only get to play BSG once a month, or once very few months. It's not like Dominion or Ticket To Ride where those games can easily get played dozens on times a month or 2. If you go with this, some people won't delve into expansions until mid 2014, or 2015. Really try to gauge your group in what would be too much for them, or an acceptable level of overwhelming.

Keeping under 3 hours can't be garuanteed. Some precautions include:
-set up beforehand. If not, then ask others to help shuffle stuff
-making sure the game keeps pace... it's OK to ask rules and discuss plans, but it shouldn't be every single turn. Half of the turns should be, get cards, move to location, use location. Crisis, lets do this or tank this. 30s, with fast turns being as short as 15s. It's games the individual turns take minutes where things add up.
 
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Pieter
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...And I would applaud sticking with the base game for the first 10 plays -- or at least until you feel the need to add something extra. Even if it does mean that you will not be using the expansions for the coming two years.

You see, the basegame is a great experience. The expansions add some variety, but there is no guarantee that you will actually enjoy it more. The expansions change some elements, and fix some problems you might have noticed -- or might NOT have noticed. But if you enjoy the basegame, why add the extra complexity that the expansions bring without the assurance that they also make the game better? In general, they can only make the game better for those who really know the game well.

The second post in the thread has it pat. If the humans really have a hard time and do not manage to overcome that after the first 5-10 games (there is a learning curve involved for the human players), then you might want to add Pegasus -- but it also confronts you with the reckless skill checks and with executions. If your pilots are generally bored, you might add Exodus -- but it also confronts you with nasty skill check abilities and completely overpowered skill cards and characters. And if you think the game is unbalanced with 6 players, add Daybreak -- but it also confronts you with Mutiny, complex skill check abilities and Miracle tokens.

Get to know the base game really well before heading on.
 
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Lane Taylor
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Thanks for all your thoughts. I think I will have to use Daybreak, because I suspect we will get 7 players. If we wind up with just 5 or 6, I may just stick to the base game. It will depend on the group, though. I think the approach I'll take is to play the first game with the minimal expansions needed based on players (so base game or add CL). Then explain as well as I can the other options and see what they think they'd like to try.

I don't see this coming out more than once a month or so, but it's possible that we might play this every week for a while (it's happened at previous groups).

I'll try to remember to put some session reports here when we do try it and let everyone know what we thought worked from different player's perspective.

Now...to get it ordered!
 
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
...And I would applaud sticking with the base game for the first 10 plays -- or at least until you feel the need to add something extra. Even if it does mean that you will not be using the expansions for the coming two years.
ftr, I'm not saying you should always play BSG with expansions. Moreso, play with the options that your group wants. In the end, this is what counts. If there's a desire to try out Daybreak or some other expansion, then consider it. Otherwise, if there's an overwhelming need to just do base game, then do that instead. Heck, if you're with a group of non-gamers that are "raw enough", BSG base game still might even be too much for them... perhaps start off with Shadows Over Camelot, or Saboteur to better ease them into such games of deception.

Flyboy Connor wrote:
You see, the basegame is a great experience. The expansions add some variety, but there is no guarantee that you will actually enjoy it more. The expansions change some elements, and fix some problems you might have noticed -- or might NOT have noticed. But if you enjoy the basegame, why add the extra complexity that the expansions bring without the assurance that they also make the game better? In general, they can only make the game better for those who really know the game well.
As the expansions are subjective, there's no reason the claim that the expansions aren't a great experience, and that taking those away would make it a worse experience (note that a "worse experience" can still be a great game, but not as good). We're at a point where newbies started off learning with expansions. I've had a few players who tried out BSG without expansions, or without certain key features like the CFB, and they for the future, they'd rather stick with stuff like exps and CFB.

Again, try to know your group. It may be a disservice to leave out all the extras in the series if they're used to 3.0+ complexity games, like what an "ameritrasher" may go through. If they don't take overload too well, or when in doubt, consider base game, or 1 exp at most.
 
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