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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Automatic handicapping variant rss

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Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
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I've been toying with the idea of a simple automatic ongoing handicapping system for Battlestar Galactica to make it slightly harder for the winning side of one game to win on the next game. I think it could be an interesting way to avoid winning streaks on either side and maybe also get around any hidden balance advantage one side might have that we're not aware of. (Personally I think the game is pretty well balanced, but some of my friends think the cylons have a slight edge. This would also address their concerns.) Here's how it works:

- After each game if the cylons won add one to the handicap for the next game with that group, otherwise if the humans won subtract one. (It's probably best to keep separate handicaps for specific gaming groups.)

- If the handicap is zero play the game normally. Otherwise if the handicap is positive then give the humans one extra random resource per point split as evenly as possible between the four resources. For instance if the handicap is 3 points then add one to each of three different resources. Likewise if the handicap is negative then subtract that number of resource points.

I think we'll start trying this variant out next time we play. Hopefully it will spice things up by adding a little extra challenge for whoever won the last game. It will also be interesting to see if the handicap starts out climbing positive, since we're relatively new and the humans have a little trouble, but then goes down or goes negative as players get better handling crises and attacks. I also imagine that some groups who claim the humans have an edge will have the opposite handicap, with the number dropping a bit before leveling off.

I'm curious though for feedback or if anybody has tried something similar.
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Byron Campbell
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Santa Clarita
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Clever, simple idea. I don't play the game often enough for it to work for me, but it should satisfy those people who think the game is unbalanced toward one side or another. I think keeping the handicap specific to the group of players is essential.
 
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The closest thing I've done to a "handicap system" was who gets priority when playing Cylon Leaders (since only up to 1 player can be CL per game) in the Pegasus expansion (Daybreak wasn't out yet).

The various groups I've played with have been tailoring our games by just using houserules and variants. However, most of these involve expansions.

The ones that don't include exps:
-Investigative Committee does NOT reveal Destiny
-Qcard hand limit of 10, or even 8 really, as there are so relatively few Qcards in the base game that it's easy to go through the whole thing anyways
-Apollo can't use his AVP from Sickbay
-when a cylon reveals, he automatically hands off the rest of his unrevealed loyalty cards


Otherwise, the problem with handicaps is it affects the team, not the players themselves. Someone who won as a cylon one game can end up as an advantaged handicapped human who'll lose. If strictly balancing the wins of both sides was the only goal, then I suppose this is fine.

As for adding resources, I've suggested a variant where the humans get one wild card resource. It gets used as soon as resources go to or below 0. IIRC, the rulebook says if you lose 2 Morale from 1, then add one, you're really at 1, NOT 1 since you can never dip below 0 of any resource, but I'm waiving that exception here for simplicity's sake
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/773669/adding-a-resource...

Then there are things like adding Conflicted Loyalties from Exodus to the base game.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/812016/anyone-tried-usin...
 
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Robert Stewart
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One thing I'd say is that not all resources are created equal - one fuel either way is more significant than one morale/food either way which is more significant than one population either way.

I don't know whether you want to come up with a more nuanced variant that takes that into account - one possibility is to roll a d8 per point of handicap, with 1 being fuel, 2-3 food, 4-5 morale, and 6-8 population (rerolling if you end up too unbalanced).
 
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Gamer D

Monroeville
Pennsylvania
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rmsgrey wrote:
One thing I'd say is that not all resources are created equal - one fuel either way is more significant than one morale/food either way which is more significant than one population either way.

I don't know whether you want to come up with a more nuanced variant that takes that into account - one possibility is to roll a d8 per point of handicap, with 1 being fuel, 2-3 food, 4-5 morale, and 6-8 population (rerolling if you end up too unbalanced).


I realized this but figure that it would average out over time. For instance if you have a one handicap and you get fuel one game and the next time there's a one handicap you get population then fuel or population might be slightly better depending on the situation, but in the long run a one handicap would average out to be whatever the average value of a random resource is.
 
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