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Subject: BSG 409 - Ad Mala rss

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Pieter
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This is the 409th Play-By-Forum Battlestar Galactica game. It will follow the format established by ColtsFan76. It will be a 5-player Newbie Cruise Base Game to Kobol.

Players

The players for this game are selected from the Waiting List. If you want to enter a game, please use this list, which is found at the BSG PBF Wiki.

The crew consists of:
Luckbfern as Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (for now replaced by Mike_Bonn)
HindenLagen as Dr. Gaius F. Baltar
residue as Cpt. William "Husker" Adama
Machiavellian as Col. Saul Tigh
rwhunt as CPO Galen "Chief" Tyrol

Rule changes

Revealed Cylons immediately hand their unrevealed loyalty cards to another player.

Playing notes

The regulations of the game are pretty much as in all the other threads. If this is your first BSG PBF game, please read through at least one of the previous games to get a feeling for how it is done.

Some particular notes for those taking part (you can find more notes and tips on nbergom's geeklist Tips and Tricks of BSG PBF):

1) Subscribe to this thread.

2) Please, login at least once a day, preferably more. Note that I have a 24-hour rule in place: when it is your turn to act, I expect you to respond within 24 hours; if not, then I am going to take measures, which may lead to seeking a replacement if your absence was unannounced. If you are going to be offline for longer stretches of time (and that is totally acceptable), please tell us in the thread (or me by geekmail), and we can pause the game if necessary.

3) All players must have their own copies of the game as I am only going to publish card titles (this is an FFG request).

4) Private communication will be by geekmail between me and particular players, all other communication will be by posting in this thread. Please start your geekmail subject line with 'BSG 409' and your character name.

5) To speed up the game, please use Conditional Orders (i.e., geekmail me what you will do if certain circumstances arise). CO's are particularly useful for interrupts, such as Evasive Maneuvers. I am going to assume some standard CO's are in place (see below). Note that I prefer not to get "public CO's" until all Cylons are known.

6) Please use the following posting conventions:
- Normal text for discussions.
- Italics for flavor texts.
- Bold for in-game moves and actions. I won't process any decisions/actions unless bolded in the thread or I receive them by geekmail.

7) Please, make clear in each post who your character is by posting a banner at the top of your post. Great banners created by DukeOfEarl are available here (use the "medium" option to display them). If you find using a banner is too much of a hassle (or you are on your phone), at least list your character name (preferably in bold) at the top of your post.

8) For flavor, a useful selection of character pictures is hosted on this geeklist by GerryRailBaron, though by all means provide your own if you wish. Easy, quick links to the items on Gerry's geeklist are provided here.

9) If you are a card counter, please consider the knowledge that you gain from that as falling under the standard BSG secrecy rules.

10) Please do not post any (big) spoilers for the television series in the thread.

Standard Conditional Orders

To keep the game flowing at a reasonable speed, I am going to assume that the following standard conditional orders are in place:

- No player will use interrupt cards such as Strategic Planning and Evasive Maneuvers to help the Cylon cause.
- No player will use a Strategic Planning on a scouting roll, unless there are two or fewer raptors available.
- No player will use interrupts on viper shots.
- If a scout is launched without mention of which deck to scout, the target will be the Crisis Deck.
- Evasive Maneuvers will be used to save a viper (or assault raptor) from damage or destruction: (a) when the viper gets destroyed; (b) when the viper is manned; (c) when it is the last viper that protects a civilian in a sector; (d) when there are two or fewer undamaged vipers left. No EM will played in other cases. In general, I will automatically play the lowest-valued EM, giving preference to cards from the pilot of a viper that gets damaged. If there is still a choice, I will choose the one closest in playing order to the current player.
- If a check is failed by 1 or 2, Declare Emergency will not be played unless an explicit CO is given to that effect (note that you can give me a general CO that you want to use DEs on skill checks to save them).
- No player will use his OPG before the sleeper-agent phase has hit.
- Adama will not use his OPG, unless he announces (by GM or in the thread) that he wants to decide on it after the current skill check.
- Chief will not use his OPG, unless he announces (by GM or in the thread) that he wants to decide on it at the end of the current skill check.
- Starbuck will not use her OPG on a crisis; however, I will wait for a decision on her OPG if (a) it is after the sleeper-agent phase; and (b) the crisis is an assault and the jump track is in the red, or it is a crisis that might cost humanity the game. Any further crises that she wants me to wait on, she has to let me know by GM.
- Helo will not use his OPG; however, I will wait for a decision on his OPG if (a) it is after the sleeper-agent phase; and (b) the decision on a crisis is made by a revealed or soft-revealed Cylon.
- Helo will use his ECO ability to reroll a die that fails humanity.

All these conditional orders hold for all players, whether they are human or hidden Cylon. However, as soon as someone has clearly soft-revealed as a Cylon, I will no longer hold them to these CO's. But you best let me know explicitly by GM that you no longer want to follow them, as we might not agree on what "soft-revealing" means. Of course, if you want to stick to completely different CO's altogether, just give them to me.

As for OPGs, as you can see from the CO's above I will not wait for them unless I have a reason to. That reason might be that someone brings it up in the thread. So, if one player wants another to consider using their OPG, they don't have to hope that the other player will give a timely command to that effect: they can simply announce in the thread that they want that other player to consider using their OPG, and I will then halt the game at the appropriate time.

Acknowledgments

My thanks to Orphius, whose spreadsheets I am using to mod this game, and to Jasperhawk, who has updated them considerably.

My moderated games are:
BSG 101 - Mockingbird
BSG 123 - Blue Dragon
BSG 146 - Wake Up and Smell the Tylium
BSG 153 - Idus Martii
BSG 180 - Bull's Eye
BSG 192 - Cylon Breakfast
BSG 205 - Astro Farm
BSG 222 - Tea For Two
BSG 240 - Two For Tea
BSG 249 - Battlestar Lollipop
BSG 273 - Absolute Zero
BSG 287 - Cylons in the Library
BSG 293 - Battlestar Evangelista
BSG 309 - Special Occasion
BSG 321 - Countdown
BSG 324 - Not Fade Away
BSG 329 - Fast & Furious
BSG 333 - Ode To D'Anna
BSG 350 - Three Centurions and Leoben
BSG 357 - Big Chief
BSG 370 - SS Pay It Forward
BSG 388 - Too Many Options
BSG 395 - Hic Sunt Cylones
BSG 399 - Ab Ovo
BSG 409 - Ad Mala

My previous game was called "Ab Ovo". The complete expression reads "Ab ovo usque ad mala" (from the egg to the apples, i.e., a complete Roman meal). Since this is a newbie cruise, I am afraid that "ad mala" is a complete misnomer (at least, that's what I hope). But that was also the case for my previous game, so hey, it fits the theme.
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Pieter
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This game will be a newbie cruise, so I expect that I may have to explain some details of PBF games now and again. That won't be often, because it isn't that hard. But do not be afraid to ask questions whenever something is unclear, either here in the thread, or by GM.

Since this is a newbie cruise, I have planned for it to use the Base Game only. However, if all the players want to introduce some expansion, we can do that. We will discuss it when the crew is complete.

To those who accept the invitation, we can discuss the rule changes I propose in the opening post. I think these three "extra's", which are used in all the expansions, solve some rare but irritating occurrences in the base game. But I am fine playing the Base Game as per the official rules, without changes.
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Pieter
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I bid welcome to residue, the first to respond!

EDIT: HindenLagen and rwhunt are in too!
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Matias D
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Cheers and thanks for the invite mister moderator. This won't be my first PbF game, but it will be my first Battlestar Galactica game.
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Hinden Lagen
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Hi all!

I am fine with the extra rules, I'm familiar enough with the expansions to know how they work.
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Matias D
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HindenLagen wrote:
I am fine with the extra rules, I'm familiar enough with the expansions to know how they work.


Ah, yeah, I don't mind using the extra rules. I don't know what they do, or rather how they impact the game, but if they're tweaks to make the game run smoother/better then sure, why not.
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Pieter
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Let me explain them, then:

First, in the base game, if a player receives both "You Are A Cylon" (YAAC) Cards, he is pretty much screwed, since he has to activate the Resurrection Ship to hand off one of them (wasting both an action to reveal and an action to activate the Resurrection Ship). The expansions change this to "when a player reveals as Cylon, or when a revealed Cylon receives a loyalty card, they hand off their unrevealed loyalty cards to another player." This is mainly to ensure that the small chance that one player receives both YAAC cards does not end up in a game that is a push-over for the humans.

Second, in the base game, Investigative Committees (IC) reveal all cards. Since ICs are fairly common in the base game, players found it a very strong tactic to always play an IC on a skill check. This also makes it hard for a hidden Cylon to spike checks. Therefore, the expansions change this to "ICs do not reveal destiny" (actually, I think that Daybreak does not explicitly make this change, but most experienced players play it that way). This ought to make the game a bit easier for the Cylons and skill checks a bit more interesting.

Considering that the previous two changes help the Cylons, who in the base game tend to hit Caprica all the time, in compensation a third change is made by all the expansions, which is that the jump icons on Caprica crises are still processed. This nerfs the Cylon abilities a bit. The worst crises usually have a jump icon, so while a Cylon can use Caprica to hit the humans over the head, usually the humans get a jump icon out of it.

We can play with any and all of these rule changes. I advocate to at least take the first one on board, because I have seen more than one game end in a dud because one poor player got both YAAC cards. It does not happen often, and with the rule change that player is still a bit screwed because he basically HAS to reveal ASAP, but at least having both YAAC cards does not have that much influence on the process.
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Matias D
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Mmm. Having never played nor read any guides on tactics/strategy, I reckon I don't fully follow, but a game this popular is bound to have developed some best practises (if X then you gotta do Y).

I had best get this out in the open now so noone thinks I'm a cylon for playing stupidly. whistle
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Hinden Lagen
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residue wrote:
I had best get this out in the open now so noone thinks I'm a cylon for playing stupidly. whistle


That's exactly what a cylon would say!

Back to rule 1, I was a double cylon in the last FTF base game I played. It is very crippling. I still won, but only because it was a newbie game and I was the teacher devil
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Ron Hunt
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Greetings all! I'm looking forward to this game. I've been following the various active PBF games for a few months now. My 2 cents on the two three proposed rules are as follows:

#1 - I like how the expansions handle the loyalty cards. I think this is one of those common sense changes that the expantions made to the game that make the game work more smoothly.

#2 - This one, I'm kind of on the fence with. I see the benefits for both. If we play it according to the base game rules (Destiny gets played face up) it is more in keeping with what the card stated. That is to prevent spikes from cylons and hit critical skill checks. On the other hand, keeping Destiny face down helps to inject some unknown. I am leaning more toward base game rule, but I can go either way.

#3 - I have no preference either way.

*Edited to fix numerical mismatch*
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Pieter
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Luckbfern joins up!
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Pieter
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Machiavellian joins up!

Prepare for take-off.
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Pieter
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Since at least two players are restricted to the base game, I assume that is what we go with. Considering the discussion about rule changes, I also assume we take my first proposal on board (revealed Cylons immediately hand off extra loyalty cards), but not with the other two.

In the next post I will roll for player order. To speed up skill checks, I try to keep players on the same continent stuck together. Luckbfern, I do not know where you are from. Could you please enlighten us?

Of course, I could keep it simple and just stick Luckbfern between the other two groups.
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Pieter
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OK, let's do it like this. I have two US citizens (rwhunt and Machiavellian), two Europeans (residue and HindenLagen), and one unknown (Luckbfern). I like to keep players on the same continent together because that tends to speed up skill checks.

I will determine at random the order of the first group, at random the order of the second group, stick the third in the middle, then roll for who starts. That should work.
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Pieter
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First of the US: 1custom2{Machiavellian;rwhunt} -> ( Machiavellian) -> ( Machiavellian)
Luckbfern in the middle.
First of Europe: 1custom2{residue;HindenLagen} -> ( HindenLagen) -> ( HindenLagen)

First player: 1custom5{Machiavellian;rwhunt;Luckbfern;residue;HindenLagen} -> ( Luckbfern) -> ( Luckbfern)

This gives us the following player order:
Luckbfern
HindenLagen
residue
Machiavellian
rwhunt


Luckbfern, you are up to choose your character! Any of the base game characters is yours.
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  • 520603. Flyboy Connor
  • 1custom2{Machiavellian;rwhunt} =
  • ( Machiavellian) =
  • ( Machiavellian)
  • First of the US:
  • Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:10 pm
  • [+]
  • 520604. Flyboy Connor
  • 1custom2{residue;HindenLagen} =
  • ( HindenLagen) =
  • ( HindenLagen)
  • First of Europe:
  • Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:11 pm
  • [+]
  • 520605. Flyboy Connor
  • 1custom5{Machiavellian;rwhunt;Luckbfern;residue;HindenLagen} =
  • ( Luckbfern) =
  • ( Luckbfern)
  • First player:
  • Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:12 pm
Pieter
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Since this is a newbie cruise, here's some explanation of the process.

First we do character selection in player order, according to the regular rules. Except for the first player, all players also must indicate their initial draw (i.e., three cards from their skill set). You are allowed to wait until you have seen your loyalty card before you decide on your draw, but most players already know what they will draw regardless of their loyalty. If you do know, you can either post your choice of draw in the thread, or give me a Conditional Order (CO). You can also send me a CO for your character choice.

A Conditional Order is a geekmail (GM) that you send me with instructions that I carry out as soon as the condition for those instructions occurs. For instance, you can tell me something like: "My order of preference for character choices is: (1) Baltar (initial draw, 2 Politics, 1 Engineering), (2) Tigh (3 Tactics), (3) Chief (one of each). If none of these are possible, I will consider when it is my turn to choose."

You can make CO's quite elaborate. If something is unclear, I will not execute it. Or if I think something happened in the game that might make you want to retract your CO, I also will not execute it. I try to think with the players (not all mods do that, though, so it is a good idea for CO's to think a bit about the potential implications of giving it).
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Niccolo Machiavelli
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Works for me. Rule modifications also work for me. I've never played Battlestar in PBF, but I have played the base game and all of the expansions in face to face gaming. I am excited to jump on board.

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Niccolo Machiavelli
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“A prince must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves."
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A life, some would argue, is a series of problems. There’s no denying the truth in that – but why get lost in it? Why not rise above the truth… and lead a good life? Shouldn’t we all look at problems as a chance for us to find… solutions?
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Am I correct in assuming that the base game included the rule that if someone chooses a political character/Command/Pilot character that no one else can choose from that category until one from the other two categories was selected first? Support being the exception to the rule and being able to be selected at any time.

It's been a while since I just played with the base game.
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Pieter
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Actually, that is the general rule. No expansion changes it.
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Robert Stewart
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Machiavellian wrote:
Am I correct in assuming that the base game included the rule that if someone chooses a political character/Command/Pilot character that no one else can choose from that category until one from the other two categories was selected first? Support being the exception to the rule and being able to be selected at any time.

It's been a while since I just played with the base game.




Yeah, that rule is in the base game (and applies to all games unless house-ruled - none of the expansions override it) - you can only choose a Political Leader if it's the first Political Leader to be chosen, or it's the second, and at least one Military Leader and at least one Pilot have been chosen, and the same rule applies if you switch Political Leader with Military Leader or Pilot wherever either occurs.

The only class you can start the game with more than two of is Support, and only if you have access to enough Support characters from expansions.
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Ron Hunt
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Outstanding. I'm looking forward to this game. I do need to inform everyone that next week I'll be in training all week and my daytime hours (GMT -7) will be pretty busy, but I'll be able to check in during the morning and evening, and as a rule, my Thursdays are back to back meetings (usually). Beyond that, it should be smooth sailing.

P.S. Dice hate me...
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Fernando Ospina

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Fernando Ospina

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Pieter
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Thank you.

HindenLagen asked me to select a random character for him, so here it goes:

HindenLagen will be: 1custom7{Roslin;Baltar;Zarek;Adama;Tigh;Helo;Chief} -> ( Baltar) -> ( Baltar)
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  • 520726. Flyboy Connor
  • 1custom7{Roslin;Baltar;Zarek;Adama;Tigh;Helo;Chief} =
  • ( Baltar) =
  • ( Baltar)
  • HindenLagen will be:
  • Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:29 pm
Pieter
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residue picks Adama.
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