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Subject: My Philosophical Qualm with this Game rss

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Mike Pole
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An argument often arises within me whenever I play this game; an argument which worsens my playing experience. Try to answer this question as simply as possible:
What is your objective in this game? To win? Not not reveal oneself? To have fun? Since so much money was spent and time invested one should think it is the latter most option. Ah but Mr. Pole: why are these mutually exclusive? I am a fairly competitive person: I play to win in most games but I do not find that to be the most enjoyable when I play as a cyclon. I would much prefer to remain on board and subtly cause havoc. This leads to victory a very small portion of the time and more-often-than-not people scoff at my poor strategy.

I cannot help but agree. If I reveal myself and pop over to the cyclon fleet, the damage I can do is much more severe than forcing the players to play too many skill cards on a check or having them put the wrong person in the brig. This way of playing is far more fun in my opinion but I will not get a win out of it which leads me back to my Aurelius-like question.

p.s. This game's page has some enjoyable & remarkable pictures.
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Geoff C
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Fun first, win second. The game is simply a better experience when the cylons lurk for as long as possible.

Simple solution would be to scale the 'reveal' effects or have them trigger for no effect if revealed early, perhaps pre first jump or pre sleeper phase.

Or just play with people that realize the first line above. cool
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Michael Aldridge
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I mean no disrespect, but perhaps the problem is your play style. I've won many times as a Cylon without revealing.

In my experience, revealing early isn't a very strong strategy with an experienced group. A group of good human players can plan around a revealed Cylon to mitigate the damage they can potentially cause. Additionally, revealing early allows the humans to know who they can trust - and therefore, to know who they can XO, which is almost always a factor in whether the humans win. If your game group is unable to beat a Cylon who reveals early, then perhaps they're not using XOs to their fullest potential.

I would recommend that you give BSG a try with another group... you might just find that your strategy isn't so bad after all.

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Matthew Saloff
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I agree with Michael A. I usually only find Cylons revealing early to be a good strategy in a group big enough that there are multiple Cylons, so thus there is still at least 1 more Cylon still in hiding.

Gotta keep the humans suspicious of the others.

How many people do you usually play with?
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David F
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The Exodus expansion (Cylon Fleet Board) completely tilted cylon strategy toward revealing early, but Daybreak made it worthwhile again to stay hidden. It's why I prefer playing without the Cylon Fleet Board (if I do, it's with a tacit assumption that cylons will try to have fun instead of gunning for the win).

Instead of playing competitively for a win while being a cylon, go for an EPIC WIN. EPIC WINS only come about if you stay hidden for a long time, subtly sow the seeds, then dump everybody in the Brig / jump the fleet into Lion's Head Nebula / lose 4 morale in a turn etc. Wins are forgotten in tomorrow's news. EPIC WINS reverberate through time and make reputations: "Do you remember that time David jumped the fleet from New Caprica and murdered 4 players + tanked 14 total resources? How about when he mind-frakked the Admiral into saving his life twice?"

And don't forget that if you're a human (which is most of the time), going for the win and having fun are no longer mutually exclusive.
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Joe Reil
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Mattr0polis wrote:
I agree with Michael A. I usually only find Cylons revealing early to be a good strategy in a group big enough that there are multiple Cylons, so thus there is still at least 1 more Cylon still in hiding.


Agreed again, with Michael and Matthew.

Revealing early can look better "on paper" but I don't think it really works out that way in practice a lot of the time. Even if you're not doing significant damage directly with your actions, there is significant value in keeping humanity on edge and from acting together as fully as they need to.

I'll also say that in 5 or 6 player games, with two full Cylons, a revealed and unrevealed Cylon team can work very effectively together, even when the revealed Cylon hasn't figured out exactly who his partner is yet.
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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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As a human I play to win, as a cylon I play for narrow win.
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David F
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Also, EPIC WINS always brighten up a rainy day. I have this page bookmarked

We actually lost afterward due to a bug in the variant, but I never recall it.
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Michael Aldridge
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selwyth wrote:
Also, EPIC WINS always brighten up a rainy day. I have this page bookmarked

We actually lost afterward due to a bug in the variant, but I never recall it.


EPIC WINS are why I play the game. cool Those are talked about for years afterwards.
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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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You mean such a game which is decided on the last crisis/super crisis skill check, with 25+ result the win would go to humans, not passing would give the win to cylons? We won as cylons because they managed only 24.

Edit: Reminded by ackmondual's post: That one game, where as the second player in turn, I got executed on the first player's turn as Cylon President Tory.
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To play devil's cylon's advocate....

The fact that cylon players have the option to reveal early is a GOOD thing. Some people aren't as good in games with hidden traitors. Some people are completely brand new to this thing too. With both factors against them, they're probably better off revealing ASAP. I can tell you for sure that it's even worse when you have a cylon player who tries too hard to stay unrevealed and hidden, ends up helping so much that he's even more of a human than the actual humans themselves, and now in a 5p game, it becomes 1 cylon vs. 4 cylons.

The usual strategy applies... if I have no titles, no great abilities, good reveal power, have used my OPG, may as well reveal. If you're playing against good or perspective player, you're not going to be able to stay hidden for long and sabotage meaningfully. Cut your losses and reveal, rather than doing something outlandish like spending 2 turns to try to escape the Brig, or sending XOs to humans in a feeble attempt to gain their trust to XO you back or get you out of the Brig when they're 99% sure you're a cylon.


I cannot say with absolution that playing as a hidden, lurking cylon should be no more than 50% of the objective. Some games, you just don't get the chance to do that. For other players who also like to win, you're ruining their enjoyment of the game if you cause bickering, while the humans still steamroll to victory. There has to be some balance, with winning still the objective that comes out on top.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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If you think a little more abstractly, the question really isn't even about BSG, but boardgaming in general. The goal of every game is to win. If you don't have fun when you are trying to win, the game sucks. Don't play it.
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Robert Stewart
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rrenaud wrote:
If you think a little more abstractly, the question really isn't even about BSG, but boardgaming in general. The goal of every game is to win. If you don't have fun when you are trying to win, the game sucks. Don't play it.


Nah, the goal of playing a game is to have fun. If the game's well-designed, you should do that by playing to win, but there are games which are worth playing but only if you're not going all-out for the win...
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rmsgrey wrote:
rrenaud wrote:
If you think a little more abstractly, the question really isn't even about BSG, but boardgaming in general. The goal of every game is to win. If you don't have fun when you are trying to win, the game sucks. Don't play it.


Nah, the goal of playing a game is to have fun. If the game's well-designed, you should do that by playing to win, but there are games which are worth playing but only if you're not going all-out for the win...
Problem is, "fun" is differently defined across games, groups, and individuals. For some situations and groups, if you reveal ASAP, then it's akin to a Samurai using a rifle, dishonoring himself, which is synonymous with defeat. Other groups find it distasteful when you had no strong reasons to stay hidden, end up doing a big spike or reveal when instead, you could've revealed and ended the game around 40 minutes to 1hr 20 minutes sooner otherwise. Pick and gauge your groups accordingly.

While we're discussing all board games, this is truly why some groups will never play certain games, while others will.
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Mike Pole
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Thank you for your posts.
 
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Robert Stewart
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Over in Magic: the Gathering, they talk about Timmy, Johnny and Spike:

Timmy plays games to create epic stories - that time the Admiral nuked half a dozen civilians, or Apollo used his CAG miracle to escort every civilian off the board, or the game where humans used FTL at -3 without any modifiers or rerolls and every resource at 1, made the roll, and the next Crisis would have been Riots... Those are why Timmy plays (along with the less epic moments).

Johnny plays to show off how clever he is - he's the guy who picks Apollo so he can AVP in the middle of an Attack Crisis, or spends the whole game on the Engine Room, or tries to deprive humans of Repairs and win through damage, or otherwise goes for the path less traveled or the more complicated option.

Spike is simplest in some ways - he plays to win. He's the guy who reveals early to get as many turns on Caprica/Basestar Bridge as possible, or airlock's the Admiral on the way to New Caprica, and tries to get people to play "optimally" as far as possible...


There's also Vorthos/Melvin - Vorthos is the guy who brings an eyepatch for games where he plays as Saul Tigh, and reads the quotes on Crisis cards; Melvin is the rules-nerd - the guy who knows every rule and ruling, and is more concerned with getting the rules right than with winning or losing...
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Anthony Martins
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Somewhat tangential but on the same note enough to include in this thread...

I'm the kind of player who finds his fun in strategy. The mental task of finding the quickest way for me to get to victory is my idea of a good time. If there's bluffing along the way, even better. I wouldn't have fun playing suboptimally on purpose to try and create some certain play experience (unless I'm storygaming/roleplaying, but that's a different animal and not why I come to boardgames).

I've played this game a few times and mostly loved it. However, I've found some of the expansion pieces to not be fun with that play-style (I'm looking at you, Basestar Bridge).

If I were to buy this game myself, which expansions (and which parts of them), if any, do you think would be the best to create the best play experience without players having to nerf themselves for the sake of fun.

Note: I haven't had the chance to play every part of every expansion (which is why I'm asking).
 
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Robert
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You seem to ba a similar kind of player like Flyboy Connor. This is what he answered to a similar question in another thread.
Flyboy Connor wrote:
This question (or a similar one) is asked very often, and I always give this answer:

Base Game. Just play it until the humans win 60-70% of the time. By that point, you know the best strategies and you might need some variety. But there is no reason to add anything if you are still enjoying the base game. Really, it's the best version of the game. Only thing to add quickly are the following 4 rule changes: (1) Revealed Cylons always hand off their unrevealed loyalty cards immediately to a human player; (2) Quorum Hand limit is 10 cards; (3) Caprica jump icons are processed rather than ignored; and (4) Investigative Committees do not reveal destiny.

Once you are ready for a new expansion, I would suggest Daybreak. Just add everything in except for Earth, which is optional. It does make the game quite a bit harder for the humans, though, but it is the best balanced expansion. I do have the feeling, though, that Daybreak games might often result in brigfests. If that is indeed the case, my enthusiasm for Daybreak will suffer. But for now, I like it.

If Base + Daybreak proves to be too hard on the humans, I suggest adding in Pegasus. That is pretty smooth, and doesn't change the rules too much.

Adding in Exodus should be done with caution, because Exodus can have nasty effects on the gameplay. Some love it, other abhor it. I would definitely not use Exodus with players who are not yet BSG-addicts, because you might turn them off forever.
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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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Quizoid wrote:
do you think would be the best to create the best play experience without players having to nerf themselves for the sake of fun.

Play a Cylon Leader with the Motives from Daybreak, perhaps stacked so that you get at least two Human Allegiance Motives.
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