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Warning: Long Post.

Introduction and My Biases Towards the Fleet Board

I understand people's feelings towards Exodus's CFB and Execution mechanics. However, keep in mind that Daybreak includes neither mechanic. I'm not telling you what is better, although, I will let you know that I definitely prefer my BSG with Exodus and Pegasus out. My suggestion to you is, try the Daybreak expansion on its own.

When Pegasus came out, we got to experience that expansion on its own. For many of us, we had the same opportunity with Exodus. Many of us saw the CFB and never went back. However, Daybreak's mechanics and experiences deserve a fair shake without being bogged down by previous expansions. Give Daybreak a fair shake, and try the full Daybreak experience.

I hope that you have read at least this far, and I hope to see some discussion rather than posts that say: "Not without my fleet board." (PS. 1 Geek Gold to the first person that does.)

Pre-Daybreak

In my opinion, Daybreak was designed to "stand-alone" from all previous expansions. The Daybreak expansion does not expand on any of the previous expansions before it. Instead, Daybreak largely revisits and re-implements nearly all of the modules from Pegasus. On the other hand, Daybreak pretends Exodus never happened.

Pegasus' Treachery Cards are completely redone, and we are given 4 new Cylon Leaders that are not tailored for use for "Hostile" (Cavil) and "Sympathetic" (Caprica 6) agendas. (In Pegasus, Caprica 6 was the best choice when playing a 4 or 6 player game, because you draw a sympathetic agenda. When playing with 5 players, you draw a hostile agenda so Cavil is the better choice. There is however, a small chance you draw a hostile agenda from the sympathetic deck, and vice versa. Leoben, on the other hand, can conform to whichever agenda he is given.)

With Exodus, Daybreak expands on none of the modules introduced by Exodus. Daybreak does not feature executions, and adds Cylon Attack Cards ("CAC") instead of building upon the CFB module--a favorite among many BSG players. Pegasus and Exodus add countless loyalty cards, introducing new reveal powers, penalties for looking at other's player cards (Final Five) and the controversial "+1" Exodus rule.

Altogether, the Pegasus and Exodus ("P+E") expansions added cards to nearly every deck. P+E together add 12 Quorum cards to the Base game's 17. While P+E add 8 Super Crisis cards to the base game's 5. Additionally, P+E add 11 destinations to the base game's 22 destination cards. P+E add 3 new "You are a Cylon" cards, along with new loyalty card mechanisms. Meanwhile, Daybreak adds NOTHING to these decks.

The Problem With Playing with All Expansions is it Dilutes the Decks

Why did Daybreak decide not to add to these decks? We don't know, but I am glad they did not. Aside from how annoying it is to remove expansion content, playing with both P+E expansions has started to dilute the experience. It also introduced problems with balancing the decks.

For example, Food used to be a problem in the base game Crisis Deck. If your food was low it was because the President is probably a Cylon. Now, Food/Water Shortage (8) crisis cards are far and few between when mixed with all of the crisis cards (141!). The Food Shortage cards were important for two reasons, it puts ALOT of suspicion on the President title holder and (if the President is human) keeps the President (especially Roslin) from being helpful in skill checks (because he will act to preserve food and opt to discard cards). This works the same way with the Admiral, if Fuel, Morale or the amount of Raptors is low, it is likely due to the Admiral's decisions. Now that the Crisis deck has become so diluted, the President and Admiral aren't kept in check. Worse yet, players with titles are much stronger since they aren't forced to discard skill cards frequently.

(As an aside, Mutiny cards were added to give players a means of stripping players of their titles, and testing the loyalty of the titleholder. E.g. Is President Roslin really willing to send the Admiral to Sickbay just to preserve her presidency?)

For Super Crisis Cards, P+E added more cards to prevent Revealed Cylons from drawing the Massive Assault CAC. This is a mechanic that I wish had been revisited somewhat by Daybreak, but I'm glad the designers didn't decide to dilute the deck further.

Quorum Cards were diluted to prevent the President from cycling the deck for Arrest Orders. The only way to cycle the deck efficiently is to use the Resignation card. (Discard hand of Quorum Cards, Pass Title to any other player, new President draws the amount of Quorum cards discarded). The problem is many of the new cards are too efficient. E.g. One card gives +1 fuel for -1 food, without a die roll, and is not removed from the game.

P+E's You are Cylon loyalty cards encouraged early reveals. E.g. The "May Make Players Draw Treachery" card encourages one of the Cylon agents to reveal to give treachery to his partner. "Move the Jump Track back two spots" encourages early reveals as well. The Base Game's Cylon Loyalty cards encouraged reveals once you setup the KO punch through sabotaging skill checks. These cards encourage laying low until the time is absolutely right.

The Daybreak Expansion Suffers the Worst From Dilution

Not many BSG players are getting the full-on "Daybreak" experience, because everything has become so diluted. With all expansions (+Fleet Board) added, the Crisis card bloats to 141 cards, of which only 24 of those cards will be Daybreak crisis cards. Daybreak's Crisis cards generally introduce unique pass/fail results, incorporate more skill checks that include piloting, deal out mutiny and treachery cards, as well as provide interesting "Special Rules" for CACs. Diluting the deck can result in only a handful of these cards being resolved each game.

Of 35 Skill cards, only 5 are Daybreak cards.(21 Base Game, 4 Exodus, 5 Pegasus). Many of the Daybreak Cards encourage frequent use and unique strategies, with some exceptions. Daybreak skill cards see less use when added with P+E skill cards. Many of the cards also address and circumvent problems with the base game.

For example, Popular Influence deprives the president of Quorum cards and cycles the Quorum deck faster. Negotiation can potentially save countless civilian ships from raider attacks. Force their hand can force humans to throw away an extra card, provide a Cylon with a (potentially) devastating mutiny card, or give a cylon an excuse to openly sabotage a check "because they had to."

The Install Upgrades card can be used to funnel Blue Engineering cards and provide cover for cylon sabotage. (Doc Cottle serves a similar purpose.) It used to be the case that engineering spikes always brought attention to the 1 or 2 players who happen to draw Blue. With a diluted skill deck, this card will only be seen once or twice, if ever, due to engineering being the least drawn skill card. More than any other deck, engineering suffers the most from dilution.

The Second Chance card is tremendously useful and encourages early and frequent Miracle ability use. The OPGs for the new characters also encourage frequent miracle use. Hot Dog, NuPollo, Hoshi, and Cottle have OPG that are weaker, but that encourages earlier use.

I'm less than impressed with the new piloting cards, pilots are again left without the opportunity to use their piloting cards for sabotage. However, to compensate, Daybreak adds more Crisis Cards that have piloting in the skill check. The Mission cards also include some piloting in skill checks. In some cases, pilots may be able to single-handedly complete missions on their own.

Daybreak Was Designed for Cylon Attack Cards

Ideally, when playing BSG, you want the Crisis Deck to be somewhat predictable. If you have a general idea of the Crisis Deck breakdown, you can plan for what it throws at you. With base game + Daybreak, there are 100 Crisis Cards. (70 Base, 30 Daybreak). Of those Crisis Cards, 16 are CAC. (10 from Base, 6 from Daybreak). This means, that there is roughly a 1/6 chance of a CAC. Therefore, scouting becomes tremendously important.

Thankfully, New Helo is here to save the day. New Helo is an absolute beast if he's on the human side. A human Helo will bury countless attack cards, while a cylon Helo will lie about having Launch Scouts. With CFB, Helo becomes less than impressive. Scouting becomes less important when those numerous 1,2 Strength Launch Scout cards can just be thrown into the engine room.

When playing the Base game, the first half is easy when players are launching scouts frequently. Once the supply of scouts is lost, avoiding CACs becomes enormously difficult. Thankfully, the Raptor specialist card can create new raptors (or destroy raptors, you sneaky cylon). Ultimately, this skill card gives support characters the ability to hurt the human's scout efforts. Raptors become resources no one cares about when playing with the Cylon Fleet board, but Daybreak makes them invaluable and provides a means to earn more of them.

Cottle's OPG is intended for use with non-CFB setups. Cottle's OPG has gotten a lot of bad rap, but its purpose is to ensure that none of the civilian ships on the board are carrying a unique resource. The base game provides 4 unique ships that carry Morale, Fuel, Food and a double Population. Cottle's OPG can remove the risk of-1 fuel/morale/food/ -2population off the board. If it seems certain that a Civilian ship will be lost, XO-ing Cottle can save that ship or more importantly save that unique resource. Alternatively, Cottle can direct players to protect the wrong ship. It is a great ability with the base game, but horrible with the CFB. In the base game, the only characters that can remove Civ ships from the board are Hot Dog and Cottle.

Finally, the biggest reason Daybreak was intended for CAC is the presence of the Demetrius. One of the largest complaints against the base game was the feast or famine nature of the CAC distribution. In other words, when no cylons are present, what is the crew to do? The Demetrius is the answer. In a CFB game, Demetrius must be used in the first half of the game because there will be NO time later once the CFB builds up.

My Recommended Setup - Some Expansion Modules

Base Game + Daybreak (Earth optional)

Add all characters if you wish.

Recommend removing Helena Cain, Cally Tyrol, and Dualla Anastasia from consideration. The reason is that each of these characters has execution in their skill set. I believe execution was not implemented or revised in Daybreak because execution removed intrigue from the game. There is absolutely no way to know for sure who is a Cylon until the Cylons out themselves in this version of the game. Many of the Daybreak expansion modules encourage intrigue: Captain's Cabin funnels mismatched skill cards to players' hands, Cottle can distribute blues amongst the crew, Mutiny forces players to make ambiguous decisions.

Highly recommend removing Tory Foster. With Popular influence she becomes a skill card monster.

If you want, add 3 of the Final five cards: Activate Cylon ships, Examinee goes to Brig, and Damage Galactica. Do not add executions. Do not add any of the Personal Agendas or You are a Cylon cards. Personal Agendas don't work well unless playing with Exodus. You are a Cylon cards from P+E can sometimes encourage early reveals.

You can add some skill cards from previous expansions if you wish, but it can greatly imbalance the game. With all expansions added, there are (4)5 Strength cards, and (1)6 Strength card in EACH DECK. Things will become very swingy if you add all the cards to the game. Also, the fatter the decks are, the more you encourage players to hold onto cards such as Political Prowess, Calculations, Scout for Fuel, and State of Emergency.

In my opinion, many of the skill cards from Pegasus and Exodus are rarely used for their effect and instead are used for swinging skill checks hard in one direction or the other. Example: Preventative Policy (3 cards, Strength 3/4/5!)is rarely used for its effect, but used for spiking or helping skill checks. The same goes for many Reckless cards. 3/4/5 strength skill cards should entice players to use them for their effect (a la Strategic Planning and Investigative Committee), many Pegasus and Exodus skill cards encourage holding onto them for the entire game.

All this being said, keep in mind that Daybreak encourages cylon players to stay unrevealed and sabotage Galactica through subversion and trickery. This is a drastic change from Exodus, where Cylons are encouraged to hit hard early and then command from the Basestar Bridge.

Conclusion

Ultimately, play how you want! But, give Base + Daybreak a try and add things from previous expansions slowly back into the game. We won't learn the strategy for Daybreak unless we go through this process.

In addition, its good to see Base Game characters come back into play. Adama, Tigh, Roslin and others are wonderfully balanced characters that rarely serve on our gaming tables anymore--it's great to have them back!
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I play with all exps whenever possible because
1) my copy's that way and I don't feel like separating out the cards, not even if people offer to help me b/c that takes too much time as well. Only way is unless I hear ahead of time that we want to play with less. Solution, if you want to play with less, bring in your own copy.
2) it's generally harder to play with all exps anyways due to availability of having the copies.


counterpoints I'd like to offer:
Qcards
If you use just Exodus alone, Resignation can cycle through a Qcard deck quickly. However, adding Pegasus' 9 Qcards helps A LOT.

When it's just those 17 Qcards, I would go so far as to limit the Qcard hand to 8 or even 9 instead of the 10.

super crisis cards
Many did not like how Basestar Bridge got "ridonkulous" with the constant damage and -1 on the jump track that could happen (arguments that humans should control things better). However, I point out to many that Massive Assault has all the worst features of BB rolled into one card that a cylon can play at anytime. I've seen enough games where this card has single-handedly won games for the cylons. Complete 180 on game situations. A well played this lets the cylons just take a cruising fleet of Colonial ships and can result in loss right there.

At least Pegasus and Exodus dilute the super crisis card deck to keep that from being abused.

Dcards
I do miss certain Dcards, like Misjump (from Pegasus). Even though it's a 0, a nice way to sneak in civvy ship damage, and roll the dice on antoher Dcard. Lions Head Nebula makes it really dangerous to have a cylon admiral, which I will say was made for the -2 jump reveal power.

reveal powers
Damage also has some timing element too, as you'd want to send as many people to Sickbay as possible. Also with the Sickbay and Brig, as players can be in space or C1 to be effected

Many decry Pegasus as having inferior Treachery, but at least the Treachery reveal power from Pegasus combined with Daybreak Treachery really spices things up.

skill cards
The 0s (regular) in Daybreak unfortunately force yourself to soft reveal if used for harm, which isn't good if you like to stay hidden.

I still enjoy the Exodus 0s ALOT.

Pegasus has redundancies there too... Critical Situation is a self-XO, Calculations lets non-purple folk to affect die rolls, Jury Rigged is a pre-DE. Major Victory gives someone a reason to kill a basestar other than "we're at the start of the jump track". Support The People is a nice infusion of skill cards.

other stuff
Someone pointed out that there are no Exodus crisis cards that knock off Food, so that's a big reason Food doesn't come up as much and has gotten nerfed. However, I will say that Food should still not be a major contention. It still is 'embarrassing' if you lose by Food. It's just that the expansions did make it less of a concern indeed

I really can't go back to base game anymore, so just Day is a good combo of easier to get into vs. having enough variety. If people want the simplicity of the base game, I think we may as well just play something else, like Shadows Over Camelot then.
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Greg Filpus
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Quote:
Thankfully, the Raptor specialist card can create new raptors (or destroy raptors, you sneaky cylon).


Didn't you say in the other thread that an action spent building an Assault Raptor is an action well spent? I'm starting to wonder if you're the Cylon...
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Joseph Cochran
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You call it a problem that Daybreak dilutes the decks. I disagree with the assertion that it's a problem. I think it in fact HELPS the game as it reduces the reliability of Team Human getting a specific card meaning that hidden Cylons can bluff with some reliability, and helps counter the fact that humans could before "almost always" do the staples, giving them a little too much power with experienced players.

Also I don't think that the inclusion of CAC's means anything one way or the other with respect to the CFB: it's not as if it needed anything and (as Treachery and the leader Agendas demonstrate) they were perfectly willing to give love to things that needed it.

I also think that your statement "In my opinion, many of the skill cards from Pegasus and Exodus are rarely used for their effect and instead are used for swinging skill checks hard in one direction or the other." is simply not the case (except for Reckless). Your group may play it that way, but our group uses Preventative Policy for its effect often (to use your example). So that may be just a groupthink thing.
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Kwijiboe
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GregF wrote:
Quote:
Thankfully, the Raptor specialist card can create new raptors (or destroy raptors, you sneaky cylon).


Didn't you say in the other thread that an action spent building an Assault Raptor is an action well spent? I'm starting to wonder if you're the Cylon...


Yes, I did. However! You must strike the right balance. Assault raptors are wonderful, but they reduce the amount of available raptors to risk! Base raptors can be rebuilt with the same card. You're right in that I said its a good option to use the card, although I'd very much like to add an addendum, building ARs reduces humans ability to scout.

I think perhaps you are the Cylon. Because reasons.
 
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Kwijiboe
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jsciv wrote:
You call it a problem that Daybreak dilutes the decks. I disagree with the assertion that it's a problem. I think it in fact HELPS the game as it reduces the reliability of Team Human getting a specific card meaning that hidden Cylons can bluff with some reliability, and helps counter the fact that humans could before "almost always" do the staples, giving them a little too much power with experienced players.

Also I don't think that the inclusion of CAC's means anything one way or the other with respect to the CFB: it's not as if it needed anything and (as Treachery and the leader Agendas demonstrate) they were perfectly willing to give love to things that needed it.

I also think that your statement "In my opinion, many of the skill cards from Pegasus and Exodus are rarely used for their effect and instead are used for swinging skill checks hard in one direction or the other." is simply not the case (except for Reckless). Your group may play it that way, but our group uses Preventative Policy for its effect often (to use your example). So that may be just a groupthink thing.


It's not a problem of which skill cards, it's how frequent you see Daybreak skill cards. Daybreaks cards tie into daybreak mechanics. If you want to really "feel" out the Daybreak expansion, you should remove the other cards.

Also, 4(5)a and 1(6) in each deck does make skill checks extraordinarily swingy.

What I'm advocating is, try out -just- Daybreak. In my mind, it's a brilliant standalone expansion. It renders Pegasus obsolete, and functions better as a hidden role game.
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Robert Manore
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Last night we had a 6p game with base, CFB & CAG, Earth destination, Demetrius & Rebel Basestar, Mutineer & Mutiny deck, Daybreak Colonial One, and Daybreak Cylon Locations. We did not use Assault Raptors nor did we use any cards/characters that referenced Treachery or used Wreckless iconography/text.

Characters were original Baltar, Tigh, Dee, Daybreak Helo, Doc Cottle, and original Apollo.

We actually had a blast! The Mutineer was a human Tigh so that was very interesting and he played 4 Mutineer cards so that he wouldn't go to the Brig. Dee spent all her time post-sleeper on the Demetrius, which kept Baltar on Galactica repairing locations. However, Baltar finally went to C1 to fish for Qcards and Galactica was getting banged up due to Cottle Engineer card restriction. But Dee was able to go through the entire Mission deck.

Since the Mutineer card never changed, the extra Loyalty card due to Exodus included never came out. Also, that card was the second Cylon card. However, the Cylons won, but not because fuel went down to 1. Cottle received his Cylon card post-sleeper and was the only other player playing Mutiny cards. When it came to his final turn, he revealed and got to damage Galactica twice and there were only 2 damage tokens remaining. The humans were at 10 distance and blue (-3) with 8 population left. So if Cottle were human, the humans would have won. But Cylon Cottle had the right Loyalty card at the right time and no one ever suspected him. And did I mention that he's 15-years old?

We had a great time with this set-up and I look forward to doing it again.
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Mark L
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No objection to removing Exodus. Was in the CFB camp for about 2 years and couldn't care less about it now.

Pegasus, however, I think should be kept:
1. The Daybreak Reckless mechanic is fantastic and makes using Reckless cards an actual risky decision;

2. Much-needed dilution of the Quorum deck and the prevention of the cheesy ABF cycle tactic;

3. Pegasus Crisis cards contain a fair number of Food crises, unlike Exodus (and are generally well-designed);

4. Critical Situation and Calculations (and the aforementioned Reckless cards) add a lot to the game from my point of view;

5. Civilian Convoy allows for 1 Fuel 3 Distance miracles;

6. Pegasus itself is a decent addition to the game, even if you don't like execution as a mechanic;

7. Change of Plans doesn't come up as often.

(Also, if you were inclined to reveal early on getting the Treachery reveal from Pegasus, I... question your thought process.)

Finally, Pegasus came with two broken and five great characters. Daybreak comes with five overpowered-but-not-broken characters (Lee, Helo, Zarek, Hoshi, Athena) and the boringness that is Doral. I know which set I'd rather have on the whole.
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Robert Stewart
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Small nit to pick: the standard set of civilians is 6*1-Pop, 2*Decoy, 2*2-Pop, Pop/Morale and Pop/Fuel - no Food ship and two double-Population ships. 12 Population total.
 
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Kevin Walsh
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I disagree that the Engineering deck suffers from too much dilution. The Engineering cards in Pegasus and Exodus are great, much better than Scientific Research, which is frankly weaksauce.

I also disagree that Daybreak has bad Piloting cards. On the contrary, it has the best Piloting cards of any of the expansions.
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I don't think that's the meaning of dilution: the fact is that there is simply no replacement for Repair cards in BSG - therefore, once Repairs are down to 14/35, there is a serious problem of not drawing enough Repairs.

14/35 for Repairs is probably fine for CACs but with the CFB it makes the game terribly difficult for the humans - damage victories are by far the most common with the CFB and the dilution would probably make things worse in that regard.
 
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markino wrote:
I don't think that's the meaning of dilution: the fact is that there is simply no replacement for Repair cards in BSG - therefore, once Repairs are down to 14/35, there is a serious problem of not drawing enough Repairs.

14/35 for Repairs is probably fine for CACs but with the CFB it makes the game terribly difficult for the humans - damage victories are by far the most common with the CFB and the dilution would probably make things worse in that regard.
that's why you use Pegasus
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markino wrote:
damage victories are by far the most common with the CFB and the dilution would probably make things worse in that regard.

We have had zero damage victories after Pegasus and Exodus have been added. Damage is manageable when playing with CFB. You don't escort the last of the civilian ship before the MGB is clear of raiders, right?

(In our games Pegasus appears after the first jump.)
 
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Again, PBF stats. Every PBF game uses a different playgroup, so "playing style" matters far less than your anecdotal evidence with your own playgroup.

You mentioned that you mostly play 4p in the other thread: damage victories are much more common when there are two revealed Cylons working in tandem on the Basestar Bridge.
 
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