Chris Person
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With Daybreak, there are many combinations for playing with cylon leaders/mutineer. Are there "Optimal" Ways to play with certain amounts of players? I'm assuming here that Mutineer is ALWAYS better than Sympathizer or Sympathetic Cylon. keep in mind we play with pegasus and not Exodus. When we do get Exodus we will likely not usepersonal goals and the +1 loyalty card, using only Cylon Fleet and occasionally using the Ionian Nebula.

3 Player- No Choice to use either

4 Player- Either Cylon leader OR Mutineer. Which one is best?

5 Player- Either Both or Neither. I'm going to assume Neither is the best choice, considering the 5 player game is considered the most "pure" version of the game and th ebest balanced.

6 Player- Either Cylon leader OR Mutineer. Which one is best?

7 Player- No Choice. Must use both.
 
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Kwijiboe
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The right answer is "it depends."

If you have a Cylon Leader, the Cylon Leader is forced on team human for at least the first half of the game. The reason that is the case, is he CL needs to reach the sleeper phase of the game to get the rest of his motive cards (a CL needs to resolve 3 motive cards to win). Now, depending on the Motive card draw-the CL will be hostile or sympathetic. In Pegasus, you knew with a high amount of certainty whether the CL was sympathetic or hostile depending on the amount of players. In Daybreak, a Cylon player may be going solo against 2 human players and the CL. Not necessarily balanced, but it lends itself to some interesting gameplay.

Altogether though, I find playing as/with a CL to be boring. The CL player is removed from the intrigue, and the other players can choose to completely ignore the CL. It depends on your group though.

The Mutineer option is "okay" but I think it is not entirely effective at balancing the game. If the mutineer player gets lucky and never draws mutiny cards, the mutineer player is not having his actions eaten. If it's a human player, that's horrible for game balance purposes. If it's a Cylon player, it's less of an issue. The whole point of the mutineer is to balance the amount of human actions vs. Cylon actions. If humans aren't having their actions eaten up by mutiny cards, the game becomes less balanced. So, the mutineer being balanced depends on the distribution of treachery cards and crisis card jump prep icons.

Due to the randomness, the no sympathizer variant is most optimal, but I think the mutineer is a fun, original option. I recommend it over the Cylon Leader, sympathiser or sympathetic Cylon variants.
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Pasi Ojala
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Kwijiboe wrote:
(a CL needs to resolve 3 motive cards to win)

A CL needs to have maximum of one Motive unrevealed and two Motives with the same allegiance as the winning side.

In theory there is a very slight chance of winning pre-sleeper (revealing both Motives with Cylon allegiance), in practice you have to be able to reveal 3 Motives, two with the same allegiance as the winning side.

To the original question: 4-player games with CL are more predictable, Mutineer can have varying impact in the game (sometimes large and sometimes nothing). You also can not control who becomes the Mutineer, and when, while Cylon Leader is a choice. We find that the Daybreak Motives really make the Cylon Leaders playable and fun/intriguing/hard. But it does seem that our CL's get 2 Human and 2 Cylon allegiance motives more often than some other groups.

Playing Cylon Leaders need some experience, because your tools are limited as CL, for example you can't hold titles, and you might need to waste actions moving between human and cylon fleets.

When we first got Daybreak we used to play 5-player games with both Cylon Leader and Mutineer, but I think you should stick to 2 cylons for 5-player games. Use CL for 4- and 6-player games, although a 6-player game will present harder challenge for the CL due to reduced number of actions during the game. But you don't need to force anyone to pick a Cylon Leader. If no-one picks CL, then the makeup of the loyalty deck naturally falls back using a Mutineer instead.

We also played a special 3-player game with only Cylon Leaders, and it was quite interesting. See the Sessions Forum.
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Kwijiboe
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Rereading everything, I suppose we should have asked OP to define "optimal"?

 
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Pasi Ojala
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Optimal to whom? For us (meaning our group), certainly! whistle

 
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Paul W
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Neither is the best choice for 5 player...2 cylons is just much better than 1. For 4 or 6...if you've got inexperienced players, I'd use the mutineer, simply because it adds less complexity and requires less familiarity with the game to work well. If you've got experienced players...they both work well. I use either depending on the what the group feels like doing that particular play session.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Even if the cylon leader needed 3 objectives to win, the humans don't really need help to get to the sleeper phase.
Best cylon leader play is push your motives hard pre-sleeper and ignore everything else (you don't know how hard post sleeper motives will be, or which team you want to side with)
 
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Pasi Ojala
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Even if the cylon leader needed 3 objectives to win, the humans don't really need help to get to the sleeper phase.
Best cylon leader play is push your motives hard pre-sleeper and ignore everything else (you don't know how hard post sleeper motives will be, or which team you want to side with)

Obviously you have not received complementary Motives and need to have Morale 3 or above and Population 4 or above for Cylon allegiance and Morale 5 or below and Population 6 or below for Human allegiance. If a Cylon Leader starts dropping resources pre-sleeper instead of protecting them somewhat (so they do not go down too quickly), they easily end up giving the game to Cylons and losing in the process themselves. Been there, done that once. Never again.

After all, you need to satisfy 3 of the Motives, not just the ones that match the allegiance of the winning side.
 
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Chris Person
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Thanks for the input folks. I was really looking to see if there was a strong concensus for one over the other and it doesn't really seem like there is one except for 5 player games.

Looks like the plan will be to not use either in 5 player games. In 4 or 6 player games we will just allow someone to play a CL if they want, and if no one chooses one we just throw mutineer in there.

Thanks Again
 
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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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See also: Best configuration for each number of players?.
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