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Subject: Best configuration for each number of players? rss

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Dennis
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To clarify, I' talking less about the optional expansion modules and more about the different ways to balance games of more or less than 5 players.

While I own all the expansions now, I haven't actually played neither Exodus nor Daybreak yet, so I'm interested in the changes they bring up.

Base game only, the sympathizer was quite dull and annoying, so IMHO you were way better off playing the no sympathizer variant.
The Pegasus "symphathizing cylon" was barely better and the CLs, while a neat idea, didn't work too well because of the bad agendas, I think.

How about nowadays?
I've heard good things about both the mutineer as well as the new CL motives and from looking at them, I'm really intrigued.
- How much better is the 4 / 6 player game with them compared to before?
- Does the 5 player game with 1 cylon, 1 cylon leader and the mutineer as advertised in the Daybreak manual work reasonably well, compared to the standard 2 cylons and no fancy business?
- Is the 7-player game better? In Pegasus, it only barely worked with a CL, but with so few turns, the game was usually quite boring for the person playing him.
- Can you add any options to the 3-player game at all or does it only work with 2 humans vs. 1 cylon (if at all)?
- Is there a way to play with 2 cylon leaders without everything breaking down into chaos? How many players should you have in total before attempting such a feat (yeah, I know it's not officially supported, but sounds damn cool)?

And even though it's less important, I'm interested in opinions about the optional additions as well.
Do CFB, Ionian nebula and Earth work equally well for all player numbers?
It seems CFB could be bad in small games that only feature a single pilot if he turns cylon and Earth needs enough players to be able to devote one to the Demetrius.

I'm thankfull for all insights.
 
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With a lot of these games, you only have so many actions available, so...
-Qcards
-draw cards
-scout
-do space stuff
-Brig someone
-get someone out of the Brig
-XO can be mutually exclusive to everything else,
-misc.

... pick and choose a subset of the above, and hope it works.

Pegasus adds using Peggy locations to the options.
Exodus adds a few options with your optional, possible Personal Goals Exodus CFB adds CAG actions/escorting civvies
Daybreak adds Mutiny
Daybreak Earth adds Demetrius

You typically still have the same pool of actions, but even more choices (counterexample, CAG does give you a bonus action), so still got to make the best of your limited actions and turns to get things done.

You're not required to do everything once. True, the CFB does force you to sink some actions not otherwise in consideration, but then at least you don't need to worry about CAC



IMO, and majority of the BGG community, CL Motives are an improvement over Agendas. In even more cases, the CL needs to keep the game going until Sleeper phase (to get 2 more Motives), and then spend a bit more time to work out his plan with his Motives. Also, there are more combinations of goals, which also creates more paths to get there. There are still drawbacks, as the CL can still get Motives that pretty much make him human or cylon. Also, in some cases, the CL will win either way, and can truly play kingmaker. The latter most 2 cases are more rare though.

Mutr. is a roll of the dice too... sometimes it comes out during sleeper, other times, at the start. In both cases, the Mutr. hasn't made much of a difference (and I attest this remembering that the Mutr. draws a Mcard if he had a crisis with a jump icon), while in other cases, quite the opposite. Sometimes, you get more Mcards (Mutiny) going around even without the Mutr.



4p/6p games with Mutr./CL (with Motives) is better than before IMO (although I've had one person in the minority that he'd rather play without either, and just revert to a "no sympathizer" which is really "no Mutr.". However, he's strange and different ). Although it's still part of "cult of the new" to me, I can honestly say I'll still prefer it in the long run. However, I didn't really mind the old CL, Symp-cylon, or even Cylon symp. The game throws on a decent amount of "random" anyways with the die rolls and card draws. Worst come to worst, do no-symp.



I like the options. I don't really have a favorite, but do prefer variety. For every 4 games we play Kobol/Earth, I'd like to do at least one game of NC/IN. However, some of the groups I play with are either dead set with the former, hate the latter, or indifferent, so the former gets played a lot more.
I do find it odd to win an Earth game without using Demetrius, or using very little of it, as there are no other "balancers" in play otherwise. At least when you play with Pegasus and get Peggy, you're required to use Treachery, and a new set of crisis cards.

As for balancing options (more so the non-objective ones like NC, Earth, etc.), you just work with your group's strengths, and adjust for weaknesses. If you lack pilots, then just use Command more and be sure it's always repaired. Even in 5p games, it's not uncommon for pilots to reveal and leave the group in a lurch anyways. If you choose 2 pilots for redundancy, it's nice to take advantage of CAG. However, if there's no other pilot, you make up for that with more repair, yellow, or the "prime colors" green and purple that are more applicable towards skill checks.
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Janne
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RindFisch wrote:
- How much better is the 4 / 6 player game with them compared to before?


Very, very much better, especially with CL.

Quote:
- Does the 5 player game with 1 cylon, 1 cylon leader and the mutineer as advertised in the Daybreak manual work reasonably well, compared to the standard 2 cylons and no fancy business?


It works fine, but 2 cylons & 3 humans is slightly better.

Quote:
- Can you add any options to the 3-player game at all or does it only work with 2 humans vs. 1 cylon (if at all)?
- Is there a way to play with 2 cylon leaders without everything breaking down into chaos? How many players should you have in total before attempting such a feat (yeah, I know it's not officially supported, but sounds damn cool)?


We tried 3p game with 3 CLs, it was fun and interesting experiment.
See here.

Quote:
And even though it's less important, I'm interested in opinions about the optional additions as well.
Do CFB, Ionian nebula and Earth work equally well for all player numbers?
It seems CFB could be bad in small games that only feature a single pilot if he turns cylon and Earth needs enough players to be able to devote one to the Demetrius.


I find Ionian nebula too fiddly with any number of players (it's better than New Caprica but ...). CFB works well and can be worked around (lame basestar on main board), it will frustrate the cylon though (been there).

Earth is somewhat, um, uninteresting. It's basically hunt for the extra 2 distance mission and then it's relatively same as going to Kobol. Granted there are extra options on Demetrius, but overall I don't think it changes the game much.
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Robert Stewart
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With 5 players, CL/Mutineer increases variance and reduces player agency - which is a fancy way of saying that it's more likely that the game will be decided by what cards get dealt rather than by the actions of the players. On the other hand, Pegasus' Agendas did something similar, only more so (particularly when not heading to New Caprica, so having much less control over resources, meaning the CL was also at the mercy of the cards)



As for multiple Cylon Leaders: My instinct would be to count each one as half a Cylon, and allow there to be as few as one conventional "human" player - though with no conventional Cylons, I'd allow infiltrating Cylon Leaders to hold titles.
 
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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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RindFisch wrote:
- How much better is the 4 / 6 player game with them compared to before?
- Does the 5 player game with 1 cylon, 1 cylon leader and the mutineer as advertised in the Daybreak manual work reasonably well, compared to the standard 2 cylons and no fancy business?

We don't need to avoid 4-player games anymore. Our experience with Cylon Leader Agendas were that bad, that we only played with Cylon Leaders a few times. The Motives from Daybreak work well, and I'm eager to get to play Cylon Leader every second or third game. (Or every game, but I like to give other players the change and I like to have titles too.)

Using both CL and Mutineer in a 5-player game is ok, but because the Mutineer can come out quite late in the game, it may not affect the game that much. (But I'm really a proponent of varied games, some games just are different than some others.) The Mutiny cards themselves though, they vary the game much more. In some games cylons (and CL) use Treachery to deal out Mutiny cards, in other games you barely see one Mutiny card drawn and played.

When you first get Daybreak, you may want to play 5-player games with both CL and Mutineer to test both out. You experience with CL and preference then decides if you go 'back' to 2 cylons.

For other player counts, we rather take CL than Mutineer. A big part of that is that you become Mutineer randomly, and then you don't really have any goals other than doing sabotage in a way that still helps humans. Cylon Leader has actual goals to accomplish, and sometimes a big effect on the game play. And it is very satisfying trying to win with both sides for as long as you can, then end the game when you no longer can realistically with with both teams. (We seem to get 2 Human and 2 Cylon allegiance Motives more than some other groups.)

For 7-player games I think that using two Cylon Leaders could work just fine. We have the CL-only game (check the link jhsa provided) to prove that with a bit of house rules to card draws it is possible to have a good game with more than one CL.
 
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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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RindFisch wrote:
Do CFB, Ionian nebula and Earth work equally well for all player numbers?
It seems CFB could be bad in small games that only feature a single pilot if he turns cylon

We always use CFB. It makes the cylon ships actually matter, and makes pilots actually useful. With the base game it is enough to fend them off until you can jump. With CFB you should thin them before jumping, otherwise you might get overwhelmed later in the game and lose to damage or loss of too many civilian ships. You need to spend more actions to escort the civilian ships, but you get the CAG title to give you an action (as long as the CAG is in space). However, it is not a total loss when pilot(s) turn into cylon(s), because you still have Command and Communications (and we have played a Humans-win-game without any pilots).

Final Five cards make checking the loyalties risky, and Personal Goal cards give players some extra things to worry about during the game.

Ionian Nebula gives some variance to the game, but I think it is mainly good for smaller number of players. The allies give extra 'free' abilities that are useful during the game, but do force you to take care of your trauma tokens. Checking the allies for their effects also slows down the game. (And we don't even use the ally tokens, we just mark which locations have an ally with the base game basestar damage tokens.)

New Caprica does really change the gameplay, but the New Caprica phase is just dull, in our experience revealed Cylons can not really do much there (and certain characters as unrevealed Cylons can just grab power and end the game, so they must be executed before ending up on New Caprica).

Perhaps we'll sometime try it again, but I won't hold my breath.

RindFisch wrote:
and Earth needs enough players to be able to devote one to the Demetrius.

Captain's Cabin works better with more players, but with nuHelo and nuApollo it is 'easy' to reach 10 distance even without missions by just scouting the destinations. If you have a good card flow, then it is easier to perform Missions. We need more plays (with various number of players) to make up our mind about Earth.
 
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Dennis
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My first game with all the expansions looks to be a 4player one. Something we've usually avoided before. Glad to hear it's more fun now.
I think I'll try out the new motives as a Cylon Leader.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
 
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