“Never give up…never surrender!” -Jason Nesmith, Galaxy Quest.
I just had a solo game today that reminded me why I push through whenever it seems hopeless. I’ve been playing the solo variant because it’s easier to find players that way
I started off as Adama with Gaius Baltar as my assistant. I’d crunched the numbers, and Purple and Green are the most common used in crises and so I figured the 3 green + 2 purple would be a decent plan. I could always use Baltar for engineering or politics (or use locations if applicable) and I had no piloting ability – so why bother with pilot skills?
I started off by moving to Colonial One and grabbing some Quorum Cards, and then by using Baltar’s ability to let me see if he’s a Cylon (I figured if it wasn’t there, I could ignore heavy raiders triggering the cylon reveal check until I hit the midgame). Well…turns out he’s a cylon.
That wasn’t the worst of my luck. For the first several turns, I got nothing but Cylon Attack Cards and cards without jump icons. I think during my first seven or eight turns, the jump track moved once. I had a couple locations damaged, and I’d lost (destroyed) three or four vipers and over half of my civilian ships. Finally, I get a couple jump icons, and I am able to use FTL. Crisis on the FTL activates Heavy Raiders, which reveal Baltar as a Cylon. Good thing I stocked up on repairs before!
The next couple jump cycles were pretty calm. I had bad luck with crises again, a lot of Purple+Red or Purple+Blue or Red+Blue ones, and my resources slowly dwindled. I spent most of the second jump cycle repairing the locations I needed to get my ships back out. I was tempted to send out a CAP, but I figured I was close to a jump anyway, so I didn’t bother. The third jump cycle was devoted to the quorum, and I made good use of the 12.
It was the fourth or fifth jump cycle that I started to get swarmed again. I used my nuke, but of course using your nuke is immediately followed by another CAC. I started off still in the Quorum, using Brute Force to clean out the skies, but soon I had to camp on Communications to kite the Raiders around with the civilian ships. I lost a few, but it wasn’t long before the jump track was on -3 Jump. Except that followed Basestars attacking, which hit the FTL…
I was pretty sure I was a goner. I was low on resources (except fuel), I think I had one viper that wasn’t damaged/destroyed, and those civilian ships were threatened. To make matters worse, I had no repairs and no consolidate power, which meant a minimum of 4 turns to repair and activate it (draw yellow, draw blue, repair, activate). I got lucky with Heavy Raider activations, which kept the damage to a minimum while I repaired the FTL and jumped.
Once again, I was out of the storm. Even better, I got Ragnar Anchorage, and I got half my Vipers plus a Raptor (which I was out of) back. This was the 8th distance, so I was in good shape. Resources were low, but I was still in the running. I used the Quorum to clean up the Centurions that had boarded, and then camped out on Press Room.
Uh oh…two base stars join the fight. I move to weapon’s control and destroy one, but the other takes out weapon’s control and another launches. Crises quickly drop my population down to 1. Raiders are out, so I consolidate my 2 remaining civilian ships and put all my vipers in one spot. The raiders are staggered, so it would take them a while to get there, but I was at Red 1.
I decided not to use the FTL, because I wanted a guaranteed victory. At 1 population, any FTL jump was risky. I use Command to keep my numbers up there while I burn through crises hoping for jump icons. The final crisis pops up. It’s an 8 YG, and I have plenty of both of those colors. I just dump everything in (overshooting it by probably 20) and I win!
1 viper destroyed, 3 vipers damaged
4 raptors destroyed
3 Fuel, 4 Food, 2 Morale, 1 Population
Weapons Array damaged
2 Civilian Ships left
I quoted Galaxy Quest, because as silly as that movie is, that quote is my motto when playing any game. Never give up, never surrender. It’s not over until it’s over, and in this case it was over with a solid victory for me. I was tempted to give up when…
1. I had played several rounds on the first jump with no jump icons, losing about half of both my military and civilian ships.
2. My assistant “revealed” during the turn of the first jump.
3. My FTL was damaged while I was in an absolute crapstorm of Cylon ships.
4. Population was at 1 for a whole jump cycle.
5. I could have given up and let RNG take over by activating FTL on the final jump, but with my luck I would have rolled a 3 or less (I had REALLY bad luck with the dice, for the most part).
Considering how this game started, I’m not sure how I ended up surviving, but this was a fun game, and definitely very close. I also learned that maybe 3 leadership + 2 tactics is a bad card combination for solo play.
I hosted a PBF solo game here on BGG with Pegasus and Exodus expansions....
... however, this game did remind me of several std multiplayer games with the lopsided jump cycles. Certainly makes you make the hard decisions.
It also makes me appreciate the teamwork of actual multiplayer better. In this game, it was very difficult to counter the enemy spacecraft, because getting repairs or evasive maneuvers meant using a location to get politics cards and then using them. There's also the fact that unless there was a skill check, quite often I'd dump a third of my hand after every turn. While player's hands might bleed dry over the course of the game, you usually have a good 20 or so cards (minus one from the cylon) for the first half and 15 or so for the second half. In this game, I'm severely limited in my potential based on the 10-card limit. Plus, there's no XOs, so I'm severely action limited (i.e. repair hangar + repair vipers might mean several turns and discards to get the politics cards, get the repairs, and then repair hangar + viper. Whereas with teamwork, XO a support, repair+repair, and presto!).