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Subject: Should I even get an expansion? rss

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Alexander McBay
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I've been considering getting an expansion for this great game but they all seem to add something that's a bit broken. I find the base game really balanced, so is it even worth it to purchase an expansion?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Base game is terrific, and I felt the same as you for quite a well. Pegasus and Exodus disrupt the balance of the game a lot and just add too much extra stuff. However, I think Daybreak is just perfect - the new treachery and mutiny mechanics work very well. The major new stuff (cylon leaders and earth destination) is totally optional, but well implemented.
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Mattias Elfström
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I enjoy all the expansions and don't think they are broken in any sense of the word. I would buy them in publishing order and add them to my game in a heartbeat!

Have a look at the Combined Rulebook on the files page for an easy way to play all expansions.

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Kwijiboe
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Base game should last you a good long while. If BSG is hitting your table often enough, consider getting Daybreak. Daybreak is the only expansion that doesn't deviate largely from the base game in my opinion.

Pegasus isn't worth picking up unless you're a completionist: everything in Pegasus has been refined in Daybreak. (It's arguably worth a purchase for the Basestars and perhaps the Pegasus board, but the expansion ultimately detracts from the base game experience rather than adding to it in my opinion.)

I consider Exodus to be a Variant expansion. You either love or hate the changes to the Cylon fleet attack mechanics. If you don't like the changes, it's hard to justify using any of Exodus' remaining components.

So, ultimately. No, you don't need an expansion. But, if you want something more: start with Daybreak. Resist the temptation to go out and buy everything all at once. Start slow and experience each expansion seperately.
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Mattias wrote:


Have a look at the Combined Rulebook on the files page for an easy way to play all expansions.


Fantastic piece of work! I wonder when FFG brings some official stuff on that matter ...
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alexbond45 wrote:
I've been considering getting an expansion for this great game but they all seem to add something that's a bit broken. I find the base game really balanced, so is it even worth it to purchase an expansion?
FWIW, the base game started off with stuff that's broken too, so it's not quite in the clear either.

That said, I'll still play base game. However, it has to be someone else's copy, as even if people offer to fish out cards from expansions from my copy before a game, it's still time that could've gone towards playing the game.
If you haven't already, consider using the following changes that the expansions introduced:
--IC does NOT reveal DD
--a 10 Qcard hand limit (or even 9 or 8 if your group really abuses these)
--if a cylon reveals at distance 6 or less, automatically and as a free action, hand off all unrevealed loyalty cards to one human player.
--4p or 6p games, use FFG's No-Symp variant...
* revealed cylons draw 3 cards of any color (mix and match), they can be the same or different.
* the Cylon Sympathizer is replaced with a YANAC card, or simply treated as a human card if you don't have enough of them
* Morale and Food start at one less (9 and 7 respectively), while Population at 2 less (10 instead of 12)
--You can still use Res. Ship location to swap a new super crisis card
--optionally, add another choice to Human Fleet... you can instead scout the Destination deck OR crisis deck. Bury or top deck that card. Then draw 2 skill cards, they must be different.



I've posted my thoughts on why you should still include Pegasus and Exodus (independent of each other) even with Daybreak below...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1169856/reasons-to-inclu...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1162728/reasons-to-inclu...



Last but not least, when you consider each expansion, some things are more cause for concern, but the frequency ends up making them not as bad in practice.

Pegasus: Peggy just gets destroyed. They don't bother with using any of its locations. Executions are rare in some of my groups despite keeping Peggy afloat. Some of the groups I play with, they hardly bother with Qcards if at all, so adding 9 more of them didn't really change much. Reckless Skill Check can be difficult to explain, but in all fairness, the ones who've been clueless about it even after explaining it thrice were lost long before that anyways :\

Exodus: Many of the modules are optional. Cally has been the biggest source of executions. Skill Check has the bonus of I you do delve into Daybreak (or the other way around), it applies over.

Daybreak: Mutiny changes up the game a lot. However, some games, it hardly gets distributed. Others, it becomes a problem of its own. Adding CL is exciting, but like with Pegasus, it's a lot of new rules to take in (though big picture, not that bad). Mutineer isn't that complex either, but it is a "whole 'nother wall of text" to process.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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PzVIE wrote:
Mattias wrote:


Have a look at the Combined Rulebook on the files page for an easy way to play all expansions.


Fantastic piece of work! I wonder when FFG brings some official stuff on that matter ...

Thanks! I too would love to see an official rulebook covering all expansions.
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Pasi Ojala
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What is your definition of balanced?

Much depends on how your group plays the game. If there are no things that rub you the wrong way, then stay with the base game. Also, balance (with whatever definition) is ultimately linked to the way your group plays the game.

However, I could list a few things that are wrong for our group with just the base game, and different bits from different expansions have really fixed those for us. And what's even better, you can never play multiple games in the same way because there is so much variety in setup and what cards you'll get during the game. Also, with Daybreak and Cylon Leader Motives we can now play with 4 players without the previous drawback of playing with 4.

We have really varied games. If you're interested, see A1bert's Plays of BSG for reports of our latest sessions.

I don't worry about balance that much, you have to work harder if the game is going against you. We love close games, but sometimes Humans have a hard time, and sometimes Cylons have a hard time. But the experience is still what matters, wins and losses are forgotten, it is the games that are remembered.
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Alexander McBay
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My group plays things pretty non-gamey and more thematic

I've never seen the repair horde strategy (or another strategy that Human Fleet has), I'm already planning to HR Human Fleet if someone figured it out to just draw cards and scout.

QHand limit is 10
IC are House Ruled to Pegasus
Pass off loyalty cards Dist 6-7 or more (depends on which group I'm playing with, I have 3).
No symph (I've played it once and never will again (I was sympth(. I introduced it to one group and one of the guys at the table found the rule on it and said "We should have used Sympathizer!" I stood up and said "it will be a COLD DAY IN HELL before I frakking sit through that again" that was that)
-also we don't use reduced resources on no sympathizer variant but do use added cards. If Humans are full blue at sleeper phase then they'll get hit 1 each (2 for pop).
As I said though, my group tends to not "game" it too much.
Boomer and Roslin get picked so damn much.
I pick Adama so damn much ()

My group also tends to talk too much about choices (I feel like playing by Comity hampers the game experience when overdone. Noobs can ask for help though.)

The other thing is I've played it a lot but not...well, A LOT. Apparently base is already stale to some. Lame =|
I think I will go for Daybreak, it seems to add some nice mechanics. (And one of my friends won't shut up about Lampkin)

I'll probably pick up the other 2 for completionist and one of my friends wants to play a campaign-like game (all 4 locations, not against it, just cheap). Pegasus does seem pointless but it adds the CLs that are actually memorable characters (Leoben is my favorite Cylon).

Thanks for the feedback! More opinions is always helpful
 
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alexbond45 wrote:
My group plays things pretty non-gamey and more thematic
My group also tends to talk too much about choices (I feel like playing by Comity hampers the game experience when overdone.

In my opinion, striving thematic/atmosphere/roleplay and making the game interesting for all is talking for adding expansions. You can try the different options, endgames and objectives, then decide what to keep.

I also think you can reduce the playing by comity effect by having more different skill cards, Quorum Cards, destinations, and choices in general even if you don't introduce Personal Goal (from Exodus).

Of course you can try to shift away from it even with the base game by just a player calling for options, then the player deciding. In my mind there is no sense debating the end results of different options, because you don't know what is coming up later. And playing by comity gives less room for cylon sabotage (anything different than the consensus confirming a cylon), with their options to work against humans already quite limited with just the base game.

How do your Cylons play? I'm quite interested about that.
 
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Jason Miceli
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I'm curious - with the Daybreak expansion, are any of you playing a variant where you can do a 7 player game without a CL? I believe original rules stated you could do that with 3 YAC cards in the loyalty deck. I play a lot of 7 player games, and since I do love Daybreak a ton it's been forever since I've played a game with 3 hidden cylons - would be awesome to do that again!
 
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Alexander McBay
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Yeah I guess you're right about the Committee theme thing.
I just dislike over-planning turns and not playing the game. The selling point I use to a lot of potential new players is that "While the game can take a while, everyone is always involved in some way every turn" which ends up not being true when 1-3 people are dominating the decisions.

Cylons play in 3 basic ways
Either they play as a sleeper agent and play human right up till the perfect moment (while still helping cylons)
Play as Cylon but play Human enough to have the trust of at least 1 other Human
or, they can't keep a pokerface, use OPG to screw us, then reveal.

There are other finer points, such as smooth talking which has gotten several people out of the brig, like my Sister who always plays Boomer and always manages to get out (I still protest just letting Boomer out since you never know! She was a Cylon one time and screwed us).

Also, spiking. Guys in my groups aren't the best at it, people tend to play cards in out of order, do cards out of order, which is really starting to piss me off.
Like I said about spiking, some people just can't do it. One time there was a piloting spike and I said "It's gotta be Apollo" but he blamed Boomer and my tendency to never be trustworthy in any boardgame won the trust of Apollo who proceeded to Shoot me, Admiral Adama, and send me to sickbay with his reveal.

So yeah. Once Cylons are revealed they tend to play Super Crisis ASAP and then sit at Caprica/Cylon Fleet

 
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Robert Stewart
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jasonmiceli wrote:
I'm curious - with the Daybreak expansion, are any of you playing a variant where you can do a 7 player game without a CL? I believe original rules stated you could do that with 3 YAC cards in the loyalty deck. I play a lot of 7 player games, and since I do love Daybreak a ton it's been forever since I've played a game with 3 hidden cylons - would be awesome to do that again!


I don't think that's ever been an official option - there are balance issues if the Cylons end up seated together - it's not easy to defend against a triple-Raider activation, and the threat of a triple-Heavy means that any Centurion on board needs to be killed before the next Cylon turns, or a Heavy activation on the last Crisis is game over.
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I think the biggest potential issue with 3 cylons is the swingyness of the game depending on whether all of them are dealt pre- or post-sleeper. I would thus suggest stacking the loyalty deck somehow to guarantee some medium distribution instead of the two extremes.

Personally I/jhsa are more eager playing Cylon Leaders with Motives and thinking about the possibility of using more than one CL in a 7-player game (if we ever get a 7-player game). We have already played a game with only cylon leaders (Experimental - Cylon Leader battle), and it was a good experience.
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Kwijiboe wrote:
Base game should last you a good long while. If BSG is hitting your table often enough, consider getting Daybreak. Daybreak is the only expansion that doesn't deviate largely from the base game in my opinion.

Pegasus isn't worth picking up unless you're a completionist: everything in Pegasus has been refined in Daybreak. (It's arguably worth a purchase for the Basestars and perhaps the Pegasus board, but the expansion ultimately detracts from the base game experience rather than adding to it in my opinion.)

I consider Exodus to be a Variant expansion. You either love or hate the changes to the Cylon fleet attack mechanics. If you don't like the changes, it's hard to justify using any of Exodus' remaining components.

So, ultimately. No, you don't need an expansion. But, if you want something more: start with Daybreak. Resist the temptation to go out and buy everything all at once. Start slow and experience each expansion seperately.


This sounds like the conventional wisdom I am hearing from people who play this a lot. I have played maybe 8 games total. Half base, half with first 2 expansions, and I can say it is a lot of options and rules to throw at people - especially starting out. I would recommend just enjoying the base at first, what I did at first was use most of the characters from the expansions (Daybreak was not available at the time) but otherwise completely the original game. My group wanted to have access to their personal favorites.

The original should last you a while and I would still love to just play it by itself. I just have no self control, love board games, and am a completionist with any game I remotely enjoy.
 
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Maybe it is just the way I look at buying games, but if I have a game and it plays great, even after many plays, I look at the expansions but frequently conclude I don't need them. Unless it adds something I am missing I skip them.

On the other hand if I play a game a lot and I notice certain parts get stale, or I am tired of reading the same cards, then I look at the expansions to see if they help with this problem.

For a few examples for me:
Cosmic Encounter is a fun game with quite a bit of variability in the base game box. For the frequency I get to play I don't find much benefit from getting an expansion right now. (If I find one at a bargain maybe I would reconsider.)

Eldrich Horror is a fun game but I am already sick of seeing the same cards. I won't even debate getting the expansion.

If you play BSG more than once a month I think it is likely you will get bored of the base game. If you play only a few times a year you may not get to that point. I have the expansions and agree Daybreak is the best if you only get one, but I don't think expansions are necessary to enjoy the game.
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jasonmiceli wrote:
I'm curious - with the Daybreak expansion, are any of you playing a variant where you can do a 7 player game without a CL? I believe original rules stated you could do that with 3 YAC cards in the loyalty deck. I play a lot of 7 player games, and since I do love Daybreak a ton it's been forever since I've played a game with 3 hidden cylons - would be awesome to do that again!
With Daybreak, there was never any official variant in a 7p game without a CL. You should use both Mutr. and CL.

The old train of thought was the game/crisis system counted as a cylon player since it was trying to kill them. Then it's just straight math with humans vs. the actual cylons, so...
3p game: 2 humans vs. 1 + 1 cylons
5p game: 3 humans vs. 2 + 1 cylons

With 4p and 6p: Cylon Symp doesn't go along way towards balancing it. And due to the above, that's why 4p and 6p required a sort of "odd man out" to balance things.

7p game: 4 humans vs. 3 + 1 cylons... the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts, and it's REALLY hard for 4 humans to deal with 3 cylon turns per round (seated together or not), not to mention 3 super crisis cards. At minimum, you'd need a way to stack the odds better for humans, such as at most 1 pre-sleeper cylon if even that, and perhaps even up the starting resources. Or give them a freebie resource... whichever resource goes to 0 or less, it gets bumped back +1. Next time a rsrc is lost, then it's game over. Did a short geeklist entry below. You really do need some of the players to be half and half.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/153279/item/2511687#it...

alexbond45 wrote:

No symph (I've played it once and never will again (I was sympth(. I introduced it to one group and one of the guys at the table found the rule on it and said "We should have used Sympathizer!" I stood up and said "it will be a COLD DAY IN HELL before I frakking sit through that again" that was that)

-also we don't use reduced resources on no sympathizer variant but do use added cards. If Humans are full blue at sleeper phase then they'll get hit 1 each (2 for pop).
?? The 2nd paragraph forces you to STILL game the system by ensuring one resource deliberately goes down to red, which was one of the hated aspects of the Cylon Symp. Was this not a concern for your group, and more so being forced into the sympathizer role?
 
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Update - I played with Pegasus and Exodus Expansions yesterday as CL Leoben. We played to NC with CFB, The Loyalty Cards with the agenda on them, a Single Final Five Card, and the usual Cylon. There were 4 of us.

I gotta say the CL mechanic is a MUCH improved variant over the Sympathizer mechanic, though the Agendas suck (After seeing the stuff on BGG, I took out the "Join the Colonials Card" so that the game was a bit more balanced.)
I got the "Have Every Resource at 3 or less, this was fun but very difficult. I played a lot of the game spiking checks to bring down resources and passing checks we needed to pass. The Humans had no idea WHICH side was on, and one jump away from NC the Cylon revealed and made us all draw treachery cards (What a crappy reveal power). The resources were too high, so I also turned Cylon and played NC as a Cylon character, reducing Food to 2, Fuel to 3, Morale to 2, and began driving down Population until eventually it was at 5, once Galactica came I began helping the Humans a bit and then turned Cylon and tried to destroy the last 2 ships. They were both 2 pop and pop was at 1 but all Civvies were in orbit. Galactica jumped next turn and Humans and Leoben Won. Very eventful!

Unfortunately, a lot of Exodus and Pegasus Mechanics were rubbish, I heavily disliked CFB (Too many ships! I also dislike that feeling of tension you lose when not using CACs, we all agreed. I know its a split debate but Im siding with CACs here), The extra loyalties were also rubbish. Pegasus was actually REALLY cool as an extra board and NC was fun (BUT WHAT THE HELL THE MORALE HITS LIKE SHIIIIIIIIIT MAN). Ultimately, I would buy Pegasus IF I HAD Daybreak (Because the loyalty cards for CL seem better) for the Peggy Board and the 3 CLs it adds (Because who the hell cares about No 3, 4, 5, or Athena? SERIOUSLY!! Leoben is the Cylon Gods dammit!)

So, I plan on buying Daybreak in the future, one day Pegasus but I'll let my friend bring it for the boards and characters.
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alexbond45 wrote:
I gotta say the CL mechanic is a MUCH improved variant over the Sympathizer mechanic, though the Agendas suck

You should try the Daybreak Cylon Leader Motives. They actually rock. The Agendas were too swingy for us, but Motives may actually make 4-player games my favorite.
 
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Robert Stewart
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If you're playing to New Caprica, you should leave Join the Colonials in.

I played a New Cap game with variant Agendas as Caprica Six, and satisfied the secondary conditions of every Agenda (official and variant) except JtC, which I would have found difficult since the humans didn't have time to let me out of Detention (and couldn't afford to lock actual humans up without risking a Morale defeat).

Join the Colonials is anything but balanced normally, but in a New Cap game, it's actually a reasonable challenge.
 
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rmsgrey wrote:
If you're playing to New Caprica, you should leave Join the Colonials in.

I played a New Cap game with variant Agendas as Caprica Six, and satisfied the secondary conditions of every Agenda (official and variant) except JtC, which I would have found difficult since the humans didn't have time to let me out of Detention (and couldn't afford to lock actual humans up without risking a Morale defeat).

Join the Colonials is anything but balanced normally, but in a New Cap game, it's actually a reasonable challenge.

Yeah, a lot of people missed that you need to be off NC when the fleet makes the final jump since you're considered human while infiltrating and thus, will be executed and no longer infiltrating.
humans win + You are Infiltrating and not in the "Brig" or "Detention."

Non-NC, this one could've used another bullet point or two, like Morale is 4 or less and pop is 5 or less OR morale's 2 or less or pop's 3 or less.

Otherwise, it's like the more uncommon case with Motives where you get 2 and 2 Allegiances and are able to coast for the rest of the game due to being covered either way.
 
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