Val Doonican
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I have "inherited" a new copy of BSG and daybreak expansion - which is great as we normally play in a 5 player group and this game seems well suited to that number.

But... our next two meet ups we only have 4 of us and we really want to try this. I am confused with the no sympathiser rules and what the real issue is.

Plus, I have the daybreak expansion which adds Cylon leaders I think 0 but again, does this mean the Cylon is revealed from the start? That just seems at odds with the hidden mechanic?

Sorry for my misunderstandings - I suppose my real question is for the four player games we are going to have, is it best to go vanilla BSG with rules as intended, vanilla BSG with 4 player variant from FFG with reduced figures for Food etc, or Cylon leaders?

Or is there a better alternative for 4 players?

Thanks for any advice.
 
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Kwijiboe
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Did you inherit the rulebooks? Reading them will address your questions regarding Cylon Leaders.

Anywho. If you're playing with 4 players, I'd recommend using the nonsympathizer variant or just implement Daybreak. (Google "no sympathizer variant")

I recommend skipping on your first BSG if you do not have 5players however. Playing with 4 probably will not be a solid experience.
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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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(Daybreak forum would be better place to talk about Cylon Leaders.)

Yes, the Cylon Leader is known from the beginning, and he can Infiltrate to be a human player for all intents and purposes to be able to fulfill his/her Motives. Cylon Leaders have skill sets, they draw from the colors specified in the character sheet. Just read the Cylon Leader rules from the Daybreak rulebook.

We love to play 4-player games with Cylon Leader and Motives (they work better than the Cylon Leader Agendas from Pegasus), but inexperienced players can shoot themselves in their foot by being too aggressive or not aggressive enough. You need 3 of the Motives revealed by the end of the game, two with the correct (winning side) allegiance.

If you are just starting, I suggest to just play with normal starting resources and one cylon against 3 humans. The chances are the humans will still have a hard time winning.
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Val Doonican
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Kwijiboe wrote:
Did you inherit the rulebooks? Reading them will address your questions regarding Cylon Leaders.


They have been sent to me today ... By inherit, I mean a purchase too many!

So it may be best to wait for 5 of us. Shame as we wee keen to get it out. Will look at the variant. Just wondering of best way to go with the four of us.
 
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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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While you're waiting, you can also download the rulebooks from FFG's support pages:
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm...

For your first game, I suggest either
- play with 3 players, have two players play a character as a team
- just play with 4 players without adding the sympathizer card, the first game will be hard enough for humans anyway. You don't need to be worried about balance, you'll probably get many things wrong in the first game anyway. So, after each of the first games, read the rulebook again, perhaps even read other people's rules questions from the rules forum.

Edit: I would not try the Cylon Leader before you have played at least half a dozen, maybe dozen games. 3-player games are also fine while you are learning the game, but you lose a lot of intrigue.
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Carl Bussema
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I agree. If it's really everyone's first game:

Setup the loyalty deck as it says to in the rules, except instead of the "Sympathizer" card, use a normal "You are not a Cylon" card. Do not use Cylon Leaders. Then everyone is fully human or fully Cylon, and you don't have to worry about the more complicated rules.

Until you have played the game at least once, you don't really have a good sense of what's important and how to work together as a team, so the fact that the humans have a slight advantage in numbers won't matter too much.

After your first game, assuming you're playing with the same four players [If your 2nd game is 5 players, just follow all the normal rules in the rulebook, but still don't use Cylon Leaders]:
If the cylons won before distance 7: don't change anything, you still need the practice.
If the cylons won at distance 7+: your humans did OK, a little extra challenge is probably appropriate. Keep the same setup, but lower Food and Population by one each at the start of the game.
If the humans won at any distance: Clearly you're ready to step it up. Use the official "no sympathizer rules," which means: -1 Morale and Food; -2 population to start the game, and a revealed Cylon can draw 3 skill cards on their turn instead of 2.

Don't try to play as a Cylon leader until:
* The humans have won at least once
* AND the Cylons have won at least once
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Val Doonican
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Excellent advice -thank you. I will do as you say and play with one cylon. Really looking forward to it!
 
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Joe Trigiani
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a1bert wrote:
have two players play a character as a team

Bonus points if it's Baltar.
Sympathizer is not great but it is an option. Mutineer and cylon leader in daybreak are more balanced or just official no sympathizer variant.
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Adam Lucas
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There's no point in waiting for your fifth player. My biggest suggestion would be to leave all of the Daybreak stuff out. There are some fun characters, but Daybreak adds a lot of extra rules to keep track of. Playing just the base game favors the humans (in theory) as well, so there's a chance of having a human victory, which is a plus.

Something you can do to help the humans along and give everyone a chance to play a human is to stack the loyalty deck: split the deck in half and shuffle a random You Are A Cylon card into what will become the bottom half of the loyalty deck. That way you can start with a cooperative game and then add all the fun betrayal stuff during the sleeper phase.
 
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ValDoonican wrote:
I have "inherited" a new copy of BSG and daybreak expansion - which is great as we normally play in a 5 player group and this game seems well suited to that number.

But... our next two meet ups we only have 4 of us and we really want to try this. I am confused with the no sympathiser rules and what the real issue is.

4 new ways to play, including the no-sympathizer rules
There is no sympathizer. In a 4p game, it's just 1 cylon vs. 3 humans. The cylon is stronger when revealed since he now draws 3 cards instead of just 2. Also, some of the resources start off at less....

Fuel Food Morale Pop
normal 8 8 10 12
no-symp 8 7 9 10

These changes help compensate for having one less cylon in the game

The issues with no-symp include but aren't limited to:
-extra set of rules to learn, and more things to go wrong. (For example, One person who learned from others modding the game didn't know that if at least resource was in the red, that the player who got the symp card goes to the Brig instead. She thought that the Symp card recipient always becomes a cylon)
-some people didn't like being forced to reveal, or stuck in the brig (even though you can attempt to leave the brig, some games, it won't happen)
-Forced reveal means no OPG, no more titles
-some don't like "gaming" the resources to have to get the sympathizer on their side. You sort of need to game the resources in anticipation that you may become a cylon, but at least these folks would've never bothered with BSG in the first place
-Some don't like being a "crippled cylon" that can't use the Cylon Fleet location nor not getting a super crisis (which in the base game also means not being able to play one)


ValDoonican wrote:
Plus, I have the daybreak expansion which adds Cylon leaders I think 0 but again, does this mean the Cylon is revealed from the start? That just seems at odds with the hidden mechanic?
When you get the Daybreak rulebook, or check out the digital copies below, consult the chart inside the Daybreak rulebook on how to set up the Loyalty card deck. With 4p, core setup will be 5 human cards, 1 cylon card, and the CL deals with 2 Motive cards, NOT Loyalty cards.

Also check out the Loyalty apps for this game for Android and iOS which have die roll references, lines of successions, and how to set up the loyalty deck:
http://appshopper.com/games/battlestar-loyalty-deck
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sethsweep....
base game rulebook

Daybreak rulebook

Official FAQ

Unofficial FAQ here on BGG, most of it supported by official rulings

As for the CL being know from the start, a Cylon Leader acts as a "half human, half cylon" for the purposes of winning the game, and his Motive Cards instead of Loyalty Cards. Unlike the classic human vs. cylon conflicts, when someone is known to be a cylon, you pretty much want to immediately deal with him if you can (unless he's not a threat at the moment). Otherwise, a cylon is ALWAYS out to get the humans.

A CL OTOH... you may not want to deal with him, because if he did one thing to harm you like lose resources, he may still want the humans to win, so that may help out in the long run. IOW, it's not just side A vs. side B, there's also a independent team C


If you ever delve into the other 2 expansions, rulebooks are here, including the support page where all of this is....
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm...

Pegasus rulebook

Exodus rulebook


ValDoonican wrote:
Sorry for my misunderstandings - I suppose my real question is for the four player games we are going to have, is it best to go vanilla BSG with rules as intended, vanilla BSG with 4 player variant from FFG with reduced figures for Food etc, or Cylon leaders?

Or is there a better alternative for 4 players?

Thanks for any advice.
You've pretty much listed all of the official options for 4p.

I'd say go with base game, no-symp. The least amount of rules to worry about. Then again, it is BSG and you'll likely be overwhelmed anyways. If you're not as concerned about that, then 4p with Daybreak with the CL, or Mutineer (yeah, that's the other option) would be my next pic. I'd go with Mutineer over CL since CL also has a lot of rules. The most annoying/fiddly thing about Mutineer is people forget to enforce him drawing a Mutiny card when his crisis has a jump icon (no wonder why the games were so easy )

Do not wait for a 5th player, because there will always be excuses not to play. Some of the ones I've heard include....
-Oh, he'll be here in another 30 minutes, and later on, it turns out something else came up, and if we started sooner, we could've gotten a game in instead
-Let's play Shadows over Camelot instead. It's a way to ease into BSG. While SOC is half of BSG in many attributes, you'll need to relearn a lot of things anyways since the games are different enough to warrant so.
-I can only play 5p

In the last 2 cases, folks have ended up putting off BSG games either indefinitely, or months on end. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. No better time than with 4p.

One concern with 4p is there's only a cylon, that makes for an inferior experience. Posh! When you have newbies, all conventions are thrown out of the window. You run into someone who picks up things even slowly, not very good at deception, and he ends up being the cylon? It's quite possible you're looking at a 4 vs. 1 cylon game... the cylon is too afraid of being caught, doesn't understand some of the rules, that he's effectively a human. You can bet the other cylon won't enjoy that as much, and probably would've been better off being the lone cylon in a 4p game.

And oh... have them watch this video, as it's a nice primer...
 
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Robert Stewart
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It kinda depends on your group whether it's worth playing with 4 players or waiting until you get 5, though most groups where playing 4 player would put them off the game, playing 5 player probably wouldn't be enough to make the difference anyway.

Like ackmondual said, if none of you know the game, you're not going to pick up on the nuances that make 4 player non-Daybreak games inferior anyway, so you're better just playing a few games with whoever turns up to start learning the game - once you've got the basics down, you can start looking at what to add in order to address anything your group has issues with.
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Val Doonican
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Thank you so much for that epic post. Amazing! And appreciated. We will play vanilla BSG, and hopefully have a blast!
 
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