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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Potential CFB + CAC variant? rss

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Jared Parks
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As many have already said, the CFB has some issues that cause bad gameplay. (knowing where they appear, crippled basestar, etc...) However, if you add all of the expansions, the amount of attack cards ratio goes down considerably and you can sometimes have games with hardly any attacks.

With that out of the way, would this solve the issue?


CFB = Cylon Fleet Board
CAC = Cylon Attack Card

Roleplay: The CFB is only one fleet location. There are other Cylon fleets that are unknown.


If a CAC is drawn, deal them out to the main game board as per the core ruleset. The placements must first pull off of the CFB (location of the ships on the CFB doesn't matter...current player chooses unless a revealed cylon player is in play...in which the cylon player chooses). If no cylon ships that match the CAC are on the CFB, then pull them out of the box (they come from the other unknown fleet...see roleplay). If a cylon ship is placed on the main game board in a spot with a civilian ship, have the CAG decide where to push the civilian ship (it's fleeing).

If an activation card is drawn and there are ships on the main board, act it out per the core ruleset.

If an activation card is drawn and there are no ships on the main board, deal them out on the CFB per the CFB ruleset.

Civilian ships still need to be escorted off board after a jump.

After Galactica jumps, Cylon ships are removed from the gameboard and put back into inaction (wherever you put things not currently in use).

What this accomplishes is this:

1. Cylon attacks are still sudden and random. There's no way to "game the CFB" and shut down all cylon attacks. This causes a sense of urgency and removes the "we know exactly what to expect once the cylons attack" feeling.

2. The CFB acts as a slowly building reserve in times of inaction. Since the non-CAC crisis cards heavily outnumber the CAC numbers, and if no CAC show up, the CFB will ultimately trigger and move the forces over. However, if there are CAC popping up, then they "eat up" some of the CFB force. This prevents the CFB from turning into a double-whammy right after a recent CAC.

In essence, it puts a healthy amount of cylon attacks into the game. However, one downside I've noticed is that the CFB "Place a basestar or 3 ships" becomes a big risk for Cylon players as a CAC could "eat up" ships he just placed.



Thoughts?
 
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Joe Trigiani
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Check out endless pursuit in the pbf exodus forums. Most games modded by
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recently use this. It is about the same as your idea but ships are not added using the cfb rules. Also the pursuit track moves back equal to the distance jumped.
 
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Kwijiboe
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As written, your variant makes CAC draws a huge boon to the humans and makes the CFB superfluous.

CACs pulls ships off the CFB and when Galactica jumps, the Cylon ships are taken out of the game. This is problematic.

The CFB is designed to be small attacks that slowly builds up to a massive final battle at the end if the humans did not thin down the fleet.*

*The design is flawed however. The CFB can be easily tamed through meta gaming.

According to your rules:
When a CAC appears, it is pulling off the reserves from the CFB. When Galactica jumps, those ships are removed from the game. The whole point of the CFB is to slowly build up the fleet and punish the humans for running and not fighting.

Essentially, with this variant, the CFB will be gutted whenever CACs occur. (Which is incredibly counterintuitive).

Additionally, the fleet board is designed with high amounts of Cylon ships on the board to get value from the "Damage Galactica if you roll a number less than the amount of raiders on the game board." This option becomes superfluous since it will be incredibly difficult to keep the raider count high.

There's no good variant in my opinion. You either play with CAC or CFB.

If you want to play with CACs, remove the fleet board and all Exodus Crises. This restores the ratios.

If you want to play CFB, I recommend using Exodus Crises only for balance purposes. But, you can go ahead and use all non-CAC Crises.

 
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Jared Parks
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Kwijiboe wrote:
As written, your variant makes CAC draws a huge boon to the humans and makes the CFB superfluous.

CACs pulls ships off the CFB and when Galactica jumps, the Cylon ships are taken out of the game. This is problematic.

The CFB is designed to be small attacks that slowly builds up to a massive final battle at the end if the humans did not thin down the fleet.*

*The design is flawed however. The CFB can be easily tamed through meta gaming.

According to your rules:
When a CAC appears, it is pulling off the reserves from the CFB. When Galactica jumps, those ships are removed from the game. The whole point of the CFB is to slowly build up the fleet and punish the humans for running and not fighting.

Essentially, with this variant, the CFB will be gutted whenever CACs occur. (Which is incredibly counterintuitive).

Additionally, the fleet board is designed with high amounts of Cylon ships on the board to get value from the "Damage Galactica if you roll a number less than the amount of raiders on the game board." This option becomes superfluous since it will be incredibly difficult to keep the raider count high.

There's no good variant in my opinion. You either play with CAC or CFB.

If you want to play with CACs, remove the fleet board and all Exodus Crises. This restores the ratios.

If you want to play CFB, I recommend using Exodus Crises only for balance purposes. But, you can go ahead and use all non-CAC Crises.


Thank you for the feedback.

The CFB being "gutted" is kind of the point. The primary idea behind the variant is that cylon ship combat will come into effect on a balanced basis. It comes from one of two sources: CAC cards (in which the CFB is effectively reduced from a significant hit...the significant hit is already happening with the CAC), or from the CFB built up with a significant force (since no CAC cards were drawn).

Long story short:

- CAC for primary combat...just like the core mechanic.
- CFB for secondary combat when there are so many non-CAC crisis cards and you come across a point of space combat doldrums. This is where the CFB finally tips over and appear on the main game board.



As for the other poster, I'll take a look at that. Thanks!
 
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Star Fox
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I agree with Kwijiboe in that the CFB not being able to build up like it normally does is too pro human.
And it can still be gamed anyway - if pursuit track is high, purposefully wait until it reaches maximum, and the ships move to the main game board. Then jump next turn and all those ships are permanently gone - by your written rules they dont return to the board.

Quote:
If a cylon ship is placed on the main game board in a spot with a civilian ship, have the CAG decide where to push the civilian ship (it's fleeing).

Not really sure why they need that extra rule - probably pro human as well.
...Unless the CAG is a cylon in which case they get a free 'Dee-comms-soft reveal' when the CFB catches up.

 
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Kwijiboe wrote:

There's no good variant in my opinion. You either play with CAC or CFB.
If you want to play with CACs, remove the fleet board and all Exodus Crises. This restores the ratios.


Another suggestion for those who do not want to constantly sort their decks or who want to play CACs with the Exodus Crises:

If playing with CACs treat all cards that read "the CAG decides" as "draw crisis cards until a CAC is revealed, use this as your crisis card for the turn". This makes it slightly more chaotic as scouting will only reveal an incomming attack, but not which one in this case, but should keep CAC ratios more or less as expected.

If playing with the CFB just discard all CACs as soon as they are revealed or drawn (by scouting, ...), replacing them with the next card in line.

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kilrah wrote:

If playing with the CFB just discard all CACs as soon as they are revealed or drawn (by scouting, ...), replacing them with the next card in line.

Yeah, that's what happened recently last time I played as Roslin and I forgot we wernt using them:
I used visions, looked at 2 crisis cards and was like
"Oh damn! I have no choice but to play a bad crisis, and I know you're all going to accuse me of being a cylon but i'm really not!
"You know we arn't playing with CACs right?"
"Oh yeah!"

*Puts both CACs in the discard pile and draws 2 new cards for visions.*

 
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Kwijiboe
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RpTheHotrod wrote:
The CFB being "gutted" is kind of the point. The primary idea behind the variant is that cylon ship combat will come into effect on a balanced basis.


Your proposing a constant trickle of ships, that is unlikely to reach critical mass. Exodus is designed to reach critical mass towards the end of the game. The base game CACs hit critical mass when multiple CACs hit early in the jump cycle or through the use of the Super Crisis card Massive Assault.

That being said, Cylon attacks aren't intended to make the game interesting, they're just putting pressure on the population resource. If attacks are a big enough of a threat the humans will jump at -3, risking leaving behind 25% of their starting population of 12.

Your variant makes FTL usage almost unnecessary and puts virtually no pressure on the population resource. Critical mass is unlikely to occur for two reasons:

1) CACs (and Super Crises) are so diluted that it's unlikely that the cylon ship presence will hit critical mass.

2) Not returning ships to the fleet board positively ensures that the fleet board will never hit critical mass. The point of the fleet board is, at around the time humans would be close to winning, the CFB will have a mess of ships on it.*

*Not guaranteed due to meta gaming and experienced human play.

In my opinion, there is a huge disconnect on these forums regarding the purpose of cylon ship attacks. They're solely intended to put pressure on other resources/end game conditions: namely population, Galactica damage and Boarding Party.

If neither the CACs or CFB are permitted to reach critical mass, an endgame condition on population, Galactica damage and Boarding Party become increasingly unlikely.

Think on why you wish to change how these mechanics work: do you dislike when either no attacks happen or attacks happen too frequently?

You need to consider what would happen if there was a constant stream of manageable attacks. Your variant creates this possibility. Ultimately, the likely outcome is cylons will have little chance of being victorious through population, Galactica damage or boarding track.

All that being said, I don't understand why so many people wish to house rule this game. While I've walked away from many Battlestar games where the attacks were too much or too little, but it never sullied the experience. If anything, it encouraged me and my groups to utilize scouts to mitigate the randomness of the Crisis deck. (Yes, Cylons too!)
 
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Jared Parks
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Good question here, and I'll have an answer.

Many of you are saying that with my variant, cylon attacks will just be a trickle and never reach critical mass.

However, I question why this is the thought. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding in the variant.

The game plays as it normally would with CAC. If CAC causes critical mass, then critical mass hits in my variant.

What the variant does is, as WELL as NORMAL CAC play, if there is a case where CAC cards simply aren't drawn at all, instead of there being absolutely no cylon attacks, the CFB board is slowly filling up and will trigger an attack once the pursuit track reaches the max.


Long story short, this either MAINTAINS normal CAC attacks, or helps RECOVER from a LACK of CAC attacks by spilling over attacks if no CAC cards are drawn by utilizing the CFB. To prevent the humans from getting overwhelmed by cylon attacks from a CAC strike followed by a CFB strike, the CAC cards first take from the CFB. However, the humans could still get overwhelmed regardless in multiple CAC cards being drawn in a row. CAC gameplay is completely untouched by this variant. It's the exact same. It just has a "backup" plan if there are long periods of time when CAC cards just aren't being drawn (kind of a counter to Scouting, now that I think of it).

If you want sheer full force chaos attacks, then by all means, utilize the CFB rules out of the box. However, this variant is to keep CAC in use...but counter the issue if them showing up less often due to the number of non-CAC crisis cards when adding all of the expansions...as well as preventing CFB stale gameplay via meta-gaming.
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Kwijiboe
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The thing is, your variants primary design goal seems to be: use all of the expansions' components. As much as people support mixing everything together, certain problems rear their head as you start to mix things together.

Instead of removing things that are problematic, such as CACs or the CFB, you are proposing adding more things on top of it. That being said:

If you want a tighter distribution of CACs, play Base Game/Daybreak only. It increases the ratio of attack cards from 1:7 to 1:6.25. Exodus brings the ratios to 1:8.3. (The remedy here becomes obvious: remove Exodus when playing with CACs.)

As for fixing the fleet board, I don't think there's a good solution out there. Your solution doesn't fix it, it just adds more room for confusion (Escort rules) and tilts far too pro human.

People love Exodus so much that they don't want to remove any of its components from the game. However, if you remove Exodus completely from your game, the issues you are facing will show up much less frequently.

My remedy was to buy another copy of the Base game. I have a Pegasus/Exodus mixed copy and a Daybreak only copy. I realize going out and buying another base game is not an attractive option, but the amount of mileage I've gotten out of this Board game led me to purchasing another copy: it makes setup for various gameplay setups quick and easy while supporting FFG which hopefully leads to more expansions.
 
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Jared Parks
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That's a good point. I actually have two base game copies already (one being our tabletop host's copy...then mine in which I bought the base game + expansions so we could bring everything at once).

I'll consider removing exodus.

In the meantime, I'm going to present two options to my group:

1. Random cylon attacks...luck of the draw. Potentially a lack of attacks. Surprise attacks.

2. Planned cylon attacks. Potentially entirely nullified. No surprises.

We might just end up sticking with CAC and dealing with a potentially lack of cylon attacks. If, after playtesting a few rounds, we find that the cylon attacks are too few and far between, we'll take out Exodus. Thanks for the feedback.
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Kwijiboe wrote:
If you want a tighter distribution of CACs, play Base Game/Daybreak only. It increases the ratio of attack cards from 1:7 to 1:6.25. Exodus brings the ratios to 1:8.3. (The remedy here becomes obvious: remove Exodus when playing with CACs.)
If you want your cake and eat it too, you can always randomly take out x # of non CAC cards from the deck. Yes, that disrupts the resource losses, briggings, events, etc. However, since you hardly go through even half the deck in a typical game, it shouldn't matter.

Kwijiboe wrote:
As for fixing the fleet board, I don't think there's a good solution out there. Your solution doesn't fix it, it just adds more room for confusion (Escort rules) and tilts far too pro human.

My only fixes for CFB would involve making Cylon Ambush put out 2 basestars instead of 1,
expend 2 fuel instead of just 1
or
move the Pursuit marker to auto-attack.

If playing with Pegasus Treachery, each Broadcast Location also +2 to Pursuit track.

If playing with Day Treachery, +1 Pursuit every time you resolve Dradis Contact when there are 9 or less raiders on the MGB.
 
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ackmondual wrote:
If you want your cake and eat it too, you can always randomly take out x # of non CAC cards from the deck. Yes, that disrupts the resource losses, briggings, events, etc. However, since you hardly go through even half the deck in a typical game, it shouldn't matter.


Exodus cards should be removed entirely. The extra 40 cards are not a problem. I'm curious why people think removing 40 cards randomly solves anything: it actually makes it worse.

Taking cards out randomly disturbs every ratio in the game: resources, ship activations, pres/adm chooses, and Jump prep tokens.

Now then, why remove Exodus cards? Because they are the actual culprits here: the texts on the cards themselves throw off the ratios. E.g. Exodus adds 40 Crises to the deck and targets Food only once. This is the most egregious example, but there exists many other good reasons to go through the deck and remove Exodus Crises.

The remove 40 cards randomly fix only addresses CAC ratios. The important thing to understand is there are other important ratios that should stay intact to have balanced gameplay. Removing Crises randomly can result in varying consequences: there could be a overwhelming or underwhelming amount of jump prep tokens. Making the game easier or harder.

Try it. Remove 40 cards randomly and let me know if the jump prep ratio stays at 57%. It probably won't.
 
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Kwijiboe wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
If you want your cake and eat it too, you can always randomly take out x # of non CAC cards from the deck. Yes, that disrupts the resource losses, briggings, events, etc. However, since you hardly go through even half the deck in a typical game, it shouldn't matter.


Exodus cards should be removed entirely. The extra 40 cards are not a problem. I'm curious why people think removing 40 cards randomly solves anything: it actually makes it worse.

Taking cards out randomly disturbs every ratio in the game: resources, ship activations, pres/adm chooses, and Jump prep tokens.

Now then, why remove Exodus cards? Because they are the actual culprits here: the texts on the cards themselves throw off the ratios. E.g. Exodus adds 40 Crises to the deck and targets Food only once. This is the most egregious example, but there exists many other good reasons to go through the deck and remove Exodus Crises.

The remove 40 cards randomly fix only addresses CAC ratios. The important thing to understand is there are other important ratios that should stay intact to have balanced gameplay. Removing Crises randomly can result in varying consequences: there could be a overwhelming or underwhelming amount of jump prep tokens. Making the game easier or harder.

Try it. Remove 40 cards randomly and let me know if the jump prep ratio stays at 57%. It probably won't.


I have tried it. Several times with one group. Food was perhaps a bit lower in some of the games, while other games, it was about as expected. We still had games with a dearth of jump icons, and other games where humans made better headway. Not unlike with just the base game, base game + Daybreak only, base + Peg, and any other combination. You still get clumping. You have such a huge crisis deck and won't see it all anyways.

There are still plenty of bread and butter cards that go after Morale, Pop, civvies, brigging players. We like having characters and the skill cards. So Food is hit less... each set changes things anyways.
 
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Robert Stewart
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Exodus Crises hit Food less, but State of Emergency hits Food more.

Basestar Bridge makes hitting the Food token easier.

Overall, it's still a shift in balance, but not quite as large as it might seem at first glance.
 
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