Michael Bending
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A friend of mine suggests the following variant:

At the beginning of the game sort the Cylon Leader Motives into Human Allegiance and Cylon Allegiance Piles. At the beginning of the game, give one card from each pile to the Cylon Leader. At the sleeper agent phase, give one card from each pile to the Cylon Leader.

This variant is supposed to make it so that the Cylon Leader gets one of each Allegiance at each phase of the game.

Personally, I dislike the idea because it removes the variability of the Cylon Leader. I'd be more ok with a variant that starts off the same way as the above variant but at sleeper the Cylon Leader is given two random Motives (so no guaranteed allegiance).

Does anyone have any thoughts/feedback on these two variants?
 
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Mindy G
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Yeah, some of us in the Variant PBFs community do the one of each Motive at the start thing. That way the CL can't win pre-sleeper and doesn't know their team. So it's more balanced. I don't like the 2 of each total as that way the CL could win with either team, so they could just always go with the team that appears to be more ahead, So everyone would know what team they are on, removing some of the suspense. I think a random distribution at sleeper is definitely better.
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1183343/cl-motives-anybo...
I've also wanted to hear more about how the game works out if you have 4 Motives of the same Allegiance. Even though 1 in 14 odds isn't impossible, I'm tempted to stack the Motive cards like this, much in the same spirit as this thread.


FWIW, only 5 of the 14 Motive cards can result in a pre-sleeper CL win. Of the times where CL games stood out:
1 time, we thought the CL was too far behind and gave up. Well, his indifference wasn't due to defeat, but due to genuine indifference... he had 2-2, Pop was in the sweet spot for both opposing ones, and the other 2 happened to align, so he was able to shrug off each one of his turns and still win.

1 of the times when the game ended early because the CL got dejected, threw in a Violent Outbursts, send Starbuck to the Brig and causing enough civvies to be destroyed for the loss

Another time, despite how I explicitly mentioned that that you cannot win pre-sleeper unless you have 2 Cylon Allegiances, he tried to end the game ASAP. We had to quit very early, and the fact he had one of each just showed he wasn't paying attention.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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We did this two-stack approach when we played a game with three cylon leaders - Experimental - Cylon Leader battle, but even then it was only for the 2 starting Motives, the ones at sleeper were random. Otherwise we have been simply lucky to not get 4 of the same allegiance, and quite a lot of 2+2 instead. But I would not want to go and make it certain.

(Check my entry of The 100 Play Challenge for easy links to our play logs / session reports. This year "everything" has been documented.)

 
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Pieter
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Having a 3-1 split is MUCH easier than having 4 of the same allegiance. E.g., if you have 3 Cylon Allegiance and one Human Allegiance, you make the Human motive and only need to do two of the Cylon ones. So you can be quite pro-Cylon in the game, you only need to hurt them in two ways, and can help them in one other way. If you have four Cylon Allegiance, you must be pro Human in three ways in order to win.

Maybe a better variant is this:

- If you have 4 Allegiances to one team, you play as per regular.
- If you have a 3-1 split, you have to make the team win of which you have 3 motives, and you must meet all three of them.
- If you have a 2-2 split, at the sleeper agent phase you draw one extra motive. That gives you a 3-2 split, and you have to make the team win of which you have 3 motives, and must meet all three of them.
 
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How we seem to play it: If you have 2-2 split, make the game continue as long as possible (i.e. balance it) while it is possible to fulfill them all. If any is no longer possible, then go with the team that you need to go with to win.
 
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I have tried giving the cylon leader 5 cards instead of 4, and they have to complete all but 1. It was actually quite fun, though quite a lot harder, and it increased the odds of being able to win with both sides (if you got 4 or 5 of one side, it got super hard )
 
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oriecat wrote:
Yeah, some of us in the Variant PBFs community do the one of each Motive at the start thing. That way the CL can't win pre-sleeper and doesn't know their team. So it's more balanced. I don't like the 2 of each total as that way the CL could win with either team, so they could just always go with the team that appears to be more ahead, So everyone would know what team they are on, removing some of the suspense. I think a random distribution at sleeper is definitely better.


Two of the cylon agenda cars cards cannot be won pre-Sleeper since they require a 5 or 7 to achieve. So the odds of being allowed to win pre-sleeper for a CL are (5/14 * 4/13) = .10989, or one in nine games. Personally, I think the agenda for jump prep in blue with no ships has a strong luck element (especially with CAC), and the hold three treachery cards is rough because it requires you to limit your skill check spiking, so I would remove those from the odds as well to say there is a (3/14 * 2/13) or 3.3% of an easy CL win pre-sleeper.

But, looking at the 11% odds since all five cars are plausible, assuming you get those cards, who are your allies? Do you have one or two cylons that will help you achieve this victory pre-sleeper, or did fate make everyone a sleeper agent and you are going to fight for your win on your own? My (our ;-P) group tends to play with bigger groups, so assuming a seven player game with no Boomer or Gaius there is a 22.73% chance you are without any cylon allies (or a 77.27% chance at least one person is on your side). So that means there is just an 8.5% chance of getting at least one ally to take this early win. I would even say this percent should be lowered because some cylons play slow in their sabotage so they wouldn’t be much help. Not to mention a cylon may not care about taking out a resource you need high to win your agendas. So, if a CL can and does win pre-sleeper, I say give them a round of applause. The odds were against them.

As a cylon leader, I wouldn’t want my agendas cards to be semi-known by the other players. If I am forced to draw one from each deck and reveal one pre-sleeper, they all know the allegiance of the other card. Part of the balance mechanic of the cylon leader it is hard to know what they are going to help or sabotage, and any hints to the other players makes them weaker. Now the teams can pick if you win or lose, possibly forcing you to join their side. Example: I’m a cylon that hasn’t revealed. I can tell the CL wants vipers blow up of the “Remove the Threat” agenda (This can be even more apparent if your force the dual allegiance draw and the cylon agenda is already passed). I’m going to repair some vipers in hope they have a 2-2 loyalty split and I forced them to join my side. The best asset a cylon leader can utilize is secrecy and a surprise assault at the right moment.
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