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Subject: Cylon Leader boring to play? rss

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I've played base BSG a few times, last night was our first play of Daybreak (7 player). I took a Cylon Leader (D'Anna), and found the game was a little dull - do others agree?

I started with 1 of each motive, and got an additional 1 of each in the sleeper phase. This meant for the first half I didn't care which side was winning, and in the second half I was still more interested in my own agendas than whichever side won, so I wasn't too interested in what everyone else was doing.

Annoyingly, I achieved 3 of my agendas and not 1 of the Human ones, and the humans won.

Well, I say "I achieved". I didn't think I had much influence over making these happen:
1. Game end, morale
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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I've only ever played a Daybreak CL once - it was a 4-player game, and I had 3 Cylon agendas and 1 Human agenda. That made it clear which team I was playing for, and the poor humans didn't stand a chance (and add to it the fact that I was the most experienced player at the table).
I've also seen one other player play a Daybreak CL - in a play-by-forum game here on BGG. That player got 2 of each agenda, and spent the late game jumping back and forth between the sides, and ultimately the fact that he sided with the humans was what ensured the human victory.

Based on these two games, I feel that CLs are very good and worth playing, and if you have one at the table, the uncertainty about which team they're actually one is delightful. If I'm playing with Daybreak (especially if it's not a 5-player game) and nobody before me has taken a Leader, I will. Because there really should be one at the table.
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xorsyst_uk wrote:
I've played base BSG a few times, last night was our first play of Daybreak (7 player). I took a Cylon Leader (D'Anna), and found the game was a little dull - do others agree?

I started with 1 of each motive, and got an additional 1 of each in the sleeper phase. This meant for the first half I didn't care which side was winning, and in the second half I was still more interested in my own agendas than whichever side won, so I wasn't too interested in what everyone else was doing.

Annoyingly, I achieved 3 of my agendas and not 1 of the Human ones, and the humans won.

Well, I say "I achieved". I didn't think I had much influence over making these happen:
1. Game end, morale


?? can you be more specific as to the 2 Motives you got at the start of the game, and then the other 2 at sleeper phase?

7 Motives say Allegiance: Cylon. 7 of the others say Allegiance: Human. 5 of the 7 Allegiance Cylon ones can be fulfilled pre-sleeper, so it's a 5 out of 14 odds. My views on this are this was done deliberately so that the CL usually needs to prolong the game till sleeper phase. Here, you still want to help ensure that your Motives will be within striking distance when you're dealt 2 more Motive cards.

On the more uncommon situation where you can win pre-sleeper (I've had one game thus far where that was a possibility), it creates a twist of sorts so the humans can't always trust the CL when it's still pre-sleeper.

There are some games where you can literally kick back and relax knowing you've won. I've had one game where the CL had 2/2, and while it seemed like he acted defeated, he was set. However, when he revealed his Motives, the situation wasn't that cushy... population was at 5, and Pop could've dropped below 4 for one them.

.

However, I've seen games where you need to take direct action...

If Food's too high and you need it to be below 4 or less, then you need to damage Gally and hit the Food damage token, or use Caprica to find crisis cards that hit Food.

If you have the Motive that says you need 3 Treachery, then be sure to keep drawing them. Perhaps even infiltrate so you draw it quicker through your Receive Skill Cards step, and effects that dole out Treachery.

If you need to have 1 yellow, purple, and blue, then you'll need to infiltrate, unless you can convince an willing ally to use Captain's Cabin to enable you to draw without infiltrating.

One that requires you to have Mutiny, you need to infiltrate.

.

Long story short, play or observe several games with Motives. You'll find it has a decent variety of approaches.

I generally prefer a CL to Mutineer b/c a CL being a 3rd team doesn't make the situation so black and white. In other words, you can't just say you're either a cylon or human. There are delightful shades of gray. While Mutiny and Mutineer are supposed to add more of that to the game, it still doesn't compare to a CL. Also, you may not always want to execute or brig a CL, whereas with a cylon, that's often the choice if you need to contain him.
 
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Mikhail Kruzhkov
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For me the Daybreak cylon leaders felt like a really good option, much more interesting than the previous cylon leaders variant. I think that maybe you shouldn't play with 7. Aside from the downtime, you really cannot affect the game that much as a cylon leader. We usually play with 5, and with cylon leader we played with 4 - in such a setting you can do so much more!
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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ackmondual wrote:
My views on this are this was done deliberately so that the CL usually needs to prolong the game till sleeper phase.


The CL always needs the game to reach sleeper because they can't win unless they have at least 3 revealed motive cards, and they only have a total of 2 until sleeper, no? (I don't have the rules on hand ATM, but that's what I remember)
 
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ackmondual wrote:

?? can you be more specific as to the 2 Motives you got at the start of the game, and then the other 2 at sleeper phase?


Sure - I started with:
Human: FTL or Admiral's Quarters are damaged
Cylon: At end of game, 3 treachery cards in hand

So, for the first half of the game there didn't seem to be much to actually do to make either of these happen. So, it felt like a waiting game until the sleeper phase and I would know which side I wanted to support, with it being 50/50.

As a regular player, although you may become cylon in the sleeper phase, your odds are fairly low, so you want to try to keep Galactic going. As CL, there's not really an incentive to help or hurt if you have 1 of each motive card, is there?
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I've played as CL (usually Leoben) in 4p games many times (actually, every time if there's still CL available when it's my turn to select a character). I really like Leoben, his movement ability is great for both human and cylon allegiances.

Regarding pre-sleeper strategy with 1vs1 motives, be helpful, but not too much.

I don't know about 6p+ games, since you get less turns. But at least with four it's still fun, even if you're against 3 humans. YMMV.

CL can win before sleeper phase if he has revealed enough motives.
 
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Just notice my original post got truncated

After the sleeper phase, I got these two cards:
Human: At end of game, morale no more than 5
Cylon: Distance more than 5, no centurians on board

I achieved 3 of the cards, which were all really easy. I didn't achieve the damage, which was extremely random as to whether it would happen even with my help.

In the end the Humans won, so I lost. For the second half of the game I was basically playing full Cylon, but I only got about 6 more turns - not enough to do much.

For the other players, although with 7 there was much downtime, they were interested in working out who the cylons were, bluffing, etc. I couldn't usefully take part in that. So I just got a lot of downtime and not much to do, which was fairly dull.

Was I doing something wrong?
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xorsyst_uk wrote:
in the second half I was still more interested in my own agendas than whichever side won, so I wasn't too interested in what everyone else was doing.

You should be very interested in what everyone is doing, because you need help in fulfilling your Motives. Especially in 6+ games (I assume) you have so few actions that you need a lot of help. For example you might try to convince the humans that the fleet has so good population that it does not need to protected as much as fuel. Or that the president can always give Inspirational Speech, so you can spare one morale to save cards.

You certainly need to keep an eye on what happens before sleeper. You don't want any resource to plummet too quickly, but you don't want to be helping too much either.

I love playing CL with Motives, they make 4-player games very interesting. I have for example had complementary Morale and Population Motives in one game - Human and CL Win:
Allegience: Human - Pressure their Leaders (finished, game is over and Morale 5 is or less)
Allegience: Cylon - Subjects for Study (unfinished game is over and population is 4 or more)
Allegience: Human - Learn to Cherish (finished, game is over and population is 6 or less)
Allegience: Cylon - A False Sense of Security (finished, game is over and Morale is 3 or more)
I managed to fulfill 3 of them, which turned me to the Human side.

I hope to try CL in 6+ -player games one of these days, to see how much more difficult it will be.

Yes, you may have done something wrong, because you did not win.

Edit: Btw, if you're interested in reading about various 4-player Cylon Leader games to get some perspective, see the links to logs/session reports from 100 Plays of Battlestar Galactica. The majority of them are with Cylon Leader.
 
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a1bert wrote:
You should be very interested in what everyone is doing, because you need help in fulfilling your Motives. Especially in 6+ games (I assume) you have so few actions that you need a lot of help


But with the motive cards I had, I'm not sure that applies. I can draw 3 cards by myself, and morale was always going to get to 5. The only help I needed was galactica getting damaged, and I'm not sure how I could persuade anyone to help with that!

I'm sure CL could be fun, perhaps with different cards and fewer players, but I really felt like I was just watching the game. Perhaps I should have decided to just be a cylon from the start, and hope to get another cylon motive? But that loses all the fun of making people guess what your motives are.
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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xorsyst_uk wrote:
The only help I needed was galactica getting damaged, and I'm not sure how I could persuade anyone to help with that!


There are choices that result in Galactica being damaged. If you need it damaged, try to persuade the people making those choices to make them and damage it. And, once a location that you don't care about has been damaged, argue that its repairing is a low priority - because that increases the chances of damaging the location you do want next time.
 
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xorsyst_uk wrote:
and morale was always going to get to 5.

It is not a given. (High Morale, Low Fuel)
xorsyst_uk wrote:
I'm sure CL could be fun, perhaps with different cards and fewer players, but I really felt like I was just watching the game.

Perhaps you got the easier Motives, but how was it easy when you ended up losing the game?

My advice is to try it again.

In my first CL game with Motives made the mistake of playing cylonish from the start, which lost me the game, because the other two Motives ended up being Human allegiance.
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TheNameWasTaken wrote:
The CL always needs the game to reach sleeper because they can't win unless they have at least 3 revealed motive cards, and they only have a total of 2 until sleeper, no? (I don't have the rules on hand ATM, but that's what I remember)


No, that's not true. The CL needs to have two revealed that are the same as the winning side, and no more than one unrevealed. This is possible before sleeper if and only if both of the pre-sleeper motives are Cylon win ones, because if the Cylons win that early and they can reveal both, they'll have none unrevealed.
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I wouldn't recommend BSG playing with seven players, even with Daybreak. The Cylon leader works best, IMO, with six (and then with four); there's just too much of a pro-Human bias and too few turns to go around with seven players, four of whom are entirely pro-Human.

That said, as a Cylon leader you not only need to complete Motives, you also need to make sure the correct faction wins. If you're more likely to complete the pro-Cylon Motives, push for a Cylon victory. If you're more likely to complete the pro-Human Motives, push for a Human victory. If neither set of Motives is near achievement, push for a longer, balanced game.

Certainly playing a Cylon leader is very different from the base game as you're largely removed from the accusation and secret identity elements.
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I've played as a CL in 6 and 7 player games and have enjoyed them all. Like Karlis, if nobody has chosen a CL by the time it is my turn to choose, I will choose one unless someone else is dying to try it out.

Having two of each motive doesn't guarantee that you'll coast to a victory. Sure, I've had two of each motive and won, and could have won with either side (because I actively worked for that to happen). But I've also had two of each motive and lost. On one occasion, I could not have won with either side, though I was close - I needed a named location to be damaged.

In both cases, I was busy working my agendas, sometimes helping the humans, sometimes hurting the humans... and it kept BOTH sides on their toes, trying to figure me out!

In my opinion, the new CL motives in Daybreak are very thematic, causing the CLs to act much as they did on the show where you weren't sure what they were going to do next. Absolutely love playing them. robot
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My regular BSG opponents colleagues play with a CL with 4 or 6 players, we prefer to play BSG with 5 players but some players are more willing to play as a CL.

To play a CL well you have to be an experienced and manipulative player, as you have to try to control the game state. Knowing all your tactical choices to achieve your Motives is very important; and at the same time you have to ensure your 'side' wins the overall game.

As a human you must decide when to trust a CL, especially when they are infiltrating and seemingly pro-human. You never know when they will turn and change their tactics.

The CL Motives are much better than the old predictable CL Agendas, but even so we can guess the Motive by the CL's actions and we have been known to negotiate to do such things as not repairing some damaged Vipers to keep the CL happy... assuming that was their Motive rather than just mucking about with the others players heads.

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xorsyst_uk wrote:
ackmondual wrote:

?? can you be more specific as to the 2 Motives you got at the start of the game, and then the other 2 at sleeper phase?


Sure - I started with:
Human: FTL or Admiral's Quarters are damaged
Cylon: At end of game, 3 treachery cards in hand

So, for the first half of the game there didn't seem to be much to actually do to make either of these happen. So, it felt like a waiting game until the sleeper phase and I would know which side I wanted to support, with it being 50/50.

As a regular player, although you may become cylon in the sleeper phase, your odds are fairly low, so you want to try to keep Galactic going. As CL, there's not really an incentive to help or hurt if you have 1 of each motive card, is there?
Pretty much nailed it... However, the mere threat of becoming a cylon has gotten enough players to hold back enough on helping the humans. You don't know if there really are undealt cylon cards, or they're just laying low.

xorsyst_uk wrote:
Just notice my original post got truncated

After the sleeper phase, I got these two cards:
Human: At end of game, morale no more than 5
Cylon: Distance more than 5, no centurians on board

I achieved 3 of the cards, which were all really easy. I didn't achieve the damage, which was extremely random as to whether it would happen even with my help.

In the end the Humans won, so I lost. For the second half of the game I was basically playing full Cylon, but I only got about 6 more turns - not enough to do much.

For the other players, although with 7 there was much downtime, they were interested in working out who the cylons were, bluffing, etc. I couldn't usefully take part in that. So I just got a lot of downtime and not much to do, which was fairly dull.

Was I doing something wrong?


CLs are their own team, so there isn't much teamwork because of that. For the damage one, only thing you could do as activate Basestars, or otherwise damage Gally and hope for either one. AQ is more likely to stay damaged, but FTL Control gets fixed very quickly, so I would reveal that Motive right away when any of them get damaged.

Ditto with the one with the cylon ships or cents on the MGB (also includes ships, not just cents)

Treachery will take 3 turns... 2 turns if you can draw initial seed of skill cards, but then you may want to play some of them to help keep Morale down. As mentioned by someone else, some games, the humans have a glut of Morale, and it's those cases where you'd need to "do the job yourself"
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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Well, I was in a 6-player game of BSG with all expansions yesterday, and, as the most experienced player present, I was the one who took a cylon leader (I took Doral, and only later realized he's the only one among the cylon leaders who must always draw treachery). And it most certainly wasn't boring or anything, I will play Cylon Leaders again, and here's how I did yesterday:

At the start of the game, I got two human-aligned motives. Morale at 5 or less and population at 6 or less. So I immediately knew that it's possible for me to win with the humans, but I'd have to hit morale and population occasionally (it didn't occur to me, as it should have, that in a usual game they would both get low enough by game end to require no special action from me). Well, with the action plan that I had, I mostly played human (though I consistently had low-value cards and couldn't affect skill checks too much). Every now and then, when some morale and population checks came up, I'd spike them (but not all of them) with my treachery, being quite open about it.

By the time sleeper phase came up, both morale and pop were low enough that the human objectives were completed. And my new objectives were both Cylon-aligned - morale at 3 or more, and no centurions at five distance. That last one was piece of cake (not a single centurion showed up during the entire game anyway), but the morale one had me worried, since I had to balance that resource between 3 and 5, which is very much not an easy task. And if my first mistake was not realizing I most likely needn't do anything to complete my human-aligned objectives, then my second one, and far worse, was deciding to push for a cylon victory. My reasoning was that it would be quicker to end the game that way - as population was at about 5 when sleeper hit, it'd be pretty easy to get a population victory. With this (wrong) decision made, I started playing as a fairly open cylon and saboteur, and soon one of the players revealed and started also being a saboteur. The difference being that he didn't care about morale staying up, and when a crucial morale check came up the rest of us (including me) didn't have the cards to pass. And quite soon morale went down to 2, and the president didn't seem to be into making inspirational speeches. Well, that meant I could no longer complete one of my Cylon objectives, thus I could only win with the humans. But that wasn't really a possibility anymore - the revealed cylon decided to push the population down, and he was aided by a few crises that, again, none of us had the cards for, and the cylons won but I got boxed or whatever happens to losing Cylon Leaders.

One significant way how I affected the game was with my treachery spikes - and in the end, the one that makes players shuffle 2 treacheries into the destiny deck got played often enough (by me and the 2 other cylons) that the destiny deck was little more than only treachery. I really should've been more thoughtful about how much to use that card.
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TheNameWasTaken wrote:
By the time sleeper phase came up, both morale and pop were low enough that the human objectives were completed.

I think that was your 'sin'. Not repairing vipers and maybe getting and giving a few Mutiny cards is okay when working towards your other Motives. You do have to see that the dials are going down slowly, but unless sleeper is at 6 distance, it is a bit too soon to have Human-allegiance Motives done by that time. Before sleeper it is more about routing the losses to the unimportant dials than actively sabotaging.

Btw, I was Cavil in yesterday's 4-player game, and he won with the Humans (one of each allegiance Motive before Sleeper, then 2 human ones). I also had both Morale Motives (again), so Morale needed to be from 3 to 5, and Population 6 or less. Morale was 6 for a long time, then a round before the last jump I got to choose to lose one Morale. My fourth Motive required Politics, Tactics and Engineering skill card, I would've needed to go to President's Office to draw Politics to finish it. But I did not need to, because Morale was 5 and Population low enough for the win, so Cavil went to FTL Control and jumped the fleet to victory. It was a late Cylon arrival (by execution), we jumped early often, and had a few lucky moments like heavy raiders activating instead of raiders, otherwise we probably would've lost by Population. (Session report to be written down.)

As I suspected, Cavil's draw of Engineering & Tactics/Treachery is not that wonderful on average, but I did manage to draw 2x Calculations, Build Nuke, and Scout for Fuel, none of which we needed for their effect. And the only time I would've wanted to use Cavil's OPG, I needed the Movement to go to FTL Control to jump the fleet.
 
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