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Subject: How do I get better at this game? rss

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Paul Stuko
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I know the title is a bit generic, but I've played this game about half a dozen times, and while I do have a blast playing it, I've always found myself singled out for being a Cylon, whether true or not. I'm a fairly animated person and generally like to have a good time with a game, laughing and so on. This leads people to assume I'm a Cylon. Like my last game, I was singled out as a Cylon in the first few turns through some brilliant use of Skill cards by one of the actual Cylons. What can I do to avoid being in the crosshairs in the future (aside from changing who I am if at all possible)? Is there a secret to being a good human player?
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ThanosIsKing wrote:
I know the title is a bit generic, but I've played this game about half a dozen times, and while I do have a blast playing it, I've always found myself singled out for being a Cylon, whether true or not. I'm a fairly animated person and generally like to have a good time with a game, laughing and so on. This leads people to assume I'm a Cylon. Like my last game, I was singled out as a Cylon in the first few turns through some brilliant use of Skill cards by one of the actual Cylons. What can I do to avoid being in the crosshairs in the future (aside from changing who I am if at all possible)? Is there a secret to being a good human player?


-Avoid spiking with colors that that are unique to you. Towards that purpose, Green is often nice at that
-avoid spiking when only a few have contributed. Cuts down on the # of suspects
-utilize ways to sabotage while keeping the detection low, like LS and burying good crisis cards
-Conslidate Power instead of doing something more useful, and have a spin prepared to defend your actions
-overplay into skill checks to not have cards for later on.


-tell them the pilot's always the cylon, unless you're the pilot
-If you're that type who's too honest and mellow, then be a "dick" every now and then, (sorta) berate others, or throw accusations. Be defensive
-if you're that type who's too paranoid and accusatory, then tone it down
-try to accuse others while sounding like you're still 1 to 5% uncertain. It seems full out accusing someone can appear "too over the top"
-consider changing your tone or mood to throw folks off. There is a bit of acting in games where others try to read you, as well as the stuff you do in game.
-throw extra suspcision at the admiral and president. They can do more harm, so in some ways, it's warranted.
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Adam Lucas
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This question doesn't come up very often. Usually people are asking about how to look human when they're Cylons. If you really are a human then it's a good idea to not start accusing other players. Pointing your fingers at players draws a lot of suspicion, so don't be the one to start that game. Defend yourself if accused and make a sudden move to trap a Cylon when you're 100% sure, but don't wildly make the accusations if you lack proof.
Beyond that, just take actions or make moves that are clearly benefiting the humans. A short list would be:
1) Choose any option that has you discard cards over losing resources.
2) Play an Executive Order to move another player out of Sickbay before their turn starts.
3) Use your Once Per Game ability in a way that helps the humans.
4) Move vipers towards raiders and not into raider spaces.
5) Move supply ships away from raiders. Even if you're moving a decoy closer it looks really suspicious.
6) If you have a sketchy president then force an election that makes a third player the president instead.
7) Play any skill cards as Actions other than Consolidate Power.
8) If you're the President then use your office to play Quorum cards almost as much as you use it to draw cards.
9) If you're the Admiral then let someone else scout the destination deck instead.
10 Remind people of the once per turn abilities when they apply. It's common to forget that all 1's are positive on Adama's turn or that Cally can remove a card from a skill check after the totals have been calculated.

If you can refrain from making accusations and make moves that clearly benefit the humans then the other players won't nail you for being a Cylon as fast as they do now.

I'm kind of in a funny mood right now so some surefire ways to make sure people don't accuse you are to get yourself executed (if you're playing with Pegasus. Exodus to a lesser degree), draw the Sympathizer/Sympathetic Cylon/Mutineer, convince another player to take Baltar and/or Boomer, or hope for a crisis that allows someone else to check your loyalty card.
 
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Robert Stewart
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ThanosIsKing wrote:
I know the title is a bit generic, but I've played this game about half a dozen times, and while I do have a blast playing it, I've always found myself singled out for being a Cylon, whether true or not. I'm a fairly animated person and generally like to have a good time with a game, laughing and so on. This leads people to assume I'm a Cylon. Like my last game, I was singled out as a Cylon in the first few turns through some brilliant use of Skill cards by one of the actual Cylons. What can I do to avoid being in the crosshairs in the future (aside from changing who I am if at all possible)? Is there a secret to being a good human player?


In general, Cylons will play the same way humans would until they're ready to tip their hand - major exceptions being spiking skill checks with cards that could have come from almost anyone, and burying good cards as well as bad ones when they Scout.

This means that it's very hard to do anything a Cylon wouldn't do because the things a Cylon would do are pretty much exactly the things a human would do - unless you get faced with an obvious opportunity which a Cylon would find hard to resist, which generally only happens later in the game, and requires luck, trust from others, or one of a handful of characters with a game-changer OPG - like Helo's Moral Compass or Boomer's Mysterious Intuition (Starbuck and Zarek are the other base game characters whose OPGs can allow humanity to narrowly avoid defeat, though it's rare for either to be usable to seal a Cylon victory)

If you're constantly playing with the same group, and have a reputation for being a Cylon, you're pretty much stuck with it - my local group has a couple of people who are "always" Cylons - and enough good players that the initial accusations aren't taken seriously - if the first turn's Crisis requires you to pick someone to send to the Brig, one of the "Cylons" will be chosen by default, but once there's a reason to suspect someone, the suspect will be picked instead.
 
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Andy B
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ThanosIsKing wrote:
I know the title is a bit generic, but I've played this game about half a dozen times, and while I do have a blast playing it, I've always found myself singled out for being a Cylon, whether true or not. I'm a fairly animated person and generally like to have a good time with a game, laughing and so on. This leads people to assume I'm a Cylon. Like my last game, I was singled out as a Cylon in the first few turns through some brilliant use of Skill cards by one of the actual Cylons. What can I do to avoid being in the crosshairs in the future (aside from changing who I am if at all possible)? Is there a secret to being a good human player?


A great question and one that has nothing to do with the game as such :-)

This game is a pyschological frenzy. The traitor mechanism works so well, that no one feels safe. It seems clear that your fellow gamers are drawing on experience of playing other games with you in a competitive manner. Not exactly atypical.....my gaming mates do the same thing. It's a little like roleplaying, you either play yourself (in one guise or another) or you try and act/roleplay well (thereby seeming more like your character).

To that end, be a little more like your character (if you are Col. Tigh, be mean and harsh :-) ). This leaves your gaming mates with less to go on. Accusing someone can be a double edged sword, working both for and against you, so use it sparingly. You know how to play the mechanics, so just play the character....

I know this answer is a little esoteric, but I have found doing this can really throw people off the scent :-)
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Joe Trigiani
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Executive orders and investigative committees help. XOs to the president, someone in command, or a pilot can all be very helpful as long as you do this at the right time. (Don't give an XO to the president when there are a lot of raiders to deal with). ICs may seem wasteful sometimes but if the fail is really bad or if politics is negative then other players can't really say anything bad about it. This is probably obvious but always play the lower value card when using it for it's text. As a cylon you might want to do the opposite. "Well, I played a 2-XO last turn and didn't draw another." arrrh Works better with expansions since XOs are common.

Overall, cylons will play selfishly. (Not giving up titles/resisting admin checks). Humans may still do the same thing but presleeper it is less likely there is a cylon about. Humans in the brig is bad but not as bad as it is for cylons. If the others suspect you are a cylon and want to throw you in the brig but you're actually human, don't fight them. Humans wasting cards is bad but the more cards you play to try to stop them, the harder they will try to destroy you. You can still help by giving XOs or scouting in the brig. Sometimes it is actually nice to have a turn without a crisis.
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Pieter
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I would say it depends on the group.

If in your group you are always accused of being a Cylon even if you are not, then evidently your group has problems with certain kinds of behaviors which you naturally exhibit. I would say that, since you are accused regardless of whether you are a Cylon, your group is unable to properly interpret behaviors.

I have seen groups like this. A friend of mine often plays with a certain group of people, and they did play BSG but stopped after a while. The reason: everybody was always so paranoid that they all played ineffectively as humans, so that the Cylons always won.

In the end, I think it is not you who should be looking for ways to change your behavior: it is your group which should change its behavior with respect to you. That, or accept that they are often going to take very wrong decisions and therefore probably lose the game as humans.
 
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Robert Stewart
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rmsgrey wrote:
If you're constantly playing with the same group, and have a reputation for being a Cylon, you're pretty much stuck with it - my local group has a couple of people who are "always" Cylons - and enough good players that the initial accusations aren't taken seriously - if the first turn's Crisis requires you to pick someone to send to the Brig, one of the "Cylons" will be chosen by default, but once there's a reason to suspect someone, the suspect will be picked instead.


Entertainingly, when we played for the first time in a while recently, the two "Cylons" turned out to be the Cylons - and won with Morale the only resource above 0.
 
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There is one guy I know who has had literally been given more YAAC cards than not a cylon cards. He's been a cylon every game and drew 2 one of those.

I guess the question is why do people assume you're the cylon? It could be bad judgment on their part or bad teamwork on yours.

Why do they accuse you? What do you do that gets you accused?

How do you respond when accused?

What were the cylon player's role in all this?
 
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skribs15 wrote:
There is one guy I know who has had literally been given more YAAC cards than not a cylon cards. He's been a cylon every game and drew 2 one of those.

I guess the question is why do people assume you're the cylon? It could be bad judgment on their part or bad teamwork on yours.

Why do they accuse you? What do you do that gets you accused?

How do you respond when accused?

What were the cylon player's role in all this?


-If you've been a cylon for so many games, some people just go with that, even though the odds don't necessarily support it (even if the statistics did )
-sometimes, it's always the pilot
-Some folks have a tell. Try to fix it. (Else.. hint.. reveal ASAP!).
-If it's in game, it may be worth conforming if it keeps suspicion off you without hurting you plans too much
-Other times, it has to do with play styles. For example, some folks just plain think RL is always a cylon move

In one game of The Resistance, when someone gets accused of being a spy, he just responses... "Yeah, well fuck you!". Against all logic, sometimes this works :\ And yeah, try not to use that around kids.
 
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My problem has been that I usually teach and "MC" these games, as most players are newer than me. I finally got to be a cylon, but it was at game start. My wife called me out early for being "too quiet" and not talking as much as usual, which was true.

Fortunately, I was trying to lessen my talking to get others to lead more, which helped me explain it, but it was unfortunate coincidence.

I think hidden traitors naturally have an urge to be quieter so as to not draw attention AND not help their opponents. Watch out for that.
 
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Sappington wrote:
My problem has been that I usually teach and "MC" these games, as most players are newer than me. I finally got to be a cylon, but it was at game start. My wife called me out early for being "too quiet" and not talking as much as usual, which was true.

Fortunately, I was trying to lessen my talking to get others to lead more, which helped me explain it, but it was unfortunate coincidence.

I think hidden traitors naturally have an urge to be quieter so as to not draw attention AND not help their opponents. Watch out for that.

This happens to me as well. As the person with the most experience driving the game, trying to let people take over and being less of a rules machine mean people thought I was a Cylon.

And it's annoying when they're right for the wrong reasons.
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Ridel wrote:
Sappington wrote:
My problem has been that I usually teach and "MC" these games, as most players are newer than me. I finally got to be a cylon, but it was at game start. My wife called me out early for being "too quiet" and not talking as much as usual, which was true.

Fortunately, I was trying to lessen my talking to get others to lead more, which helped me explain it, but it was unfortunate coincidence.

I think hidden traitors naturally have an urge to be quieter so as to not draw attention AND not help their opponents. Watch out for that.

This happens to me as well. As the person with the most experience driving the game, trying to let people take over and being less of a rules machine mean people thought I was a Cylon.

And it's annoying when they're right for the wrong reasons.


If you have the expansions, playing a cylon leader when teaching makes it easier. And you give out advice to both cylons and humans without feeling like you're giving "the other team" good advice to beat you.
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The problem is you add a lot of complexity to add cylon leaders. Treachery and its special rules, more skill cards and quorum cards, either peggy and executions or mutiny and assault raptors. That's just the base additions, not including optional modules (and ignoring new destinations and crises). The game is already complex enough as it is for new players, and generally easier for Humans in the base game.

I'd like to see a version 2.0 which includes CLs without all the fluff of the expansions.
 
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skribs15 wrote:
I'd like to see a version 2.0 which includes CLs without all the fluff of the expansions.

The CL Motives depend on there being tools for the Cylon Leader to use to be able to fulfill the motives. With just the base game crisis, locations and skill cards there are very few tools other than not infiltrating and getting lucky in drawing the right crisis cards from New Caprica.

(I can imagine that well, we play a lot of 4-player games with a Cylon Leader, see 100 Plays of Battlestar Galactica.)
 
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skribs15 wrote:
The problem is you add a lot of complexity to add cylon leaders. Treachery and its special rules, more skill cards and quorum cards, either peggy and executions or mutiny and assault raptors. That's just the base additions, not including optional modules (and ignoring new destinations and crises). The game is already complex enough as it is for new players, and generally easier for Humans in the base game.

I'd like to see a version 2.0 which includes CLs without all the fluff of the expansions.


True. But when I teach the game, I usually teach brand new players with all expansions mixed in. You're going to have complexity no matter what. As just one example, adding the CFB removes CAC cards, so that's one thing you don't need to teach due to the expansion. A Kobol run is always best to avoid IN allies, trauma and the Demetrius. I also delay Pegasus showing up until after the first jump for fun and to make the board look a little less daunting when it first starts.

Obviously every group is different, but from my experience I've had newbies come in, feel overwhelmed, but get the mechanics after the first few jumps. Then the second game is a blast.
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JCChrono wrote:
skribs15 wrote:
The problem is you add a lot of complexity to add cylon leaders. Treachery and its special rules, more skill cards and quorum cards, either peggy and executions or mutiny and assault raptors. That's just the base additions, not including optional modules (and ignoring new destinations and crises). The game is already complex enough as it is for new players, and generally easier for Humans in the base game.

I'd like to see a version 2.0 which includes CLs without all the fluff of the expansions.


True. But when I teach the game, I usually teach brand new players with all expansions mixed in. You're going to have complexity no matter what. As just one example, adding the CFB removes CAC cards, so that's one thing you don't need to teach due to the expansion. A Kobol run is always best to avoid IN allies, trauma and the Demetrius. I also delay Pegasus showing up until after the first jump for fun and to make the board look a little less daunting when it first starts.

Obviously every group is different, but from my experience I've had newbies come in, feel overwhelmed, but get the mechanics after the first few jumps. Then the second game is a blast.
I attended a convention where half the games were with all expansions. The heart wants what it wants.
 
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Regarding the CLmotives, obviously a game designed with CLs in mind would have the tools for the motives built in. Most or all of the CL wouldn't work with the base game anyway due to the treachery skill draw.

Regarding other aspects of the expansions, you cannot tell me that the CFB is of equal complexity to CACs. There are a lot more rules that go into it. I think the base game is best about not having to remember specific rules and interractions, where there's core mechanics and then everything is out in front of you.

With Pegasus there is added complexity in who can play treachery, how you damage the ships, and executions.

Exodus makes executions more complex, the CFB is far more involved than CACs.

Daybreak changes treachery and adds mutiny, which I'm sure would result in a brig party for newbies.

I think the base game is the best balanced, especially for new players (expansions tend to fix things that made it easy for team human, because as the humans get better they are more likely to win), and it takes less time to explain and has less rules to ask "how does this work again?"
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First off, did OP ever mention what setup he is using?

Depending on setup, there will usually be a dominant human strategy. Stray too far from that strategy and players will call you a Cylon. In some setups, it is harder to stray from the strategy, yet you can act subversive through the skill check mechanic. So, let us know your setup OP, then we can go from there.

Second, All expansion Battlestar Galactica is not the "full" experience many players advertise it to be. Its a hodgepodge of expansion mechanics that bump into one another, with not one mechanic but the Cylon Fleet Board being represented fully.

Sure, players can and will learn the complexities and rules of all expansion setups. But, in my opinion, it accelerates players past the core experience of the base game. Many players out there have still never even played with CAC cards!

The core experience stomps on the all expansion experience. The options are indeed limited, but due to the limitations the game is easier to process and enjoy for new players. From there, adding new expansions is a cinch. Additionally, players get the chance to fully test out the mechanics when those mechanics are not diluted or overtaken by the other mechanics in the game.

Personally, I think you do players a disservice by introducing them to all expansion BSG. Theres a much better game lurking underneath.
 
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skribs15 wrote:
Regarding the CLmotives, obviously a game designed with CLs in mind would have the tools for the motives built in. Most or all of the CL wouldn't work with the base game anyway due to the treachery skill draw.


Agreed

JCChrono wrote:


If you have the expansions, playing a cylon leader when teaching makes it easier.


skribs15 wrote:

Regarding other aspects of the expansions, you cannot tell me that the CFB is of equal complexity to CACs. There are a lot more rules that go into it. I think the base game is best about not having to remember specific rules and interractions, where there's core mechanics and then everything is out in front of you.


Yes, it is more complex, but not enough that it would traumatize a person accustomed to board games. Did I say they were equal in difficulty?

skribs15 wrote:

With Pegasus there is added complexity in who can play treachery, how you damage the ships, and executions.

Technically, it would be with Daybreak there's treachery cause Daybreak updated those cards.

Damaging ships? That's hard. "Hey, first player, you can pick between two options now. But if this one has all the tokens on it, it goes away forever." Done.

Executions? Yeah, a little messy. But it's not a really common issue, and the rules can be clarified when the issue comes up.

skribs15 wrote:

Exodus makes executions more complex, the CFB is far more involved than CACs.

Daybreak changes treachery and adds mutiny, which I'm sure would result in a brig party for newbies.

Well, since I previously mentioned I teach newbies with all expansions all the time, I will say I have yet to see a newbie group have this problem in about a dozen teaching games. And if it did, guess they learned something.

skribs15 wrote:

I think the base game is the best balanced, especially for new players (expansions tend to fix things that made it easy for team human, because as the humans get better they are more likely to win), and it takes less time to explain and has less rules to ask "how does this work again?"

Well, I tend to believe the base game is pro human cause there's so little going on it's easier to control the chaos. But, that's your opinion versus mine. Also, I'd rather go through one game of "how does this work?" versus teaching a base game, then adding one or two expansion, explaining why Rule X is gone or what this new thing is, etc. Throwing a collection of what the main group you are in likes will better adapt them to your group's style faster. And when they seem comfortable with that, ask if they want to see alternative games.
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Kwijiboe wrote:
First off, did OP ever mention what setup he is using?

Depending on setup, there will usually be a dominant human strategy. Stray too far from that strategy and players will call you a Cylon. In some setups, it is harder to stray from the strategy, yet you can act subversive through the skill check mechanic. So, let us know your setup OP, then we can go from there.

Second, All expansion Battlestar Galactica is not the "full" experience many players advertise it to be. Its a hodgepodge of expansion mechanics that bump into one another, with not one mechanic but the Cylon Fleet Board being represented fully.

Sure, players can and will learn the complexities and rules of all expansion setups. But, in my opinion, it accelerates players past the core experience of the base game. Many players out there have still never even played with CAC cards!

The core experience stomps on the all expansion experience. The options are indeed limited, but due to the limitations the game is easier to process and enjoy for new players. From there, adding new expansions is a cinch. Additionally, players get the chance to fully test out the mechanics when those mechanics are not diluted or overtaken by the other mechanics in the game.

Personally, I think you do players a disservice by introducing them to all expansion BSG. Theres a much better game lurking underneath.

Agree on the bold. It's just my favorite way to play. Although, the CFB does occasionally get left out to bring the CACs back. But I use a houserule to ensure there's no games where the humans never draw any cards.

To be fair, I believe you do not like playing with all expansions together in general, so for your group, I agree that would be bad to teach that way if you yourself dislike it.

I wasn't trying to promote all expansions as the best way to play. I guess what I meant was the game, in my opinion, doesn't get crazy complicated with the extra rules. So, if you throw in your favorite combo, the extra depth probably won't scare them away.

But it is a good idea once they get used to the game to explain what parts of the game are expansions and how the components affect each other. Cause if you have a player that likes BSG but hates mutiny, player a non-Daybreak game with them and see if it's more fun.

Although I will agree that everyone should try out both CAC and CFB at some point. I prefer CFB, but when teaching new people, we will mix the setup up so they can decide their favorite version too. We have a group now that just plays Pegasus, and that makes me shudder.
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Hah. I don't mind Pegasus that much but what they did to the Quorum and Super Crisis dexks are inexcusable. They nuked both to death, which resulted in a hefty nerf to CAC Cylons.

CFB Cylons are not impacted since they rely on neither Skill Cards nor Super Crises to win. The Quorum decks dilution makes it hard for Cylons to access Arrest orders which makes Cylon Presidents incredibly ineffective. Cylon arrest orders forced players to hit up Adm Q and Admin.

Yet, the airlock makes both Adm Q and Admin superfluous since Airlock replaces both locations. The President retained his title in the brig for a reason! Now, players can either leave the President in the brig since drawing an AO is unlikely or they can skip that part with the Airlock.

Pegasus killed what made the Cylon president strong and I don't understand why people don't see that. Additionally, Pegasus' nerf to Super Crises also kills CAC Cylons, but that's easier to see: revealed Cylons can draw more Super Crises, but most of them suck now as a result.

Edit: grr, mobile phone.
 
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Kwijiboe wrote:
Hah. I don't mind Pegasus that much but what they did to the Quorum and Super Crisis dexks are inexcusable. They nuked both to death, which resulted in a hefty nerf to CAC Cylons.

CFB Cylons are not impacted since they rely on neither Skill Cards nor Super Crises to win. The Quorum decks dilution makes it hard for Cylons to access Arrest orders which makes Cylon Presidents incredibly ineffective. Cylon arrest orders forced players to hit up Adm Q and Admin.

Yet, the airlock makes both Adm Q and Admin superfluous since Airlock replaces both locations. The President retained his title in the brig for a reason! Now, players can either leave the President in the brig since drawing an AO is unlikely or they can skip that part with the Airlock.

Pegasus killed what made the Cylon president strong and I don't understand why people don't see that. Additionally, Pegasus' nerf to Super Crises also kills CAC Cylons, but that's easier to see: revealed Cylons can draw more Super Crises, but most of them suck now as a result.

Edit: grr, mobile phone.


Not from my observations... Airlock's too expensive. We'd rather Brig the admiral, and force him to spend an action to reveal.

I've had enough games where since the Qdeck was concentrated, the pres. got nearly all of the XOs. It's like a precursor to what you'd call with the CFB, except, all the actions went to the CAG.

IIRC from another post, you mentioned you can get BSG played once or x2 a week. The rest can only get it played once a month to every 2 or 3 months. If we had to wait for newbies to ramp up to get to all expansions, while newbies are joining in typically with each session, we would probably get to our first expansion in 1.5 years. In a sense, there's nothing wrong with just the base game, but the groups I've played with enjoy all expansions or just Daybreak. If you're not going to play the game you want the way most people would like, then it's not a successful session.

You're not gauranteed to be able to get the full experience anyways. I've seen players who have yet to be a cylon after 10 plays, they purposely choose characters like Baltar or Boomer just to up their odds, and they don't even like them! Folks will try out stuff just b/c it's the new shiny. Someone will activate AQ just to see how it works. Do you think he's the cylon? Probably not, but I'd like to see how it works. They can always true to be the admiral or president with first pick in games with expansions too.
 
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Kwijiboe
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I just think the "variety" and "new shiny" arguments lose ground once you see what happens to diluted decks.

It significantly changes the experience and in my opinion, unfairly weakens the Cylon president. Even the "Unsavory Connections" card is complete BS in my opinion: Add 1 Fuel and draw 2 Treachery.

Why should the President be able to recover a Fuel resource? That really softens the difficulty of the game and gives the President yet another tool to pacify a Cylon Admiral. (The President already has enough tools to pacify a Cylon Admiral in my opinion, the +1 Fuel was one tweak too many).

 
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Kwijiboe wrote:
I just think the "variety" and "new shiny" arguments lose ground once you see what happens to diluted decks.

It significantly changes the experience and in my opinion, unfairly weakens the Cylon president. Even the "Unsavory Connections" card is complete BS in my opinion: Add 1 Fuel and draw 2 Treachery.

Why should the President be able to recover a Fuel resource? That really softens the difficulty of the game and gives the President yet another tool to pacify a Cylon Admiral. (The President already has enough tools to pacify a Cylon Admiral in my opinion, the +1 Fuel was one tweak too many).

[shrug] We could just as easily counter argue "why does the president need to have so much power?". If that were the case, then the game would devolve into who can get the presidency, at the cost of other things. Besides, there should still be some thematic tie-in with the president and all of the resources (I've only seen the entire series once, so I couldn't pluck individual episodes).
 
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