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Subject: Number of Support Characters? rss

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Horatio Q
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The recent thread on has got me working on a script to generate random characters, and I realised that the character selection rules regarding support characters haven't changed with any expansion (unless I've missed it, which is what this post is largely about). To paraphrase the original rules:

Quote:
When selecting a character, the number of political, military or pilots should not exceed the number of political, military or pilots already chosen by more than 1.

Phrasing it like that, we don't have to worry about counting remaining characters and taking alternative versions into account. It also says
Quote:
This restriction does not apply to support characters, who may be chosen at any time.

This made a lot more sense when there were no expansions and only one support character than now when there are three expansions and five support characters since, in principle, you could have all five in one game. So my main question is: has this been changed in a subsequent ruling, or is this really allowed?

It could be solved by adding the following rule:
Quote:
When selecting a character, the number of support should not exceed the number of political, military, pilots or support already chosen by more than 1.


This would mean, where 'players' mean the number of non-cylon leaders:

3-4 players: max 1 support
5-6 players: max 2 support

What do people think about this?



[apologies if this is in the wrong place - didn't know whether to post under rules, variants or general; and I never know which forum to use when I'm talking about all/several expansions at once]
 
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Mindy G
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Why? If people want to play an all support crew, let them.
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Hendrik R
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This is something that will not happen naturally, so there's no need to rule against it. If a group of very experienced players wants to spice things up for one game to see what happens, the rule would detract from their fun, not add to it, so why do it?

Regarding an automated script, limiting support to one or two seems fine. Definitely not three, and I would add a conditional that reduces the probability of the other supports when one has already been chosen. In practice, even games with 2 supports are rare.
 
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Geoff C
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I think its silly to have an allsupport crew. Admiral Chief...President Cally??

I would treat support like any other role. You can't pick a second unless all other roles have at least one.
 
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oriecat wrote:
Why? If people want to play an all support crew, let them.
I've had a newbie game where 3 pilots in a row were picked, followed by a 4th one down the line (a lot of fans of pilot of the show ). Not following selection rules, but they just picked their characters in no time. Not having to wait another 10 to 20 minutes for them to read through the sheets was worth its weight and gold.

There are concerns with skill card distributions, but that usually goes out the window when you get cylons. It's more so to distribute titles so you don't get Pradmiral Apollo starting off in each game, or supreme leader (+ CAG title from Exodus CFB module) Apollo.


Talonz wrote:
I think its silly to have an allsupport crew. Admiral Chief...President Cally??

I would treat support like any other role. You can't pick a second unless all other roles have at least one.
I've seen 3 Support characters picked amongst crews. If it's in the rules, then who cares? Especially about thematics which in such a case and IMO should take a back seat to the rules. Hell, I've already seen Admiral Baltar even in regular, 5p games, so I'm used to this sort of thing.
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Jack Rudd
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I'm currently in a game (V119b) where two Supports are being played. One of them (me) is Cally, in the traditional grease-monkey role, and the other is the nonstandard character Seelix, as a backup pilot.
 
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Neil Armstrong
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I think we had a variant all-support game for fun. IIRC the Humans even won. Lots of Researching
 
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Geoff C
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ackmondual wrote:
I've seen 3 Support characters picked amongst crews. If it's in the rules, then who cares? Especially about thematics which in such a case and IMO should take a back seat to the rules. Hell, I've already seen Admiral Baltar even in regular, 5p games, so I'm used to this sort of thing.


I care! And as a thematic, the rules need to support the theme, not fly in the face of it.

Original game only had 1 support character. I do not think they took this into account with later expansions.
 
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Talonz wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I've seen 3 Support characters picked amongst crews. If it's in the rules, then who cares? Especially about thematics which in such a case and IMO should take a back seat to the rules. Hell, I've already seen Admiral Baltar even in regular, 5p games, so I'm used to this sort of thing.

I care! And as a thematic, the rules need to support the theme, not fly in the face of it.
Then we open up the established concerns of thematics....

Spoiler (click to reveal)

-you shouldn't be able to pick Cain, Dee, Kat, Ellen after or during Pegasus
-Felix and Zarek should out of action too later on

-Only Tory, Anders, Galen, and Saul can get FF cards
-Boomer should always get a cylon card
-there were events that lead to the effects of FF cards. Like Cally being airlocked. We shouldn't have to actually go through with that skill check though.

-some characters should never get certain titles
-just what the heck is escorting anyways? (when playing with Exodus' Cylon Fleet Board)
-Helo can influence admiral decisions and skill checks from Caprica
-Heck, so can the revealed cylons too

Some of the stuff is abstracted, but it does simplify things a whole lot. In other cases, it makes it more fun.


Talonz wrote:
Original game only had 1 support character. I do not think they took this into account with later expansions.
No way to know for sure. My guess is they may not have cared enough. FWIW, they could've easily addressed it in expansion rulebooks as Support characters were being added.

BTW, are you, and those who agree with Talonz saying that Support should be in-breadth but optional, or in-breadth but required? The later means after picking a polly, milly, and pilot, you now need to pick a Support before going back around, vs. the former says you can pick any of the first 3 (for just the 4th anyways) after they've all been picked once
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Robert Barnhart
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Talonz wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I've seen 3 Support characters picked amongst crews. If it's in the rules, then who cares? Especially about thematics which in such a case and IMO should take a back seat to the rules. Hell, I've already seen Admiral Baltar even in regular, 5p games, so I'm used to this sort of thing.


I care! And as a thematic, the rules need to support the theme, not fly in the face of it.

Original game only had 1 support character. I do not think they took this into account with later expansions.


I just don't think it's worth a rule at this point. Do what your group likes.
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Geoff C
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ackmondual wrote:
Talonz wrote:

I care! And as a thematic, the rules need to support the theme, not fly in the face of it.
Then we open up the established concerns of thematics....

Spoiler (click to reveal)

-you shouldn't be able to pick Cain, Dee, Kat, Ellen after or during Pegasus
-Felix and Zarek should out of action too later on

-Only Tory, Anders, Galen, and Saul can get FF cards
-Boomer should always get a cylon card
-there were events that lead to the effects of FF cards. Like Cally being airlocked. We shouldn't have to actually go through with that skill check though.


None of that matters. I don't want a historical bsg game, that would be entirely scripted and defeat the point of the game.

Quote:
-some characters should never get certain titles
-just what the heck is escorting anyways? (when playing with Exodus' Cylon Fleet Board)


Agreed, but we want players to have titles.
I hate escorting, its weird. Another reason to ditch the cfb.


Quote:
Some of the stuff is abstracted, but it does simplify things a whole lot. In other cases, it makes it more fun.


Sure, but at a certain point the suspension of disbelief snaps, and the game becomes no fun. All support pradmirals does that (imo).


Quote:

BTW, are you, and those who agree with Talonz saying that Support should be in-breadth but optional, or in-breadth but required?


Probably the former, but really who the heck isn't going to point out that a group needs a support character during character selection?

A cylon, that's who. robot

 
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Jack Rudd
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Talonz wrote:
I think its silly to have an allsupport crew. Admiral Chief...President Cally??


Not that it really matters, but an all-support crew would have Dualla as its Admiral (and CAG, if the CFB is in play), which seems reasonably thematic.
 
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Horatio Q
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Interesting replies! So I guess this hasn't been addressed in any subsequent FAQ.

You can, of course, make up whatever variant you like to shake things up, but I was thinking more about whether people had 'filled in' this part of the rules in their minds the way I had until I started writing my script for random characters and thought about it a little more.

It does seem that 'in-breadth but optional' seems to be the consensus, unless you're purposely trying to challenge yourself with an edge case. My script allows manual entry of a probability distribution to determine the number of support characters, but I'm not sure I'd want more than two in the random character variant.
 
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The point is if you don't want to be bothered by the historical stiff, you shouldnt be concerned with Support having titles either.
 
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Robert Stewart
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HoratioQ wrote:
Interesting replies! So I guess this hasn't been addressed in any subsequent FAQ.

You can, of course, make up whatever variant you like to shake things up, but I was thinking more about whether people had 'filled in' this part of the rules in their minds the way I had until I started writing my script for random characters and thought about it a little more.

It does seem that 'in-breadth but optional' seems to be the consensus, unless you're purposely trying to challenge yourself with an edge case. My script allows manual entry of a probability distribution to determine the number of support characters, but I'm not sure I'd want more than two in the random character variant.


Rules-as-written, there's no breadth requirement on Support. If you want to house-rule one into being, that's fine, but starts getting off topic.

Personally, I'd rather play with reasonably balanced characters, but when playing face-to-face, I don't bother even mentioning the character selection rules, let alone enforcing them in any way - it's not like you can't end up with five out of five characters drawing Piloting anyway (Miltary Helo, Political Lee, Starbuck, Boomer and Athena) so the selection rules don't prevent unbalanced crews...

For a random-choice variant, impose whatever breadth restrictions you feel like.
 
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Geoff C
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ackmondual wrote:
The point is if you don't want to be bothered by the historical stiff, you shouldnt be concerned with Support having titles either.


We are simply NOT going to agree on this.
 
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Joel Carson
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Talonz wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I've seen 3 Support characters picked amongst crews. If it's in the rules, then who cares? Especially about thematics which in such a case and IMO should take a back seat to the rules. Hell, I've already seen Admiral Baltar even in regular, 5p games, so I'm used to this sort of thing.


I care! And as a thematic, the rules need to support the theme, not fly in the face of it.

Original game only had 1 support character. I do not think they took this into account with later expansions.

I don't understand how an all support game breaks the theme. The attack on the colonies was unexpected and those lucky enough to be on Galactica were pretty much what was left. If the attack happened during a maintenance time, maybe only the support crew was on the ship, and with no president alive, they need to re-organize authority somehow.
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Kwijiboe
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Yikes.

----------


Anywho, FFG has never provided a rationale for the character selection rules. Personally, I think I like (and thus enforce) the rules because the following outcomes persist:

-The Admiral and President are usually sitting next to one another. I like this because the Admiral and President are not supposed to get along: they're supposed to be highly suspicious of one another.

The President's Quorum deck threatens the Admiralty (Mission Specialist, Encourage Mutiny, Arrest Order) and the Admiral threatens the President title (The Base Game gives 2 opportunities for the Admiral to steal the title. 3 With Saul Tigh.).

-The crew is less efficient when characters with different skillsets/abilities sit next to one another. This encourages use of Executive orders.

-The skill check mechanic becomes (slightly) easier to manage when you have characters with similar skillsets sit next to one another. Any given skill check will usually have 1-3 players who will be potentially strong contributors to the skill check. If you separate those players out, it is more likely that the other players will play cards in between the strong contributors.* Of course, sometimes this is unavoidable, for instance, when the first and last player chooses the same character type.

*When more players are putting in more cards, sabotage becomes easier to accomplish. Additionally, it is harder to be more efficient.

E.g. Skill check is Y/G. Turn order: PL, ML, P, PL, S, ML

PL is current player. he decides to help a lot. ML helps a little (probably contributes G). P helps a little (probably G as well), PL decides to help a lot. S and ML hold onto cards.

Compare with: Skill check Y/G Turn Order: PL, PL, ML, ML, S P

PL is current player and contributes a lot. PL contributes a lot. ML, ML, S, and P pass. Less players contributing, less players under suspicion if there is a spike.

Of course, these circumstances will vary depending on current crisis and current turn order. For the most part though, I think its best if players with similar skillsets are not sitting next to one another.

As for support characters, they're not really all that similar when it comes to abilities and skill draw. The only constant they have among them is that they draw at least 1 engineering card.


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Kwijiboe wrote:
As for support characters, they're not really all that similar when it comes to abilities and skill draw. The only constant they have among them is that they draw at least 1 engineering card.
Also, there's no title thematically tied to Support category, or where a Support category always has priority over another (exception is if you play the fan made variant with the Deck Hand title card). Because of this, there's no "first priority" for them. As for the others... A "polly" will always outrank any non "polly" for president, a "milly" will always outrank non-millies for Admiral, and with Exodus' CFB, a Pilot will always outrank a non-Pilot for CAG. This is nice because if the top dog is put out of commission for some reason (Brig for military titles, reveals, or you have to pick someone highest in LoS other than him), you're pretty much that next title holder.
 
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Kwijiboe
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Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.

As to OP, might be easier to not put Support into your script. Instead, allow any player to switch their chosen (by the program) character to a support character.

However, Im having a hard time seeing why a script/program is necessary.

It's not the characters that are annoying (Except Tory, F Tory). It's the players that continually pick the same characters.

Though, if you can write a script to fix those people I'm all for it.

Also, what experience do you have making scripts/apps/programs. Was curious if you could help me with something or point me in the right direction. I'll geekchat you later.
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Kwijiboe wrote:
Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.
What of? As a Political Leader, all of the Military Leaders still outrank him for admiralty, and all Pilots still outrank him for CAG.
 
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Kwijiboe
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ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.
What of? As a Political Leader, all of the Military Leaders still outrank him for admiralty, and all Pilots still outrank him for CAG.


I had to reread what you wrote before.

It looked like you were making the point that Support players can get their hands on titles. Yet, I reread it and... I'm still not sure what point you are trying to make at all.

I know I occasionally go off point with my comments. But, sometimes I have a hard time following yours. Anyway, I brought up Lee because he seems to gobble up all titles before any support characters do.

 
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Kwijiboe wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.
What of? As a Political Leader, all of the Military Leaders still outrank him for admiralty, and all Pilots still outrank him for CAG.


I had to reread what you wrote before.

It looked like you were making the point that Support players can get their hands on titles. Yet, I reread it and... I'm still not sure what point you are trying to make at all.

I know I occasionally go off point with my comments. But, sometimes I have a hard time following yours. Anyway, I brought up Lee because he seems to gobble up all titles before any support characters do.

I see. I slightly reworded it. Basically, as long there's Military Leader, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for Admiral. As long as there's a Pilot, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for CAG. He's more likely to gobble titles because he's high up overall. However, that does have the nice side effect of making him a jack of all trades... does he focus on President and Q Chamber, or go out in space, and even get to use CAG?
 
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Joel Carson
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ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.
What of? As a Political Leader, all of the Military Leaders still outrank him for admiralty, and all Pilots still outrank him for CAG.


I had to reread what you wrote before.

It looked like you were making the point that Support players can get their hands on titles. Yet, I reread it and... I'm still not sure what point you are trying to make at all.

I know I occasionally go off point with my comments. But, sometimes I have a hard time following yours. Anyway, I brought up Lee because he seems to gobble up all titles before any support characters do.

I see. I slightly reworded it. Basically, as long there's Military Leader, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for Admiral. As long as there's a Pilot, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for CAG. He's more likely to gobble titles because he's high up overall. However, that does have the nice side effect of making him a jack of all trades... does he focus on President and Q Chamber, or go out in space, and even get to use CAG?

I think he's referring to original Apollo, whose #1 for CAG and next in line for Pres. and Admiral after their respective color characters (aka #8 in both).

Unless the group is evenly spread with two pol., two mili and two pilots, Lee's probably going to stockpiling titles quickly.
 
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JCChrono wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Kwijiboe wrote:
Pragmiral Lee Adama would like a word with you, Ackmondual.
What of? As a Political Leader, all of the Military Leaders still outrank him for admiralty, and all Pilots still outrank him for CAG.


I had to reread what you wrote before.

It looked like you were making the point that Support players can get their hands on titles. Yet, I reread it and... I'm still not sure what point you are trying to make at all.

I know I occasionally go off point with my comments. But, sometimes I have a hard time following yours. Anyway, I brought up Lee because he seems to gobble up all titles before any support characters do.

I see. I slightly reworded it. Basically, as long there's Military Leader, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for Admiral. As long as there's a Pilot, he'll always be ahead of Nupollo for CAG. He's more likely to gobble titles because he's high up overall. However, that does have the nice side effect of making him a jack of all trades... does he focus on President and Q Chamber, or go out in space, and even get to use CAG?

I think he's referring to original Apollo, whose #1 for CAG and next in line for Pres. and Admiral after their respective color characters (aka #8 in both).

Unless the group is evenly spread with two pol., two mili and two pilots, Lee's probably going to stockpiling titles quickly.
I'm used to folks referring to all of the pilots by their call signs, so I assume that "Lee" was the Daybreak one. That said, my comment can still stand, as they're both high up for many of the titles, but the "jack of all trades" still stands, as Apollo to is often pulled between being a better president, better pilot/CAG, or be half and half. Him having more titles also makes him more vulnerable of his weakness since crisis cards target title holders to discard cards more.
 
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