Orion Harrison
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I've been looking through all the expansion materials and I've noticed that some of them make things a lot harder for the humans (like treachery) while offering additional options to balance out the challenge (new skill cards, Pegasus board). I've also noticed that some modules just plain make it harder for the humans, like Personal Goals and Final Five loyalty cards.

I was wondering two things:

1) Are there any expansion modules which can be taken by themselves or with a few necessary options that make it easier for the humans? For example, you can use the Cylon Fleet Board with the CAG by leave out other Exodus material... does this make it overall easier for the humans, or does it balance itself out? Can you add the Pegasus board without treachery?
I'm just wondering because I feel that I and my friends will feel it's "cheap" to increase resources to make the game easier for the humans, but we've had a streak of cylon victories and I want to know if there's a subtler, slighter way to push the advantage toward the humans.

2) Has anyone tried using these human-punishing modules on their own to balance a 4- or 6-player game? For example, in a 6-player game, have 2 "You are a Cylon" cards and all of the "You are not a Cylon" cards could be taken from the Personal Goals and/or the Final Five loyalty cards.
Or maybe just have 2 YAAC cards and 8 YANAC cards and make Earth the destination without Demetrius.
Or include a treachery deck without adding the additional skill cards to help balance (not sure if this would work for Pegasus treachery because of the "reckless"mechanic).
Just curious if anyone has tried these modules just to make it harder for the humans so they don't have to use the sympathizer of the No Sympathizer variant.
 
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GamingAccolades wrote:

1) Are there any expansion modules which can be taken by themselves or with a few necessary options that make it easier for the humans?
...I'm just wondering because I feel that I and my friends will feel it's "cheap" to increase resources to make the game easier for the humans, but we've had a streak of cylon victories and I want to know if there's a subtler, slighter way to push the advantage toward the humans.
-The Pegasus board gives the humans more locations to use, and makes loss by location damage a lot less likely as well.
If you keep the base game IC rules, but use the Pegasus board and Pegasus skillcards anyway, then that's certainly tilted in the humans favour.
-From exodus, you could take just the extra vipers and the skillcards but not the CFB. Those 6-value cards are very good, and usually work better pro-human.
-From daybreak, you could just take Assault Raptors and the cylon overlay - it nerfs the cylons a little bit and you wouldnt have to take the daybreak treachery and mutiny.
You could even keep it set at 8 distance but let the humans use the demetrius board anyway.

This might unbalance it a little bit too much, but as your group gets better at playing team-human, you can always re-do the balance by adding in other stuff later.

Quote:
2) Has anyone tried using these human-punishing modules on their own to balance a 4- or 6-player game?
Not yet, but I quite like the idea cool
 
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Victor Lesperance
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I've got a lot of people around here hooked on BSG. And universally, after several base games, the one add-on that calls out to them like a siren's call is the Cylon Fleet Board.

I try warning them. But I aim to please. And every time the CFB board comes out, its a resounding human victory and every Cylon player says that that damnable board cost them the game.

Now my sample size is small (because I don't encourage the CFB). But every time I've played it, it feels completely broken. There are too many destinations, crisis cards, skill cards, and mutiny cards that all put a token cylon unit on the main board. And every time that happens the CFB pursuit track stalls out.

And once players realize that they can kite a single raider for the remainder of the jump cycle... its over.

But even adjusting for cross expansion nerfs, I recently identified the exact mechanic that ultimately breaks the CFB for me.

Very early in every game (often still at distance 0), both basestars end up on the CFB. Now, every time a basestar shoots or launches raiders, we snag on the "component limitation" clause, and a single zone of the CFB deploys to the main board. Usually, that zone is a single basestar. That single basestar is a fairly laughable threat and so gets ignored. And this now stalls the CFB for yet another entire jump sequence. At the end of that sequence, all basestars return to the CFB. And the pursuit tracker only advances until the first time a basestar shoots or launches. Component limitation triggers. Cycle repeats.

Maybe its bad luck (for the cylons) that we happen to get a basestar shoots or launches early in each jump cycle. But, net effect, I've never played a game where the pursuit track triggered more than once the whole game. Now that might change if both cylons reveal early and camp the CFB actions. But everyone I play with thinks that early reveals might win you the game, but turns this amazing game of duplicity, deduction, and paranoia into a total snooze fest.

That's a long way of saying that, yes, 4 out of 4 cylons agree that just adding the CFB will dramatically help the humans win. Or force very early cylon reveals, which is still an advantage for team human, but a sad day for BSG-kind.
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Victor Lesperance
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I run BSG at a lot of cons or other largish events. So, most of my games involve newish players or people who don't know each other well. Also, I explain rules, not strategies. So, I rarely need to help out team Cylon.

My default handicap is that I play with 6 players (2 cylons, 4 humans).

My default re-balance is to then play a CAC as soon as distance 8 is achieved.

This "magic mixture" (at least at this skill level) had lead to countless nail biter endings.

(Shout out to anyone in the metro-Detroit area. In 2 weeks, I'm running 3 sessions of BSG at U-Con.)
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Well, you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Going back to the CAC means you're back at the mercy of very quiet jump cycles, or mass after mass of ships. In the former, you have very little leeway of sabotage, as without cylon ships, humans have much more turns, cards, and other resources to deal with cylons. In the latter case, the game practically kills you on its own.

Either way, you're forced to use houserules. One for the CFB was ship icons ALWAYS or often moves the Pursuit track up even if the matching ship type is out on the MGB.
 
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vlesperance wrote:
That's a long way of saying that, yes, 4 out of 4 cylons agree that just adding the CFB will dramatically help the humans win. Or force very early cylon reveals, which is still an advantage for team human, but a sad day for BSG-kind.
Yes, your sample size is small. You're the first group I have seen that has it that way around. At least in these forums it seems. It just goes to show each group is different and has to find their own setup.
 
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Orion Harrison
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vlesperance wrote:


My default handicap is that I play with 6 players (2 cylons, 4 humans).

My default re-balance is to then play a CAC as soon as distance 8 is achieved.

This "magic mixture" (at least at this skill level) had lead to countless nail biter endings.
You. I like you. I really want to see how balanced this really is, but it sounds remarkable. And it doesn't require any new mechanics from expansions. Makes me want to play more 6-player games.
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Orion Harrison
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vlesperance wrote:
I've got a lot of people around here hooked on BSG. And universally, after several base games, the one add-on that calls out to them like a siren's call is the Cylon Fleet Board.

I try warning them. But I aim to please. And every time the CFB board comes out, its a resounding human victory and every Cylon player says that that damnable board cost them the game.

Now my sample size is small (because I don't encourage the CFB). But every time I've played it, it feels completely broken. There are too many destinations, crisis cards, skill cards, and mutiny cards that all put a token cylon unit on the main board. And every time that happens the CFB pursuit track stalls out.

And once players realize that they can kite a single raider for the remainder of the jump cycle... its over.

But even adjusting for cross expansion nerfs, I recently identified the exact mechanic that ultimately breaks the CFB for me.

Very early in every game (often still at distance 0), both basestars end up on the CFB. Now, every time a basestar shoots or launches raiders, we snag on the "component limitation" clause, and a single zone of the CFB deploys to the main board. Usually, that zone is a single basestar. That single basestar is a fairly laughable threat and so gets ignored. And this now stalls the CFB for yet another entire jump sequence. At the end of that sequence, all basestars return to the CFB. And the pursuit tracker only advances until the first time a basestar shoots or launches. Component limitation triggers. Cycle repeats.

Maybe its bad luck (for the cylons) that we happen to get a basestar shoots or launches early in each jump cycle. But, net effect, I've never played a game where the pursuit track triggered more than once the whole game. Now that might change if both cylons reveal early and camp the CFB actions. But everyone I play with thinks that early reveals might win you the game, but turns this amazing game of duplicity, deduction, and paranoia into a total snooze fest.

That's a long way of saying that, yes, 4 out of 4 cylons agree that just adding the CFB will dramatically help the humans win. Or force very early cylon reveals, which is still an advantage for team human, but a sad day for BSG-kind.
I had the opposite experience this past weekend with my first CFB game. One cylon revealled after sleeper with the "move the Prepare For Jump Track marker back two spaces" Cylon card, and then spent at least two of his turns moving the marker back with the Basestar Bridge, PLUS we had at least one crisis fail and move that marker back yet again. It slowed the game down immensely and that board gives revealed Cylons WAY too much power. It ended in a fuel defeat for the humans, and a meta-morale defeat for the players.

I actually kind of enjoyed it. At 6 distance, they ran our fuel down to 1 with a damage to Galactica and a Supercrisis, and I (Gaeta) jumped the fleet on the [-3] spot, and got a 7 on my re-roll. Yes! Population stays at 5! However, one of the jump options was Cylon Refinery: 2 distance (bring us to 8!), lose one fuel. Admiral may risk two vipers to gain 2 fuel on a roll of 6 or higher. We had no strategic planning, no calculations... and we got a roll of 4. I honestly think we could have had a chance to win the game if we'd rolled the hard six.
 
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vlesperance wrote:
I've got a lot of people around here hooked on BSG. And universally, after several base games, the one add-on that calls out to them like a siren's call is the Cylon Fleet Board.

I try warning them. But I aim to please. And every time the CFB board comes out, its a resounding human victory and every Cylon player says that that damnable board cost them the game.

Now my sample size is small (because I don't encourage the CFB). But every time I've played it, it feels completely broken. There are too many destinations, crisis cards, skill cards, and mutiny cards that all put a token cylon unit on the main board. And every time that happens the CFB pursuit track stalls out.

And once players realize that they can kite a single raider for the remainder of the jump cycle... its over.

But even adjusting for cross expansion nerfs, I recently identified the exact mechanic that ultimately breaks the CFB for me.

Very early in every game (often still at distance 0), both basestars end up on the CFB. Now, every time a basestar shoots or launches raiders, we snag on the "component limitation" clause, and a single zone of the CFB deploys to the main board. Usually, that zone is a single basestar. That single basestar is a fairly laughable threat and so gets ignored. And this now stalls the CFB for yet another entire jump sequence. At the end of that sequence, all basestars return to the CFB. And the pursuit tracker only advances until the first time a basestar shoots or launches. Component limitation triggers. Cycle repeats.

Maybe its bad luck (for the cylons) that we happen to get a basestar shoots or launches early in each jump cycle. But, net effect, I've never played a game where the pursuit track triggered more than once the whole game. Now that might change if both cylons reveal early and camp the CFB actions. But everyone I play with thinks that early reveals might win you the game, but turns this amazing game of duplicity, deduction, and paranoia into a total snooze fest.

That's a long way of saying that, yes, 4 out of 4 cylons agree that just adding the CFB will dramatically help the humans win. Or force very early cylon reveals, which is still an advantage for team human, but a sad day for BSG-kind.
We had the same experience during the two or three games with the CFB. Treachery cards from Daybreak didn't help as they added even more random raiders on the main board. We went back the CAC setups (doing some minor "Pandemic shuffling"). Although we had to give up Pegasus too because it would probably be too pro human.

A friend of mine, who had played a lot, said they always used both the CFB and CACs. That's something I'll be considering next.
 
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I would not recommend mixing all modules together.

The expansions, as well as the base game, all try to achieve the same goal: killing the humans, but they all go about it a completely different way.

The Base Game is entirely about hand/resource management and control of the admiral and president titles. The game is trying to overtly kill you via Morale loss, but the title holders are controlling Fuel and Food losses. One of the base game's biggest criticisms is it doesn't put enough pressure on the Population/Galactica Damage via the random arrival of CACs.

A year later, Pegasus arrived on the scene with the New Caprica objective which forcefully makes a population loss the biggest endgame threat. However, players quickly did away with New Caprica and played Kobol almost exclusively which, along with Pegasus' batteries, made a population loss much less likely since the Cylon fleet becomes so easily manageable. Pegasus' treachery also presumes that a Cylon Leader will be present at the beginning of the game because, if not, there is no one to punish reckless checks. Pegasus only "works" properly when you have six players, a Cylon leader to push the treachery mechanic along and when the objective is set to New Caprica. At least a few of the Pegasus treachery cards make no sense outside of the context of New Caprica and a Cylon Leader game: for example, why would a non-CL revealed Cylon want to lower the highest resource? The treachery cards were clearly designed to help CLs reach their objectives.

Players continued to criticize the lack of CAC consistency and the failure of Pegasus' reckless treachery to "Broadcast" Galactica's location. (A result of not having a CL player to 'babysit' the reckless mechanic.) So, FFG offered up Exodus' Cylon Fleet board which almost entirely fixed the CAC problem; attacks were not only consistent, but players could manage the incoming/active threat through the use of their actions. While the game certainly tries to kill players via hand/resource management, the game arguably takes a hard shift towards trying to kill you via action inefficiency.

Daybreak attempts much of the same thing: it attempts to put pressure on player actions via the mutiny mechanic. Instead of forcing players to use their action to stave off the Cylon fleet, it encourages players to use their action to stay out of the brig. This is why some players have customized the treachery deck in all expansion sessions to avoid the game from placing an extremely heavy premium on actions. (At least one person on this forum adds Pegasus treachery to the Daybreak treachery to dilute the deck to prevent the game from building up too much momentum too quickly.)

TL;DR. The point of this analysis, though, is to showcase that each expansion is trying to do its own thing and often, the mechanics of each respective expansion can bump into one another or the mechanic has lost its intended effect. In the end, do whatever you want: but consider that, playing expansions separately might add more replay value to the game we love so much. I can tell you right now that playing Pegasus, Exodus, Daybreak, as well as the base game on its own, provide different gameplay experiences. Don't skip on those experiences.*

*(As I mentioned above, Pegasus only behaves properly with 6 players, a CL, on a trip to New Caprica. I advise you to skip that experience unless you have this exact setup.)
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Kwijiboe wrote:
for example, why would a non-CL revealed Cylon want to lower the highest resource?
On the way to New Caprica? Because the highest resource is often Population, and anything that lowers Population without killing Civilians buys the Cylons more time on New Caprica to finish the job.
 
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Yep, which is why the card makes little sense outside of the New Caprica context. Outside of New Caprica, the card then only makes sense for Pegasus' Cylon leaders.

Taken together, this is why I think Pegasus only works with 6p, CL, to New Caprica. With no other expansions to encourage the use of the reckless mechanic and the diffusion of treachery cards to the players (found in Pegasus' Crises very frequently).
 
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