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Subject: Gaius Baltar follows a hunch rss

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Benjamín Larenas
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Last night we played a 4 player game, with the No Sympathizer variant. I was Baltar, the others were Bill Adama, Tom Zarek, and Boomer.

Everyone's first loyalty cards was human, so gameplay was pretty optimal human-wise during the first half of the game. I did some very pro-human things, so I shook off most of the Baltar-related suspicion. Then I got to see the Admiral's loyalty card, just in case, and was relieved to see he was human (I told everyone this and they believed me).

Then came the sleeper phase. One of my first actions was using my OPG to look at Boomer's cards and see if she should be pardoned or be left to rot in the brig. She was human, so on my next turn I pardon her. Zarek, a newbie, did some suspicious stuff, so I looked at one of his cards. He's not a cylon, the card says, but what about the other card? I was going over this conundrum when the Admiral started acting funny. He didn't exactly soft-reveal, but started helping out less, used his OPG to snag a bunch of high value Red cards, and also generally seemed a little suspicious (I've known this player for over ten years so I knew there was something fishy with him).

We were just about to jump, and were being attacked by cylon ships on the board, so when my turn came they told me to XO our pilot (It was kind of important but not a DEFCON 1 situation or anything; we risked losing one civilian ship, no more). I say "I know you want me to XO our pilot, but I have a hunch and I'm going to follow it", so I brig Adama with a Quorum card.

Now, the thing is I wasn't 100% sure he was a cylon! But the Admiral card would go to someone I knew was human (Boomer), so that was something. I thought the other two players would suspect me for brigging Adama, but I brigged him anyway. The other humans said nothing. Even Adama didn't say anything, he just went "Oh well... that's how the game is" (Had he been a human, I'm 100% sure he would've flipped out and even call me names for brigging him).

So in his next turn, which came right after mine, he says "I want to get out of prison". We tell him "Dude, we won't waste cards getting you out, since we're not sure about you anyway. Why don't you XO our pilot instead?". He considers his options a bit, and then says "Nah, I think I'll just reveal", and flips his cylon card.

It felt really great. I followed my hunch, did something other than what the "Human consensus" wanted, and got the frakking toaster brigged. At this point though, I think his reveal power (send someone to the infirmary) wouldn't have made that much of a difference, but him taking a 1-distance jump might have.

In the end, the game was kind of tight; all of our resources were on red, and if it hadn't been for a couple of Quorum cards + Strategic Planning, we might have lost due to Morale or Food (we still had Zarek's OPG as backup though). We used FTL control on the -3 spot, since we had enough population, and I rolled a natural 8, so we made it to Kobol and beat that frakking toaster with a relatively high population count, which is always nice, theme-wise.

My final thoughts: This is the second time as cylon for Adama's player. Both games had a lot in common: he was Admiral, received his cylon card post-sleeper phase, and ultimately lost. On both games he made the "mistake" (who hasn't?) of being way too much pro-human during the first half. This meant the humans were doing pretty good, and also made it so his attitude shift didn't go unnoticed. The one moment he really frakked up though, was when he got brigged and didn't bother to bluff. Hell, as I said before, even I wasn't sure he was a cylon, so had he bluffed a bit he could've confused us all and maybe get himself out of the brig or someone else in. On the other hand, it probably wasn't worth it to him to keep helping from the brig, since he had already lost the Admiral card, and his cylon power was the worst of all IMO (send someone to infirmary). I'd like to see this same player being a cylon from the start, just to see what he does.

As a side note, I will add that we're yet to see a cylon Boomer or Baltar (even in 3 player games!), so people are getting less suspicious of them... sound like a perfect cover, eh?
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Star Fox
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Well played!

Im surprised he didnt counter-accuse when you brigged him, there's not point not doing it.

Quote:
and his cylon power was the worst of all IMO (send someone to infirmary).

It's not that bad - they also have to discard 5 skillcards.
If you time it well, then you can set it so they wont be XOd out in time to avoid the 1 card restriction on their go, and if they have exactly 5 cards when you do it then they dont get any choice to hold anything back, and have to lose them all (some of which might be high value)

It's less good when they have a full hand of skillcards because they keep their best 5 and throw away the junk.

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Benjamín Larenas
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I think the best use for it is to move someone out of a critical position, eg. a Viper pilot. But the Brig card accomplishes that in a much better way. Sure, it doesn't make them discard cards, but all humans will have to waste some (plus an action) to brig the poor sod out (all the while, he only gets to play one card on skill checks). Also, if you want to send someone to the infirmary, the Damage Galactica card might send one or more humans there, on top of damaging some locations.

That's why I think it's the weakest reveal power, and I'm considering eliminating its use when playing with the No Sympathizer rule, making sure the Cylon(s) gets a decent power.
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Kwijiboe
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Brig card can only target a player on Galactica. It's best use is moving the Admiralty title since the admiral is usually on Galactica. The trick though is trying to find out whether the admiral is a Cylon or not...

The sickbay power is one of the best powers in the base game since skill card strength is so much more important. There's no crappy 0 str skill cards to insulate skill card loss.

You literally get to swipe away at 9 skill cards from another player. That's huge. That's almost two full turns for drawing cards.
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David Goldfarb
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benjiskhan wrote:
I think the best use for it is to move someone out of a critical position, eg. a Viper pilot. But the Brig card accomplishes that in a much better way.

Except that actually neither of those reveals can hit a Viper pilot, at least not one who's in space. It has to be someone on Galactica. (So usually you can't hit the President with them either.)
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Benjamín Larenas
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Thanks for the rules clarifications guys, I didn't remember that. I'm not sure if we ever played it wrong, but I won't forget about that now.

I guess the Infirmary power isn't that bad, but it seems to me like it'd be harder to time it right and do full damage. It almost forces you to use it on the next player, since most of the time, another player could get the victim XO'd and out of the Infirmary.

In my group, we think losing cards is bad, but generally not worse than anything else. We almost always choose the discard option on cards, especially the ones where you and another player (who could be on the other team) discard. So losing 5 cards is similar to being the President and drawing a Water Shortage, and the odds of those 5 cards being really good are slim. So it would be similar to one player averting a resource loss via card discarding, whereas another power, eg. Lose Morale doesn't even give you the option to avert it.

IMO, timing it so the player loses 9 cards is a requirement if you want to make the power count. The Brig card does much more damage (including, as you mentioned, the moving of the Admiral title), and you needn't time it so well for it to have a great impact.

But you've persuaded me; I won't remove it from the NS variant, at least until I get a chance to use it and wreak some havoc robot
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Robert Stewart
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The thing with the Brig power is that being locked in the Brig isn't really all that terrible - sure, you can't play as many cards per check, but you get as many card draws, can still XO someone, and get to skip your Crisis.

Morale reveal is the least interesting, but is the only power with permanent consequences.

Damage reveal is more mixed - Galactica damage is generally less permanent than direct Resource loss, but the short-term consequences can be enough to prevent there being a long-term, and hitting Fuel can be better than hitting Morale.

Sickbay reveal is even more temporary, but costs the 5 cards and either half an XO or 4 cards, ranging from a minor nuisance to a crucial hit that costs multiple checks.
 
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Damage reveal is IMO the best one.

Getting to look at 5 gives you loads of combinations of options, and you can strategically target locations containing players (to have them all sickbayed) or immediately crucial locations (like FTL or armory)

I quite like getting the morale one, even if it is one of the more boring ones.
It's like my loyalty card saying "hey you sneaky cylon, if you can stay hidden and drop morale a few points for a while, you get a free morale loss when you eventually reveal"

You have the knowledge and nobody else does, so for the early stages you can be all like "hey guys, morale is still high, we can save our cards and tank this skillcheck for something more important, it's only 1 morale" devil
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Kwijiboe
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The sickbay reveal definitely takes the #2 slot in the base game. With the right follow up super crisis, this will usually result in a lot of failed crises.

The brig reveal is strong or weak depending on your tables groupthink on getting that player out of the brig. Personally, if I'm human, I want to get players out of the brig asap if they were put in there by game effects or because a Cylon revealed. In the base game it hurts a lot more to leave a player in the brig because the newly revealed Cylon is very likely going to be using base games Caprica to force players to go to through more Crises throughout the game since the Cylon location eliminates the jump prep step. The longer the brigged player stays in the brig, the more Caprica activations the unreveales Cylon gets. Essentially replacing the skpped crisis on the brigged players turn.

People call base game Caprica boring... But it's the one element missing from each expansion... Not enough pressure on the players hands of skill cards. Daybreaks mutiny is close though, but I still prefer Base game Caprica.
 
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Pieter
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"Acting on a hunch" is a powerful way to play the game. Human players often only want to take action against a Cylon player when they KNOW he is a Cylon, which a Cylon can use to stick around much longer, and do much more damage, than is acceptable for the humans. Besides, the fireworks that ensue when you brig someone based on suspicion are usually worth it.
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