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Subject: So you love BSG? Meet BSG 2.0 rss

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Christopher James
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I had the great pleasure of playing New Angeles (from the Makers of BSG) this weekend at BGG Con. What struck me about this game, beyond being amazing, is just how it took all the amazing parts of BSG and improved so much about it. If you love hidden agendas, if you love potential traitors, if you love negotiation, if you love player interaction... well ...welcome to the New World of NEW ANGELES.

1) Overall Game Flow/Strategy:

Think BSG Crisis - and that is this game. You have 2 ROUNDS of play to collectively ensure that the city of New Angeles has the supplies it needs.

If you do not provide for the city, the Government will take notice. If they take to much notice, they will come in and clean house. (If you get to 25 threat ALL players except the federalist lose).

Meanwhile you all have personal goals. You can either have your card as your goal (meaning you must be ahead of 3 other players), Have an opponents car, meaning you win as long as you are ahead of that person...even if you are behind EVERYONE else. Or the Federalist who wins if they have 25 points AND the Threat track reaches 25.

2) Game Play:

There are 3 rounds. First you draw a "DEMAND" card. It will tell you what level of Entertainment/Food/Credits/Technology ECT the City needs. Thing the reverse of BSG. Instead of not losing X amount of FUEL you need to gain X amount of FUEL to avoid Threat/Losing.

Each player will have 1 market card (chosen from 2 at random). These are your personal mission for that ROUND. Ranging from having epidemics in districts (IE you invest in pharma and make points the more districts that are sick). So while you are trying to collective get resources for demand...you also want to get them while covering off on YOUR personal goal for that round. Example: manipulating districts to gain resources for the primary goal when they are suffering a plague causes threat to go up (I.E. you are ignoring a problem in a district while trying to generate profits and this pisses off the government). So if you have the secret investment cards for plagues everywhere...you may not support removing plagues even as you look for ways to produce to not fail the main goal.

The meat of the game and how you manipulate the map is the Proposal/Counter Proposal phase. First an asset comes out (assets are upgrades that go to the player who passed the proposal...they give you game effects..for instance Caprice Nisei allows you to FORCE someone to tell the group how they will activate their proposal if we vote for it, and they can NOT go back on this. You can even use it on yourself to prove to the group you will do what you promise.

These proposals are cards in your have (private info). They come from 6 different schools of cards that have different specializations. Some are great at exploiting districts, some cure diseases, some build infrastructure making distracts better. My favorite is MEDIA as it basically uses news broadcasts and propaganda to stop protests and strikes.

The FIRST player places a proposal next to the asset which will manipulate the board in certain ways to allow for production of the resources you need. There are too many cards to explain but they are all interesting and many have advantages and drawbacks built in allowing you to put in a sub optimal one that helps you but keeps threat from causing everyone to lose.

Then you go around and everyone clockwise can put in a counter-offer. Only one counter-office can be active at a time. The second player (in order) may put in a counter-offer for free, each other player can replace that counter-offer..at the cost of discarding extra cards. If nobody counters the proposal passes and the player who played it activates it as they wish, and takes the asset. If there is a counter offer then starting from the first player each player can put in cards (face down) in support of the offer they wish to support. Sometimes you won't even care but can ask for bribes. Sometimes you REALLY need one to pass to help complete your goals. Sometimes its just obvious the one is the one we all need to pass and only the federalist would vote against it. Which offer succeed, it goes off. You then pull the next agenda and repeat.

Each PHASE of a ROUND (of which they are 3 rounds and 2 phases per round) you draw a crisis. The crisis will add things to the board , impact resources ect... it will also tell you many actions (player turns) you have for that phase. Can be from 3-6. So you may get 12 actions to fix the city or 6 over 2 rounds. So this is variable.

After the second PHASE of each ROUND you go to the MARKET phase and collect profits based on how well you accomplished it.

This repeats 3 times and then you determine a winner!

There is so much more so here are some highlights:

1) Each district in the city produces different resources.
2) You can only produce from 3 districts each PHASE within a ROUND.
3) Producing in a district (called exploiting - cuz mega corps bad!) causes that district to first protest, then strike, then riot so hard that the district gets blacked out until order can be restored. At Strike and Black Out no resources will be produced.
4) Org Crime units (mafia) show up on spaces taking a part of the profits if you don't get rid of them
5) Human First protesters cause districts to go on strike after the first production...skipping protests completely
6) PriSec (Cops/Security) can be used to keep Mafia and Human First people out of districts... but they DON'T get rid of them. They just protect that district and push the crime to neighboring districts. If ever there is no legal spaces for Mafia or Human first the go off the board increasing threat (similar to marching Cylons in BSG)

That is general the gist. All the mechanics work together SO well. You may have a mafia infestation and you want to fight OrgCrime as a team...but one person may have a personal investment in the mafia (meaning they get points for each mafia unit on the board). So you may try to get others to not remove mafia...even though they make it harder to generate city resources ect...

Each Mega Corp has a specialty. They all draw from different card types. Similar to characters in BSG. Cards are used for voting AND for proposing things to vote on...so hand management is important.

You have next to unlimited negotiations. Any promises made that can be done immediately are binding, any future promises are not.

If I say Ill give you 5 victory points to vote for my proposal, you MUST do it if you accept. If I promise to give you the agenda reward for passing my proposal...I may change my mind if we win.

Because not everyone is against everyone, it is possible for the majority of players to win which means you can ALWAYS find allies (if you trust them) and there is no such thing as a SPOILER in this game. If you are losing you can't just refuse to help and let the city burn...because the other players will band against you (because they aren't necessarily fighting each other!

In my game at BGG Con I had my own agenda card meaning I needed to be ahead of 3 other corps...and since NOBODY had my card ...nobody had to be above me (unless they had their card and couldn't get past 3 other corps). So I was able to negotiate HUGE point swings. I had a rare card that would help prevent the feds from coming in (threat hitting 25) ..so I am like (hey give me ALL your points up to where you need to be above your own opponent and I was able to get 75 points to play this card...without actually making anyone who gave me points LOSE. In any other game this would be a dick move because you are actively saying you will ruin the game if people don't support you...but here you can work together with allies so the deal isn't as bad as a dick extortion, and more of an acceptable extortion that doesn't hurt the people you extorted.

The game in short, is unbelievable.

There is next to 0 down time. Nearly everyone is always engaged at ALL times. Bribing people to vote for your proposals, asking for bribes to support others. There is NO alpha player issue because nobody knows what is best for everyone, and there will almost never be a move that IS best for everyone (especially if a federalist is in the game).

Some will lose but MANY can win together. And that knife edge balance creates this exciting, fun and NON-TOXIC negotiating game.

If I where to rate this game I would give is an easy 10/10 as it is one of the best designed games I have ever played.

If you enjoy player interaction, negotiation, and semi-coop with personal goals...this will be your favorite game, for a LONG, LONG time.
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Matt D
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Seriously...where can I find more info on this game??
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Ian Madsen
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Bountiful
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Trains!
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Intrigued.
 
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Benj Davis
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Okay, that sounds cool.
 
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Dirk Meijer
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From the first announcement, it reminded me of BSG in a way.

But instead of being mostly co-op with with some competitive elements once teams are known, it's mostly competitive, with some co-op elements, because everyone loses if you don't fight for the greater good.

I've reached my boardgame quota for this year, but I'll be putting it on top of my list for next!
 
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Matt Steski
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I definitely second this recommendation. New Angeles was my favorite game of GenCon and the BSG influences on its design are very apparent. It's certainly worth checking out if you like BSG.
 
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Christian Letourneau
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Can't wait for this game to come out. FFG certainly dropped the ball on building the hype for this game though. Hoping that the release of the game spreads the word...
 
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Ian Madsen
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Duguayduguay wrote:
Can't wait for this game to come out. FFG certainly dropped the ball on building the hype for this game though. Hoping that the release of the game spreads the word...


I don't know, the hype before Android was fun, but undeserved.
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Geoff Conn
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Arcadious wrote:
Duguayduguay wrote:
Can't wait for this game to come out. FFG certainly dropped the ball on building the hype for this game though. Hoping that the release of the game spreads the word...


I don't know, the hype before Android was fun, but undeserved.


+1. Man that game looked good and sounded great...
 
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Christian Letourneau
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Talonz wrote:
Arcadious wrote:
Duguayduguay wrote:
Can't wait for this game to come out. FFG certainly dropped the ball on building the hype for this game though. Hoping that the release of the game spreads the word...


I don't know, the hype before Android was fun, but undeserved.


+1. Man that game looked good and sounded great...


Yeah but there is certainly a middle ground between too much hype and having a game that no one has heard of...
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Sounds a lot closer to Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game than BSG to me.
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Jordan kostov
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a1bert wrote:
Sounds a lot closer to Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game than BSG to me.
I agree with this one but we can only speculate until we try the game.
 
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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Sounds interesting. I've been working on a game that uses a lot of systems in BSG but more streamlined. Curious to see how others are doing it.

EDIT: After looking at it more it doesn't seem like it is very BSG-like at all. It is a competitive co-op game that doesn't seem to use many of the same mechanisms. I'm unsure why you compare it to BSG outside of the designer.

I was thinking of using a cyber punk-ish hacker theme for my game too so I was really interested in checking this out. While I'm still interested, it doesn't look like BSG at all and I've never had much success with competitive co-ops in my group. Still curious to see how it is received though.
 
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Kwijiboe
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Reviewed rules and got a copy from game store today.

Looks very promising. Many of the actions help and hurt the city. Investments convince players to do damage to the city for their own betterment. And direct trades of power from one player to another!

Battlestar has shades of this gameplay, but the expansions really kinda ruined these fundamental basics by introducing overpowered cards and making the game more action oriented by introducing characters and components which emphasized space combat rather than competition between players.

Am excite.
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