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Subject: Cain Variant rss

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possum man
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So usually we have just banned Cain, but in a bid to start using characters we don't use very often, we decided to try a Cain variant. We play Kobol/Pegasus/Cylon Fleet Board.

OPT: Unchanged
OPG: Add the condition that whatever distance is revealed by the Blind Jump is reduced by 1
Drawback: You cannot be the target of an Executive Order

The thought process was that by reducing the distance by 1, it mitigates the game-shortening effects of her ability and makes the jump more of a risk (as you still lose all the fuel on the destination card). The inability to be XO'd nerfs her, and makes it more difficult for her to Launch Scouts to get a better destination.

Has anyone tried anything similar? Can this work?
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Chris Ley
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I find that requiring a destination shuffle right before her opg draw works fine. You don't need the other house rules. It also puts buried designations back in play.
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Another common one is to draw the 2nd top destination (3rd top with Pilot Helo in play) rather than the top one, thus making the jump truly blind. I think that's what a lot of people prefer to use, and it seems to be the most common variant I see in the PBF games. I think this works better thematically than subtracting one from the destination's distance, since that still encourages scouting for the 'blind' jump.

In terms of the new drawback, that fits thematically, and might actually balance her reasonably well. It's a little bit of a nastier drawback than her current one, plus it might make people not like her as much as Admiral as you can't XO the admiral to nuke your way out of a bad situation. Although that's probably fairly minor. But mostly, not being able to get XOs hurts Cain as both a human and Cylon, and tempers her powerful starting Admiral title, solid drawset and OPG.

My group has actually changed all three parts of Cain (my group loves houseruling BSG...). The general ability is barely different, the trigger is just, pass by 5 instead of 10 strength. The OPG is completely changed to : Strip Them For Parts - Action: Draw 3 Civvies, destroy one. For each resource lost, Gain 1 Jump prep, Gain 1 Nuke token, Repair 2 damaged locations or Take 1 skill card from any discard pile into your hand (each choice has to be different). Bent on Revenge has been changed to: When you choose the bottom option on a crisis card, you discard twice as many skill cards. I'm mostly not a fan of some of our groups character changes, but I quite like this one. It makes other people like her less as Admiral, it makes the general ability interact with difficulty adjustments and it makes the OPG something that fits better without being a huge game length changer.
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Pasi Ojala
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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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Just make Blind Jump draw the first non-scouted destination instead of the top card.
 
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David F
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possumman wrote:
So usually we have just banned Cain, but in a bid to start using characters we don't use very often, we decided to try a Cain variant. We play Kobol/Pegasus/Cylon Fleet Board.

OPT: Unchanged
OPG: Add the condition that whatever distance is revealed by the Blind Jump is reduced by 1
Drawback: You cannot be the target of an Executive Order

The thought process was that by reducing the distance by 1, it mitigates the game-shortening effects of her ability and makes the jump more of a risk (as you still lose all the fuel on the destination card). The inability to be XO'd nerfs her, and makes it more difficult for her to Launch Scouts to get a better destination.

Has anyone tried anything similar? Can this work?
I like this (and enough so that I'm quoting it for posterity ), although I have some issues with this OPG...

Can it go below 0, or is it minimum of 0 distance? What if you get Misjump which is a 0?

I would probably want this to be minimum of 1 not that I think of it, as I believe there should be some distance, even with the penalty. With Misjump, leave that at 0

.

I don't really mind about the "blind jump not being truly blind" b/c there are just too many things in the game that end up being not really thematic... Helo can still be admiral despite being Stranded, Baltar's Cylon Detector should've been able to detect if somebody's a sleeper agent, and then there are issues with some of the folks who were and weren't supposed to be cylons as per the show.

Plus, the analogy I use is if I put a blind fold on you and have you shoot a rifle, that's blind. If somebody aims the rifle for you, you're still firing blind, but at least you'll still hit the intended target.
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possum man
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Thanks! I also don't mind the jump not being truly blind, the -1 distance and the inability to Scout/Jump from an XO is enough of an inhibitor.

As for misjump, I would resolve the misjump completely then subtract 1 from the new distance drawn. It's very unlikely to occur and I think I'd rather not start ignoring text on cards.

That resolves the issue of minimum 0 distance; I honestly think that minimum 1 would require some testing. I like the idea of it being a gamble; perhaps the Cylon Pursuit has just filled, and the nukes are gone, and Apollo has revealed as a Cylon. It's a real emergency - do we risk jumping the fleet just to escape? Is there time to scout? You might get 0 distance, but you also might get 2 distance and significantly shorten the game. Making the distance minimum 1 means that the jump is guaranteed to be 1 or 2 distance, which feels a bit too reliable.

I think for the purposes of playtesting I'll err on the side of caution and allow 0 distance; in a few months I could come back and report how it goes?
 
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Robert Stewart
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My main issue with reducing the distance for Cain's Blind Jump is that it makes it even better for a Cylon when you're late in the Jump cycle.

Rather than roll a die for a 3/4 chance of losing 1 Pop, you lose an average of 2 Pop (and 1/3 of another resource) and get a random Destination at the cost of skipping an average of about 1.75 turns - already a good deal for a Cylon. Reduce the Distance by 1 on top of that, and it becomes a no-brainer if Cylon Cain ever gets the opportunity.
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Pasi Ojala
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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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Yes, -1 to the distance makes Blind Jump an automatic loyalty check. No human-loyalty player should ever perform it.
 
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a1bert wrote:
Yes, -1 to the distance makes Blind Jump an automatic loyalty check. No human-loyalty player should ever perform it.
Well, Blind Jump is also to jump away from Cylon ships.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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ackmondual wrote:
a1bert wrote:
Yes, -1 to the distance makes Blind Jump an automatic loyalty check. No human-loyalty player should ever perform it.
Well, Blind Jump is also to jump away from Cylon ships.

And you choose to lose unknown resources from civilian ships instead of protecting potentially known ones, and lose unknown resources from the destination instead of having a choice between two alternatives... And on average you'll lose one or more jump preps. So when you know there's a good chance the jump takes you nowhere, and almost always not more than 1 distance - you do the math. And it takes an action as well.

In addition, if you happen to play with CFB, you'll still have the cylon ships following you and civilian ships to escort out, so the net results are pretty much always negative.

So, I still think house-ruling to take the first non-scouted destination is the best alternative. But then again, our group rarely takes Cain anyway.
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a1bert wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
a1bert wrote:
Yes, -1 to the distance makes Blind Jump an automatic loyalty check. No human-loyalty player should ever perform it.
Well, Blind Jump is also to jump away from Cylon ships.

And you choose to lose unknown resources from civilian ships instead of protecting potentially known ones, and lose unknown resources from the destination instead of having a choice between two alternatives... And on average you'll lose one or more jump preps. So when you know there's a good chance the jump takes you nowhere, and almost always not more than 1 distance - you do the math. And it takes an action as well.

In addition, if you happen to play with CFB, you'll still have the cylon ships following you and civilian ships to escort out, so the net results are pretty much always negative.

So, I still think house-ruling to take the first non-scouted destination is the best alternative. But then again, our group rarely takes Cain anyway.

This isn't THAT far off from using FTL Control, as you reach a point where it's worse not to do for it. However, that's about as far as I can go, as everything else mentioned does indeed add up.

For better and for worse, our groups have chosen Cain because slicing half an hour to 1.5 hours off the game time has been very tempting.
 
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