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I love SoC, and think it is a great game.
The traitor makes this game really good.
So, why should I buy BG?
 
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Ron R.
United States
Kentucky
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I've played both very few times (SOC twice and BG once). One of the very first things I've noticed is that in BG in playing and watching a few games, if the time is right it is very beneficial for the traitor to reveal himself. The main opportunity being when he's pulled a rather gruesome event card and he wants the nastiness to happen. It seems to raise the excitement of the game where you're ready to jump out of a really bad situation, and the player you're relying on to get you out of it puts you in deeper.

I don't recall any of these stressfully exciting moments occur in SOC. I enjoyed SOC, but your focus is so much on completing quests, that finding a traitor in your midst is secondary when you're watching quests fail all over the board.

In addition to the traitor, the group working together in secret on the event cards is also a very fun style. When 3 cards come up against winning condition suspicion is immidately raised, since only 2 of these could have been from the fate deck. Everyone now knows there is a traitor, but who is it. The flying accusations of 'You're a toaster! Let's get him into the brig!' leads to a lot of fun!

Again from the few plays of each and watching each a few times, BG seems a little more interactive than SOC. I haven't seen SOC with the new Merlin's Company so I'm not sure how much of it changes, but at this point BG is higher on my list that SOC.

Now I'll stand aside and let some of these veterans chime in on where I went wrong.
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Thanks for your reply!

In SoC, you also play cards on to the quests, and can decide to play
them face-down. When a quest is finished, the cards are shuffled and shown face-up. If some bad cards are shown, you start to think a traitor
is among you.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Atlanta
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The only cards you play face down on quests are black cards, which you don't really choose high or low, you just play whatever you draw. I don't see any compelling reason why one would play high cards face up and not low cards as well.
 
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Scott Heenan
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In SoC, traitor or not, it just doesn't seem that the traitor can royally screw things up that badly. Sure, they can screw stuff up. But in BG they can really, really screw stuff up. The mix of skill cards + the destiny deck also lends to a great deduction game within the game.

In the SoC game that I played there really wasn't much of a sense of paranoia. In BG everyone was paranoid. Everyone got accused. And most the accusations were dead wrong.

Merlin's Company might add more paranoia to SoC, I've not had a chance to try that out yet. But in BG it's so prevelant and, more importantly, a lot more fun.
 
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Matt Smith
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Troy
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I've played many games of SoC, and I can say there is definitely some paranoia, and plenty of half serious accusations being flung around. If the traitor isn't being obvious, it can be really hard to finger a specific player, as bad luck can make the game go south just as much as traitorous play.

Also, play style can lead so some bad assumptions. For example, a buddy of mine, who has played SoC before, decided that it was best to add catapults to the board right away, as they don't start escalating until later. We tried to explain why that didn't make sense, but he was adamant. Of course, we accused him of being a traitor as soon as we could, because any experienced player knows that early catapults is just a bad strategy. However, he way Loyal (just stupid).

Regarding playing black cards face down on black knight/lancelot/dragon, I think most experienced players conclude that the free white card is always worth it, so no black cards get played face up, unless a traitor is trying to deflect suspicion.

I just got BG and have read the rules, but it seems there are more opportunities for the players to become more confident of the existence of a cylon, without a specific player tipping his hand. This sounds really cool, expecially if you're the cylon. I look forward to my first play, hopefully this weekend. It will be with all heavily experienced SoC players, so it should be a good comparison.
 
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Russ Hewson
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Surbiton
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Very different feel to the two games, although I've only played BSG once and that was at Essen, but watched bits and pieces of a few different games.

The traitor mechanic plays out quite differently -

First off, in SoC the loyal knights have to accuse the traitor to reveal them, in BSG the cylons have to reveal themselves, the humans can say what they like, but can never force a reveal. The consequence of this is that you can never prove you are a human (without Baltar using his cylon detector on you) as you aren't allowed to show your loyalty cards. Would imagine this could be quite frustrating if the cylons have conviced the rest that a human is a cylon and they are being kept locked in the brig!
Secondly, in SoC you get a bonus for finding the traitor (in fact a double bonus of a white sword, plus you don't get the flipped swords at the end of the game) in BSG the cylon gets a one time power on revealing themselves as long as they aren't revelaing in the brig.
Thirdly (and this is arguable), the traitor in SoC is more powerful when revealed (assuming that you've made your false accusation to turn a sword over) and the cylons in BSG are more powerful when hidden (which I guess matches with the reveal mechanisms).
Also I think the split dealing of cylon cards in BSG is a really good idea and of course you can go from being human to cylon with the game half over, this means that at the start of the game you might not want to do too well just in case you become a cylon later. Have been wondering if I can adapt a similar thing for SoC.

I think BSG works out more than twice the length of SoC I'd imagine getting a 5 player of BSG below 3 hours would be a challenge (took us 3.5 hours and the game preceding ours also took about the same) whereas at the weekend with 2 people new to the game a 6 player SoC took an hour and a half and a 5 player afterwards was just over the hour.

I really enjoy both of them, although I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed SoC with Merlin's Company in play as I wasn't a big fan before I got the expansion.

As an aside with one of my friends and SoC there's always the question - 'Is Phil incompetant, or is he the traitor?'
 
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Brian Bankler
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I've played SoC over a dozen times. I find the idea compelling, but the endgame (and opening) is often weak. I mean, I keep playing it, but it lacks tension sometimes. You get to the point where you can end any quest (win or lose) and win the game. Lots of static decisions. Once you've moved to the grail, you play a grail card (or maybe a special).

I find BSG (which I've only played once) more dynamic and having more dramatic tension. That's the main selling point. It is longer, though. I may buy it, and I'd certainly trade for it.

I wrote a more detailed set of thoughts.
 
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Nathan Baumbach
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Uhtoff wrote:


First off, in SoC the loyal knights have to accuse the traitor to reveal them, in BSG the cylons have to reveal themselves, the humans can say what they like, but can never force a reveal. The consequence of this is that you can never prove you are a human (without Baltar using his cylon detector on you) as you aren't allowed to show your loyalty cards. Would imagine this could be quite frustrating if the cylons have conviced the rest that a human is a cylon and they are being kept locked in the brig!


I think this is the biggest factor, really. Even when Baltar uses his Cylon detector ability on you, no knows for sure or not if Baltar's telling the truth. Since only Baltar sees the card, and no one else.

I've had games where Baltar's a Human, and he finds the Cylon player, but he keeps it quiet, because there's a big chance that during the next Loyalty deal, he's also going to be a Cylon. If he tries too hard the first round to prove someone is a Cylon, everyone suspects him of being one. And so on.

Knowing who is and isn't a Cylon is never certain until the Cylon chooses to reveal him/herself. It's always a strategic choice in the hands of the Cylons, and not the other players. Plus, since you can start the game with no Cylons, you can never be too sure there's a Cylon at all until the second Loyalty round. So sending someone to the Brig may actually handicap the Humans really early in the game.



 
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