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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Is it playable solo? rss

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Sean
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I'm guessing it's not playable solo, but are there any variants that might change the way in which cards are added so that you could play it solo. Thanks
 
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Alex Sorbello
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I think the bigger question would be is it playable with two?
The problem is you couldn't have a cyclon player and is playing against the game with just 2 humans worth it?
 
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Peter Putnam
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The best way to play solo is to play with 1 revealed Cylon and 2 human players. The Cylon gets 1 Super Crisis card but does not get the you are a cylon card. The turn order should be human, human, cylon. I just played this way. The humans got hammered but it was more by bad luck. I had as good of time playing BSG solo as playing AH solo.
 
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Doug Adams
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KingPut wrote:
The best way to play sole is to play with 1 revealed Cylon and 2 human players. The Cylon gets 1 Super Crisis card but does not get the you are a cylon card. The turn order should be human, human, cylon. I just played this way. The humans got hammered but it was more by bad luck. I had as good of time playing BSG solo as playing AH solo.

Could you play two player this way? Two humans and a game driven cylon?
 
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Peter Putnam
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dougadamsau wrote:
KingPut wrote:
The best way to play sole is to play with 1 revealed Cylon and 2 human players. The Cylon gets 1 Super Crisis card but does not get the you are a cylon card. The turn order should be human, human, cylon. I just played this way. The humans got hammered but it was more by bad luck. I had as good of time playing BSG solo as playing AH solo.

Could you play two player this way? Two humans and a game driven cylon?

I don't see why not if you want to play this as a 2 player co-op game. I think that maybe a better way to play than 1 human vs. 1 cylon. When I played solo, mentally I was playing for the Humans and I put the Cylons on autopilot.

Suggestions to put the Cylons on autopilot:
Cylons should start the game with 1 politics, 1 pilot and 1 engineering card. Then each turn they should pick up what ever of the 3 cards they are short on. This is pretty good strategy for revealed Cylons to play because most skill checks need Leadership or Tactics. I kept the Cylon hand face down during the game. For skill checks, quickly look at the Cylon hand and add in the most negative card available.
Cylons first move: I played a random Super Crisis card
Other Cylon moves: With Cylons ships on the board, activate whatever Cylon ship can do the most damage to the Humans. Probably in this order: Heavy Raiders / Centurions 1st priority, Raiders 2nd priority and Base ship 3rd priority.
When there are no Cylon fleets on the board, activate Caprica and look at 2 crisis cards. Priority: Cylon attack cards 1st, Skill check with the highest value 2nd, last = either / or choice cards.

As I mentioned, I got smoked playing with these rules but I think I ran into bad luck with 3 Cylon attack cards coming up before the first jump. 2 Centurions came on board Galatica, 4 civilian ships were destroyed and Galactica was hit 3 times before the first jump. I was able to take out the Centurions but I couldn't recover the loss of 4 civilian ships.

Please post if you try out this variant. Add suggestions because we probably need to modify a bit.






 
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Kilian Wolf
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While it is possible to play the game with one or two (done both) and it is actually a good way to get the rules and the flow of the game down, you should be aware that you are omitting the best part of the game: Blind accusations, names-calling, deception. I played a four player game on Saturday, where literally every sentence ended with an accusation ("could you help me out with an executive order?" "yeah right, freaking toaster!" "Fine, if you don´t, the others will finally see you as the metal bucket you are!" "could you hand me the die, please? ... metal can!")
 
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Matt Smith
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Dr Schlotter wrote:
While it is possible to play the game with one or two (done both) and it is actually a good way to get the rules and the flow of the game down, you should be aware that you are omitting the best part of the game: Blind accusations, names-calling, deception. I played a four player game on Saturday, where literally every sentence ended with an accusation ("could you help me out with an executive order?" "yeah right, freaking toaster!" "Fine, if you don´t, the others will finally see you as the metal bucket you are!" "could you hand me the die, please? ... metal can!")

I agree completely; the human/cylon metagame is what makes this game a great experience. However, playing solo or with only two players is a good way to learn the rules and explore different strategic options. There are so many different situations that can occur, it's helpful to experience them and work through the rules issues before playing with a larger group.

For the auto cylon player, I would put activating raiders before heavy raiders, unless the heavy raiders are ready to board/onboard Galactica. It seems population loss is the main way to kill the humans, and raiders attacking civilian ships is the best way to reduce population.
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Peter Putnam
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I totally agree with both Kilian and Matthew that the game was designed for 3 - 6 players and the game is 100% better with the full compliment of players. Playing with 1 or 2 players you lose the the main part of the game which is the hidden Cylons.

For me playing BSG with 1 or 2 players felt more like other co-op games like the Lord of the Ring game, Red November or even Arkham Horror where bad stuff happens based on a crisis type deck and the players have to solve the crisis by using cards or skills and combat or dice rolls.
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Chris J Davis
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I've been working on a ruleset for playing the game solo. It's not playtested yet, but here are some ideas on how to robotise the Cylons (if you'll pardon the pun). If anyone would like to playtest this and provide feedback, it would be appreciated (I probably won't have opportunity until next week)!

SETUP

Choose 5 characters to control (five is best as no sympathiser is used).

Deal the loyalty cards for a 5-player game face down to each character. You may not look at these cards except by the use of special game text (such as Baltar's ability).

Seed the Destiny Deck with *three* of each type of skill card instead of two. Always replenish with 3 whenever it is exhausted.

HIDDEN / REVEALING CYLONS

Characters take their turns in turn order, as usual. At the start of each character's turn reveal and discard the top card of the Destiny Deck. The current character "reveals" *one* of their loyalty cards (it is kept face up for the rest of the game) and the effects of it are carried out (if Cylon) if the colour of the skill card matches the colour of the character (i.e, Military Leader = green, Political Leader = yellow, etc) *and* the value of the skill card plus the following modifiers equals 5 or more:

+1 per distance travelled,
-4 per previously revealed Cylon

A Cylon that is revealed keeps his three highest-valued cards, with priority going to cards from decks closest to the back of Galactica (i.e, Engineering first to Political last).

Revealed Cylons will always add 1 negative card to skill checks if possible, which will always be their highest valued card of the type closest to the back of Galactica.

The Cylon character takes a Super Crisis card, which is kept face down until played as a Cylon action.

SKILL CHECKS

When making skill checks, *only* the character whose turn it is may add cards to the skill check in the normal way. Cards added from other characters (including revealed Cylons) are instead first *discarded*, then a number a number of random cards from the matching skill deck are added to the skill check; for each 1-3 strength card you discarded add 1 card to the skill check, and for each 4-5 strength card you discarded add 2 random cards. Revealed Cylon characters *always* use this method, even during their own turn.

Additonally, rules for the Destiny Deck change while there are hidden Cylons. These rules only apply before the Sleeper Agent phase while there are no revealed Cylons, and only after the Sleeper Agent phase while there is at least 1 hidden Cylon: for skill checks that only require *two* different types of skills add 1 extra card from the Destiny Deck into the skill check. For checks that require four different types of skills add 1 less card (this represents the hidden Cylon players interfering with the human's plans).

CYLON PLAYER'S TURN

When drawing skill cards for the Cylon player, always draw from either the Engineering or Piloting decks first. To determine which deck to draw from, look at the Cylon player's hand and draw from the deck in which the Cylon player's highest-valued card is lower in strength (for example, if his highest valued Engineering card was 4 and highest valued Piloting card was 2, he would draw a Piloting card). If there is a tie, then the Cylon player draws from the deck in which he holds the least number of cards. If still tied he draws a Politics card.

At the start of each revealed Cylon player's turn, reveal and discard the top card from the destiny deck. The Cylon player's action is determined by the strength of the skill card drawn and if the Cylon player has a Super Crisis card available or not (if the action chosen by the Cylon player is not valid, i.e - Cylon Fleet when there are no Cylon ships on the board, then the Cylon player chooses the next Cylon location to the right, with the Resurrection ship "wrapping around" back to Caprica if the Res. Ship is not a valid choice):

Cylon player has a Super Crisis card:

1 - Caprica (normal crisis)
2 - Caprica (super crisis)
3 - Cylon Fleet
4/5 - Human Fleet

Cylon player does not have a Super Crisis card:

1 - Caprica (normal crisis)
2 - Cylon Fleet
3 - Human Fleet
4/5 - Resurrection Ship

The rules for each location change as follows:

Caprica (normal crisis) - flip the top card of the crisis deck and resolve it normally. Then flip the top card again - if it has a jump prep icon, place it at the bottom of the deck. Otherwise, replace it at the top of the deck.

Cylon Fleet - flip and discard the top two cards of the crisis deck. Resolve the Cylon fleet activation icons on both cards. If both cards show the same icon, resolve only one of those icons.

Human Fleet - the Cylon player will steal from the hand of the character with most cards in their hand (ties go to the character next in turn order). The Cylon player will steal the highest strength card the character holds, ties going in skill deck order from the back of Galactica.

Resurrection Ship - the Cylon player gives an unrevealed Loyalty card he may still hold to a random character (if there is still a hidden Cylon) following the rules below for selecting random characters. He then draws a new Super Crisis card (which is kept face down until revealed).

OTHER RULES

Whenever a card instructs any non-player contolled character (i.e, human characters who are not currently taking their turn or revealed Cylon players) to "choose a character", then this choice is made randomly. Roll the die; if 1-4 then it is the previous valid character in turn order. If 5-8 it is the next valid character in turn order.

If the Admiral is ever revealed as a Cylon, then the next time the fleet jumps flip cards from the Destination deck until you find a 3-distance card. Carry out the effect text on the card then discard it and continue flipping until you find a 1-distance card. Add this card to the distance travelled stack.

If the President is ever revealed as a Cylon, discard half of the Quorum cards in the President's hand, rounded up.
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Chris J Davis
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Just to provide anyone who's interested with an update on the above variant - I forced myself to find the time to playtest it yesterday evening and although there were a couple of bugs it went quite well.

Good points:

* The system for skill checks worked exceptionally well. I would often pass or fail crises by the skin of my teeth.

* I was concerned that having so many cards constantly being cycled that I would be reshuffling decks all the time, but this was not the case. The enlarged Destiny Deck worked very well.

Bad points:

* The system for revealing Loyalty cards didn't work at all - it was simply too improbable for a card to be revealed that matched the colour of the active character *and* had a high enough strength (In my whole game I only revealed one Loyalty card, and just by complete chance it happened to be the Cylon). I would say that maybe it should just be if the number is high enough and leave it at that (I just thought that using the colours on the cards to match the character colours would be a cool mechanic, but I guess simpler is better).

* The most difficult part of the game was remembering each character's special abilities, but this may just be a fault with me (as I often have difficulty enough remembering *one* character's abilities when I'm playing multi-player). Maybe for those that are more accustomed to playing games solo this wouldn't be so much of a problem.

* The Quorum deck and Destination deck need some kind of mechanic to make them a bit more interesting single-player. I think maybe the President should as an action only be able to draw 2 or 3 random cards from those drawn so far and play one of those. For the Destination deck, simply draw the top card and resolve it rather than choosing between two - you can still scout or use other abilities to manipulate that deck (such as Assign Mission Specialist). Maybe if the fleet jumps on the Admiral's turn then you can still choose between two.

Anyway, again if anyone would like to help me playtest this variant and let me know how it goes I - and I'm sure a lot of other solo players out there - would appreciate it greatly!
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