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Subject: Best way to lead the ship : everyone in the brig !? rss

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Sylvain CS
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Well, it occured to me a strange pro-human strategy, that i haven't tested, but makes me think the game (the brig specifically) might be flawed.

What happens if everyone gets in the brig ?

Basically, every "Cylon" action would be frozen since no player would draw crisis card.
Thus every player may get an infinite number of turns, meaning :
- every player may pick his hand of 10 cards within his colors
- the president draws (and may play) every quorum card
- +4 morale and +2 food (from quorum cards and infinite 6+ try)
- every centurion, raider or heavy raider wiped out (from the quorum card that does it + strategic planning). Only basestars remain.

Considering the overall advantages, the only player not willing to go to the brig should be a cylon. Not too hard to force him to though !

A Cylon's only way to break this is to reveal itself (if there is any).

Well, in order to prevent this absurdity (everyone in the brig being a winning human strategy), i first thought to rule that everyone in the brig IS a loosing condition.

However, there still is times during which a single player's best strategy would be to "brig" himself up.

For example, isn't Admiral Adama overall better in the brig "executive ordering" anyone usefull, and NOT drawing any crisis card while doing so, getting free "good/humans" actions while not triggering "bad/Cylon" ones ?

How could we nerf the brig's unique ability to prevent crisis without helping too much the cylons ?
 
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Paul Imboden
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popol75 wrote:
How could we nerf the brig's unique ability to prevent crisis without helping too much the cylons?


1) Limit the number of people the brig can hold.
2) Penalize capacity for the brig; if more than one person, draw a Crisis card per extra person and auto-Fail it.
 
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James Palmer
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If everyone is in the brig and the cylon reveals himself, the humans don't stand much of a chance, since the cylon can choose crisis cards, and the humans can't put in more than one skill card each, and since the only crises cards being drawn are the ones the cylon draws, it's unlikely the galactica is going to jump too quickly.

Also, if the cylon brings in fleets to attack, there's also very little the humans can do to stop it.

And with a cylon in the group, the humans are going to have a -very- tough time getting themselves out of the brig.

Sorry, I just don't see this strategy working.
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Chris Cieslik
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This mechanic is in no way broken or even unbalanced. Adding a condition that says the humans lose if everyone in the brig is unbalanced. Adding a condition where humans draw and auto-fail a crisis for having too many in the brig is also unbalanced. The game is hard enough for the humans already and being in the brig is not a good thing.

This strategy would theoretically be positive if all players at the table were human. There would be a net of 4 food and 2 morale during the "infinity" time spent in the brig, and each human could cherry-pick their hand of 10 cards. However, when it came time to come out of the brig, you'd wind up getting whacked with crisis cards, and also get hit with several on the way in(and probably fail, spending a bunch of cards toward throwing people into the brig). Feasibly, this could still be a net positive gain.

This could only work if for some reason 100% of the players were 100% convinced that all players were human. This is most likely in a 3 player game, although it could technically occur in a 4 or 5 player game with lucky crisis draws and presidential actions to inspect loyalty cards. If not all of the players were certain of a full human contingent, I can imagine the reaction of the uncertain players when you ask the group 'Hey, mind if we throw everyone into the brig to help our chances?'

Hint: The answer will be 'Sure, you first, and we'll be right along after.'

Second Hint: They won't come right along after

All a cylon player would need to do in the case of the entire group in the brig would be to reveal, and draw crisis cards off the New Caprica location every turn. Remember that jump track icons do not count on crises drawn by cylons, so -no positive progress- outside of the +4 food, +2 morale, +cards could occur for the human players.


Also, sorry to be a nitpicker on this one point, but it is LOSE, not LOOSE.
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James Palmer
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angelkurisu wrote:
Remember that jump track icons do not count on crises drawn by cylons


Where is this in the rules? I can't find it.
 
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Mike zebrowski
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popol75 wrote:
How could we nerf the brig's unique ability to prevent crisis without helping too much the cylons ?


It doesn't need to be nerfed. Putting everyone in the brig makes the game a cakewalk for the Cylons.

As soon as everyone is in the Brig, the Cylon reveals themselves, go to Carprica and send Crisis after Crisis at the humans. (Also, Crisis Cards generated from Caprica do not advance the FTL countdown, so the Fleet isn't even moving.) As soon as a Heavy Raider is on the board, they go to the Cylon Fleet and keep activating them until the Centurions destroy Galactica.

Sure that Humans might get the perfect 10 cards, but it also costs cards to get out of the Brig and their remaining cards will quickly be eaten up by Crisis after Crisis.
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Joe Niezelski
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In the section about cylons. It also says it right on the board in the Caprica location.

[edit] Sorry, another post got in front of me. This is in response to the question about where it says that jump and activation icons don't cound on Cylon crisis draws.

Also, this is only for revealed Cylons. Obviously, unrevealed Cylons just follow the Human rules.
 
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In my local playgroup, the humans recently won a game via this strategy, though note it was not intentional at the time (it was due to extreme paranoia at the table.) Three of the five players in the game were in the brig, and each them ended up using Executive Orders to allow those not in the brig to take actions. As such, we were able to successfully control the onslaught of cylon attacks on Galactica, repair the ship, and minimize the damage that the event cards would have. Inevitably it DID lead to the cylon players revealing themselves, but since they were both in the brig, it was not as harmful as it could have been, and by that point it was too late. We were almost all the way to Kobol.

edit: abysmal grammar.
 
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Nate Parkes
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If everyone was in the brig, and therefore no one was drawing crisis cards, how would you ever move the fleet token? How would you ever jump?

Am I missing something really obvious? I mean, if you didn't ever jump, how would you win?

I suppose you could try to do it intermittenly. Everybody jump in the brig and bulk up, then everybody get out and resolve some crises, and then everybody get back in the brig. Frankly, I would love to be a Cylon in that game, though. All the time and resources that it would take to send everybody into the brig, and then with all the time and resources that would be required to get everyone back out...

In a six player game, it would take six turns for everyone to get into the brig, during which you would face five crises with an increasing level of difficulty (since your players' would be increasingly unable to participate in skill checks).

Then you bulk up. Assuming the Cylon doesn't reveal, you bulk up for... infinite turns. Everyone gets 10 cards.

Now I think you're mistaken about the automatic +4 morale and +2 food from quorum cards. Most of those cards say "remove from the game" after use and have a roll difficult of 6+. Even with strategic planning, you're not going to get, on average, all of those. With strategic planning, you'll get about two-thirds of those, so something like +3 morale and +1 food.

Then everyone gets out of the brig. This will take 6 turns, and will drain about 1 card from each person's hand each turn to pass the skill check. During this time, you'll face 5 more crisis cards with limited player participation. By the time you're all out again, the Brig skill checks will have drained you hands down to five or six cards each, maybe less.

PROS:
~ +3 morale, +1 food
~ Each player has approximately 1-2 more cards in his/her hand (maybe).

CONS:
~ Face 10 crises with limited player paricipation.
~ Quorum deck is drained.
~ If the Cylon is the last person to go in the brig, and chooses not to, the humans will probably lose the next 3-4 crisis skill checks.

I don't think it's viable. But if you try it and it works, let us know.
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Mike zebrowski
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MScrivner wrote:
The humans recently won a game recently via this strategy, though note it was not intentional at the time (it was due to extreme paranoia at the table.)


You didn't win because of the strategy.
1) Not all of the players were in the Brig.
2) 2 of the 3 Players in the Brig were Cylons.

It sounds like the Cylon players in your game played poorly. They actively contributed to the success of the Humans instead of trying to get out of the Brig or revealing themselves.
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Nate Parkes
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MScrivner wrote:
Three of the five players in the game were in the brig, and each them ended up using Executive Orders to allow those not in the brig to take actions... Inevitably it DID lead to the cylon players revealing themselves, but since they were both in the brig, it was not as harmful as it could have been, and by that point it was too late. We were almost all the way to Kobol.


Why did the Cylons play Executive Order cards on the humans? Why not just reveal at that point?
 
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Nate Parkes
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Felkor wrote:
angelkurisu wrote:
Remember that jump track icons do not count on crises drawn by cylons


Where is this in the rules? I can't find it.


I think it's printed on the "Caprica" location.
 
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Michael D. Kelley
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Another confusion about this "strategy":

How can the prez get the quorum cards to build morale and food? They can't be on Colonial 1 to draw cards.

Silly idea, but hey, at least people are thinking about a great game.

PS - Mike, any idea when the FAQ is coming out? There have been many solid rules questions on the BGG forums lately.
 
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GameMasterX0 wrote:
Another confusion about this "strategy":

How can the prez get the quorum cards to build morale and food? They can't be on Colonial 1 to draw cards.

Silly idea, but hey, at least people are thinking about a great game.

PS - Mike, any idea when the FAQ is coming out? There have been many solid rules questions on the BGG forums lately.


The president card lets you spend 1 action to draw a single Quorum card. So you could stock up on them while you wait. The President's Office is just a more efficient way to gather/play them.

Also, you can simply let one person out to start drawing Crisis cards to make progress. The full draw for each player for each single Crisis makes it pretty easy to pass them (even though you get only one card each, rest assured it would be whatever card you needed). Any Cylons would pretty much have to reveal themselves to put some pressure on.

I'd thought about this strategy myself, but I think this is a game much more about theme than about mechanics. Thematically, you would never see everybody in the brig, so I don't think it should be allowed. Of course there is no rule that prevents it, but it falls under the general guideline of DBAD (unless you're a Cylon, then of course BAD).
 
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Eldil wrote:
Then everyone gets out of the brig. This will take 6 turns, and will drain about 1 card from each person's hand each turn to pass the skill check. During this time, you'll face 5 more crisis cards with limited player participation. By the time you're all out again, the Brig skill checks will have drained you hands down to five or six cards each, maybe less.

The process of throwing everybody in the Brig won't draw a single Crisis card. You just have to throw yourself in the Brig. If you do, the Brig says you don't get to draw a Crisis card, so you can bypass it. If you started on the first move of the game, you could get everybody in the Brig before the first Crisis card is pulled.

Of course, even if everybody is Human, that's only temporary. And once you get dealt your new shiny "You are a Cylon" card, you'll be quite upset that you wasted all that time shoring up Galactica's reserves.
 
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bsushort wrote:
I think this is a game much more about theme than about mechanics. Thematically, you would never see everybody in the brig, so I don't think it should be allowed.

You must have missed that episode!
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There are major flaws to this strategy, in my opinion. First, you mention that if someone is a Cylon, then it would not be hard to force them into the brig. That isn't exactly true. Depending on the turn order, the majority of the other players may already be in the brig. And if the Cylon was the last player outside, there is no way he or she would send themself in. This would leave the Cylon free to throw bad skill cards into a check as the other players could only throw one each into the pot.

If we were to assume that everyone complied and went peacefully into the brig and maxed out their hands and potential and the group decides its time to exit the brig. Player 1 exits (depleting skill cards in the process). Once freed, they draw a crisis card at the end of their turn. This means that they are the only player who can play more than one card into it. Everyone else is in the brig and can only play one card. So, Player 1 loses more cards from their "sweet hand" and other players in the brig may lose one as well. Player 2 exits the brig and loses cards in the process to pass the skill check and triggers another crisis. So, in effect, you would go through the cards pretty quickly and it would be a moot effort for all but the Quorum hand. A full Quorum hand is nice, provided that you have a guarantee that the President is human AND will remain human during the second loyalty phase. If they draw a Cylon card in the second round, that is a LOT of power and damage that a Cylon could cherry pick and cause from that deck.

And as far as single characters, such as Adama sitting in the brig and executing executive orders from there, that is a flawed strategy as well. True, the extra actions are nice, however, Adama could only contribute one card to and crisis skill checks. There are many games where things are so close that you need every available card. Destiny can be a harsh mistress. And, the only reason that Adama would be in the brig willingly is because he is a human. That means that you are limiting the amount of cards that a definite human character could add to crisis skill checks. Not worth it, in my opinion. Also, while in the brig, Adama may not be drawing Crisis cards, but that also means that the FTL will not cycle. Not to mention that sitting back in the brig and issuing executive orders is INCREDIBLY risky since any of the players on the outside might be a Cylon and you risk giving your enemy two actions while you can do little from your position.

The brig isn't a nice place to be. It doesn't need to be nerfed. The situation that you describe only works if you are 100% that everyone is human. You cannot be sure of this. And even if you were, the benefits are really not that great as to be worth the risks that come with it. Besides, unlike SoC, at least one player will DEFINITELY be a traitor. So you also have to deal with player's subconscious metagaming realizing that in your scenario, there is a good chance that they will eventually be against the humans and want your strategy to fail. In fact, if all went as you planned, you are maxing out the Cylon forces because you will trigger the Sympathizer to side with the Cylons, giving even more opposition in the second half.

There has only been one time to date that I have willingly went into the brig. It was when I was a hidden Cylon and the group suspected either me or the pilot. My action forced the pilot to either join me in the brig as well "for the safety of the entire fleet" or to stay out of the brig (since he was human), but have everyone suspect him more than me. In essence, his joining me in the brig crippled the fleet because the pilot was not available and the delay in getting him out of the brig and into a viper took too long and Galactica was heavily damaged.
 
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Sylvain CS
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Well, thanks for your replies.

The point I wanted to make is that this strategy is viable (a 4 player game has easily a 40% chance getting no Cylon in the 1st round) as a whole.
In a desperate situation, with Cylons swarming the battlestar, 3 centurions aboard, having the whole crew going to the brig might save the day, and i am willing in desperate situations, to take a 40% chance ! (remember this strategy wipes the Cylons off the board)

Even worse, voluntary going to the brig may be the optimal play on some occasions (second part of my post, with adama playing on "for" human and not doing any harm) for one isolated human player, delaying the Cylons for that savior FTL jump, for example.

The problem I have with the "brig" being the best choice is that I don't like having to do suboptimal choices, just to keep the climax on. The problem with the game system is that situations occur when voluntary going to the brig is objectively the best choice for a human, just to slow down the Cylons. The extreme sample with everyone in the brig is just a way to illustrate this.

That is why I want to change the rules. In order not to have the system making me nonsensical moves ("please jail me to stop the Cylon !!!").

Oh, by the way,
Eldil wrote:

PROS:
~ +3 morale, +1 food


Cards are only removed from the game when the test is successful. Otherwise they are discarded (ie. put into the discard pile) and reshuffled. That is why, there are infinite 6+ tries (equivalent to a success). That is +4 morale and +2 food.

PS: loose vs. lose: I sincerely apology for the convenience. English obviously not being my mother tongue, I merely try to mimick the way you speak this superior langage. I am afraid my own would sound like grunts and barks to you.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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This is even sillier than you thought.

Scouts with +2 to the roll, and Boomer's ability, each let you look through the entire crisis deck and get the card you want to the top.

You can then have one player exit the brig, resolve the card, and hop back in. When you're ready to hop out, theoretically, everyone will know the exact order of the crisis deck (because you let everyone scout through the entire thing).

I imagine it's pretty hard to lose at that point - unless you're the unlucky player to receive the cylon card in the second deal.
 
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Sylvain CS
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Thank you, i didn't see that.

Scouting lets you furthermore choose the planet you go to as well.

My feeling is that there is something wrong in there...
 
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Jon W
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A variant of this was just brought up on Brian Bankler's site by Aaron Fuegi. See:

http://gaming.powerblogs.com/posts/1227656978.shtml

Short of it: Roslin stays out of brig, everyone else in. Roslin uses her visions to steer humanity to a win.

Odds are against Roslin being a Cylon on the deal, so why not try it? If she is one, game over, start again (game time complaints solved, whee!). If not, it forces the Cylons to reveal right away, big part of the fun is over, if not the game itself.
 
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
It doesn't need to be nerfed. Putting everyone in the brig makes the game a cakewalk for the Cylons.

If there are Cylons in the initial deal, sure. Then it's game over, oops, start again.

If not (and this will happen a fair amount of the time), then it comes down to the 2nd half, when Cylons (+ sympathizer) are guaranteed. Can the Cylons pull it off against a "tuned" deck? What if Roslin alone stays out, as Fuegi outlines, and forces a little action along?

I'm going to test this out over the long weekend, but at this point I agree with the OP that something is awry here. Not necessarily in terms of breaking the game (that is, guaranteeing a win for either side), but in terms of breaking the fun.
 
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waddball wrote:
I'm going to test this out over the long weekend, but at this point I agree with the OP that something is awry here. Not necessarily in terms of breaking the game (that is, guaranteeing a win for either side), but in terms of breaking the fun.


It takes a lot of co-operation to pull this off. If everyone is that intent on breaking the fun, then it's probably time to call it a night.
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Felkor wrote:
It takes a lot of co-operation to pull this off. If everyone is that intent on breaking the fun, then it's probably time to call it a night.

It's a cooperative game! No one wants to break the fun, it just happens naturally, given the premise that this "all or all except Roslin into the brig" strategy is optimal.

But the jury's still way out.
 
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We could argue that the strategy could work or not in theory (I'm leaning toward the later), but in practice, it reminds me of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" . If you fail to convince everyone to accept to go in the brig (and stay there!), the strategy fails (especially if the ones refusing are Cylons!). And usually, the more people involved, the higher the chances of failure are (and it climbs exponentially!).
 
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