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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Applying Pandemic's idea to BSG rss

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William Robinson
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My group ran into a problem where we were not attacked by cylons for a very long portion of the game. Not only did it make the game boring, but made the pilot players impotent. I would recommend separating out the Cylon attack cards. Creating a pile of crisis cards for each and shuffling these piles with one cylon card in them and then stacking the shuffled decks on top of each other. You still get double attacks and randomness, But these become rarer as attacks become more generalized. You could always change things up and make smaller piles with 3/4 of the deck and place the cylon cards in those, creating a more dense onslaught of cylon attacks. You also never run into the problem of running out of cylon pieces.
Thoughts?

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Dan Cain
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boring? You didn't have any damage to repair? Your president didn't have quorum cards to paly to try to increase morale, fuel, or food? You didn't use some of the rooms to take extra cards, or if they had an xo cards give their turns to someone who could use the rare breathing room to do one of the above?

You need to spend those rare down moments to prepare for the next cylon attack, because attack they will.

LA
 
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mark sellmeyer
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if we go too long without cylons outside we go into paranoid mode and start trying to throw everyone else in the brig. If things are going too well you will get the cylon sympathizer turned and things usually go downhill for the humans quick.
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Tim Taylor
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Are you guys playing the same game we are? All we ever see is Cylon attacks! In three full games, we've never made it past the first jump. In each game we ran up against the cylon unit limit. In each game BSG was blown up by cylon raiders lead by the skin job traitor.

And yes, we have repeatedly shuffled the card deck...
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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In the one full game I played we were hit with about 7 or 8 of the 10 Cylon attack cards within the first 1/3 of the deck. Needless to say, the humans lost badly. But then again, in the solo game I played I was only hit with, I think, one of those cards and won easily. So I can see where, depending on the distribution of those cards, the game could turn out either incredibly difficult or too easy. And that solo game did seem very lame with no cylon ships to deal with for so long. What I might suggest is first shuffling 5 of the cards into the deck randomly, then adding the others into each fifth of the deck. So there will be some regularity to where they come up, but also some amount of randomness.
 
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Magnus Lundgren
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I can see that this would be boring for the pilots, but Starbucks should still go into a viper. With the double actions she gets (OK she cannot use the on board locations if she stays in space but still) she would have twice as fun as everyone else
 
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I H
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We usually play with the Pandemic-like shuffling of Cylon Attack cards. It tends to be a closer game that way, as opposed to the time we had one Cylon Attack in the entire game or the time that we had so many Cylon Attack cards that we ran out of pieces during two jump Cycles and spent all our actions simply moving Colony ships around while hoping for jump icons.
 
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Kyle
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If you use the Pandemic-style shuffling for the Cylon Attack cards, how do you deal with the special effect of the Thirty-Three card?


Do you shuffle that in with the crisis cards you've already been through and then put them all back on top of the deck?


Added:
 
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William Robinson
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For 33 and other shuffle deck cards, I would definitely shuffle the deck in its entirety (there will still be a reasonable dispersal). And I guess I have to qualify how boring it was. We went 3 jumps without a Cylon attack... It was basically: chose which resource to lose or pass this skill check for a long boring time. When we finally were attacked, we had prepared so well that we won easily. Don't get me wrong, BSG is probably the best co-op I have ever played, a small tweak to lower randomization, WITHOUT ELIMINATING IT ENTIRELY (Because that would ruin the theme and atmosphere), might improve one out of 20 games.
 
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Gary Laporte
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I love Pandemic and I must say that applying some of its rules on the Crisis cards so that Cylon Attack cards are bound to happen from times to times seems like a very good idea to me.

For the moment, I only played one game and there were only one Cylon attack (two cards one after the other) but it happened just before a jump so basically the humans never felt that threatened (it could also be because my girlfriend and I as Cylons weren't that good too). Is there any reason why a pandemic-style of shuffling the cards couldn't happen? Because this way, Cylon attacks would happen on a regular basis but with some randomness, which is always cool. And Roslin and Boomer's powers will still be very useful but maybe not as overpowered as they can sometimes be right now.

I think this idea has already appeared in another thread and it sounds good to me:

1 When preparing the crisis deck, isolate the 10 Cylon attacks cards.
2 Shuffle the 10 Cylon Attack Cards and keep 6 of them.
3 Get the other 4 Cylon Attack cards back in the crisis deck and shuffle it.
4 Now split the crisis deck in 6 decks of approximately equal number (there should be 64 cards in the deck so that's why it's approximate).
5 Add one of the 6 remaining Cylon attack cards to each deck.
6 shuffle each of the 6 decks separately.
7 Put the six decks together without shuffling them again (just putting them one on top of the other).

Could you see a reason not to apply such a rule? I mean, is there a negative on any point? That means that you can still be hit by several attacks one after the other but also that an attack will probably happen every 10 turns or so, which is enough for players to repair the ship, point fingers and so on but also assure that, well, attacks happen from times to times, even with Boomer and Roslin working their magic. ^^

Maybe the games where not one Cylon attack is drawn or where 3 or them are drawn one after the other are not common enough to justify such a rule, though.
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Gary Laporte
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What a moron, I forgot an important point when writing this post although I thought about it.

About the 33 card, I think it could be used kind of the way the epidemic cards are used in Pandemic.

When it is drawn, it stays active until a civilian ship or a basestar is destroyed. If the fleet jumps, take the top 20 cards of the deck, add 33 and shuffle them. This way, it'll keep appearing until a basestar or a civilian ship is destroyed (that's the first idea that comes to my mind but it's probably not balanced ^^).
 
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David Corbin
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Has this been tried? I think I'm going to in my next game, but would welcome experienced input.
 
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Jesse Hallstrom
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We'll probably be doing this next time we play BSG. In our last game we had I believe 4 attacks in the span of 6-7 crisis cards. The first attack happened right after jumping.
 
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David Corbin
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Sacuraf wrote:
We'll probably be doing this next time we play BSG. In our last game we had I believe 4 attacks in the span of 6-7 crisis cards. The first attack happened right after jumping.


I long for that.

In my last game, we had 3 attack cards in a full game. And, when you get multiple attacks in a row, the consequences are limited by the number of ships in the cylon 'pool'.
 
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MK
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I think arranging the deck works for Pandemic, but not for BSG.

In Pandemic, the Epidemics are critical to the winning or losing of the game. Having them bunched up near the beginning will kill you no matter what, having them bunched up at the bottom will mean the game is solved before the second epidemic can do anything. By splitting them so that they are nearly evenly distributed, it's guaranteed they will come up but not in rapid succession (at absolute worst, you could get two in a row - but that means that the third will be far behind the second).

But in BSG, the combat cards are not absolutely critical. True, getting a lot of combat cards bunched up early will be bad - but that just means that as soon as your FTL is in the blue, you jump and clear the board - and then, because you had a bunch of combat cards at the beginning, you won't get as many later. Or, if they don't come up frequently enough at the outset, they may come later, or you may just have to worry more about the skill checks and events than combat.

Either way, however, humans can win even if there is too much combat, and can lose even if there is no combat. The game is designed so that the combat cards present just one type of difficulty, not the critical game-determining difficulty.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Kima is absolutely right. Which is why I think my suggestion might work well... to take 5 of the Cylon attack cards and split them into different parts of the deck, and leave the other 5 completely random. It means there will be some regularity as far as when they come out, and also some measure of the unknown.
 
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Todd Warnken
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Here is another idea for a combat heavy variant. If the activation icon is "Basestars Attack" and there are no Cylon ships in play, add 1 basestar and three raiders in front of Galactica; then add 2 civilian ships behind Galactica. This adds 14 more opportunities for Cylon ships to arrive (18 if you are using Pegasus).
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Mundane wrote:
Here is another idea for a combat heavy variant. If the activation icon is "Basestars Attack" and there are no Cylon ships in play, add 1 basestar and three raiders in front of Galactica; then add 2 civilian ships behind Galactica. This adds 14 more opportunities for Cylon ships to arrive (18 if you are using Pegasus).


That seems too harsh, though. However, if an activate raiders icon comes up and there are no raiders, adding one raider in front of Galactica and one civilian ship behind might be nice. It's not too much of a threat, but it's a little something to keep you on your toes.
 
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MK
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Grudunza wrote:
Mundane wrote:
Here is another idea for a combat heavy variant. If the activation icon is "Basestars Attack" and there are no Cylon ships in play, add 1 basestar and three raiders in front of Galactica; then add 2 civilian ships behind Galactica. This adds 14 more opportunities for Cylon ships to arrive (18 if you are using Pegasus).


That seems too harsh, though. However, if an activate raiders icon comes up and there are no raiders, adding one raider in front of Galactica and one civilian ship behind might be nice. It's not too much of a threat, but it's a little something to keep you on your toes.



This is 100% sensible - as raiders have FTL drives for patrolling.

In fact, you could take this a step further. If a raider shows up this way, it stays on the board and moves/fires until the next card comes up with a raider icon. Remove the raider, and replace it with one basestar in front of Galactica. (The raider jumps away, reports Galactica's position, and brings back the basestar.) Of course, if the raider is destroyed before then, good for the humans - until the next patrol shows up.
 
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