♫ Eric Herman ♫
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In my recent session report (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/384928), I described how playing a solitaire game using the official cooperative variant was a lot better than using the official solo variant. There was a suggestion about adding a Cylon to that, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I tried this today, using 3p, and it ended up being an incredibly tense finish that the humans barely won. At first it seemed that the Cylon wasn't revealed until it was almost too late to make a difference, but it was actually just in time to make it incredibly close, whereas otherwise it would have been an easy human victory.

I made some adjustments to the cooperative rules to account for the Cylon presence... for example, players draw their full complement of Skill Cards each turn (instead of one less). I did keep the resources lowered, though. Well actually, I had started the game with them at the normal level, but reduced them per the cooperative rules about halfway through when it seemed the humans would win too easily... It turned out to be very close in resources, so for now I think it makes sense to keep them lowered. Of course, the Cylon actions aren't always going to be optimal, but they do a reasonably decent job of providing some good conflict, and they're easy to implement.

Anyway, here's the ruleset I followed... I may tweak this some more after further plays. Your feedback is certainly welcome and appreciated.

SOLO BSG WITH CYLON

You control 3 or 5 roles (I don't want to bother with the Sympathizer for this, at least not yet).

The Admiral begins with 1 nuke in a 3p game and 2 nukes for 5p.
Players draw all Skill Cards they are entitled to every turn.
Resources begin at 8 fuel, 7 food, 9 morale, 10 population.
Players draw a Crisis Card while in the Brig.

At the start of the game, remove the following cards from the Quorum deck: Encourage Mutiny, Release Cylon Mugshots and Arrest Order (x2). For Assign Arbitrator, Assign Vice President, etc., only the Action: part of the card is relevant (draw 2 politics cards).

Play otherwise as normal until jump distance = or > than 4. At that time, create a Loyalty Deck comprised of 2 "not a Cylon" cards and 1 Cylon card (for 3p), or 3 "not a Cylon" cards and 2 Cylon cards (for 5p). Deal one face down to each character.

Beginning with the round following the jump to level 4 or greater, each character, after drawing their skill cards, reveals their Loyalty card.

A Cylon player, when first revealed, discards down to 3 cards (save any Strategic Planning cards and otherwise the highest numbered cards), moves directly to the Caprica location, and applies the effects of the "You Are a Cylon" card immediately, as follows:

Can Send a Character to Sickbay: Send the character on Galactica with the most Skill Cards to Sickbay. If there is a tie, choose the next character in turn order. If no other characters are on Galactica, then disregard the card.

Can Reduce Morale by 1: reduce the morale by 1

Can Send a Character to the Brig: Send the character with the most Skill Cards to the Brig. If there is a tie, choose the next character in turn order.

Can Damage Galactica: Draw 2 damage tokens and apply them.

On subsequent turns, a Cylon character will perform the action of the location where they are and then move to the next location to the right (the Resurrection Ship space is not used) and then back to Caprica to start again. Caprica -> Cylon Fleet (if applicable) -> Human Fleet -> Caprica, etc.

Resolve the Cylon locations as follows...

Caprica: Note: The first time a Cylon player begins their turn on Caprica they will draw and immediately play a Super Crisis card. In a 5p game, the 2nd Cylon player does that the 2nd time they begin their turn on Caprica. Otherwise, play Caprica as follows... Draw the top 2 Crisis Cards. If either card is a Cylon Attacks card, play it (if both are, play the first). Otherwise, whichever card can reduce the resource(s) that is already the lowest, play that. Otherwise, play the first card that was drawn and discard the other.

Cylon Fleet: (Note: Cylon player always skips this space if there are no Cylon ships or basestars in space.) If there are raiders in the same space as civilian ships (whether vipers can defend or not), activate them. If there are heavy raiders in range of dropping off a boarding party, activate them. (If both cases are possible, choose to activate heavy raiders if raiders would need to attack vipers... otherwise, choose raiders.) Otherwise, launch 2 raiders and 1 heavy raider from each basestar.

Human Fleet: Take one random card from the player with the most Skill Cards (if there is a tie, choose the next player in turn order). Always play "Strategic Planning" if possible before rolling to attempt to damage Galactica.

When drawing Skill Cards, the Cylon player always draws Tactics until they have at least one "Strategic Planning", and then draws from Skills that they don't already have, or have only low numbers of.

The Cylon will always add their highest possible negative card to all Skill Checks, whether the humans made an effort to pass it or not.
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Will
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Is the goal of the solo guy to win as the humans?

It sounds like a neat addition to a solo game. I wouldn't want to play a solo game without cylons to be honest, so if I did play solo I'd probably try your variant.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Okay, I tried this a couple more times. It definitely plays well, but although I did lose pretty badly once with 3p, it seemed like a cakewalk with 4. And I don't want to bother with the Sympathizer for this... So I'm going to suggest playing with either 3 or 5 roles to begin with. (I haven't tried 5 yet, though.)

And also, though it could swing things pretty heavily in the Cylons' favor, I don't like the potential of waiting so long (until it's too late to make much of a difference) until the Cylon is revealed, especially considering that in a real game that could happen at any time. So I'm changing it so that once the 4 jump threshold has been reached, you deal out either 2 "not a Cylon" + 1 Cylon cards (for 3p) or 3 "not a Cylon" + 2 Cylon cards (for 5p), so the Cylon player(s) will be revealed in their next turn and be present for the rest of the game.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I tried this with 5p and it was just too easy to win, even with the reduced resources and the Cylons on AI... Now, without playing it several more times (and with different characters) I'll have no idea if I just had it easy that particular time or if it's just too easy as it is. But in any case, I'm going to try to make this harder for humanity...

I'm thinking of pulling out a couple of the Cylon Attack cards at the beginning and playing them at certain points, or rolling the die once a turn and playing one if it is 5 or less (which gives another use for Strategic Planning cards), or something like that. There's always the chance in this game where you don't come across the Cylon Attack cards for a while, and then not only is it not very challenging, but it can be pretty boring... in the solo/co-op version, at least... when there's a Cylon lurking in the full game, then it's still very engaging even when there are no Cylon ships attacking.

So for now, I'm going to try adding this to the rules...

Before the game, separate the 10 Cylon Attack cards, shuffle them, and deal two of them face-down to the side of the board. Then shuffle the remaining Cylon Attack cards back into the Crisis Card deck. After the first jump, when each player is about to draw a Crisis Card, they first roll the die. On a roll of 5 or less, they will turn over and play the first of the Cylon Attack cards that was set aside (instead of drawing and playing one of the Crisis Cards from the deck). After the Cylon Attack card is played, Crisis Cards are drawn and played as normal, until after the second jump, when the same thing applies with the second card that was set aside.
 
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Aaron
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Have you played this variant again since you suggested adding rule about the 2 Cylon Attack cards?

I am keen to give this variant a go and I want to know if you still think this step is worthwhile.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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DrStoopid wrote:
Have you played this variant again since you suggested adding rule about the 2 Cylon Attack cards?

I am keen to give this variant a go and I want to know if you still think this step is worthwhile.


Ah, it's been quite a while since I've tried that... It did seem to liven things up a bit, but what I recall is wanting to change the rule to be that one of the set aside Cylon Attack cards is implemented if you roll 4 or less instead of 5 or less. It's still likely to happen at some point in the round, but a little less surety of if/when that will happen, especially if you play a Strategic Planning card.
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Aaron
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Grudunza wrote:
Ah, it's been quite a while since I've tried that... It did seem to liven things up a bit, but what I recall is wanting to change the rule to be that one of the set aside Cylon Attack cards is implemented if you roll 4 or less instead of 5 or less. It's still likely to happen at some point in the round, but a little less surety of if/when that will happen, especially if you play a Strategic Planning card.


Thanks. I'll try playing with that rule when I get the chance. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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I bought BSG a while back after coming to this site to see if I could play it solo. I have just finished my first game, a solo game, using your solo rules.

First off, I have been playing computer games for about 25 years and have never spent a cent on a board game in my entire (61 years) of existence. Until a few weeks ago when I got Talisman. I got BSG the day after that.

I had Talisman set up for 3 days. I will be back though. Won't I? I mean, what's not to like about going round & round in circles gaining strength? But seriously, I should be fine soloing Talisman, I had good fun attacking myself.

Anyway back to BSG.............
To clear the air, I had heaps of fun. No doubts about this being a great solo experience. All I could see was one great game design decision after another. I give this game a 10/10. I can't think of one negative thought toward this game. I am sure I will be playing this game regularly for the rest of my days.

So how did my first game go? I played a 5 player game.

Well the cylons won. I drew a lot of attack cards. A few less of those and I think I may have gotten through or had a close ending. But that's just how it goes. I will try without the attack card die roll after the jumps next play. Just add those 2 cards to the crisis pack.

I only put 1 cylon card in the loyalty deck as opposed to 2. Just testing the water It all worked really well with the cylon entering the game at the 4 travel distance. Starting off with a cylon at the beginning of the game would strain the psychological pretense effort I would say.

It also worked well solo with the skill cards face down. They come and go so much that I wouldn't remember what everyone had anyway. And what ever I did remember, I think that would come close to replicating the secrecy rule of only using vague terms to express the skill check help.

So thank you for all you effort Eric.
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