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Subject: Turn 1 Legendary Discovery - let it happen or reveal? rss

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Jerry Hagen
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The Situation:

Player 1: Boomer
Player 2: Baltar (me)
Player 3: Helo
Player 4: Roslin
Player 5: Chief Tyrol

We receive our loyalty cards. I see Leoben's smirking face on my You Are a Cylon card. My other loyalty card is clean.

Boomer hops into a viper on her turn and flips up a crisis. Legendary Discovery. 14 purple/red (I think). Passing the check gains the humans 1 distance.

Chief, by far the most experienced player at the table, announces an Investigative Committee, explaining to the newbie Boomer and second-timer Roslin that there exists literally only one single Crisis card that gains distance and that a serious attempt should be made to pass the check if Boomer and Helo have the cards. We see the destiny cards. Helo and Boomer seem to agree that they probably have the cards to pass, but it will be close. It is turn 1 and our hands are pretty light.

I've played about 10 times, but nearly always from the human side. This is only my second time as a Cylon. I know my temperament makes me a better human than Cylon; I'm much better at teamwork than at deception.

Some might call it panicking. Given that I was Gaius Baltar I prefer to term what I did next "staying in character." I spiked the check with two 2-cards. The humans folded and the crisis was failed. The next turn was mine and I revealed.

Pros of sabotaging:

* About a 80% chance (in my estimation) that humans fail check, "losing" 1 distance
* Get to use reveal powers all game instead of being "helpful"
* Guaranteed not to get brigged before reveal as my turn was next
* There's a 40% chance the other Cylon already knows it (1 unknown Cylon card, 10 total unknown Loyalty cards, 4 of which are dealt already) and if so that player now has a lot of cover thanks to the chaos of my exit

Cons of sabotaging:

* 20% chance humans pass check anyway (I may have misread Helo/Boomer, or they could get close enough to use Declare Emergency)
* Humans now know one Cylon's identity and can cooperate more efficiently
* Haven't yet used once-per-game to check another player's loyalty cards

I've been thinking about this decision ever since the game a few days ago. As I see it I had three choices: (1) no sabotage, (2) sabotage and reveal immediately, (3) sabotage and look at someone's loyalty card, essentially trading 1 morale (my reveal power) for more information and possibly the humans spending an action and cards at the Admiral's Quarters.

I actually chose option 2 of course.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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You left out a crucial piece of information... How did the game end and otherwise play out? If the Cylons prevailed then I'd say you made the right choice, or at least it didn't affect the outcome. If not, then it depends.
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Todd Warnken
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It looks liked you played cards out of order. If Boomer revealed the crisis card you should have been the first to add cards and Boomer would have been last. That said I think you made the right call.
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Jerry Hagen
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Played cards correctly, reported wrong. (No wonder I couldn't remember what Boomer "played.") I'll edit.

I'm trying to get some perspective that doesn't have hindsight attached to it - but I will reveal the results.
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Will
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There are more pros and cons to revealing. For example:

Pros: You can now control cylon fleet more effectively (although you implied this under reveal powers).
You are able to use your reveal power of reduce morale by 1.
Cons: You can't contribute more than 1 skill card to each skill check now.

Personally, I probably would have stayed hidden. A single distance is not all that huge at that point in the game. A single jump can vary more than that (from 1 to 3). And of course there's the thing about you only contributing a single skill card to each skill check now.

Especially if you could get the presidency, that would be quite an accomplishment. My last game I was a cylon in the 2nd part after the sleeper phase, and I was also the president. I was able to cause a lot of havoc as an unrevealed cylon with everyone trying to brig me and take away the presidency (I had made a couple of obviously cylon plays so there was no longer any doubt of who I was). They used up a ton of cards that way. They first took away the presidency, then I took it back.
Oh, and if I remember right, I was Roslin, so I got to choose the nastier crisis every turn I remained unrevealed

Even if you can't get presidency, you might be able to sow distrust as an unrevealed cylon. Just say your erratic behavior (since you say you aren't good at deception) is that you are role playing baltar

Anyway, just a few thoughts.
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Why the heck did you reveal? Is it totally disconnected with the challenge.

So everyone failed, big deal, challenges are failed a lot. It was good to spike that one, but then you should of just kept on going, spiking some more. You can do way more damage then -1 morale in the end.
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Tim Gilberg
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dragon0085 wrote:
Why the heck did you reveal? Is it totally disconnected with the challenge.

So everyone failed, big deal, challenges are failed a lot. It was good to spike that one, but then you should of just kept on going, spiking some more. You can do way more damage then -1 morale in the end.


Investigative Committee. Cards were played face up. His spike labeled him as an open Cylon.
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Ian Klinck
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dragon0085 wrote:
Why the heck did you reveal? Is it totally disconnected with the challenge.

So everyone failed, big deal, challenges are failed a lot. It was good to spike that one, but then you should of just kept on going, spiking some more. You can do way more damage then -1 morale in the end.


Investigative Committee: Those cards had to be face-up.
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Jerry Hagen
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dragon0085 wrote:
Why the heck did you reveal? Is it totally disconnected with the challenge.

So everyone failed, big deal, challenges are failed a lot. It was good to spike that one, but then you should of just kept on going, spiking some more. You can do way more damage then -1 morale in the end.


My thinking was that my sabotage was obvious given the Investigative Committee. So from the moment I set down those face-up negative cards, there was no question at the table that I was a Cylon. I would likely have been brigged in short order and thus been unable to contribute more than one card to challenges anyway. Short of a Pardon from a Cylon President, the only way I'd be getting out of the brig was resurrection.

That is, the part of my brain that was thinking thought that. The rest was in full-out panic mode, as I didn't expect to want to reveal that early.
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Matt Smith
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I would have stayed hidden and made it a point to celebrate "our" early advantage. On the inside, I would have been smiling because I took advantage of a great early opportunity to seem human, and the real humans used a lot of their cards to pass that one skill check. The next few crises would not be so easy to pass until they reloaded their hands, and I can spike them if they're hitting morale, to develop synergy with my reveal power. Scouting the destination deck to slow them down is another way to deal with Legendary Discovery coming out early.

EDIT - Typo
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From my limited experince, Cylons are totally nerf unless you reveal at a really critical moment, where you an convert a situation that can be - with tremendous effort - salvaged into one that is irretrievable. For example, in a 6 player game with a fair few cylons on the board after a massive assualt (so jump track in the red), I held out for an executive order then used a presidential arrest order + my cylon reveal power to take out both pilots. Suddenly the bad situation - lots of raiders closing in on civvie ships, but with starbuck and boomer to defend - becomes a nightmare situation.
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I think my biggest con of revealing is that I find it more fun being an unrevealed cylon. I don't think being revealed is much less powerful than being unrevealed.


On the other hand Legendary Discovery is pretty handy for the humans. Without it, the humans need to jump 8 distance + final jump. This is generally going to be made up of four jumps + one final. Getting to 8 in three jumps is tricky, requiring a 3+3+2.

It's doable and a bit of scouting helps, but with Legendary Discovery as well it's much easier to do 3 jumps to equal 7 (of 3+2+2) and have the extra 1 to reach 8 and then attempt the final jump.

With one fewer jumps things are going to be much, much easier for the humans.
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Ken
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I would have groaned to myself, but let it go without trying to spike it. By forcing yourself to reveal, you really limited your ability to impact future skill checks and made yourself more of a slave to what the Crisis deck turned over for the rest of the game - you simply cost yourself too much flexibility in actions and the ability to spike the right checks.

Further, that additional "1" distance doesn't automatically have much of an impact. The humans still have a minimum of 4 jumps to make following it (3 to get to 8 distance, one to get the win), and if the destination deck isn't all that kind, they'll need 5 or more jumps.

I think that the best way to look at it as a Cylon is "how many jumps are left in the game?" That's what determines the number of turns, crisis cards, and therefore opportunities to mess with those damned fleshies. The 1 additional distance has to be paired with a "3" distance destination to be truly meaningful in terms of shortening the game, and that's what you care about.

I would have gutted it out and waited for better opportunities.
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I wouldn't have revealed. It's boring being a revealed Cylon for the whole game and you feel like an outcast among your friends! Better to stay hidden for a time. Also, although Legendary Discovery is great for the Humans, having a Cylon among them from the outset is bad for them. I'd say it balances out.
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Jerry Hagen
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As promised, the results.

Cylon fleet activity was light for the first jump, but morale was dropping quickly. Helo was playing very human and even my passing him an extra card didn't seem to lessen his stature in the humans' eyes. The first jump was a 3.

Immediately after they jumped, the first crisis card was a Cylon fleet. The fleet took most of the humans' attention and they were able to contain the threat; meanwhile morale was dropping into the red and I was able to hit their fuel once as well.

Just after they jumped and entered the sleeper phase (on a 2 for 5 total distance) the dials read Fuel 3, Food 4, Morale 2, Population 11.

Boomer went to the brig, unable to defend the civilian fleet against the Cylons who had again shown up on the first crisis after jump. Unlike most Boomers I've seen, she had on a suggestion from Tyrol landed a viper on Colonial One and picked up some yellow on an Executive Orders. The most human play to make would have been to Consolidate Power for green. Instead she tried to get out of the brig. She succeeded but looked a bit suspicious. The humans didn't press the issue though as they needed Boomer out fighting Cylons.

A couple crises after the sleeper phase began, Tyrol announced, "I think our president is a Cylon." It then occurred to me that Roslin hadn't played a single Quorum card, with morale near the breaking point. Helo XO'd Boomer to call an election, and the Valerii Administration began with an Arrest Order. Roslin then revealed.

"Don't be sad," Boomer implored, with morale near the breaking point. The populace was impressed with her simple expression of concern for the fate of humanity, and put off the riot plans. Morale rose from 1 to 2. The humans lost a few civilian ships in the meantime, and population edged down to the 6-7 range.

The next jump was a 1. This time no Cylons showed up immediately, though they weren't long in coming. Once they did the humans heroically escaped certain doom from Inbound Nukes.

After a fourth jump, again a 1 (7 distance total), and another immediate Cylon appearance, the humans' fate was sealed. A Massive Assault followed midway through the jump, the Cylons activated 10 light raiders twice, and the humans lost on population despite their new president's valiant leadership from the front.

The humans had some bad luck, though some of it was undoubtedly manufactured by their visionary Cylon president, who as it turned out was a Cylon since the start. Arguably the Cylons could have done even better without spiking the Legendary Discovery, though the humans were getting close to a jump at 7 (would have been 8) before the Massive Assault. With competent Cylon play the humans were doomed no matter what.
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Rob Herman
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I would take my next action to attempt to brig a human. Best case, it works; even if it doesn't, you bleed them of cards, making them more likely to fail future crises. Then either they waste still more time and cards to brig you, or you get to keep causing havoc.

The -1 Morale reveal power isn't huge, and it's not a disaster to lose it.
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I might also have consolidated power; depending on what value cards you have, as noted, the -1 morale power is not much. And if you make them waste cards throwing you in the brig, even harder with you consolidating. Get some nice red/blue cards for spiking checks.

Boomer and Helo couldn't affect the crisis once the decision was made to run the check and cards were added. (Helo's power doesn't even come into play during a check.) In my games, 90%+ of checks are run by committee, so I'm ok spiking it and not being able to sow discord. I'm OK not doing it too, and I think others have covered that fairly well.
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Jerry Hagen
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InfoCynic wrote:
Boomer and Helo couldn't affect the crisis once the decision was made to run the check and cards were added. (Helo's power doesn't even come into play during a check.)


You're right that their special powers would not affect the check. They were the only two of the other four characters with the correctly colored cards to pass, which is what I was referring to when I wrote about reading them -- did they have the cards or not, and how much difference would the -4 I put in make?
 
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It's a hard check to begin with. -4 is steep. Also consider that players don't have their full hands, if you were paying attention to what was drawn you might know what they have to contribute. Helo might have taken a couple green cards, for example. What did destiny have to contribute, since there was a committee in place? It's too bad you weren't playing LAST or near-last, to make them waste a bunch of cards and then spike it.
 
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If you felt you had a good shot of ruining the skill check, it may have been worth going for.
One of the major reasons to stay unrevealed is so that you can wait for a great opportunity to betray your friends. If that opportunity happens to come in turn 1, more power to you.

You are unlikely to find a better time to reveal, so you might as well get it over with... as long as you are confident that your cards will cause the check to fail.
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It is definitely correct to reveal and ruin their skill check. Thats a critical skill check an there is a nice penalty for losing as well. Also, it was right before your turn, so you know they couldn't brig you before you could reveal.

Youre probably not going to get a better opportunity to screw them, the point of staying hidden is to get a good opportunity to screw them when you do reveal.
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jhagen1908 wrote:
A couple crises after the sleeper phase began, Tyrol announced, "I think our president is a Cylon." It then occurred to me that Roslin hadn't played a single Quorum card, with morale near the breaking point. Helo XO'd Boomer to call an election, and the Valerii Administration began with an Arrest Order. Roslin then revealed.


In the brig.

Losing her special power.

Was there anything you could do as the early revealed Cylon that could have helped your hidden sister?

Had she drawn the Cylon card in the first loyalty phase, or during the sleeper round?
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Jerry Hagen
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I took a Human Fleet action to pull the only Executive Order from Helo's hand, but he drew another one on his turn (as there was a good chance he would do).

Roslin was a Cylon from the beginning as it turned out.
 
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Alexfrog wrote:
It is definitely correct to reveal and ruin their skill check.


Spike and Reveal. In fact, this check is important enough that it's worth it to spike it and get brigged (losing your reveal power). Getting to reveal is just a bonus.

The "Spike and then examine" gambit is interesting, but odds are your looking at a human, which isn't really that useful. And what are you going to do if you actually find the Cylon?


Apart from everything, you are Baltar. If you helped most groups still wouldn't trust you. Alex and I would, though. I've been a cylon numerous times without seeing any knife so clearly in need of twisting.
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James White
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Spiking the check on purpose was probably a good idea, but I think that with a -1 morale penalty as your only reveal ability, it would have been better to attempt a brig check as was suggested above me. As they said, worse case, you'd fail it, best case they'd bleed cards both to prevent and then to get that person out.

with their hands in the situation they were (turn one hand with few cards), you probably could have thrown someone in the brig. And then they'd have to spend the cards to throw 'you' in the brig. and then they'd have to spend more cards to get the person 'you' put in the brig out! and the whole time they'd be drawing crisis cards, including the extra crisis card that you would flip your turn right after the spiked check. That sounds a bit more powerful than -1 morale to me.
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