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Subject: Human Strategy: assume no one is a Cylon rss

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Benj Davis
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But its quite easy for Cylons to spike skill checks and ruin the humans' ability to avoid crisis effects. If you play on the assumption that no-one is a Cylon, you're going to fail a lot.
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Jim Henderson
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Jlerpy wrote:
If you play on the assumption that no-one is a Cylon, you're going to fail a lot.
That's why Investigative Committee is highly recommended for all important skill checks.
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Josh Martin
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Based on my own (also anecdotal) experiences, I don't really buy that theory.

You could just as easily say,
"Groups that are more experienced with being sneaky and underhanded will be better at playing Cylons (Ameritrash types) and will find the game is too hard for the humans , while groups that are more experienced with logic-based resource management games will be better at playing Humans (Eurogamers) and will find it too hard for Cylons."

But, who knows.
If your strategy continues to work as you play more games, with different groups and different numbers of Cylons, and it still holds up... then you may be on to something.
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Josh Martin
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DCAnderson wrote:

Doesn't that basically mean the same thing I said?:

Ameritrash: Cylons easy, Humans hard
Eurogame: Humans easy, Cylons hard


No... Sorry for not explaining myself better. I was too subtle, but basically the difference is one of efficiency vs. in-efficiency.

Basically, your strategy seems to revolve around the idea that as long as Humans play as efficiently as possible, then the Cylons will not be able to win.
I suggest that, perhaps it's just as likely that if the Cylons play inefficiently, then the Humans will always win, in which case your strategy doesn't hold up.

I think that if you have an efficient Cylon player, then just pretending to ignore the possibility that there is one is just as dangerous as too much backstabbing.
 
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Josh P.
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Of course you would suggest this, Dan. That's because you're a Cylon!

Listen to me people: If we are going to stop being paranoid, then the frakking toasters have already won!
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Cameron McKenzie
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Cylons can do a lot of harm by being opportunistic.

Get someone thrown in the brig when there are many people in there already. Activate FTL at -3 when you are pretty sure nobody has strategic planning. Pick a bad destination, or put a bad crisis on the top of the deck. Spike that very important skill check with a huge negative.

All of these things will get you caught, but you shouldn't be afraid of being caught. You can do a lot of harm as a revealed cylon too, and if the human are already trusting one another then one of the biggest advantages of being unrevealed (sowing mistrust) is nonexistent anyway.

For example, in our online game, the President played Arrest Order to get Apollo into the brig. He was the only viper defending a whole bunch of civilians. That very same turn, the crisis drawn caused the raiders to activate and we took HUGE population loss. Of course, we managed to take his title and get him in the brig before his turn came around again, but that was by far the most damaging thing he could have done to us, so it was worth it.
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Cameron McKenzie
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The cost of sending them to the brig is not a big deal when you consider that you denied their reveal power. The reveal powers are generally worth brigging someone over, if you compare them to similar crises that involve skill checks that are often even more difficult than the brig check.

As long as there are in there trying to get out, they aren't somewhere else (i.e. Caprica, playing crises). So in this case, you have to think of it this way. Failing the Brig check is a lot easier than passing whatever crisis he would throw at you if he revealed.

It is usually best to brig a cylon if you know who they are. They probably won't even reveal if you don't even show interest in brigging them, and that's about the worst that can happen. If a brigged cylon has no hope of getting out, it's far better to reveal than to initiate the check every turn (although Boomer ought to stay put at least until the raptors run out. Her power is strong for a cylon, even while brigged). Keeping someone in the brig requires almost no resources. It's unlikely for them to get out if nobody plays any cards at all.
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Quote:
Well how exactly could the Cylon player be more efficient then?


The thing is, a cylon should be inefficient.

A subtle way of sabotaging skill checks is throwing too many positive cards in a relatively unimportant check, then when the critical check comes up . . oops, sorry I'm out of cards ... how did that happen ?

If you are a pilot, launch yourself on brave/suicidal missions against cylon raiders. With a little "luck" you'll get shot down, dammaging or destroying a viper and sending you to sickbay ( oh, no ! I only get skill card in sick bay . . I can't help that next really important skill check angry )

Pick up too many card and discard cards often used in skill checks, Leadership (green) and politics ( yellow ). Most effective if you are "Chief" since his hand is limited to 8 cards.

If the admiral ever chooses a bad jump location, call him a cylon !
Since he is not allowed to show or talk about the destination cards, he can't defend himself very well.

Admiral: "But they were both bad !!"
You: "Yes, thats just what a cylon would say"

Perhaps the other humans will throw him in the brig ?

If no one is being paranoid, it's time for the cylons to start acting paranoid.

Isn't the president spending too much time drawing Quorum cards, and too little time helping out with the real problems ?

Do you know what a cylon president with a large deck of quorum cards can do ? . . do you know there is a quorum card called "Arrest order" ?

If anyone is ever both admiral and president it's surely because he/she is a powerhungry cylon, right ?

If a crisis card comes up with "Admiral chooses" or "president chooses", make a case for the worst choise ."We need to hold on to our skill cards for later/air defence/repair/whatever...we can afford to loose a little population "

Finally, timing is important when revealing.
A good time to reveal is right after a cylon attack card.
Reveal, dammage the galactica if possible, and go to the cylon fleet and launch/activate ships like crazy.

When the sky is full of ships, use your super crisis card or go to caprica and start raining crisis card on the puny humans and watch the panic

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Alex Rockwell
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I agree that you shouldnt brig people unless you are pretty sure they are a Cylon. Humans putting a human in the brig is probably a loss.

But I wouldnt say it like 'assume they arent a cylon'. I would say 'dont Brig people without a strong reason to know they are a Cylon'.


Also, the way for Cylons to guarantee a loss for themselves is to be helpful and not do anything bad. You dont win by hiding and not having people know youre a Cylon. You win by sabotaging. If you can manage to hide while doing that its better, but if you cant, then you should still sabotage, since thats better than being helpful.
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Andrew Hardin
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It seems to me that this strategy relies upon the fact that the optimal decision in the game is often clear to people who have played the game enough times.

When the optimal strategy is known then the ability to sabotage is greatly reduced. You can't give bad advice when giving bad advice is a dead giveaway.

Normally when you make this kind of assumption you are giving the Cylon player a free opportunity to cause harm without penalty. You normally can't decrease your false positive rate (mistakenly calling someone a Cylon) without increasing your false negative rate (failing to call a Cylon a Cylon).

A good Cylon player would take advantage of the unwillingness to hang an innocent man to do more harm than would otherwise happen. What this strategy seems to imply is that the direct harm a Cylon can cause is so small that it should generally be ignored.

- Lex
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baroukh ovadia
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It is one thing to not send people to the brig when they are acting suspicious, it is another thing to put your complete trust in them. I mean I am not going to executive order someone who I am suspicious of when his turn is next to let him do a damaging action (like activating communications to move ships towards radars or jumping early or if president using an arrest order) then being able to reveal and start the next turn as a cylon.
One of the strategies that someone from our group say is that if you have it narrowed down to two people throw them both in the brig. I don't necessarily think that is the best course of action. It might be different if on their turn they would have an opportunity do serious damage so if there was an attack on the board it might be worth it to brig them. Otherwise the other guy might prove himself.
 
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DCAnderson wrote:
...So when we played BSG that carried over and we all worked together without worrying too much who was a Cylon and didn't waste actions on crap like throwing people in the brig.

Well Yeah, initiating or helping in a brigging action when you are not certain (as in You haven't seen the loyalty card that says Cylon for yourself, or the person has not out and out done something obviously cylon) Is a bad idea, and has been for quite a while now. Also it should be noted although it hardly need be said that BSG is a game that is hard to make blanket statements about strategy, this is a game that will be different for every group.

Quote:
The end result was that the player who was the Cylon pretty much couldn't accomplish anything because there was no Paranoia to exploit and the humans won without even trying all that hard. Now the player in question was a noob to the game and was probably playing a little too timidly, but it still seemed he didn't have much to work with.

I think the humans massive win might have a lot to do with this factor, a newbie cylon is less effective than a player who has played the game a few times and has been cylon once or twice before. There is a lot to be said for learning the subtle cylon art of pushing bad ideas but not pushing them too hard, encouraging sub optimal play in others in a way that appears helpful. This said, Humans can defeat themselves with paranoia even without a cylon out, so the Trust was a big part, but trusting humans against a seasoned cylon or two would be more interesting, I believe.

Quote:
Trying to neutralize a player you suspect of being a Cylon who is actually innocent is overall more damaging to the humans than trusting a player who is actually a Cylon.

So what does Trust mean to you? As far as I can tell all it means is that you won't brig someone you suspect (Lets call this player Alice) without proof or otherwise damning evidence. What if Alice is doing something suspicious? like leading a charge against another player (Lets call them Beatrix)? Say that Alice has had the chance to view one of Beatrix's loyalty cards, and is now accusing her of being a Cylon? I want to know because if this is to be a viable strategy it needs to boil down to more than just "Don't waste actions/cards brigging someone unless you know they are Cylon/Trust* eachother otherwise" Especially when this Trust is seemingly nebulous and conditional (As it should be, you should never EO a Cylon.)

Quote:
So the best strategy for the Human side it would seem is to just not worry about whether or not someone is a Cylon unless they're being completely blatant about it.

A good cylon doesn't need to be blatant about it in order to cause damage to the Humans.

Quote:
Groups that are more paranoid and prone to backstabbing (Ameritrash types) will find the game is too hard for the humans , while groups that are more trusting and logical (Eurogamers) will find it too hard for Cylons.

The worst and most malicious backstabbing and neighbor screwing I've ever seen has been while playing Eurogames (presumably with Eurogamers), so I don't quite get this point.

Anyway, I do like this idea and I want to see it explored more, hence the pushing questions. I'd like to think this could work, but I'm skeptical so far.
 
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YearoftheCat wrote:
Quote:
Groups that are more paranoid and prone to backstabbing (Ameritrash types) will find the game is too hard for the humans , while groups that are more trusting and logical (Eurogamers) will find it too hard for Cylons.

The worst and most malicious backstabbing and neighbor screwing I've ever seen has been while playing Eurogames (presumably with Eurogamers), so I don't quite get this point.

Anyway, I do like this idea and I want to see it explored more, hence the pushing questions. I'd like to think this could work, but I'm skeptical so far.
There's still the factor that this type of "AT" (discuss the merits of BSG being an Ameritrash title vs eurogame in the link below), is semi-co-op in nature, vs many (if not all) eurgames which are competitive.

There is some "teamwork" in eurogames, but it's known for the start that these are short lived.

E.g. in Settlers, you and another player may trade resources with each other often to cover each other's deficiencies for certain types of resources. However, if that player finds a better trading partner for better deals, or if that player has access to the resources he needs without trading with you, he'll cut off all trade with you in a snap. He wants to win by hurting you

E.g2. In Carc, 2 players can work towards finishing a city that both players have meeples in, but as soon as another player out does the other with more control, the outdone player will say good riddance to that.

In BSG......... you and another player you think is human may work well in tandem to overcome the game's various obstacles. When the time comes, he'll turn on you. The important difference here is that if he remained human, he'll be working with you to get the fleet to Kobol. If he gets a cylon card, he'll backstab. Problem is, short of clear tells or having the opp to look at someone's loyalty card, you can never be certain. To me, it's an important distinction right there.

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/3632100#3632100
 
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Basar Cenik
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I completely agree.
 
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Eric Taylor
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If the Cylon player (or players in larger games) knows what he is doing, it's disastrous simply to trust everyone. It can be very easy for Cylons to spread distrust provided they know when to act and how. The easiest way is to sabotage skill checks, and there is one all-important rule for doing that:

Never ever ever sabotage a skill check unless another player before you could have conceivably played the card(s) you added to sabotage the check. This means that you should NEVER sabotage a check when the player to your right is the first player (potential dupes may not pitch in, ruining your cover) and you will often have the best opportunity to sabotage skill checks when you are the first player, because by the time it gets around to you, you've seen who has played in and know who you could conceivably blame for the sabotage. Sabotaging a check doesn't need to be "only play negative cards," it's quite competitive to play a good card or two and then cancel them out by playing a large negative card as well. When only one unexplained negative is found in the check, blame may go to someone who only played one skill card instead of you, who played two or three (but in the end, you added nothing).

Being in the right position and getting XOed as a Cylon is also very good. You can take one action to screw people over and then reveal, or simply take two nasty actions if your turn is coming up soon, and just reveal then. Or if your reveal ability isn't that good, take your two XO actions to hinder the humans and then just keep screwing everyone over and force them to waste cards attempting to throw you in the brig.

Beginning players who are undercover Cylons can overvalue their secrecy - don't get me wrong, spreading paranoia and working against the humans from within can be very effective, but some calculated risks can have huge payoffs. I've seen a couple games where the Cylons basically acted as humans from the very beginning because they were afraid of being found out. You only need to act human enough to cast doubts on whether or not you're a Cylon. That's all. Just make sure the suspicion doesn't fall only on you - if more than one of you could conceivably be the Cylon, the humans won't waste the time to persecute you.
 
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Nick Short
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Lindgaard wrote:
Quote:
Well how exactly could the Cylon player be more efficient then?


The thing is, a cylon should be inefficient.

A subtle way of sabotaging skill checks is throwing too many positive cards in a relatively unimportant check, then when the critical check comes up . . oops, sorry I'm out of cards ... how did that happen ?

If you are a pilot, launch yourself on brave/suicidal missions against cylon raiders. With a little "luck" you'll get shot down, dammaging or destroying a viper and sending you to sickbay ( oh, no ! I only get skill card in sick bay . . I can't help that next really important skill check angry )

Pick up too many card and discard cards often used in skill checks, Leadership (green) and politics ( yellow ). Most effective if you are "Chief" since his hand is limited to 8 cards.

If the admiral ever chooses a bad jump location, call him a cylon !
Since he is not allowed to show or talk about the destination cards, he can't defend himself very well.

Admiral: "But they were both bad !!"
You: "Yes, thats just what a cylon would say"

Perhaps the other humans will throw him in the brig ?

If no one is being paranoid, it's time for the cylons to start acting paranoid.

Isn't the president spending too much time drawing Quorum cards, and too little time helping out with the real problems ?

Do you know what a cylon president with a large deck of quorum cards can do ? . . do you know there is a quorum card called "Arrest order" ?

If anyone is ever both admiral and president it's surely because he/she is a powerhungry cylon, right ?

If a crisis card comes up with "Admiral chooses" or "president chooses", make a case for the worst choise ."We need to hold on to our skill cards for later/air defence/repair/whatever...we can afford to loose a little population "

Finally, timing is important when revealing.
A good time to reveal is right after a cylon attack card.
Reveal, dammage the galactica if possible, and go to the cylon fleet and launch/activate ships like crazy.

When the sky is full of ships, use your super crisis card or go to caprica and start raining crisis card on the puny humans and watch the panic

I have to agree strongly with this comment. Not because these strategies are particularly effective (many are), but because it makes for fun and memorable games. We always remember the big plays. The subtle sabotages, framing other players, how nominating yourself for president is "declaring yourself a Cylon" (even if you're not); all the infighting and second-guessing. We may not always remember who wins, but we remember the plays.

I love this game.
 
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Kenneth Horneman
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Could someone message me if they know a thread on here with some helpful strategies for humans? The comment above on the game being easy for the humans for some groups of players is strange to me. We've played the game 4 times now and the humans haven't been particularly close to winning ever and have sometimes lost badly very early on. The last game we played, the two Cylons were the least capable players (one of them declared right away simply because she didn't think she could be devious) and we still lost (both our pilots and our engineer were Cylons and after a deployment crisis card, one Cylon looked at two crisis cards and gave us another deployment and the other Cylon used their super crisis card which was massive deployment and we were just overwhelmed). It seems very difficult as humans though, since you can hardly avoid losing either pilots or engineers, or some sort of other critical skill set and the Cylons can just declare and then start attacking where you're weakest. With no way for the humans to do anything to increase their chances of moving the jump track, we've been unable to figure out how to win as humans. We've even thought about changing rules so that a Cylon revealing in the brig doesn't get their super crisis card (to increase the usefulness of using the brig and making it harder for Cylons to decide when to declare) or removing the super deployment Super Crisis card. Are we missing some basic human strategies and that's why the Cylons keep winning?
 
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Kenneth here are some basic strategies for the humans:

Use Investigative Committees as much as possible on crises. This has two effects; if hidden Cylons play negative cards you'll see it, also you will not waste cards by playing more than necessary.

Scout the crisis and destination decks often. This allows you to bury bad crises and find the few distance 3 jumps in the deck.

Jump as far as possible each time. The fewer jumps you need to make the fewer crises you have to deal with.

Use Executive Orders effectively. Once you know who the humans are use Executive orders to double your actions. Do not use the move and action option unless absolutely necessary. You can have the President sit in her office and draw up to four Quorum cards at a time (or draw 2 and play 2). Other good places for double actions are the Press Room, Command, Weapons Control, and flying a Viper.

Don't try to win every crisis. You have to pick your battles with care. It doesn't help your cause if you win a crisis that saves a high resource if the cards you spent could have saved the last morale.

Jump early (with strategic planning). If you have a strategic planning card jump at either blue space. If not wait for the marker to advance to the second blue space.
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EVERYONE IN THE GAME HAS ONCE PER GAME SPECIAL ABILITIES!!! Remember to use them! They don't always come through. E.g. you're happy with who the president is, so no need to Declare Martial Law as Tigh to transfer the pres. title to the admiral. E.g.2 If both cylons are already revealed before the sleeper phase, Baltar's ability is a wash (although in another way, so is his weakness).

Those that affect crisis card (but never SUPER crsis cards) can be pretty significant in tight games.





DCAnderson wrote:
krhorneman wrote:
Could someone message me if they know a thread on here with some helpful strategies for humans? The comment above on the game being easy for the humans for some groups of players is strange to me. We've played the game 4 times now and the humans haven't been particularly close to winning ever and have sometimes lost badly very early on. The last game we played, the two Cylons were the least capable players (one of them declared right away simply because she didn't think she could be devious) and we still lost (both our pilots and our engineer were Cylons and after a deployment crisis card, one Cylon looked at two crisis cards and gave us another deployment and the other Cylon used their super crisis card which was massive deployment and we were just overwhelmed). It seems very difficult as humans though, since you can hardly avoid losing either pilots or engineers, or some sort of other critical skill set and the Cylons can just declare and then start attacking where you're weakest. With no way for the humans to do anything to increase their chances of moving the jump track, we've been unable to figure out how to win as humans. We've even thought about changing rules so that a Cylon revealing in the brig doesn't get their super crisis card (to increase the usefulness of using the brig and making it harder for Cylons to decide when to declare) or removing the super deployment Super Crisis card. Are we missing some basic human strategies and that's why the Cylons keep winning?


Some basic strategies.


3.) Make sure to use Executive Order efficiently. This is a mistake I see happen a lot. For instance, if you need FTL Control activated, but no one is already standing on it, then playing Executive Order on someone to go there is pointless since you could have just gone there yourself and done it, and still netted exactly one action, but without playing Executive Order. Generaly only play Executive Order on someone if they are already in the location you want activated, or if for some reason you can't perform a certain action on your own, or it would be very inconvenient to move from your current location.

This is especially so with Tyrol's ability. Unless you can't wait till his turn or there are simply too many repairs that only he can do, DO NOT XO him to make repairs! He gets a freebie on his turn, and on his turn ONLY after he repairs something. Use the XO for another player who needs it so THEY can get an extra action or get out of Sickbay to draw more cards on their turn.

Otherwise, yeah, Do XO someone in the above situation if it's a hassle to have to board and leave Galactica (from a viper/C1 which'll cost you 1 to 2 cards), if it ain't worth it as Roslin to discard 2 skill cards to use the location, or if as Zarek you can't activate it b/c someone else is already there.


Speaking of which, if you're on FTL and get Xo-ed, consider using the extra action in the form of Launch Scout or Cons. Power. Namely, FTL Control is the only spot where you can't activate it twice in a row.
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Caio Almendra
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If I was a Cylon, on this situation, I would launch scout the most I could and wait for a good timing on a XO to reveal. That would damage hard the humans. Once I lost the game simply because someone XOed a Cylon to move the civilian ships away from the raiders. He move it close to the raider, launched scouts to avoid a crisis without raiders activation. In his turn, he revealed, damaging the ftl and the command. GAME OVER realley quick.
 
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krhorneman wrote:
Could someone message me if they know a thread on here with some helpful strategies for humans? The comment above on the game being easy for the humans for some groups of players is strange to me. We've played the game 4 times now and the humans haven't been particularly close to winning ever and have sometimes lost badly very early on. The last game we played, the two Cylons were the least capable players (one of them declared right away simply because she didn't think she could be devious) and we still lost (both our pilots and our engineer were Cylons and after a deployment crisis card, one Cylon looked at two crisis cards and gave us another deployment and the other Cylon used their super crisis card which was massive deployment and we were just overwhelmed). It seems very difficult as humans though, since you can hardly avoid losing either pilots or engineers, or some sort of other critical skill set and the Cylons can just declare and then start attacking where you're weakest. With no way for the humans to do anything to increase their chances of moving the jump track, we've been unable to figure out how to win as humans. We've even thought about changing rules so that a Cylon revealing in the brig doesn't get their super crisis card (to increase the usefulness of using the brig and making it harder for Cylons to decide when to declare) or removing the super deployment Super Crisis card. Are we missing some basic human strategies and that's why the Cylons keep winning?
Think you're forgetting a couple things:

You can use locations (Lab, Press Room->Consolidate Power) to acquire cards outside your skill set, if needed. And if there are too many cylons in space, you only need to last long enough to jump.

You can Launch Scout to bury crisis cards without jump prep.

These strategies help you compensate for the problems you mentioned. Of course, sometimes they cylons nail you at just the wrong time, with just the wrong crises, and you have an uphill battle. They won't manage to reveal just when you've jumped in, and pound you with attack cards, every game. And if the engineer and pilot revealed already, you should have had time to build up some repair cards and maybe deployed vipers in anticipation, to cover your weakness.
 
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Andreas PEtersson
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you said online game, could you link me to that game? is it a boardgame pc game?
 
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Andreas_Petersson wrote:
you said online game, could you link me to that game? is it a boardgame pc game?



Generally, playing this online refers to the "play-by-forum" format that's been established here on BGG. You have a moderator who keeps track of hidden information (e.g. the crisis deck makeup, people's hand of skill cards, etc.). The board state and images can be done by him as well, although the participants as players can step in and do that too.
http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/BSG_PBF

Example of a solo, PBF game I'm moderated can be found here....
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/68337/fantasy-flight-g...
 
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