Hans Messersmith
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Consider the following situation.

It is your turn, and you are a Cylon. There are one or more Centurions on the track at the starting space. In this situation, four Cylon Fleet actions from now you could be looking at a Cylon victory; activate Heavy Raiders every action. Should you reveal, and pursue this strategy?

Given the above situation, the probabilities are pretty easy to calculate. What you need guess at is how many human actions (I will call this H) will take place before you (and any other Cylons in the game) take four total Cylon Fleet actions. Once you have a guess at H, then, given the number of Centurions on the track (C) at it's start, you can find the probability in the table below that you will destroy Galactica with Centurions.

H C=1 C=2 C=3 Example Situation (see below)
6 18% 53% 83% 2 of 5 (Best)
7 13% 44% 76%
8 10% 37% 68% 1 of 3; 2 of 6 (Best)
9 8% 30% 60% 2 of 5 (Worst)
10 6% 24% 53%
11 4% 20% 46%
12 3% 16% 39% 1 of 4; 2 of 6 (Worst)
13 2% 13% 33%
14 2% 10% 28%
15 1% 8% 24%
16 1% 6% 20% 1 of 5
17 1% 5% 16%
18 1% 4% 14%
19 0% 3% 11%
20 0% 2% 9% 1 of 6


The example situations provide cases where that value of H might occur. "Y of P" refers to a situation where there are Y Cylons among P players. "Best" refers to a situation where the other Cylon in the game is either already revealed, or to your left (which is as good). "Worst" refers to the situation where the other Cylon is unrevealed, and sitting to your right.

The example situations assume:
* every human immediately moves to the Armory and starts taking Actions there to get rid of Centurions as soon as you reveal yourself.
* the other unrevealed Cylon reveals on their very next turn after you reveal.
* all Cylons take the Cylon Fleet Activate Heavy Raider action every turn.
* all of the C Centurion tokens are stacked together at the start of the track when you are thinking about revealing, these are the only Centurions on the track, and no Centurions are added during the four Cylon Fleet actions taken to win.

The last assumption is conservative, and doesn't need to be considered in play. The probability of winning if the Centurions are spread out along the track, or if you are adding Centurions with your actions, is higher than that in the table; consider it the minimum probability to win.

From this table, I conclude that you should reveal and camp out on the Cylon Fleet action if:

* In a 3 player game, there are two or more Centurions on the track.
* In a 4 player game, there are three or more Centurions on the track,
* In a 5 player game, there are two or more Centurions on the track and you know there is another Cylon who will do as you do.
* In a 6 player game, there are three or more Centurions on the track and you know there is another Cylon player who will do as you do
* In a 6 player game, there are two or more centurions on the track, and there is a revealed Cylon player sitting on your left or one removed on your left who will do as you do.

If you reveal in any of the above situations, you not only have a pretty good (30% or more) chance of winning in at most 4 Cylon actions, but you ensure that the humans will be very busy in the Armory, instead of doing other things to keep Galactica moving. You should never try this strategy if there is only one Centurion on the track.

I'm very interested to hear anyone's thoughts on this.
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Sean McCarthy
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're ignoring Executive Orders and thus undercounting human actions by half. You're also ignoring Strategic Planning, which is likely to get the humans an extra hit after a couple tries.

However, the most important question is whether the president can draw the whole quorum deck in time. At that point no number of centurions will have any effect. It only takes about 5 human turns to do that if they haven't started yet (and along the way, the president can already easily take out 1-2 centurions). So I think it's almost never going to be a good plan to reveal to push centurions.
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SevenSpirits wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're ignoring Executive Orders and thus undercounting human actions by half. You're also ignoring Strategic Planning, which is likely to get the humans an extra hit after a couple tries.

However, the most important question is whether the president can draw the whole quorum deck in time. At that point no number of centurions will have any effect. It only takes about 5 human turns to do that if they haven't started yet (and along the way, the president can already easily take out 1-2 centurions). So I think it's almost never going to be a good plan to reveal to push centurions.
17 Qcards in the deck. 2 of them Authorize Brutal Force. An XO-ed president on the President's Office can go through them in due time, but one needs to hope that an XO will always be available.

Also, if your reveal power is to damage Galactica or send someone to the Brig, the former will hopefully let you damage the Armory will the latter will stab at opportunities to pass Ccards. Granted, centurion moments are do and die, but if not take down humans there, then drag 'em further and further down. If someone gets alot of pruple, like Tigh, I may use Send Some1 to Sickbay in hopes of forcing him to discard SPs. Then force another player to waste an XO on getting him out of sickbay to prevent him from drawing only one card instead of XO-ing some1 on the Armory or President's Office


I'm guessing we don't need to worry about the rest of the cylon fleet (raiders and basestars?)
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Hans Messersmith
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SevenSpirits wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're ignoring Executive Orders and thus undercounting human actions by half. You're also ignoring Strategic Planning, which is likely to get the humans an extra hit after a couple tries.

However, the most important question is whether the president can draw the whole quorum deck in time. At that point no number of centurions will have any effect. It only takes about 5 human turns to do that if they haven't started yet (and along the way, the president can already easily take out 1-2 centurions). So I think it's almost never going to be a good plan to reveal to push centurions.


I had ignored those, so lets think about their effects:

* Executive orders: This lets you trade your action for two actions on the part of another player. In essence, this adds one net action. The effect of this is to move the probability down one or two lines on the chart, depending on how many people you think can play Executive Orders before you get the requisite four Cylon actions in. This should definitely be taken into account.

* Strategic Planning: This ups the chance of killing a Centurion to 50% from 25%. This has the net effect of lowering the actual probabilities on the table. This has a BIG effect, and it should have occurred to me. Even using a Strategic Planning on every third Armory action reduces the overall probability of Cylon success by almost a half. The question is, do people using these cards on Armory actions count as a net plus for the Cylon player(s). That is, does the cost of the cards used here, instead of on Crisis Skill Checks or whatever, make up for the reduction in the probabilities? I don't really know. As a preliminary rule of thumb, I'd say count every Strategic Planning card you expect to be played as an extra action, and shift down a line or two on the table as necessary.

* Quorum card: My assumption is that "Authorize Brutal Force". If you can get to an empty Quorum deck, then the President can destroy a Centurion with 100% probability every turn. This would have a big effect, no doubt about it. How common will this be? I have no idea. Does the President using their action to repeatedly draw the same card and play it on a couple of actions instead of doing something else count as a plus for the Cylons? Again, I'm not sure.

Overall, the strategy is not a sure thing, it's just a basic framework. If the Cylon player sees a weakness with regards to Centurions, exploiting it puts the humans on the defensive in a big way. Forcing the humans to mess with the Armory means that much less effort spent on replenishing resources and dealing with Crisis Cards.

My intuition is that the effect Quorom Cards and the Executive Orders cards is probably exactly matched by the effect of the extra Heavy Raiders and Centurions that will be generated (as long as a Basestar is in play) by repeated activation of Cylon Fleet, which was also not taken into account in the table. It's really the Strategic Planning that call the overall strategy into question..

Overall, I still think the strategy, with my suggestions, is worth trying, and I'd be interested to hear actual play examples where Cylons tried it.

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DCAnderson wrote:
I have yet to see the Cylons win with a boarding party.

Even with a Cylon player spamming the Cylon Fleet to activate Heavy Raiders, the humans are going to get so many more actions than the Cylon player and Heavy Raiders shows up so rarely on Crisis Cards the Boarding party will never make it to the end of the track unless the Humans are seriously letting things go.

I would even advise that trying to shoot down Heavy Raiders is pretty much a waste of an action because they always start at least one space away from a Launch Tube and thus need at least two actions to get a Boarding Party on the ship. Usually Galactica will have jumped by then and even if they do get on board the Centurion isn't even that big a threat anyway.


For other readers: is Dan's observation true for you as well? I haven't played nearly enough to say one way or another myself; my idea was based on the mathematics involved.
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DCAnderson wrote:
I have yet to see the Cylons win with a boarding party.

Even with a Cylon player spamming the Cylon Fleet to activate Heavy Raiders, the humans are going to get so many more actions than the Cylon player and Heavy Raiders shows up so rarely on Crisis Cards the Boarding party will never make it to the end of the track unless the Humans are seriously letting things go.

I would even advise that trying to shoot down Heavy Raiders is pretty much a waste of an action because they always start at least one space away from a Launch Tube and thus need at least two actions to get a Boarding Party on the ship. Usually Galactica will have jumped by then and even if they do get on board the Centurion isn't even that big a threat anyway.


I've seen it. It's mostly a threat when two revealed Cylons are seated next to each other. All you need is one Centurion more than one step in and it's over (which can surprise the humans if other things are going on). The Cylons can't plan from the beginning for it, but if something is close enough they can hit a quick strike.

It's not the most common ending, but it's very possible...
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Rene Wenzel
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jsciv wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
I have yet to see the Cylons win with a boarding party.

Even with a Cylon player spamming the Cylon Fleet to activate Heavy Raiders, the humans are going to get so many more actions than the Cylon player and Heavy Raiders shows up so rarely on Crisis Cards the Boarding party will never make it to the end of the track unless the Humans are seriously letting things go.

I would even advise that trying to shoot down Heavy Raiders is pretty much a waste of an action because they always start at least one space away from a Launch Tube and thus need at least two actions to get a Boarding Party on the ship. Usually Galactica will have jumped by then and even if they do get on board the Centurion isn't even that big a threat anyway.


I've seen it. It's mostly a threat when two revealed Cylons are seated next to each other. All you need is one Centurion more than one step in and it's over (which can surprise the humans if other things are going on). The Cylons can't plan from the beginning for it, but if something is close enough they can hit a quick strike.

It's not the most common ending, but it's very possible...


I totally agree with your comment. You can't use it as a strategy, because there are too many chances for humans to destroy Centurions, but if they have the opportunity to land more than two centurions they should go for it. The last two games in our group ended with boarding parties conquering galactica and cylons layed their part in moving them to the end of the track.
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Carl Bussema
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I've won plenty of times with boarding parties. It relies on having multiples on the track and the Quorum deck is not empty or near-empty, so you can't just ABF them. It helps immensely if you can get a heavy raider activation from a crisis.
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DCAnderson wrote:
I have yet to see the Cylons win with a boarding party.

Even with a Cylon player spamming the Cylon Fleet to activate Heavy Raiders, the humans are going to get so many more actions than the Cylon player and Heavy Raiders shows up so rarely on Crisis Cards the Boarding party will never make it to the end of the track unless the Humans are seriously letting things go.

I would even advise that trying to shoot down Heavy Raiders is pretty much a waste of an action because they always start at least one space away from a Launch Tube and thus need at least two actions to get a Boarding Party on the ship. Usually Galactica will have jumped by then and even if they do get on board the Centurion isn't even that big a threat anyway.

I have. Several times (3 IIRC). For this particular game, it was sweet, "bitterdumb" victory for me. Amusing thing is, the president did openly say he had an ABF, but he and everyone else forgot about it, which also shows that it can be difficult to keep on top of all the things going on at once.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/393518

IIRC, for another game where the boarding parties won the game for the cylons, it was a 5p game and both cylons were revealed. Problem was, they got to move the 2 cents up per circle of turns, but we also had to worry about protecting the civilian fleet at the same time.
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Gary Laporte
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Only two games, and one was won by a boarding party. The two revealed Cylon players kept playing Cylon fleet to make them advance and then one last crisis card allowed them to win the game this way.
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DCAnderson wrote:
I have yet to see the Cylons win with a boarding party.

Even with a Cylon player spamming the Cylon Fleet to activate Heavy Raiders, the humans are going to get so many more actions than the Cylon player and Heavy Raiders shows up so rarely on Crisis Cards the Boarding party will never make it to the end of the track unless the Humans are seriously letting things go.

I would even advise that trying to shoot down Heavy Raiders is pretty much a waste of an action because they always start at least one space away from a Launch Tube and thus need at least two actions to get a Boarding Party on the ship. Usually Galactica will have jumped by then and even if they do get on board the Centurion isn't even that big a threat anyway.


Curiously, in my game table, Centurions is half of the Cylon winnings. Experienced Cylon players can make good damage with a Centurion strategy.

The math of the post is really good. However, lots of things has to be considered. The easiest way to win a Centurion game is to use the damage loyalty card. Specially reveals in a XO or, with you are Apolo, in an Alert Viper Action, and begins your turn already a Cylon and with the armory damaged. Even better with Chief is a Cylon and the human will have a bad time repairing the armory. Than Fleet mobilization or Cylon Fleet to heavy raiders. It is not a instant victory, most of the times it is a endurance victory(not quite suitable in the late game).

My math would be "what revealed cylon action would be harder to counter?"

Activate Raiders: Usually, if there are 1 basestar there are also at least 1 raider in the map. So, Activate Raiders means 2 comunication actions to kite those raiders or 1 or 2 Maximum Firepower to kill most of the raiders. Defending with EM could mean the lost of 3 cards.

Caprica Crisis Card: 2 different situation, Cylon Attack or Crisis card. Cylon Attack: With the jump prep is on the blue, it is 1 action + a SP(not that useful Cylon move). If it is on the red, Cylons Attacks are the best revealed action. :However this is a guessing game...

Crisis Card: Crisis usually means 14 cards or 1 Quorum card to repair the action. In both cases, it hits hard.

Activate basestar: Has a 39% chance of damaging twice, 14% of not damaging even once and 47% of only damaging once. So, humans will spend one action and a half to repair the Galactica. Unless they don't have anyone with engineering skill(which means double actions to fix the damage), Activating basestar is only useful when it is already damaged or when you're lucky enough to send someone to the sickbay.

Activate Heavy Raiders: In the ideal situation of 2 basestar in the board, every Heavy Raiders move means a boarding or a launching heavy raiders. Boarding means yours heavy raiders won't be destroyed by a jump, so they make the human sure to have to shoot them. Launching means 2 additional targets. Every target means 4 actions, while every XO doubles someone actions(with other players is in the right place) and SP gives a +1 action. It is very good tactic. Combined with the Cylon Intruders, the Massive Attack or a well played Fleet Mobilization, it can easily win the game. The question is when to reveal... With before or just after the Sleeper Agent, Centurions can work. Later, it will be too late and the only winning cylon tactic is resource hitting.

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