Andy Clautice
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This evening, a group of friends and I sat down at our local coffee shop for an evening of space travel and betrayal. You know, like a normal Friday. It was a motley crew assembled for this voyage - I was the most experienced player with about 5 previous sessions, but only one person had never actually played, and Travis had at least watched before. We did go through a brief recap of the rules, but we were swiftly underway.

The player order:
Rommel - Sharon "Boomer" Valerii
Mike - William Adama, Admiral
Andy (me) - Tom Zarek, President
Tom - Lee "Apollo" Adama
Travis - "Chief" Galen Tyrol

The first jump came relatively quickly; we bumbled into a Cylon attack crises, but a nuke cleared out some space and Boomer hit the guns to take down a heavy raider before it dropped off any visitors. Jump icons got us up the track before the Cylon ships could do any major damage. We dropped a couple checks and a couple rolls, so we left behind some morale and two raptors, which wasn't great, but at least the jump was distance 3: a Cylon Ambush!

By this point, Boomer was already in the Brig due to a crisis, and poor Rommel was trying to find any way to be useful. His first escape attempt had come up one short - had I helped him with Friends in Low Places, he would have made it, but I had stood aside. I knew *I* was human, but who can say who might be a skinjob? That started to look like a bad plan, though, when Piloting cards started showing up in checks he wasn't even contributing to, culminating in a failed Colonial Day that took morale into the red.

That had been on my turn, so I passed to Apollo, saying, "your turn, Cylon." I was only just more than half serious - there was some misplaced Leadership in the checks as well, but it could maybe have been destiny? - but on his turn, he up and reveals! On his way out, he damaged Weapons Control and the Admiral's Quarters, which sent the old man and the Chief to Sick Bay. This left me on Colonial One, him on the Resurrection Ship, and everyone else in jail or knocked out. Things were not looking awesome, although at least space had been cleared out before our guns were shut down.

The Chief was able to fix the damage to WC and hit Adama (the elder) with an Executive Order to get him back on his feet. This gave us some more resources to fight with - not that they were going to do us any good. All the Admiral was able to do was Launch Scouts, and the last raptor ended up against yet another roll of 1, leaving us without scouting capabilities! On my turn, I considered an Executive Order to have the Admiral pull the lever and send us further into space, but something wasn't sitting right. Scouts, scouts, always with the scouts...it seemed like all Adama had been doing was Launching Scouts, even with Boomer doing Recon right ahead of him. Instead of the Order, I Released some Cylon Mugshots, and learned the terrible truth: like son, like father. Both Adamas were Cylons!

With his partner identified, Tom dropped his SuperCrisis: a Bomb on Colonial One. We were totally caught with our pants down: Chief had missed his previous draw and was totally out of cards, Boomer was still in the brig, and Zarek barely draws the relevant colors. With an unrevealed Cylon ready to dump his hand, we didn't even try to pass, and I went to Sick Bay with Morale dropping down to 3. Thankfully, Travis was on deck for another great turn: move to Admiral's Quarters, repair Admiral's Quarters, and an Executive Order for his free action. He hit me in Sick Bay, and I promptly...cheated.

I realize it now that I'm typing this. With my XO, I moved to the Admiral's Quarters and used them to lock up our rogue Adama. With one Cylon contributing a single card and the other drawing only positives for the check, he didn't stand a chance against charges he never should have faced. Tom Zarek's Covicted Criminal drawback meant I couldn't have used the Quarters while Tyrol was in place. The Chief could have done the work himself, but I would have lost cards from staying in Sick Bay. We're all new at this, and nobody caught it, except in hindsight. Sadness...but the game went on, and so do I.

With our skinjobs isolated, Boomer made a break for freedom, and this time Zarek's Friends helped out. They made a big difference too, as the check result was just 6. Sweet freedom was Rommel's, and a good thing too - without any raptors left, he didn't really have any actions to perform in the Brig anymore. Adama shuffled off to the Resurrection Ship, and we humans shuffled off to another jump. Admiral Tyrol put us at a total of 5, and we had no scouting ability to try to find another 3. Morale looked bad at 3, fuel looked troubling at 4, and two Cylons were ready to start heaving whatever they could at us.

This jump, however, was actually the smoothest of the game. Chief was able to spare an XO for me on his next turn, and it was suddenly Quorum time: two Inspirational Speeches, two great rolls, and suddenly everyone was feeling much better. A crisis failure put a basestar on the board, and when a heavy raider popped out and successfully boarded, the Cylons considered trying to quick-march him to victory, but Boomer found some explosive rounds and ended that right quick. The raiders never managed to get to the civilian ships on Galactica's 6, and I jumped the fleet after the humans had lost only a few resources. The jump was a doozy, too - Admiral Tyrol sent us to a Barren Planet, putting distance at 8 but fuel at 1.

On the Chief's next turn, he had yet another Executive Order, and President Zarek ordered the passengers of one ship into the fuel tanks - Unconventional, sure, but you do what you have to do. A Jump Computer Failure threatened to take away our one jump advancement, but Tom tipped his hand too soon: he admitted to having a high green card, and Travis was able to use Blind Devotion to negate green cards on the check (a 5 and a 3 were killed), so we passed. When another Blue/Purple check came up on Rommel's turn (can't remember exactly, but the failure result was not pretty), Boomer's Mysterious Intuition turned it aside. Three once-per-game abilities came down in two turns, but the result was that we humans had decent hands and were one space away from the blue on FTL. With 6 population, we could pull the trigger as soon as it was available.

First, though, we had to survive the Cylons. Mike was hanging his head, and we learned why when he deployed his Inbound Nukes. Although we never stood a chance against the skill check, my having raised fuel to 2 meant we survived anyway. My crisis had a jump icon, leaving only Tom between the humans and Kobol. He activated the Human Fleet in a last-ditch effort to damage FTL, but the damage token was for the Admiral's Quarters, and Chief Tyrol took us home. Humanity survived, and the Cylons were left slumping their shoulders at what could - and maybe should - have been.

Although we did see destiny sucker punch the humans a couple times, the truth is that the d8 was absolutely on fire when it counted. Basestars couldn't hit Galactica at all, and three Inspirational Speeches - three! - resolved successfully. (Morale ended at exactly 3, for the record.) Even the final FTL roll, although totally irrelevant to the game's result, was an 8. The raptors were sucking up the 1s, it seems; I've never seen so many Scouts fail so quickly. But getting the rolls we needed and some crucial unfamiliarities with the rules led to a bare victory for the meatbags. We all also got another game under our belts, so hopefully next time we won't see as many slip-ups. I'm definitely looking forward to it!
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