Todd France
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I have to say, when I saw Ellen Tigh's character card, I immediately thought that this was one of the most elegant mechanics I've ever seen to perfectly capture the character of Ellen on the TV show. Making one of her cards a Treachery card is a simple way to make her less effective than the other characters (just like she did very little that was actually productive on the show), and backing that up with the ability to hand off a card to another character to draw more herself was also a great reflection of how she always exerted her influence THROUGH other people. particularly when you consider she'll probably be handing off the Treachery card a lot...

That's all well and good, until you take it to another level, and realize that if she follows Saul around the ship, she basically enables his alcoholism. If she gives her Treachery cards to Saul, he can actually make use of them to mitigate his drawback. If there's no Cylon leader or revealed Cylon, he can just hold the treachery card as his last card, allowing him to make full use of the other cards in his hand and discard it instead of a useful card. If there IS a Cylon in the game, he can store two of them and work with an effective hand size of 8, with the bonus that if he does get more than 8 good cards, he can always choose to discard the treachery and hope that the Cylons aren't in a position to capitalize. I'm really pleased with how these two characters complement each other.

Just wanted to put that out there, since no one else seemed to be talking about it.
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Roy Stephens
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Well stated. The "enabling alcoholism" thing was something I hadn't really even considered yet. That is GREAT! You can just see her with her stashed bottle of booze, pouring Saul another drink...
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Gary Laporte
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An interesting take on the dynamics between Ellen and Saul in the game.

By the way, something I always wondered: do people playing Tigh often have to discard because of this weakness? It got me the first time and then when I was realizing I would just end up losing a card, I'd just throw it in the crisis instead of losing it. Am I missing something which makes his weakness more powerful?
 
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Roy Stephens
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I guess if the card you were going to be left with is a card you don't want to throw into the skill check due to an outcome you don't want from it (depending on your loyalties), then it is a lost card with no positive outcome... now, that does show 1 interesting drawback to the flaw: For example, Tigh is a hidden Cylon. A skill check comes up that he doesn't want to pass. He has 1 card left in his hand. It is one that has a positive effect on the check. If he throws it in, then he is sabotaging himself. If he tells the others he can't help on the check, then discards a card that COULD have contributed, they will know he was lying and a Cylon. Either way, it is a negative situation for the Colonel. So, there is that aspect of it.

To be honest, poor Saul hasn't seen much table time with my group. Everyone gravitates toward Roslin, Apollo, Starbuck, Adama, Chief, and Helo. Boomer and Baltar have been played twice. I think Saul has only had a single session thus far. Of course, this is ahead of Zarek who, unless I am wrong, has never been selected...
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Philip Thomas
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I want to play Zarek next time I get to play.

I have to admit, (Final Season Spoiler)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
his character got a lot more unattractive during the final Season


though.
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Roy Stephens
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Philip Thomas wrote:
I want to play Zarek next time I get to play.

I have to admit, (Final Season Spoiler)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
his character got a lot more unattractive during the final Season


though.


Yeah, it was a bit weird watching Richard Hatch play completely opposite of his classic BSG version of Apollo. Well acted, though.
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Zenjoy
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Saul's weakness isn't too terrible. As you said, it basically encourages you to empty your hand completely into a skill check, and in larger games it can be tricky if multiple skill checks have occurred.

What I think Saul's REAL weakness is within his abilities. The ability to "assist" putting people in the brig is two-sided. He'll be making enemies with those he locks up, but may befriend those left loose (though some may suspect him). Compared to Tom's ability which is somewhat similar save he helps people OUT of the brig and INTO Presidency, Saul makes enemies and thus rises suspicions. His Martial Law is very inviting of suspicion too. Given he is the second Admiral (third now with the Pegasus expansion) the chances of him taking charge of the military is very high, and once he is in command he need only take one action to automatically secure Presidency as well (Tyrant Saul as we call him). Anyone with this position of power will be heavily suspect unless all Cylon's have appeared.

So yes - I agree that Saul's weakness isn't that significant, but it is countered with his abilites.

Oh and I do like your point about Ellen + Saul Pairing. Expanding the theme I can see Apollo hoping to discard her "suggestive assistance" at random (once he has too many), and Will Adama purging himself of her motions by grabbing a massive pile of cards after a skill check to then discard the bagage Ellen has given him.

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Todd France
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LNAGary wrote:
By the way, something I always wondered: do people playing Tigh often have to discard because of this weakness?

It's not a crippling weakness, but I don't think it's that uncommon to pop up. The simplest scenario is: I start my turn with 0 cards. I draw na XO so I play it. A Tactics, Non-Leadership crisis comes up. If it's a big crisis, I throw in all my Tactics and have to throw away my last card. If it's not, and I only play 2 Tactics cards, now I'm set for either a Tactics, non-Leadership, OR a Leadership, non-Tactics crisis. Now I'm back to square one. He can also be in the same boat if he conservatively launches a scout with a Strategic Planning.

FWIW, a quick glance indicates that about 13 of the 40 crisis skill checks are have BOTH Tactics and Leadership, while none have neither.
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Dan Wells
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Oddly, Tigh and Zarek are my two favorite characters to play. Being able to shift power around, and to control how easy it is to get people in and out of the brig, is incredibly fun.
 
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Allan Clements
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If Ellen temporarily becomes Admiral on her turn, then XOs Tigh, he can make Ellen the President. Not very likely to happen in game but a nice interaction none the less!
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John Clark
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Kamakaze wrote:
If Ellen temporarily becomes Admiral on her turn, then XOs Tigh, he can make Ellen the President. Not very likely to happen in game but a nice interaction none the less!


I would love to see that happen in a game!
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Clayton Wick
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Another fun bit to Ellen: If a Cylon is still unrevealed when you get to New Caprica and Ellen has yet to use her once per game, it's in the fleet's best interest to execute her.
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Thiago Martins
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"enabling alcoholism" is certainly very nice, and so is "Kamala smuggling" laugh
 
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Mark Thomason
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Highly entertaining observation from the OP.

As to Saul's handicap, it seriously caused the Saul Tigh in PBF Game V a LOT of problems throughout the game. It came up regularly and made him make sub-optimal choices on when and which cards he played into checks.

Probably wouldn't have made the difference in the game, but then again it could have gotten him or one of his shipmates out of the brig in time to make a jump and fight against the Cylons controlling Galactica...
 
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