Allan Cybulskie
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Okay, so I picked up Pegasus and used my own solo/RPG-lite rules:

1) Choose characters randomly; do not select for optimal roles.
2) When a Cylon draws a Cylon loyalty card, they reveal it immediately and draw an agenda card at random for all available agendas (hostile and sympathetic). They resurrect as normal for a reveal, but their reveal ability is not applied.
3) Play with a Cylon leader, who draws an agenda card at random from all available agendas.
4) Use all the "Not a Cylon" and "Sympathizer" loyalty cards, but only two "You are a Cylon cards"; this allows for there to be some suspicion over whether or not there is another Cylon.

So, I started a 7 player game solo. I mixed up all the Cylon leader and human cards, and drew them in order until I got enough. The first card drawn was Leoben, and then I think Helena Cain, Helo, Boomer, Kat, Ellen and Starbuck. Leoben drew the "Illusion of Hope" agenda, which had him play to have the Cylons win after a jump of 6. I then played out the first set of Loyalty cards, and Boomer was a Cylon. She drew the agenda where you have to let the humans win but with I think morale or food 2 or lower? Something like that.

At any rate, things started out interesting. Leoben infiltrated, resurrected, and drew Super Crisis cards. Boomer drew another Super Crisis, and most of the Crises came up as requiring Politics and Leadership, which the crew was quite short on. She would eventually just start sending Crises our way at Caprica, towards the end just to get us jump icons. My shuffling was bad, so I got most of the new Crisis cards immediately, and was hard-pressed to avoid drawing Treachery cards. Then, I got the Crisis that forces a choice of discarding and drawing Treachery or killing the Admiral, and with there being few useful cards as it was the Admiral got the ax. I replaced her with Duala, and Helo become the Admiral.

Meanwhile, the Cylons were interesting. Leoben played non-commitally, and I didn't draw much treachery for him, while Boomer was trying to lower morale. The first jump was a short one, and the next one was short as well. So we ended up short of the Sleeper phase after two jumps. Helo set up shop in Pegasus' main batteries, and managed to wipe out 4 raiders once. But the rolls weren't coming up well otherwise, and we lost a lot of Vipers. Then, we managed to jump, and picked up a 3 distance that took us to 6 ... which was a bad idea. When we were in trouble, Leoben was forced to help us out, while Boomer was working in some sense against us (or neutrally). The gloves came off for Leoben.

At the same time, Kat got the second Cylon loyalty card, and she drew the agenda where population and morale were supposed to be within 2 of each other (or something like that). So, Boomer and Kat were supposedly on our side, and Leoben wasn't. But we got a couple of Cylon attacks, and had a lot of raiders and civilians floating around. I think I had the card in play where someone would be executed if we jumped early, so we were trying to hang on to the auto-jump. Bad move; Leoben triggered a raider activation wiped out most of the rest of the civilan ships and left us with about 1 fuel and 1 population. We tried an early jump, but didn't win the roll. Game over. Leoben wins, but no one else does.

I really liked how the leader mechanism worked, playing three at once. Depending on the agenda, you may have to change your strategy depending on how things are going; if you want the humans to win, you have to ensure that they do even if the other part of your agenda is driving you to drive some resources down. "Illusion of Hope" is a wonderful agenda because if things are getting too tough for the humans you might have to help them out -- as Leoben did -- just to get them to 6.

I didn't get to Caprica, so I can't say how that would work out. And I didn't use treachery cards or most of the special abilities (I used Dee's once or twice), so can't comment on them. So, about all I can talk about are the leaders -- which I really like -- and the new Crisis cards, which are really, really tough. Hopefully, with better shuffling I'll be able to make it to Caprica next time.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I've played tons of other games solo, but what do you do when it comes time to vote on a skill check?

You don't know what the destiny deck is going to provide, but it seems awfully hard not to be able to pass or fail the crisis cards at your whim.

Sometimes we're so far over the requirement to pass that we've just wasted those cards, which seems to be a major strategic part of the game.

Brian

edits: I can't spell.
 
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Allan Cybulskie
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
I've played tons of other games solo, but what do you do when it comes time to vote on a skill check?

You don't know what the destiny deck is going to provide, but it seems awfully hard not to be able to pass or fail the crisis cards at your whim.

Sometimes we're so far over the requirement to pass that we've just wasted those cards, which seems to be a major strategic part of the game.

Brian

edits: I can't spell.


Well, first, I forgot to mention that I always reveal the destiny cards as well, since secrecy isn't a big deal. But this is basically an example of my attempting to compartmentalize, which I do with other strategy games solo. Basically, the human "players" don't know what the Cylon "players" are doing or have, and vice versa. Skill checks failed because Cylon characters tossed major cards in to fail it that hadn't been anticipated.

At any rate, you can indeed pass or fail at will ... as long the human "players" have the cards to do so. But sometimes they don't. This game was a perfect example; I was desperately short of politics and leadership the whole game, making the checks that relied on those difficult.

I played a version of this solo with the previous game (essentially, take out the leaders and the Cylons, and draw a Super Crisis every round after the sleeper phase) and the game can indeed be tough enough to play against all on its own ... especially if you take risks.
 
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Ted Von Penguin
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Nice review. Kudos on being able to play solo that way. I tried it just to see and my head nearly exploded.
 
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I agree that this is fine review. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the pass/fail mechanic with one person making all the decisions.

Do you "force" the "human" players to attempt to pass, thereby, deleting the number of cards they have for the next check? Is it based on a percentage of cards possessed or total value of cards possessed?

It seems that if it's already passed, the first player, who adds cards last, can simply opt not to add more, saving them for something else.

Do you have the "human" players add their cards first, so that the option will always belong to the Cylons, again, forcing the humans to throw in as many cards as possible, because you can't remember what the Cylons possess?

I've played four-handed cribbage (automatically just discarding the most logical card into the crib for each player) and even crazy eights by myself (using a special rule), but I don't know how I could avoid deciding who was going to win in BSG solo.

I see that sometimes you can't pass and sometimes you don't care, just like the regular game; but, there are going to be times when you want to pass and each player doesn't know how much to help.

If you've gotten around this, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din. :-)

I don't even want to get started on what happens when the Admiral is the Cylon and it comes time to decide how far to jump the fleet or voting to Brig someone or how to subtly interfere with progress in other ways.

I better stop before my own head explodes just thinking about it.

Brian

 
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Allan Cybulskie
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Okay, so let me clarify how I play solo games before you all think I'm much better at this than I really am [grin].

Let me start with how I got onto doing this (for this and other board games as well; I think BSG is the only game in my collection that I've actually played with other people, due to the wonders of the forum): when I was a kid, I liked certain computer games, including some strategy games. My brother didn't. Many of them were only two player. So I learned to play the games myself and "segmenting" some of the info from myself. When I went away to school and had no one to play with, this built on itself. I've played games of Master of Orion 2 all by myself with a full 8 players, for example. It generally works, although at times you have to stop yourself from cheering for one side and letting them react to info that they really shouldn't have.

I forget how I got into looking at board games in general (it probably came from not being able to get into pen and paper RPGs and wanting something RPG-lite) but I applied the same idea there.

I have two solo versions that I've played a bit and enjoy (not a whole lot, but a few), one for the base game and one for Pegasus. In both versions, the big thing I needed to eliminate was the "hidden Cylon" mechanism, since that's far too hard to deal with; how can you decide when you should know that someone is a Cylon, and when you shouldn't? I tried a quick game of it with the base game, and it didn't work. So I came up with something else.

For the base game, you draw as many players as you want (I do it by selection or at random, but I ignore the selection rules). You do not deal out Loyalty cards. There are no Cylons. Instead, you simply play against the game. At the Sleeper phase, you start drawing a Super Crisis card before you cycle back to the first player selected, and do that until the game's over or you run out of Super Crisis cards (just to make it harder).

The first game I played here was pretty easy, but I'd forgotten to do the Super Crisis thing. I did that the second time and it was close. It'll come down to what you draw as to how easy it is.

So, in this case, there's only one player with multiple "resources". There's no issues with checks or anything, since there's really no problem with secrecy or everyone knowing what everyone has.

(I suppose I could have left the Destiny cards hidden, but I think I thought that was a bit too much work for me, and I like to win anyway [grin]).

For Pegasus, the agenda cards are the key. I start the game with 7 players. I draw at random. When I get a Cylon leader, the leader goes into that spot in the order and I give them an agenda at random (from all agendas, including all Hostile and Sympathetic ones). Then, once all the players are selected, I deal out Loyalty cards (and I really want it to be the case that it would be possible that there are more "non-Cylon" cards than characters, to make it possible that there are less than 2 Cylons in a 7 character game). If a character gets a Cylon card, they reveal it immediately, its effects are not applied, and they move to the Resurrection Ship as if they had revealed normally (including getting a Super Crisis). They also draw another agenda at random (same rules as above). And then the fun begins.

Human characters play as humans, and try to survive. Cylons and Cylon leaders try to further their agendas. For skill checks, I don't remember what all 7 characters have in their hand (generally) so there's little pre-guessing about what might be played. Also, I make a concerted effort to not think about what agendas each Cylon has, so I'm not really thinking about what the Cylon will play into each check until their turn to play comes up, so it's harder to figure out what to play to overwhelm that. Essentially, I play each character as if they were a separate character (with a little bit of "I know that person X has good cards", but since I forget what each has sometimes I'll get that wrong [grin]). That allows for checks to fail ... especially if I ever get short of cards that can play into one.

I've only played it once with Pegasus, and you've seen the results here, but I enjoyed it and will probably play a bit later on. There is a bit of "Okay, I have to remember that this character wouldn't know this", but beyond that it works okay.

If I ever get human agendas or get more used to the game, I'll start having the characters act as characters as well, for an RPG-lite experience.
 
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