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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Game: Humans Win! Cylons too careful? rss

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Nadim Boukhira
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This is the first game my group played (5 players). We are all veteran gamers, rules were assimilated quickly and applied properly.

The lineup (in order of play):
1. President Laura Roselin - Human all the way
2. Pilot Lee Appollo Adama - Human all the way
3. Admiral Bill Adama - Human all the way
4. Gaius Baltar (myself) - Sleeper agent ninja
5. Sharon Boomer - Initial Cylon

The first crisis cards were all successes with very little off color cards. In a particular crisis no off colors at all were used, which led us to quickly trust each other (the president, the admiral and myself were playing in such optimal ways for humans that no doubt were left about our loyalty). After the first jump (2 parsecs) our lowest resource was polulation, down two notches. Fuel and moral -1 and food +1! Things looked good. At that point we agreed (wrongly) that all five players were humans and our game was to optimize out position before the sleeper phase. The Cylon (Sharon) was extremely careful, waiting for an opportunity to hurt our population which never came. Meanwhile, we were very efficient at choosing which crisis cards to ignore, so we were never out of cards, and the Cylon fleet was taken care of swiftly, our Apollo being a piloting god thanks to well used executive orders and red cards.

Half way through the preparation for the second jump, out of sheer frustration, Sharon used her special ability to make a crisis event fail! Oh, surprise and dismay, we realized we had a traitor in our midst after all, but we were glad, because we knew she would end-up in the brig before her next turn, unable to use her loyalty card text. First human blunder: we waited until my turn to use the Admiral's Quarters (everyone else being busy dealing with the Cylon fleet and the admiral being an emotional weakling): the skill check failed! Our president genuinely mistook black for yellow and used political cards!!! (Yes, he WAS a human!) So the cylon used her card and damaged Galactica, sending two humans in sickbay.

Very peaceful at this point: we optimized our distance traveled before sleeper phase: second jump was 1 parsec, third jump was 3 parsecs, so we were already at 6 when the sleeper phase was initiated. At that point, Morale, fuel and food were all at 50% Population at 60%.

I, Gaius, now Cylon, used my special ability to look at Sharon's two new remaining loyalty cards. The plan was simple: convince the other players that she had the remaining Cylon card and create mistrust as she uses the resurrection ship ability to hand out her cards to the pilot or the president. Unfortunately, my Cylon partner rejected the plan, using Caprica instead. Losing credibility, I had no choice but to reveal myself, damaging moral in the process (now at 4). At that point, the clock was ticking: the humans were very close to the next jump (bringing them to 8) and population was high, so FTL control was safe.

After playing our super crisis cards, moral was down to 1 (thanks to the President, who succeeded an inspirational speech) but then the final jump was achieved and the Humans won!

Impressions:
- Cylons should take some risks when hidden. Being too good for humans early leads to a lack of paranoia (which is good for the humans) and difficult cylon game at the end (high resources). Our cylon was waiting for an opportunity which never came. Maybe hidden cylons need to be proactive.
- Once a Cylon is revealed, his strategic options are very limited (can't use skill card text, character abilities etc.) Only 4 options are available, and most of them not really that useful. We agreed that being a human is more fun. Cylon players leading raider parties would have been fun!
- In our experience both the Admiral and the President were good guys. I guess the game is more dynamic when one of them is Cylon. Our game saw no change in authority!
-Still, a fun game! We will play again next week-end.
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licoricemetal wrote:
Impressions:
- Cylons should take some risks when hidden. Being too good for humans early leads to a lack of paranoia (which is good for the humans) and difficult cylon game at the end (high resources). Our cylon was waiting for an opportunity which never came. Maybe hidden cylons need to be proactive.
- Once a Cylon is revealed, his strategic options are very limited (can't use skill card text, character abilities etc.) Only 4 options are available, and most of them not really that useful. We agreed that being a human is more fun. Cylon players leading raider parties would have been fun!
- In our experience both the Admiral and the President were good guys. I guess the game is more dynamic when one of them is Cylon. Our game saw no change in authority!
-Still, a fun game! We will play again next week-end.


That's my issue too. Often in 4p to 6p games where there are multiple cylons, I wait too long to make a difference (either too little too late, or for that opportunity that never presents itself). If not that, my cylon buddy reveals before me, then I get the courage to really spread the evil. I have put in a few bad cards into skill checks, but typically nothing obvious unless it can become a turning point.
 
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Ben Maalouf
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I was playing Sharon in that game, and I have to say being the sole cylon in a party of five for the first few HOURS of play did get a little on the longish side... Once I was revealed, I basically spent the whole time watching humans carefully optimize their moves and hands for hours while I waited for the moment where I could play a Crysis card, which they could oftentimes simply IGNORE: "All right, we'll save our cards and take that -1 fuel!". All the basestars and the raiders that were put on map were easily dispatched by Apollo, and I felt I was having absolutely NO impact on the game!...

And even then, the Cylons almost won!... I'm not sure I see why!.. Seems to me being human makes you active and really involved in the whole game, while being a Cylon essentially isolates you and deprives you of any significant tactical choice (no action cards, poor location choices). Just put your best card in and hope for the worst.

But maybe I'm being harsh. The two or three hours between my revelation and the sleeper phase really were distressingly passive, but I still had fun planning my revelation (which was a flop, because of a lack of good opportunities), and participating in the endgame.

Ready to give it another try, but I think the humans must be careful not to overoptimize their moves at the price of a comfortable pace -- the game really can drag for the revealed cylons.
 
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Nadim Boukhira
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What you say is true Sharon. I feel for you. The game was over 5 hours long. That is not normal. Still, I think humans had it easy, and the only reason why their victory was so close is that they made some beginner mistakes that I am not aware of - being beginner myself - (perhaps too much emphasis on viper combat and not enough on morale (the population was still in the blue at the end of the game))
 
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Jason Beck
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Sakharov1 wrote:
I was playing Sharon in that game, and I have to say being the sole cylon in a party of five for the first few HOURS of play did get a little on the longish side... Once I was revealed, I basically spent the whole time watching humans carefully optimize their moves and hands for hours while I waited for the moment where I could play a Crysis card, which they could oftentimes simply IGNORE: "All right, we'll save our cards and take that -1 fuel!". All the basestars and the raiders that were put on map were easily dispatched by Apollo, and I felt I was having absolutely NO impact on the game!...

And even then, the Cylons almost won!... I'm not sure I see why!.. Seems to me being human makes you active and really involved in the whole game, while being a Cylon essentially isolates you and deprives you of any significant tactical choice (no action cards, poor location choices). Just put your best card in and hope for the worst.

But maybe I'm being harsh. The two or three hours between my revelation and the sleeper phase really were distressingly passive, but I still had fun planning my revelation (which was a flop, because of a lack of good opportunities), and participating in the endgame.

Ready to give it another try, but I think the humans must be careful not to overoptimize their moves at the price of a comfortable pace -- the game really can drag for the revealed cylons.


I think this is true, that sometimes revealed Cylons feel less like participants and more like spectators; it sounds like you should have revealed earlier, though, and that may have helped. If the humans have it too easy for a while, it can make the rest of the game much easier for them, which, in turn, can make a Cylon player feel like what they're doing is more or less futile, which is never a good feeling.

Getting a Cylon card early provokes a choice, of course: Do I reveal immediately, or do I bide my time and wait for an excellent moment to strike? The problem with the latter choice (as you saw) is that sometimes that moment just won't come. If you're a Cylon Admiral or President, you may be more inclined to stay, since your added abilities naturally make it easier for you to wreak havoc.

Additionally, if you want to stay hidden, carefully sabotaging skill checks is necessary (otherwise the humans do too well)- not to mention that it makes the humans paranoid about a Cylon among them. You should, of course, use this paranoia to your advantage and (ideally) try to get someone else blamed for it.

Those are just suggestions, of course, and part of the reason for feeling left out of the game can certainly be if the turns themselves are simply taking too long (because it's true that, by their nature, Cylon players have "less" to do than the humans, since they're not being XOed, contributing less to skill checks, etc.), so that may also have just been a function of it being a new game.
 
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John Fanjoy
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licoricemetal wrote:
I, Gaius, now Cylon, used my special ability to look at Sharon's two new remaining loyalty cards. The plan was simple: convince the other players that she had the remaining Cylon card and create mistrust as she uses the resurrection ship ability to hand out her cards to the pilot or the president.

I do not believe it is legal for Baltar to check a revealed Cylon's loyalty cards with his Once Per Game ability. Even if it is, it would be a better play to just check and accuse the president/admiral directly, because then you aren't wasting your fellow Cylon's turn on the Resurrection ship.
 
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Nadim Boukhira
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CitizenFry wrote:
licoricemetal wrote:
I, Gaius, now Cylon, used my special ability to look at Sharon's two new remaining loyalty cards. The plan was simple: convince the other players that she had the remaining Cylon card and create mistrust as she uses the resurrection ship ability to hand out her cards to the pilot or the president.

I do not believe it is legal for Baltar to check a revealed Cylon's loyalty cards with his Once Per Game ability. Even if it is, it would be a better play to just check and accuse the president/admiral directly, because then you aren't wasting your fellow Cylon's turn on the Resurrection ship.


I think I probably screwed-up the Cylon game with that move. zombie It feels like the kind of reasoning a Gaius would really have though.
 
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MK
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What Cylons need to do is count cards, if possible.

On the first skill check, be helpful if possible, or withhold cards if you can't actually help. Let the Destiny Deck tell you something... any negative cards that come up, you know came from the deck (but the humans don't know this), but if there are no bad cards that come up, that gives the false impression that no one is yet a Cylon, or at least, no one is willing to reveal this so quickly.

From that point on, try to keep track of what cards possibly came from the Destiny Deck. It may not be possible to keep track of every single card that must have come from the deck, but you may get a good sense of it - enough so that, when the destiny deck gets down to four or two cards (or even six in some cases), you can reasonably guess what is going to get tossed in, and you can reasonably gauge how safe/not safe it is to toss in additional negative cards.

Also, with those checks, you may be able to tell if someone else is a Cylon partner or not. If you don't toss in any cards, but there are still three negative cards in the mix, you know you have a partner... and that can be a huge boost for you, knowing that even if you reveal early, someone else is still out there in the background...
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