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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion» Forums » General

Subject: Enjoyable games with the Cylon Leaders? rss

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Gary Laporte
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I read a lot of bad stuff about them, so I just wanted to know if some of you had good games with the Cylon Leaders.

I'd like to hear about them if you had, and why you think the mechanic worked in your case.

 
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I had a good time playing as Cavil in a five player game with the "Grant Mercy" agenda. Two of the players were brand new to BSG, so it ran on too long for us to finish. Cavil didn't feel limited or overpowered in that particular game. I strongly suspect he (or any Cylon Leader) would have been too strong in a four player game. The reaction I got out of the revealed Cylon player when I apparently changed sides and used Primacy to withdraw one of the basestars they had deployed with a supercrisis was priceless.
 
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Carl Bussema
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I played as Cavil in a 7-player game, also had Grant Mercy, and got pop down to 3 before the final jump (playing w/o New Caprica) ... at blue-1, and they rolled a 5 w/Strategic Planning. SO CLOSE! It was a lot of fun. I won't use them with 5 players, but I might with 4 or 6, and obviously with 7.
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Gary Laporte
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So you both had good games with the "grant mercy" agenda, it seems.

(Infocynic, would you play with the CL in 5 player game with the variant where there are 1 or 2 unrevealed Cylon(s) depending on the CL's agenda? And if anybody played with this variant, did it work well?)
 
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Phil Nicholls
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As I think I've said elsewhere, since pegasus, games are either absolutely thrilling .... or terrible, with little in between.

I play with 2 groups, reasonably regularly, and the cylon leaders are novel enough that people do tend to pick them. We've now had a wide rang of agendas from them, and played 4, 5 and 6 player games.

We eliminate the "super crisis agenda" from the 5 player deck as a house rule - and our 5 player games are simply a joy to behold. The balance is just so right, and games tend to be nailbiting finishes.

6 and 4 depend a lot on the agenda that the cylon gets. A good variant with 6 is to ban cylon leaders but play with sympathetic cylons.

All in all, I like the leaders, I think Leoben is the strongest by a long way and with him it does feel as if you get a full turn (with Cavil in particular it feels as if your turn takes about 5 seconds).

As for being a leader yourself, it does make the game a lot harder usually; if you're the sort of player that likes narrarting and psyching out the others, then you'll enjoy being one. I would note that CLs do not win all that often in our games.

Cheers
Phil
 
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Gary Laporte
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In 5 players, are you using the normal rules or the variant where the number of unrevealed Cylon players depends if the CL agenda is prohuman or proCylon?
 
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Kris Van Beurden
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Disliking the Cylon leader here ... although I wanted so much to like them. Had a game of 5 where all I had to do was play a Supercrisis and then win 4 to 1. Had a game of 5 where I had to get everything down to red and then win with the cylons, but I never got food down, so I lost. Had a 6 player game where the cylon leader spammed basestars which never did more than kill vipers (good for his agenda), but he voted with the humans and so made it more or less a 4 against 2. That game went to 1 morale and 1 pop, but still the leader felt "wrong". I thought to use the cylon leader instead of sympathizer in 6 player games but am thinking against that now.
 
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Gary Laporte
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Tegarend wrote:
Had a 6 player game where the cylon leader spammed basestars which never did more than kill vipers (good for his agenda), but he voted with the humans and so made it more or less a 4 against 2. That game went to 1 morale and 1 pop, but still the leader felt "wrong".


My variant sure could help avoiding situations like that where the Cylon Leader is so obvious about his agenda.
 
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Carl Bussema
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I might try the 5-player variant (1 cylon if agenda pro-cylon, 2 cylons if agenda is pro-hunan) sometime if I had a good group of experienced players... it's hard for me to get that sometimes.
 
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Gary Laporte
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Anybody else with enjoyable Cylon Leader games? Keep'em coming!
 
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Wim D
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I've had several enjoyable games with Cylon leaders.
And I've had several so-so games with cylon leaders.

In the base game, when for instance playing a 5 player game, if both cylon cards were only dealt out post sleeper phase, it was often not very enjoyable. Before people realised there were probably no cylon players yet - and so the might consider holding back a little (just in case they get dealt a cylon card later) - it was often too late, and too much distance had beeen traveled without loosing much resources.
The game was just not balanced enough. But this didn't prevent us from having fun.
Now with the cylon leaders, there is a new factor that might throw things out of balance: the cylon leader agenda.

So between odds on loyalty cards, odds on cylon leader agenda, and lucky or unlucky streaks of crisis cards or die rolls, there's more that can go out of balance. But there are also more factors keeping each other in check. (and there are more goodies ... )

So in short: it depends a bit on luck whether the game will be much fun, just ok, or just plain terrible. But that was already the case with the base game. The most fun games have always been the ones where the mind games, the influencing, the deceipting, etc ... have been present the most. This hasn't changed. If you really want a game where everyone has the same chance at winning, maybe you should consider an other game.

Do remember you should be playing games because they are fun. So just have fun.
Also: you can easily play without the Cylon Leaders. It's not because they are new that you have to use them every game. If you skip them a few games, you might enjoy them more the next time you do decide to use them.
 
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Nathan Bredfeldt
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It depends almost entirely upon the agenda you draw, I think.

But, do keep in mind that it is an entirely different game than being a human or secret Cylon. And I feel that winning requires you to be much smarter, much more experienced than even a single secret Cylon has to be.

As it is, I think they are no fun because there is no D'anna or
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Daniel
 
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DK Kemler
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Cylon leaders are fun. Agendas are a mixed bag however. Not enough of the agendas provide any tension whatsoever, about the loyalty of the cylon, and hence are not fun. Not to mention a lot of them are ridiculously easy to accomplish.
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The trick is not to play with a cylon leader unless you play the 4 or 6 player game. We almost always prefer the sympathetic cylon, simply because that player is able to play more like the original game early on. Cylon leaders tend to cause problems and it's much more difficult to discover the source of sabotage. My group tends to feel like it takes away from the main game a bit too much. Part of our fun is trying to secretly sabotage and discover who the traitor is. With a cylon leader, you're more likely to go the whole game without really knowing the cylon, so basically it's just a "wait till they reveal" type of scenario.
 
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Franklin Millar
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The Cylon Leader is basically the Dungeon Master. He wins if the game is close enough to be interesting.
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David Dirga
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Quote:
With a cylon leader, you're more likely to go the whole game without really knowing the cylon, so basically it's just a "wait till they reveal" type of scenario.


Can you explain this a bit? We're playing with CL almost every time and we never had this sort of problem.
 
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DK Kemler
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Doomclown wrote:
The Cylon Leader is basically the Dungeon Master. He wins if the game is close enough to be interesting.


Except thats not true at all. A lot of the agendas add nothing to the game at all.
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Gary Laporte
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degamer and doomclown, could you be more specific about what you think of the Cylon Leaders?

Since the release of Pegasus, it seems that a lot of people have been disappointed by the Cylon Leaders. I'd like to know why, but it's also interesting to have the opinion of those who actually enjoyed the CL.

I also must say that some people seem to be completely missing the point with the CL, like those who try to airlock themselves for instance. On the other hand, it seems that some people who do want to have fun with the CL can't because some of the agendas are too simple or cause problem. But still, some people are enjoying them.

That's why I created this thread, so we could compare the opinions on the CL, to see why it works for somebody and why it doesn't for somebody else. I did choose to ask for enjoyable games as there seems to be majority of people disliking the Cylon Leaders and I was curious to hear their opinion too.

Anyway, back on topic.

 
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Franklin Millar
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I don't have enough experience with them to give a more detailed opinion; I haven't played in a game with Pegasus personally yet, so I'm just posting hearsay. :D
degamer wrote:
Doomclown wrote:
The Cylon Leader is basically the Dungeon Master. He wins if the game is close enough to be interesting.


Except thats not true at all. A lot of the agendas add nothing to the game at all.

Do you have an example in mind? I haven't looked at the agendas carefully yet.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Well the must play a super crisis agenda is lousy.

When I had grant mercy, I played strongly aggressively the whole game, not infiltrating because I knew they'd just airlock me, and what would be the point of that... but I also had NO HELP the first half of the game... the cylons both said they were sleeper agents.

I suspect that a cylon leader and a hidden cylon from the start of the game would be a lot of fun, as the hidden cylon could try to blame the cylon leader.
 
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Chris J Davis
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LNAGary wrote:
degamer and doomclown, could you be more specific about what you think of the Cylon Leaders?

Since the release of Pegasus, it seems that a lot of people have been disappointed by the Cylon Leaders. I'd like to know why, but it's also interesting to have the opinion of those who actually enjoyed the CL.

I also must say that some people seem to be completely missing the point with the CL, like those who try to airlock themselves for instance. On the other hand, it seems that some people who do want to have fun with the CL can't because some of the agendas are too simple or cause problem. But still, some people are enjoying them.

That's why I created this thread, so we could compare the opinions on the CL, to see why it works for somebody and why it doesn't for somebody else. I did choose to ask for enjoyable games as there seems to be majority of people disliking the Cylon Leaders and I was curious to hear their opinion too.

Anyway, back on topic.



I think the reason why most people dislike the Cylon leaders is because they remove a bit chunk of the uncertainty and paranoia from the game. Some of the agendas - particularly the sympathetic agendas - are designed in such a way that you can see they are attempting to retain some of that paranoia (though by a different method to the loyalty cards), but it doesn't *quite* work, for a few reasons:

1) The agendas are split into hostile and sympathetc, so you have a reasonable 2-in-3 chance of guessing which side the Cylon leader is on.

2) The hostile agendas pretty much make the Cylon leader a revealed Cylon from the beginning, just that his win condition requires that he beat down on the humans in a specific way. There's no real intrigue regarding his allegiance - he just does what he has to do and it's just like a normal 5-player game with a revealed Cylon from the beginning.

3) The sympathetic agendas are mostly on the humans side, but require that the Cylon leader hurt the humans in some way. The human players know this, so again don't really need to worry about the Cylon leader's allegiance. They can either accept that he'll do some damage but ultimately help them win, or kick him off Galactica (on the assumption that he'll infiltrate, 'cos why not?) where he'll continue to help them from the Cylon locations anyway.

4) In the instances where the Cylon leader's allegiance is counter to his agenda deck (i.e, a pro-human agenda drawn from the hostile deck) the game becomes unbalanced. Grant Mercy may be the only instance where this isn't the case. The pro-Cylon sympathetic agendas in particular are especially damning for the humans; they require that the CL help the humans a little, but not nearly enough to counter the fact that there is another full Cylon player in the game.
 
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Wolfling wrote:
Quote:
With a cylon leader, you're more likely to go the whole game without really knowing the cylon, so basically it's just a "wait till they reveal" type of scenario.


Can you explain this a bit? We're playing with CL almost every time and we never had this sort of problem.


Sure. Here's what I mean. A cylon leader is openly putting cards into checks and messing with the destiny deck and things like that. This means that if sabotage does show up in a skill check, most of the time you'll say "oh, well the cylon leader probably put that in" The cylon leader may deny it, say yes, or not say anything. It doesn't matter, because you dont know if you can trust em anyway.

So, cylons are definitely able to be hidden for a much longer period of time, without fear that any move they make might expose them. Therefore, if you're playing a game with a talented cylon, you're really going to have a tough time discovering who they are, short of execution.
 
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Franklin Millar
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CLs are usually going to be drawing treachery and one other color, right? So I don't see how it helps hidden cylons unless they only sabotage with One Other Color, or Engineering if the CL goes that route.
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Cactus god
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Cylon leaders get to draw the skill set on their card. So for instance, Leoben draws one yellow and one blue (or treachery) a turn. If he's infiltrating, he gets 3. Plus, if he's infiltrating and goes to the research lab and draws purples, he also gets those. This means that he could drop in 3 of the 5 (treachery not included) colors that other humans could drop. That means that a cylon could look at him drawing cards and say "well as long as I see him put a skill card in before me, I can drop in some sabotage and no one will be sure it's me"



Also, I actually do agree that sabotaging is pretty risky in the base game. However, I think that its a good thing. If sabotaging was an easy task, the cylons would generally be able to smack the humans in the face. I mean, think about how often the cylons win the base game WITHOUT being able to sabotage all the time! Plus, lets face it, claiming you don't have cards and putting in lower cards is also a form of sabotage.

Still though, I definitely think that the cylon leader, at least in a 5 player game, really takes away a lot of the paranoia and suspicion, and for our group thats not acceptable. Generally we've seemed to play with the Sympathetic Cylon and enjoyed it greatly. I think what really makes it work well is that you don't have a KNOWN cylon from the beginning that could be either hurting or helping.
 
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Gary Laporte
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Have you tried the variant for 5 players where there are 2 unrevealed Cylons when the CL is friendly and only one when the CL is hostile? Sounds like it could be interesting to make the game more balanced and paranoid.
 
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