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

Subject: Choosing Objective rss

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Cameron McKenzie
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Minor spoilers from season 2. You have been warned.

I read a post somewhere that suggested picking a random objective (Kobol or New Caprica) when you reached the sleeper phase, but I like choice!
And there is a nice way to tie it in with the theme.

The decision about whether or not to settle on New Caprica was a big deal at the end of season 2, and played a huge role in the Presidential election. This is the basis for the following suggestion:

At distance 7, the President chooses one of the following:
-Settle on New Caprica, following New Caprica setup rules as normal. Lose one fuel and one food.
-Continue on to Kobol. New Caprica will not be used at all and the fleet must jump with 8 or more distance to win. Lose one morale and destroy a civilian ship.

If the second option is chosen, set up cylon ships according to "Galactica Returns to Orbit" part of New Caprica rules when the fleet gets to 8. This is to compensate for Pegasus' extra firepower when combined with the Kobol objective, and makes the end-game more climactic.


The rest of this is just notes on theme and strategy, so skip it if you aren't interested:

Thematically, the second option is not technically Kobol (since that would have happened earlier). It is merely a "what if" scenario if the fleet had not settled on New Caprica and instead kept searching for a new home.

I thought loss of resources was appropriate in order to balance the variant. Being able to choose the objective card at the end of the game gives the humans a bit of an advantage, since you can just pick the path that won't threaten your low resources as much, or pick the path that caters well to your team of human characters (for example, Kobol is a better objective if there is an abundance of pilots).

The resource losses compensate this decision (New Caprica is no longer necessarily the "fuel efficient" choice. It's not an easy decision). But they are also thematic.

Choosing the first option, fuel is lost in order to safely land the fleet and endure the harsh climate of New Caprica. Food is lost as it is confiscated by the occuption forces and then rationed.

Choosing the second option, the fleet is unhappy (as settling was certainly the "popular" choice) and some ships may even abandon the fleet and make New Caprica their home while Galactica continues its journey.

This also adds some interesting politics to the end-game, especially if a cylon is undiscovered. Since choosing which path to take can have a significant effect on the chances of winning, you want to make sure you have a President you can trust.

All in all, I think it can make things more interesting. Strategy is more flexible early in the game since your objective isn't set in stone and you can compensate for any weaknesses at the end of the game. Hopefully, the extra loss of resources balances out this advantage. Let me know what you think.
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Jason Beck
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Interesting! =)

Have you tried it?

Perhaps instead of simply having the president make the choice, an election could be incorporated in (ala Baltar v. Roslin)?

So, once you reach distance of 7, it triggers a "Political election" wherein players may add skill cards to two different piles: the New Caprica and Kobol options. Before tallying the results, the president declares which option they would like (cf Roslin refusing to campaign for New Caprica). If the president's option is NOT victorious, then the presidential title moves down the line of succession.

~

Or, something like that. I like the idea of choosing the destination, and incorporating an election into it seems potentially thematically fun.
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Cameron McKenzie
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I thought about allowing the possibility for a player to "challenge" the President's choice, in which case a skill check would be initiated. Passing the skill check would reverse the decision and make the challenger become President. In the case of more than one person wishing to challenge, the priority would be based on the line of succession.

I decided not to make it too complicated though. If players are that opinionated of which direction the fleet should go or that suspicious of the President, they can always head to Administration and try to take matters into their own hands before that point is reached.

What works well in a television drama doesn't always work well in a team-based strategy game
 
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Aaron Cappocchi
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MasterDinadan wrote:

At distance 7, the President chooses one of the following:
-Settle on New Caprica, following New Caprica setup rules as normal. Lose one fuel and one food.
-Continue on to Kobol. New Caprica will not be used at all and the fleet must jump with 8 or more distance to win. Lose one morale and destroy a civilian ship.


I'm not sure I understand this part - do you have to hit 7 bang on the nose to make this choice? What if you jump from 5 to 8, or 6 to 8, as often happens? Or do you stop short at 7 to make the choice no matter what distance your Destination has actually put you at?
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Jason Beck
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MasterDinadan wrote:
I thought about allowing the possibility for a player to "challenge" the President's choice, in which case a skill check would be initiated. Passing the skill check would reverse the decision and make the challenger become President. In the case of more than one person wishing to challenge, the priority would be based on the line of succession.

I decided not to make it too complicated though. If players are that opinionated of which direction the fleet should go or that suspicious of the President, they can always head to Administration and try to take matters into their own hands before that point is reached.

What works well in a television drama doesn't always work well in a team-based strategy game


Definitely true, although I'm not sure adding a skill check into a game full of skill checks is necessarily overly complicated... :-P
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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agentzen wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:

At distance 7, the President chooses one of the following:
-Settle on New Caprica, following New Caprica setup rules as normal. Lose one fuel and one food.
-Continue on to Kobol. New Caprica will not be used at all and the fleet must jump with 8 or more distance to win. Lose one morale and destroy a civilian ship.


I'm not sure I understand this part - do you have to hit 7 bang on the nose to make this choice? What if you jump from 5 to 8, or 6 to 8, as often happens? Or do you stop short at 7 to make the choice no matter what distance your Destination has actually put you at?


Sorry, I guess I could clarify. It was my intention that the choice be made the first time the distance was at least 7. If you happen to be at 8, its just extra incentive to choose the Kobol objective. The nice thing about this is that destination choosing isn't a game of "hit 7 or 8 without going over." If you aim for 7 and go over, you can just choose an alternate victory method.

I do worry that New Caprica will be an unpopular choice if it has to be chosen at 7 though. It seems the Admiral will do everything he can to make the last jump go to 8 as you are much better off (assuming you don't have a cylon President who chooses New Caprica anyway).

In hindsight, it may be okay to require the fleet to jump TWICE more after reaching NC, regardless of the distance. I feel the addition of Pegasus balances out the increased difficulty of New Caprica. Allowing them access to the former while giving them the opportunity to skip the latter is harsh. There has to be something to make the choice a bit less appealing.

Also the rules for setting up the cylon ships on the final jump are flawed since no civilian ships are involved in that setup. I recommend setting up 3 ships each in space areas with vipers. It's supposed to be a big final showdown, so there has to be enough so it feels like a lot is at stake, but I don't want to just dump them all on there. Maybe I can come up with another solution though so that final jump doesn't feel just like the end of NC.
 
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David Corbin
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MasterDinadan wrote:
agentzen wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:

At distance 7, the President chooses one of the following:
-Settle on New Caprica, following New Caprica setup rules as normal. Lose one fuel and one food.
-Continue on to Kobol. New Caprica will not be used at all and the fleet must jump with 8 or more distance to win. Lose one morale and destroy a civilian ship.


I'm not sure I understand this part - do you have to hit 7 bang on the nose to make this choice? What if you jump from 5 to 8, or 6 to 8, as often happens? Or do you stop short at 7 to make the choice no matter what distance your Destination has actually put you at?


Sorry, I guess I could clarify. It was my intention that the choice be made the first time the distance was at least 7. If you happen to be at 8, its just extra incentive to choose the Kobol objective. The nice thing about this is that destination choosing isn't a game of "hit 7 or 8 without going over." If you aim for 7 and go over, you can just choose an alternate victory method.

I do worry that New Caprica will be an unpopular choice if it has to be chosen at 7 though. It seems the Admiral will do everything he can to make the last jump go to 8 as you are much better off (assuming you don't have a cylon President who chooses New Caprica anyway).


No sane Human would choose NC if they reached 8. Seems to me that it ought to be a skill check (call it a vote) anyway. 15 YG to NOT stop at NC and instead continue wandering.
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Todd France
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Personally, I'd have the players make the choice at distance 5. That guarantees at least one more jump after the decision if you choose kobol, and you'll usually have to go through some more distance before your final destination either way. Also, it will occasionally, but not necessarily coincide with the sleeper phase, for a bit of gameplay diversity.
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