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Subject: An interview with the cast rss

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Earlier this year, the United Nations invited cast members of “Battlestar Galactica” to speak on several issues and topics that had been central to the recently-ended popular show and that related directly to our own world and societies. They did so more or less in character – adding to the authentic feel of the occasion.

What is not nearly so well known is that, while they were in New York, I was able to secure an interview with cast members to get their take on the “Battlestar Galactica” board game. I felt that, like the United Nations meeting, so much of what the actors did on the show related directly to the board game, that they would be able to bring a fresh, unique perspective on it.

Almost immediately after conducting this review interview, executive producers and other high up muckity-mucks at the SyFy Channel slapped me with an injunction to prevent the interview from being published or broadcast. After a long, drawn out legal battle in which, under intense noogie pressure from my attorney, a SyFy executive admitted changing the channel’s name because “sylons [sic] were the only thing [they] had going,” I was granted the right to at least reprint the interview in full, though rights to the videotape were awarded to Ronald Moore.

Thus, what follows is my interview with Edward James Olmos, as Admiral Adama, Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin, James Callis as Gaius Baltar, Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck, Jamie Bamber as Apollo, and Tricia Helfer as Six (despite not being present in the game, I truly could find no reason to not include her in the interviews, and altogether too many reasons to include her). Throughout, I will be referring to these individuals by their character names, and to myself as “Me.”


Me: So, uh, we’re all here today to talk about the new Fantasy Flight Game “Battlestar Galactica.”

Baltar: I believe you mean “Baltarstar Galactica.”

(slight laughter from others)

Me: This is usually billed as being a “semi-cooperative” game; players have to work together to try to win, but not everyone is a human; some people are Cylons trying to sabotage the human team’s efforts to win.

Adama: I find the humans usually do a good job of sabotaging themselves, no help from the Cylons needed.

Me: Would you care to elaborate on that?

Adama: No.

Roslin: Please, allow me. I think what the Admiral is saying is, first of all, that the humans can’t necessarily trust that they will be human the whole game; even if they start out as human, halfway through the game they may suddenly discover they’re a Cylon. So they won’t necessarily make the most optimal choices early on, figuring they might switch sides later. And second, even putting that aside, the human players can’t trust that their fellow players are on their team – just like in real life, any one could be a Cylon, and suspicion falls first on those that act suspicious, when the truth is, usually, the Cylons are much more deceptive than that. The humans end up accusing each other of treachery and the Cylons accuse the humans of treachery.

Me: Well that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Trying to figure out who really is the Cylon?

Adama: Son, when you’re trying to protect the integrity of your ship, the safety of the civilian fleet, your precious fuel and food resources, and keep your crew’s morale up while paranoia is setting in, there’s no frakking fun involved. Pardon my language.

Starbuck: Oh c’mon, Admiral, lighten up! There’s tons of fun. There’s always raiders and basestars on the board to blow to frakking hell.

Apollo: As long as you don’t let your Viper get blown to hell with them, Kara.

Me: I should step in here and explain just a bit, if I may. What the Admiral is referring to are the resources for the fleet. Those resources are a primary target for the Cylons, and complete depletion of any of those means it’s game over for the humans. Often those are lost through… er, well, I think I’m going to lose some people at this point…

Baltar: I think I can handle this. The humans have to work together to protect the ship, protect resources, and keep the Cylons at bay long enough to reach our first objective, Kobol. But along the way, there will be crises that deplete those resources, Cylon ships that attack the ship and civilian ships, and Cylons in our midst trying to ensure the greatest losses and failures along the way. And it really is… that simple.

(Six smiles at Baltar but does not say anything.)

Me: Thank you, Doctor Baltar. So, um, Admiral Adama – would you say that this game really captures the feel of the show?

Adama: Absolutely. Though I think it’s silly I can’t use my own quarters.

Me: Uh… Starbuck. How about you, this game really give you the feel that you’re on Galactica, fighting for survival?

Starbuck: Are you gonna ask everyone that question? Why don’t we just cut down the wasted time and make a vote of it.

Me: Uh…

Starbuck: Anyone here NOT think this game rocks? No hands. There you go. Next question.

Me: Ummm… okay, moving on to quality of the game… Fantasy Flight is known for its-

Starbuck: (yanking interview sheet from my hand) Blah blah this, bleep bleep whatever. Hahaha!

Apollo: (snickering) I’m sorry, she’s just like that. She’s easily bored and distracted.

Starbuck: (throwing papers at Apollo) Frak you too, Lee!

Roslin: (carefully picking up papers) You wanted to ask about the quality of the game components, I believe. Lieutenant Thrace, why don’t you answer the gentleman’s question?

Starbuck: (snorts) Whatever. Yeah, it’s great.

Baltar: I think the components are top notch. Top shelf. Exceed the high quality standards that we normally expect from Fantasy Flight Games, wouldn’t you say? Though I do think they could have given us plastic basestars, if they were going to give us miniature raiders and vipers and so on.

Adama: They’ll take a good amount of punishment from playing, that’s for certain. And I like my picture in this game.

Me: All right, well now, moving on… let’s talk about the ease of learning the game, and playing the game. Um, Captain Apollo… why don’t you start?

Apollo: Ah, overall, I think this is a pretty easy game to learn. I think it took someone maybe 15 minutes to explain the basic gist of what we were doing and how the game worked. There’s a lot of little details, like what to do when you jump the fleet, or how the raiders are supposed to choose what to do… but you don’t have to know those things right from the start. You just need someone who can answer those questions when they come up, and pretty soon, they become second nature.

Roslin: I don’t normally like playing games, so I’m usually pretty terrible at picking up rules. I thought the overall flow of the game was easy to grasp, and that made it more enjoyable for me. But like the captain indicated, there are a lot of details here. I tried a few times to look up rules in the book, and I either couldn’t find them easily, or I couldn’t find them at all because there just wasn’t a rule written to cover my question.

Baltar: I thought most of the details were pretty easy to discern. I mean, there’s clear text instructions everywhere in the game, on all the locations and the cards and so on. You don’t really have to know the details ahead of time. Most of the time there’s clear instructions on what to do. Plus, I must point out, there is a FAQ that quite clearly resolves any, ah, disputes that might arise regarding the rules or the proper interpretation of a particular card or location.

Adama: You just don’t know when to quit talking, do you…

Me: Okay, sounds like we have general consensus on ease of learning… Let’s try this. Is there anything about the game you DON’T like? Just one thing from each of you, maybe. Admiral...

Adama: I don’t like that I can’t use my own quarters.

Me: Yes, ah, I believe you mentioned that…

Adama: Otherwise I don’t have any complaints.

Roslin: I would say what I said just a few minutes ago – that there are some ambiguous rules or apparently missing rules, and the rule book could have been better organized.

Apollo: It takes up a lot of space. I guess there are a lot of people that won’t have a problem with that. It’s not just the board, but you have to have room for all the card stacks off the board, space for everyone to have their cards… you need more space than a mess hall table, that’s for sure.

Baltar: I think they made me look like a sleazy pimp on my card. Ah, no, seriously? I, ah, I can’t really think right now of anything. Ah, that I don’t like, that is, I can’t think of anything that comes to mind about what I don’t… um… like. (whispers something to Six that’s inaudible)

Starbuck: It takes too long to play. C’mon, three hours?

Me: Well, that is the upper limit to the game, not –

Starbuck: No, that’s normal. Look. You figure that it takes five, no, six turns on average to make the ship jump. You need about five jumps to win the game, right? So figure thirty to thirty five turns, minimum – no matter how many people are in the game. Every turn takes about five minutes to play out – drawing cards, moving and taking your action, doing the crises, so on. Do the math – right there, that’s 150 minutes at an absolute minimum, and that’s assuming no one has to take a beer or bathroom break. Two and a half hours on a really damn good day. Three hours for normal people. More if they’re suffering from analysis paralysis.

Me: Well, very convincingly said. Okay, last word from each of you on this… On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being “absolute best game I’ve ever played in my life”, 1 being “this can’t even be defined as a game in any way,” how would you rate this game?

Adama: I’ll give it an eight.

Starbuck: Eight, but I’d give it a nine if it was shorter.

Apollo: Nine.

Baltar: Solid ten, definitely.

Roslin: Nine. My rules problems aside, I think this game manages to capture everything that was great about Galactica, keeps up a tension level that keeps it fun and interesting every time, and just plain looks fabulous. I think what makes it so much fun is not the rules, not the mechanics of playing the game, but the meta-game of trying to decide who’s not really on your side.

Six: Eight point eight.

Me: Ah, well that… um, that’s exactly what the average score is… amazing!

Baltar: She sure is, yes. Amazing.

Me: Well, thank you all, I know you have busy schedules to tend to, so I won’t keep you any longer. Thank you all for your insights.

(some minutes pass as all except Six depart)

Me: I’m very sorry, I didn’t direct any questions to you the whole time...

Six: That’s not a problem.

Me: I was really hoping to get the perspective of someone who wasn’t depicted in the game… you know, the “Cylon” perspective. Heh.

Six: If that’s what you needed, you already got it.

Me: What? I, uh… don’t understand…

Six: I didn’t have to answer any questions if you wanted a Cylon’s perspective. You already got all the answers you needed for that.

Me: You mean… wait, one of them was… a Cylon?

Six: If you think it was just one, sure…


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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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Cameron McKenzie
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You're the other cylon aren't you?!
No wonder Adama was so disappointed that he couldn't use his quarters.
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MK
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MasterDinadan wrote:
You're the other cylon aren't you?!
No wonder Adama was so disappointed that he couldn't use his quarters.


We won't find out until the sleeper phase.
 
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Gerry Smit
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kimapesan wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:
You're the other cylon aren't you?!
No wonder Adama was so disappointed that he couldn't use his quarters.


We won't find out until the sleeper phase.

Somebody sleeps with Six?! All right! I'd hate to think she sleeps alone.
 
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Brilliant! Can't wait to hear what Admiral Cain thinks.
 
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MK
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dysjunct wrote:
Brilliant! Can't wait to hear what Admiral Cain thinks.



Me: So, Admiral Cain... what do you think of the game?

Cain: Lieutenant, your side arm.

(Lieutenant 2-Minutes-Onscreen hands Cain side-arm.)

Cain: My opinion - waste of time.

(shoots interviewer)
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Fritz Mulnar
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now pleeeze tell me: was that real? or a very fun review well done? :?
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superjosef wrote:
now pleeeze tell me: was that real? or a very fun review well done? :?



Uhhh....
 
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Fritz Mulnar
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well, your avatar says it all
 
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superjosef wrote:
well, your avatar says it all


No, it most certainly did not actually happen. There really are no cylons. But that's just what the cylons want you to think, so...

But it IS true that some of the cast went to the UN and did address the meeting more or less in their characters from the show.
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