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Subject: Seven players aboard Galactica! rss

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Merric Blackman
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At Good Games Ballarat, one of our favourite games is Battlestar Galactica. Thus, when it was decided that we'd play it last Thursday, we had an abundance of people wanting to play. Eventually, the game ended up having seven players. It was meant to be six, but Pat kept begging to be let into the game and we broke down and let him. As a result, one of us had to be the Cylon leader and Mick decided that person had to be me.

Yes, I got to play Brother Cavil - or Dean Stockwell - and so I had a very entertaining night. Some of the other players may have also been entertained by my "preacher's" take on the character. If not, their loss!

The other strong roleplaying players in this game were Popey, who took Tom Zarek, Mick (Saul Tigh) and Pat (William Adama). We spent a lot of the evening interacting with each other and trying to out grandstand each other. Meanwhile, Matt (Boomer) was playing his first game and was somewhat awed by the four of us, and Jackson (Starbuck) and Ben (Gaius Baltar) were a lot younger and, as a result, quieter.

Mat and Popey in foreground, Ben, Jackson and Merric in background. I'm probably preaching at this moment.

The game began fairly quietly, with us trying to overcome the initial crises and trying to determine who were the Cylons amongst us. In a 7-player game, I draw from the "evil Cylon" deck, but I actually drew a goal that required the humans to win. My first turn saw me infiltrating Galactica, and that's where I remained for the rest of the game. No-one even tried to eliminate me! I don't think they all trusted me, but they were happy to let me roam the ship, putting my nose in where I believed it concerned me.

We were actually speeding through space - jump preparations were very frequent - which was just as well because Cylon Raiders were a constant worry, and Starbuck wasn't doing that well as our ace pilot. Admittedly, a lot of the reason for that is that she rarely got a chance to act before we jumped again and then her next action was just getting out to space again. Poor Starbuck.

The most entertaining part of the early game was when Popey misread one of our challenges, and put in a bunch of cards that caused it to fail rather than succeed... resulting in his character (Zarek) being executed. I can't say that any of us (except Popey) were unhappy with this result. Zarek, especially a Cylon Zarek, is one of the most terrifying characters in Galactica, as he can easily keep someone locked up in the Brig for the entire game. Popey came back as Laura Roslin, determined to gain the presidency - but none of us would vote for him.

Popey, Matt, Liam, Pat, Ben and Jackson at the table, Nash watching behind

Morale was our chief problem; too many of the crises were eroding the faith of the populace in their leaders. I wandered around telling them to have faith in themselves, and Gaius, President of the Colonies would occasionally stand on a soapbox and lecture them on how their lives were devoted to making him comfortable. For some reason, neither of those tactics worked that well and our morale continued to plummet.

It was probably just as well, as by the half-way place, when the Sleeper Phase of the game occurred, our Morale had hit the red zone. Our fuel wasn't looking so flash, either.

Merric and Mick. I'm in the armoury. I'm going to convert some weapons!

People now started getting thrown in the brig. Boomer went there because it was her role to get thrown there. Starbuck was insubordinate. Adama got thrown in because he talked back to Gaius, which made Tigh the Admiral of the fleet. Mick, who was playing Tigh, made a speech about how he'd protect us from the Cylon fleet, and thoughtfully I let the fleet know where we were (placing a basestar in front of the fleet), just because I could - and because the fleet needed to be closer to destruction for me to win.

At this point, we started getting a lot of pleas for release from the Brig, and a lot of unwanted crises which caused our hands to diminish rapidly. Our admiral started drinking a lot more, and our dials started moving into the red. Except for population - that was doing fine.

Unfortunately for the humans, the Cylons aboard Galactica finally decided that it was time to reveal themselves and the one-two punch came with both Matt and Pat revealing themselves. From this point, even with a 5-2 player weighting against the Cylons, the fate of Galactica was sealed. First a massed attack (virtue of Matt's Super Crisis card) and then a horrible, horrible Super Crisis from Pat pushed us to our knees.

Four of our civilian ships bought it, and the population hit the red level for the first time. However, the destruction also hit the fuel - and that was enough to strand Galactica and the fleet in the middle of space with no way out!

As Admiral Cylon Adama had been guiding our early jumps, how much of this was his doing?

Goodbye, Galactica!

This had been a tremendously enjoyable game, despite its long playtime. Galactica is as much about the people you play it with as the actual game, and there had been some great people at this table. It's odd playing a Cylon Leader: I'm a lot less invested in who wins (and finding out who are the Cylons) than in just amusing myself and everyone else!

This game used all the components from Pegasus except for New Caprica, which I dislike as a new endgame.
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Erich Vereen
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Leland
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Great report as always. I'm reading more about this game, and I'm wanting to give it a try. Thanks
 
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