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As a quick background before I launch into this review, know that I had previously reviewed just the base game, and came down very critically on it for rather simplistic mechanics operating under the guise of something more intricate than it was. : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/394464/this-game-isnt-th...-

Onto the actual review:

This game, like the first, is one of those intense flames of passion where you love something so much, it is all you can think about until you eventually burn it out, or come to your senses and get past your lust. This game is pretty fun, injecting a much needed dose of innovation into the game, but ultimately is FAR too gimmicky, and in the end shallow to ultimately recommend due to its high price.

Had this expansion been cheaper I would recommend it, as it stands for the price, I am saying it is not recommended. Further, despite an adequate length rulebook, the rules are very erratic, explained poorly and very mysterious as they repeat over and over simple things and only give a passing explanation to complicated situations. I will cover some of these at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the simple 'throw cards in and wait' is still a major problem of this game, resulting in long periods of downtime probably unbearable by some less-steeled members you might have with you. It adds some necessary variety, but is probably to little in the end.

Components

First, lets talk about what you get with your expensive purchase: a stack of cards, two small game boards, some new people and that is about it; I know this statement sounds derisive, and it is somewhat supposed to, I was shocked to find how little you actually get for your money. You get two 3d basestars, which are a little cool, but contribute to the overall gimmicky feel I had for the game as these were the only pieces other then the card booster packs.

Perhaps the best part is that you get some new characters, humans and a few 'cylon leaders' which I will talk about those later with the new sympathizer, but overall the new characters are cool to see, but somewhat under-powered compared to the god-tier (Helo/Roslin) characters of base game. Cain is powerful, but then you get characters with terrible draws like Dee, and a human character that draws treachery cards.

What this expansion is is a set of new thematic cards you shuffle into the original game that apparently address some balance problems, one that comes to mind is that morale is actually an issue this game, whereas we had NEVER even come close to a morale loss in the ~15 games of the base.

Essentially, that is all the expansion is: more crisis cards, some new characters, a few new president cards that are now useful and super crisis cards. All of which might be fine, excluding its huge price. This however does not include the two major changes the expansion makes: new caprica, and the cylon sympathizer.

Pegasus board

Before these two are addressed, I'd like to talk about the Pegasus board expansion you receive. The actual size of the expansion is extremely underwhelming in that it is probably about 12x6 inches big, with 4 locations added to the game. Pegasus is extremely imbalanced, you have cannons that put galatica far to shame from their power, nullifying any advantage having a pilot might have had as they annihilate their entire sector of space, a space that gives you a jump track icon guaranteed, and the execution chamber.

Admittedly, you have to sacrifice 2 cards to get the jump icon, but these are so vital it is almost never not worth it. Further, the cannons CAN hit your own ships, but who is not going to use a +2 roll, or +1/-1 card and save those ships will blasting Cylons?

I was a big fan when I first heard you could execute, 'oh man, this is going to be so intense! I can't wait to execute some cylons!' In practice, not only does this space ruin any reason to ever 'brig' someone again in this game, it changes the dynamic in an extremely negative way.

Why executions ruin the game

Executions FOREVER changes the dynamic of suspicion that was the KEY factor in this game that made it fun. In the original, regardless of who was jailed, you never knew for sure their loyalty unless they revealed: let them sit in there all game? Maybe were you wrong, after all he hasn't revealed yet? It was these thoughts that added depth, now in this game 'Its Frank! Get him!' everyone dumps their cards, boom, he is dead and flips his card, oh, I guess he was human, therefore it HAD to be Bill. Well, you kill him and what do you know, you were right. Yay...

Generally, a game comes to a point where there is some question to it being person A, or person B, and that unknown is what makes it fun, but suddenly you know for a fact that it is NOT person B, then it leaves A as the only alternative. The -1 morale loss is hardly strong enough to be any kind of deterrent anyway, I would kill everyone initially just to find the teams out, and that fact this thought exists at all shows a deep flaw in this mechanic.

Sympathizer and Cylon Leaders

If you played the first, undoubtedly there was discussion on the sympathizer, it was just such a weird mechanic that hating a part of it was almost going to happen by most people. A redeeming balance was depending on the progress, this player tipped the scales to bring both teams into a tighter race.
For most intents and purposes, the cylon leader and the sympathizer are extremely similar. One starts with some special powers, but they both act the same. In this game, they get an 'agenda card' which states some conditions to win. These are random, and range from the insanely easy 'humans lose, but went 6 distance' to crazy ones involving having resources at specific numbers. It has been a major complaint in my group the disparity in difficulty on these cards.

Agenda cards can be quiet cool, but these are so imbalanced its it very tough to give a positive recommendation at all. Further the 'team switch' mechanic from the first is for some reason removed, and a steamrolling team is in no way impeded anymore. In the first, it was somewhat strategic to get a resource 'in the red' to insure the sympathizer was on your team. No such decision exists anymore, its completely random who's team they will end up on. What was an interesting meta-strategy for both teams is now non-existent due to the pure luck of what team the sympathizer or even cylon leader will be on

New Caprica- AKA humans lose

Now, to justify my next comments, I was a cylon every time we have played (4) and even though I won, it was a very hollow victory, I will explain why this phase makes a game already slanted against the humans to about an estimated %5 chance of victory.

What happens is at 7 jump distance, you go to new caprica, a new board with 4 spaces, and a VERY rushed feel to the whole experience. Basically, everyone is now on the planet, and humans job is to ready civilian ships for galatica to come back because when it comes back, the humans must retreat, take any loses in non-readied ships and then the game ends in victory if they did not run out of a resource. Galatica comes and can retreat away whenever after that, hopefully not losing enough resources to kill you.

Here is the first problem why this part feels like a rushed game design: humans sole job is to launch ships, and cylons is to stop them, so why would anyone logically do any of the other locations except for extremely specific circumstances? Example: a space that lets you look at the next crisis card, ok not to bad if this was the normal game, but every crisis card basically hurts you and launches a ship anyway, going here only wastes a valuable turn you could have launched a ship that is almost always a resource.

Generally at this stage of the game humans have 1-3 resources somewhere in the red, and population probably about 4-8. This phase of the game basically forces humanity to endure half or all of the civilian ships dying and hoping you still have resources left. There are 12 total population losses in civilian ships alone. There is just no way this would happen.

For 4-5 turns humans are preparing ships (and hopefully not being executed) then the galatica is back, there is a huge space battle set up, and humans are supposed to endure this while somehow keeping ships alive. Basicly, half of the humans are on caprica sending up ships, while 1-2 might be on galatica trying to fend off the biggest battle likely to ever be set up in this game.

One game, humans were dominating, everyone resource still in the blue, about 8 across the board when they got to the 7 jump. Normally, they would cruise to victory in the first game. Suddenly new caprica happened, and the civilian ships were destroyed by the full swarm of cylon raiders as there is far to much to possibly handle, especially if your pilots ends up being cylons.

Rules? Pretty confusing
As stated up top, there are a LOT of rule questions that are critical to the game but not addressed at all, including rule questions from the first. The problem is this game has a somewhat weak core with all these things taped onto it, a very extreme case of 'oh by the way...', and due to its inherent construction extremely inconsistent throughout.

I am sure these are probably addressed deep in some errata on the FFG site, but the fact on only a few play-throughs we found tons of rule questions was quite discouraging. I won't go into details unless requested, but so many times it was 'can we do this?' to which each side pointed to conflicting supportive arguments that could literally go either way. It was major things: whether Helo could become admiral and make destination decisions (as he is off the board), whether this cylon could actually be in a spot due to a card's text, why is someone brigged suddenly free on new caprica etc. For the record, I think it is actually stated somewhere on FFG website that helo CAN become admiral while off board, but this just supports my point that it hardly makes sense he is ordering the fleet around when he isn't even there.

Closing

The new cards, characters and decks are pretty cool additions. New caprica is not, and as much as I love pegasus, this ship is massively imbalanced and ruins a very key part of this game with its executions.

If you are a die-hard fan of the first and if you could afford it, I might pick it up, but ultimately this is probably not worth the money especially considering how much it breaks what few cool mechanics were in the first, leaving a game not particularly sound.
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dragon0085 wrote:
Pegasus is extremely imbalanced, you have cannons that put galatica far to shame, nullifying any advantage having a pilot might have had as they annihilate space, a sapce that gives you a jump track guaranteed, and the execution chamber.


Did you notice that the guaranteed jump track requires you to discard two skill cards, and then does nothing if the crisis had a jump icon on it anyway?

Discarding cards is *not* good.

Pegasus also requires you to move over to it (discard a card), and when you're not under attack by Cylons doesn't have much in the way of useful spaces except for the "eat my hand please" drives.


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dragon0085 wrote:
You get two '3d' basestars, which are a little cool, but contribute to the overall 'gimmicky'-ness of the game.


This seriously sounds like looking for something to complain about. The basestars get models like every other ship has, and that makes the game worse somehow? Seriously?

dragon0085 wrote:
Perhaps the best part is that you get some new characters, humans and a few 'cylon leaders' which I will talk about those later,


That is a lie.

No, seriously, that is just plain a lie. You don't talk about those later. The Cylon Leaders are never mentioned anywhere else in your post.

dragon0085 wrote:
but overall the new characters are cool to see, but somewhat under-powered compared to the god-tier (Helo/Roslin) characters of base game.


This makes me so tempted to call this joke post. The new human characters, with the possible exception of Dee, are all very powerful - in particular, since your players obviously either didn't read Helena Cain's OPG or didn't understand how absurdly powerful it was at all, it's not surprising that your humans weren't competent enough to win.

dragon0085 wrote:
Pegasus board

Before these two are addressed, I'd like to talk about the Pegasus board expansion you receive. The actual size of the 'expansion' is extremly underwhelming in that it is probably about 12x6 inches big, with 4 locations 'added' to the game.


I love the fingerquotes around the word added. It almost makes it sound as if the new locations were just an optical illusion that weren't really added, because, come on, if they were really being added they would have been printed on larger cardboard, right?

Considering how huge the gameboard already is, I don't see why you're complaining that the expansions aren't just as large. Then again, I don't understand most of your complaints about the expansion's components - the number of Crisis cards almost doubles, and the Quorum deck becomes half again as large as it used to be, and you hand-wave it away as a minor detail that can essentially be ignored. What the smeg were you expecting?

dragon0085 wrote:
Pegasus is extremely imbalanced, you have cannons that put galatica far to shame, nullifying any advantage having a pilot might have had as they annihilate space, a sapce that gives you a jump track guaranteed, and the execution chamber.


The guns have an annoying tendency to backfire, and are largely weaker than existing options (most obviously nukes and Maximum Firepowers, but even Executive Ordering someone sitting on Command or Weapons control is extremely powerful). You're also ignoring the fact that one of the Pilots' big advantages is the ability to tank with Evasive Maneuvers. (The real problem with space combat in the expansion is the fact that the New Caprica ending makes the fate of the Civilians pretty much irrelevant, so space combat isn't so much easier as it is less important.)

And of course, Merric already pointed out what you didn't mention about the Engine Room.

dragon0085 wrote:
Why executions ruin the game

Executions FOREVER changes the dynamic of suspicion that was the KEY factor in this game that made it fun. In the original, regardless of who was jailed, you never knew for sure their loyalty: let them sit in there all game? Maybe were you wrong? It was these thoughts that added depth, now in this game 'Its X! Get him!' everyone dumps their cards, boom, he is dead and flips his card, oh, I guess he was human, therefore it HAD to be Y. Well, you kill him and what do you know, you were right. Yay...

Generally, a game comes to a point where there is some question to it being person A, or person B, and that unknown is what makes it fun, but suddenly you know for a fact that it is NOT person B, then it leaves A as the only alternative. The -1 morale loss is hardly strong enough to be any kind of deterrent anyway, I would kill everyone initially just to find the teams out, and that fact this thought exists at all shows a deep flaw in this mechanic.


You'd spend 5 actions, a full 60 points worth of Skill Cards, 3 Morale, and every human player's chosen characters' abilities (which were presumably good, given that they were chosen) and hand in order to root out the Cylons? The Airlock-everyone strategy does not work. It has been tried and fails epically, though it's awful even in theory. The fact that this thought exists does not show any flaw, since I see nothing wrong with a game permitting players to make stupid moves and lose horribly as a result.

The real problem is executions caused by Crisis Cards. Those are generally worth taking instead of trying to avoid them, and can lead to well-hidden Cylons being randomly killed off.

dragon0085 wrote:
Sympathizer, or why can't anyone come up with a good idea?

If you played the first, undoubtedly there was discussion on the sympathizer, it was just such a weird mechanic that hating a part of it was almost going to happen by most people. A redeeming balance was depending on the progress, this player tipped the scales to bring both teams into a tighter race. In this game, the sympathizer gets an 'agenda card' which states some conditions to win. These are random, and range from the insanely easy 'humans lose, but went 6 distance' to crazy ones involving having resources at specific numbers.

Agenda cards can be quiet cool, but these are so imbalanced its it very tough to give a positive recommendation at all. Further the 'team switch' mechanic is for some reason removed, and a steamrolling team is in no way impeded anymore. In the first, it was somewhat strategic to get a resource 'in the red' to insure the sympathizer was on your team. No such decision exists anymore, its completely random who's team they will end up on.


Wait, you liked the original Cylon Sympathizer mechanic creating a metagame in which humans want to drain their own resources? I think most people were glad to see it go.

With the exception of Mutual Annihilation, the agenda cards are mostly fairly reasonable.

I also find that the Cylon Leaders are a much better solution for the problem of games with an even number of players. Naturally, these are mentioned nowhere in your review except for the part at the beginning where you promised to mention them later. >_>

dragon0085 wrote:
New Caprica- AKA humans lose


The fact that the general consensus is that the Pegasus Expansion as a whole is generally considered to make the game easier for the humans than for the Cylons says that your declaration of "GAME UNWINNABLE" is somewhere between "premature" and "completely wrong". Either nobody in the world is playing the game properly except your group, or your group - which apparently likes the idea of airlocking everyone randomly and thinks Admiral Cain is underpowered - is just not good at being human.

dragon0085 wrote:
Now, to justify my next comments, I was a cylon every time we have played (4) and even though I won, it was a very hollow victory, I will explain why this phase makes a game already slanted against the humans to about a %5 chance of victory.


You calculated a 5% chance of victory from four trials? That's quite an impressive feat.

dragon0085 wrote:
What happens is at 7 jump distance, you go to new caprica, a new board with 4 spaces, and a VERY gimmicky feel to the whole experience. Basicly, everyone is now on the planet, and humans job is to ready civilian ships for galatica to come back and then you guys retreat away, hopefully not losing enough resources to kill you.

Here is the first problem, humans sole job is to launch ships, and cylons is to stop them, so why would anyone logically do any of the other locations except for extremly specific circumstances?


Which of these locations do you feel are underpowered? The Cylon Action at the shipyard is weak, to be sure, but aside from that each place is useful. Breeder's Canyon can be vital for the humans and is one of the Cylons' strongest moves; Occupation Authority is vital for the human President and a good option for the Cylons if there are few enough civilian ships left that the humans are actually in danger of running out (which can in turn be caused by mass Cylon use of Occupation Authority); destroying Centurions saves Civilians; detaining humans has obvious benefits; and Resistance HQ is a cheaper airlock.

dragon0085 wrote:
Generally at this stage of the game humans have 1-3 resources in the red, and population probably about 4-8.


Why is Population so low? If it's low from Civilians being destroyed earlier - despite Pegasus's weapons that you claim make space combat too easy - then the destroyed Civilians aren't going to be destroyed again, so you don't need to rescue any more Civilians than you would have if they hadn't been destroyed in the first place. If it's low from other Population loss sources, then maybe your humans need to stop losing Population all over the place, especially from FTL Control. Again, it looks like the problem isn't so much "The game is unwinnable" as "The humans aren't playing properly".

dragon0085 wrote:
This phase of the game basicly forces humanity to endure half or all of the civilian ships dying and hoping you still have resources left. There is just no way this would happen.


Yes, if you jump at -3 all the time, you'll run low on Population and run out of it at New Caprica. No, that doesn't make it the game's fault that you didn't manage your resources. That's called playing badly, and it should be rewarded with loss.

dragon0085 wrote:
For 4-5 turns humans are preparing ships (and hopefully not being executed) then the galatica is back, there is a huge space battle set up, and humans are supposed to endure this while somehow keeping ships alive. One game, humans were dominating, everyone resource still in the blue, about 8 across the board when they got to the 7 jump. Normally, they would cruise to victory. Suddenly new caprica happened, and the civilian ships were destroyed by the full swarm of cylon raiders as there is far to much to possibly handle.


Again, based on the evidence that everyone else has found that humans have an easier time in Pegasus than in the base game - it's probably just you.

dragon0085 wrote:
Rules? Pretty confusing
As stated up top, there are a LOT of rule questions that are critical to the game but not addressed at all. The problem is this game has a somewhat weak core with all these things taped onto it, a very extreme case of 'oh by the way...', and due to its inherent construction extremely inconsistent throughout.

I am sure these are probably addressed deep in some errata on the FFG site, but the fact on only a few play-throughs we found tons of rule questions was quite discouraging. I won't go into details unless requested, but so many times it was 'can we do this?' to which each side pointed to conflicting supportive arguments that could literally go either way. It was major things, whether this character could become admiral, whether this person could actually be off the board etc.


I don't understand what rules conflicts you are referring to; we have never had any such problems. The two you mention specifically don't make any sense: if a player is a non-Cylon Leader human outside of the Brig, they can become Admiral, which should be straightforward enough for you to follow; and a person can be off the board if they're Helo. I don't understand how either of those could lead to rules conflicts, since they're so simple, and neither my group nor anybody I know has ever had similar problems.

dragon0085 wrote:
and have not run out of your shallow passion for the game


That's a great way to close a review persuasively: insult anyone with any interest in the game at all, i.e. every single member of your target readership. Brilliant job.
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salty53 wrote:
(The real problem with space combat in the expansion is the fact that the New Caprica ending makes the fate of the Civilians pretty much irrelevant, so space combat isn't so much easier as it is less important.)

The fact that the general consensus is that the Pegasus Expansion as a whole is generally considered to make the game easier for the humans than for the Cylons says that your declaration of "GAME UNWINNABLE" is somewhere between "premature" and "completely wrong". Either nobody in the world is playing the game properly except your group, or your group - which apparently likes the idea of airlocking everyone randomly and thinks Admiral Cain is underpowered - is just not good at being human.


So somehow because my group found that the humans lost, we are the only group in the world to have had this experience? You have no idea how arrogant you are being implying the my opinion is somehow not rooted in fact simiply because our group found something that did not agree with the 'general consensus' which I am skeptical about anyway. Further, how is losing almost all of your civilian ships irrelevent? I agree that space combat is a lot less important but I hardly see how you think it is bad play if you lose population or civilian ships.

salty53 wrote:

You'd spend 5 actions, a full 60 points worth of Skill Cards, 3 Morale, and every human player's chosen characters' abilities (which were presumably good, given that they were chosen) and hand in order to root out the Cylons? The Airlock-everyone strategy does not work. It has been tried and fails epically, though it's awful even in theory. The fact that this thought exists does not show any flaw, since I see nothing wrong with a game permitting players to make stupid moves and lose horribly as a result.


I don't know where you got this idea from, because how exactly would air locking your 1 out of 2 suspects be a bad idea? A unrevealed cylon does way more damage then a -1 morale for executing someone innocent.

salty53 wrote:

The real problem is executions caused by Crisis Cards. Those are generally worth taking instead of trying to avoid them, and can lead to well-hidden Cylons being randomly killed off.

Which does this not support my point that executions ruin strategy in this game? You agree with me, yet are so ready to bash me for my opinions. I am simply stating that this is not worth it for the money. The new cards are cool, but the other parts of it are not.
 
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5% win chance for humans in your group is extreme. On BGG, I've seen roughly equal number of posts claiming a cylon or human advantage. In my group with 20+ plays with the expansion it's ~60% human wins. The bottom line is that this is a game with a large luck element; you would need to play many many games before the luck evens out between the teams. Also, it is likely that you are the best player in your group so your team will always have an advantage. Perhaps, you should choose a cylon leader for a challenge.
 
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dragon0085 wrote:


New Caprica- AKA humans lose



I don't agree with this at all. We've had a few games so far, the humans just simply cruise through the New Caprica phase. The cylons were mostly disgusted that they couldn't do much to stop humans. I wonder what type of cylon strategy your group play to sabotage effectively humans on New Caprica?

After a few games played, the population and the morale gain more importance with the expansion in our game sessions.
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dragon0085 wrote:
So somehow because my group found that the humans lost, we are the only group in the world to have had this experience?


Presumably not the only group in the world, but a small minority.

dragon0085 wrote:
You have no idea how arrogant you are being implying the my opinion is somehow not rooted in fact simiply because our group found something that did not agree with the 'general consensus' which I am skeptical about anyway.


Statistics show that humans tend to win with Pegasus about 60% of the time. On the contrary, you have no idea how arrogant you are being implying that your measly four trials ridden with demonstrably poor play - Cain sucks! Let's toss random people out the airlock! We're losing lots of population from non-combat situations and for some reason we can't pass New Caprica! - overturns all other evidence.

You can say you hate Pegasus. That's fine; you're free to have that opinion, and there's nothing wrong with that. But you become wrong when you claim that Pegasus is bad because it makes the game unwinnable for the humans, when the overall 60% win rate disproves this ludicrous assertion.

dragon0085 wrote:
Further, how is losing almost all of your civilian ships irrelevent?


By the time you get to "Almost all", it might become relevant by making you vulnerable to loss by Occupation Force attacks, but until then, each Civilian Ship you lose now is one more Civilian Ship that you won't lose at the end of the game when you jump away from New Caprica and leave it behind. In the end, it makes no difference whether you lose it now or later. In fact, if a blank Civilian Ship is destroyed, the number of Civilian Ships you need to rescue on New Caprica to guarantee victory is actually reduced, since you will know that that blank ship is not among the ships you are rescuing, so it actually makes sense late on the journey to New Caprica to use Communications to put a blank Civilian Ship into the line of fire.

dragon0085 wrote:
I agree that space combat is a lot less important but I hardly see how you think it is bad play if you lose population or civilian ships.


Losing Civilian Ships, again, isn't a bad play. Losing Population from non-Civilian sources, on the other hand, is crippling, and your failure to understand that is probably a major part of why you can't pass New Caprica.

Consider a situation in which you arrive at New Caprica with no Civilians lost and Population at 12 (no Population has been lost for reasons other than the destruction of Civilian Ships). The Civilian Ships have 12 Population total among them, and all but two of the Civilian Ships include at least one Population. Thus, to guarantee victory, you just need to guarantee that you have rescued at least one non-blank Civilian Ship, which means you only need to put three Civilian Ships into space before having the Admiral jump the fleet in order to be certain of not losing by Population from the ships left behind.

Now, consider a situation in which you arrive at New Caprica with one Civilian, a standard 1 Population ship, lost and Population at 11 (no Population has been lost for reasons other than the destruction of Civilian Ships). The Civilian Ships have 11 Population total among them, and all but two of the Civilian Ships include at least one Population. Thus, to guarantee victory, you just need to guarantee that you have rescued at least one non-blank Civilian Ship, which means you only need to put three Civilian Ships into space before having the Admiral jump the fleet in order to be certain of not losing by Population from the ships left behind.

You'll notice that the above two paragraphs were virtually identical. Losing that extra Civilian Ship didn't make the game any harder to win at the end - the only difference was that that particular ship was destroyed earlier in the game than it otherwise would have been.

And it extends even further. Consider a situation in which you arrive at New Caprica with only three Civilians, a standard 1 Population ship and the two blanks, remaining and Population at 1 (no Population has been lost for reasons other than the destruction of Civilian Ships). The Civilian Ships have 1 Population total among them, and all but two of the Civilian Ships hold at least 1 Population. Thus, to guarantee victory, you just need to guarantee that you have rescued at least one non-blank Civilian Ship, which means you only need to put three Civilian Ship into space before having the Admiral jump the fleet in order to be certain of not losing by Population from the ships left behind.

Even losing a full 11 Population worth of Civilian Ships in space combat didn't make the New Caprica phase any harder to survive - you still only need to rescue 3 Civilians. It may be easier for the Cylons to win by attacking with their Occupation Forces, but you still don't need to rescue any more ships - the game hasn't gotten any harder. (And the Occupation Force ending problem only arises when you have lost absurd numbers of ships, as in this example - even if you lose half the Civilian fleet, it won't be a problem.)

Now, why do we need to rescue three Civilian Ships to guarantee victory when we only need to save a single unit of Population? Because the first two Civilian Ships we launch into space might be blank, and if all the Civilian Ship we launch are blank, we lose. But what happens if blank Civilian Ships have been destroyed already? Well, the first ships we launched obviously aren't blank Civilian Ships that have already been destroyed, so they must have Population, which means we will be certain of having the required amount of Population one ship sooner, which means we can end the game after launching one fewer ship than would otherwise be necessary.

For example, suppose you arrive at New Caprica with no Population lost from non-Civilian sources and half your Civilian fleet, including 1 blank Civilian Ship, destroyed. Your remaining Civilian Ships together hold Population equal to your current Population, so you again need to save only a single non-blank Civilian Ship to win. However, as only one blank Civilian Ship remains, you now know that you only need to launch two Civilian Ships will guarantee victory, since they can't both be blank. In other words, having that blank Civilian Ship destroyed made it easier for the humans to win. Losing Civilian Ships throughout the game thus does not made the human win condition on New Caprica any more difficult - in fact, if any blank Civilian Ships have been lost, the endgame actually becomes easier.

But what happens if Population is lost from non-Civilian sources?

Consider a situation in which you arrive at New Caprica with no Civilians lost and Population at 11 (1 Population has been lost for reasons other than the destruction of Civilian Ships - perhaps you failed a Skill Check or went to FTL Control at Blue-1). The Civilian Ships have 12 Population total among them, and all but two of the Civilian Ships include at least one Population. Thus, to guarantee victory, you just need to guarantee that you have rescued at least two non-blank Civilian Ships, which means you need to put four Civilian Ships into space before having the Admiral jump the fleet in order to be certain of not losing by Population from the ships left behind.

Losing that Population unit from a non-Civilian source has forced you to rescue an additional Civilian Ship to guarantee victory. When you lose Population from the destruction of Civilian Ships, the remaining Civilian Ship stack no longer contains that extra Population, which means that extra Population is not lost again when you make the final jump. Here, however, you have lost Population, but the total Population of the remaining Civilian Ships has not changed - which means that you need to rescue more of them to make up for your deficit. For each unit of Population you lose from a cause other than the destruction of Civilian Ships, you must rescue one additional Civilian Ship on New Caprica to guarantee victory.

The difference between three Civilian Ships and four Civilian Ships may not sound like much, but from the sound of it, you were losing much more than 1 Population from non-Civilian sources. Let's suppose you lost 4 Population from non-Civilian sources, and did not lose any blank Civilian Ships. You now need to rescue 5 Population worth of Civilian Ships, and with two blanks still around you'll need to save a full 7 Civilian Ships to guarantee that. You could try jumping with fewer saved if you're willing to gamble - maybe you saved a 2 Population ship, or maybe one of the blanks was left behind - but it will be risky, and as the number of Civilian Ships below the target decreases, the gamble becomes increasingly unlikely. And while saving 3 Civilian Ships is generally a piece of cake, saving a full 7 is extremely difficult - especially since you only get two free Raider activations after Galactica returns before the Raider fleet can begin massacring the Civilian Ships you've already saved, making it imperative that you get the required number into space and jump the fleet quickly before such a thing can happen.

Something as simple as a single FTL Control jump at Blue-3 can transform the New Caprica phase from an easy "Save 3 Civilians" to a very hard "Save 6 Civilians". As such, Population losses from sources other than Civilian Ship destruction greatly increases the difficulty of New Caprica.

Of course, the reverse is also true. Suppose that you arrive at New Caprica without losing any Population from non-Civilian sources - and that you have, in fact, gained Population from some outside source (such as from Rescue Caprica Survivors, or from using Preventative Policy to protect Population on the turn in which a non-blank Civilian Ship was destroyed). In that case, even if you lose all 12 of your Civilian Ships (before or after reaching New Caprica), you will still have Population remaining, and therefore will not lose - your total Population remaining exceeds the total Population held in the surviving Civilian Ships. In this case, you don't need to save any Civilian Ships at all - all you need to do is hang out at Resistance HQ playing Consolidate Power and the like while waiting for Galactica to return. Just as losing Population from non-Civilian sources is awful, gaining Population is excellent.

Of course, your group never thought that the altered rules might possibly affect strategy in some way. Instead, you decided to spam FTL Control despite the Population loss and to ignore Helena Cain because her once-per-game ability's cost of 2 Civilian Ships was oh-so-expensive, and then you just couldn't understand why you couldn't get past the New Caprica phase. Again, the problem isn't that the game is unwinnable - the problem is that you're not adapting your strategy to the rules of the game at all, and you're losing due to horribly misplaying.

(Incidentally, even if no blanks are hit, losing Population from Civilian Ship destruction can still have some other positive benefits. For example, Breeder's Canyon isn't much use if Population is your highest resource, unless you're an unrevealed Cylon, since activating it constitutes losing Population from a non-Civilian source; however, if you've lost a lot of Civilian Ships, Population might not be your highest resource, which then makes Breeder's Canyon an excellent investment.)

dragon0085 wrote:
salty53 wrote:

You'd spend 5 actions, a full 60 points worth of Skill Cards, 3 Morale, and every human player's chosen characters' abilities (which were presumably good, given that they were chosen) and hand in order to root out the Cylons? The Airlock-everyone strategy does not work. It has been tried and fails epically, though it's awful even in theory. The fact that this thought exists does not show any flaw, since I see nothing wrong with a game permitting players to make stupid moves and lose horribly as a result.


I don't know where you got this idea from, because how exactly would air locking your 1 out of 2 suspects be a bad idea? A unrevealed cylon does way more damage then a -1 morale for executing someone innocent.


My comment quoted above was specifically in response to your AIRLOCK EVERYONE suggestion - hence the assumption that five Skill Checks would be made. I'd have thought that was obvious, especially since I explicitly stated that that was what I was responding to - "The Airlock-everyone strategy does not work" - and I am rather at a loss as to how you could possibly have thought it was talking about anything else. Or maybe you thought that "Your explanation of why AIRLOCK EVERYONE doesn't work doesn't address the issue of BALTAR SAYS X IS A CYLON, so it must be wrong" was a valid point, which is sort of like thinking that "Your theory of quantum physics doesn't address the issue of why Cylons don't exist in real life, so it must be wrong" is a valid point. However, even though you obviously either didn't read what I said at all or just decided to quote random blocks of text for fun, let's go on to the "Baltar says X is a Cylon" situation (or the "X looked at one random Loyalty Card belonging to Y and says Y is a Cylon" situation, but that takes longer to say).

I would first contend that a revealed Cylon can do far more damage than a brigged Cylon. The most a brigged Cylon can do is:

1) Contribute one card to Skill Checks - which a revealed Cylon can also do.

2) Reveal and take a Super Crisis - which a just-executed Cylon can also do via the new Resurrection Ship.

3) Try to break out of the Brig - which relies on either extremely good Destiny or a fellow Cylon's help, which is easily countered by the humans if they wish, and which is probably inferior to what the Cylon could do with an ordinary Caprica activation anyhow.

4) Executive Order another unrevealed Cylon - if he helps the humans, no harm done. If he hurts the humans, toss him in the Brig too. Then they can't do any extra damage together.

5) Launch Scout - again, weak compared to the Cylon Locations, most directly the new Human Fleet.

6) Consolidate Power - yawn, nobody cares.

7) Use Evasive Maneuvers to make missed Raider attacks roll again - Cylon Fleet is better.

That's about it. If they have a useful character ability or once-per-game, they might want to use that - in the latter case, of course, only once - but the former is generally still not worth it compared to the Cylon Locations (with Boomer being the obvious possible exception), and the latter can only happen once anyhow, and will presumably happen if they get any chance to do anything.

Of course, most of these actions are fairly open, which means that doing any of these to hurt the humans is tantamount to admitting to being a Cylon, which effectively makes such a brigged character a Cylon that everyone knows is a Cylon but that doesn't get the perks of being a revealed Cylon - the worst of all possible worlds.

But suppose the Cylon wants to convince everyone that he is, in fact, human. To do that, he will want to be Executive Ordering the free humans, spending his own cards to give the humans two extra Actions, and without even getting a Crisis Card. Acting innocent thus comes with a hefty cost, and one that mechanically helps the humans - the brigged Cylon is gambling that this massive direct advantage to the humans will be nullified by sewing of paranoia and distrust, and possibly by whatever he can do after possibly being freed if the humans do eventually decide to trust him. (Again, the main exception is Boomer, who draws no Leadership - but executing a human Boomer costs the humans two of the best abilities in the game.)

From this, I contend that brigging an unrevealed Cylon is already an extremely powerful move - if they wish to play evil, it forces them to reveal, and if they wish to play good, it forces them to drastically help the humans while limiting their own options. In many circumstances, even without executions, it might be worthwhile to brig both Baltar and X; the human will still help the humans with Executive Orders without drawing Crises, and the Cylon will either reveal or do likewise.

Brigging is also much easier than executing. It does not require a trip to Pegasus. Its Skill Check is easier to pass, and some people have no Skill Cards with which to sabotage it. If Saul Tigh is around or Starbuck is the target, brigging is even easier. The President has multiple Arrest Orders Quorum Cards available, but only one Quorum Card capable of executing - and that card is Execute Prisoner, which requires the suspect to be brigged already anyhow (which, as we have shown above, cripples the Cylon enough already), and its extremely limited quantity means it can't be used to kill both Baltar and X. A brigged Cylon planning to play evil might actually be glad of the execution, since it would allow them to go straight to mining the Cylon Locations instead of spending a turn revealing, even if it does cost some Skill Cards.

There might indeed be cases in which it is worthwhile to execute someone to confirm their allegiance - even if it does cost several Skill Cards, an action, and either a Morale and a useful ability or a Cylon's wasted revealing turn. That's fine. That means that executions are not useless. In many situations, however, it is better to not waste the time and resources executing people. From the sound of it, your group's general solution to suspicion was To The Airlock!, and you know how well that worked out.

dragon0085 wrote:
salty53 wrote:

The real problem is executions caused by Crisis Cards. Those are generally worth taking instead of trying to avoid them, and can lead to well-hidden Cylons being randomly killed off.

Which does this not support my point that executions ruin strategy in this game? You agree with me, yet are so ready to bash me for my opinions. I am simply stating that this is not worth it for the money. The new cards are cool, but the other parts of it are not.


To say that those rare Crisis executions ruin strategy is ludicrous. While I do dislike them and they can randomly mess up games, they are just too rare and random to have much effect on strategy at all. After all, a "strategic" use of them would involve identifying the Cylons, letting them wander free on Galactica, and waiting for a Crisis Card that could execute them to show up. To me, that strategy sounds almost as effective as "don't put any cards into any Skill Checks; just let Destiny handle it".

And no, it is not hypocritical of my to criticize this particular aspect of the Pegasus Expansion while also saying that your arguments assertions make no sense. There is no reason to think that absolutely every aspect of Pegasus should be exactly equal in terms of quality in every way, and I don't have to be in love with each and every component to point out that your "The game is unwinnable and Cain is underpowered" claims are ludicrous.

Incidentally, your problem with executions was that it allowed humans to test their suspicions, and possibly even to kill everyone off to be certain of who is and isn't guilty. That was the claim to which I was responding, and that was the claim I refuted. That claim is also completely unrelated to the execution Crises; you made it clear that your concern was the Airlock.
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