frakkin toasters
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If you want to heat things up a bit at the beginning of the game, try the following:

Setup: Follow the normal procedures for setting up the game except:

SETUP STEP 4: No player may select Helena Cain.

SETUP STEP 7: Search the crisis deck for the following cards and set them aside: Thirty Three, Sleep Deprivation, The Olympic Carrier and Reunite the Fleet. Shuffle the crisis deck then, without looking at them, set aside (3 x the number of players) crisis cards. Add the Reunite the Fleet crisis card to the stack of (3 x the number of players) crisis cards, shuffle them, then place them on top of the crisis card deck.

SET UP STEP 10: Instead of setting up ships, resolve the Thirty Three crisis card as if it had just been drawn from the crisis deck. Note the changes to this crisis card detailed below:

Rules changes:

Thirty Three: The Relentless Pursuit Special Rule is changed to the following: At the beginning of each players turn, play this card again, following each step on the card as if it had just been drawn from the crisis deck. During the Crisis Step of each players turn, instead of drawing a card from the crisis deck, resolve the Sleep Deprivation crisis card as if it had just been drawn from the crisis deck. Immediately after the fleet jumps, resolve The Olympic Carrier crisis card as if it had just been drawn from the crisis deck.

The Olympic Carrier: PASS: Remove the Thirty Three crisis card from the game. 8+: -1 population. Remove The Thirty Three crisis card from the game. Fail: -1 morale, -1 population, the Thirty Three crisis card remains in play. (This crisis card will be played again the next time the fleet jumps).

The Pegasus game board is not in play until the Reunite the Fleet crisis card is drawn.

Immediately after the Reunite the Fleet crisis card is resolved, the player who currently holds the Admiral title immediately switches to the Helena Cain character. (Helena Cain is now the admiral). The character they were playing is set aside and the character token is removed from the game board. The player playing Helena Cain can use her once per game ability even if they have already used the once per game ability of the character they were originally playing.

While Helena Cain is the Admiral, the following rules are in effect:

While Helena Cain is the Admiral, all destination cards are treated as if they had a distance of 1 on them for purposes of determining the distance the fleet has traveled. When Helena Cain is no longer the Admiral, the actual distance on all destination cards is used to determine the distance the fleet has traveled.

Example: The fleet jumps twice, drawing Tylium Planet and Remote Planet destination cards for a total of 3 distance traveled. Helena Cain becomes Admiral. All destination cards are treated as if they had a distance of 1 on them while Helena Cain is Admiral. Therefore, the total distance traveled is now 2. The fleet jumps again while Helena Cain is the admiral and Desolate Moon is drawn (3 distance). The total distance traveled becomes 3. During the next player's turn, Helena Cain loses the Admiral title. She immediately executed and the player playing her reverts to the character they were originally playing and is moved to the Admiral Quarters. Helena Cain is no longer Admiral, so the total distance the fleet has traveled becomes 6.

Admiral Cain insists on taking the fight to the Cylons, no matter the cost. While Helena Cain is the Admiral, each time the fleet jumps, clear the board as normal then set up one basestar directly in front of Galactica and three civilian ships directly behind Galactica.

If Helena Cain loses the Admiral title, she is immediately executed and the player playing her reverts back to their original character, who is placed in the Admiral Quarters. Loyalty cards are revealed according to the nomral execution rules. If this character's once per game ability has not been used yet, the player may use it regardless of whether or not Helena Cain's once per game ability was used.

Synopsis: The intent of this variant is to try to balance the power of the Pegasus expansion in a thematic way.

The interaction of the (modified) Thirty Three and Sleep Deprivation crisis cards at the beginning of the game really kicks the game off with a bang. Basestars will be launching raiders and pounding away at Galactica. Vipers will be landing and launching like crazy. The fleet will be able to jump quickly, but they have to pass the The Olympic Carrier crisis to eliminate the cylon threat.

Helena Cain's abilities are still powerful, but don't really benefit the humans until she's removed from power. If the humans get rid of her after the sleeper phase, but before they reach New Caprica, they can determine the Admiral's loyalty before the New Caprica phase starts.

I recommend refining the game balance by tweaking the starting resources if you find these rules make the game too hard or too easy for one side or the other.
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Roberta Yang
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I see no reason whatsoever under these rules for the humans not to execute Cain immediately after she appears. Am I missing something?
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frakkin toasters
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There are some subtleties that you are missing.

There are good reasons for both the humans and cylons to want to get rid of Cain quickly, but there are also very compelling reasons why both sides also might want to keep her around.

First, why would the humans want to keep Cain around for a while? Conversely, why would the cylons want to get rid of her quickly?

Well, for one thing, under the right circumstances, the humans can try to "sandbag" on the distance the fleet has traveled until they have resolved enough distance cards to go directly into the NC phase as soon as Cain loses the admiral title. By doing so, they might be able to avoid the sleeper phase until they reach NC. This could be a devastating blow to the cylons, but it's not without risk.

The threat of a single basestar appearing after each jump is, in most cases, easily manageable with the Pegasus around, though not without cost. There's no need to panic and toss Cain out the nearest airlock as soon as she appears. You might want to keep her around at least long enough to use her blind jump ability. Also, if she's in charge until after the sleeper phase, you can determine the admiral's loyalty by stripping her of the admiralcy. (The human team wants to execute the admiral going into the NC phase anyway, my rules provide a thematic reason for it).

Second, why would the cylons want to keep Cain around and why would the humans want to get rid of her quickly?

If the cylons can keep Cain in charge long enough, they can drag the game out and keep constant pressure on the human fleet. However, they run the risk of being "sandbagged" under certain circumstances. If Galactica has been heavily damaged and the sleeper phase has already occurred, the humans might want to get rid of Cain as quicly as possible.

In summary, if Cain is in charge before the sleeper phase, the humans might want to keep her around for a while and they cylons might want to get rid of her quickly.

If Cain doesn't come into play until after the sleeper phase, the humans might want to get rid of her immediately if Galactica is heavily damaged, but they don't need to panic and eliminate her immediately at all costs. They won't be hurt by keeping her around to use her once per game ability or if there are more pressing needs to use their resources on instead of getting rid of her.
 
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Roberta Yang
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daricles wrote:
Well, for one thing, under the right circumstances, the humans can try to "sandbag" on the distance the fleet has traveled until they have resolved enough distance cards to go directly into the NC phase as soon as Cain loses the admiral title. By doing so, they might be able to avoid the sleeper phase until they reach NC. This could be a devastating blow to the cylons, but it's not without risk.


This sounds like an excellent reason for me as a human to want Cain dead immediately. If both Cylons already exist, then the Sleeper Phase's timing is irrelevant, and if any Cylons aren't around yet, I may very well be the sleeper agent who turns Cylon at the Sleeper Phase, and the last thing I want is to suddenly switch loyalty when we've already arrived at New Caprica. (The default rules even go out of their way forbid such an event by not allowing double-Cylons to pass off their extra Loyalty Cards once the final destination has been reached.)

daricles wrote:
The threat of a single basestar appearing after each jump is, in most cases, easily manageable with the Pegasus around, though not without cost. There's no need to panic and toss Cain out the nearest airlock as soon as she appears. You might want to keep her around at least long enough to use her blind jump ability.


Well, sure, let her Blind Jump the fleet, but then get rid of her Turn 2 after she shows up. Why would we keep around an Admiral who spawns Basestars when we could easily replace her with a confirmed-human (at least for now) Admiral who doesn't?

daricles wrote:
Also, if she's in charge until after the sleeper phase, you can determine the admiral's loyalty by stripping her of the admiralcy.


Keeping her around until after the Sleeper Phase requires the fleet to jump four times before killing her. Unless Cain's been sending us to endless Tylium Planets and Icy Moons, that's bound to be enough to land us on New Caprica, which produces the problem stated earlier. (And if Cain is sending us to endless Tylium Planets and Icy Moons, then she's obviously a Cylon, so kill her anyhow.)

Even on top of that, I rather doubt that spawning a Basestar at the very start of each of three extra jump cycles is a worthwhile cost for making one inspection more accurate - especially since the pre-Sleeper card being revealed from the execution still allows her to be 100% confirmed post-Sleeper with a "look at one random unrevealed Loyalty Card" inspection, either from a Crisis or from Release Cylon Mugshots.

daricles wrote:
(The human team wants to execute the admiral going into the NC phase anyway, my rules provide a thematic reason for it).


I'd much rather create rules to reduce the "Admiral must die!" metagame than to create rules that move it from "It might be a useful tactic if not all the Cylons have revealed" to "It absolutely most occur at some point in the game; there can be no counterargument and the humans have no say in the matter". The latter seems like a gross step backwards in terms of game design.

daricles wrote:
If the cylons can keep Cain in charge long enough, they can drag the game out and keep constant pressure on the human fleet. However, they run the risk of being "sandbagged" under certain circumstances. If Galactica has been heavily damaged and the sleeper phase has already occurred, the humans might want to get rid of Cain as quicly as possible.


You're grossly undervaluing the humans' incentive to not have Basestars show up all the time and to avoid being completely screwed when they turn Cylon upon arriving at New Caprica. (Most people don't like a single random card deal screwing over 40% of the players.)

The Cylons would love for Cain to stick around for a long time, but if the humans want her dead - and they bloody well should - then the Cylons won't have much say in the matter. What are they going to do, withhold the Arrest Orders and Encourage Mutiny Quorum Cards and spike Admiral's Quarters Skill Checks?

daricles wrote:
In summary, if Cain is in charge before the sleeper phase, the humans might want to keep her around for a while and they cylons might want to get rid of her quickly.


Let's recap here. Why should the humans want to keep Cain around instead of killing her immediately after she uses her OPG, which in turn is immediately after she shows up? Here are the reasons you've provided:

1) The humans - these would be the humans who are the candidates to become Sleeper Agent Cylons, remember, and at least one of whom will become a Sleeper Agent Cylon if any exist - want to create a metagame designed to screw over Sleeper Agent Cylons. That's just stupid.

2) If the humans wait four full Jump Cycles to kill her (i.e. until New Caprica arrives, creating the anti-Sleeper metagame), their execution-inspection of Cain is more accurate (although the less accurate one still permits 100%-accurate single-card inspections). I'm not impressed. That's hardly worth spawning those Basestars while making everyone run the risk of playing for the wrong team until their last turn in the game.

3) ...I can't actually find you listing a third reason anywhere, so those two seem to be it. And those reasons are pretty lame, I'm afraid.

daricles wrote:
If Cain doesn't come into play until after the sleeper phase, the humans might want to get rid of her immediately if Galactica is heavily damaged, but they don't need to panic and eliminate her immediately at all costs. They won't be hurt by keeping her around to use her once per game ability or if there are more pressing needs to use their resources on instead of getting rid of her.


Indeed, they won't be hurt by keeping her around for one frakking turn to use her OPG. Wanting to keep someone around for one frakking turn to take one frakking action is not the same as wanting to keep someone around for any reasonable length of time.

And if Cain refuses to use her OPG? She's a toaster. Cain has just as much reason to want herself dead as any other human does, and has a Skill Set perfect for Admiral's Quartering herself - and she wouldn't even be keeping those Skill Cards after being executed, so she may as well use them to Brig-kill herself. And that's terrible.

And what more pressing problems are you claiming would exist? After Cain Blind Jumps, the board will be cleared (save the Basestar that she set up), which presents as good an opportunity to spend one turn getting rid of her as there ever will be - and she needs to be eliminated at some point, unless you expect the humans to jump seven times, so it may as well happen now. It helps that three Quorum Cards (maybe more if I'm forgetting some) will each alone be enough to do the job splendidly, which makes her elimination even more costless than it otherwise would be.
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salty53 wrote:

If both Cylons already exist, then the Sleeper Phase's timing is irrelevant, and if any Cylons aren't around yet, I may very well be the sleeper agent who turns Cylon at the Sleeper Phase, and the last thing I want is to suddenly switch loyalty when we've already arrived at New Caprica.


Yes, but, in most cases, you probably don't know if both cylons are out yet and your chance of becoming the sleeper cylon isn't that great.

salty53 wrote:
Well, sure, let her Blind Jump the fleet, but then get rid of her Turn 2 after she shows up. Why would we keep around an Admiral who spawns Basestars when we could easily replace her with a confirmed-human (at least for now) Admiral who doesn't?


Perhaps because you don't want to take a potential double hit on morale by needing to execute two admirals rather than one. You are assuming that you have a "confirmed, at least for now, human" to make admiral.

salty53 wrote:
Keeping her around until after the Sleeper Phase requires the fleet to jump four times before killing her. Unless Cain's been sending us to endless Tylium Planets and Icy Moons, that's bound to be enough to land us on New Caprica, which produces the problem stated earlier. (And if Cain is sending us to endless Tylium Planets and Icy Moons, then she's obviously a Cylon, so kill her anyhow.)


Huh? Why do you assume you need to keep her around for four jumps? The Pegasus can't show up until after the fleet has jumped at least once and may not even show up until the fleet has jumped four times in a six player game. In most cases, you'll probably only have to keep her around for one or maybe two jumps to reach the sleeper phase, assuming you haven't reached it before the pegausus arrives.

salty53 wrote:
I'd much rather create rules to reduce the "Admiral must die!" metagame ...


Fair enough. What do you do to accomplish that?

salty53 wrote:
You're grossly undervaluing the humans' incentive to not have Basestars show up all the time and to avoid being completely screwed when they turn Cylon upon arriving at New Caprica. (Most people don't like a single random card deal screwing over 40% of the players.)


I think you are grossly overestimating the number of basestars that will show up and the difficulty of dealing with them. Please explain how 40% of the players are screwed.

salty53 wrote:
The Cylons would love for Cain to stick around for a long time, but if the humans want her dead - and they bloody well should - then the Cylons won't have much say in the matter. What are they going to do, withhold the Arrest Orders and Encourage Mutiny Quorum Cards and spike Admiral's Quarters Skill Checks?


Yes. You have correctly determined that it isn't terribly difficult for the humans to get rid of Cain. All you have to do is brig her. At best, the cylons might be able to make the humans waste some resources to get it done.

salty53 wrote:
Let's recap here. Why should the humans want to keep Cain around instead of killing her immediately after she uses her OPG, which in turn is immediately after she shows up...


Using her OPG ability immediately after she shows up may not be the best time to use it.

salty53 wrote:
1) The humans...want to create a metagame designed to screw over Sleeper Agent Cylons. That's just stupid.


Not if you aren't the sleeper cylon. Chances are you won't be. This comes down to whether or not you are into metagaming. You are right in that many players won't want to take a chance of this happening to them.

salty53 wrote:
2) If the humans wait four full Jump Cycles to kill her (i.e. until New Caprica arrives, creating the anti-Sleeper metagame), their execution-inspection of Cain is more accurate (although the less accurate one still permits 100%-accurate single-card inspections). I'm not impressed. That's hardly worth spawning those Basestars while making everyone run the risk of playing for the wrong team until their last turn in the game.


Well, I don't know what to say here. Your analysis is all wrong. I don't know why you think it will be four jump cycles and a corresponding number of basestars. Also, if you dump Cain after the sleeper phase you gurantee that the admiral is human and you minimize the number of executions needed to accomplish that. (maybe it's not clear from my rules text, but if Cain loses the admiral title she is executed and player switches back to the character that was admiral before Cain showed up and that character gets the admiral title back).

salty53 wrote:
And what more pressing problems are you claiming would exist? After Cain Blind Jumps, the board will be cleared (save the Basestar that she set up), which presents as good an opportunity to spend one turn getting rid of her as there ever will be - and she needs to be eliminated at some point, unless you expect the humans to jump seven times, so it may as well happen now. It helps that three Quorum Cards (maybe more if I'm forgetting some) will each alone be enough to do the job splendidly, which makes her elimination even more costless than it otherwise would be.


If you play with my setup rules using the modified Thirty Three and Sleep Deprivation crises, Galactica might need repairs. You might need to use quorum cards to restore morale. Your skill cards might be depleted making it a bad time to try and brig Cain right away because a well played card by an unrevealed cylon might tip the balance. If you can reasonably deal with a lone basestar (with Pegasus around, chances are good you can), you might want to save that blind jump.

salty53 wrote:
Cain has just as much reason to want herself dead as any other human does, and has a Skill Set perfect for Admiral's Quartering herself - and she wouldn't even be keeping those Skill Cards after being executed, so she may as well use them to Brig-kill herself. And that's terrible.


Why is it terrible? The whole idea is that, true to the series, Cain shows up and takes over as admiral. She has some uses, but no one really wants her to stay in charge for very long. The rules I outlined reflect this pretty well in that the most likely outcome is that Cain will only be around for a turn or two before being removed from power. Yes, she eventually needs to be removed from power (no matter what side you are on). Yes, it's not hard to remove her. It's not supposed to be. The only question is when is the best time to do it? You don't really NEED to get rid of her right away. It makes no difference if you get rid of her right away or if you wait a couple turns, as long as you ditch her before the "counts as one distance" rule starts forcing extra jump steps on you.

I get that you don't like my Admiral Cain rules. Don't use them.

Do you have any suggestions to make them better other than saying they are stupid?

Do you have any contructive criticism regarding the setup variant portion?
 
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Todd Warnken
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Interesting variant. How has it worked in your group?
 
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frakkin toasters
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It has worked out okay so far. However, we've been looking at Cain almost like she's a crisis to be resolved. I guess I can see how the rules I posted for her might not appeal to a play group that doesn't look at it the same way.

We're still playtesting the 33 / Sleep Deprivation startup and trying to decide if/how much resources need to be tweaked.

We're considering adding a couple of other house rules we've seen:

- President decides whether to do NC or continue to Kobol.

- Failed executions result in a loss of morale and/or executing characters with titles results in extra loss of morale.

- Raptors can be launched like vipers. No combat value. destroyed on viper table. When in the same space as vipers, destroyed viper result becomes damaged, damaged viper result becomes return to reserves.
 
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Matt Epp
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I admit I lost interest while reading your OP.

I like the theme of your idea, but I prefer simplicity above all so here's my idea.

1) Set up with 33 crisis (no one may select Cain)

2) Next 2 crisis are Sleep Deprivation and Olypmic Carrier

3) After the first jump, Pegasus joins the game

4) The admiral may now discard their character and select Cain if they want to.
 
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