So we know how the game plays, so I'm going to tell you why I like the game, specifically my favourite character who I keep coming back to.
1. You get to talk like Saul for three hours and say Frak and all it's derivatives, a lot
2. His card draw ; 3 tactics, 2 leadership.
2a. I like purple the best out of all of the card draws. The two types of cards have the most synergy out of any of the card combinations. Ie: play a launch scout with a strategic planning on it. Tigh's draw of three tactics makes this combination statistically probable.
2b. Leadership is also nice because chances are someone will have something better to do on Saul's turn than Saul does, so a high probability of drawing an Executive Order on his turn means he can position himself well for a future XO and give someone else a turn.
2c. Because of his card draw I find Saul a strong support character, like in the show. I find I rarely take a turn as Saul WITHOUT XO'ing someone, unlike other characters who may actually have something useful to do with their one action a turn (I suppose you COULD scout, but anyone can do that...)
3. His starting location : Command and Control. XO'ing Saul right out of the gate gives you the potential of a Maximum Firepower card for the cost of an XO. So even picking Saul as a late-in-the-round character can work out as an early Cylon assult in a low pilot game can mean a useful Saul Tigh. Also, he's not the one in space, so you don't have to spend time getting him out of sickbay if the vipers blow up.
4. His OPT - Saul hates him some Cylons. He's already setup to do some excellent brigging due to his card draw, and provides a free three point reduction on the skill check. It's not used every game, but when it does, it feels REALLY good to use it. Especially against Starbuck.
5. His position in the admiralcy list. He's #2, he's #2 (or #3 with pegasus)! He's up there. There's a good chance that he's Admiral at some point in the game depending on Cain/Adama's Cyloninity or even if they are chosen.
6. His OPG - Saul hates him some Cylon Presidents. Free election with one action (assuming you trust your Admiral). Good for purging yourself of a Cylon president, or good for obtaining the presidency as a Cylon Admiral (see point 5)
7. His detriment - drinking away that last card. Is actually quite annoying how often it happens.
Here are some circumstances where he's worked well for me:
1. I was admiral and was handed a third loyalty card by the cylon player who made me a cylon. One person was already in the brig under suspicion of being the second Cylon; the turn before mine the crisis was Declare Martial Law, so I was able to take the presidency before my turn even happened. On my turn I used an Arrest order to brig one of the 2 remaining free humans and spent the rest of the game making President Chooses morale losses and as Admiral jumped the fleet into deep space for an eventual MORAL 0 CYLON WIN.
2. I spent most of the game in C&C in a game with 1 pilot (my current PBF) and had a LOT of viper activations throughout the game. Got Lee out of sickbay a few times with viper activations as well.
3. In the same game got to OPG and OPT by taking the presidency away from a Cylon Roslin and giving it to a human Adama and then brigging her on an XO where I'd previously moved to the Admiral's Quarters.
So to summarize, I see Saul as a strong support character. In the right circumstances he really shines. The fact that you'll be XOing a lot, and either hording or spending cards willy-nilly (due to his drawback) he's a pretty unstable character to play, which relates back to the TV show quite well.
He's not great as an undercover Cylon unless he's admiral, then you have plenty of opportunity to mess with the humans.
He's a stronger human than Cylon since he's a good team player (unless he has power, but we all know how that turns out...)
I would agree with you that Saul is a very good character.
He has the highest chance of helping with skills check over any other character. SO either you are pulling it together for the humans or your taking that way from them.
Pegasus changes this a bit but in the base game he is in my opinion the strongest character with the smallest drawback.
IL - Illinois
ALL HAIL SAUL FRAKKING TIGH!
If he's not picked initially, he will ALWAYS be picked after an execution. He is probably the most useful character in the game.
Even if you're human or Cylon, you will almost always use every ability on his character card. And his weakness is the most well designed character weakness in the game, as far as show content goes. Except maybe Dee's. I love that weakness.
Seriously. It also doesn't hurt that he's the best character on the show. This is my favorite BSG thread so far.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
DID I MENTION HE LOSES AN EYE!? SO AWESOME.
Let's just make it a Saul Tigh lovefest thread.
He is probably the least favorite character in our group. Out of 25 games he was picked only 3 times. If you like green and purple you can take any Military Leader; his abilities are ... boring and underpowered. I don't see why I'd take him over Adama or Helo - their draws are similar and abilities way better. If you want to brig people Cain is way more one. The sole reason why I'd play him is because he's so frakkin cool!
Not as cool as Baltar, though.