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Subject: Pointless Crisis Cards rss

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Allan Clements
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New caprica has more of them but there are a few crisis cards in the normal crisis deck that just seem to be fillers and the "choice" on the card or the skill check itself is pointless and not worth attempting, for the act of trying costs more cards than the negative effect.

Here are the ones I think are pointless:

Keep Tabs on Visitor
12YGP
Pass - no effect
fail - roll a die, 4 or lower lose 2 population
OR
current player discards 4 random skill cards

Why would you ever choose to do the skill check? 4 random skill cards are always going to be better than a 12 skill check where there is possibility for sabotage and destiny being negative. The only situation where it could be considered worse are if you happen to have the 3 6's that match this skill check.


Haunted by the past
12YG
pass - no effect
fail - each player must discard 1 random card
skillcheckicon - current player gives away titles

Aside from the fancy icon, is it worth passing this? You don't lose a resource and you lose at most 7 skill cards if in a 7 player game. Sure they are random could could be all the 6's but even if a couple of 6's get discard that is still just the same value as passing the skill check.


A traitor accused
8YG
pass - no effect
fail - current player sends someone to the brig
OR
current player discards 5 cards

The OR should always be chosen, the discards are not random and it is unlikely the player has all really high cards that make it worth while to try to do this check. The only reason to do the skill check is if there is a known cylon not revealing who needs brigging. I guess the intention of the card is that a Cylon player would choose the first option of the card and then the humans know he is a traitor but have to try to pass to prevent being sent to the brig.


Guilty Conscience
7YG
Pass - no effect
fail - current player discards 3 random skill cards

Once again, why would you ever try this? Just auto-fail and discard 3 random cards. Simple.


Training Snafu
8GR
pass - no effect
fail - damage 3 vipers in space or reserves

The only reason ever to pass this is if you only have 3 vipers left on the board defending civilians. A single repair card will undo most of what this card does.


Anyone have any good reasons why they would try to pass these cards? I would consider removing them from the deck but they all have jump icons, so that would upset the ratio of jump to no jump.
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David F
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The ones without player choice are probably there to give the humans a breather sometimes (like Training Snafu).

And seems like you think discarding random skill cards isn't painful. It can be if it takes away a particularly important Executive Order, Strategic Planning etc. And a Cylon can also use that as excuse to justify choosing the other option ("I'm afraid I'll lose my plan for the FTL, so let's go for the check).
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Noel Yap
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Don't forget, revealed Cylon players may play Crisis cards via the Caprica location. The first three cards allow a Cylon to sow just a little more chaos than usual. The last one allows a Cylon to choose to damage piloted Vipers, sending their pilots to Sickbay.

I agree that 'Guilty Conscience' does seem pretty useless.
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Evan
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"Keep tabs" and "A traitor accused" are mostly interesting for their fail effect. As you said, the latter can definitely be worth trying to fail, and depending on whether the humans are really hurting for skill cards, it might even be worth gambling two population on a die roll, especially if you have both an SP and a relevant player ability.
But yeah, these mostly boil down to how much more you're willing to pay to discard non-randomly. Frequently it won't be worth it, but as selwyth says, sometimes you have one or more cards that you really don't want to risk losing--or can trick the other players into thinking you do.
 
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Carl Bussema
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There are plenty of times where I can't afford to discard X random skill cards because I'm holding:
Investigative Committee(s) and no one else is drawing yellow
Scouting for Fuel
Treachery and there are revealed Cylons I suspect may have sabotage (and damage is likely to be painful)
State of Emergency
any number of piloting cards (and it's an Exodus game)

So I don't think those crises are as pointless as you think.

Haunted by the Past -- for a random skill card each in a 5+ player game, if we're all human or trying to look human, we can probably pass this. The average skill card is weighted at slightly more than 2 (2.07 with pegasus and exodus, 2.31 with base + pegasus, 2.14 with base only, 1.875 with base + exodus). But now assume that players have been discarding/spending low cards (if you're going to XO you'll usually play the 1 over the 2, etc., if you're moving between ships you often discard a 1 or a 0) and that average goes up. I only ever play with 5+ so I think in those terms.

Given the choice on the Keep Tabs I will happily roll the die if someone has strategic planning -- I will run the check, deliberately fail, then take a 25% chance of losing 2 population. Far cheaper than 4 random skill cards unless I don't have any (likely because I started my turn in sickbay or am Anders and drew this on turn 1).

Traitor Accused is tough, but there are times when I have good cards (see above), and 8 is super-cheap in those colors, so we can probably as a team spend fewer than 5 cards to pass this.
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Adam McLean
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Sure, some crisis cards are more interesting and/or have more impact on the game than others do ... but, I think with a crisis deck that is as big as you get in BSG, it's inevitable that you will get a few stinkers.

I suppose you could use the ones that are not as viable as opportunities to get input from the different players to try and see if anyone gives themselves away ... turn the boring card into an interesting mechanic.
 
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Vanja Grujic
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Hah, just last night, we run into a fight about Keep Tabs on Visitors (ingame, of course).
It was the first crisis that game, and I was the current player. I wanted for us to play it, let it fail and than, as I said "I could help with the die roll".
Argument started how stupid that was and wanted me to discard I was even accused of being a cylon and thrown into a brig (I wasn't, really!) though I went trough anyway and, failed, played SP, rolled a 3 for no effect (well, actually, 1 card discarded).

So, Keep tabs on visitors have sense. Random 4 or a specific 1 card. I choose later.
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Allan Clements
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InfoCynic wrote:
There are plenty of times where I can't afford to discard X random skill cards because I'm holding:
Investigative Committee(s) and no one else is drawing yellow
Scouting for Fuel
Treachery and there are revealed Cylons I suspect may have sabotage (and damage is likely to be painful)
State of Emergency



Sure but you would need to play those cards in order to pass the skill check most likely thus getting rid of them anyway, and in order to pass it everyone else will have to put in lots of similarly useful cards rather than random ones. As I said you would have to be holding all the 6's for it to really be worth trying the skill check over losing most likely less than the skill check in strength cards randomly.

Also not that all these crisis are current player discards, meaning their turn has just finished and they have no great need for XOs and may draw some on their next turn.

 
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Wim D
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About skill check versus discard:
If you can be pretty sure that destiny will help, it can be worth to go for the skill check, rather than discard.
If you hold a card like jury rigged, the skill check might be a better option.
About damaging vipers:
If the current player is holding 14 cards anyway, and will have to discard, it's better to attempt the check instead of letting vipers get damaged.
If the team is low on repair cards, or all the engineering skill went to the cylon side, I'd rather go for the check ..
 
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Chris J Davis
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We play with a variant that options on crisis cards *cannot* be chosen if they cannot be fulfilled completely. Makes the choices - and some of the crises you list here - much more interesting (and makes it possible to actually lose by food).
 
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Allan Cybulskie
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Kamakaze wrote:
New caprica has more of them but there are a few crisis cards in the normal crisis deck that just seem to be fillers and the "choice" on the card or the skill check itself is pointless and not worth attempting, for the act of trying costs more cards than the negative effect.

Here are the ones I think are pointless:

Keep Tabs on Visitor
12YGP
Pass - no effect
fail - roll a die, 4 or lower lose 2 population
OR
current player discards 4 random skill cards

Why would you ever choose to do the skill check? 4 random skill cards are always going to be better than a 12 skill check where there is possibility for sabotage and destiny being negative. The only situation where it could be considered worse are if you happen to have the 3 6's that match this skill check.


As others have pointed out, take the check, fail it, and then risk the dice roll with a 3 - SP.

Also if your hand contains Repair cards and you need to fix things, or ICs that you need to keep. The check can be passed without putting any of those at risk, as long as it isn't you alone doing it.


Quote:
Haunted by the past
12YG
pass - no effect
fail - each player must discard 1 random card
skillcheckicon - current player gives away titles

Aside from the fancy icon, is it worth passing this? You don't lose a resource and you lose at most 7 skill cards if in a 7 player game. Sure they are random could could be all the 6's but even if a couple of 6's get discard that is still just the same value as passing the skill check.


Well, unless your pilots both lose, say, high MFs and you lose SPs and SRs from the other players. Then it cost you a lot more than just passing the check with CPs, DEs, and LSes would.

Quote:
A traitor accused
8YG
pass - no effect
fail - current player sends someone to the brig
OR
current player discards 5 cards

The OR should always be chosen, the discards are not random and it is unlikely the player has all really high cards that make it worth while to try to do this check. The only reason to do the skill check is if there is a known cylon not revealing who needs brigging. I guess the intention of the card is that a Cylon player would choose the first option of the card and then the humans know he is a traitor but have to try to pass to prevent being sent to the brig.


I'd say that the OR should never be chosen. An entire hand is likely to cost far more overall than 8YG, and you may lose things other than politics or leadership as well that you don't have in abundance to save things that you do. If 6 players each play the equivalent of 2, you've got enough to more than pass it if destiny is not unkind.


Quote:
Guilty Conscience
7YG
Pass - no effect
fail - current player discards 3 random skill cards

Once again, why would you ever try this? Just auto-fail and discard 3 random cards. Simple.


Unless the current player is holding cards like piloting or repair that wouldn't be lost in the check, but will be lost by the discards.

Quote:
Training Snafu
8GR
pass - no effect
fail - damage 3 vipers in space or reserves

The only reason ever to pass this is if you only have 3 vipers left on the board defending civilians. A single repair card will undo most of what this card does.


Presuming you have repair cards and don't have other, higher priority things to fix, sure. But it's a pretty low number, so it might be easier to just pass it and not have to worry about any of that, so that you can keep those Vipers available in case you need them.

Quote:
Anyone have any good reasons why they would try to pass these cards? I would consider removing them from the deck but they all have jump icons, so that would upset the ratio of jump to no jump.


Well, my reasons boil down to: sometimes, you can't afford to take the option that you think should always be taken. That's good enough to keep them. After all, most Crisis cards have the same sort of problem -- if, perhaps, not as frequently -- since if your President has no cards the "President discards, then current player discards" options are always the obvious choice.
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Allan Clements
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Daimbert wrote:


Quote:
A traitor accused
8YG
pass - no effect
fail - current player sends someone to the brig
OR
current player discards 5 cards

The OR should always be chosen, the discards are not random and it is unlikely the player has all really high cards that make it worth while to try to do this check. The only reason to do the skill check is if there is a known cylon not revealing who needs brigging. I guess the intention of the card is that a Cylon player would choose the first option of the card and then the humans know he is a traitor but have to try to pass to prevent being sent to the brig.


I'd say that the OR should never be chosen. An entire hand is likely to cost far more overall than 8YG, and you may lose things other than politics or leadership as well that you don't have in abundance to save things that you do. If 6 players each play the equivalent of 2, you've got enough to more than pass it if destiny is not unkind.



You would take 5 skill cards which will 100% prevent someone being sent to the brig over a random other amount of skill cards which may or may not succeed depending on destiny/cylons?

The 5 skill cards can be any color and any strength, the cards into the check must be yellow and green and be more valuable for other skill checks.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Yellow and Green are by far the most common color drawn and therefore easily spent to pass a simple check. I can replace the cards spent on this check with about 1.25 XOs to someone in the press room.
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Kamakaze wrote:
New caprica has more of them but there are a few crisis cards in the normal crisis deck that just seem to be fillers and the "choice" on the card or the skill check itself is pointless and not worth attempting, for the act of trying costs more cards than the negative effect.

Here are the ones I think are pointless:

Keep Tabs on Visitor
12YGP
Pass - no effect
fail - roll a die, 4 or lower lose 2 population
OR
current player discards 4 random skill cards

Why would you ever choose to do the skill check? 4 random skill cards are always going to be better than a 12 skill check where there is possibility for sabotage and destiny being negative. The only situation where it could be considered worse are if you happen to have the 3 6's that match this skill check.
You do the skill check because,
1) You're Tory and you don't have a choice
2) The 6-str skill cards are good enough reason for me, since the random discards may be bad enough.
2a) Political Prowess could save you even more headache if you use it to free a needed ally from the Brig, Airlock could be more useful for those nasty cylons, and just being able to auto-fail Airlock and AQ makes that card worth its weight in gold.
2b) SoE is nice for cases when you need to "XO" everyone out of Sickbay. One single card does this whereas doing it via XOs menas you need to deal with the heachache of everyone having an XO to use on the next person.
2c) SFF... some games fuel is at a premium, so this should need no further explanation. Well, worth mentioning it seems overpowered that you only need to risk one raptor, and it's only a 4+ roll.

Kamakaze wrote:
Training Snafu
8GR
pass - no effect
fail - damage 3 vipers in space or reserves

The only reason ever to pass this is if you only have 3 vipers left on the board defending civilians. A single repair card will undo most of what this card does.
In games where no1 draws blue via skill check draws, repairing a viper takes 2 actions.... one to use Research Lab/play CP, and another to actually use the Repair card you get from there. Actually, even if someone does draw blue, it may do you no good if they run off and become a cylon. Furthermore, if you already have too many other things that need repairing, then adding 3 more vipers can be too much, especially if again, you're having trouble getting blue cards.


Kamakaze wrote:
Anyone have any good reasons why they would try to pass these cards? I would consider removing them from the deck but they all have jump icons, so that would upset the ratio of jump to no jump.
I don't think there was ever any need to ensure all crisis cards are completely balanced and are equal opporutnity resource suckers. Yeah, some of them are ridiculous in both extremes, but I'd say they keep things unpredictable and from being too much an analytical fest (there's always Pandemic for that). Sometimes, the humans get relatively easy cards like these. Othertimes, they get some particularily nasty ones, like Sabotage Investigated, and many of the cylon attack cards pre-CFB.

2 of them have heavy raider and basestar activation icons. Those are the more rarer cylon fleet activity icons, and removing them would further upset the balance of these distributions.
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Ger Lam
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Kamakaze wrote:


Keep Tabs on Visitor
12YGP
Pass - no effect
fail - roll a die, 4 or lower lose 2 population
OR
current player discards 4 random skill cards


As was often said, die roll modifier. With the purple card and calculations, it could be a safe thing. More option for sabotage, of course.

Kamakaze wrote:


Haunted by the past
12YG
pass - no effect
fail - each player must discard 1 random card
skillcheckicon - current player gives away titles


1 Random Card per player is dependent on number of players. If theres only 3 or 4 people, sure, go for it and hope. With more players, the people ahead will have few cards left in hand, and often with reason...a XO planned to be used, a Calculations for a dice roll, high-value cards- All in all, it can well be useful to try and pass this, to prevent losing needed/high cards.

Kamakaze wrote:


A traitor accused
8YG
pass - no effect
fail - current player sends someone to the brig
OR
current player discards 5 cards


I completely believe the OR should _NEVER_ be choosen. But fewest people possibly should contribute. If possible, current player can try to do it alone with as many cards as needed. The discards aren't random, but aside from certain characters(for whom the or makes sense) many will not have a full hand. With 3 cards, and the option to lower difficulty if the destiny deck is against you, you can sometimes to this alone.
Or, you can let it pass, brig someone, then spend the cards or a presidential pardon to let them out...(or not, if they have been acting suspicious)


Kamakaze wrote:


Guilty Conscience
7YG
Pass - no effect
fail - current player discards 3 random skill cards


No. Unless you are Boomer, you draw yellow and/or green. I'd much rather spend 4 cards and keep a needed card than dump 3 random. As said, just let the current player try it alone, no sabotage, and the damage will be limited. Can be a dice toss with the destiny deck, but as said, depending on what you have in your hand, can be well worth it.

Or, if you start empty-handed, spend an XO during your turn, having 4 cards left...maybe i just toss in 2 high ones and hope for the destiny deck. If i fail, i just lose all 4 cards, if i win, i get to keep 2. *shrug*.


Kamakaze wrote:


Training Snafu
8GR
pass - no effect
fail - damage 3 vipers in space or reserves


As you correctly mentioned: It depends on the current situation. A: There is only few undamaged vipers left...tyrol was a cylon and you only have 1 guy drawing a blue card left, 2 vipers destroyed and 3 already damaged...do you have pegasus? Or only galactica's cannons?
OR, the big other option: You are a Cylon. You want to fail this check. You get to send people into the sick bay that were piloting, possibly someone that can't be XO'd or commanded out before their turn comes. Thats equal to a reveal power, and you are forcing the humans to ALSO deal with you lest you get to reveal next turn and possibly do it again,



All in all, many of the cards are situational. Depending on the number of players, the cards you have in hand, and partially the board situation. They may not be the most spectacular cards and in several instances it may make sense to ignore them, but thats the same thing with cylon boarding party attack card being drawn while you're one step away from auto-jump, pre-sleeper, as opposed to right after jumping with 2 revealed cylons and a brigged human...the situations often make the difference.
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