Darren Nakamura
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So, I have been playing Battlestar Galactica with my group for about eight months now. We've only played the base game, mostly because I hadn't seen the need for the expansions, but partially because I frequently have new players and I don't want to overwhelm them.

I recently purchased both expansions, and I want to drip feed the new mechanics, so my players pick them up well. So I figured I'd start off with a Pegasus game, introducing Treachery, the Pegasus board, the Pegasus characters, and executions, leaving New Caprica (and probably Cylon Leaders) out to start off with.

But from what I've read, Exodus's treatment of the executions is much more elegant, where they can't be used as simple loyalty tests. Since I have both expansions, I've got the components. But are there any gameplay reasons that I've overlooked for me not to use Exodus executions without anything else from Exodus?
 
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Matt Vollick
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One reason I can think of is the fairly significant chance that not all the Cylon cards will be dealt out. If you're playing a 5 player game having just a single YAAC card out, especially when it's obvious that there is just a single YAAC card out can really make for a less than stellar.

Since Exodus had ways of drawing new loyalty cards (Personal Goals) it mitigated that risk. Pegasus has no such method.
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Klaus
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Yep, the main problem is that this would introduce the possibility that there is only one Cylon in play.

You may want to have a look at this thread, to give you some ideas on how to address the execution issue.

But for a first game, I'd try the original rules, and let your group decide if they have a problem with them after they see for themselves how things play out.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Outside of "nobody will be revealing personal goals so the probability of a Cylon being left out is slightly higher than in Exodus", there isn't any particular reason not to use the Exodus execution rules in Pegasus that doesn't also apply to Exodus. However, many, including myself, would say that the inherent leftover Cylon problem of the Exodus rules is enough to make the Pegasus ones preferable anyhow.
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Robert Stewart
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salty53 wrote:
[...] many, including myself, would say that the inherent leftover Cylon problem of the Exodus rules is enough to make the Pegasus ones preferable anyhow.


Others, including myself, would say that the option to spend (at most) 1 morale, 1 action, and some skill cards on a guaranteed, public, loyalty check of a key office-holder is enough to make the Exodus ones preferable - in Pegasus, if a card gives an option to execute someone post-Sleeper, it's usually arguably more advantageous to toss a human Admiral out the airlock than it would be a Cylon one.

By contrast, even a non-existent Cylon can cause trouble for the humans by fostering paranoia - is there a Cylon missing, or is someone just waiting to turn? - or, if you assume you're actually a Cylon short, a hidden Cylon can potentially cause rather more mischief by abusing that trust...

Pegasus loyalty rules offer the humans an advantage in most games; Exodus loyalty rules offer it in fewer than 1/5 (fewer than 1/4 if you include missing sympathisers) games.
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Darren Nakamura
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rmsgrey wrote:
Pegasus loyalty rules offer the humans an advantage in most games; Exodus loyalty rules offer it in fewer than 1/5 (fewer than 1/4 if you include missing sympathisers) games.


I'm curious how you got that figure. I feel like with a five player game, without Baltar or Boomer, before any executions or Personal Goals happen, there's only a 1/11 chance of the last card being You Are A Cylon. And then that figure gets even smaller with Baltar/Boomer in player, and with each execution that occurs. It's not impossible, but it's not likely.

That said, my group has gone a long while without seeing a Human victory, so perhaps we'll start off with executions how they are written in Pegasus, at least until my more savvy players realize the exploit.

EDIT: nevermind about the math, I realized where I went wrong. It's not 1/11, it's 2/11. Duh!
 
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Dexter345 wrote:
That said, my group has gone a long while without seeing a Human victory, so perhaps we'll start off with executions how they are written in Pegasus, at least until my more savvy players realize the exploit.


The part I've underlined is key. Let the group organically learn the game. People on BGG tend to find "gamey" rules loopholes more than people in my game groups. I read about this use of executions when we got Pegasus, but I never mentioned it to my play group, and it took a while before that idea came up. Your groups should IMO have the chance to learn it together.
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Roberta Yang
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rmsgrey wrote:
Pegasus loyalty rules offer the humans an advantage in most games; Exodus loyalty rules offer it in fewer than 1/5 (fewer than 1/4 if you include missing sympathisers) games.

But the advantage Pegasus loyalty rules offer humans is far smaller than the advantage Exodus loyalty rules occasionally offer. In Pegasus, the humans may get a slight boost but the Cylons can certainly win, especially if humans are spending all their Skill Cards and Morale on Airlock checks (it's really the Event Crises that offer a free execution as an option that cause problems); in Exodus, if one of the Cylons is left out of the game, the humans will easily win an incredibly boring victory without any serious opposition and you will all have just wasted three hours.

The question should be not "which side gets an advantage how often" (because every change to the game gives one side or the other an advantage; likewise, the Pegasus ship gives humans an advantage in most games, while Conflicted Loyalties give them a disadvantage in most games, but that's no reason to exclude those elements) but "how much can it wreck the game". And nothing wrecks the game more than making it 4 humans versus 1 Cylon (except perhaps that Razor Cut rule that can occasionally make it 2 humans versus 3 Cylons).
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Robert Stewart
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salty53 wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Pegasus loyalty rules offer the humans an advantage in most games; Exodus loyalty rules offer it in fewer than 1/5 (fewer than 1/4 if you include missing sympathisers) games.

But the advantage Pegasus loyalty rules offer humans is far smaller than the advantage Exodus loyalty rules occasionally offer. In Pegasus, the humans may get a slight boost but the Cylons can certainly win, especially if humans are spending all their Skill Cards and Morale on Airlock checks (it's really the Event Crises that offer a free execution as an option that cause problems); in Exodus, if one of the Cylons is left out of the game, the humans will easily win an incredibly boring victory without any serious opposition and you will all have just wasted three hours.

The question should be not "which side gets an advantage how often" (because every change to the game gives one side or the other an advantage; likewise, the Pegasus ship gives humans an advantage in most games, while Conflicted Loyalties give them a disadvantage in most games, but that's no reason to exclude those elements) but "how much can it wreck the game". And nothing wrecks the game more than making it 4 humans versus 1 Cylon (except perhaps that Razor Cut rule that can occasionally make it 2 humans versus 3 Cylons).


The size of the advantage/disadvantage depends on the playgroup - if the humans play a strong collaborative game even when they know there's still at least one Cylon out there, then the missing Cylon is going to be a major advantage. If the group is totally paranoid and unco-operative until both Cylons have revealed themselves, then the undetectable Cylon may even be more effective than a second actual Cylon.

Ultimately, it's a trade-off between an uncommon, but potentially crippling, swing, and a less significant, but permanent swing. I'd rather play a game that's well-balanced 4 games out of 5 and blows up the fifth, than one that's always off-balance.
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Robert
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salty53 wrote:
in Exodus, if one of the Cylons is left out of the game, the humans will easily win an incredibly boring victory without any serious opposition and you will all have just wasted three hours.


FWIW in my last game Cylons won a four player game because of lack of food although there was no Cylon in play. shake

Everything which increases paranoia and uncertainty in BSG is a win for me. Even if it's a nonexisting Cylon.
 
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rmsgrey wrote:
Ultimately, it's a trade-off between an uncommon, but potentially crippling, swing, and a less significant, but permanent swing. I'd rather play a game that's well-balanced 4 games out of 5 and blows up the fifth, than one that's always off-balance.


I would agree with you if the game was 20 or 30 minutes long.
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Pieter
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Also remember that execution costs not only an action and a morale (if it is a human who is executed), but also a big bunch of very useful cards.

Moreover, using executions as an exploit only works for groups who see the game more as an optimization challenge than as a roleplaying experience. In my groups we never execute unless we have serious grounds to suspect that someone is a Cylon.
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Just my take, but I think Pegasus is designed around needing to verify the admiral's loyalty. I can't think of a game where we didn't execute the admiral prior to the fleet jumping back in.
 
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pkmnrckt wrote:
Just my take, but I think Pegasus is designed around needing to verify the admiral's loyalty. I can't think of a game where we didn't execute the admiral prior to the fleet jumping back in.

This can easily lead to a problem, as it did with my group, where the "optimal" human strategy becomes to execute the whole crew and find out who's trustworthy.

Shoot 'em all and let God sort them out, my Uncle Arthur always said. Well, who knew how prophetic those words would be upon the Battlestar Galactica.
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theory wrote:
pkmnrckt wrote:
Just my take, but I think Pegasus is designed around needing to verify the admiral's loyalty. I can't think of a game where we didn't execute the admiral prior to the fleet jumping back in.

This can easily lead to a problem, as it did with my group, where the "optimal" human strategy becomes to execute the whole crew and find out who's trustworthy.

Shoot 'em all and let God sort them out, my Uncle Arthur always said. Well, who knew how prophetic those words would be upon the Battlestar Galactica.


Some games you can't afford to lose 3 morale, never mind all the failed skill checks from throwing all your skill cards out the airlock...
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Assuming 5 players, the only count I play with:

Being short a Cylon in Exodus isn't rare by any means, but my take is that the uncertainty of how many Cylons there really are (Exodus) can stop the humans from playing optimally, so even though having only one Cylon in a five player game makes for a worse game than having 2, having "possibly one Cylon" isn't exactly the same thing. I've seen the "there probably isn't another Cylon" line used to great effect by Cylon players before actually. Not as strong as an actual partner, but still. 1 Cylon isn't always an auto win for the humans, and the uncertainty factor helps that

That's mostly a vote for the Exodus rules, by the way
 
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As someone who's played them in order (unlike nowadays where people tend to pile on the expansions), I probably would advocate using Peg-style loyalty card mechanic. In our group, we have one or 2 people who PREFER to use Peg rules when we're playing Exodus without any PG or FF since they don't like having a left out cylon card.

Only reasons I can think up of are it may confuse people more to have 1 extra loyalty card left over, but as it's BSG with newbies, that was bound to happen anyways.


SirHandsome wrote:
Assuming 5 players, the only count I play with:

Being short a Cylon in Exodus isn't rare by any means, but my take is that the uncertainty of how many Cylons there really are (Exodus) can stop the humans from playing optimally, so even though having only one Cylon in a five player game makes for a worse game than having 2, having "possibly one Cylon" isn't exactly the same thing. I've seen the "there probably isn't another Cylon" line used to great effect by Cylon players before actually. Not as strong as an actual partner, but still. 1 Cylon isn't always an auto win for the humans, and the uncertainty factor helps that

That's mostly a vote for the Exodus rules, by the way
I've had one memorable game where humans barely won with 4 humans vs. 1 cylon. It was a crap shoot anyways. The lone cylon gets mad props for doing that well without an ally, while if it were 3vs2, humans would've been long dead. This was one game where the journey was more important than the destination.
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