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Subject: Still No Good at Being Trai... I mean, Cylon... rss

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Marc Q
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Okay, so anyone who has read any of my previous "Shadows Over Camelot" session reports will quickly notice two things:
1. I love the game, and
2. I make a lousy traitor.

It's just not in my blood. I can't win at the expense of everyone else... while a good argument was raised last time (namely, that the game is more fun if it's challenging to win!), that doesn't change the fact that I think the traitor/Cylon's have things very heavily stacked in their favour, and it doesn't seem fun for the loyal knights/humans to fight against overwhelming odds just to be screwed out of a victory at the last moment. Next time, I'm sure I'll play a bit more blood-thirsty, but this time...

But you'll excuse me. I'm starting from the middle.
Basically, a dear friend (Hwan) decided to come over and play some games today. We started out nice and easy... finally getting King of the Elves on the table, and then I managed to rope them into playing BSG... a game I received from my awesome Secret Santa this year and have been dying to try!

We punched tokens, arranged the board, and I set my girlfriend, Andy, to reading the rules and trying to figure out how we play... a ploy I selected to increase her interest in the game. Andy HATES Shadows Over Camelot, and I hoped that by getting her to explain the rules she'd be a bit more engaged in the game.

She selected President Rosalin (sp?), I took Apollo, and Hwan nabbed Adama... which, in retrospect, left us completely without an Engineer (oops!). I blame Hwan... but, of course, we barely understood the game, much less the importance of having somebody who drew each kind of card.

The Loyalty deck was prepped, and I had a momentary flash of panic... 1 out of 3 of us would be the Cylon. I'm not a good Cylon... so, of course, on the first draw, who gets the Cylon card?

Anyway. The Cylon card I got was the Boomer one (where you can send somebody to Sickbay when you reveal yourself).

We started gameplay pretty slowly, with the starting Basestar hitting the Galactica on the first turn and knocking out the hanger (I was already in space with the two other Vipers, which I assumed was where Apollo was supposed to start). Not an auspicious start, since, as mentioned before... no Engineers. Ah well! The basestar pounded the Galactica again on the next turn (knocking out a unit of fuel), but then we successfully jumped away shortly after (I managed to wipe out the Raiders without too much difficulty... although I'm not sure if a Viper pilot is allowed to attack twice while flying a Viper instead of doing a different action... or if he can attack 5 times if he plays a "Massive Attack" piloting card...?)
Our first jump was to the fuel-giving planet (Tyr-something?), which Adama successfully got us to refuel at. All the Crisis were being handily solved, and even our second jump into an asteroid field (3 distance, 2 fuel, and 2 destroyed civilian ships with a total of 3 population) didn't dent the Galactica much. The Sleeper round proceeded (me already being the Cylon, didn't note the round much), with now my two companions even more alert to the possibility of a Cylon.

I managed to sabotage a Crisis into costing the Galactica some morale, but by bad luck Andy (as President Rosalin) choose not to play any cards into the Skill Check, and as a result the suspicion was completely on Hwan and myself. Curses!

At one point a combination of Cylon Swarm and Ambush resulted in 2 basestars, 12 raiders, and 1 heavy raider surrounding the Galactica and her 5 civilian ships... but did it matter? No. The Galactica jumped before the raiders could even reach the undefended civilian ships (although the basestars did damage the Galactica's Weapon Controls and Command rooms, basically disarming the humans completely!). I tried my best to focus on blasting raiders (leaving the more deadly Heavy Raiders to hopefully land), but no luck... a successful jump to a barren planet (fuel 2, distance 2), followed by a successful "Ancient Ruins" card (adding 1 to the distance) meant that the humans were within striking distance of victory without major stress!

At this point my luck finally turned somewhat, with a few great (awful) Crises resulting in severe drops in fuel (3), food (2), and morale (4). Adama declared Martial Law, taking the presidency (which I used to deflect suspicion away from me), and Andy managed a successful Witchhunt to look at one of Hwan's Loyalty cards (despite it being Human, she remained suspicous of him for taking the presidency until the end of the game!).

Still, it wasn't enough. Rosalin's ability to look at two Crisi at a time and choose one (despite Andy's belly-aching about having to pay 2 cards to do a Location Action) proved too powerful for my weak-ass Cyloning. The humans "risked" an emergency jump (with 6 population, not really a risk), and successfully won the game.

I really enjoyed the game (thankfully, Andy did too!), and I look forward to pulling it out again... hopefully soon!

But I really hope I don't pull the Cylon again!
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J. Chris Miller
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I agree. I am practically incapable of playing these types of traitor mystery role games. I absolutely cannot hide the fact that I am a traitor, because most of the time I'm in deep thought of how to pull off a victory, and it shows. I tend to not like co-op games in general though, so that's probably a part of it. Thanks for your report.
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Darren Nakamura
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It's also very difficult as a Cylon in a three-player game to do anything bad and remain under the radar, simply because there are so few suspects. If you liked it with three, then just wait to see where it goes from here. It's a much better game with five or six.
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Robert Stewart
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To asnwer your various questions:

She's spelt Roslin, but I've seen the extra 'a' thrown in before. She also makes a pretty good mechanic if you don't have anyone handy to repair things with - she draws a lot of Consolidate Power and using one to draw two Engineering cards then using a Repair on the next turn is a good way of avoiding having to discard two cards to be able to do something useful...

You can also use the Research Lab to try to draw repair cards.

Starbuck's allowed to attack twice if she started her turn piloting, but other pilots are limited to moving up to one sector (or landing), then attacking once (or moving a second time, or playing an action from a card - like Maximum Firepower for 4 attacks).

As a Cylon, if you want Heavy Raiders to be dangerous, your best approach is to reveal and go cheer them on from the Cylon Fleet location - as a revealed Cylon, you can choose between playing your SuperCrisis, picking the worse of the next two crises to throw at the humans without resolving jump icons (unless you're using an expansion) or the Cylon ship activation, resolving any Cylon ship activation of your choice, or shooting at Galactica directly. With two basestars around and no engineers, I'd have been tempted to play basestars fire


In general, there's quite a lot of luck in Galactica - as a Cylon, you win by identifying when the luck is against the humans and giving things an extra nudge to finish them off; as a human, you win by recognising when to play safe, and when you need to gamble. On either team, if the cards and the dice are against you, you're not going to be able to turn it around.
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Darren Nakamura
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rmsgrey wrote:
She's spelt Roslin, but I've seen the extra 'a' thrown in before.


While we're on stuff like this, the plural to "crisis" is "crises."
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M. B. Downey
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Yeah, and her last name is Roslin, not her first (which is Laura). That might help you remember it is not Rosalin or Rosalind or Rosey or any other derivative.
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Marc Q
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Thanks for the answers and hints! It really is a great game, a lot of fun to be had. I suppose I could have looked up "Roslin", but that smacks of effort.

I like "crisi" as the plural of "crisis", although it is unquestionably wrong.

However, I have to say, despite not being a very good traitor (yet!), I do really love these kinds of games. Hopefully I can get a few more playthroughs in, and then I can start thinking about snagging the expansions!
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M. B. Downey
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If you go into the video section on the BSG page, you'll find a series (called "Traitor") that shows an actual 6 player game from start to finish, complete with individual interviews containing suspicions of each player between turns (though the cylons lie).

They do get several rules wrong and don't play very efficiently, but you can see XOs, ICs, and the Quorum in action at times and why they're helpful.
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Chris Hurd
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If you're not good at hiding your loyalty card, you can just reveal. There are multiple paths to victory, and sabotaging skill checks is only one of them. What I got from this story is that you didn't explore all your options. In a three player game, with the sick bay cylon card, you definitely should have revealed.

Wait for a time where people's hand sizes are small, hit the person whose turn is immediately after yours, then use a skill check super crisis next turn before their hands recover. That's a really simple move to put you back into contention in that game. If you had done it when there were 2 basestars, 12 raiders, a heavy, and 5 ships on the board, even better.

By nature of you not being on the board, you cut their supply to piloting cards and reduce the number of potential jump icons. You hope for a super crisis with red and blue colors (which is Bomb on Colonial One). Then you do some work in the Resurrection Fleet, which has other options you never got to explore.
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Marc Q
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Excellent advice, and probably along the lines of what I'll do next time we gather to play (in a few weeks!). But in general my inability to be a traitor isn't completely that I don't know what to do (although that's part of it)... it's mostly a difficulty on my part to win at the expense of others.

I mean, yes, there were at least a couple moments that I could have revealed and either won the game (or at least come damn, damn close). But I didn't want to ruin everyone else's enjoyment of the game! I don't really care if I win or lose, but I've learnt that I'm something of an exception there, and most other people prefer winning.

But now that the people I'm playing with know the game, I don't mind giving them a bigger challenge... and being a Cylon is kinda fun (although I freely admit I'm still not cut-throat enough!)
 
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