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Subject: only skill checks.... rss

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donnie darko
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The first 2 times I played this game was with three people and I absolutely had a blast. And this was even with one player who basically refused to take this game seriously and just basically half assed his entire effort.

I played for my third time today with 4 people (3 of which who took it seriously) and I was very bored. We did not end up finishing and just decided to stop after about an hour and a half.

I read a previous post about someone saying that even with bad players, the game should be able to stand alone, and I agree.

One of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much the first 2 times was because the game itself felt so dynamic and complex which is why even with one player who wasn't really into it, I could just play the game itself and enjoy it.

But the third time i played it, we literally had zero cylon attack crisis cards and not one space battle for 1 and a half hours.

The ENTIRE game was just skill checks. I remember the first 2 games dreading cyclon attack cards and constantly figuring out how to fend off attacks and jump asap while ALSO having to deal with skill checks. It was chaotic and completely fun.

This third game i was actually hoping for a cylon attack but it never came.... just more skill checks...

the 4th player who never took this game seriously actually just left and went to sleep on a couch and i honestly can't blame him.

my friend and i discussed this and he blamed most of it on our 4th player not taking the game seriously and while i agreed, i also know that the game itself could stand on its own, but it didn't this time.

what do you do when you get an entire game with no space battles and all skill checks?

i was telling my friend jokingly we should make it like pandemic and just separate the crisis deck into sections and put one cylon attack crisis card into each section.

im so eager to play again to prove to myself this was a fluke and that this game is awesome.
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Robert Manore
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I'm not a statistics guy, but I do know that in the core Crisis Card deck, there are only 12 Cylon Attack Cards out of the total 70 Crisis Cards. So, I would guess that this is highly unlikely to happen again.

And if I were playing with you and I were an unreaveled Cylon, I would have revealed after ~45 minutes (definately at sleeper phase), just to start pounding the humans with Super Crisis Cards.
 
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Mooseulie Ferenczy
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Sometimes you just get uninteresting crisis draws. The attack card problem is sort of fixed in the Exodus expansion with the Cylon Fleet Board, but I wouldn't rush out to buy it yet if you have only played the game 3 times. Barring the odd unfair crisis deck (in either direction), the base game is probably the most balanced it will ever get.
 
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yjbus wrote:

what do you do when you get an entire game with no space battles and all skill checks?

i was telling my friend jokingly we should make it like pandemic and just separate the crisis deck into sections and put one cylon attack crisis card into each section.

im so eager to play again to prove to myself this was a fluke and that this game is awesome.


Sometimes, the cards are just dealt that way. Since it's a game that has its dependance on die rolls and card draws, each one of those can swing luck to extremes. Ditto with how things go for a satisfying game.

If you do Pandemic style shuffling, you may want to make the piles irregular, as I've heard that people have meta-gamed that by aggressively scouting the deck when a CAC Cylon Attack Card is expected, then going back to not bothering with scouting until the range when the next CAC is due.

I'm certain many will suggest you play with the Exodus expansion's Cylon Fleet Board option/module, where the cylon ship icons always do something.

A quickie variant I can think of off the top of my head includes incrementing a counter (for your own Pursuit track) whenever a cylon ship icon has no effect or a set # of turns without a CAC appearing, and then you can do stuff with that, like reveal cards and resolve the 1st CAC that appears.
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Gert Meyer
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You have stumbled upon the key weakness of the game. The Cylon attack cards can sometimes come out VERY unevenly.

It can swing the other way too with attack followed by attack followed by attack, etc. until the humans lose even before the second jump.

You can either do what I do and shrug it off and simply play again for a different experience the second time around or try to somehow seed the Crisis Deck. Even if you just spread them evenly before shuffling the whole deck together it should prevent too much clumping.

But I would wary of trying any method that would result in ruling out getting 2-3 Cylon attack cards in a row because knowing that risk is there adds a lot of tension.
 
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Allan Clements
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The randomness of cylon attacks is my only gripe against the base game.

The exodus expansion has the Cylon Fleet Board which ensures you will hardly ever get to rest from the Cylon fleet. I highly recommend this (you can ignore everything in the new expansion except the Cylon Fleet board until you feel you are ready for the other modules)

We used to "Pandemic" the deck for the cylon attack cards, but now we always use the Cylon Fleet board in all games. Never a dull game since
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Robert Stewart
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Robman wrote:
And if I were playing with you and I were an unreaveled Cylon, I would have revealed after ~45 minutes (definately at sleeper phase), just to start pounding the humans with Super Crisis Cards.


Base game, you only ever get to play one Super Crisis - you have to trade in your old one to draw a new one. As a Cylon in the base game, if the Cylon Fleet has nothing to offer, you're generally best off using Caprica to dig for the next attack (and throwing crises at the humans' resources in the mean time)

The long, quiet stretches with no Cylon ships around are perfect opportunities for some infighting, backstabbing, politicking, and power-grabbing - for example, taking the presidency off Laura Roslin ASAP lets you extract the maximum benefit from the President's Office...
 
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Ernest Chua
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In the base game, sometimes you just get that. Other times, you are hit with cylon attack cards one after another - see for example http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/797445/and-the-olympic-carri... where we had 5 cylon attack cards in 17 crisis cards.

On a larger BSG philisophical point of view, I think one just has to accept it, like one has to accept that in some games of Settlers of Catan, your settlements on 6 and 8 tiles won't get rolled as much as your opponent's settlements on the 3 and 4 ones.

I personally am not in favour of any deck stacking, but can understand the various ideas involved it. If the lack of cylon ships attacking becomes too much of an issue for you (and your gaming group), I too agree that the Cylon Fleet Board would be something you could enjoy.
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Gert Meyer
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rmsgrey wrote:
The long, quiet stretches with no Cylon ships around are perfect opportunities for some infighting, backstabbing, politicking, and power-grabbing - for example, taking the presidency off Laura Roslin ASAP lets you extract the maximum benefit from the President's Office...


True. The real meat of the game is actually this part. It is often during the skill checks that Cylon suspicions come to the surface. But that part of the game also really falls flat if you have even one player who does not give a damn. Which is what happened in the OP's game.

So the OP would have had a more intense game with more Cylon attacks, yes. But the skill check intrigue could also have led to a lot of tension if all players were on board and fully participating in the social part of the game.
 
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Ade Lewis
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I would say that having a player that from the start is eyeing the sofa for 'forty winks' will have a detrimental effect on any game.

He was tired, did not take it 'seriously' and was new to it?!!, bad combo.

I dont think you have to look very far for the root cause of your bad experience, it was snoring in the front room half way through a game.

We've all had the extremes of BSG card variety in games, but ultimatley its the players that make this game, not the cards and how they fall.
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donnie darko
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smaug007 wrote:
On a larger BSG philisophical point of view, I think one just has to accept it, like one has to accept that in some games of Settlers of Catan, your settlements on 6 and 8 tiles won't get rolled as much as your opponent's settlements on the 3 and 4 ones.


omg I remember playing catan after the super bowl and it being so long and boring that we didn't even finish.

Catan was supposed to be our very user friendly game where you can just sit back and not think too much but i remember that game we literally got 2 numbers 75% of the time and no one could really build anything.

I am now reluctant to play Catan again after that experience but after playing BSG I think, like smagu007 said, both those games were a fluke and I should not expect either to happen again.... i hope...
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Stefaan Henderickx
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I can say I had the same experience, maybe even worse because no one was cylon untill the second part. After 3 hours everyone (all experienced and interested gamers) was glad it was over and said they would rather bang their heads against a brick wall than ever play it again. I had to sell it. If a game-setup makes it possible that the game is boring, no matter how good or involved the players are, it's bad, even if it is good in 80% percent of the setups.
 
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Robert Stewart
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stefaan wrote:
I can say I had the same experience, maybe even worse because no one was cylon untill the second part. After 3 hours everyone (all experienced and interested gamers) was glad it was over and said they would rather bang their heads against a brick wall than ever play it again. I had to sell it. If a game-setup makes it possible that the game is boring, no matter how good or involved the players are, it's bad, even if it is good in 80% percent of the setups.


If you can tell when no-one's Cylon pre-Sleeper without having played the game a lot, then either something's gone wrong, or BSG isn't the game for your group - the game gets a lot more interesting when you're suitably paranoid...
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Chris Hurd
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Just to add some context to the original discussion: who was actually the Cylon? I feel like that has a more critical impact on the game than any of the factors currently being discussed. The game is deep enough that it can be good despite one person's lack of interest, or a lack of cylon attack cards, or both.

It can not, however, survive a lack of antagonism. Thematically it's about humanity trying to survive against the odds. There has to be something to oppose them. That can be either the deck or the traitor players or both, but has to be at least one of them. When the deck fails to provide any tension into the game, it's on the Cylon player(s) to make up for it. In fact, that's why they created mechanics for Cylon players that add tension and conflict: Super Crises and the Cylon board. That's why they're allowed to draw 2 crisis cards and choose the worst one as their action.

For example, I remember reading one session report on BGG about a game where a double cylon never revealed, and made the game painfully long by doing so. http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/694707/worst-game-evar

So I think one potential take-away from this is to make sure the Cylon players know that they need to be nefarious. That may require some additional explanation at the beginning of the game. It will be worth the time to make sure that both sides are engaged in opposing each other. That may also require finding more nefarious players, but that's really your call.
 
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Patrick R
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yjbus wrote:
i was telling my friend jokingly we should make it like pandemic and just separate the crisis deck into sections and put one cylon attack crisis card into each section.

Why jokingly? That's exactly what our group did after the first game. Having zero attacks is just as unfun as having all of them bunched together at once. One feels unfair for the humans while the other is unfair for the Cylon players. This little bit of deck rigging fixes both of those problems while still leaving some unpredictability.

The Exodus expansion might also be worthwhile for you, since it completely changes the way Cylon attacks are handled.
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Cody Baker
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+1 for Cylon Fleet Board from Exodus. I only played the base game twice before getting Exodus and while I didn't mind the CAC, the CFB feels much more organic and can be more exciting. It's probably less thematic, but its better for the board game. I've yet to even try the Ionian Nebula...
 
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donnie darko
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I will do that next time then

I guess I should have mentioned that 1. The 4th, uninterested player was the cylon which he got in the beginning of the game but of course he did not really play the role... 2. We did encounter 2 cyclon attack crisis cards but we had a sharon boomer player who scouted them and put them on the bottom of the deck.

I don't really want to get the expansion simply because I want to first establish that this base game is viable among my friends. I want the game itself to prove to me its consistently fun...

I will definitely set up the deck the next time we play.
 
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Gert Meyer
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yjbus wrote:
The 4th, uninterested player was the cylon which he got in the beginning of the game but of course he did not really play the role...


No game of BSG - no matter how perfect the card distribution - will ever survive this. One of the human players snoozing, maybe. But active and malicious Cylons are key for a tense game.
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donnie darko
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yeah.... time to find a new 4th...

but, the 2nd time I played, that guy was the cylon but the game itself was difficult and complex enough that me and my other friend were so busy just trying to beat the game itself.

he half-assed that game as well but me and my friend still loved playing.

I can't even imagine how fun this game would be if all the players were really into the game AND the game itself was fun.

But I just can't ignore the fact that I had a session like the one I did. Regardless of who I play with next time, I want to avoid having a game like that again.

 
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Robert Stewart
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Stacking the Crisis Deck isn't going to help if Roslin or Boomer (or anyone who draws a lot of Tactics) just keeps scouting the attack crises away...

Next time things start dragging mid-game, try making something happen - play an Executive Order on the President to dig through the Quorum Deck, or move to Administration and elect yourself President, or accuse someone at random of being a Cylon and see whether they defend themselves or not (bonus points if you can come up with an even vaguely plausible reason )
 
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Stefaan Henderickx
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rmsgrey wrote:
stefaan wrote:
I can say I had the same experience, maybe even worse because no one was cylon untill the second part. After 3 hours everyone (all experienced and interested gamers) was glad it was over and said they would rather bang their heads against a brick wall than ever play it again. I had to sell it. If a game-setup makes it possible that the game is boring, no matter how good or involved the players are, it's bad, even if it is good in 80% percent of the setups.


If you can tell when no-one's Cylon pre-Sleeper without having played the game a lot, then either something's gone wrong, or BSG isn't the game for your group - the game gets a lot more interesting when you're suitably paranoid...


Why would you try to make everyone paranoid when you are a good guy?

When all skillchecks succeed, I do not need to be a rocketscientist to know everyone is a good guy.
 
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Robert Stewart
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stefaan wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
stefaan wrote:
I can say I had the same experience, maybe even worse because no one was cylon untill the second part. After 3 hours everyone (all experienced and interested gamers) was glad it was over and said they would rather bang their heads against a brick wall than ever play it again. I had to sell it. If a game-setup makes it possible that the game is boring, no matter how good or involved the players are, it's bad, even if it is good in 80% percent of the setups.


If you can tell when no-one's Cylon pre-Sleeper without having played the game a lot, then either something's gone wrong, or BSG isn't the game for your group - the game gets a lot more interesting when you're suitably paranoid...


Why would you try to make everyone paranoid when you are a good guy?

When all skillchecks succeed, I do not need to be a rocketscientist to know everyone is a good guy.


Because the poor naive fools are liable to give the Cylon in their midst the perfect opportunity to destroy them? One of the most effective Cylons I've seen was the guy who sat as Admiral the whole game, helping pass checks comfortably as the distance crept up and the fuel crept down. And then someone got Riots for their Crisis and the Admiral said "y'know what? I think we'll lose that last point of fuel."

Anyway, it's more important that people enjoy the game enough to want to finish it and play again another time than that you play in the way that maximises your chances of winning that particular game (or at least would maximise it if the game were to be played out)
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Don't forget the scouting done by Boomer, Roslin and anyone scouting the Crisis Deck. It's very possible to have zero Cylon attacks happen for this reason.

 
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