The Cyborganizer
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It was about one in the morning on Saturday night, and I was wandering around the board game hall at Gencon. I spotted a few people setting up a game of Battlestar Galactica, and asked them if they were looking for more players. They said, "Sure, why not?"

Thus began the most intense game of Battlestar Galactica I've ever played.

Pegasus with New Caprica, 5 players, cylon leader trying to get humans to win after playing a super crisis, no cylon before the sleeper agent phase. (We didn't know this at the time, of course.) So we're basically doing OK, and then the sleeper phase hits, and shortly thereafter everything goes to hell. Someone plays a pilot card into a skill check where it doesn't belong, and Apollo is somehow convinced that it was me, Adama, even though I don't draw piloting. He was positive that he had seen me draw one with a Consolidate Power. I was pretty sure that it was Apollo, since this accusation came out of nowhere. We make it to New Caprica, he tries to execute me in the Resistance HQ, he fails. I do the only reasonable thing and try to execute him right back. I succeed, and... he's not a cylon. He pulls Cain as his replacement, and now I'm thinking that it's Tyrol, who kept picking up piloting cards here and there, and I'm pretty sure he's the one who played to have me executed.

Here's where it gets weird. Roslin brigs me, but then tries to execute Tyrol, claiming she was confused and didn't know who was the cylon. I figure, why wouldn't she have focused on just one of us? Because she's the cylon, of course. So now I'm shifting my accusation, and everyone's just looking at me like I'm a raving lunatic, which is understandable, because I have now accused literally every other player of being a cylon. I try to XO Cain, who's frantically freeing up ships, to prove my loyalty, but no dice - Roslin tries to execute me again, and this time it sticks. I die, and come back on Galactica as Saul Tigh.

Roslin finally reveals, and screws us over big time by replacing the destiny deck with all treachery as her special reveal power. We're failing crises left and right, because both Tyrol and Cain are in the brig and are spending all their cards just to try to get out. Our resources are low, we've got light raiders closing in on all the civvies we've managed to rescue, and Galactica and Pegasus are both badly damaged. But, with lots of XOs, we manage to get down to two civilian ships on New Caprica. Trouble is, we're at two morale, and we've got about six light raiders in the same section as six civvies. We can't risk having another crisis activate the light raiders.

Cain came up on the last ship, so it's just Tyrol down there now. He plays his last XO, and looks over at me.

"Punch it," he says.

It's the right move. I take the special admiral action, and Galactica jumps away.

Tyrol is executed, so we're down to one morale. We flip over the first ship, and it's one population. All right, fine, we can take it, we've got four left. We flip over the second. I hold my breath.

Two icons. Population, and…

Fuel.

My fellow humans cheer. We won. By the barest skin of our teeth, we somehow pulled it off.

It’s 4:30 AM. I shake the other players' hands and stumble off towards my rental car - my flight leaves in a few hours. This was the end of my first Gencon, and I’ll remember both the game and the con for years to come.

A postscript for the other players in the game: I’m sorry I was “rules-lawyering”! I was trying to be helpful, since you guys hadn’t played Pegasus before, but I probably went too far. You’re right that if nobody plays into a skill check, who cares about the destiny deck. And I’m sorry that I was rough with the components - specifically, that I bent back one of the pages in the rulebook, and sort of tossed one of the brand new plastic basestars down onto the board - I got a little excited towards the end. I’m sure you guys are even now telling the story of “that obnoxious kid we wasted our time playing BSG”, but thank you for letting me in on the game.
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Darren Nakamura
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TheCyborganizer wrote:
You’re right that if nobody plays into a skill check, who cares about the destiny deck.


Nah, they're not right. One of the benefits of tanking a skill check is that you get two know two cards that are explicitly not in the Destiny deck any more. So if you tank a check and two Piloting or Engineering or Treachery come up, then you know any past or future spikes within that particular Destiny deck in those skill sets had to have come from a player.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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On another note, I find that games with strangers tend to be the best for the heart of BSG. The players in my group all know each other well enough now (and they know I spend a lot of time here discussing strategy) that it's really difficult to pull off some really great treachery. Adding unknown players into the mix shakes things up and makes things interesting again.
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The Cyborganizer
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Dexter345 wrote:
TheCyborganizer wrote:
You’re right that if nobody plays into a skill check, who cares about the destiny deck.


Nah, they're not right. One of the benefits of tanking a skill check is that you get two know two cards that are explicitly not in the Destiny deck any more. So if you tank a check and two Piloting or Engineering or Treachery come up, then you know any past or future spikes within that particular Destiny deck in those skill sets had to have come from a player.


Of course, I was technically right, but at this stage in the game it didn't matter. We knew who all the cylons were, and we were all too tired to keep track of what cards had already come out of the deck.

Agreed on BSG with strangers, though. I think that's part of what made this game so much fun for me - I didn't know any of the other players.
 
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