Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Should I get expansions? If yes, which? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dmitry Volevodz
Russia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I have just ordered the game, it is going to arrive soon, and probably I will have a chance to play it next week. I have played once before and loved it. I will introduce it to my gaming group, none of them played it and I hope they will like it.
Question is, how many plays should we do before getting the expansions? And what expansion is better, or should I just get both? Or don't bother with them at all?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Montgomery
United States
Modesto
California
flag msg tools
badge
The Shipyard - Star Trek Attack Wing spoilers and reviews
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd give the base game at least 5 plays.

After that, you'll be able to figure out what you're missing in a game.

Exodus expansion does a lot of good things. It has 3 modules which can be mixed and matched in any way you want. One module places a greater emphasis on the cylon fleet, and makes piloting a lot more fun. Another module adds some complexity to the loyalty cards, while keeping the mix of cylons to humans. It does leave one card undrawn, so you may not have a 2nd cylon, which is a fun tension in it's own right. It also adds a new way to end, but I've never gotten there in all the games I've played.

I think Exodus is worth it just for the fleet board and the loyalty cards.

The Pegasus Expansion brings in the Battlestar Pegasus. This gives the humans a lot more toys to play with. It also introduces executions to the game, which are a way to get rid of those pesky cylons, or those pesky humans depending on your loyalty.
Pegasus also brings in New Caprica, but that's not my favorite way to play the game.

I like Pegasus for the new characters and the new battlestar, plus the plastic basestars.
Exodus has better modules.

Both add in new skill cards, which are a nice contrast. I'd lean towards saying that the Pegasus ones are better but the Exodus ones aren't bad.

I personally own both, and have no desire to change that.

I think the game can be considered complete with just Pegasus. I'm not sure that the same is true of Exodus.

Ultimately, it depends on what you're looking for. More toys for humans - Pegaus. More toys for cylons and more intrigue for the humans to figure out - Exodus.
8 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Short answer: It depends.

Long answer:

You'll get different people recommending either expansion, both expansions, or just sticking with the base game. Each is a valid opinion - it depends on personal taste and the circumstances of your gaming group.

The base game is well-balanced and self-contained, but has a few issues that are addressed by the expansions: Investigative Committees may make it too easy for the humans; if a Cylon is capable of doing more damage as a "human" than from the Cylon locations, then there's nothing humans can do except keep throwing them in the Brig; from time to time, you'll get a game where there are no Cylon ships on the board for most of the game, and not much for the humans to do; the Sympathiser mechanic, while fairly good for game balance, is not much fun for the player who suddenly finds themself cast out as a Cylon.

Pegasus is well-balanced and addresses most of the problems with the base game, but relies on the assumption that you will be playing to New Caprica - if you aren't, then the game will be off-balance. It also adds a lot of complication to the game - treachery, reckless interrupts, movement abilities, Pegasus itself. And some of the attempted fixes to the base game have problems themselves - notably the ability to use execution as a way to prove someone's humanity, and the New Caprica phase, which a lot of people dislike.

Exodus is less well-integrated than Pegasus - rather than a set of interlocking rules that come as a single package, it comes as (at least) four modules: the core Exodus components work fairly well, apart from a couple of cards that tacitly assume you're playing with the Cylon Fleet Board; Conflicted Loyalties has a fairly minimal effect on the game, but may give Cylons just the boost they need once humans start winning too easily; the Cylon Fleet Board replaces the base-game's randomly appearing Cylon Attack Crises with a more predictable, more relentless build-up of Cylon ships - which you prefer depends on whether you prefer to avoid the long stretches with no Cylon ships, or prefer to have unpredictable attacks, with the occasional strike in overwhelming force (when you get two or more attack crises in quick succession); the Ionian Nebula adds a whole other mini-game of trauma management on top of the basic gameplay - most of the time, you can get away with ignoring it more-or-less entirely, but the risk of doing so is that you get eliminated from the game with half-an-hour (or more) still to go.


The other question is how quickly to add in the expansions if you choose to get them. There, again, different people will have different preferences. One camp advocates playing the base game until your group gets bored and is ready for some variety; another favours starting out with everything included; a third recommends starting out with the base game, but adding new elements each time you play - treating the first few games as cut-down learning games for the final version. Each approach has pros and cons, and which is best depends on your group.

Playing just the base game for a long time, and then introducing expansions for variety offers the best chance for players to get the hang of the game in its simplest form - beginning groups often find the Cylons winning more often than not, and adding more options in too early makes it harder to tell the difference between good and bad ones. On the other hand, the expansions do shift human priorities, and a group that's comfortable with the base game may find that the Cylons suddenly start walking away with the game too often again without realising that they need to adapt to the new conditions. I know people who got comfortable with the base game, and are unhappy playing with any expansions as a result.

Starting with the expansions you want to include already in place means that your group can learn the version of the game they'll end up playing, so there's never going to be the need to unlearn things that worked with other combinations of components, but, that only works if you're willing to commit to at least a basic core of expansion components that will always be included, otherwise they're going to have to learn simpler variations at some point anyway. The biggest problem with this approach is that, for many people, the game plus expansions is just going to be too steep a learning curve for them to get anywhere - if they can't make sense of any of it because there's too much going on, they're not going to learn for later.

Starting with just the base game and adding the expansions over several plays has the advantage of letting players get to grips with the simplest version first and keep adding to their understanding rather than being hit by an overwhelming amount of details in one go, lets you treat the first few games as cut-down learning/teaching games building to the full experience rather than self-contained games with bits added later, and means you and your players know several versions of the game for variety in future. On the other hand, there are a number of places where the expansion rules not only expand upon the base game rules, but outright contradict them, so you're looking at teaching two or three different versions of the same game mechanic and expecting the group to unlearn the old ones. Also, dribbling out the new elements over several games can create the impression that there's no end in sight - that there will never be a chance to just play the game with familiar rules rather than having to learn something new every time.


Myself, I like playing with the Cylon Fleet Board, and the Exodus characters, but don't like New Caprica and am less sold on the Pegasus components, so, if I were in your position, but had my knowledge, I'd buy base and Exodus and consider Pegasus depending on how the first couple of plays went - playing with the Cylon Fleet Board in play from the first game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mks
Poland
Loguivy
CĂ´tes d'Armor, Bretagne
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
short answer: unfortunately yes - both.
without cylon flote, for example, there may be very well not enough tension in the space (making pilots completely useless). I usually play with bsPegasus for its firepower and interesting choices with execution and engines. New Caprica is rather not necessary. I cannot say for the private objectives and trauma from Exodus - I haven't played with that one yet.
moreover you get additional speciality cards with each expansion (you might have noticed that in the base game, there are only two types per speciality) which got me bored in my very first game.
with both expansions, I can play BSG every week with my group.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M. B. Downey
United States
Suitland
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stick with the base game for a long time (a dozen plays at least), then come back and tell us what parts of the game, if any, you dislike. Then we can give you a better answer.

Otherwise people will just tell you what they like and dislike.

For example, some people strongly encourage using the Cylon Fleet Board from Exodus, because it makes pilots "less boring". I strongly disagree, as the game is not about shooting things out in space. Your mileage may vary. That's why you need to play it a bunch and figure out what you and your group like and dislike.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mooseulie Ferenczy
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
What the guy above me said.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
flag msg tools
Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
badge
I take my fun very seriously.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some good answers above. This question gets asked regularly (check the forum) and often people start to defend their personal play preference. That's less the case here.

One remark of my own to add: realize that the base game was released a year before the first expansion hit the market, and was already a really, really popular game at the time. So expansions are not needed to make the game an enjoyable experience. Not only that, it was considered an enjoyable experience both by people who now prefer to play with the expansions and those who do not like to play with the expansions. So clearly you do not need the expansions right now, and you might like the game less with the expansions added in.

The goal of these expansions is NOT to make the base game better. It is to make the base game sufficiently different to keep it from getting stale for people who have played it a lot. By adding in expansions too quickly you are robbing yourself of the excellent experience that the base game is.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Flyboy Connor wrote:


The goal of these expansions is NOT to make the base game better. It is to make the base game sufficiently different to keep it from getting stale for people who have played it a lot. By adding in expansions too quickly you are robbing yourself of the excellent experience that the base game is.
I don't quite see it that way.... you can always start with expansions, then go back to base game. Nothing's stopping you there. It's like playing a game, then playing another less complicated game after that. For a couple of BSG games... played base game after with all the trimmings... another one with all exp, but without any optional modules...

One person commented that while the CAC was neat, he still preferred CFB. The other 2 could not be reached for comment.


I've mentioned this before and I'll mention it again (quite the theme these message boards have eh)... some people have gone so far to say BSG base game ain't necessary.... if you want a semi-co-op game (iwo, coop with traitor), games like Shadows Over Camelot is a much better way to ease new players into that genre.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ackmondual wrote:
Flyboy Connor wrote:


The goal of these expansions is NOT to make the base game better. It is to make the base game sufficiently different to keep it from getting stale for people who have played it a lot. By adding in expansions too quickly you are robbing yourself of the excellent experience that the base game is.
I don't quite see it that way.... you can always start with expansions, then go back to base game. Nothing's stopping you there. It's like playing a game, then playing another less complicated game after that. For a couple of BSG games... played base game after with all the trimmings... another one with all exp, but without any optional modules...

One person commented that while the CAC was neat, he still preferred CFB. The other 2 could not be reached for comment.


I've mentioned this before and I'll mention it again (quite the theme these message boards have eh)... some people have gone so far to say BSG base game ain't necessary.... if you want a semi-co-op game (iwo, coop with traitor), games like Shadows Over Camelot is a much better way to ease new players into that genre.


There is a (understandable) tendency for people to prefer the first version they play of a game, all else being equal. For players who played the base game for a year or two before getting expansions, that's the base game. For latecomers like me, well, my actual first game was with base+exodus core, and I bought both expansions with my copy of the game, and have played more games with expansion components than without (another factor that tends to influence preferences). Unless there's a mismatch between your preferences and your group's preferences, it doesn't make a lot of difference.

As for alternate hidden-traitor games, my group favours The Resistance - could probably be played in 20 minutes, we take about an hour because of all the arguing, accusations, counter-accusations and general social gaming going on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allan Clements
Norway
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Turns out Esseb did touch the flag. Don't tell him I said so though.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My personal opinion is that the base game is awesome, but the cylon fleet board (from Exodus) fixes my only complaint with the base game (random cylon attacks lead to awesome games or awful games)

But as others have said, play the base game a bit first.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Get both expansions, but I agree you would do fine sticking with the base game for at least a few plays. The base game is great at first, but I don't really like going back to it after playing the full game because both expansions fix some problems with the base game that you won't even realize exist.

They aren't perfect expansions (each has its own problems) but they're very modular and adaptable to form the style of game you want.

Final argument: Plastic Basestars. Nuff said.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Sutherland
msg tools
mbmb
As long as you realize the game will change when you add the expansions. Scouting the Crisis deck to avoid Cylon Fleet cards goes away when you introduce the Cylon Fleet Board for instance.

Basically the humans will lose for awhile, figure out how to play and start willing more then you will introduce the new games and the humans will again start losing more before retuning to find a way to win.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.