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Subject: Manipulating the Loyality Cards deck rss

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thestor thestor
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My friends and I are rather new to the BSG boardgame. We generally like the game, but with two Cylon agents, we feel luck plays to big a roll. The problem is you could have two Cylon infiltrators right of the start or none at all until the sleeper phase, which makes a huge difference. Two Cylons from begin on won the last game easily (though poor human luck with crisis cards made also a huge difference). But when both Cylons only appear after the sleeper phase, humans can usually win easily. So a player suggested for next time dividing the loyalty cards deck into two, one for immediate distribution and one for the sleeper phase, and put one Cyclon card into each, so there definitely would be one Cylon from the start, but the second only after half th distance.

What do you think? Do you feel the same about this issue? Or are we doing it wrong maybe?
 
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Hendrik R
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That is a problem, but it's not as big as you might think. If both Cylons are in game from the beginning and play aggressively, that can indeed be hard for the humans. That is not necessarily optimal Cylon play, though. If you get a You Are A Cylon card at start, you have no way of knowing whether there is a second Cylon, and usually, if you do something that identifies you as a Cylon, the four humans will just put you in the Brig. So you can either hide and play pro-human, or reveal as a Cylon, or take chances and play aggressively without actually revealing.

Maybe in your games the Cylons did the latter and got away with it because there was another one to cover them and spike Brig checks? Then some contrary experiences as getting the lone Cylon brigged might turn your game group's opinion after another few games. Or did the Cylons actually reveal and cause trouble from the Cylon locations? That is usually not overly effective, especially in the base game. If that's the case, maybe you need a bit more experience on how to play better for the humans (making god use of Executive Orders, knowing when to attempt skill checks and when to accept the fail, scouting the Destination Deck, etc.).

If you do divide the loyalty deck like you propose, you add a significant part of information to the game. The lone Cylon would always know that he's alone, play accordingly, making each of your games more similar to each other. Your games will also lose on the deduction side, as now you only have to answer the question who the one Cylon is, not whether there actually is one, or maybe even two.
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Dante
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Well said.

I can emphasise with the OP, as on my first play it was difficult to know exactly what the humans can do to combat the Cylons. At least until we had become familiar with the cards, people tended to save up for skills checks and forget all about their powers - like the Executive Orders. Maybe enforcing one Cylon at the beginning and another after sleeper phase is a fair idea for the first game, but certainly not after that for the reasons mentioned above.
 
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Pieter
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The OP is of course right that having two Cylons from the start is a lot harder than having two Cylons as sleeper-agents. It seems the game is balanced towards having exactly one sleeper. That is not to say that it is impossible to win for the humans with two starting Cylons, or that it is impossible to win for two sleeper Cylons. But there is an advantage/disadvantage situation for sure.

However, let me say this: if all players are humans at the start and all play the game without any regard for the fact that they may turn into sleeper Cylons, then the two humans that turn Cylon usually are royally screwed. Experienced players do not play as full humans until they are certain of their loyalty. That does not mean that they spike checks, but they will try to enter the sleeper-agent phase at distance 4, with a full hand of skill cards, their OPG available, and preferably one of the two titles. Holding back a bit before the sleeper-agent phase is sound tactics for a human. Therefore, with experienced players the chances are relatively more balanced than with novice players.
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Pasi Ojala
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Experienced players do not play as full humans until they are certain of their loyalty.


For me it changes from game to game. Sometime I go all out for humans from the beginning, sometimes do the bare minimum to keep the boat floating. I don't like to play predictably.

But you are correct, that if the opportunity present itself, I try to conserve cards, preferably big cards, until sleeper. The last time I was holding both State of Emergency and Build Nuke for almost the whole game. I did not get to be a cylon, and in the end both cards were used in skill checks instead of as actions, but they were a good insurance if things were to go the other way.
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thestor thestor
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We are all indeed lacking in experience. If you don't mind me derailing the thread a bit, isn't Executive Order a virtual must use? If two players are at the same place, wouldn't they be better of XOing each other than doing it themselves? What other cards are generally underestimated? Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise? Tanks in advance
 
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Robert Stewart
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thestor wrote:
We are all indeed lacking in experience. If you don't mind me derailing the thread a bit, isn't Executive Order a virtual must use? If two players are at the same place, wouldn't they be better of XOing each other than doing it themselves? What other cards are generally underestimated? Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise? Tanks in advance


Executive Orders are good because they let you get two actions for the price of one action and a card (provided someone else is already somewhere useful).

Executive Orders are bad because they cost you a card and an action, and give actions to someone who may not be on your side. Anyone who's been playing long enough has a story of the time they gave someone an XO and got horribly stabbed in the back (one of the classics is the 5 player game where a Cylon reveals, sending another player to the Brig. That player then plays Executive Order on the President, who promptly plays two Arrest Orders on the other two players and then has the run of the ships...)
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Pasi Ojala
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thestor wrote:
Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise?


They read too much tactical advice and avoid making their own mistakes. devil

I like learning the games by playing. When all the players in our group starts learning a game at the same time, we end up with the most fun games as both funny and horrible mistakes may be made, and it isn't a question of who is a bad player.

(Yes, XO is a powerful tool that can save your asses in tight situations, but it can also bite you in the ankle or neck. So weigh the benefits against the possibility of XO backfiring.)
 
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Janne
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thestor wrote:
So a player suggested for next time dividing the loyalty cards deck into two, one for immediate distribution and one for the sleeper phase, and put one Cyclon card into each, so there definitely would be one Cylon from the start, but the second only after half the distance.


Another suggestion, or rather a refinement.

Take one random cylon card, then shuffle the remaining loyalty cards to be used in the game (1 cylon card and 8 boring human cards) and take 4 from those to be shuffled with the first cylon card. Shuffle and then deal those 5 cards at the beginning of the game and the rest at the sleeper phase. This way there will be at least one but not necessarily two cylons from the start.

Adjust the number of cards depending on Baltar and Boomer being in the game.

This will probably make the game easier for cylons. (With Exodus rules this might be a good thing, as there is a possibility of having only a single cylon for half of the game in a 5 player game, as there's always one single card undealt in loyalty deck)

 
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Hendrik R
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Our game group was actually at a similar spot after about a dozen games or so. We had a streak of games with no pre-sleeper Cylons that turned out one-sided and comparatively boring. What did the trick for us was including the Cylon Fleet Board from the Exodus expansion. We needed several games until we had adjusted to the new mechanics and humans came close to winning again. I don't know whether your group is in a similar spot.
 
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thestor thestor
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I do not have the exodus expansion yet. I got a luck at the rulebook and I feel unsure about it, it looks awfully complicated, most people in our round have played the game only twice so far. Last round, we might have had really bad luck with the cards, especially at the end very few with jump points, but by round three, there must have been five Cylon fleet cards been played. Helena Cain had to use her OPG before the very first jump due to too many Cylons raiders and too unprotected civilians. Basestar firing got a char in sickbay before he could do anything, well you get the picture.

Not to mention we overdid it on the first few tests, waiting cards. I wonder if we should try to let one guy solve tests (if feasible only of course), otherwise there tends to be a lot of wasteful overkill.

EDIT; Gotta go, but remind me to tell you off a nice trick we figured out (though too late to use for us). A question related to it, if you XO a character and he causes a skill check (brig or airlock), from what player do you start playing cards, first to the left from the active player or the one who initiated the test? Oh, and you figure out the trick yet?
 
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Euron Greyjoy
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rmsgrey wrote:
thestor wrote:
We are all indeed lacking in experience. If you don't mind me derailing the thread a bit, isn't Executive Order a virtual must use? If two players are at the same place, wouldn't they be better of XOing each other than doing it themselves? What other cards are generally underestimated? Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise? Tanks in advance


Executive Orders are good because they let you get two actions for the price of one action and a card (provided someone else is already somewhere useful).

Executive Orders are bad because they cost you a card and an action, and give actions to someone who may not be on your side. Anyone who's been playing long enough has a story of the time they gave someone an XO and got horribly stabbed in the back (one of the classics is the 5 player game where a Cylon reveals, sending another player to the Brig. That player then plays Executive Order on the President, who promptly plays two Arrest Orders on the other two players and then has the run of the ships...)


That situation you described is not possible for two reasons: first, you cannot use an XO as one of your actions given to you by XO, and secondly, Cylons cannot use their second action given to them by XO if their first action was to reveal.

Edit: third, revealed Cylons cannot use skill cards for anything other than skill checks, including XOs.
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Pasi Ojala
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thestor wrote:
from what player do you start playing cards


Always the next player from the current player starts and the current player goes last, regardless of who triggered the skill check.
 
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Simon Kamber
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circle_breaker wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
thestor wrote:
We are all indeed lacking in experience. If you don't mind me derailing the thread a bit, isn't Executive Order a virtual must use? If two players are at the same place, wouldn't they be better of XOing each other than doing it themselves? What other cards are generally underestimated? Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise? Tanks in advance


Executive Orders are good because they let you get two actions for the price of one action and a card (provided someone else is already somewhere useful).

Executive Orders are bad because they cost you a card and an action, and give actions to someone who may not be on your side. Anyone who's been playing long enough has a story of the time they gave someone an XO and got horribly stabbed in the back (one of the classics is the 5 player game where a Cylon reveals, sending another player to the Brig. That player then plays Executive Order on the President, who promptly plays two Arrest Orders on the other two players and then has the run of the ships...)


That situation you described is not possible for two reasons: first, you cannot use an XO as one of your actions given to you by XO, and secondly, Cylons cannot use their second action given to them by XO if their first action was to reveal.

Edit: third, revealed Cylons cannot use skill cards for anything other than skill checks, including XOs.


You are reading it wrong. "That player" refers to the player who was sent to the brig (not the cylon), and only one XO was played.
 
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Robert Stewart
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Dulkal wrote:
circle_breaker wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
thestor wrote:
We are all indeed lacking in experience. If you don't mind me derailing the thread a bit, isn't Executive Order a virtual must use? If two players are at the same place, wouldn't they be better of XOing each other than doing it themselves? What other cards are generally underestimated? Any typical mistakes we newbies make, rule or tactical wise? Tanks in advance


Executive Orders are good because they let you get two actions for the price of one action and a card (provided someone else is already somewhere useful).

Executive Orders are bad because they cost you a card and an action, and give actions to someone who may not be on your side. Anyone who's been playing long enough has a story of the time they gave someone an XO and got horribly stabbed in the back (one of the classics is the 5 player game where a Cylon reveals, sending another player to the Brig. That player then plays Executive Order on the President, who promptly plays two Arrest Orders on the other two players and then has the run of the ships...)


That situation you described is not possible for two reasons: first, you cannot use an XO as one of your actions given to you by XO, and secondly, Cylons cannot use their second action given to them by XO if their first action was to reveal.

Edit: third, revealed Cylons cannot use skill cards for anything other than skill checks, including XOs.


You are reading it wrong. "That player" refers to the player who was sent to the brig (not the cylon), and only one XO was played.


Dulkal has it right:

Player A reveals as a Cylon, sending Player B to the Brig. A's turn ends and B's begins. B plays an XO targeting player D, the President, who claims to be holding Presidential Pardon. Player D uses his two actions to play Arrest Order on Player C and another Arrest Order on Player E. Player D and Player A high-five.
 
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Hendrik R
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thestor wrote:
I do not have the exodus expansion yet. I got a luck at the rulebook and I feel unsure about it, it looks awfully complicated, most people in our round have played the game only twice so far. Last round, we might have had really bad luck with the cards, especially at the end very few with jump points, but by round three, there must have been five Cylon fleet cards been played. Helena Cain had to use her OPG before the very first jump due to too many Cylons raiders and too unprotected civilians. Basestar firing got a char in sickbay before he could do anything, well you get the picture.

Not to mention we overdid it on the first few tests, waiting cards. I wonder if we should try to let one guy solve tests (if feasible only of course), otherwise there tends to be a lot of wasteful overkill.

EDIT; Gotta go, but remind me to tell you off a nice trick we figured out (though too late to use for us). A question related to it, if you XO a character and he causes a skill check (brig or airlock), from what player do you start playing cards, first to the left from the active player or the one who initiated the test? Oh, and you figure out the trick yet?


That sounds like terrible luck. Knowing how to deal with the skill checks is probably the longest learning curve. It's usually good (for humans) if less people play in, if you include Pegasus skill cards, the pinnacle of this is to play a Guts and Initiative to remove Destiny and then have a single person solo it right on spot. More players increase the uncertainty and give more cover for a spike.
 
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