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Subject: Centurions too Weak? rss

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Horsie Palamino
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Hi All,

I've been playing BSG for about 10 games now and I have yet to experience a time when the Centurions ever posed a threat to me. Is my group playing this correctly?

1) Heavy Raiders and Centurions move when the Heavy Raiders icon appears.
2) If there is no Heavy Raider on the Board, each Basestar Spawns one. (Does it spawn if Centurions are on the board? We've been going with 'yes'.)
3) When a Heavy Raider enters a Space where the Arrows towards the Hanger are, they board, and start at the 'Start' location. (We let them board if the Heavy Raider Icon appears when they are already on the space with an arrow.)
4) If multiple raiders board, we place another Centurion token on the start location. New Centurions on board do not further Push the icon forward, but depict new Centurions at the entrance.

Are we doing anything wrong, or are Heavy Raiders just less threatening that Raiders attacking Civilian Ships? In addition to this, don't Anders, Kat and Helo have ways to improve the chances of killing them? Overall, I just feel like their power is very lacking.
 
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Byron Campbell
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It sounds like you're playing correctly. In fact, it sounds like you might be buffing the centurions a bit (I think they only board if heavy raiders are activated while there's already a heavy raider by one of the launch tubes, not the moment it enters the space, but this is one of those things I'm always referencing in the rules so I might be wrong).

If Centurions get to the end of the boarding track, the humans lose. They can usually be shot down, but if you are distracted by Cylon intrigue and space combat, they might not. I've had several games where the humans have lost to centurions, usually because they were too distracted by other things or the Armory needed to be repaired first. And don't forget that every turn spent shooting at centurions, even if you do shoot them down without a problem, is a turn that is essentially wasted. In my experience, they're a dangerous because they look like a low priority until it's too late.
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Todd Warnken
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Heavy raiders board if they started the turn in the location next to the launch tubes.

You usually won't win by centurions unless you get some help from activations after they boarded. If you have two Cylons sitting next to each other it is easier to win that way. Mostly though you can use centurions to distract the humans by having them waste actions on the armory while ignoring raiders threatening civilian ships or not repairing damage.
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Joseph Cochran
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... and sometimes the Humans just can't roll a 7 or 8 ...
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Michael Aldridge
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1) Yes, both move per page 24 of the rules.
2) Yes, heavy raiders launch if none are on the game board, per page 24 of the rules.
3) No, they do not immediately board, per page 24 of the rules (emphasis added): "If a heavy raider starts its movement in a space with a viper launch icon, the centurions on it board Galactica."
4) Yes, centurions stack.

Heavy Raiders aren't supposed to be the big-bad-thing that kills off the Fleet (though it can - and does - happen). Heavy Raiders are supposed to divert your attention long enough so you're not doing all the OTHER important stuff you should be doing... in particular, scouting.

Further, killing Centurions (or Heavies) isn't easy. It takes a 7 or an 8 to kill them. If you use a Strategic Planning, you've still only got a half chance to kill them, so on average, you'll waste 2 actions and 2 decent purple cards (or 4 actions and no cards) to kill a Centurion or a Heavy (all of which could have been spent elsewhere).
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Tables
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Centurions are certainly the least likely victory condition (perhaps roughly equal with food running out, if you count resources separately). That says something, really.

I agree with Michael, overall. They're sometimes a pain to get rid of, especially if the President can't draw an Authorisation of Brutal Force to get rid of them, or you can't trust your President to play it. The problem, is, most of those Centurions can be dealt with by ABF searches, and when they aren't, a few XOs to the people on the Armory deals with it. Not to mention, the activations do nothing themselves until the final one, and since Heavy activations are kinda infrequent (about 20-25% IIRC) you often have plenty of time.

I've been considering a variant where each Centurion on board lowers your highest resource then either lowers your highest resource again or damages the ship (dice roll dependent). This doesn't address the issue of being able to kill them easily, but it at least means every activation damaging, especially if you let multiple land at once.
 
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If you play enough games, you see it all... on the pbf forums, someone was flabbergasted that they killed 5 cents, and STILL lost to cents! wow


If you haven't played enough... I've talked to one guy who played about 8 to 15 games say that Morale is hardly an issue (base game)... ""you can always just use skill cards to avoid losing too much Morale. Population is what's deadly, and I've seen many games lost to that""

speaking of which, you can always review some of the PBF games here on BGG to ensure you're doing it correctly.

Palamino wrote:
Hi All,

I've been playing BSG for about 10 games now and I have yet to experience a time when the Centurions ever posed a threat to me. Is my group playing this correctly?
10 games may still not be a representative enough of a sample to see this. Plus, if some in your group aren't as familiar with cents, it may be the result of those fewer cases of cent win being passed up instead.

Palamino wrote:
1) Heavy Raiders and Centurions move when the Heavy Raiders icon appears.
correct

Palamino wrote:
2) If there is no Heavy Raider on the Board, each Basestar Spawns one.
correct. Make sure that a basestar doesn't have that damage token that keeps it from launching ships (raider icon, but it refers to both raiders AND heavy raiders). A basestar that has that damage token does NOT launch a heavy.

Palamino wrote:
(Does it spawn if Centurions are on the board? We've been going with 'yes'.)
Correct. Think of centurions and heavies as 2 separate "errogenous zones"... they're both activate by the heavy raider icon, but both do their own thing simultaneous

Palamino wrote:
3) When a Heavy Raider enters a Space where the Arrows towards the Hanger are, they board, and start at the 'Start' location. (We let them board if the Heavy Raider Icon appears when they are already on the space with an arrow.)
Not quite... if a bs is below the arrows, 1st heavy icon launches a heavy in either of those sectors. A 2nd one will cause the heavy to be reomved from the board, and a cent to be placed on the Boarding Party track.

NOTE: if there are no more centurions left (all 4 have been used), the heavy stays "parked" outisde until it CAN place a cent!

Palamino wrote:
4) If multiple raiders board, we place another Centurion token on the start location.
I think you mean "Heavy raider", but yeah, that's correct, if 2 heavies board at the same time, there will be 2 cents at the start of the track.

Palamino wrote:
New Centurions on board do not further Push the icon forward, but depict new Centurions at the entrance.
I'm not sure what you mean here... I think you're referring to this?

If you have this, and a heavy icon is resolved with 1 heavy just about to board ('2' = # of centurions on that spot)

start 1 2 3 humans lose
2


then the result will be....

start 1 2 3 humans lose
1 2

So the 2 that were at the start move up +1
The heavy that just boarded put a cent at the start.
Now humans have 3 cents to get rid of, with the front 2 the biggest threat of course and being prioritized.


Palamino wrote:
Are we doing anything wrong, or are Heavy Raiders just less threatening that Raiders attacking Civilian Ships?
Probably not... centurions ARE deadly.. it's just that they're a long term investment. It's much easier to kill civvies, and even then, a few civvies, FTL Controls not rolled high enough, and/or some failed crisis cards can yield in loss by pop, so that's more prominent of the 2.

Palamino wrote:
In addition to this, don't Anders, Kat and Helo have ways to improve the chances of killing them? Overall, I just feel like their power is very lacking.
Yes... Anders' (Exo expansion) OPG is on his turn, a die roll can be any result, he can go to Armory, or XO someone else to go to Armory, and just declare 7 or 8. Taking the guesswork out of rolling can be worth its wieght in gold

If it's Kat's (Peg) action step and SHE's the one activating Armory, she use her special to discard a 5 or 6 (6s only in Exo) strength skill card to autokill a cent.

Helo can reroll, which isn't garuanteed, but having extra rolls is just what you need to do until the cents are dead.
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Gert Meyer
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Centurions can be quite lethal when consistently activated by revealed Cylons. I will admit this is situational, since the Heavy Raiders/Centurions need to be on the board in the first place, but can be hard to counter if it happens.
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Ted Von Penguin
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There's also the fact that, while they might not be the most common activation you need to take them out in a timely fashion anyway since nothing is worse than noticing that a centurion is two activations away from venting you all into space, you then need to focus on getting rid of them since a few bad card draws will end you and taking them out is very chancy even with SP and Calc, thus pulling you're focus away from something else important.
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gert74 wrote:
Centurions can be quite lethal when consistently activated by revealed Cylons. I will admit this is situational, since the Heavy Raiders/Centurions need to be on the board in the first place, but can be hard to counter if it happens.
Crisis cards that directly place cents on board go a long way towards bypassing all the heavy raider icons needed to get the cents on board in the first place. To that effect, getting Cylon Intruders to work was rare, but a good culprit. The most extreme scenario was that just barely failed, 2 cents got put on board for 3 at start, and the lucky damage hit Armory. Anything less wouldn't have worked (... they were one action away that an undamaged Armory would've been an issue, or they were able to get rid of 2 of them).


If nothing else, it's simply another avenue to exploit. Without even the cylons discussing it, it was clear that if the humans took out cents, the cylons would just act. raiders to shoot at civvies. If they protected the civvies, then heavies would be activated to adv. cent. They couldn't take care of both at the same time.
 
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J Holmes
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In a recent PBF I was a revealed cylon and had 2 centurions on the same spot and my turn was coming up next after the last human turn.

The humans had a spare XO for the guy in the armory, and I believe 1 "+2 to dice rolls" between them.

With well less than 25% chance of destroying both, the humans managed to not lose the game at that point :S


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Mooseulie Ferenczy
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For what it is worth, I don't think my group even came close to a centurion loss until we got the Pegasus Expansion (which was around when it came out). I don't necessarily think that either expansion buffs the centurions/heavy raiders per se, but it is incredibly hard to lose by them without some other distraction.
 
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M. B. Downey
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j0frenzy wrote:
I don't necessarily think that either expansion buffs the centurions/heavy raiders per se, but it is incredibly hard to lose by them without some other distraction.


Exodus does, if you use the Cylon Fleet Board. The Heavy Raiders stick around longer, so they can be very easy to position and then board Galactica.
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Robert Stewart
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My recollection is that Heavy Raiders are activated by about 1 Crisis in 7 - for them to win unaided is unlikely, but once you get a revealed Cylon (or two!) helping push them forward, it becomes a more serious threat - also, if humans haven't been abusing the Quorum Deck (by drawing all of it into the Quorum hand) then they may be able to take out two Centurions with ABF thanks to lucky draws, but the third will need a lucky roll.


As others have said, Centurions are dangerous not because they give the Cylons an easy victory, but because taking them out distracts you from whatever else is going on, while not taking them out does offer the Cylons a way to win. There was one game with Pegasus where I was playing Cavil, had a Humans Lose Agenda, a revealed Cylon playing just before me, and a Centurion on Start. I persuaded my ally to push the Centurion with the cunning argument "Do this and we win", and then used my Once Per Game to march the Centurion the remaining three spaces...

On the other hand, a lone Centurion with no other threats on the board just represents an opportunity for the Cylons to get distracted - every turn they spend pushing the Centurion forward is a turn they're not generating other threats...
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Simon
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rmsgrey wrote:
My recollection is that Heavy Raiders are activated by about 1 Crisis in 7


In the base game, the distribution is:
Raiders: 35/70 = 50%
Heavies: 14/70 = 20%
Activate basestars: 14/70 = 20%
Launch raiders: 7/70 = 10%

This includes the activations on the start of CACs (Cylon Attack Cards). With Pegasus/Exodus I think the distributions are broadly the same.
 
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Robert Stewart
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By a quick count, there are 13 CACs:

4 Raiders
1 Heavy
8 Basestars
0 Launch

and 117 other Crises:

56 Raiders
25 Heavy
21 Basestars
15 Launch

Of which 6 are CAG Chooses

1 Raiders
1 Heavies
2 Basestars
2 Launch

So playing with Pegasus and Exodus but not the CFB:

59/124 Raiders
25/124 Heavies
27/124 Basestars
13/124 Launch

So, yeah, roughly 1/5 crises are Heavy raiders (a little more when playing with the CFB)
 
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James
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gert74 wrote:
Centurions can be quite lethal when consistently activated by revealed Cylons. I will admit this is situational, since the Heavy Raiders/Centurions need to be on the board in the first place, but can be hard to counter if it happens.

This is the first thing that occurred to me. Once the centurions are on board, revealed cylons can end the game in two turns around the table if the humans aren't able to dispatch them. This has proved pretty scary for team human in our past games. It's much easier to throw vipers in to draw fire from the cylon fleet or use Communications to move civilian ships around, biding time until the next jump, than it is to get rid of those centurions before they end the game (and you can't escape centurions with a jump, of course!).
 
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Joe Trigiani
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We just lost our first game to centurions. I thought it was highly unlikely but we had one on the track when a failed crisis added another. We killed one but the other got through. Should have chosen Helo instead of Felix.
 
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Chris Tuxford
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Here's a thematic take on the Centurion issue.

The Centurions were only a card the Cylons play to distract from their real objective. One that comes to mind is to allow Number ... to infiltrate back on board to blow something up or get back in contact with trouble-makers... or make love to Baltar...
 
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