Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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I've complained about this enough in other threads that maybe I should start my own.

I have played Ionian Nebula twice. Both times, we had a "Cylons Win before Crossroads" situation.
To me, this is the most frustrating part of Ionian Nebula.
Yes, with New Caprica, you might not reach Distance 7 to play the NC minigame, but New Caprica doesn't require any extra setup during the basic part of the game.

With Ionian Nebula, you are shuffling extra decks of cards, fiddling with tokens, and encouraging a ton of sub-optimal, trauma-management, play, when you have a pretty decent chance of it not mattering at all.

Here is my off-the-cuff idea. Untested, unanalyzed, just laying it down here out of my head:

If "Humans Lose" before the Crossroads Phase, then do this (before revealing Personal Goals or other Loyalty cards):

Each human player places one trauma token (facedown) into a pool. Shuffle this pool of tokens, and reveal them. If a human player has no trauma, there is no penalty for not contributing. But if they have at least one trauma token, they must contribute one.

If any of those revealed tokens are non-Positive Trauma, then the Humans Lose.

However, if all such revealed tokens are Positive Trauma, then undo the last thing that would make the Humans Lose:
If it was the 6th damaged location on Galactica, do not damage it; return its token to the damage token pool.
If it was a resource being reduced to zero, set that resource to 1 (and return its damage token to the pool, if it was caused by a damage token)
If it was a Centurion marching to "Humans Lose", the Centurion simply does not advance.
If a human character was Executed causing the last morale loss, morale isn't lost but follow all the rest of the steps of Execution.

If multiple factors (such as 2 resources being reduced to zero simultaneously, or 2 centurions crossing over to Humans Lose simultaneously) cause a Human Loss, then repeat the above steps until the game is truly over or until you have restored to a non-losing state.

If the game is now in a non-losing state, discard all of the contributed trauma back to the main pool and continue the game.

Something like this?
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Robert Stewart
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It strikes me that one obvious solution to humans losing anyway because they're spending too much time and effort on mucking about with trauma would be simply to put less time and effort into mucking about with trauma...
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Joseph Cochran
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I guess a concern I have with it is that it would actually make the allies more likely to be Antagonistic as it would become an absolute requirement to have no red tokens ASAP rather than just not worrying about having a single for most of the game.

The other interesting facet is that it encourages one Cylon to stay unrevealed so that they can make sure to spike the Hail Mary. I'm not sure what that would really do, but that does seem like it would shake things up.
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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That would be nice, but sometimes you can't help it.

Even in the cases where you're not distracted by the gambling or "soft loyalty detection" of visiting an ally on purpose, you have the situations where you either need to sort out your trauma so that it doesn't guarantee your elimination at endgame, or you need to use the function of a location that has an Ally in your way.

 
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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And to jsciv: Like I said, I didn't think too deeply about the greater implications of this specific suggestion.
I'm trying to stir people into offering better ideas.

Because if you're going out of your way to set up Ionian Nebula, the least the game can do is allow you to play out the Crossroads phase.

 
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Joseph Cochran
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jozxyqk wrote:
And to jsciv: Like I said, I didn't think too deeply about the greater implications of this specific suggestion.
I'm trying to stir people into offering better ideas.

Because if you're going out of your way to set up Ionian Nebula, the least the game can do is allow you to play out the Crossroads phase.


I'm okay with the game not getting to Crossroads if it doesn't get there. The Allies still provide opportunity and tension, and the Brig/Sickbay tokens as well (how afraid of The Splotch are you?), so there are plenty of little rewards in gameplay along the way.
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Allison Macrae
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To me, it seems like you're trying to fix the wrong problem. In most games, if the Cylons win, it will be before 8 distance. Enacting any kind of variant that ensures the humans make it that far is either hobbling the Cylons or putting you in the situation where you delay losing just long enough to perform a Crossroads phase that doesn't matter, since you're about to die anyway.

Two games isn't a very large sample size anyway, I think it's expected with BSG that a certain number of games will end before distance 8. Personally, I don't view the Ionian Nebula as a module that requires an enormous amount of preparation just to pay off at Crossroads, I see the majority of the benefit of it in having allies throughout the game, and the boogeyman "splat" lurking in sickbay and the brig all game. If seeing allies and managing their effects seems like effort that only pays off when you reach distance 8, perhaps you shouldn't be playing with it.

As far as I'm concerned, the only extra effort Ionian requires is passing the bag of trauma tokens around the table once and flipping over 3 allies to begin with. After that, the setup is over and you're playing with the expansion, not setting it up.

Most games, I'd say the impact of placing good and bad allies, and the occasional splat, is far greater than the Crossroads phase anyway, so I don't think you've been cheated out of the most important aspect of the expansion.
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jsciv wrote:
jozxyqk wrote:
And to jsciv: Like I said, I didn't think too deeply about the greater implications of this specific suggestion.
I'm trying to stir people into offering better ideas.

Because if you're going out of your way to set up Ionian Nebula, the least the game can do is allow you to play out the Crossroads phase.


I'm okay with the game not getting to Crossroads if it doesn't get there. The Allies still provide opportunity and tension, and the Brig/Sickbay tokens as well (how afraid of The Splotch are you?), so there are plenty of little rewards in gameplay along the way.
gathraawn wrote:
To me, it seems like you're trying to fix the wrong problem. In most games, if the Cylons win, it will be before 8 distance. Enacting any kind of variant that ensures the humans make it that far is either hobbling the Cylons or putting you in the situation where you delay losing just long enough to perform a Crossroads phase that doesn't matter, since you're about to die anyway.

.......


agreed. In some cases, if people are new to NC, that's worse since you explain how NC works, but cylons win before distance 7... that's more of a "all that for nothing" situation to me. Yet, you can't really not explain it, since the dynamics are different.
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Mooseulie Ferenczy
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I think I'd be more upset about having a legitimate victory being taken from me as a cylon player than about being eliminated at the end game.
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Robert Stewart
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jozxyqk wrote:
That would be nice, but sometimes you can't help it.

Even in the cases where you're not distracted by the gambling or "soft loyalty detection" of visiting an ally on purpose, you have the situations where you either need to sort out your trauma so that it doesn't guarantee your elimination at endgame, or you need to use the function of a location that has an Ally in your way.



The only time trauma eliminates anyone is if they gain some at some point - so, yes, if you start human with 3 antagonistic trauma and draw a fourth for some reason, and don't turn Cylon at Sleeper, then you need to do something about it - but that's pretty rare.

If you need to use a location that has an ally present, then you're not going out of your way to visit them, so, unless they send you somewhere else, visiting them isn't wasting any time...

If you do get stuck with an excess of the wrong sort of trauma, then it may be worth taking steps to reduce it, but by far the most effective way of reducing bad trauma for a non-Cylon is to get executed...

An unrevealed Cylon can choose (by becoming a revealed Cylon) to switch which type of trauma is bad for him, and control his risk of being eliminated rather than running around visiting Allies - though being inefficient with an acceptable excuse is not much of an issue for a revealed Cylon anyway...

The important thing to realise about trauma is that if you avoid gaining or losing trauma wherever possible, you go through the game with 3 trauma, play one at Crossroads, and then discard the other 2. Of course, having a bad mix of trauma at Crossroads increases the chance you'll be eliminated if someone else targets you to gain some - then again, going into Crossroads as Admiral means a chance you'll be executed and come out with 3 random trauma anyway...
 
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