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Really hard for humans to win?


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#1 wisefaiz

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:28 AM

Hi everyone. Have played the basic game 4 times (6 players each time), and the Pegasus expansion once (5 players), and every time the humans loose if not before the sleeper agent phase, almost immediately afterwards. Humans have never even been close to Kobol/New Caprica. Now, I'm loving the game regardless, but I think I might loose some of the people I play with if I can't figure out if we're doing something wrong to make it so difficult for the humans...

 

Generally everyone is very suspicious of everyone which is great, and leads to a lack of team work which again I think is part of the game. What happends often is that players run out of skill cards quite quickly, and since it's usually a 6 player game it takes a long time for them to refresh their hand. Our Cylons generally aren't evil geniuses and get revealed and locked down quite quickly, but with low number of cards in everyone's hands, I don't think we've ever successfully defended a super crisis card.

 

Character choice has been a good spread, as has to happen in large player games. I've noticed someone always chooses a support, which maybe reduces the number of 'useful' characters on the board. Then again, maybe supports are super useful themselves... In addition, we generally don't make use of our once per game character abilities, which I need to encourage when we play again.

 

Sorry for the essay! If anyone has any ideas how to help the humans out, or things we might be doing wrong, I'd appreciate the help!



#2 JasX

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 04:16 AM

Hmm, unsure what would cause the humans to tank so much so early, how do you usually die? how are your skill checks going?

 

You are starting with the correct number of cards (player 1 gets a full 5 cards, all other players start with THREE of the 5 cards they usually draw)?

 

You are drawing correctly Players draw *all FIVE* cards on their own turn from then on?

 

Card farming is usually the responsiblity of yellow and green card drawers as these are the ones that come up most often in skill checks.

 

The president gets a few extra yellows from playing certain Quorum cards.

 

Is baltar in play and remembering to draw  his 5th card at crisis step?

 

Tossing in the occasional card farming player would help you in this area but the game should play ok without them (eg Tory to farm the presidents quorum cards, Ellen to use her OPT ability every turn she has for +2 cards a time)

 

A good character picking strategy is counting the total number of yellow, green, purple (to a lesser extend blue and red) card draws you have so far and checking the 4th, 5th, 6th characters picked don't leave any huge gaps in one colour.

 

Finally overall human strategy needs involve a healthy degree of co-operation. the XO card is important, XOing humans are efficient as they'll then be getting two actions each turn instead of one overall (just don't XO the next person to play unless you *really* trust them). A bad XO on a cylon can give cylons a big boost but if the humans are never XOing each other they'll just be inefficiently declining towards death thru not having enough actions. Hence it can be important for humans to think about where they stand if they are not using a particular location in order to recieve future XOs.

 

Finally humans *do* need to communicate to some degree during skill checks. Who can put in *high*, who can put in *low* (remember the secrecy rules), and who is unable to help and discuss the skill check aiming to pass without overshooting too much. My group tends to adopt 1-2 points is usually 'low' 4+ is usually *high*  3 is either *high* or *low* depending on the target score being easy (6-9) or tougher (11-14) to hit and for the really difficult ones it's a judgement call 'high' or 'low' depending on how you're steering the other players

 

Also the other key point on communication is working out when you 'havn't got a hope' of passing a skill check so save your cards for somthing you can pass.


Edited by JasX, 27 August 2013 - 04:20 AM.


#3 napoleonWilson

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 04:41 PM

Can't lie,....this game is slanted towards the cylons.  I have played in games where people don't understand the cylon mechanic(they got a human card also so thought they could choose which they wanted) so we had no cylon and humans STILL lost. if the crisis deck gets rolling there is very little you can do.  It is a very very hard game, when humans do win it is almost never a blow out and I have played hundreds of games.

 

First off....don't bother with New Caprica at least for awhile.  It makes human wins even harder, it is complicated and requires a total change in game mindset.  Don't bother with it till you get a handle on kobol. 

 

Secondly, you have to set aside the paranoia, at least a bit.  Generally speaking if a cylon player wants to stay hidden there is very little damage they can do.  They have to be very careful throwing into votes.  If they throw too many in it will be easy to smell out the rat by just counting cards at the end of votes.  When players are taking actions just pay attention to what they do. Is it really in the best interest of the group?.  Does the player consolidate power when he should be launching two vipers to cover the civvy ships?.  If the table agrees its best to launch a nuke and the player goes to galactica and shoots it with weapons that's a pretty good tell.  Hidden cylons want to really whollup the humans with one BIG backstab but, to do that generally speaking they have to act human and that means will generally help them until they get their big moment. 

Now, There is the cylon type player that just blatently acts cylon but doesn't reveal.  Ironically, they are more dangerous since they sabotage all votes with multiple cards and can activate locations and such that just force humans to waste cards to avoid sending people out the airlock, into jail, moving civy ships into cylon raider groups.  But, then you just throw them in jail and forget about em. 

The cylons will deal with themselves.  Be mindful but, don't go crazy.  You have to give those XO's.  Humans need to maximize their turns with xo's and you can't not give them out, "just in case he may be a cylon".  never gonna make it that way. 

 

Thirdly, the game is a game of resource MANAGEMENT,..not preventing loss.  If the humans crawl across the finish line with

1 pop or 1 morale or both....it's still a win.  Don't be afraid of loosing resources, it has to happen. the trick is to mitigate to all of them.  Nothing says you HAVE to go for a vote.  If the loss is to pop and you have 13 population...don't vote...intentionally fail it and loose the 1 pop.  Save your cards for the vote that will hurt your dwindling moral or food.  Be sure you go around the table...see if people can help alittle or a lot.  You don't want to blow votes out of the water, you want to pass em RIGHT on.  The Yellow card, Investigative Committee is SO important.  Play that and people throw in face up.  just have to throw in a bit more for destiny and you save cards. (not to mention, if the vote is real important and the cylon needs to hurt it....makes him have to decide if he is gonna reveal with a poison vote or if he has to play along).  Remember what you can get back easily,

quorum cards get moral and food.  so,...maybe if you have to loose fuel or moral...take it in the moral cause you can get it back.  Fuel is hard to get back,...Population is hard to get back.

 

Lastly, with character selection, there are defiantly all stars and donuts.  The funny thing is that different people will tell you different characters are both.  My group despises Roslin,....there are people on these boards that LOVE that broad.  I am arguing with one guy who thinks chief is lame.  I say he doubles the chances of human survival cause he does what he is supposed to do so well....keep the ship running.  Who you like is gonna take time to determine, based on you play styles.  Just remember when choosing you have to  select the next lowest character type.  So if the first player picks a military, the next players cannot pick military again until at least one pilot and one political has been chosen.

 

Those are the biggest things I think to remember about the game when playing.  If I think of anything else ill add em.

But, there are tons of ways to play and I am certain that someone will tell you my advise is crazy.  Heck,..after you become a

pro-player you may even.  That's one of the awesome things about this game....

best

 

 

Napoleon



#4 wisefaiz

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:19 PM

Thank you both for taking the time to give such comprehensive answers! Suddenly I really want it to be the weekend again so I can play and try out some of what you've both said! With regards to JasX's questions: we're drawing skill cards correctly at the beginning of the game and thereafter. Baltar has been used once and yep we kept forgetting to draw his 5th card. As for how we loose, once the Galactica taking 6 dmg, once all civilian ships destroyed, twice ran out of fuel, once ran out of moral, once ran out of population. So, quite a spread! Skill checks are generally ok, but we do overshoot a lot and suffer later with lack of cards. I think there's a lot in both yours and Napoleon's answers to think over to help humans at least be a bit more competative! Thanks both again!



#5 Skowza

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:52 PM

Don't be afraid of loosing resources, it has to happen. the trick is to mitigate to all of them.  Nothing says you HAVE to go for a vote.  If the loss is to pop and you have 13 population...don't vote...intentionally fail it and loose the 1 pop.  Save your cards for the vote that will hurt your dwindling moral or food.  Be sure you go around the table...see if people can help alittle or a lot.  You don't want to blow votes out of the water, you want to pass em RIGHT on.  The Yellow card, Investigative Committee is SO important.  Play that and people throw in face up.  just have to throw in a bit more for destiny and you save cards.


I second this, I'd say if you are losing even before the sleeper phase then you are probably way over committing on skill checks; a single card from each player in a 6 player game should pass the average skill check, count the Destiny deck as best you can so you know if its in your favor on any given skill check. And like Napoleon said, don't be afraid to fail checks every once in a while, especially on Food. Resource management should be treated as follows: Morale > Pop > Fuel > Food.

Even more importantly, Launch Scouts. New players seem to underestimate the importance of scouting, get rid of those crappy 1 distance jumps, just bury every 1 you come across and aim for a one-for-one resource-loss-to-distance card that goes 2 or more distance, anything else is a bad Destination. The best bet for the Humans is to go as fast as possible, don't stop somewhere just to recover a Resource because you will lose more Resources in the time it takes to get the jump track back up. If possible, encourage someone who draws purple to take three purple at the beginning of the game, hoping for 2 Launch Scouts by the time his/her turn comes around so someone can XO him/her for max scouting since there's nothing else to do at the beginning anyway.

Finally, consider never ever using actions to draw Quorum cards. The long-term players seem to be split into two camps about this, I am firmly in the "never draw Quorum cards" camp. It's a waste of actions, it loads a lot of power on one person who may not be on your side and at the end of the game in which the Humans lost, check how many Quorum cards were drawn vs how many were played vs how many actions were wasted drawing those cards. In fact, if the President is wasting valuable actions to draw Quorum cards, consider that player to be a strong candidate for a Cylon - wasting actions that could help the team to instead increase one's own power is a sure course for Cylon victory.

How did you manage to run out of Fuel twice and lose once each on Galactica taking damage and all civies getting destroyed? Can you elaborate on that, was no one repairing anything, or was no one shooting at Cylons at all? Or did you maybe fail to remove civies from the board when jumping?

#6 napoleonWilson

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:56 PM

Finally, consider never ever using actions to draw Quorum cards. The long-term players seem to be split into two camps about this, I am firmly in the "never draw Quorum cards" camp. It's a waste of actions--Skowza

 

I feel bad about contradicting Skowza since he was so complimentary towards my advice but, I think this is a really good

example of two very different play styles.  My game group and I definitely in that other camp regarding those Quorum cards.  We consistently xo the pres to draw them.  It provides morale and Food increases which means those resources can take a few more hits. It keeps the Crazy roving cylon I describe in check because one quick xo and its a fast Arrest order which neutralizes that tactic.The cylon boarding parties can REALLY sneak up on ya.  Once they are on board that's the time to smoke em.  Brutal force is a beautiful sweat free way of getting rid of them.  There are other little gems in there too....repair a location and 2 vipers, dump a pop to gain a resource and then the title cards which give the pres 2 extra cards which fill their hand faster. There is a possibility the cylon is the pres that's true but, we consider it just one of those trust elements of the game and feel that the benefits outweigh the possible negatives.

 

Finally, I don't know if you have the expansion yet...but a character called Tori...is UNBELIEVABLE with quorum cards.  She draws 2 skill cards ANY time ANYBODY plays a quorum card.  Her hand is ALWAYS full and can serve almost any roll,  evasive maneuvers, repairs, anything.  It isn't really fair to judge the quorum deck based on her but, holy smokes if she is on the board it makes that deck REALLY REALLY amazing.

 

I don't mention this to start a fight but, only to demonstrate how long time players really have totally divergent styles and both work really well.

 

Napoleon



#7 JasX

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:01 AM

 

Finally, I don't know if you have the expansion yet...but a character called Tori...is UNBELIEVABLE with quorum cards.  She draws 2 skill cards ANY time ANYBODY plays a quorum card.  Her hand is ALWAYS full and can serve almost any roll,  evasive maneuvers, repairs, anything.  It isn't really fair to judge the quorum deck based on her but, holy smokes if she is on the board it makes that deck REALLY REALLY amazing.

 

 

 

...and became stronger with the 'popular influence' politics card in the new expansion....



#8 wisefaiz

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:40 AM

Wow. No don't have the expansion with Tori yet - sounds interesting! Thanks for the advice all. As for our losses, we lost fuel precisely because we were moving crazy slow when jumping thinking it would be 'playing it safe'. In reality, we loose the fuel on jumps and then have more opportunities for crisis cards to hit the fuel again. As for destruction of the civilian ships - I feel that was bad luck, we had pilots out, support from the galactica, but just kept pulling crisis cards with more and more fleet actions, which of course don't move us on the jump track... That didn't sink us, as I recall, but gave an oppotunity for the two cylons to screw us once we were weak enough. As for the destruction of galactica - it was a 5 player game with our only cylcon being the only person with engineering. The rest of us should have figured it out sooner and started drawing our own engineering cards at the lab, but were too paranoid to trust the others to shoot the cylons if we chose to go to the lab! Craziness! There is a lot here we don't do at all - like scouting - I don't think anyone has ever played that card in any of our games! Thanks again!



#9 JasX

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:08 PM

Yup, slow jumps kill humans, if you find yourself moving 1 distance check your admiral out as he's either really unlucky or a cylon.

Research lab is horribly inefficient and hardly ever used in my game. Best bet in a 5 player is avoid single players being responsible for one area (eg get Starbuck/Gaeta/Baltar in the game if going with only one engineer... Or at least consolidate power to get blue cards rather than use the lab)

Edited by JasX, 04 September 2013 - 02:28 AM.


#10 napoleonWilson

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:52 PM

Yes...one distance move is a good indicator that your admiral is a cylon.  Unless they have been completly 100 percent helpful and did something that establishes they are human, the chances are they are not what they appear to be.

 

HOWEVER,...this is generally considered blasphemy, so take it for what it's worth to you....Launch Scout is not really very important.  My group hardly ever uses it and when we do we almost never look at the destination we usually will check the crisis if we even do it.   We have found it isn't that critical and we do just fine when we play.  We feel blowing a whole action to look at a destiny card is a waste.  Almost everytime you get a 2, which you can't toss becasue the next 2 destinies may be 1.  Gotta keep it.  Which results in a waste.  Unless you want to blow MULTIPLE actions looking for  a 3.  which when you finally get it either a cylon launches another and ditches it for you or the cylon admiral doesnt choose it.  In either case,...you still cannot be sure who the cylon is because they will each claim the other is a cylon who either ditched the good one or there wasnt a good one on top to begin with. 

 

Multiple quick  2 jumps are better then slow,...labourious...long,...drawnout big  3 jumps.  Make sure those crisis's has a jump prep icon on them.  If you get a couple in a row without,...consider playing with the crayons in the pegasus engine room. it may seem useless but, I think thats a better play than the scout.

 

Good luck next weekend.

napoleon



#11 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:03 AM

Kinda breezed through it, so if I'm repeating advice, I apologize.

 

My group tends to overdo it on skill checks (like beating it by 10 or more) and then tanking the next check or the check after because no one has the cards left, which is typical of humans playing sub-optimally. These games tend to end because the humans did themselves in without the Cylon player ever moving a muscle. Your political leaders really should be playing those Investigative Committees so everyone is more efficient with passing skill checks. If they're not, usually they're just not playing effectively, but this is a critical control point for the humans. IC's make it harder for the Cylon to sink your skill checks, or remove that option entirely.

 

Look through your characters and count how many draw green. Human players should be playing Executive Orders, or begging for someone to play them.

 

Roslin should be looking at the crisis deck to make sure your jump track is on point. I got thrown into the brig because I forgot her ability the first time I played her and I was human. Decreasing the time between jumps makes the Cylon ships less of a threat because they wipe when you jump.

 

Boomer and anyone with purple draw should be scouting the destination deck to get those 1 jumps out of the way.

 

The biggest thing though is your players need to communicate and coordinate. If a centurion is one step from losing the game for you and Helo is bombing around in a viper and is expecting you to take care of it because "look at me, I'm a military leader with piloting!" tell him he needs to get his butt to the armory or the brig. If Helo's already there and no one is XO-ing him, speak up.

 

Some games can feel like one person barking orders, and that may ruin the fun for other players, but it's a collective win. Our last game, we had a player with a pilot who felt like he didn't get to do anything because we never drew Cylon attack cards and very few crises that call for pilot skill checks. He did other stuff though and we ended up winning, but he didn't have fun because he didn't get to do what HE wanted. 

 

Everything else said be fore me is spot on too.



#12 Koma76

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:35 PM

Today we played our sixth game with the 2 bonus resources for type and still... we lost this one as well.

What you suggest we should do while a lucky stream of crisis? ( I mean without assaults, invasions, etc etc... ). Would you just pile up cards or launch ships out the hangar or.... ?



#13 Mephisto666

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 06:21 PM

I would XO like crazy,  repair galactica, get president quorum cards, draw extra cards (from ship spaces), play checks face up, make sure I don't overkill checks, have president play quorum cards, save up Strategic Plannings and Evasive maneuvers...  and since it me... constantly accuse of of being a cylon, even when they have done nothing wrong.

 

Maybe if someone posted a short text of one full round of play...  ick, that sounds like to much work already - people could give better input.  Or maybe someone might spot a rules problem that is hurting humans.

 

I know most players have a tough time on game one (training games with NO CYLONS have been lost!), but seems usually the tide shifts like 4-6 games in... then back again later as the Cylons learn (they win by luck prior to that!).



#14 Koma76

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:55 AM

I would XO like crazy,  repair galactica, get president quorum cards, draw extra cards (from ship spaces), play checks face up, make sure I don't overkill checks, have president play quorum cards, save up Strategic Plannings and Evasive maneuvers...  and since it me... constantly accuse of of being a cylon, even when they have done nothing wrong.

 

Maybe if someone posted a short text of one full round of play...  ick, that sounds like to much work already - people could give better input.  Or maybe someone might spot a rules problem that is hurting humans.

 

I know most players have a tough time on game one (training games with NO CYLONS have been lost!), but seems usually the tide shifts like 4-6 games in... then back again later as the Cylons learn (they win by luck prior to that!).

 

 

We finally managed to win game 6 ( with +2 resources handicap ).

Last night we played game 7 ( 4-players with handicap ) and after the 4th jump our fuel was 1... Cylon player did the rest.  :P

Truth is, we played a lot one against each other. Which is wrong.






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