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So much Anders hate?


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#1 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:25 PM

We haven't played with Anders yet, so 
I haven't seen him in action, but what's so terrible about him?

 

I'm mostly a vanilla BSG player so there may be something an expansion adds that I'm not taking into account.

 

  • He gets green, that's good.
  • He gets purple, he can scout if there's nothing else to do. We tend ti distrust our admirals.
  • He gets red maybe, we tend to ignore the cylons unless we draw 3+ CAC's before the next jump, so this doesn't bother us. Kinda sucks if you depend on your Pilot.

 

  • He can dump his hand for green. That doesn't sound terrible. If you need a pilot, he can dump for red.
  • He can pass a die roll. Not too hot. Haven't counted how many die rolls there are in the game, but he could pull a Boomer argument if he's brigged. Maybe.

 

If he's a Cylon:

  • Hand doesn't fill up with red, so tanking a skill check is an option if you're into that kind of thing.
  • He can scout and dump a destination with adequate distance, or a resource loss that isn't isn't going to hurt too much.
  • Dumping his hand for green potentially hoards some needed XO's. 
  • He can auto-fail a roll just before revealing. Dunno how valuable that is though.

 

Is he that bad? I played Roslin twice so far while the crisis deck manip was cool, being President, but not really, or not being able to activate a location because I wanted to hold my IC's wasn't much fun at all.



#2 subochre

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:12 PM

I'm with you.  Anders is the guy whom everyone loves to hate, but as I see it, he's still across-the-board better than Kat:  he's got a much better skill set, his OPT, while fairly situational, is useful when you've got a hand full of garbage or really need to dig for that Scout for Fuel, whereas hers basically just turns most of the cards in her hand into slightly-more-interesting Strategic Plannings (which is mainly what she was drawing already), and his OPG is, again, lackluster, but not as bad as hers.  More than anything else, people seem to be down on his weakness, which definitely isn't one of those dopey Adama/Cain "XO your way out of it" pseudo-weaknesses.  It hurts, and more importantly it happens all at once, right at the beginning, so it has more of a psychological impact than if it were spread out.  But the start of the game is when you don't really need as many cards, and, hey, you know who else loses a bunch of skill cards?  Kat, every single time she holds still long enough to actually defend a civvie and doesn't get XOed out of sickbay.  I'd also claim that, card for card, his weakness is less of a deal than Roslin's (who's powerful enough to justify it), Boomer's, Apollo's, Hoshi's, and possibly post-Daybreak Ellen's (who aren't).  And if you're really that upset about losing those cards, use your first action to XO someone in the Press Room.  There: you've just recovered from most of your weakness.

 

In short, he's not great, but he's hardly the most horrible character ever.



#3 napoleonWilson

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:41 PM

No...no he isn't that bad.......he is WORSE.

 

He gets no cards for 2 FULL rounds....he starts with 3....then his next turn he gets nothing until his 2nd turn.  He can't even use his stupid card shluff ability.  Not to mention it costs AN ACTION...woohoo...he can dump his hand for all red, then he has to wait for his next turn to use, and then he is useless for a vote.  His Every turn ability is horribly lame.  If it were a move-action it would be at least playable.  As it is it's next to useless.  His OPG is equally as stupid.  he can decide 1 die roll ON HIS TURN>>....WHOOPITY DOOOO!  I don't even think he can use it with an XO...certainly not to say...jump the fleet.  Invariably it happens the time you ABSOLUTLY need a die roll it won't be his turn.  Again...it's next to useless except for the occasional cylon boarding party kill or something equally as meh.....If it was ANY die roll ANY time, which would be much more in line for an OPG then it would at least be useful. 

 

Kat aside, you are right that there are other characters that are very nearly as lame as he is.  I never will understand the love affair with Roslin but that every-turn is amazing and her opg is useful.  She just shouldn't be president.  Yeah...Apollo's weakness is rough, but holy crap pound for pound he is THE overall most powerful character in the game when you look at what he does.  He is simply unstoppable so his weakness is so insignificant to his abilities.  Boomer is the same thing as Roslin, going to jail sucks, but damn that every-turn is sweet and the opg is nice.  What does Anders do....waste a turn digging in the press room to get a couple cards to dump later to get red????

 

This is why Anders sucks SO bad; his positive abilities are SO weak that his weakness actually overpowers them.  A pilot with 1 piloting, an every-turn he can't use forever, when he does he has to blow a whole action to use it, and a non-existent opg.  Honestly, his opg has only actually become useful in the last expansion with Baltar who can run over and take his Miracle token and the humans will not feel ANY loss.  It's basically a free miracle token for them. 

 

There are LOTS of weak-suck ass characters but, Anders takes the cake.  When you pick him, basically you are taking a totally blank character sheet that works as an AWESOME drink coaster.

 

napoleon.



#4 JasX

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:19 AM

I dunno he doesn't seem so awful to me, yeah he takes a little while to get up and running which is particularly 'not great' in a large game.

Seems his card dump is designed to be situational -> almost designed for the replacement action on launch:

Ignore red all game, then if/when needed jump in a viper and swap your hand for red just when needed

Plus he can readily turn his opg into +2 jump symbols or -3 pop if he times it right

Edited by JasX, 11 September 2013 - 04:20 AM.


#5 napoleonWilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

LOL....trying to defend Anders by saying that, "he can be good in some weird situation" is like defending cancer by saying, "well, in the right situation it can help obesity." 

 

Sorry but, he utterly sucks. Try him and tell me he is good.  You will get sick of having to say, "I can't help that vote"  or "I don't have any evasive maneuvers".  You will design signs with, "can't help with....." on them to save your voice.  We played a bottom feeder game once just to see some new faces.  I got stuck with him.  That was the first and last time we saw his loathsome face  :)

 

Napoleon



#6 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:34 PM

I think his OPT would work well with an XO. I wouldn't dump for red unless I needed it (again, I don't generally add expansions so raiders aren't really a priority for me). Would Anders be my first choice if we were using the CFB? Lord no... unless we were playing for money and you gave me 4:1 odds. :-D

 

Does Anders make a better Cylon player than a human one? Probably. His shortcomings might make you underestimate me, or if I were playing with Napoleon, I might use his seething hatred to take some heat off me (he doesn't wanna brig me because he thinks I'M the Cylon, he just hates me!). :-)

If I'm the Cylon and not Anders, I might try and shift some blame to him.

 

You might even consider playing Anders as Hard Mode. Instead of playing around with the starting resources (which affects all players), if individuals are clearly better at BSG than the rest of the group consider playing a weaker character.

 

Next time I play with an expansion, I'll give Anders a go and see what happens.



#7 Vonpenguin

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:41 PM

Ander's ability is actually much better as an action than it would be as a movement. He can spend most of the game not drawing reds and doing other, useful location actions then, when an attack happens or is imminent, depending on if CFB is in play, launch and use his in a viper action to get enough reds to be useful. He's not amazing but he's a good "reservist". If it was a movement he wouldn't be able to get into space as quickly unless he just camped the hanger.

 

Anders is not flashy at all, but he is solid, you just need play to his strengths more closely than you do with certain other characters that are always decent and then occasionally get to be super awesome and game winning. Boring but practical.


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#8 napoleonWilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:54 PM

He is as solid as a wet piece of pasta and the only strength of his card you can play to is that he is really handy at keeping your place in the rule book.


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#9 Vonpenguin

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:58 PM

Yes. Adaptability is completely useless in a game where you don't know everyone's allegiance.

 

I understand that you don't like him but can you really see no use in someone that can avoid getting a situational utility card until they need it, at which point their one xo away from getting as many as they like?



#10 subochre

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:22 PM

Ander's ability is actually much better as an action than it would be as a movement. He can spend most of the game not drawing reds and doing other, useful location actions then, when an attack happens or is imminent, depending on if CFB is in play, launch and use his in a viper action to get enough reds to be useful. He's not amazing but he's a good "reservist". If it was a movement he wouldn't be able to get into space as quickly unless he just camped the hanger.

 

I hadn't considered that--like Brandon, I generally don't OPT for red if I can avoid it--but it's a really nice point.  The fact that Anders can play military leader all game and then transform into a viper pilot when you need one (he's kind of like a Decepticon?) has always been his one selling point...but when you put it in terms of the Hangar/OPT "Suddenly I'm between you and the civvies with a hand full of EMs and MFs, so bring it" maneuver, it reminds me a lot of the one thing that singlehandedly makes Apollo (...let's say "arguably" ;)) the best pilot.  Namely, he doesn't need to sit around in space to keep Galactica safe. (Starbuck and Boomer, on the other hand, manage at least to be decent pilots by being good at sitting around in space.) 



#11 JasX

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:33 AM

The fact that Anders can play military leader all game and then transform into a viper pilot when you need one (he's kind of like a Decepticon?) has always been his one selling point...but when you put it in terms of the Hangar/OPT "Suddenly I'm between you and the civvies with a hand full of EMs and MFs, so bring it" maneuver, it reminds me a lot of the one thing that singlehandedly makes Apollo (...let's say "arguably" ;)) the best pilot. Namely, he doesn't need to sit around in space to keep Galactica safe.

Yup, that's exactly how I'd play him and probably never draw red normally. A bit like new Apollo, he sits around being most 'generally' useful on board somewhere. If needs be he jumps into space.

Did this effectively with new Apollo last game hoarding 1-2 max firepowers, being the first to use EM when needed and spent 90% of the game on board XOing from the 'old presidents office' type location and occasionally others. Once raiders started looking a bit troublesome right outside the launch tubes I hopped in a viper and max FP'd a couple of waves before slipping back into my suit to resume the political stuff.... I see anders designed to do similar stuff.

Edited by JasX, 12 September 2013 - 09:34 AM.


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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:25 AM

I love anders: with the pegasus, we don't pilot many vipers, so it's great to be able to pick a pilot that doesn't have to pick red.



#13 napoleonWilson

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:23 AM

Do you use the CFB quit?  Cause with the CFB the civy ships don't come off the board.  Only way to get them off is to have

a viper lift em off and wow is it handy to have a pilot.  Especially Apollo.

 

Napoleon



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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:08 PM

yes, we do use the CFB. Our strategy is to use communications to get the civvies to the space areas near the launch tubes and then use either command to escort them with unmanned vipers or just have a pilot jump out (especially the cag with his extra unmanned viper activations) to escort them. 

In any case, the vipers don't do much space combat so there isn't much need for piloting cards. In 3-4 player games, Anders is enough as a pilot, sometimes combined with Helo as a military. 

In 5 to 7 player games, Anders can be an excellent second pilot who can jump in a viper only after the other pilot has turned cylon. Two "real" pilots (with 2 piloting skill) in those games again results in too many piloting skill cards. 

 

Look at it like this: I have often seen Apollo have 5 or more piloting cards in his hands, but I have never seen him with that many of any other kind. 

 

I don't say Apollo is bad. He's really good. But I don't think he's soooo powerful as some people claim him to be. And he doesn't really fit my play style. And I'm not alone with that opinion: In my play group, it is often only the 3rd or 4th player who picks a pilot (after military, political and/or a support). And the pilots who saw most play time are Starbuck and Boomer (both a "stronger" OPG than Apollo), who must be about tied, and then Anders (most of the time as second pilot if there is one). I think only Kat saw less table time than Apollo. 

 

In my book, Apollo would only be overpowered if his skill set would be 2 Leadership, 1 Tactics and choose: 2 Piloting/Politics (then he could avoid overdrawing piloting AND could draw politics without putting his ExO ability at risk) and if his once per game could be used for bad more easily. As he is now, he's good but not overpowered. 



#15 napoleonWilson

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

meh...I guess it takes all kinds.  Doesn't change my opinion of Anders (I would still rather have any pilot but him) but, that is an interesting tactic. 

 

napoleon



#16 Hannibal Rex

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

Well, I'd say Anders isn't a particularily well-designed character, but at least he's not as outright broken as Tory or Cain.

 

I'll boldy claim that the design intention was to have a pilot who wasn't stuck with drawing the mostly useless piloting cards, but could exchange his LEA/TAC draw at a moment's (XO's) notice if you need serious firepower in space. That kinda works, but every pilot pales when compared to Apollo, especially with the CFB, and there's no usually no shortage of LEA/TAC draws due to the military leaders in the game.

 

What really cripples him is his drawback. You might think it's kinda like Helo's; painful early on, but at least you can forget about it after that first turn. The problem is, that's not how it works. If you're 5 cards behind on turn 1, you stay 5 cards behind the entire game. And considering how his OPT depends on having a lot of chaff cards in hand (as well as an action), this can easily result in games in which his OPT isn't even used once, or isn't used to great effect because he can simply never build up a large enough hand.

 

I think there's a way to use him to decent effect, but you'll have to jump to a lot of hoops, and, most problematically, it requires the other players to be on the same page with you regarding how to play Anders.

 

  • go to the Press Room on your first turn and activate it, unless there's a really serious problem that requires you to XO someone.
  • get XO'd at least once to double-activate the Press Room. The problem here is, the Press Room isn't usually a high priority, and when there's nothing urgent to do, most XOs go to the President. (And good luck getting the breathing space if you're playing with the CFB.)
  • keep your low cards; only play high cards into skill checks. Let the other players know that that's your general plan, and hope they don't get miffled by your lack of contribution and card hoarding. I think this is a key difference to playing Anders well.
  • Once you have 4 or more chaff cards, Star Power becomes worth using.

Needless to say, it's a rather narrow strategy;  You can camp in the Press Room and alternate using it and using Star Power to ensure you can contribute a big share to the crisis skill checks that come up. Or you get back into the regular circulation of useful locations once you have a decent hand and simply try to keep enough cards in case your Star Power is needed. But you're completely dependent on XOs to get running either way.

 

Unfortunately, there are characters that have a much easier time of building up cards; most notably Ellen and, of course, Tory.

 

Regarding his OPG there isn't much to say. It isn't spectacular, but it's certainly useful. The biggest impact is probably an XO to the Admiral to nuke the biggest cluster of Cylon ships that has accumulated due to the CFB. You can make a guaranteed -3 jump, or take down a centurion that is one step away from winning the game.



#17 Skowza

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:41 PM

I keep thinking one day I'll check this thread and someone will have posted some sort of 6-step combo of how to use Anders effectively. I remain disappointed. The only use I see for him is a combo with Cottle and A Better Machine to keep filling his hand up... then I remember that dumping your hand is an action. Sigh.

Edited by Skowza, 06 October 2013 - 08:41 PM.


#18 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:08 AM

I keep thinking one day I'll check this thread and someone will have posted some sort of 6-step combo of how to use Anders effectively. I remain disappointed. The only use I see for him is a combo with Cottle and A Better Machine to keep filling his hand up... then I remember that dumping your hand is an action. Sigh.

I tried. :-)

Played a game with Kobol, CFB, and Peg. I was a starting Cylon and a successful skill check randomly outed me (player just happened to select my loyalty to look at). Then I got brigged and executed before the first jump. :-\



#19 JasX

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:38 AM

Played a game with Kobol, CFB, and Peg. I was a starting Cylon and a successful skill check randomly outed me (player just happened to select my loyalty to look at). Then I got brigged and executed before the first jump. :-\


Yeah that was a bit random, usually on th e'pick someone's loyalty to check as anders I'd strongly lay on the 'well we should check the president/admiral' to make sure we've got the 'power positions' checked out... backed up a an 'anders is hopeless' check someone important line

finally when they do look at your card it's full on accusing them of being a cylon trying to frame you :)

#20 dakuth

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:02 PM

I keep thinking one day I'll check this thread and someone will have posted some sort of 6-step combo of how to use Anders effectively. I remain disappointed. The only use I see for him is a combo with Cottle and A Better Machine to keep filling his hand up... then I remember that dumping your hand is an action. Sigh.

 

I played him last game, using the following theories (borrowed from this thread):

 

- Pilots aren't needed. Our group finds the exact opposite of everyone else, apparently, in that we find pilots aren't really needed with the CFB and ARE important with CACs... but we weren't playing CFB and I thought I'll try and play to the common wisdom.

- Never draw red. Since pilots aren't supposed to be needed, I just never drew red. It's nice that I didn't have to. I also argued that in a pinch we could use Communications, Pegasus, or Command ... so really I'd only be in a viper if absolutely needed

- If it came down to it, I'd get XO'd out to space, dumping my hand as I go for all reds.

 

What happened in practice was, early on I had no problems with cards. We had a good run and many of use built up full hands. I was able to hold cards by arguing "I don't have many because I'm Anders" for the first turn or two.

 

We were able to jump away from most threats / use communications.

 

At one point, I considered jumping out in space, but it happened to be a moment when I only had 3 cards in hand. This is where the fact it is a action kills Anders. I couldn't justify wasting an action to get out there, when Political Apollo had red cards burning a hole in his pocket. It was better to XO him so he could get rid of his reds, as he was in a better position and didn't have a waste an action to get the reds. (Of course, long term, my hand was better than Apollos. Greens and Purples I could regularly contribute "a lot." as well has plenty of strat planning.)

 

Then, I was a cylon, made a mistake and outted myself. On the cylon activation I was able to use my OPG to make a raider destroy an assault raptor, which was nice.

 

So. Yeah. Not that bad. The fact he doesn't have to draw red is just great. But his OPT is badly gimped by it being an action. Under the right circumstances it could be used, but probably only once... or zero... times a game.






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