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CFB Fails Again


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#1 dakuth

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:23 AM

I don't understand why people like this thing. I've certainly complained about it before, and went back to CACs. I like them MUCH better.

 

When Daybreak arrived, I decided to break it out again - you know, put as many expansions together as possible (disappointed I can't do "The Search For Home" and "Ionian Nebula" together)

 

And... it failed just as hard as every other time. Yuck. I blogged about it, but I'm happy to discuss on here.

 

More background: http://thegamespushe...fails-me-again/

 



#2 Skowza

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:22 PM

The CFB has some problems, yes, but I think it's still better than the attack cards, they are just way too unreliable. Addressing your points:
1. A human team that delays jumping is only dragging out the awful things that happen to them on the additional Crisis cards they will get by delaying. And it's not exactly easy to delay jumping, you can Launch Scouts at the Crisis deck to try to bury jump icons, costing you both actions and cards that can probably be better spent in some other manner, or Ros can choose jumpless Crisis cards on her turn, or Boomer can bury them.
2. Gaming the CFB has become harder with the new Treachery cards. Yea, you can still damage a Basestar and let it sit there, but in the pic that you provided what should have happened is a Cylon player goes to the Basestar Bridge and pushes the jump track up, then rolls Raiders to choose two Galatica tokens and resolve one. Also, the first time the humans jump, the Pursuit Track is going to drop a massive fleet in! Even if you nuke the two Basestars there are still 8+ Raiders to deal with, Cylons can continue to resolve damage tokens on their turn, pretty soon FTL is going to be hit, people are going to sickbay, etc. The second pic isn't exactly great for the humans either since Centurions can easily jump on board when the Heavy Raider icon shows up. I'm guessing that one was early enough that the Cylons were unrevealed and couldn't actively work to make that happen.
3. The Cylon players can actively work to prevent some of these tactics. A Cylon Admiral can needlessly waste nukes, and escorting the Civies off the board costs actions, maybe not a ton, but going back to attack cards means all those actions are instead used to draw cards, repair, shoot at Centurions, etc. I look at escort duty as just one more overwhelming thing the humans have to deal with, forcing careful choices out of the human players. And there is one copy of Best of the Best in all those Piloting cards, if the humans manage to draw it they will probably only get one use in an entire game... it could go into Destiny, or be drawn by a Cylon who loves Piloting cards to spike skill checks, and it's not like the Piloting deck gets cycled quickly.

You've obviously tried using Earth since the Rebel Basestar is in the corner of the pics, and I think the extra distance makes up for some of the weaknesses of the CFB, but with all the crazy new awfulness the humans have to deal with, the ability to game the CFB a little bit doesn't dissuade us from using it. We still need a few more Daybreak games under our belts to make a final decision on some things, but the superiority of the CFB over the attack cards is not one of them.

#3 dakuth

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:04 PM


The CFB has some problems, yes, but I think it's still better than the attack cards, they are just way too unreliable. Addressing your points:
1. A human team that delays jumping is only dragging out the awful things that happen to them on the additional Crisis cards they will get by delaying. And it's not exactly easy to delay jumping, you can Launch Scouts at the Crisis deck to try to bury jump icons, costing you both actions and cards that can probably be better spent in some other manner, or Ros can choose jumpless Crisis cards on her turn, or Boomer can bury them.
2. Gaming the CFB has become harder with the new Treachery cards. Yea, you can still damage a Basestar and let it sit there, but in the pic that you provided what should have happened is a Cylon player goes to the Basestar Bridge and pushes the jump track up, then rolls Raiders to choose two Galatica tokens and resolve one. Also, the first time the humans jump, the Pursuit Track is going to drop a massive fleet in! Even if you nuke the two Basestars there are still 8+ Raiders to deal with, Cylons can continue to resolve damage tokens on their turn, pretty soon FTL is going to be hit, people are going to sickbay, etc. The second pic isn't exactly great for the humans either since Centurions can easily jump on board when the Heavy Raider icon shows up. I'm guessing that one was early enough that the Cylons were unrevealed and couldn't actively work to make that happen.
3. The Cylon players can actively work to prevent some of these tactics. A Cylon Admiral can needlessly waste nukes, and escorting the Civies off the board costs actions, maybe not a ton, but going back to attack cards means all those actions are instead used to draw cards, repair, shoot at Centurions, etc. I look at escort duty as just one more overwhelming thing the humans have to deal with, forcing careful choices out of the human players. And there is one copy of Best of the Best in all those Piloting cards, if the humans manage to draw it they will probably only get one use in an entire game... it could go into Destiny, or be drawn by a Cylon who loves Piloting cards to spike skill checks, and it's not like the Piloting deck gets cycled quickly.

You've obviously tried using Earth since the Rebel Basestar is in the corner of the pics, and I think the extra distance makes up for some of the weaknesses of the CFB, but with all the crazy new awfulness the humans have to deal with, the ability to game the CFB a little bit doesn't dissuade us from using it. We still need a few more Daybreak games under our belts to make a final decision on some things, but the superiority of the CFB over the attack cards is not one of them.

 

1. Delaying is a simple as not using the FTL room early. Since civvies are almost never in danger with the CFB, there is never any argument about jumping early (pop is expendable) ... unless the humans are trying to game the CFB.

 

2. In both pics, there was no cylons yet. Both were sleepers - but that is a little beside the point, since I'm arguing this is just an anecdote as to why the CFB is bad. A revealed Cylon could help the board along, and certainly would have... but that leads into the argument the Basestar Bridge is too much of a "must use" location. So, perhaps a revealed cylon could have jumped that fleet across. What ACTUALLY happened in that game was the following:

- The fleet came across early in the next jump cycle.

- The Admiral (who was not one of the sleepers) nuked one of the basestars and 3 raiders... a terrible roll (obviously it was strat planned.) It could have been both basestars and the heavy and the raiders... but there was a silver lining. With one remaining basestar, the pursuit track and CFB was neutered.

- The CAG (Kat - not a sleeper) had cleaned up any straggling civvies. There was a bunch at the rear of Galactica (almost exclusively due to Treachery "bait" which everyone was treating as a "free discard into a skill check.") He'd positioned himself at location 5, ready for the attack, and some 1 or 2 vipers were at the rear of Galactica. When the attack happened, Best of the Best was played (by a non-sleeper) and Kat used her ability to play a strength 5 card and wiped out practically every raider in that square.

- The remaining non-sleeper (Chief, I think) was in Pegasus and used the main battery to knock 4 raiders out in position 3

 

So... yeah, it took 3 actions, but that whole attack was basically eliminated easily. It could have been a concern, but there wasn't many civvies for them to destroy anyway. Damage to Galactica probably would have been the bigger concern... had there been any Cylons. The key to note, though, is that (largely by coincidence) it was non-sleeper agents that did all the work. The Sleepers didn't know they were Cylons, but even if they did, as it turns out the pure-humans did it themselves anyway. So it was certainly possible. A revealed cylon who got a turn in there, would have been the only way to disrupt things... but I had started this hypothetical by saying they'd used their action to start the attack so...

 

I think that, yes, the humans got a little lucky. This game, in general, was largely won due to the fact there was 2 sleepers. However, our group are never really frightened of the "big fleets" because of two factors:
1. We can see it coming, and hang on to Best of the Best, strat planning (for nukes), and put someone in Pegasus.

2. It's trivial to clean up the civvies with the CAG. The CAG doesn't usually have anything much better to do, so if he finds himself without an XO he'll often use his three actions to clean up 2 or 3 civvies. If the humans, as a whole, don't have that much to do it's not uncommon to throw an XO at the CAG - afterall, getting 3 actions out of an XO is an incredibly efficient use of your turn. The game is largely about prioritising, and XOing the CAG can often creep to the top of the list simply due to its efficiency.

 

I'm not sure why everyone finds the CFB so hard? It's as hard as CACs at best ... I think. I do often muse (here and elsewhere) that our group might have just had a terrible, terrible run of CACs since buying the game. For example calling the CACs unreliable... we just don't find that. They're reliably NASTY. The once or twice we've had badly timed, or few CACs, the humans have still lost (or scraped by.) With the CFB, the humans scrape by like they would with a "lame-draw" CAC game. Frustrating, boring, and weird is the way I'd describe it.

 

3. .... I covered this in my rant labelled "2."

 

 

 

Yeah, we have used Earth as a destination twice now (once CAC once CFB.) The OTHER Daybreak rules seems to have balanced things out for us (but ... you know, only 2 games so far.) We haven't been able to properly use Demetrius yet... so that means distance 10 without using Demetrius Missions. i.e. the games go for longer. We try to, but there is usually a higher priority. The Cylon Civil war tends to get buried, because finding the distance missions is just too important (perhaps it'd be a good one for a hidden cylon to whip out.)

 

I think we'll be alternating between Ionian Nebula and Earth and Kobol, to be honest. Just to keep things mixed up.


Edited by dakuth, 14 October 2013 - 10:11 PM.


#4 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:36 PM

I know you're not supposed to, but has anyone tried combining CAC with CFB? Perhaps placement goes on the CFB and maybe random draw X number of CAC to go in the deck?



#5 dakuth

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:49 PM

Last time I ranted on here, someone suggested it. I'd be interested if anyone could get a mechanic that worked, but I can't think of anything...

#6 kilrah

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:59 AM

Wouldn't be doing it the other way around be the better option? Leave the CAC in and if drawn take the ships from the CFB first (reserves if not sufficient). Leave all other rules as are. Maybe add a jump icon to each CAC? Dunno about balance, unfortunately I don't play the game nearly enought.



#7 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:16 PM

Dunno off hand how Many CAC there are, but I'd say start with half. Activate still happens, Cylon placement happens on CFB, vipers and civies on main board, and special timing still happens. Doesn't fix the humans knowing where the attack is coming from, but perhaps the sheer number of raiders might just kick off a sector attack that the humans can't plan for.



#8 Hannibal Rex

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:36 AM

Just posting to let you know you're not a lone voice in the wilderness.

 

I didn't like the CFB from the start, and I know a bunch of people who've grown disenchanted with it over time.

 

At its core, it introduces more problems into the game than it fixes.

 

I don't necessarily agree that it's too easy. While it's absolutely a problem that it can be gamed to such a big extent by the humans, that largely stops once there's a revealed Cylon - and the CFB encourages Cylons to reveal as soon as possible. What usually happens then is that the Cylon(s) spread raiders all over the CFB, and once the fleet jumps in, snipe Galactica locations with damage. Often, the remaining human team doesn't draw enough Engineering to stay on top of that, especially since the more damaged Galactica is, the easier it becomes for Cylons to send people to sickbay by hitting a just-repaired location again.

 

It's pretty swingy. Either the humans meta-game the hell out of the CFB, and neutralize it for most of the game, or the Cylons manage to build up a fleet of doom that overwhelms the humans with damage.

 

And either way, it takes away from the strengths of the core game - the paranoia and ambiguity. Dealing with the CFB is pretty much completely above board, and it turns the focus of the game into a really lackluster space combat management sim. Wheras in the base game, most actions have a hidden component that ramps up the paranoia - if someone scouts and buries the crisis/destination, it will never be clear if he helped or actually hindered the humans. Consolidating Power helps with crisis, but it also let's players hoard cards. The Quorum can be genuinely unhelpful, or a Cylon President is just digging for Arrest Orders, etc, etc. The CFB takes so many actions to deal with that there's very little left for the actually interesting parts of the game.



#9 dakuth

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:15 PM

Just posting to let you know you're not a lone voice in the wilderness.

 

I didn't like the CFB from the start, and I know a bunch of people who've grown disenchanted with it over time.

 

At its core, it introduces more problems into the game than it fixes.

 

I don't necessarily agree that it's too easy. While it's absolutely a problem that it can be gamed to such a big extent by the humans, that largely stops once there's a revealed Cylon - and the CFB encourages Cylons to reveal as soon as possible. What usually happens then is that the Cylon(s) spread raiders all over the CFB, and once the fleet jumps in, snipe Galactica locations with damage. Often, the remaining human team doesn't draw enough Engineering to stay on top of that, especially since the more damaged Galactica is, the easier it becomes for Cylons to send people to sickbay by hitting a just-repaired location again.

 

It's pretty swingy. Either the humans meta-game the hell out of the CFB, and neutralize it for most of the game, or the Cylons manage to build up a fleet of doom that overwhelms the humans with damage.

 

And either way, it takes away from the strengths of the core game - the paranoia and ambiguity. Dealing with the CFB is pretty much completely above board, and it turns the focus of the game into a really lackluster space combat management sim. Wheras in the base game, most actions have a hidden component that ramps up the paranoia - if someone scouts and buries the crisis/destination, it will never be clear if he helped or actually hindered the humans. Consolidating Power helps with crisis, but it also let's players hoard cards. The Quorum can be genuinely unhelpful, or a Cylon President is just digging for Arrest Orders, etc, etc. The CFB takes so many actions to deal with that there's very little left for the actually interesting parts of the game.

 

Yes, I agree with much of this:

  • Early reveals encouraged (we already tended to reveal early, so this is not good!)
  • "Sniping Galactica" is exactly how the Cylons have won with the CFB in our games. The CAG has cleaned up all the civvies except one, and due to "too much to do, not enough time" or cylon reveals, that civvie dies. Then between the cylon's actions and the raider activations, Galactica gets hit by raiders.
  • It's swingy. When the humans win, it's because the CFB has been gamed to hell. When they lose, it's because a fleet got to attack, then the cylons got lucky on the track manipulation - knocking the humans back, keeping them in the same jump cycle for an extremely long time.
  • There's no real duplicity added. It was added, I assume, to spruce up revealed cylon turns... but I found it was a null proposition since the bridge is more-or-less a "must activate" location. Revealed cylon turns are still incredibly boring.





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