Here is a variant which speeds up play while enhancing the thematic intensity of the show. It turns time into a game mechanic and helps combat analysis paralysis.
Disclaimer: This came about as a solution to our 6 player games that were taking longer than 10 hours to complete. If your games are in the normal 3-4 hour range, this variant is not going to be useful for you.
Set a time limit to the game by round (a round being each player taking 1 turn each). I recommend 2 - 4 minutes per person per turn depending on the number of expansions in play. A six player game as an example, the group would set a round time limit of 12-20 minutes. Let's say in this case we set it to 18 minutes (average of 3 minutes per player turn)
At the end of the round, if time has exceeded the set limit - Galactica incurs a penalty to one of the four resources: Food, Fuel, Moral, or Population. Role the d8 and apply the result:
1-2: Reduce Food by one (the longer it takes to get home, the more food is eaten).
3-4: Reduce Fuel by 1 (wasted fuel staying stationary and not traveling forward).
5-6: Reduce Moral by 1 (Folks want to get home).
7-8: Reduce population by 1 (people don't live forever - get a move on!)
Dynamic to game-play:
- Gives unrevealed Cylons another opportunity to sabotage Galactica***.
- The last player or two in the round could end up on a real time crunch and have to make critical decisions fast....just like in the show and real life.
- Keeps the game moving which can easily come to a halt when people start over strategizing.
- If the time limit was exceeded, players can think back and ponder whether everyone acted as quickly as they possibly could...or did someone hang on their decisions a little too long?
All you need for this variant is a basic digital timer that either counts up or down (preferably down). Most smartphones have apps for timers.
Once Cylons are revealed, decrease the time limit by 2-4 minutes per revealed Cylon and pause the timer for the revealed Cylons turn and resume at the start of the next human character player turn.
Example in a 6 player game, 3 minutes per person, for a ROUND time limit of 18 minutes: One player is eventually revealed as a Cylon. New time limit is 15 minutes and the timer is stopped for the Cylons turn. If another Cylon is revealed, the new time limit would be 12 minutes, and time is paused on both Cylon turns.
***While this variant does allow Cylon players the opportunity to sabotage, they should try to encompass the same sort of discretion in the theme of the secrecy rules. A player can't obviously waste time just to enforce a penalty on Gallactica.
---To encourage fast play, a reward could be set if the time limit is beat by half plus 1 minute. So in our 6 player/18 minute Round, if the round is finished in 10 minutes or less, roll the d8 and add to the corresponding resource using the same result table above.
Happy, fast gaming!
Edited by Zarach, 11 November 2013 - 05:30 PM.