A possibly interesting minor variant for the playing of loyalty cards occurred to me. Instead of dealing them in two rounds, all loyalty cards are dealt at the start of the game in the appropriate numbers. However, players are only allowed to look at them in the usual way, ie one at start, the second after sleeper phase (adjusting for Sharon/Gaius obviously). The other card for the first half of the game would remain face down and would be kept seperate from the viewed card, perhaps over the character portrait. The big difference would be that any cards/abilities which allow players to look at loyalty cards could be used on either card in the first half of the game, thereby allowing someone to potentially view a card which had not been seen by it's owner yet. This would have a number of effects:
- Feel thematically more sound... it always felt a bit random to me that cylonhood could be determined midway.
- Creates more interesting gameplay decisions. Do you look at the viewed or unviewed card if you can only look at one? What do you do with this information? Potentially allows characters to know the cylonhood/humanity of other players before they do?
- Allows for characters to be accused of cylonhood and not know whether the other player is lying or not!
- Makes Baltar's ability much more powerful.
This also has precedence in the show... think Baltar's running the cylon detector on Sharon and declaring her human. As I said, not a massive change, but does make for more potential devious and deceptive play, which I think is always good in this game!
If you try this, let me know what you think!