Recreate the tension and mystery of the critically acclaimed show by serving as Admiral of the Colonial Fleet, President of the Colonies or just another hot-shot viper jockey. The human race will need each of you to survive…
Unless you're a Cylon, of course.
Players assume the role of one of their favorite characters from the epic series. Each character has their own skills, strengths and weaknesses based on the nature and personality of their television counterpart. As a more specific example: Lee "Apollo" Adama has the Alert Viper Pilot ability, which allows the character to jump into a Viper that has been placed in a space area and immediately activate that ship. Lee also benefits from the CAG ability, allowing him to activate up to six unmanned Vipers once per game. However, this character has the negative aspect, Headstrong. When the Lee Adama player is forced to discard skill cards, he or she must discard them randomly.
At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt a face-down card from the Loyalty Deck. These cards separate the Cylons and Cylon sympathizers from human characters. Human players will try to rally all of their resources into solving the many crises in the game, while players who side with the Cylons will secretly undermine those efforts. More cards from the Loyalty Deck are dealt out midway through the game (in the Sleeper Agent Phase). At this point, someone who had been whole-heartedly supporting the humans may find out they were a Cylon all along!
The game board is where the main action of the game takes place. The largest section of the board is taken up by a representation of the Galactica, surrounded by six areas of open space. Cylon Raiders, Heavy Raiders, Basestars and defenseless civilian ships can usually be found surrounding Galactica. Vipers (which can be flown by the player characters with the piloting ability) launch only from the port side of the ship. Fans of the show will recognize that the starboard hangar of Galactica is inoperable due to the fact that it has been converted to a museum.
Characters may move freely between the ten locations found on Galactica, gaining whatever benefits (special actions, draw a card, etc) are associated with that location. Players may also choose to board the presidential ship Colonial One, located on the top of the board, but they must pay one skill card to travel between ships.
The board also features an area exclusively for players who has been exposed as Cylons (and no, I am not talking about the brig). From these Cylon Locations, revealed Cylons and Cylon sympathizers may continue to thwart the plans of humanity. Directly to the right of this section of the game board is the boarding party track, where the progression of the Cylon Centurions aboard Galactica can be seen. If a Centurion marker reaches the end of the track, the humans are vented into space and lose the game.
The resource dials can be found at the uppermost right corner of the game board. Here, humanity tracks their ever-dwindling food, morale, fuel and population. If any of these dials reach zero, the Cylon players win. Beneath the resource dials lies the jump preparation track. As humanity deals with each crises, they have the chance of progressing up this track. When the marker reaches the end of this track, the fleet is automatically jumped to a new location.
Four types of plastic ships may be used during the Cylon attacks. Humans control the Vipers and Raptors, while Cylons control the Raiders and Heavy Raiders. These ships are in limited quantities and may be damaged in a fight, so use them wisely!
Civilian ships and Basestars may also be found in the space surrounding Galactica. Each civilian ship token has an identical back and a front which lists a number of resources. If that ship is destroyed, the resources listed on the token are also destroyed. The Basestar markers have the ability to attack Galactica as well as launch additional Raiders during combat. One of the most effective ways to destroy a Basestar is with a nuke, but with only two nukes in the game, this decision, made by the Admiral, should not be taken lightly.
Winning the Game
Each player's goal for the game varies greatly depending on what side of the Cylon war he or she is on. Human players are attempting to jump the fleet enough times to reach Kobol and find the path to earth. The humans may jump the fleet to a new location by meeting one of these conditions:
1. The fleet token is moved to the "Auto Jump" space at the end of the Jump Preparation track. If they jump enough times, the human players will reach the Kobol objective and win the game.
2. A player may activate the "FTL Control" location inside of Galactica to force the fleet to jump. This is dangerous however, as there is a chance that this jump will leave some of the fleet's population behind!
Cylon players must prevent the humans from reaching their Kobol objective. There are three possible ways of doing this:
1. Run out of a Resource. If, at the end of a player's turn, any one of the resource dials is at 0, the Cylons win.
2. Centurion Invasion. If at least one Centurion marker reaches the end of the Boarding Party track, the Cylons win.
3. Destroy Galactica. If six or more locations on Galactica have damage tokens on them at the same time, the ship succumbs to her injuries and the Cylons win.