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Lee - is there really any other CAG choice?


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#1 Skowza

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:24 AM

Most every game that we've played since I picked up Exodus has left me sitting in a position where I have to choose a pilot or support character, and I've picked Lee every time.  I wasn't a big fan of him back in the day when the game first came out, but I really grew to like him during our Pegasus play.  I'm actually getting tired of him, but he's so strong as CAG, is there really any point to choosing anyone else?  Start on Galactica and activate 2 Vipers, place the 2nd one on the board and jump in with Lee's ability, activate a Viper with the CAG ability, and still get another action?  No other pilot comes close! 



#2 Holy Outlaw

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:32 PM

Skowza, my short answer is that I agree with you.  His OPT and OPG both get better with Cylon Fleet rules, and he continues to have the best card set for any pilot.

To me though, there is still a valid argument to be made for a fleet with a non-Apollo CAG, but it's predicated on two assumptions: 1) you're using Pegasus, and 2) the human fleet's ready to play entirely differently.  

In other words, I see two equally valid strategic approaches to a game with CAG and cylon fleet board.  Approach #1 is clearly best-suited for Apollo, while Approach #2 is no worse off if the pilot's one of the girls.  

Approach #1: The fleet regularly expends actions to XO the CAG, escort civies, and generally engage in the airfight.  Apollo is by far the strongest CAG for this approach, followed by Starbuck.

Approach #2: The fleet rarely sends out a piloted viper, allows all the civies to flood the board, uses "Communications" (maybe with Dee) to pool them into a single airspace beneath Galactica.  When the cylons come, humans use Main Batteries to pare down raiders and Command to fill the one square with 4 vipers with a single XO.  Ignore the airfight until it gets within one space of the civilian fleet, and then go nuts defending it.  With this approach, I think I'd argue that Kat could be the best pilot (never thought I'd hear myself say that, but she's gotten better with Exodus for a variety of reasons).  If not Kat, then still Apollo, but with less daylight between him and the other options, just for the sheer fact that you're using far fewer piloting actions.  Obviously, the upside to this approach is the bonus actions the fleet can use doing something else.

I guess there are a few more points to consider, like who flips cylon better (probably Apollo again, but it's close) or how much do the forced CAG discards from "CAG chooses" cards hurt Apollo, but I'd say my general impression is that Apollo's the best, with an asterisk.  

 



#3 ronsen_04

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 05:38 PM

Oh, I like that 'Approach #2'. :)

Approach #1 is probably the most straight forward and, I would assume, the approach used by most gaming groups out there; if only because my group usually plays this way. Approach #2 does hold a nice alternative, though. Definitely worth a try to see it in action, if nothing else.

 

As for Apollo...I always thought he was one of the strongest characters in the base game. Not because of his OPG (although his OPT is surely to be listed among the more powerful ones) but because he has such great versatility when it comes to skill cards. If you play a game with 4 players and Apollo is not the Cylon, he can fill almost every role immediately -- except that of Support. However, with the use of Consolidate Power political skill cards he can get a good selection of engineering cards to even become a decent part-time supporter. Very few other characters on the base game had that ability, and most of those suffer from other, more disabling draw backs. And even with the greater variety of characters through the two expansions Apollo still has that versatility speaking for him.



#4 Skowza

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 02:31 AM

Approach #2 does sound like fun, but sounds weaker and more susceptible to Cylon trickery, especially use of the Basestar Bridge. 



#5 Holy Outlaw

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 05:16 AM

 Yeah it's subject to a different kind of cylon treachery, I'd say.  On the one hand, it's insulated from Apollo CAG getting that critically timed XO and using his OPG and CAG abilities to leave the fleet high and dry (he wouldn't get the XO at that time with this option).  And since it relies on only three locations that can be activated by any player, it doesn't need any particular characters to stay human, so it's fairly insulated from sleeper cylon shenanigans, but I think you're talking about revealed cylons damaging Galactica with Basestar Bridge if the number of raiders gets out of control?  I agree that could be a problem, but there's nothing stopping the fleet from using Main Batteries to shave numbers off the raiders even when they're in an inconsequential airspace.  

 I'm not just idly speculating, though.  I really have tried it and found it equally viable; if you choose characters around it, I really think it can be even stronger.  Personally, I play Apollo more than any other character (thus the avatar) and I got to a point where I made similar observations to the ones you started the thread with.  I felt kind of bored and confined to my role, so I started trying other things recently.  Speaking purely anecdotally, I find Approach #2 to work very well.



#6 James McMurray

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 07:52 AM

Skowza said:

Most every game that we've played since I picked up Exodus has left me sitting in a position where I have to choose a pilot or support character, and I've picked Lee every time.  I wasn't a big fan of him back in the day when the game first came out, but I really grew to like him during our Pegasus play.  I'm actually getting tired of him, but he's so strong as CAG, is there really any point to choosing anyone else?  Start on Galactica and activate 2 Vipers, place the 2nd one on the board and jump in with Lee's ability, activate a Viper with the CAG ability, and still get another action?  No other pilot comes close! 

What about the "games are supposed to be fun" reason? If your fun level is dropping because you're constantly playing the same character, stop playing him. :)



#7 Skowza

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:37 AM

James McMurray said:

 

What about the "games are supposed to be fun" reason? If your fun level is dropping because you're constantly playing the same character, stop playing him. :)

I know, but when forced to choose between pilot and support, most of the time I will pick pilot.  Also, I have to keep in mind what characters have been chosen and how weak the humans will be if I don't pick Apollo; in a 6 player game, if the 3 people before me have chosen Military, Political and Support, pilots are needed pretty badly...  Cally looks like a lot of fun and I may choose her next time this happens.






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