Hey, thanks for the replies everyone. I've hopefully got the first game set up for this Thursday, I'm looking forward to it!
Glad to hear the social aspect of the game is important, I look forward to wheeling and dealing (and double-dealing) with my mates.
A couple of quick clarifications would be appreciated, if anybody has the time, just so I can get the session running as smoothly as possible;
First thought that springs to mind is whether all interaction and strategising between players has to be based on cards or whether it can be a bit more...organic, almost like roleplay I guess. As mentioned, when me and my friends play Risk, we'll often end up nipping away for secret discussions away from the other players to make pacts etc. Can this kind of thing be done in BSG?
Similarly, is there any room for dealing and trading within the rules? Say I have an ally who I'm confident is human. We think it would be more beneficial for him to make use of a skill card I've received and so in exchange for him agreeing to undertake a certain action in his next turn, I give him the card. Is that allowed? From a fluff/immersion standpoint, I can see it representing a character giving another character an order or instruction to undertake on their behalf. From a gameplay point, it could open up even more strategies, and more excitingly, lead to some brilliant betrayals. If somebody who's earned my trust to the extent I hand them a card turns out to be a cylon, not only will I have been well and truly played, but it might also bring my own allegiance into question. I think it sounds great, but wonder if more experienced players can see it leading to balance problems.
Finally, and I guess this kind of links to my first question; I know the secrecy rules forbid discussing specific card values etc, so when discussing actions and how the players should respond to a situation, can they indicate their intent via in character dialogue? For an example; say there's a skill check which requires Politics and Tactics cards to pass. Lee Adama's player only has piloting cards left in his hand, and so legitimately can't contribute positively to the check. Obviously, he wants to avoid any suspicion as to why he's not going to help out, so if he told the other players that he'd have to leave this decision to them so he could focus on the defense of Galactica and the fleet (using his red piloting cards to keep the Cylons at bay), would that be acceptable? Or, is that a moot point, is it supposed to be completely secret as to whether a player contributes cards to a skill check? (i know they're played face down, but should other players not even see who's contributing to the deck?)
Oh, and one more quick question that's just cropped up in my practice play through...When the admiral looks at the two potential jump destinations, does he share this specific info with the other players? Or make his choice and tell them what the options were? I've just pulled two -2 fuel destinations and can imagine that in game, that would cast suspicion on me when we arrived at our crappy destination. Would people have to take me at my word? Showing the cards seems to defeat the point of having the choice.
Thanks for any help you can give. Sorry for the essay length post! I'm just really excited to get playing and want to make sure I'm getting as much intrigue and player interaction as possible, within the rules.