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What happens to the sympathizer after their trip to the brig?

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#1 HabeasDorkus



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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:06 AM

Hey everyone. We played our first 2 games of BSG last night, base game only and had a question about the sympathizer. In both games there was a resource dial that was red during the the sleeper agent phase. The rules seem pretty clear to us if there was no red dials. Our question was, after the sympathizer is sent to the brig, who do they work for? From the rules standpoint it says that after the character is sent to the brig, the card is "then treated as a 'You Are Not a Cylon' card." This leads me to believe that once a player is sent to the brig, they then resume working for the humans (assuming their other card is also a "You Are Not a Cylon" card.

However, thematically, a cylon sympathizer would continue to hold sympathy for the cylons even after escaping the Brig. This leads me to wonder if that player should attempt to thwart the humans efforts in everyway possible, i.e. - try to help the cylon(s) win. Our first game we played, the sympathizer stayed loyal to the Cylon player and the humans were very quickly destroyed. In our second game we played the other way where the trip to the Brig essentially cured the sympathizer of their loyalties. In this game the humans were able to win. After reading a lot of the forum posts (trying to find an answer to this question) I noticed a lot of discrepencies on the question of whether humans could ever win or had a fair shot at winning. This question definiately has strong implications depending on how people play, so I'm left wondering what the rules are for this question and how people have been playing. Thanks.

#2 Just Another Skinjob

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:05 AM

Hi mate,

If the resource dials are in the red then the sympathizer is sent to the brig and is classed as a human player from that point on. Unless their other loyalty card is a cylon one, of course…

So, the human team will need to pass the skill check to get the sympathizer out of the brig and then it's business as usual for them.

The normal curve with this game seems to be that the humans tend to lose the first few games, but as they get more experienced the balance evens out. My group currently have 3 (maybe 4) human wins in a row. We've played about 12 games now, and people are really getting to grips with the game so the Cylons need to up their game!


Hope this helped.

#3 subochre



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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:55 PM


As for how to make thematic sense of that, it's not entirely clear.  The most common (and most straightforward) interpretation seems to be that the sympathizer is a Baltar when the dials are in the blue, and an Athena when the dials are in the red.  I'm not a fan of this view, as it raises the bigger problem of how a player's species can depend on the resource levels.  As such, my preferred explanation is just that when a resource is in the red, things go differently in two ways: 1) the humans more aggressively police anyone displaying cylon sympathies, and 2) the whole Demand Peace movement loses steam as it becomes ever more apparent that the cylons are pushing the humans towards extinction, and the sympathizers grudgingly participate in the last-ditch survival effort

#4 psiho333



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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:59 AM

Wouldn't a simpler explanation be that the Cylon Sympathizer realizes that the Humans are going to die (a resource in the red should be an indication of this …) and suddenly has a change of heart?

#5 Mephisto666



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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

Trying not to be a wet blanket…

but what I have learned from this forum is that players that try to "understand" (or interpret) the rules based on the TV Series plot lines or theme are in for a world of hurt and confusion. <grin, but seriously…>

I recall some - legit - concerns of how could you use command to launch a viper if the hanger deck is damaged…  how can you have an "unmanned" viper… why cant Rapors fire missiles… but the answer is "in this GAME verison, that is how it works!"  

This is a game, themed after the show.  They can only fit so close - and for the most part they do - but you can only bend the rules-system so far before it breaks. 

So, when you start to ask  "But why would (blank) happen when in the show (other blank)…" about a strange rule/situation, it won't help.  The answer is "because the mechanics of the game require this oddity!"  haha. 

So, the reality is, if all resources are in the blue=the humans are doing well, the "cylon" side get a (lame) helper.   If something is the red=humans are not doing so well, they keep the helper, but they suffer the penalty of them being brig'ed.   And of course, they could STILL be a cylon, if an other card makes them one, which add in to fun debates like "Do we let Sharon out?" which are OH SO FUN! 

If you want to find a good themeatic reason,  no problem - people here can be helpful.  But don't let it cloud your judgement about the rule or if you should use/change them.

And I totally agree with the shifting patterns of the game play.  Humans lose first games, then Cylons can barely win, then back again.  It takes a while to get a balance and even then you need a fairly consistent group.  It might be worth tracking individuals wins and loses over several games to keep the "trying" in every game/situation.  Maybe points for "best in game", so even someone on a "losing" team could get a bonus for best effort. 

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