After hearing how good it was, I picked up BSG 1 week ago. Since then my circle of friends and I have played 4 games - the humans have won once, and all but one game were absolute nail-biters.
What a great game this is.
The most dynamic one was actually the game in which the humans were soundly beaten.
It started with me discovering one of the cylons before even one full turn around the table. However, before even that, the president played a Quorom card "special assignment" to give one player the ability to choose our next destination out of 3 destination cards instead of the usual 2. The president chose Boomer.
Soon a crisis required politics and tactics. Boomer chipped in one card. The only positive cards during the strength total was politics… no tactics… so there was no way he could have chipped in a positive card. Boomer hadn't even had a turn yet, only had his starting cards so couldn't have even got different cards via other methods. So, bam. He's outted. He has a turn and doesn't immediately reveal … because he gets to pick our next destination! Nothing in the rules saying those "in play" cards are affected by a brigging, so he decides to sacrifice his reveal ability to choose our destination. We make a lot of disparaging remarks about the Presidents choice of "special agent."
Fast forward to 1 distance from the sleeper phase. Other than our revealed cylon, there is no other indication we have another - so I assume it is a sleeper.
Then a crisis comes up with 3 negative cards… a cylon is a-foot afterall! Looking at the possibilities it had to be either me as Giaus Baltar, or the new President (the title having recently moved to the player on my left.) Obviously it wasn't me, so it had to be him! As we argued the point, the pizza arrived.
For the entire time we eat, we argue over which of us is the cylon. Both of us are SO CONVINCING that I begin to believe there has been a mistake… *I'M* not the cylon… but I don't think HE is either! I tell him to XO me, and I will cylon detect him if he is so sure he is human. He takes up my challenge and XOs me… I detect him… and it's true -- he's human!! Some HUMAN made a mistake with the cards giving us 3 negatives. Of course no-one at the table can be 100% sure about me, but I have been very adamant… not to mention it was *I* who outted the original cylon. So I go back to assuming we have a sleeper… but much distrust has been sown and my cylon detector ability got drawn out of me before everyone had all their loyalty cards.
So the sleeper phase hits. The president is the symphathiser (morale in the red) and is brigged. We immediately try to un-brig him, and naturally there is a cylon working against us (as well as the overt one.) After one failed attempt, we try again and are successful this time. Still, we wasted a lot of skill cards, and start to lose resources to failed crises (many we don't even attempt.)
At least the president is above reproach. I have cylon detected one of his loyalty cards, and the other was a sympathiser.
As our resources begin to dwindle, and we struggle to move up the jump track, I start to tell the president: I think you need to brig someone with a Quorom card. We can't have a hidden cylon destroying our skill checks - or have them reveal at the worst time!
Mr. President, who was probably finally convinced I was innocent before the sleeper phase, now can't trust me. I'm confident Starbuck and Admiral Adama are human. They have done nothing to draw suspicion… that only left Laura Roslin. The ex-president who granted our original cylon control of the jump co-ordinates. Not that Laura had done anything TOO suspicious, but there was one or two checks he didn't go in on that made me suspicious. I thought that the other cylon loyalty card was either given to Roslin in the sleeper phase, or perhaps Boomer - the already revealed cylon. That's when Boomer played a master-stroke.
He used the resurrection ship to give his two remaining loyalty cards to Starbuck. "A ha!" I said, "Looks like we have to brig Starbuck before she reveals!" However, Starbuck protested: "He's tricking you! I'm still human!!" She was utterly convincing. Uh-oh. The President (Chief, by the way) doesn't trust me, I don't trust Laura, and I don't know if I believe Starbuck!!! (Post game I learned that Boomer was convinced I was indeed the cylon - after the debacle with the human accidentally playing against us it could "ONLY" have been me or Chief. Since I detected Chief, it had to me. He said he was in awe that I'd convinced everyone not to brig me. Post game I also learned that President Chief was having his own suspicious about Laura… but also couldn't trust me or Starbuck because of obvious reasons.)
Things were coming to a head. It was President Chief's turn, then Laura, then Starbuck. I told Mr President: "you have to brig someone. If you don't, the cylon will reveal on us and it will probably cost us the game. If you brig the wrong person, it will also probably cost us the game. So you have to brig someone, and it has to be the right person." He couldn't choose. I tried to give him advice, but I honestly wasn't helpful because I couldn't present a good argument as to why it wasn't me, beyond revealing the original cylon single-handedly - everyone agreed I was wiley enough to just do that to throw suspicion off myself - or could have been a sleeper. I also couldn't say if it was Starbuck or not - I tended to believe her story about being handed two human loyalty cards, but there was no guarantee. Even Bill Adama was only unsuspicious because he'd done nothing remarkable. So Chief abstained. Laura revealed.
Her reveal ability to was brig someone, so she brigged Mr President (again.) We tried immediately to break him out, but the Admiral had zero cards in his hands, and Starbuck and I couldn't do it with two cylons (and as it turns out destiny) working against us. So was had to wait until we collected some cards… that's when Boomer played her super-crisis "Massive Attack." We went backwards on the jump track. Our morale was getting so low we had all but decided to jump early - in fact, I convinced the Admiral not to jump at "-3" because there was a good chance he or I would get a jump track icon and could jump at -1 with little risk. ("We can jump if and when an attack happens.") I did NOT KNOW that there was a super crisis that could reverse the jump track!!
We tried again to get Chief out of the brig… and failed. And, thinking we'd drawn the cylon's best cards out, tried again - failing again. We wasted card after card on trying to get him out but luck was aligned completely against us, and wasting cards like this then made us struggle mightily with crises as well. We also pulled 2 more attack cards before moving along the jump track… the admiral "spat the dummy" and started discarding his tactics cards on useless things (sigh) making de-brigging the President even harder. We NEEDED a third person - to fight boarders, to fire the guns, to command the vipers….
In a desperate, last ditch attempt we had only one chance of survival:
1. XO the president. We MUST succeed at this brig check
2. Chief uses the brig action to move to the FTL room, which basestars had damaged
3. Chief repairs the FTL room and uses his free action to force the jump. Population would become dire if we lost 3, but not as dire as morale or fuel
4. Due to the seating of the cylons, who would certainly activate heavy raiders, Starbuck *must* next XO Adama who is in the armory so the boarders can be shot. Adama will then have his turn and must shoot another centurion, then I *must* XO Adama to finish all the boarders off. He'll have 5 shots, and must hit 3 of them or we lose.
He hit, then missed, then turned a miss into a hit with strategic planning, then missed… missed… missed. We lose.
Due to the choice of 1 distance with no penalty, or 2 distance with -2 morale (which would have made us lose) we were only distance 7 and most likely would have lost to morale, or fuel, or population before winning… so I was easily the worst lost humans had suffered since buying the game…. but man!!! What a game!