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Tweaking Cylon Agendas (Part Deux)


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#1 Anacreon

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:12 PM

In the continuing hope of improving cylon agendas, I have developed the following additions for comment:

 

Sympathetic Agendas:

"Political Manipulation"

The Humans have won, and

Morale is the highest resource.

 

"Negotiate Armistice"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to nine or less.

 

"Make It Quick and Painless"

The Cylons have won, and

Must be a Centurion victory or destruction of Galactica.

 

Hostile agendas:

"Kill Them with Kindness"

The Cylons have won, and

Morale is the highest resource.

 

"Starvation"

The Cylons have won, and

Food is 2 or less, and

Population is 4 or greater.

 

"Domination"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to six or less.

 

Tweaked original agendas:

Sympathetic Agendas

Guide Them to Destiny”
The Humans have won, and
Population, morale, and food are all within 3 of each other.

 

 “Prove Their Worth”
The Humans have won, and
At least 7 raptors or vipers are damaged or destroyed.

 

“Join the Colonials”
The Humans have won, and
1) You are Infiltrating and not in the "Brig" or "Detention" and

2) You are holding two 6 point cards in your hand, and

3) You are holding six total points worth of Treachery cards, and

4) You may never repair a location.

 

Convert the Infidels”
The Humans have won, and
All resources are at 4 or lower.

 

“Salvage Their Equipment”
The Cylons have won, and
1) 2 or fewer Galactica locations are damaged, and

2) 2 or fewer vipers are damaged, and

3) There is at least one Centurion on board.

 

“The Illusion of Hope”
The Cylons have won, and
8 or more units of distance have been travelled.

 

Hostile Agendas

“Genocide”
The Cylons have won, and
Both food and population are at 2 or lower.

 

“Reduce Them to Ruins”
The Cylons have won, and
1) Four or more Galactica and/or Pegasus locations are damaged, and
2) Morale is at 2 or lower.

 

“Show Their True Nature”
The Cylons have won, and
1) Either you are in the "Brig" or you have been executed at least once, and

2a) Fewer than 4 civilian ships have been destroyed, or

2b) There is no more than one damaged location on Galactica.

 

“Siege Warfare”
The Cylons have won, and

Every resource is at 3 or lower.

 

“Grant Mercy”
The Humans have won, and
Population, morale, or food is at 2 or lower.

 

“Mutual Annihilation”
The Humans have won, and
1) Three or more civilian ships have been destroyed, and

2) Three or more Galactica locations are damaged, and

3) Three or more vipers or raptors have been destroyed.



#2 Skowza

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:05 PM

Just my initial thoughts…

Anacreon said:

"Negotiate Armistice"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to nine or less.

 

"Domination"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to six or less.

Why both of these?  Armistice seems too easy.

Anacreon said:

“Join the Colonials”
The Humans have won, and
1) You are Infiltrating and not in the "Brig" or "Detention" and

2) You are holding two 6 point cards in your hand, and

3) You are holding six total points worth of Treachery cards, and

4) You may never repair a location.

The chances of this happening seem really slim, even the two 6-point cards seems like dumb luck but adding all the other conditions makes it seem nigh-on impossible, whereas this

Anacreon said:

"Make It Quick and Painless"

The Cylons have won, and

Must be a Centurion victory or destruction of Galactica.

seems too easy (especially for Cavil who could just OPG Centurions 3 times) as does this

Anacreon said:

“Grant Mercy”
The Humans have won, and
Population, morale, or food is at 2 or lower.

since it seems likely that most games that end in Human victory will have at least one of these resources at 2 or lower.

Thats all I have time for right now, I'll take another look soon and make other suggestions; have you thought about something like  (forgive the awful title) "In Space, No One can Hear You Starve"
The Cylons have won and
Fuel/Food is at 0

i.e. something that makes CL focus on reducing the resources that the Humans don't usually lose on?  Or maybe other groups lose on Fuel and Food regularly, but we never do.

 



#3 Anacreon

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:48 AM

Thanks for the thoughts.  I appreciate them all, because the feedback will help me consider other angles and tighten these up.

I don't think there's going to be many agendas everyone's happy with.  Agendas are inherently problematic - they sometimes work, sometimes don't - and yes, it can depend on dumb luck!  I once drew an agenda that had me have to make sure there were "2 or fewer locations damaged on Pegasus or Galactica."  By then, Pegasus was destroyed (agenda was at half, not start), so the agenda was "broken" for me.  I later revised the agenda to just read "Galactica."

(BTW, I find that dumb luck does come up in BSG, although not so nearly as dramatically as the following: I was just playing a game last night where I was a revealed cylon and had an unrevealed cylon Admiral ally in a six player game; we were dominating the humans, the Admiral was an obvious cylon to everyone, and the humans were low on cards and surrounded by cylon ships, and then the cylon Admiral pulled a Crisis that allowed the President to execute the current player, which he immediately did - losing our side just about every single piece of leverage we had, from a title card, skill cards in that player's hands (going a whole round without cards), control of jumps, reveal power, a super crisis card that comes with a reveal, etc.  Within a few short turns, the humans jumped, had no enemies, and were flush with skill cards.  The entire momentum of the game shifted on the timing of a single crisis.  Very dumb luck indeed!)

Anyhow, I realized as I replied to this below that the way we play BSG informs my thinking on Agendas, which may be different from you and others.  We play with agendas *a lot* because we play the Sympathic Cylon variant described in Pegasus and also house rule it to include Hostile agendas if dials are in blue.  This means that 90% of the time that we agendas it is *without* Cylon Leaders but rather regular characters and that in those cases your agenda is given at half way, not start of the game - which is a very different experience. Thus, "too easy" and "too hard" are relative, depending on those variables.  I almost wonder if one needs whole different decks of agendas for different variants played. 

So, with that in mind, here are a few responses:

 

Skowza said:

Just my initial thoughts…

Anacreon said:

"Negotiate Armistice"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to nine or less.

"Domination"

The Humans have won, and

Morale and population add up to six or less.

 

Why both of these?  Armistice seems too easy.

 

One is more brutal than the other, that's all, so that's why both: one "sympathetic" and the other "hostile."  I wasn't sure about the numbers.  I don't know if Armistice is "too easy" but if it is, it could be lower and then the other perhaps lower as well.  What numbers would make sense?

 

Skowza said:

Anacreon said:

“Join the Colonials”
The Humans have won, and
1) You are Infiltrating and not in the "Brig" or "Detention" and

2) You are holding two 6 point cards in your hand, and

3) You are holding six total points worth of Treachery cards, and

4) You may never repair a location.

 

The chances of this happening seem really slim, even the two 6-point cards seems like dumb luck but adding all the other conditions makes it seem nigh-on impossible

I think we've played with this and people have managed it.  Actually, it might have been a single 6 point card, though.  We've altered these several times.

This *would* be bad with Cavil, who has to lose his hand of cards when a Cylon reveals.

But this is an alteration of the original agenda, which was awful to start with.  We added items because the idea here is that if you're going to have your cylon outright "join the colonials," we have to put some kind of roadblocks up.  It's hard to choose which are not going to mess *something* up.

 

Skowza said:

Whereas this

Anacreon said:

"Make It Quick and Painless"

The Cylons have won, and

Must be a Centurion victory or destruction of Galactica.

 

seems too easy (especially for Cavil who could just OPG Centurions 3 times)

 

Well, assuming this combination (Cavil/this agenda) did occur and his turn came at the right time and he was on Cylon Fleet space when his turn started, then yes… but then, isn't this a problem with Cavil being OP, not the agenda being easy?  And as I said above, we don't play with CLs exclusively for agendas. I think for other characters, it will be just as hard as usual to win this way. It could be made even harder, I guess, by stating it has to happen by, say, 7 amount of distance - thus upping the quick and painless aspect.

 

Skowza said:

as does this

Anacreon said:

 

“Grant Mercy”
The Humans have won, and
Population, morale, or food is at 2 or lower.

 

since it seems likely that most games that end in Human victory will have at least one of these resources at 2 or lower.

I think that's an original Agenda card, not mine.  That being said, I did consider changing it to "two out of three of the following" or something.

 

Skowza said:

Thats all I have time for right now, I'll take another look soon and make other suggestions; have you thought about something like  (forgive the awful title) "In Space, No One can Hear You Starve"
The Cylons have won and
Fuel/Food is at 0

i.e. something that makes CL focus on reducing the resources that the Humans don't usually lose on?  Or maybe other groups lose on Fuel and Food regularly, but we never do.

I assume you meant food OR fuel, not food AND fuel.  Our groups lose on fuel not infrequently, maybe as much as anything.  I think we've lost on Food once, maybe twice - so, not a lot.  The thing is that if the person had to focus on "something humans don't usually lose on" wouldn't you or someone say "that's too hard, people don't usally lose on that"?

I do like the name, actually.



#4 Anacreon

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:18 PM

An additional Hostile agenda idea:

 

"Escalation"

The Cylons have won, and

The Cylons have won in any fashion within 5 units of distance traveled, or

There is a Centurion victory within 7 or fewer units of distance traveled, or 

Galactica is destroyed within 8 units of distance traveled, or

Both Galactica and Pegasus are destroyed within 10 units of distance traveled.

 

(assuming Pegasus is being used, this forces the person to chase the agenda as the fleet travels)



#5 dakuth

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:49 PM

I'm picking up Pegasus soon, and I actually like the *idea* of agenda cards although from many indications they're not great.

 

So… I'm interested in your tweaks.

 

My question is: How are you planning on putting these into a game? Draw the agenda by secretly rolling on a table or something?



#6 Skowza

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:14 PM

I hate the quoting on these forums, it turn into a crazy looking mess…
The main thing I see about the modified Agendas is that they seem more like a random combination of variables rather than something that has to be and can be actively worked toward.  So just as an example, this

Anacreon said:

“Join the Colonials”
The Humans have won, and
1) You are Infiltrating and not in the "Brig" or "Detention" and

2) You are holding two 6 point cards in your hand, and

3) You are holding six total points worth of Treachery cards, and

4) You may never repair a location.

seems pretty random to me.  You would need to Infiltrate, hope to draw into 6-point cards even though you have poor draw compared to the other players, hope the other players don't hold the 6-point cards for most of the game, pretty much never contribute to a skill check since you need a handful of cards at the end, and hope they don't brig/execute you for never repairing anything, rarely helping on a skill check and generally being a waste of space on board their ship.  I admit that some of the Agendas that come with Pegasus seem random too and sometimes its hard to work on a specific resource, but some are easier to work on, such as undamaged Galactica locations or a bunch of damaged Vipers, or "Humans win and you have played a SC" (which is just stupid easy).

 

Anacreon said:

Skowza said:

Armistice seems too easy.

 

One is more brutal than the other, that's all, so that's why both: one "sympathetic" and the other "hostile."  I wasn't sure about the numbers.  I don't know if Armistice is "too easy" but if it is, it could be lower and then the other perhaps lower as well.  What numbers would make sense?

Not sure what numbers would be good, but for most of our games, if Humans lose on a resource then it is Morale or Pop, and at endgame these two are usually almost entirely gone even when Humans do win.  So it seems like the player with the Agenda wouldn't need to actually do anything, just let the game hammer away at those resources and then help Human or Cylon team to win.

Revisiting this one:

Anacreon said:

"Make It Quick and Painless"

The Cylons have won, and

Must be a Centurion victory or destruction of Galactica.

Maybe its not as easy as I first thought; if you're helping to keep the resources from hurting them, the Humans have more time to focus on killing Centurions and repairing Galactica.  Now that I have more time to consider it, this one sounds like fun.  Also, I agree that Cavil is a bit OP here and that it is indeed him thats a problem (how did he ever make it past playtesting btw) and not the Agenda being easy. 

Anacreon said:

Hostile agendas:

"Kill Them with Kindness"

The Cylons have won, and

Morale is the highest resource.

This one also sounds interesting since Morale is VERY rarely the highest resource in our games, in fact it is often the lowest despite our best efforts to damage all other resources first (since we lose on Morale a lot).

 

Anacreon said:

Skowza said:

 

Thats all I have time for right now, I'll take another look soon and make other suggestions; have you thought about something like (forgive the awful title) "In Space, No One can Hear You Starve"
The Cylons have won and
Fuel/Food is at 0

i.e. something that makes CL focus on reducing the resources that the Humans don't usually lose on? Or maybe other groups lose on Fuel and Food regularly, but we never do.

 

 

I assume you meant food OR fuel, not food AND fuel. Our groups lose on fuel not infrequently, maybe as much as anything. I think we've lost on Food once, maybe twice - so, not a lot. The thing is that if the person had to focus on "something humans don't usually lose on" wouldn't you or someone say "that's too hard, people don't usally lose on that"?

I do like the name, actually.

I'm not really sure if it would be better as an Agenda to run them out of Fuel or Food (obviously it can't be both).  I suggested it because its different than most of the other Agendas and it would make the Humans focus on protecting the resources that can normally be wasted.  Could make for some interesting games, if you're trying to hammer away at Fuel, for example, the Admiral may be forced to choose a low-distance destination that gets Fuel back instead of the standard strategy of just jumping as far as possible each time.  I don't really think it would be too hard, I think that generally there are fewer things that reduce these resources and so Humans can afford to take hits on them knowing that at the end of the game it is unlikely they will run out, but if a Cylon is actively working to reduce them the Humans will have to adapt their strategy a bit.

 

On a final note, just so you know where I'm coming from, here is my best guess about the chances for Human losses in our games.  I'm excluding all NC games because NC totally changes the whole nature of the game and just sucks in general.

Morale loss - 40%
Maybe it should be even higher; nearly half of our Human losses come from Morale running out.

Population loss - 30%
Second only to Morale, mostly because its hard to get it back

Centurions reach end of track - 15%
Once they are on board our Cylon players will often focus all of their actions on moving them

Galactica destroyed - 10%
It rarely happens.

Fuel loss:  5%
Theres just too many ways to get Fuel back, we almost never run out

Food loss - 1%
I don't think we've ever actually lost on Food.  It might have happened once, but I dont recall ever running out.






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