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Sinis

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  1. As others have said, the game is extremely replayable. We haven't really moved to playing draft games; we're still enjoying the variant pieces. It's good clean fun. I definitely think part of the appeal lies in the quickness of the games. I like the many-hour slugfests for boardgames as much as anyone, but a change of pace is good, and being able to squeeze in a few rounds is nice.
  2. TheDukester said: LOL at "spoilers." The core trilogy was first published in 1954 and 1955. There's currently about 70 quadzillion copies in print in about 10,000 languages, including those spoken only on other planets. It hasn't exactly been difficult to find and/or read these books for the past 50 years or so. It's also my understanding that a few handfuls of people managed to see the three films. The entire concept of spoilers does not apply here. And, BTW, Darth Vader is actually Luke Skywalker's father! Just coverin' my bases.
  3. napoleonWilson said: Thanks again all for the input my group and I really enjoyed reading and debating about it all weekend;)....I wonder if her character card makes a really good drink coaster?? thanks all... Napoleon et al. D:
  4. 1. Draw two crises and pick one is very, very, very good. This is the reason to pick Roslin. It's way better than launch scout, or engine room, or really anything related to crisis manipulation for the humans. It's really good. Really, really good. 2. Quorum cards are not all that great. Arrest order is cute, as is Authorization of Brutal Force and Presidential Pardon. But really? You'll be drawing speeches and rations, and they can be a tiresome waste of time. There are definitely some powerful ones like the ones I mentioned, but they're by far the minority. I realize that doesn't make Roslin's drawback better (if you really want a Quorum card, you'll have to dig for it and she's not really all that great at that on a regular basis), but what I'm trying to show is that digging for Quorum cards in the first place isn't such a great move, and there are better ways to solve problems. 3. Her once-per-game ability is pretty good for digging for a Quorum card. It is a little bit less effective than an executive order (though, it does not require someone else to cooperate, and does not cost someone the green card). 4. Consolidate Power is an effective action. It is as effective as using the Research Lab. She can also Executive Order others. Executive Order Roslin? I'm sure there are other candidates. 5. Her drawback does not read "May not use locations." If you really, absolutely, must dig for a quorum card, she can pitch cards. It's not efficient, but it IS an option available to her. With that in mind, you can also choose options you cannot fulfill the vast majority of the time (so, if Roslin has used the Office, and the next player draws a food shortage, she can choose to discard cards even if she's empty handed). 6. Mostly, you pick Roslin for #1. The drawback is heavy handed, but between consolidation of power and executive order, there is no shortage of good actions available.
  5. Brenzie said: We were dissapointed as well. I know the agendas so well that they have become sort of stale. While, SInis' reasoning is probably correct, I don't think it would hurt to have at the very least just included one leader. If you can't use one character sheet and one piece of cardboard, I don't really see it as a big loss. I would have loved to see more leaders! Well, it's also a bit of a lousy move from a business standpoint. Retreading old material is almost never good for sales unless it's a) a vast improvement over the previous incarnation (and, I do mean vast), b) not really a retread, in that it provides a lot of additional material that has the same format as the previous product, or c) also not really a retread, because it's an add-on onto that previous material, and is simply used with the older material, rather than more of the same. Things that are like a: Windows 7 replacing Windows Vista. Not because Windows 7 is spectacular, but because Vista is awful. Things that are not like a: The Star Wars prequels vs. The Original Trilogy. You can copy all sorts of elements from the original trilogy, like hiding in asteroids, planets with inclement weather, bounty hunters with distinctive helmets and reputations, dying mentors and the like, but if it's worse or even on par, it's just going to leave you feeling empty. Things that are like b: Playing a sequel of a video game like Assassin's Creed. Assassin's Creed 2, and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood are arguably more of the same, but they're only the same mechanically, and they provide a wealth of new material to have fun with (rather than re-hashing any of the history or material from the first game). Note that if you've played Assassin's Creed and it's sequels, you'll see how it applies to 'a' too. Things that are not like b: Playing through the same computer or console RPG again. It doesn't really matter that your character might differ in terms of their goodness or evilness, that they were different clothes, or even that they made different decisions. The material isn't appreciably different, and it leaves you feeling like things might from the 'things that are not like a' category. This isn't really a lousy business move, because the consumer isn't actually buying anything new, but you can imagine that people would not pay twice to play through the same computer/console RPG. Things that are like c: Some game expansions. Most relevant, things like the Pegasus or Exodus expansion. The stuff seems like more of the same at first brush (i.e. there are skill cards, crises, and characters) but it's so wildly different that it's hardly treading the same ground. The Pegasus ship changes the way the game goes, and the New Caprica phase is not merely a second set of locations to play with, but a whole new set of goals, with their own quirks and mechanical interactions. Things that are not like c: Other game expansions. Look to something you might have played in the past, and think about an expansion that was released for it that wasn't good, or bad, but boring. Think specifically of awful Magic: The Gathering expansions, where you just got more of the same. Or goofy downloadable content for some console games which 'expand character options', but don't actually provide more gameplay features, material or anything that you'd want to spend more than a couple of minutes on (prime candidates for this are things you can obtain to change the mere appearance of your character before plowing through the same old content). ...And that's what I think of it. Unless they were going to a) release a ton of cylon leaders (like the remaining 9 who are cylons, even the final five), b) provide new options for Cylon leaders to make their gameplay more interesting (like producing a lot of new objectives), or other special Cylon Leader-specific mechanics, or c) create a different character type, that might resemble a cylon leader at first brush, but is actually something completely different (like, some sort of cylon-leaderish character that represents one of the final five that is on the face of it, a human but has special rules and/or goals), it wouldn't have really been a selling point on the product. It would be like saying "Here's our new awesome expansion with these three major themes that are really cool, innovative and different from existing game mechanics, and a heap of cylon leaders." Now, this isn't to say that they couldn't have put them in, but when developing the aspects of the expansion, they probably didn't want to do more of the same, or anything even resembling more of the same. It's probably better to strike out on something completely new, and create all sorts of new stuff. If anything, to avoid any confusion that the expansion might contain 'more of the same', and be indistinguishable from something that is less than exciting.
  6. Skowza said: I don't mind the Sympathetic Cylon card so much. The old card from the base game was terrible, we haven't played with it in so long I don't remember it all that well, but wasn't it basically "you are a Cylon but don't get a SC card and can't activate the fleet" i.e. "you are a really crappy bored cylon" ? For us, it was almost always "you are a brigged human", because the admiral would always redline fuel.
  7. I imagine they didn't do it so they wouldn't have to include agendas, treachery cards, etc. etc. etc. It'd be fine if you already owned pegasus, but a lot of people don't, and including something without it being playable out of the box is pretty lame.
  8. I'm pretty sure Kargie has the right of it. You can generally options that you are unable to complete; rather than viewing the consequences of a choice as costs (i.e. you travel to this destination with a value of 2 by losing one fuel and losing one raptor), they really ought to be viewed as effects (i.e. you traveled to that destination with value 2, and you lose one fuel and one raptor as a consequence). The salient difference is that if you haven't got a raptor to lose, that's okay (as it is not a loss condition). Of course, there are some things that take exception, but that exception is always printed on the card.
  9. TheDukester said: I don't know much about art, but I instantly noticed Denethor's pose — or his "body language," I suppose. He's got kind of a weasel-like, sly look going on, which is perfect, since he's pretty much a weasel. SPOILER ALERT (Even though the books are decades old now) I didn't think of him so much like a weasel. Quite the opposite, I think; Denethor was proud to a fault. He hated the fact that his Stewardship would end, and in the end, he claimed he would have rulership, or he would have "naught." More than anything, it was his pride that led him to wrestle with Sauron through the Palantir, a foolish thing for anyone but the rightful owners of the Palantiri (Aragorn, or any of his line).
  10. We haven't tried it, and it's hard to see how it would turn out. It might be worth a try, but there is a more fundamental problem with a 4 player game; a cylon player faces three humans in terms of actions done, or opportunities to make good while humans are recovering. Alternatively, if you are playing with the sympathizer, it's 2v2. I find that each of these are at extremes in terms of actions. All the same, it might be worth a try!
  11. XAos said: Sinis said: ...and the engine room is useless (though, I suspect many will disagree with me about this, even though discarding two skill cards to ensure a jump icon is generally worse than simply spending one card to launch a scout and ensure there is a jump track). Your right, a lot of players would disagree. The engine room is the best ship location on Pegasus. The other feature of Pegasus which distorts game balence is the 4 extra hits it can absorbs before Galtica explodes. Launching a raptor has all sorts of liabilities: 1) As a Psilon I commonly launch raptors to (a) kill a raptor, (b) discard a jump-icon, retaining the non-jump on top. 2) Only about half the players have the right types of cards to use raptors, everyone except Laura has enough cards to use the engine room. 3) The engine room 100% spins-up the jumpdrive, raptors arn't 100% reliable. 4) A Psilon pretending to be human can be "persuaded" to use the Pegasus engine room. If they refuse that's a strong clue they are Psilon. If they agree that helps the humans. The same is certainly not true of using a raptor. Re: Engine room: Well, so far it's just you and Rasiel who think it's good among the people who posted in this thread. Why do I find it bad? Because it's expensive to use. It says discard 2 skill cards, but unless you're constantly destroying 40% of your resources to use the Engine room, or otherwise wasting time on Pegasus when there aren't any cylon ships around, you'd have to toss another card to move between ships. So, between 2 and 3 cards per use. Seems wasteful in theory, and from my experience, it's pretty awful. Additionally, Laura would never use the engine room anyway: she draws 2 crises and picks one, remember? No reason to use the engine room when you've got that kind of an ability. Re: Launch Scout: 1a) You commonly launch raptors to kill them? Well, you've got 25% odds, and it's pretty hard to eliminate all of them. Even once you eliminate all of them, what's the point? So people can't launch more scouts? For the Tylium Planet that needs use maybe every fourth game? Do you manage to destroy the raptors with your blind rolls before that happens? Ever? 1b) Retaining a non-jump icon is a great way to get yourself locked up. I hope that's not common practice for you. I mean, you could launch a scout, and then leave some crap crisis on the top, and then... flip it over, because it's still your turn? And when the players say "Ugh, why'd you leave THAT there, when you KNEW we wanted a jump track?!", do they honestly not say to each other "let's lock that chump up?" I think your position here is rather poorly thought out. 2) Only about half the players is dead wrong. In the base game, the only characters who cannot naturally draw tactics during their receive skills step are Roslin, Baltar and Tyrol. That means there are 7 (count 'em, SEVEN, characters who do). That's not "most" as you claim. Furthermore, Roslin has little need to launch a scout: she draws to crises and picks one. That's good enough on it's own. Baltar can pick up tactics from his once-per-turn ability. Tyrol has no unique way of picking up tactics, but it's worth mentioning that each of these three characters can draws consolidate power naturally, and can play it to pick up two tactics for later turns. In the expansion, only Ellen is incapable of drawing tactics naturally, but she can consolidate power also. That means, out of the 14 human characters available, 10 draw tactics naturally, 1 does not need it because of religious visions, 1 can pick them up as a matter of course and use them the next turn, and the remaining 2 must resort to Consolidate Power for tactics (which is already a good move, because it trades a yellow 1-2 for two random purples, and purples are the most common colour in crisis skill checks). 3) Raptors are not 100%. But, they're very good. IN the base game, there are 70 crises, and 40 of them have jump tracks. Some of the ones without jump tracks are worth keeping (Legendary Discovery, for example), but we'll ignore that for now. That means, each crisis has a ~57% chance of having a jump track. If you do the math correctly, you'll find that the top two crises NOT having jump tracks is about 18.5%. That means that a launch scout, if the die is successful has a 81.5% of ensuring a jump track. Additionally, there is a mere 10.75% chance that there will be a crisis without a jump track on the top of the deck at the same time a die roll comes up a 1 or a 2, causing the scout to fail. So, you can pitch 2 cards for 100% (but really, it might be closer to 3 cards, see Re: Engine Room paragraph), or you can use one card, from anywhere (even the brig!) for a ~71% of comparable results* (in this case, failing to ensure a jump track). I don't think the extra card or two is worth it. Most people I've talked with agree with me. The engine room is not worth the card toss to get to, and then not worth two more cards to use. I hope you're not Lee who has to pitch randomly to that scrap heap, in addition. *Re: "Comparable Results" in 3): I'm kidding, a Launch Scout's results are not comparable to the engine room's usage. Launch Scout's benefits are far and away superior. Engine room merely adds a jump prep icon to the incoming crisis, whether it needs one or not (and you have no way of knowing whether you should bother, barring bizarre singular destinations like the one that lets you reorder the top few crises that appeared in the pegasus expansion). Launch scout lets you avoid attack crises, or particular crises that your group is ill equipped to deal with (i.e. a shortage of a particular skill colour), or to avoid a particular kind of cylon ship activation (like avoiding heavy raiders when there's a few heavies getting close to, or are at, the viper ports, or to avoid basestars from firing if Galactica or Pegasus is heavily damaged, etc.). Launch Scout is a precise tool; you have many criteria for choosing to leave a crisis on top, or banishing it to the bottom. The Engine Room, by comparison is a fat hammer. It's good for one thing, and one thing only, and it's going to cost you to use it. It's just a weak way to spend two skill cards when the most of the characters have a better alternative delivered to them at the beginning of each of their turns.
  12. rowanalpha said: Minor Quibbles -Engine room is pretty useless -Cylon leaders a really sucky in 4 player games -Not enough variety in Agendas I have a quick and interesting thought about the cylon leader. Cylon leaders have an interesting quirk in four or six player games. Someone on these boards once posted that getting the Sympathetic Cylon (the sympathizer variant) during the sleeper phase was a sort of punishment for not choosing a Cylon Leader. The reasoning is, given that the Cylon Leader is going to get the same kind of agenda as a sympathetic cylon, and how difficult it is to complete those agendas, it makes some amount of sense for at least one player to choose the cylon leader during the setup part of the game, rather than to be 'surprised' with an agenda halfway through the game. As a kind of variant to eliminate the sympathizer mechanic, Cylon Leaders are quite reasonable choices in a 4 or 6 player game; you're guaranteeing that you'll be the 'sympathizer', but at least you have the whole game to work on your agenda. Of course this eliminates some of the whole fun of playing BSG by removing some of the loyalty mechanics. When you know (roughly) where someone stands at the start of the game, it becomes less fun in terms of suspicion and more a game about pitting actions against actions.
  13. Sadly board games with a true traitor mechanic are few and far between. Dark Age of Camelot is one of the only ones I can think of.
  14. Tsugo said: Sinis said: Tsugo said: I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again. As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game. Good luck finding it. Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price. Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com. How so? What makes the base game sans expansion unplayable? By no means is the base game alone unplayable. Based on my game stats, I played nearly 30 times before I picked up the expansion. There's nothing that would have stopped me from continuing to play as such, had the expansion never been released. However, my subsequent plays since adding the expansion and later picking up the collector's edition total nearly another 60 sessions. The expansion simply adds some elements that better balance the game, without changing the feel of it. It brings in new options for both players, but also makes some decisions more challenging that come with these additions. Against players who are familiar with expansion, it's doubtful I'd ever play just the base game. It's not modular, like say, Arkham Horror. With or without TotTA, the strategies and overall tactics are simply different. When I've gone back to just the base game for teaching purposes, it made me realize all the subtleties that were missing. Now when I teach it, I teach it with all the elements from the expansion. Even with the high cost of production, it would serve them well to include the expansions pieces in the reprint and bump up the price. Additionally,they truly need to release an "upgrade pack" that comes with just the components to expand the base game at a reasonable price for those who already own the base game. Although I've owned BotTA for nearly a year, I've yet to play either of the skirmish games that are included. Ahh. Okay, I've got a few more questions: 1. What features of the base game are unbalanced? I've heard that the 'corruption strategy' involving the Witch-king yields a high win ratio, but I've never personally tested it. 2. What decisions become more challenging? In the base game, many decisions are kinda no-brainers, like whether you should muster the Witch-king or Saruman (some people stall if Gandalf croaks early, but a great many people I've spoke to say that the first four muster dice go to advancing Sauron and Isengard to War, and the deployment of Minions). So, what's different in BotTA?
  15. Tsugo said: I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again. As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game. Good luck finding it. Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price. Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com. How so? What makes the base game sans expansion unplayable?
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