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Hannibal Rex

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  1. I have been looking for an effortpost like this for a while, great job UnitOmega! I don't know how encyclopedic your off-hand knowledge is, but for those ships which made their first appearance in writing, it would be great to also know where their first visual depiction comes from. I knew Z-95s were one of the earliest ships of the EU, but it seems its first depiction dates from one of the West End Games RPG source books. I'm not sure if there are other noteworthy earlier appearances, but Z-95s were a very common enemy ship in TIE Fighter, which is probably where they became known to a wide audience for the first time. For the ESB bounty hunter ships, the Tales anthology was released December 96, the CCG set where they're all depicted was released April 97, but the Shadow of the Empire comic ran from May - Oct '96 and probably was the first appearance for IG-2000 and the Hound's Tooth. If you enter some of the defunct links on Wookiepedia into the wayback machine, you get confirmation that Punishing One and Mist Hunter were first visually designed for the CCG. Neat. I haven't had any luck so far tracking down the origin of the K-Wing's design. The picture on Wookiepedia is from The Essential Chronology from April 2000, no idea if it was depicted earlier than that.
  2. Since an XO only applies to humans, and you're no longer human as soon as you reveal/end infiltration, the second action is forfeited. Same deal for CS if you're a normal Cylon, as revealing ends your turn. Ending infiltration does not end your turn, however. Cavil's OPG works regardless of whether or not he's human or Cylon, so you can use it to, say, scout, end infiltration and draw a super crisis, all in the same turn. I would really like an official word on what the deal is with Critical Situation as a Cylon Leader.
  3. Well, I can report back from my first game as Anders. I've put my theory to the test, and it pretty much worked as advertised; go to the Press Room, don't play low cards into skill check unless absolutely necessary, draw extra cards from an XO or two. I used Star Player twice, each time trading in 6 cards for more tactics, mainly looking to get more SPs into circulation. The second time I was over my hand limit already, and had to discard three of the lowest new cards I drew. And that was all before the second jump; I turned into a Cylon, and got hit with the Arrest Order/Execute Prisoner combo shortly after soft-revealing. Using Star Player to simply mill the deck is interestingly a strategy that doesn't necessarily benefits only Anders himself. Even if the new cards you get are mostly chaff again, that just means that the next player who draws has a better chance to get something useful. Having plenty of cards in hand is key, and you'll have to remind/convince your fellow players of that too, as that affects the XOs you get, and for example the President's decision on a discard crisis. What I don't like is how his "only on your own turn" OPG directly conflicts with his Star Player power, especially as a Cylon. Picking the die roll on an action like activating the Main Batteries to shoot down a civvie or another pilot is neat, but so would be trading in your hand for a full draw of Piloting.
  4. Just posting to let you know you're not a lone voice in the wilderness. I didn't like the CFB from the start, and I know a bunch of people who've grown disenchanted with it over time. At its core, it introduces more problems into the game than it fixes. I don't necessarily agree that it's too easy. While it's absolutely a problem that it can be gamed to such a big extent by the humans, that largely stops once there's a revealed Cylon - and the CFB encourages Cylons to reveal as soon as possible. What usually happens then is that the Cylon(s) spread raiders all over the CFB, and once the fleet jumps in, snipe Galactica locations with damage. Often, the remaining human team doesn't draw enough Engineering to stay on top of that, especially since the more damaged Galactica is, the easier it becomes for Cylons to send people to sickbay by hitting a just-repaired location again. It's pretty swingy. Either the humans meta-game the hell out of the CFB, and neutralize it for most of the game, or the Cylons manage to build up a fleet of doom that overwhelms the humans with damage. And either way, it takes away from the strengths of the core game - the paranoia and ambiguity. Dealing with the CFB is pretty much completely above board, and it turns the focus of the game into a really lackluster space combat management sim. Wheras in the base game, most actions have a hidden component that ramps up the paranoia - if someone scouts and buries the crisis/destination, it will never be clear if he helped or actually hindered the humans. Consolidating Power helps with crisis, but it also let's players hoard cards. The Quorum can be genuinely unhelpful, or a Cylon President is just digging for Arrest Orders, etc, etc. The CFB takes so many actions to deal with that there's very little left for the actually interesting parts of the game.
  5. Well, I'd say Anders isn't a particularily well-designed character, but at least he's not as outright broken as Tory or Cain. I'll boldy claim that the design intention was to have a pilot who wasn't stuck with drawing the mostly useless piloting cards, but could exchange his LEA/TAC draw at a moment's (XO's) notice if you need serious firepower in space. That kinda works, but every pilot pales when compared to Apollo, especially with the CFB, and there's no usually no shortage of LEA/TAC draws due to the military leaders in the game. What really cripples him is his drawback. You might think it's kinda like Helo's; painful early on, but at least you can forget about it after that first turn. The problem is, that's not how it works. If you're 5 cards behind on turn 1, you stay 5 cards behind the entire game. And considering how his OPT depends on having a lot of chaff cards in hand (as well as an action), this can easily result in games in which his OPT isn't even used once, or isn't used to great effect because he can simply never build up a large enough hand. I think there's a way to use him to decent effect, but you'll have to jump to a lot of hoops, and, most problematically, it requires the other players to be on the same page with you regarding how to play Anders. go to the Press Room on your first turn and activate it, unless there's a really serious problem that requires you to XO someone. get XO'd at least once to double-activate the Press Room. The problem here is, the Press Room isn't usually a high priority, and when there's nothing urgent to do, most XOs go to the President. (And good luck getting the breathing space if you're playing with the CFB.) keep your low cards; only play high cards into skill checks. Let the other players know that that's your general plan, and hope they don't get miffled by your lack of contribution and card hoarding. I think this is a key difference to playing Anders well. Once you have 4 or more chaff cards, Star Power becomes worth using. Needless to say, it's a rather narrow strategy; You can camp in the Press Room and alternate using it and using Star Power to ensure you can contribute a big share to the crisis skill checks that come up. Or you get back into the regular circulation of useful locations once you have a decent hand and simply try to keep enough cards in case your Star Power is needed. But you're completely dependent on XOs to get running either way. Unfortunately, there are characters that have a much easier time of building up cards; most notably Ellen and, of course, Tory. Regarding his OPG there isn't much to say. It isn't spectacular, but it's certainly useful. The biggest impact is probably an XO to the Admiral to nuke the biggest cluster of Cylon ships that has accumulated due to the CFB. You can make a guaranteed -3 jump, or take down a centurion that is one step away from winning the game.
  6. I like Zarek a lot, precisely because he isn't flashy. You're absolutely right in calling him middle of the road; but in a game in which a number of characters are badly designed, and some are outright broken, that's not a bad thing. First of all, his rank in the line of succession will lead to a very interesting dynamic if he doesn't start as the President. Both Roslin and Baltar have drawbacks in that position, and Zarek's ability to rig elections will always make using Admin a valid option on the table. In a game of distrust and paranoia, that's just beautiful. He serves as an effective watchdog over the Presidency when he doesn't have it himself. Even when you have the Airlock or Brig available, Political Leaders are less able to defend themselves against Admin by design. When you've got humans and soft-revealed Cylons facing off, every card counts. Second, calling the Brig one of 'the two weaker locations' is hardly doing it justice. Throwing humans into the brig, and keeping them there, is one of the most crippling things soft-revealed Cylons can do, often more so than executing someone. Even without that, humans can end up in the brig in numerous ways. As insignificant as Zarek's simple +/-2 bonus seems, it will have a very noticeable effect in those situations. His OPG isn't spectacular, but it's absolutely solid. It has only gotten better with the expansions and their many ways of swinging resources. It's especially useful in combination with Preventative Policy, which a human Zarek should absolutely always hold on to.
  7. CAIN, GAETA, CALLY: The social game argument doesn't convince me. This is exactly what I don't like: a character having so much impact that the game starts revolving about him/her. That's fine as long as it concerns title holders because of their title. When an innate OPG or OPT ability is the reason for that, something has gone wrong with the game balance. There's nothing particularily scary about Cain as a cylon, apart from her being the Admiral. Blind Jump is a lot less effective for cylons than humans. The worst that can happen is Cain blowing up two civvies when the jump track is already at -1. I've seen a very interesting variant for her proposed just recently: Cain skips the Prepare for Jump phase on her turn if there's a basestar on the board. Not quite perfect yet, but certainly on the right track. Even with a balanced OPG, Cain would need a more noticeable drawback, to make up for her advantages over Adama and Tigh. Soft-revealing is one of the most fun things you can do as a cylon; taking the Admiralcy by throwing you superior into the brig, messing up the humans by playing Quorum cards, etc. One of the most problematic things for the humans is two unrevealed cylons who keep XOing each other. Normally, the humans have to build up some card strength to brig them, or take back titles, etc. With Cally, all that becomes moot. I don't see the distinction you make between 'regular' and 'extended' soft-revealing. As soon as you perform an open act of sabotage without also revealing in the same turn, Cally can be XO'd to execute you. (Unless you're a pilot.) The only thing you can try to do is brig/execute Cally first (and brigging is iffy even if it succeeds.). Her OPG makes her the perfect meatshield for the title holders who would normally be targeted first with such an action. ELLEN TIGH: I've said 6.5, because whichever card she hands out isn't lost to the humans, like ,say, playing a Consolidate Power would be. Even if the player Ellen gives her card happens to be an unrevealed cylon, he can hardly avoid playing it for the humans' benefit, without arousing Ellen's suspicion. The only thing negative about drawing Treachery is that the other players may be more likely to suspect her if Treachery shows up in a hidden skill check. But that only holds until a crisis or some other effect forces all players to draw Treachery. From then on, everyone will be suspect when a Treachery spike happens. And she has plenty of beneficial use for her treachery - traveling between ships to use Politically Adroit, for one. Politically Adroit has two positive effects; first, it's basically a free Press Room activation for Ellen. In actuality, it's even more flexible than that. Second, she can hand out specific cards to the players wo can make the most use of them. XOs for Boomer is just the most obvious example. For that, giving up location coverage is more than worth it. And as a political leader, she can always hold back a CP for a CP/scout combo, regardless of where she is. I'm not too hot on Razor Cut, but that one particular rule about negative skill checks becoming Reckless seems to have found widespread acceptance among the players who're willing to use variant rules. Deservedly so. ANDERS: I like his OPT in theory, and I appreciate the thought behind it. But, especially given Anders' drawback, building up the card strength for it to become worthwhile can take quite a few turns, and Anders won't be contributing much to skill checks until then. At 3 cards it's borderline, compared to simply playing a CP (which Apollo can easily do on one of his bonus actions). It only gets strong when you've held on to 4 or more crappy cards. Helo has a similar skill set to Anders, and a much more frequently used OPT. TORY: I don't see how ther can even be a discussion about Tory. If we agree that Ellen is a more powerful than average character, Tory is the same times ten. Also, her weakness only affects Current Player Chooses crises, not those requiring choices from the President or Admiral. If Tory is human, you no longer need to worry about skill checks. Political Prowess: Yeah, strength 6 cards are supposed to be powerful. But PP is basically a free floating extra OPG for whomever draws it first. Scouting for Fuel still risks a raptor. State of Emergency costs food, and also gives actions to the other team. PP hasn't got a single drawback, and there's nothing you can do against it.
  8. Holy Outlaw, I visit the BGG boards more frequently than here, so apologies I took some time for my answer. A well-formulated, detailed reply is always appreciated. Here's another thing for the record: I haven't bought Exodus, as I was rather disappointed by its contents. I've read numerous Play-by-Forum games, which reinforced my opinions for the most part. But it's only fair to point out that I don't have any first hand experience with it. We seem to be in agreement about Cain; her OPG lets you skip 5 or more crisis cards, for a cost of only a few resources. It's also a balance problem that she has a more flexible card draw than either Adama or Tigh, while being above them in the line of succession. Ellen is a lot of fun, but she has two issues; first, Treachery cards are not as detrimental to humans as they're made out to be, so her drawback doesn't really have any teeth in the first place. Adding to that, Politically Adroit is really, really powerful. Even leaving aside the two additional cards she gets, Ellen can hand out XOs to Boomer, or other characters who only draw 1 leadership. Even if she handed out her card to an unrevealed cylon, he can hardly do any mischief with an XO. Ellen effectively has a 6.5 card draw. Dee looks balanced to me. The only worry I have about her is that her special might make raider activations completely toothless, in some (many?) situations. I haven't enough play experience with her to come to a conclusion on this. Kat is underpowered, if anything. As for the Exodus people: Anders is somewhat lackluster, like Kat. His skill draw is nice, for a pilot, but his OPT is nothing to write home about. Gaeta has arguably the most flexible skill draw of any character, and certainly of any military leader. The problem I have with him is his OPT - it's really problematic to be an unrevealed cylon Gaeta, as every FTL activation ends up being a loyalty check. And with Strategic Plannings around, a human Gaeta can pretty much always risk jumping on -3. Cally has another very flexible skill draw, but it's held in check by her drawback. The really big problem is that she completely shuts down any soft-reveal opportunities for cylons, unless you manage to execute or brig her first. (And brigging isn't reliable.) Her OPG makes all unrevealed cylon play revolve around her. Tory... I don't buy the CFB argument. Yeah, you have to use more actions than you used to on vipers, and XOs to the CAG. But she's simply a card monster, and she makes XOing the president ridiculously strong. (Especially if she's got the title herself.) As for the Cylon Fleet Board: I've made no secret of it that I don't like it. But what I really don't like is that it's claimed in the Exodus rulebook that all components of the expansion are modular, and can be added in or left out as you wish, when that's blatantly untrue. The absence of Cylon Attack crises for playing without the CFB shows this. Your Tory argument, and the Ionian Nebula are further indication that Exodus was only playtested with the CFB. Certainly, if you prefer to play with it, that's not necessarily a drawback. I suppose you're aware of the arguments against the CFB; I won't repeat them here. I can certainly understand why some, if not most prefer it to the attack crises. But in my opinion, BSG is a poor space combat game, and trying to turn it into one takes away from its real strength - the traitor mechanic, and the paranoia it engenders. The CFB gives some options to the cylon players once they've revealed, but at that point, the really interesting part of the game is already over. Nothing about the CFB mechanic allows for hidden sabotage the way skill checks or scouting does. Cylon attacks make the crisis deck more dangerous, which makes scouting more important, which keeps the paranoia going. Your counter-argument about Treachery isn't convincing me. Yeah, you won't always have the opportunity to abuse Broadcast Location for the humans' benefit. But when you do, a hidden cylon can't really benefit, at least not to the extent that BL helps the humans. The order of activation for Reckless abilities is always up to the current player. As you'll only want to use this when there are not cylon ships on the board yet, BYC will only launch heavies and raiders, hardly a great threat. (Assuming it's resolved after BL. Otherwise it'd advance the Pursuit Track twice, I think.) Drawing more Treachery similarily is of little concern. Sure the cylons will get cards out of it, but so will the humans. Spare Treachery can always be used for ship travel, any other discards, Airlock checks, or simply saved for At Any Cost. Treachery is as much a resource for humans as it is for cylons. I think I've derailed this thread enough; I won't go further into the problems I have with the other Exodus components. The only thing I really like are the new skill cards. More variety in the skill decks is always welcome. The 0-strength cards allow for some creative undetectable cylon sabotage. But even there, I have some reservations. About Political Prowess, mainly, especially when it can be used in conjunction with Pegasus' Airlock. Which brings this post back on topic, I suppose.
  9. You're not going to get a consensus. I'm not blind to the flaws of Pegasus, but I like Exodus even less. To address some of your points: -Both expansions introduce some hilariously broken characters. Cain and Tory primarily, but I wouldn't oppose the argument that Ellen, Gaeta and Cally are all more powerful than the base game characters too. Cally's OPG completely neuters soft-revealing. (unless she's a cylon too.) -If you use Exodus crisis cards with regular Cylon Attacks, those are going to appear a lot less, even if you take out all CAG crises. -Treachery and the Cylon Fleet go really badly together. Broadcast Location becomes a simple way for the humans to call in a single basestar, and prevent any fleet build-up. -The Ionian Nebula end battle doesn't place civilians, so it pretty much requires the CFB. As you might guess, I'm not a huge fan of the CFB, or Exodus in general. To return to your original question - the main clash when mixing the expansions are how the humans can abuse Broadcast Location to neutralize any Fleet build-up. Destination or crisis cards from the base game or expansions that place basestars can be used in a similar fashion, and become beneficial rather than detrimental to the humans. Cylon Leaders don't seem to get much better or worse with Exodus. Their main problems are still the unbalanced agenda cards. If you don't mind the imbalanced characters, there's no reason not to mix and match. I'd say Cally even gets a little more palatable when there's a regular way to execute people, via the Pegasus airlock.
  10. Food Rationing and Inspirational Speech are 6+. Release Cylon Mugshots is 4+. Encourage Mutiny, ABF and Civilian Self-Defense are 3+. No idea about Exodus. The point is, on her own turns, she can move and Hotshot one of those Quorum cards. She can move to the Press Room and play a Quorum card from her hand, or move to the office and activate it to draw and play one, depending on where she starts. When she's XO'd she can either activate the Press Room and mill for cards, or activate the office and play those Quorum cards that don't require a roll. No need to use an XO for movement.
  11. I'm slowly getting convinced that the best way to utilize Kat is to make her President. (Easier said than done.) Quite a lot of the Quorum cards require die rolls, which Kat should have covered. Strength 4 cards take care of speeches and food rationing, and the rest can be done with lesser cards. Her drawback means she can't stay in office permanently, but commuting between the press room, to get cards for Hotshotting, and the office, to draw and play Qurom cards, seems like a good deal. As usual, it'll work even better with XOs in between. The problem is, most of the rolls Hotshot is worth using for, instead of playing an XO, require strength 5 cards. And without Hotshot, Kat is basically a much weaker version of Starbuck. The only problem is finding the time and cards to actually shift the presidency to her...
  12. Turning his OPT into a movement ability? Really? Just because Anders isn't as hilariously broken as Tory or Cain doesn't mean his weak. At his most basic, you can play Anders like any other military character, focusing on Leadership and Tactics. Then, when the Cylons show up, he hops into a viper, and exchanges his hand for Piloting for the bonus action. Once the fleet jumps, he can switch back to green/purple. Changing his OPT to a movement ability doesn't make him stronger, it makes him weaker. His "OPT" works on an XO. Movement abilities don't. And with an XO, there's another nice trick he can do: Scout on the first action, then exchange his hand for whichever cards will be positive on the upcoming skill check. There aren't a whole lot yellow/blue-only crises out there, you know. Or, he uses it twice on an XO, and goes through a deck like a hot knife through butter, keeping only the 3+ strength cards in his hand. His OPG can be powerful, but that it only works on his own turn hurts a bit. Yeah, his weakness means he'll take a while to get going, and he's dependent on XOs to reach his full potential. But at least he's well-balanced, which is more than can be said of certain others...
  13. I don't take offence Rasiel, and you're absolutely right that the rules are specific the clearing the trail. However, there is no mention at all about removing cards from the trail by means other than clearing it. This is more an indication of an inadvertent omission rather and implication that such a situation should be resolved in an entirely different way. The only way for that to happen is Fangs/Escape as Bat, and FFG is notorious for creating situations with special cards which the rules fail to address adequately. I too would be very happy to get an official FAQ entry on this question.
  14. For purposes of clearing cards, the Feed, Hide, or Dark Call are removed or remain in the Trail, depending on their position in the Trail, just like Location cards. However, the Wolf Form or Double Back Power cards are played together with a Location card. For purposes of clearing cards from Dracula’s Trail, each of these these two Power cards, together with its attached Location card, counts as only one card, as shown in the Clearing Dracula’s Trail” diagram. This is the section of the rules that comes closest to addressing this point. I'd say, since they count as one card, anything that removes the Location card also removes the attached Power card.
  15. You only place an encounter on the second card.
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