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About spirit_machine

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    Exton, Pennsylvania, United States
  1. Short, but sweet... I think every game group has had this one... when a Cylon pulls the FTL to take population down by -3... Specifically, in one game, Zarek was President and played as if he was a Human the whole game. He played Investigative commitee many times, EO'd pilots, etc etc etc... mostly, he always argued against Crisis Decisions that would lower resources... but because he was so good at arguing against morale, food, and fuel drops, we naturally didn't peg him to be a Cylon. It was his strategy to let population naturally get down to 3, then jump the fleet at -3 on the jump track. Humans lost at 7 distance... Heartbreaking game, but lesson learned as no one is letting that happen again.
  2. Aba said: Maybe so but our opinion is that civil ship flying around basestar looks ridiculously. It may look ridiculous, but the rules are the rules. The reason the Basestars don't attack is because as was stated above, the game is already hard enough for the humans. If you are having a hard enough time trying to legitimize why a civi ship would be parked next to a Basestar without being attacked, just assume they aren't attacking because they know the civi ships aren't a threat and that they are currently giving orders to launch some raiders soon. I see a lot of posts that argue points like this that would make the game harder for humans. Unless you have figured out the perfect way to play as humans and never lose as them, why even bring this up? Not trying to be mean, but you have a better chance of being a human than a Cylon. Why make the game harder on yourself?
  3. I know I'm beating a dead horse in these forums on this subject, but I really would like to know the victory count in 6 player games when this strategy is used to drop a resource to red. Currently, our group only deliberately tried this once and the humans lost. I know that a lot of determining factors must be added to ensure victory such as the jump locations used after the sleeper phase, etc. It just annoys me that this is used as a viable strategy. Think about it, the show equivalent to this strategy would be Admiral Adama discussing with Col Tigh: "Look Saul, I'm pretty sure these frakkers are on our ship. Do you think it would be a good idea to sabotage our food supplies so maybe one of them might feel bad for us?" One person sabotaging human resources is one thing, but no human group discussion would end with, yeah, lets just throw out perfectly good food. It just kinda bothers me that humans would use this strategy. The reason for the sympathizer in the first place was to balance out the current game, such as if the humans are getting unlucky with Crisis early on, they get an extra boost at the midway point of the game. On the other hand, if the Cylons need help, the sympathizer helps them. Can we try to get a good human victory/loss count when this strategy is used? So far, I have 0 wins/1 losses.
  4. This came up last night as someone wasn't happy they could not choose Boomer in the 6 player non-sympathizer variant: Why are you not allowed to pick Boomer? Is there some sort of balance issue with her "Go to the Brig" drawback? Or is it because of component limitations for the extra "You are not a Cylon" cards? If that's the case, why not say, "Boomer and Baltar cannot both be chosen in a 6-player non-sympathizer" game? Any ideas?
  5. CTuxford said: Personally I think you could expand the game much like Runebound. You have a reasonable spread of skill cards, but could certainly add new crisis and destinations, let alone a couple of characters. Nothing fancy. Just a new deck thrown into the system. either add it to the original or use it as another separate deck altogether. Such an expansion should be quite cheap and not too intrusive to the original system. Don't forget the core of the game is working out who is or isn't Cylon. Haven't we found that has been the major joy of our experiences with this game? I know I'm generally against expanding the current game. However, I've been coming around on this, and I agree that you really don't need anything fancy. Although I'm against "mixing" anything into the current crisis cards. So let's say we expand the game to start where the first one leaves off. Start at Kobol and the new destination is Earth. Introduce a brand new crisis deck. Keep the current skill cards, cause they work well already. Introduce a couple new characters and update current character sheets (e.g. Helo's weakness should be updated, Boomer is replaced by Athena, etc etc). Introduce neutral (NPC) characters (see my earlier post using the example of Admiral Cain as a neutral character), and possibly other NPC attack ships (Pegasus). So basically the components FF would need to give us are new character sheets/tokens, a new deck of crisis cards, rulebook, and a few other misc components. You wouldn't have to mix anything together, just play whichever game you want to play. Let me reiterate that a Pegasus game board (as many others have suggested) would be a terrible idea because the locations to use would essentially be the same as the Galactica ones. All it would do is make Tom Zarek's weakness easier to overcome. Plus, it would be an added cost to the expansion for the Pegasus game board. As long as the core mechanic of the Loyalty cards is held in tact, an expansion like this could work well i believe.
  6. myrm said: Hmm, while I can understand that people don't like the sympathiser concept (I prefer the game as a 5 player exercise myself) its not metagaming in the slightest as all the choices are purely within the game framework. Jarring for immersion perhaps, a disconnect sure, a gamebalance mechanism that loses theme for some OK, metagaming no. The problem I have with the sympathiser is that its a very careful balance of power game around the card, distance jumped etc and when playing with new players who don't follow that depth of the game it can easy flip dramatically one way or the other providing an unbalanced game - that in itself tends to make the game less fun and reinforces an idea of sympathiser games aint as good fun view. I really didn;t like the card for quite some time then we went back to it with an experienced set of players and it was VERY different. It forces them to play a very balanced game in determining what they choose to lose and when they choose to hang onto cards. It allows for a delicate mechanistic interplay of humans trying to detect cylon by plays as the time for sleepers comes closer and given there is one more human the base of a 6 player is weighted to the humans...so the cylons need something to keep the pressure - humans have to drop a wheel and then attempt to recover it - can you ttrust the Pres to get and play Speeches and Rationing - we cannot afford to go more than one into the red but that allows a possible recovery by one player. And those choices are actually identical to the balancing act played already over do we win skill checks or accept the losses...those choices are very thematic (IMO....YMMV). I don't know, I still see it as meta-gaming. Or maybe my definition of meta-gaming is what is wrong, LOL. The whole sleeper phase is supposed to be there so that individual players can either work with the rest of the group and prosper, or hold back selfishly thinking they might be a Cylon, a lot like Boomer from Season 1. Like I said in my earlier post, the sympathizer IMO, encourages the group to sabotage themselves so they can ensure themselves another ally. Like my earlier example, its like the a character from the show is tactically sacrificing a civilian ship to a cylon attack so that a Cylon will feel bad and sympathize with the humans. No character would do that in their right mind, especially after consulting their fellow crew. Yes, Baltar might do this, but not if he consulted with a group of others, he'd be thrown into the Brig for suggesting it. In the game, if the group has the mentality to tank a resource, they arent going to throw anyone in the Brig for doing it. I have no problem with a single player using this strategy, but when your group goes into the game saying, "let's tank this resource so we have an extra human player," it feels like hardcore meta-gaming. I think my other problem with the sympathizer is that it feels like the Human Sympathizer is far and beyond better for the humans than a Cylon Sympathizer is for the Cylons (it downright sucks to by a Cylon Sympathizer). Maybe if the Sympathizer had +2 to the skill check to get out of the Brig? Or make it so that player could never be Admiral or President?
  7. myrm said: There are two to three major problems with this 1) In the first round losing a resource can be much less of a hit than losing already scarce cards. We had one player adamantly resistant to losing resources and vocal enough to persuade the others to try every skill check and by the end of player turn 3 there were next to no cards in hands and we lost 3 resources on the trot. THe player was not a cylon. 2) If you do not do this and become a cylon you have made things much worse for yourself. Since you cannot predict this you must play as if it were a possibility. 3) In games with the sympathiser you need to do this on one resource or you make the sympathiser a cylon. Since you cannot forsee the future of crisis cards you have to take a blind pick. 1. Again, like I said above, losing Fuel or Food I can understand. Losing Morale especially, never a good idea. It just seems that Crisis Cards will lose Morale so much more easily than the other resources. Maybe I should just rephrase and say never take an early loss on Morale and to a lesser extent, population. 2. Understandable. Yet... chances are better that you are human. I would still take the chance thinking I'm a human because in the end, a human win is much more rewarding than a Cylon win, IMO. 3. This is the problem with the sympathizer, and I think this subject is found on a majority of posts. The sympathizer encourages meta-gaming to the highest extent. Going with my statement above, if you tank morale or population in order to make a resource RED, chances of humans winning is very low, even with that human sympathizer. I understand the reason for the sympathizer, but it really annoys me when the group is borderline on a resource and everyone wants to sacrifice a civi ship or fail a Crisis on purpose. Goes against the nature of the game. (This is why 5 player games are the best, or with 6 players, play the non-sympathizer variant) Seriously, when did you ever hear Adama say to the rest of the crew: "Hey, we are almost halfway to Kobol... we need to sacrifice one of our food storage ships to the next Cylon attack so that one of those 'skinjobs' will feel bad and join OUR side." I understand this is a game and not the actual show, but half the fun is being in the shoes of those characters on the show. I think its okay if you decide not to help the human cause as much as you could thinking you may end up being a sleeper agent, but that is an individual thinking for themself... but the sympathizer rule just irratates me because it forces the humans as a group to work against themselves.
  8. grouik said: Thank you all! Do you have any advice on playing the humans then? Just remember to work together. Investigative Committee is your best friend early on in the game especially. I have noticed in my group, this card is barely ever used, and there's no reason not to. Keep in mind that some Cylons will go along with the humans early on and wait out that huge crisis card that will break morale or population and then go nuts with the sabotage. Keep an eye on resources. In my experience, Morale is you most precious resource. Fuel can be managed if you have a smart Admiral. I have never had a problem with Food ever being too low, even towards the end of the game. Population is probably your second most precious. The only reason I say it isn't the first is because you start out with more and you have a way of preventing it's loss (e.g. moving civi ships during Cylon attacks). The dropping of Morale seems to come up more often than not with pretty hard skill checks. Thirdly, make sure each player knows and completes their role. If the President isn't using Quorum Cards, they better be issuing Executive Orders. If the Admiral keeps going to 1 distance locations, or non-refueling locations repeatedly, Brig him! If anyone is Chief, he should be repairing, end of story. Keep an eye on Pilots and how many Red cards they are drawing and how many are being played in skill checks. Just make sure each player is doing what they are supposed to. Most of the time, the humans will lose because of a resource depleted. NEVER NEVER NEVER take an early loss on a resource with the excuse that "it should be able to hold out." Late in the game, at distance 7 or 8... that's when you should start determining what resources you can take a hit on.
  9. so far, my group's victory count is 3 Cylon wins, 1 human win. 2 of the Cylon Wins came near the end of the game on distance travelled as 7 or 8 and the humans still had a fighting chance. The one human win came as the FTL was pulled just before the 2 Cylons got their turns, which would have been end-game. 1 of the Cylon wins came at a distance of 5, but by distance of 3, the humans almost gave up knowing they couldn't go another 5 distance with the morale and population in the red already. Everyone agreed that yes, as a human player, the last hour of play sucked cause they knew they would lose... but it was a learning experience at least. Like what was said by others above, if the game was too easy for humans, no one would want to play anymore. I'll guarentee you that our 5th game, the humans will be out for blood because of the disaster from the last game. The only gripe I'm getting from my group is that the one guy has yet to be a Cylon and really wants to be one, but theres not much you can do besides pick Baltar or Boomer, which really only increases your chances of pulling a Cylon a little bit.
  10. The only thing the game board I think needs are spaces to put the Crisis and Destination decks and the corresponding discard piles. Another dial for the total distance travelled would be nice too. Lots of times decisions are made cause some players forget what distance we are at cause the distance total isn't seen easily by everyone at the table. But what can you do, the gameboard is big enough as is. Maybe I just get a marker board to put down the current distance for everyone to see. But yeah, other than a few minor problems, I really like the board as is.
  11. Mattr0polis said: Wow, I disagree with 100% of what you said Spirit_Machine (no offense ). Yes, they could add new skill cards, crisis cards and characters. But there is a ton of other stuff they could add as well. Also, no one in your group picks Starbuck or Roslyn?? Starbuck is amazing once you learn how to use her. She can single handedly take out most of any Cylon fleet, but mostly, she can hop in a Viper every other turn, trigger her special ability, then move inside for 2 actions. Basically like XO-ing herself every other turn. That's pretty good. And Roslyn is even better! Her negative does suck, but looking at 2 Crisis cards and choosing one can break the game wide open, for whichever side you are on. After playing a few more times, I see your point. Starbuck is amazing. I used her, ended up being a Cylon, but I revealed on my 3rd or 4th turn... can't remember. But I used her ability to my advantage. Got EO'd out of sickbay to hanger bay... so on my next turn, I went to FTL control, pulled it at -3, then revealed reducing morale by 1. However, Roslin I still stay away from. Her 2 crisis card ability is very good, but late in the game, when you need all the combat you can get out of the group, she becomes a very bad character IMHO. Also, I totally agree with your last statement. If they can develop a decent expansion, I'm all for it. I just hate the Pegasus idea cause really... the Pegasus wasn't around for all that long and besides support during attacks (via Crisis Card, etc), what is the point? It would have the same locations that Galactica has, which would bode well for Zarek, but in the end would just take up space on the game table. And adding characters... I really think adding Dee, Doc Cottle, Gaeta, Cally would be okay. I just don't want to see characters added just for the sake of being added. A lot of these forums I see everyone trying to add (Gina) Number Six or Cain, which in my opinion would take away from the game mythology, as these characters came in later in the series. Any character being added should be a character that started with Galactica. I do have an idea for a new Crisis Card though: "A New Admiral Arrives" - Skill Check 12 (Yellow, Green, Purple) Pass - No Effect Fail - Keep this card in play, counts as Admiral Cain. Admiral Title cannot be held by any player until one player Activates Admiral's quarters to send Admiral Cain to the Brig. Once Cain is in the brig, remove this card from the game. If a Crisis Card requires the Admiral to choose, the current player instead chooses. If the fleet jumps, the card on top of the destination deck is the new location. Instead of making Admiral Cain a playable character, she can be a neutral character. Maybe adding neutral characters would be a decent new game mechanic. What does everyone think?
  12. 2 Games on Saturday night - (Two Cylon Victories) Player count: 6 with 2 newbies (however experienced board gamers) 1st game Cylon victory, but VERY close: Characters: (In turn order) Chief, Apollo, Starbuck, Roslin, Zarek, Tigh (me) Game started out well as nobody pulled a Cylon card at the beginning. As luck would have it, we pulled the Crisis Card with 1 destination within the first couple turns. Next, as Admiral, I took us to to a 2 destination first, then after the second jump, our resources were still high, so I took us to the Icy Moon, just in case I drew the Sympathizer. Turns out Apollo was the sympathizer. Funny thing though, the one Cylon (Starbuck) figured me to be the other Cylon, because of heading to a 1 destination just before the sleeper phase, so he attempted and succeed in Brigging Chief, who after two attempts to get out, ended up revealing (this was two jumps later with the distance at 8, btw). All looked doomed for the Cylons, until it seemed the Crisis Deck, even with Roslin as a human, didn't give us anything on the Jump Prep track. The newly revealed Cylon activated the basestars and damaged us once (armory). With no centurions on the board, we were in the clear. The Sympathizer activated Caprica, and we had another Cylon assualt on our hands. However, population was at 3 and we were one away from using FTL. Then the 2nd Cylon finally revealed, damaging command and weapons control. We were without defenses as our two pilots were gone. 3 turns later, i was ready to pull FTL, but on Roslin's turn, neither card on the Crisis Deck were jump preps. Then it happened, on Zarek's turn, raiders were activated and 3 civi ships went down, well, what do you know... one had -2 pop another had -1 pop... game ended, Cylon victory. My take: Although my team lost, we agreed it was the best game so far because of the tension during the last round of turns. Had those civi ships not gone down, I would have pulled FTL on -3 with strategic planning giving us 50/50 chance to win. And no, I did not roll the dice to see what it would have been. 2nd game Cylon victory, no chance for humans: Characters: (In turn order) Helo, Zarek, Adama, Chief, Boomer, Starbuck (me) This game was the opposite of the previous... I drew a Cylon card. Being Starbuck, I knew it was going to be tough to stay in the clear for long. Through the first few turns, I just sort of stayed under the radar and did not put cards into the skill checks claiming i could not help... that was until there was a chance for -2 morale.. i played my 5 strength tactics card and screwed them over. Since most characters drew Tactics, it was hard for them to know who it was, but since 4 cards counted negative, they were pretty sure there were 2 cylons already, and since i only put in one card, I knew there was someone else already, making it easier for me to reveal early. We had them so scared of there being two cylons that they intentionally didnt put cards into skill checks thinking they would fail anyway, so by the time I revealed on my next turn, the morale was at 6, population at 8, fuel at 7, food at 7 i believe. Turns out i was in sickbay. I asked Chief to EO me out of sickbay so I could get my full skill set. I used the EO to get into a viper. At the start of my turn, I was Starbuck in a viper, so i exited to Galactica, pulled FTL at -3 population, then with my second action, I revealed dropping morale by -1. What do you know, the Admiral was the other Cylon, so he intentionally took them to the Icy moon only taking destination to 3 total. To make a long story short, the rest of the game was us two cylons messing with the rest of them. They knew that the morale and population were already too low to survive 5 more distance and one last jump. They lasted about 3 more rounds of turns before two cylon attacks, and a colonial one bomb (thanks to me) destroyed their morale. My take: Fun for Cylons, but not for humans. They knew once I pulled that FTL, they would not have enough resources to last, so playing the game was almost a chore... however, some things to take away from this game: (1) Early in the game, don't intentionally lose Crisis skill checks thinking it would be a waste of skill cards. Those resources are limited and early on, you have no idea what they will look like later in the game. Later in the game, at 7 or 8 distance... that's when you can start determining what resources you can do without. (However, we have yet to play ONE game where Food was an issue). (2) Don't let the excuse "i can't help with this check" fly by without questioning that person, especially if that person is holding onto more than 3 skill cards. At least make sure all players are aware this person "is not able to help" with the skill check.
  13. I agree that Starbuck can be amazing, but it is amazingly difficult to stay out of the brig. Late in the game if the Cylons are revealed, for sure she is probably the best character to have, but before then, what good is fighting off cylon attacks if shes in the Brig? I still think Roslin's weakness should be shortened to 1 card discard. If Roslin is a Cylon, she is amazing, since its a good excuse not to activate command, armory and whatnot, but for a human character, especially late in the game, its not fun to discard cards and the group gets screwed because you wasted your skill cards to activate locations. I don't mind these characters having these huge weaknesses if their abilities offset them, which they do. But then you have a character like Tigh. Based on how great his everyday ability is and coupled with the fact that his one-time ability will often give himself the presidency, his weakness isn't really all that harsh. Don't you think that maybe 2 cards would make a little more balance? It might be personal preference, but let's face it, more often than not, Tigh will start as Admiral b/c why pick Adama, who can't send anyone to the Brig, when Tigh can easily send players there. If his drawback was more hurtful, I would have no problem, but discarding one's last card doesn't seem to be all that bad considering all the other power he has. And I guess you are right about the Crisis Deck. As long as they keep the ratios the same, of course.
  14. Quite frankly, I don't know how you can expand this game besides new Skill Cards, Crisis Cards and Character Sheets. Even with Crisis Cards, I believe the Crisis Deck is balanced already so adding more cards to the mix would probably create more Cylon attacks that would probably cripple the Humans even more, not to mention the amount of jump track/cylon ship activations cards. Adding more cards to the mix will throw off that balance. I could see them adding another Skill card type for each color. Adding more characters to the mix would be cool too, but honestly, how many season 1 characters can they add? This game is based mostly on season 1 and I can't think of many other characters. Dee or Gaeta to me would be a great addition. They could be a Military Leader with a little engineering (which is a skill the current Military Leaders don't have). Otherwise, any other new edition character wise would just be clones of the characters out there already. If you added Kat, she would basically just be another pilot with an everyday ability that helps in combat, probably making Starbuck obsolete due to her ridiculous weakness. You could also add maybe Cally as another Support character, but even then, it would be a Tyrol clone for the most part. If you ask me, if they are going to expand the game, they should edit the current characters a bit. Seriously, nobody ever picks Starbuck because of her weakness (especially when Tigh is picked too). She is one of the central characters of the show, and is rarely used in this game. While her weakness cripples her, other characters like Tigh have easily overcome weaknesses. Seriously, if you have one skill card left, discard it? Make it two cards and I might agree. Roslin's weakness also makes her rarely used. Discard one card to activate a location and thats realistic, but seriously, two cards? When you only draw 5 cards each turn and your only other option for skill cards is to activate locations, it pretty much makes using the character very one dimensional and boring. You also have Helo, who has a weakness that is VERY situational. In a 3 or 4 player game, his weakness isn't too bad. Make it a 5 and 6 player game, it does turn into a realistic weakness. However, if he is high in turn order, it doesn't matter. Maybe edit the weakness so that he shows up 5 turns into the game. I'm afraid that this might be a one and done style of game. If anything, they will probably make up a whole new game that plays out more like RISK and whatnot. I don't know how this style of play can be used later in the series timeline when most of the cylon models are known.
  15. Playing Baltar is tricky. When I used Baltar (I wasn't a Cylon), I used it before the sleeper phase on the president (Roslin)... I just had that feeling cause those quorum cards were just sitting there in the players hand and he wasnt activating locations blaming Roslin's weakness. I assumed right and right away I said outloud that shes a cylon. I then said why I suspected her in the first place and everyone kinda thought about it and agreed with my assesment that in 3 or 4 turns she hasn't activated locations or used quorum cards (not to mention Politics skill cards led to us failing a skill check). I also offered myself up to be sent to the Brig just to ease doubt stating that if both of us were in the brig, there would be at least one cylon in there. Also, if you are Baltar, the more players there are in the game, there is less than a chance you will draw a Cylon loyalty card right off the bat. Make sure you make that known to the other players if you use his ability before the sleeper phase. If my math is right, with a 3 player game, you have a 28% chance of drawing a cylon card at the beginning as Baltar compared to a 16% chance in a 6 player game. If Boomer is a character in the group, the percentages should go down even more too. The most "You are Not a Cylon" cards there are in the Loyalty deck, the less of a chance you will get a cylon card at game setup. Most of all, have a reason ready for the group as to why you are looking at the person's cards in the first place. If you just kinda randomly do it, they might see it as simply one Cylon trying to figure out who the other one is. Overall, in my opinion, if you use this ability, I wouldn't keep what you find out a secret. Most players will probably take your silence as "you are guilty." For example, if you are a Cylon and you look at another players cards and they are Cylon, if you don't say anything, most people will probably assume you are a Cylon and will also assume the other is a Cylon, screwing you both over. Which is why I cannot see keeping the information secret a good thing.
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