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Vagrant Lustoid

Some queries from a new player group

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 Okay, so over the weekend a group of us played 4 games of Base BSG. The numbers varied from 3 to 6, and it was an even 50/50 split of Cylon/Human victories, which seems pretty even (though the times the Cylons won they trounced hard). I've been reading the forum tonight and picking up on a few things I think our group may have been doing wrong, and just want to clarify.

1. The value of Nukes. What is it, honestly? From what we experienced, in the situations where it became bad enough that one might want to nuke it was always easier to just jump early. Destroying 1 Basestar and possibly 3 Raiders never seemed like a big deal to any of us. We never fired a nuke once in the four games. Coupled with this is destroying Basestars in general. I don't think we ever once even bothered damaging Basestars, we always just Weapon Controlled away the Raiders threatening Civvie Ships and when it got too swamped we jumped. In general the Cylon fleets never really seemed particularly threatening, especially since in the two games the humans won we made pretty much three consecutive jumps in a row without any Cylons showing up because we only ever got Raider/Heavy Raider activations when there were no Basestars.

2. Flowing on from point 1 was the priority of steps in Cylon Attack crisis cards. The cards seemed pretty clearly labelled 1. Activate "whatever" 2. Setup 3. Special Rule, but are these sequential or simultaneous? For the first two games we treated them sequentially, but after hitting a few Cylon Attacks where we supposedly activated Raiders before any of them showed up and then the whole fleet just sat around like idiots for the attack, they didn't seem very Crisis-like. So we ended up making the Setup occur first and activations second.

3. Damaging Galactica. During the process of the game we only ever assumed that the Galactica could be attacked by Basestars, and Raiders only if there were no Vipers out on the board. I know that the process of Raiders is Attack Vipers in same region > Attack Civs in same region > Move towards nearest Civs, but after that for whatever reason we assumed there was a Move Towards Nearest Viper priority before attacking Galactica. I take it this isn't the case? On the same note, victory by destruction of Galactica seems nearly impossible, even without Tyrol it seems far too easy to dash around repairing the few places that get hit. I assume this ties in with the Raider Swarms we probably missed out on.

4. Priority for Jumps. Is it Destination Jump > Lose Resources or is it Lose Resources > Destination Jump? We had a situation where the final jump beyond 8 would have reduced us to 0 Fuel, but weren't sure whether this was a game loss or a game victory, since it made sense to us that you'd arrive at the place before burning the fuel.

5. Cylons in the Brig. There were two points of contention/confusion here. First was whether Cylons could reveal themselves if they were brigged, and if so what the real benefit of slapping them in there is? Additionally, no matter how hard we looked there appeared to be no rule stating you couldn't Brig a revealed Cylon and pull them from Cylon locations, which one of the players tried to ruleshark hard to get human victory.

6. Sympathizer. Obviously a revealed sympathizer with more than half resources was a Cylon and ran off merrily, but below half is the Sympathizer a Human who wants to help the Cylons? What role are they supposed to play, exactly? Do the other humans want them out of the brig, should they be aiming to sabotage checks, or what?

Finally, just looking for some opinions and suggestions. The two times that the Cylons won the humans got completely creamed, in situations that just seemed like there was no possible way to score a victory. In a 4 player game we ended up with a Cylon Sympathizer and a Cylon, who Brigged the president and ran off. The problem here was that the only other player was a pilot and as such was never able to get out the other Human player since they never had enough cards to cover off the check, what with not drawing into Politics or Tactics much, if at all. In a situation like that, where the two Cylons just match the humans card for card in sabotaging the check, is there much that can be done about it?

How would you guys rank the characters, and what is a good spread/set-up for 4 player, 5 player and 6 player games with the base game? We found that Roslin and Boomer were awesome in the base game, but I found out that we were using Roslin's negative effect incorrectly. Boomer though, still seemed to be one of the best overall for her Crisis control, yet I've noticed she's not particularly well thought of. Any reason for this?

Also, just as a final curiosity, what are the best ways to play as a) a Cylon from the very start b) a human all the way through and c) a Cylon from the Sleeper Agent phase who isn't immediately outed?

Thanks for any responses guys, we all loved the game and look forward to getting the Pegasus and Exodus expansions as well. Hopefully I can make this place feel pretty much like home if we continue to keep playing. I'm the only one of the group that would probably seriously want to strategise and metagame the whole thing, so any assistance is appreciated.

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My opinion...

1.  Pre-Exodus, yes, I'd agree nukes don't seem too valuable if a jump is feasible.  They are probably more valuable in Exodus though as ships not destroyed will come back to haunt you.  In Exodus, you can build more nukes though, so I suspect we will see more nuke action in the future.

2.  It is 1, 2, 3 in sequence and yes it is pretty common that there are no ships to activate when it card is revealed.

3.  I don't think the designers intended all human loss conditions to be equal.  It just means you can't neglect any of them.  Fixing Galactica or killing centurions isn't too hard to prevent the loss, but those are actions and resources spent that could be helping other aspects for the humans.  Most cylon victories are on the resource dials for us.

4.  The resource is lost at the end of the jump, but if a dial ticks to zero at the moment of victory it is still a loss for the humans.  Might not be how you thematically envision it, but I'm pretty certain that is the rule.  I guess, picture it as a tragic finish for the humans as they see their final escape, but the fuel depletes and they are unable to complete their jump.

5.  Most (if not all) of the if the "you are a cylon" cards lose their special bonus while brigged, so if you have the resources to spare (action/skill cards), a good tactic is to contain a cylon before they reveal.  Unfortunately in BSG it is often hard to be sure of who's on your team or not unless you've seen their loyalty cards and then you still have to convince the other humans while likely facing accusations yourself.  Good times. gran_risa.gif

A revealed cylon cannot be brigged.

If you get the Pegasus expansion, it gets a bit confusing, as a cylon leader can be brigged while infiltrating and they have conflicting victory conditions (e.g. humans win but with 2 or less of a particular resource remaining).  As a result, they often both hurt and help the humans while trying to meet their agenda (this is also true for sympathizers in Pegasus).  So if you fear them being too damaging brigging them might be a good move, but we've had it hurt the humans as well.

6.  In the base game, the sympathizer works as a balancer based on the humans current resource status when the sleeper phase is triggered.  If they are brigged and helping the humans, as a human you would prefer them out of the brig to help you, but only if you can spare the cards.  The consensus seemed that being the sympathizer was a damper on the fun, so in Pegasus they have them receive a cylon leader agenda card, so they at least get an interesting game goal to work for and it makes their intentions more mysterious and interesting.

 

Glad you've enjoyed the game so far, it is an amazing social board game that we love.  Like the show, the game designers intended for the human struggle to be very challenging and when they win to feel pretty epic.  The fact you have a 50/50 ratio says to me that your cylons need to start bringing their A game. happy.gif  Easily in our games, most of our victories go to the cylons, but we often have some very crafty players who make being a human extremely challenging and thus we often get distracted from immediate dangers while accusing and being accused.

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Vagrant Lustoid said:

Finally, just looking for some opinions and suggestions. The two times that the Cylons won the humans got completely creamed, in situations that just seemed like there was no possible way to score a victory. In a 4 player game we ended up with a Cylon Sympathizer and a Cylon, who Brigged the president and ran off. The problem here was that the only other player was a pilot and as such was never able to get out the other Human player since they never had enough cards to cover off the check, what with not drawing into Politics or Tactics much, if at all. In a situation like that, where the two Cylons just match the humans card for card in sabotaging the check, is there much that can be done about it?

Boomer though, still seemed to be one of the best overall for her Crisis control, yet I've noticed she's not particularly well thought of. Any reason for this?


 

If a human is stuck in the brig and having difficulty getting out sometimes you'll just have to expend all of your resources to make sure it happens.  For the situation above you may have to fail a Crisis or two while the pilot gets enough of the appropriate colors to get the other player out.  It's another reason to make sure one resource is in the red at the sleeper phase in a 4-player game so you only end up with 1 Cylon.
The situation you mentioned above is exactly the reason why I don't like Boomer... who wants to automatically go to the brig halfway through the game?  Sometimes she gets stuck there too, if things start to go badly for the humans they cannot always get her out right away, and her draw makes it hard for her to get herself out.  And if you are playing a 4 or 6 player game and someone else gets the sympathizer card you could potentially now have 2 humans stuck in the brig, making it all the more difficult to get them out.  
Boomer is the worst of the pilots in my opinion - her once per turn is nice, but Lee and Starbuck can get extra actions for free a couple of times per game, and Lee gets a great draw and can combo his OPG with his once per turn ability.
 

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Vagrant Lustoid said:



Also, just as a final curiosity, what are the best ways to play as a) a Cylon from the very start b) a human all the way through and c) a Cylon from the Sleeper Agent phase who isn't immediately outed?


 

A) Sometimes it can be very effective to reveal right away and get your SC card so that you are ready to play it when it will do the most damage.  This will limit your options quite a bit though and the humans will likely pass most of their skill checks with ease; you can try picking 2 Crisis cards each turn and hope to get your hands on attack cards.  On the other hand, you can stay in hiding, in which case your best bet is to play like a human, don't do anything that will seem suspicious and hope they don't look at your loyalty card.  If you are the Admiral it might make more sense to not reveal and to pick bad destinations when you jump, but being the Admiral means they will likely look at your loyalty card ASAP... if you are a pilot you can probably relax a bit and figure that both the Pres and the Admiral will have their loyalty card checked before you; you may also end up with a big hand of red cards if there are no attacks while most of the other players are using up their green and yellow on every skill check.  Don't spike too many skill checks and give yourself away.  Personally I prefer to stay hidden and not do anything bad for the humans until after the Sleeper Phase; I'll have plenty of time to screw them over later, and I can hold the high STR skill cards so no one else gets them, or waste a 5 STR when only a 1 or 2 was needed.  The game is often damaging enough that you don't need to give extra assistance.
B) Make all your turns as useful as possible.  XO as often as you can, but don't XO the person to your left.  Don't overplay your cards, try to pass skill checks with as slim a margin as possible, and don't waste cards on skill checks that aren't all that important.  If you have 8 Food and only 3 Morale, it may be best if you fail a "-1 to Food" skill check so that you can pass a Morale Crisis if one comes up.  If you don't know what else to do with your turn, draw cards.
C) Hang on until your reveal is truly brutal.  If you have the card that sends someone to the brig, hope for a Crisis that sends someone to the brig so you can put a 2nd person in.  If you have the card that damages Galactica twice, wait until there is already some damage and pile it on.  Send someone to sickbay who has a full hand of cards when the rest of the players have few cards, or pick the person after you so they can't be XOed out of sickbay by another human before the start of their turn.  There's also a good chance that the humans will start fighting amongst themselves sooner or later if they can't figure out who the Cylon is.  And remember, there are a number of ways to hurt the humans from on board Galactica: use Communications to move civies into an area with raiders, or use FTL Control and jump from the -3 spot for no good reason.  If you are the Admiral or President you obviously have additional options.

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That a lot of question.  Just to Clarify one already answered, core rules page 14:

The next time the humans jump, they do
not draw a Destination Card; instead, they simply win the
game (as long as every resource is higher than 0).

So on jump 8, you do not draw a destination.  You could die if you used FTL, and fail the Pop roll, and pop drops to 0 or less.

For a regular destination draw, you completely resolve the destination card and end turn, at that point, you see if any resource is at 0, it so cylons win.  In other words, you could have 1 fuel, jump 1 for 1 fuel and risk a raptor to get 2 fuel back, be sucessful, and continue game with 2 fuel - Even though you were technically at 0 during the turn.

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Good point, Meph, no destination draw at the end of the final jump.  But there are some conditions like the new Exodus loyalty cards that could cost a resource upon the finish of the last jump and those can cause a loss for the humans.

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Oops.  Yea, I assumed they were talking Kobol Destination from the question, I should have made that clear.  haha.  If you can ever make anything clear in this game (that I love so much!).

Also, regarding unrevealed Cylons in the brig... they get no crisis cards, and thus, never get to choose "play chooses" or "vote/or" condition that would be bad for the humans.  As a cylon, except maybe when president, I always think a briging means a reveal, unless you really think you can get out and really make getting out count.  It's not worth the lost actions. 

As a cylon, it's often nice to have at least one revealed in a two cylon game so you can help "hide" dirty played by the unrevealed Cylon.  hehe

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Mephisto666 said:

As a cylon, except maybe when president, I always think a briging means a reveal, unless you really think you can get out and really make getting out count.

I've found that a cylon Boomer can do as much or more damage from the brig as she can after revealing, but she's kind of a special case that way.

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Our Boomer/Cylon often just sits in sick bay until New Caprica, scouts away good cards and uses their 5 card draws to put dirt in every check possible. They are then out on new Caprica if they want to do stuff there (like the reduce highest resource for jump space), or reveal to do cylon stuff as needed.

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