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freedomchicken

Can Cylon players be a Sympathizer to side with the Humans?

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We've had some going back and forth weither a Cylon can be a Sympathizer to side with the humans to win the game. Similar to if a human gets it they side with the Cylons. 

The main reason for me thinking a Cylon can side with the humans is if he's not revealed(otherwise if he was he'd give his cards away) and at sleeper phase he gets the Sympathizer card. In the core rulebook on page 19 in the first paragraph under Sympathizer it says: 

…"The 'You Are a Sympathizer' card represents a human or Cylon who wishes to side with the other team"…

I would take that as a Cylon can get the Sympathizer card and side with the humans. 

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Correct, I wasn't meaning they'd turn into a human, but instead be a Cylon that sides with the human side. So you would move to the Cylon locations but would still try to help the humans win by playing positive cards and trying to get crisis cards to help them jump. 

Thematically it would be like Caprica Six who is a Cylon, lives with the Cylons but sides with the humans and tries to help them out as much as she can. It would also only work if all resources are in the Blue during sleeper phase, otherwise you go to the brig and the card turns into a "You are not a Cylon" card.

Otherwise it seems odd that they'd specifically state that in the rulebook. It could very well be an error in text and they had meant to take it out, that's why I wanted to see what others thought. 

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I am not sure if I understand you fully, but I think the rules pretty clearly state that cylons only win if the humans lose, so no, the cylon cannot play sympathetically for the humans.  This is how the base game works.  The Pegasus expansion adds the possibility of having Cylon Leaders like Caprica Six with complicated agendas and sympathetic cylons that may have agendas, some of which involve the humans winning.  But otherwise, a normal Cylon player is just out and out a baddie.

 

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I think you are not asking a game rule question but asking about this as a variant? 

I am guessing you don't have the expansions, but Cylon Leaders basically have this. 

Cylon leaders get agenda's that may favor either side.  If they are pro-human, they could be revealed and working the cylon locations with the agenda of helping humans. 

They also can replace the sympathiser as a mid-game card. 

 

 

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I do have the expansions and was asking if that is how the sympathiszer works normally. Because the card isn't caclled Cylon Sympathizer and in the core rulebook page 19 it says …"The 'You Are a Sympathizer' card represents a human or Cylon who wishes to side with the other team"…  Which I would take as a Cylon can side with the other team.

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As well, with the expansion you have the Sympathetic Cylon card, as well as agendas that let you be a Cylon but your win condition is changed so you win when humans win. So the Sympathizer can change the win condition for the type you the resources are in Blue.

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You're crossing wires a little.


That rule refers to the fact that the card itself, like all the rest of the loyalty cards, tells you whether you are a cylon or a human -- in this case reversed. So if:

1. The resources are all blue you are a cylon (thematically only) who has sided with the humans (mechnically you're a human… or in other words you win with the humans. Later, in the Pegasus expansion, this same sort of idea was expanded to the cylon leader.) That's why you end up in the brig.

2. Any resources are in the red you are a human (thematically only) who has sided with the cylons (mechnically you're a cylon… or in other words you win with the cylons). That's why you end up in the cylon locations, but do not have a super crisis and cannot active cylon ships.

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Well I've interpreted the rules (thematically) in the opposite way to Dakuth - and I still do.

 

<rule>If all the resources are blue, then the Sympathizer card effectively becomes a 'You Are A Cylon' card, the player moves to the Resurrection Ship, behaves as a Cylon player with noted restrictions.

 

<my opinion>The card being treated as though it reads 'You Are A Cylon', combined with the fact that you immediately move to the Resurrection Ship, as far I'm concered, makes it clear that, in this situation, the Sympathizer is a Cylon. Why would a Human suddenly move straight to the Resurrection Ship, rather than, say, the Cylon Fleet in general? Whereas, a Cylon who was on Galactica and was discovered as a Cylon (sympathetic or otherwise) might be executed and thus end up on the Resurrection Ship. I see it as the reason they don't get a Super Crisis card is that they sympathize with the Humans, so don't want to bring down a Super Crisis upon them. They don't get to control the fleet, because the other Cylons don't trust them enough as they've noted that this character is sympathetic towards the Humans.

 

<rule> If one resource is in the red, then the sympathizer card is effectively a 'You Are Not A Cylon' card, the player moves to the brig. That's it.

 

<my opinion> Again, the card becomes a 'You Are Not A Cylon' card and you're simply stuck in the brig. The key for me is that, as mentioned, the card becomes a 'You Are Not A Cylon' card. In addition, thematically, a Cylon wouldn't be simply put in the brig and then let out later to wander around the fleet etc (I may be wrong, it's been a while since I watched the series).

 

However, it's all semantics, really as the rules state that All Cylons win together and all Humans win together so, unless the Sympathizer who's card becomes 'You Are Not A Cylon' also has another card that states 'You Are a Cylon' (as one 'Are' card overrides all 'Are Not' cards), then according to the base rules the sympathizer who goes to the brig is a Human and the one who goes to the Resurrection Ship is a Cylon.

(Yes, I'm aware there's only one sympathizer)

 

The way I've interpreted the thematic meaning of the rules does, however, then support variants where the Sympathizer who goes to the brig wins with the Cylons and the one who goes to the Resurrection ship wins with the Humans.

<rule variant>

I don't know what current variants exist, but the way I see it mechanics wouldn't really need to change at all to have the Sympathizer win with the opposite team. I mean, the action on the 'Human Fleet' location does say 'Look at any players hand' so could be used to steal cards from Cylons.

After the Sympathizer breaks out of the brig he/she can still send other players there to limit the Humans' capabilites(might be hard, but even revealed Cylons at the Cylon Locations still contribute to skill checks and you can at least force other players to waste cards trying to stop you), same with assigning the presidency to someone you think or know is an unrevealed Cylon. You could use 'Communications' to move civilian ships into danger or 'Command' to move Vipers away from Cylon ships or pilot one yourself to take control away from the Humans. Imagine if the last Viper was launched and Sympathizer Apollo just jumps straight in it!

In short - the 'Are Not' Sympathizer (who goes to the brig) can behave just like an un-revealed Cylon, but can be completely blatant about it as there's no fear of being found out (hand and card secrecy should still apply). Yeah, you could keep getting sent to the brig, but they'll have to waste cards to keep you there. If the Cylons win, you win.

The 'Are' Sympathizer (who gets sent to the resurrection ship) messes with the Cylon's plans by stealing their already limited supply of Skill Cards. Even the 'Caprica' action lets you get rid of the more harmful crises. If the Humans win, you win.

Completely changes the dynamics of the Sympathizer game with... actually no changes to the game rules whatsoever, other than who the Sympathizer wins with.

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Ok, you have two issues at play.  One is semantics, the other is game balance.  I know many of you already know these dynamics, but hang with me.

 

It's no secret that BSG tries to level the playing field throughout the game, to provide for a more evenly matched (therefore ostensibly exciting) game.

 

So, the "resource in the red" gauge is designed as a mid-game balance to square up the two sides before the final push toward the end.  Although, if the sympathizer is drawn at the beginning of the game (therefore with all resources in the blue), you ENSURE that you'll get a Cylon-helping human.

 

Should the Cylon side be dominating, getting a resource in the red in the process, the Sympathizer card should mechanically and thematically represent the fact that the other characters now suspect that a specific character is either a Cylon (or a human sympathetic to the Cylon cause) who is trying to destroy the fleet, but the character is trying to convince the others that he/she is still loyal (i.e. the Sharon "Athena" Valerii, yes a Cylon but trying to prove herself loyal to the fleet).  Now, this may or may not be true (as the accused Sympathizer still has a Loyalty card that is yet to be revealed).  He/she is put in the Brig, and the fleet must deal with the benefits of having this character in the Brig (cannot take Ship actions, only playing one card into Skill checks), OR the consequences (an unjustly accused human that can no longer take ship actions to help the fleet or participate more strongly in skill checks).  But, the character's TRUE nature is not determined.  So, a Sympathizer in the Brig is trying by any means necessary to get out, whether that be because they really are a human and truly want to help the fleet, or an unrevealed Cylon who just wants to get out to be more effective (i.e. be able to acquire/use a Super Crisis card).

 

Now, here's where I think many are missing the point of the rules phrase:

 

"The 'You Are a Sympathizer' card represents a human or Cylon who wishes to side with the other team."

 

 

If all of the resources are in the blue (meaning the humans are dominating), the character drawing the Sympathizer card signifies a HUMAN who is discovered and exiled to the Cylons (like Baltar's character arc).  So while his card is treated as though it was a "You are a Cylon" card, he really is a human living among the Cylons, which is why he/she cannot use the Cylon Fleet or use Super Crisis Cards..  Game mechanic wise, it basically adds 1/2 a Cylon to those already disguised/revealed.  But, he/she does have an extra card up their sleeve, literally.  Upon going to the resurrection ship, he/she can pass off their unrevealed loyalty card from the first stage of the game to another player.  If this is a "You are a Cylon" card, this is a GLORIOUS opportunity.  The Sympathizer basically gets to decide the strength of the Cylon team, pulling a character over to the Cylons most devastating to the human side.  Or, it further sows distrust if he/she passes a human loyalty card to another player. 

 

So, mechanic vs. semantics is basically:

 

  • 1 or more resources in red: Sympathizer is perceived to be a CYLON that is attempting to play for the HUMANS (ostensibly, unless their unrevealed loyalty card IS a Cylon).
  • No resources in red:  Sympathizer is a HUMAN that is playing FOR the Cylons.  The card is treated as a "You Are a Cylon" card only for game mechanics and defining the sympathizer's turn.  Semantically you can think of it as a human who "might as well be a Cylon.  Good riddance."

Make sense?

 

 

Edited by RebRob

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