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Zozimusque Romanus

New Player…suspicious about how easy the win was

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Played my first game yesterday; it seemed like the human win was too easy.  Granted, I was a Cylon who only knew he was a cylon at the sleeper stage, and was quickly stuck in the brig.  However, I still feel like not a lot was challenging us.

Needless to say, I feel like we were probably somehow playing wrong.  

We never really had problems jumping.  The map would fill up pretty slowly, and by the time it was really full, we usually autojumped without problem.  Long periods would go by where no new Cylon ships would show up, and we just kind of dawdled about.  Just to be clear, when you jump, all the ships are wiped from the map, right?  That includes civilian ships and basestars?  And new ones don't show up until you draw a crisis card that shows the placement of new ships, am I right?  It really seems like the possibility for getting damaged, or even losing resources, is pretty limited.  Our lowest resource was food, because we kept drawing "Food shortage" cards; everything else was still in the blue.  I think we may have lost one viper to a card effect; the raiders don't seem all that good at fighting.  

I hear from lots of people that this is a tough game to win, even with a clumsy cylon (like I was).  I can't see how that would be true.  Anybody have any idea what we did right/wrong?  

Thanks!  

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There are so many rules that it's hard to be sure whether you did everything right or not, but everything you mentioned is fine (and offhand I can't think of any common rules mistakes that would heavily favor the colonials, unless people were drawing too many skill cards or revealing too much about what they were putting into the checks or something).

I will say, however, that some games are just like that.  The attack cards are especially unpredictable (some would say "unbalancing"); in some games you hardly see any attacks (or only right before you jump), and in others you'll get hit with several in a row.  It's also possible to draw really good destinations so that you're at Kobol in like four jump cycles.  Having Cylons that don't appear until sleeper definitely makes a difference too.

So they may have just gotten lucky.  I recommend playing again; if you have another blowout, then yeah, that's a sign that something might be amiss.

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Quick question. How many players were there, did you use any expansions, and where you the only newbie in the group? If the other players knew what they were doing and if you were useing pegusus, which tends to favor the colonials more, then that might explain it.

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Yep, some games just go better than others, getting a bunch of Water Shortage and other easy Crisis cards will make it much easier for the Humans.  How many players in the game?

subochre said:

and offhand I can't think of any common rules mistakes that would heavily favor the colonials, unless people were drawing too many skill cards or revealing too much about what they were putting into the checks or something.

The first thing that comes to mind is XOs - you cannot daisy-chain them to get extra actions.

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We were playing with four players, all of whom were playing for the first time.  It was just the base game, no expansions.  (On that subject, if I were to get an expansion, which would people recommend?  I don't necessarily want to add fiddly-ness to the game, but more challenge might be fun).  

I don't know what XOs mean (I'm assuming it's not kisses and hugs!)  :)    

Thanks for the advice!

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Did you put the Cylon Sympathizer in?  You didn't directly mention that.  If half way all resources were in the blue (maybe you meant food wasn't) bang you have a reveals cylon buddy.  That would be 2 (well, some would say 1.5!) to 2 instead of 1 vs 3. 

Food shortage means you did NOT draw a lot of other cards that would be more difficults (and eat up skill cards) nor get the cylon fleet (attack) cards. 

Could just have been one of those lucky games.  Have seen Cylons win in under 30 minutes more than once, especially if attack cards rush in!

My standard advice for stuff like this is - now that you played a whole game, re-read the rules.  You will understand them much better and may find something (major!) you missed.   Might also want to review the text on the board spaces, you might have read one f those wrong.

Sometimes the first game goes human friendly!   But "training" games with no Cylons have been lost before, so if you keep having cake walks, probably missing something.

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Possibly you forgot to activate cylon ships on your water/food shortages?

Each crisis card has an icon to activate ships. If you have a basestar on the board, then this icon will ALWAYS do something. I bring this up because the way y

ou worded it it sounds like you got attacks to occur, but they cylon ships weren't very effective. This isn't usually the case (raiders are terrible at fighting, but they usually wear your vipers down and get through to your civvies by stretching you thin.) Normally you can have a cake walk if attack cards simply don't come up… if they were coming up, it can be a challenge.

Having said that… a single attack may not be so hard. For example, you get a basestar and 3 raiders. Then you just get raider activations from there… no big deal. It's when you get raider activation, heavy raider, basestar attack, raider launch, raider activation, raider activation … then you start getting into trouble. On average, that entire sequence of events will only get you 3 jump icons, so, as is expected, you're approaching being able to jump, but the cylon ships are starting to become a problem!

Which brings me to another possibility - you were doing the jump icons correctly? You only move on the jump track if the crisis card has a jump icon. Not all do. If you were moving the fleet token after each crisis, you'd fly through the game.

 

As to your question for expansions. Pegasus. Pegasus Pegasus Pegasus. (Full disclosure: I find my experiences with balance quite different to the rest of the forums.) I bought Exodus first. With base game and Exodus games - about 20-40 in total, we found it EXTREMELY hard for the colonials to win. We would have killed for a few "cake walks" like you describe. So I picked up Pegasus -- an expansion I avoided because I did not like the idea of powerful Pegasus making pilots less useful, and Helena Cain being a "must pick" character -- and have found it has made BSG work balance perfectly. Every Pegasus game so far has come down to the wire. I think cylons win a little more often than humans (having played probably 5 or 6 games) but so far no white-washes. Yes pilots get a little less action, and yes Helena is a popular pick, but neither has been as bad as I expected. I personally found the CFB from Exodus to be a much more annoying mechanic (see my thread titled "Don't like CFB, going back to attack cards.") Also we really like using a Cylon Leader instead of the sympathiser (not a sympathic cylon leader loyalty card.) We find it works a treat.

YYMV… but for our gaming group, we find Pegasus, without Exodus, to be working the best so far. Proviso: We use Kobol as destination, not New Caprica. I have read over the rules and will play it one day… but from what I have read in the rules and forums I don't think we'd like the New Caprica mini game. I suspect avoiding it is helping swing things back towards the colonials a bit - just what our group needs.

Soon we will be trying a "Fully Loaded" BSG game - all Pegasus and Exodus components. I suspect ultimately we'll end up with everything from Pegasus, except New Caprica. Everything from Exodus, except the CFB. And when it comes, everything from Daybreak. Pegasus and Daybreak in particular have "updates" that really help the game, IMO.

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I think we were activating the ships correctly…but after a jump, it usually took quite a few turns before a base star would show up, which meant that all the "activate ships" icons were wasted.  Eventually a base star would show up, but by then we were near a new jump, and barely had to deal with the raiders before we took off again.  It must really have just been the luck of the draw, I guess.  I'd like to play again just to see how it goes, but I'm not sure my gaming group was all that impressed, so I don't know how soon I'll be able to convince them to play again.  

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Mephisto666 said:

Did you put the Cylon Sympathizer in?  You didn't directly mention that.  If half way all resources were in the blue (maybe you meant food wasn't) bang you have a reveals cylon buddy.  That would be 2 (well, some would say 1.5!) to 2 instead of 1 vs 3. 

 

That is the thing I allso was thinking. Cylon sympathizer can really help cylons if Human are doing too well. So there should have been two cylons in your game. That card is easy to forget, bause it comes to play in sleeper phase.

Allso Cylons needs to be cowert and try to scout the crisis deck argressively for Cylon fleet card. And allso they should go to the cylon fleet if they are in brick if they are obviously cylons… Nobody is going to rescue them so it is better to die and become real cylon and cause havok from the space!

 

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If you had to pick one expansion only, I would take Exodus.  The Cylon Fleet Board significantly changes the way ships come on and off the board, arguably to the Cylons' advantage.

 

We seldom play with less than 5, as we feel two Cylons are optimal for gameplay.  That may have contributed to the ease of victory.

 

The game also tends to be easier for the humans if they barrel through the first half of the game with no Cylons (or very deep Cylons); they could be as far as distance 6 before anyone shows up to stop them.  Players may want to keep in the back of their mind that if they do TOO well, and then turn Cylon in the sleeper phase, they hurt their own chance to win; but you have to balance that against the fact that, at the moment, you ARE on the human team, and playing too soft might get you brigged.

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I think we were activating the ships correctly…but after a jump, it usually took quite a few turns before a base star would show up, which meant that all the "activate ships" icons were wasted.  Eventually a base star would show up, but by then we were near a new jump, and barely had to deal with the raiders before we took off again.  It must really have just been the luck of the draw, I guess.  I'd like to play again just to see how it goes, but I'm not sure my gaming group was all that impressed, so I don't know how soon I'll be able to convince them to play again.  

 

Sounds like luck of the draw then. We have (almost) never been so lucky. I suspect you won't be for long.

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Played my first game yesterday; it seemed like the human win was too easy.  Granted, I was a Cylon who only knew he was a cylon at the sleeper stage, and was quickly stuck in the brig.  However, I still feel like not a lot was challenging us.

Needless to say, I feel like we were probably somehow playing wrong.  

Thanks!  

 

 

It's possible you just had the luckiest draw of cards ever.  Maybe you didn't shuffle the crisis cards well enough?  I have played 5 games now and all were cylon wins, many of them were complete blow-outs for the humans who had no chance at all of coming close to a win.  I play with the same group so we all have a pretty good understanding of the game now and the strategies that you can employ (scout, XO, etc.).

 

Try playing another game with 5 players, it's the best balance and doesn't use the sympathizer variant.  I wish I could speculate on what you might have done wrong in your game, because in my opinion BSG is extremely tough for the humans to win. People in my group don't believe it's possible for the humans to win regardless of what they do if you get a group of cylons who know what they're doing.

Edited by WhatTheShep

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Played my first game yesterday; it seemed like the human win was too easy.  Granted, I was a Cylon who only knew he was a cylon at the sleeper stage, and was quickly stuck in the brig.  However, I still feel like not a lot was challenging us.

Needless to say, I feel like we were probably somehow playing wrong.  

Thanks!  

 

 

It's possible you just had the luckiest draw of cards ever.  Maybe you didn't shuffle the crisis cards well enough?  I have played 5 games now and all were cylon wins, many of them were complete blow-outs for the humans who had no chance at all of coming close to a win.  I play with the same group so we all have a pretty good understanding of the game now and the strategies that you can employ (scout, XO, etc.).

 

Try playing another game with 5 players, it's the best balance and doesn't use the sympathizer variant.  I wish I could speculate on what you might have done wrong in your game, because in my opinion BSG is extremely tough for the humans to win. People in my group don't believe it's possible for the humans to win regardless of what they do if you get a group of cylons who know what they're doing.

 

 

You are the first person I've seen on this board that (more-or-less) has the same experience as my group. Although I always figured it was possible, I had some people in my group claiming it was "impossible."

Although not impossible (proven by the fact the humans could some times get very, very, close. A few things going another way and they would have won...) we have found it very, very difficult. Pegasus expansion has helped a bit, but I don't know what it is about our group vs others. I have two theories - and maybe you can compare to your group and suggest others:

 

1. Never had a "milk-run" draw of CACs. I sometimes hear complaints that games can be boring "milk runs" and simple wins for the humans. In probably 50+ games, that has happened to us maybe once. We have, conversely, had quite a few blow outs with cylons smashing the humans very early. (or at least putting them in a position of no-chance-to-win before the first jump cycle.)

 

2. Cylon strategies are pretty easy to work out, so a group of cylons that "know what they're doing" appears after just a game or three, and even if the humans get all their strats worked out they can only ever claw back to like a 40-60 win ratio. Since the cylons smash them until the humans work out good strategies, the cylon win rate is very high to start with, and continues to stay high because unless they're completely newb, the humans will always struggle to win.

 

Personally, I don't mind. I still love it, it's just a different dynamic. A game of "Will this be the time the humans win!" I REALLY want to be a human when they do, and really DON'T want to be a cylon the time it happens.

 

Just as an anecdote, I played with a newbie once. She was a cylon on my team. One simple mistake - she didn't hand off her extra loyalty cards (which was a YAC card) as soon as possible - lead to a simple human victory. By the time I worked out what was happening, and had to say, giving away the whole SNAFU, "You have to give that other cylon card away right away!" The humans had already gone distance 6, so she couldn't. The humans were all very congradulatory, but I kinda doubt they would have won if they weren't up against 1.5 cylons (she was the sympathiser.) 

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My gaming group always plays with the Pegasus and Treachery cards, and we prefer to play the CFB. But, if I had to choose just one xpansion for a new group, it would be Pegasus. The Beast (Pegasus ship) helps humans during that tough learning curve in the beginning. Treachery does help unrevealed Cylons by occasionally popping into skill checks. And, as long as you're not using New Caprica, the most challenging expansion rule is executions. Everything in Exodus adds a little more difficulty to the game for newer players. The CFB can be a little confusing at first, and I love using it. The Final Five and Hidden Agendas make paranoia go up, and can impede the human's search for Cylons. And, the Nebula adds some more complexity to the mix as well. Just my two cents, but I would go Peggy first, and then add in Exodus when you're comfortable, and feel ready for more.

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