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Staurty

Uncertain Cylon Presence

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Hello

 

This may have been raised before, but here goes

 

I am interested in the BG game and I am a fan of the way the traitor mechanic works in Shadows over Camalot.

 

One of the parts that I like the best about the SoC traitor system is that there is always a chance that there is no traitor and the players could spend half the game looking for a traitor only to find out that there wasn't one.

 

Does anyone think that this kind of thing could be worked into BG?

 

The way I'm proposing to do it would be to simply make the deck as described in the rules, and then add two more 'You are not a Cylon' cards. After the second set of loyalty cards are dealt out there will be two spare cards left over. These are put into the box without looking at them so no-one knows how many cylons there will be.

 

By potentially reducing the number of cylons, this coulds make it too easy for the human players so, like SoC, there may have to be some penatly for not uncovering the cylons. For example, at the end of the game, for each un-revealed cylon (not in the brig), the lowest resource is lowered by one/two, in a final act of sabotage. That way a narrow victory could be turned into a sudden defeat if there was still one or more cylons hiding.

 

This works great with SoC, but BG is a very different game, so it may not work at all. Has anyone tried anything like this, or are there any experienced players who might be able to predict what kind of effect this is likely to have (good or bad)?

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The Exodus expansion adds one "You are not a cylon" card so that it has one loyalty card left over, always.  As a result, in a 4-player/one Cylon game, it is possible there is no Cylon (and in a five-player/2 cylon game, just one cylon).  The result has sometimes been amusing as the paranoia flies and it turns out no one/fewer people were the culprits.  However, much more often, it becomes pretty obvious "we're all humans" and it's a dull grind to the end or torture for the lone cylon who feels they cannot win (although I suppose the very rare times they do win is great vindication). 

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The two-player variant (which I still have yet to try) is also similar to what you're proposing: no cylons for the first part of the game, then the sleeper phase loyalty deck is constructed with one YAAC card and 2+x YANACs, where x is the number of resources currently in the red.  So if you've had a really easy game, one of you will probably turn cylon at sleeper, with the likelihood dropping the more resource-starved you are.  I've heard good things about this variant, although the pdf provides a pretty strong disclaimer about how you lose a lot of the fun and intrigue by not playing with the standard rules.

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It does seem like this game would make it easier to spot that there is no cylon, with the way that skill checks work, so maybe it is best left out, but that's why I figured you would need a SoC style penalty for not uncovering all the cylons at the end.

 

That way a canny cylon could act very human and create a false sense of security, and only influence the game very slightly so that the game leans towards a narrow victory, that is swiftly taken away when they reveal their loyalty right at the end. This is a tactic which doesn't work in the basic game as the human players know for a fact how many cylons there will be. However, without having played the game myself yet I can't say how easy it is normally is for the human players to get a strong victory. Is it usually pretty close to the wire?

 

I guess I could invest in the game and give it a try. If I find it too easy to detect 'no cylons' then we could go for adding more cards from the destiny deck on each skill check, but again this could only really work in larger games. Plus this would only add to the difficulty for human players, especially as most of the time you would still end up with the full complement of cylons.

 

As a side note, I do quite like the notion of scaling the likelyhood of cylons based on how well players are doing at the sleeper phase, but I would still like there to have potentially been some cylons up to that point. Those rules were of course made for a two player game though, where the presence of a cylon makes a huge difference to the human side, so having one from the start would pretty much guarantee failure.

Edited by Staurty

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