Saturday, November 29, 2008

WE MADE IT--almost

The good news is that Galactica made several amazing against-the-odds FTL jumps to make it to Kobol.

The bad news is that they forgot to bring humanity with them.

Midway through the game, two cylons [Michael as Boomer and Tiffany as Admiral Adama] had been revealed (after both having been arrested by President Roslin [strong work, Jon] and thrown in the brig). The humans seemed to be holding their own when a basestar jumped in next to Galactica and raiders shot out and began targeting civilian ships. The new admiral, Starbuck [Dennis] began strafing the raiders while Baltar [me], sensing the growing threat, left the lab and got on the horn to command the other vipers from Galactica. Meanwhile, Chief Tyrol [Scott] was kept busy in the hangar repairing the vipers as they returned with their battle damage. Starbuck called in a nuclear strike on the basestar while evading raider fire. Although the basestar survived, its ability to both launch new raiders and fire at Galactica was wiped out.

Suddenly, a bright flash of light erupted, and Colonial One was gone, wiped out by a Cylon bomb. Almost immediately, another basestar jumped in and the stars were thick with raiders (and vulnerable civilian ships). Feverishly, Starbuck wiped out one squadron and flew to defend another group of four civilian ships. He called in his second tactical nuclear attack and the new basestar vanished in a ball of fire. The moment of peace was short lived, however, as a third basestar jumped in in front of Galactica! The humans were now out of nukes and the remaining civilian ships were starting to fall. The FTL drive, which had been agonizingly slow to charge, finally came online and Baltar triggered the jump to save the remaining civilian ships from almost certain destruction.

However, Galactica did not travel as far as they needed to, leaving themselves two agonizingly difficult jumps from Kobol. The cylons began to throw crisis after crisis at the humans and the resources began to bleed away. One more jump, and the humans were one final FTL drive charge from home. But population had dwindled to one. Galactica and the fleet sacrificed all of their other resources to spare the last vestiges of humanity as the Cylons launched Incoming Nukes at the ship. Finally, down to (if I remember correctly) 1 fuel, 2 food, 1 morale, and 1 population, and with all of the humans' skills exhausted, we realized that one more crisis would certainly stop Galactica just short of its goal. We needed to jump NOW.

I drew one last tactics card, trying to draw a +2 to a die roll for the final jump chance. No luck. Finally, Scott moved to FTL control and triggered the jump. A success, and we would be home. A failure, and we would leave the fleet behind (-3 population) and humanity would end. We needed a 7 or 8. The die roll came.


WOW! This was incredibly close! Every roll for the humans seemed to be one short, but we still had a chance on that last roll to win the game. If Scott rolls a 7 or 8, we win. If I draw the +2 card and Scott rolls the same 6, we win. But no. The anguished cries as the die settled on the six were a testament to how much fun we all seemed to have. This game seems to be getting better with every play. And I think we got all the rules right.

Can't wait for Monday night. Sleep or no sleep, I want to play again.

it's an interesting debate about exactly what the best tactic is for an unrevealed Cylon. Do you blatantly spike the skill check right before your turn and then reveal so that you can't be thrown in the brig? I've seen Brian do this, and it seems to make sense. Do you try to stay hidden and throw a few bad cards in to make skill checks more difficult? In my experience so far, this hasn't panned out--as soon as a Cylon does this, they get found out pretty quickly because the humans can trace back who could have thrown in the errant colors by who DRAWS those colors, and it's even harder if some of the people who draw those colors decide not to throw in on that check (so that they're automically eliminated from suspicion). From my recollection, this is how we discovered Tiffany's treachery. It's awful difficult to surreptitiously spike a check and stay undiscovered. It would only make sense to do this if the reveal power for the Cylon is so unhelpful (because you have to assume you're going to be discovered, brigged, and lose the reveal power) that causing the skill check to fail is worth the risk. Michael made an interesting choice that I hadn't seen before. His power was to automatically determine the result of a skill check before it was resolved. We had an early skill check which was very helpful (I think it advanced the jump track twice, and the failure cost morale, or deployed a basestar, or something), and Michael outright said, "No, we fail that." Still pleading that he wasn't a Cylon, he was instantly brigged, but he remarked later that he thought trading his reveal power for the skill check automatically failing was a reasonable tradeoff. Interesting.

We also got in a game of Dominion (better in person than I was expecting after having played it online--the shuffling didn't bother me much) with a highly interactive deck, a quick fun game of Thebes (which came down to the last play for all of us [Scott, Tiff and me]), some Ca$h 'n Gun$ (being able to move around like a ninja didn't help Michael at all, as he was dead before turn 5) and four games of Race, which Michael seems to be consistently excellent at.

A few songs of Rock Band thrown in (with an agonzing 98% fail of "Gonna Hitch a Ride" just as the crowd began to applaud), some pizza and breakfast tacos (Mr. Black tried again for a taco, but Tiff is on to him) and it was all in all a really good day. Thanks to Dennis, Scott, Michael, Jon, and Tiffany for dropping by.

P.S. DennisOops--MICHAEL, I still have your Stage II. I'll get it to you either Monday or next weekend if you're around for gaming.

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At 10:49 PM, November 29, 2008, Blogger Tiffany said...

See I need to work on being sneaky and trixy--trixey--( what is the gollum speak?)

And I think that might be Michael's Stage ii.

At 8:20 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Carlos said...

GREAT report!! I finally played my first game of BSG last night. It was only with three people and I could tell that it really needs at least one or two more in order for the characters to really play their parts. Either way, I immediately took a like to it and look forward to playing again.

At 9:16 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

Tricksy cylons.

Let us not forget the option of staying as a cylon, playing it straight and being obviously helpful on many skill checks, but screwing around with jumps/crisis/etc, and letting the crazy human wave his arms over his head. Then watching about 12 cards get spent on a brig check that fails.

The great thing about not revealing is that throwing someone in the brig takes a bunch of cards (and an action). That may be worth forgoing your super-reveal (1 morale, in particular, isn't so huge sometimes).

That's a pretty good strategy.

Yesterday I went to a baby-naming. It had its moments, but I suspect most of the strategy was months ago.

At 10:25 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

My reveal power was the morale one and we hit a pretty huge crisis check early so I decided to use my one shot to fail it.

I was hoping they would spend a bunch of cards on Jon's turn to Brig me. Unfortunately, Jon had an insta-brig presedential card.

At 10:56 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Played another game with a different group last night. We get through the first jump without any trouble. The first three crisis cards after the jump are cylon ship cards. Baltar executive orders Starbuck to get in the air, and Starbuck uses the order to reveal. Nice.

But all was not lost. Adama (me) ordered Boomer into a viper, and she ended up in a zone with a basestar and a single light raider. She plays the "shoot four times card". First shot is an 8, splashing the raider. Second shot is an 8, damaging the basestar and preventing it from firing. Third shot misses, fourth is an 8, and she draws the "double damage" chit. So Boomer dropped a basestar in a viper, alone, in one round.

But her crisis card is a fourth cylon ship card, replacing the basestar. Baltar fixes FTL, and we manage to get two jump symbols, but lose three civilian ships. The revealed cylon uses his Super Crisis to try to board us, but Boomer used her one-timer to force a pass. Finally I pull the third jump symbol, Baltar gets us out, and we make the roll. Somehow after all that, we're at 8 population and no dials in the red. But we're down to two vipers and one raptor.

Both destination cards put us in the sleeper phase. The next two crisis cards are again cylon ship cards. Roslin reveals her new cylon card, and on her next turn plays the Fleet Mobilization super crisis, which we can't prevent. We again make an early jump and make the roll, but are down to three pop. Sure enough, we draw two more cylon ship cards and die quickly.

In all, we pulled 8 of the 11 (?) cylon ship crisis cards in the top third of the deck. It's a miracle we jumped six units. But the teaching game is expected to be a massacre, and it was all worth it for Boomer taking out the basestar.

At 11:56 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

"Boomer used her one-timer to force a pass"

I thought someone had said abilities couldn't be used on the Super Crisis Cards?

At 8:27 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

WOW....great reads. Hoping to play this this coming Thursday with my group.

At 10:09 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I read a post (FAQ) that said that character abilities don't work on SuperCrisis. Seems reasonable to me.
I believe there are 10 fleet cards (out of 70).

At 10:14 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I have to say I'm obsessed with this game.

And Dominion feels like it could be a similar obsession.

And Race obviously is one.

And Rock Band.

Good times.

Oh yeah, so Jon is aware, but if anyone is placing a game order, I'm sure I want to piggyback shipping with Dominion. I also want to piggyback a sleeves order but I think Jon is doing that soon.


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