Sunday, December 07, 2008

Humanity's current death toll


Yesterday, at Casa de Chris, we played BSG and other games. Our first BSG game had Steve, Travis, his lovely wife Kate, Michael, Jon and myself (I think). Honestly, I don't remember much about that game except that a) I took Zarek (the only time we've played with him) and b) Michael convinced everyone he was a cylon in the first round, and c) everyone was right. The cylons won.

After a break for life-giving hamburgers, we split into two games. At my table, I was President Baltar (and a cylon off the deal) in a four player game with Kate, Chris and Jon. We had the most amazing destiny deck I've ever seen ... during the first few jumps there were never even two bad cards in a skill check. (I had decided to wait for an opportunity that never came). The sleeper phase made Kate a sympathizer (what with the 'friendly' destiny deck, everything was blue). Boomer was in the brig and it was my turn so I ordered the remaining human (Helo?) into the brig. And so President Admiral Cylon-in-Chief Baltar led humanity on a merry quest. Then they died.

After a bit of Rocking and Dominion, Jon decided to improve on the classic and set up a game of '500 card pick up' He's probably still sorting Dominion cards as he reads this. We also played a few games of Race. On the other game, Michael was yet again an unconvincing cylon. He should just wear that as a sign. "Unconvincing Cylon."

Jon Chris and I did a three player game where I revealed as Apollo by leaving the scene of a space battle and shooting someone (I think). Having every raider, basestar, and almost every raider and civilian ship on the field is fun. Jon and Chris managed to divert 10 of the raiders on a wild goose chase, which gave them enough time to jump. Then they drew 3 consecutive ship cards. That, combined with the two boarders they already had, was enough.

After a touch of football, we played another game of ... BSG. I was finally loyal, but Mr. Unconvincing Cylon was 3-for-3. We decided to give the humans extra resources, and they jumped into the sleeper phase with one barely in the read, and the others solidly safe. As President Roslin I had a good hand of Cylon-hate, so I think humanity may have won. But I had to go feed Muffit, so I don't know. I guess that makes the final game a cliff-hanger.

Thanks again to Chris for Hosting.

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13 Comments:

At 10:03 AM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

In the last game, Steve/Starbuck flipped in the sleeper phase (damn pilots). An Inspirational Speech or two pulled morale out of danger, and we started sacrificing food and fuel like mad to ease our journey. The humans made the final jump with the dials at 8, 3, 2, 1.

I don't know if we can call this a successful rebalancing due to the increased resources, since I'm pretty sure the humans would have won this game anyway, with just a slight tweak of how we sacrified fuel (we still had 3 after the next-to-last jump).

 
At 12:03 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger seanp said...

I love the picture - that explains EVERYTHING. I'm going to be pretty upset if y'all are burnt out on BSG by the time I get to play it for the FIRST TIME!!! le sigh.

In other news, my shipment of Agricola and Pandemic arrived! AND my BGG Secret Santa sent Wasabi to me... arrived on the same day, along with my extra guitar for the XBox($10!). Amy asked if I was going to do any Christmas shopping that didn't involve myself.

 
At 12:16 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Great reports. BSG must be a lot of fun despite the apparent balance issues.

Don't worry, Sean. I have a fresh copy of BSG in shrink, and I think we're probably roughly on the same return schedule.

I played the latest build of Fall From Heaven 2 last night (now with what looks like spiffy Colonization graphics). Wow! Its been about a year since I last played, and the game, though awesome then, has come a long way. Best free download ever.

 
At 12:33 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger scott said...

I am certainly hoping that some BSG will still take place on a Monday coming soon since my Saturday availability is so touch and go although I am somewhere in between on the experience curve at 3 games played to date. Free download?

 
At 2:51 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

It is a mod for Civilization IV Beyond the Sword.

The .40 version is coming out very soon Ben and it looks to be amazing.

This "mod" puts most full games to complete shame.

It will be interesting to see how the game balances with the dial bumps. We only have one game under our belts there so far.

 
At 6:57 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

The storytelling aspect trumps mechanical flaws. (from Brian's blog).

I couldn't agree more. I was a cylon this week in a 6 player game, with Boomer. I risked playing almost 100% human during crisis checks to make sure I got pulled out of the brig during the sleeper phase (her negative trait). Sure enough, as soon as I hit the brig, the human president played the presidential pardon. 'Oh sweetness...' though my evil cylon brain. Then during an attack by a couple of basestars, 3 characters landed in sickbay including me. That was the time for me to play my cylon loyalty card which allowed me to send the 4th human to the brig....and me on to do evil cylon things. The other cylon was seating to my right, so all it took was playing our Super Crisis back to back... and Galactica burned to a crisp (6 damage).

What an awesome game. I'd be curious to try increasing resources specially with inexperienced humans. It is definitively the harder side to play. I read somewhere on the geek, that it is the side that allows less slip-ups (you can't waste your skill cards, you need to optimize actions, etc). But boy, if and when you make that last jump, should feel freaking sweet.

 
At 7:16 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I do think we don't take enough advantage of the draw 2 politics cards space.

That is a very good action in general and it seems if you get a few people trading executive orders to draw in there it should be fairly easy to make sure you keep doing investigative committee on skill checks.

 
At 7:43 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I've been thinking about the "Draw two politics cards" spaces. I've seen one group claim it's the best space in the game, which just goes to show that Stupidity and Really Good Weed are universal. But it might be pretty good, particularly if you have a quiet turn.

Yellow cards are usually "Positive" for skill checks, and the investigative committee forces cylons to hide, and usually saves 3-4 cards. Since about 1/3rd of the deck is IC, taking the "Draw two cards" action twice really becomes "Draw ~8 cards, and don't get nerfed on that crucial skill check."

The unused yellow cards can by cycled for Engineering or leadership cards. If you are desperate or just want to improve your hand later on, and you can do that anywhere (while waiting for executive orders on command or communications or FTL or Weapons control, etc). Or if you get X.O'd and don't wind up needing your second action...

The downside is that, as a Cylon, I want to grab a few investigative committees and hold them for a while, then use their sweet sweet high values to nail one of the "Non-yellow" crisis.

I'm not nearly willing to call this a great strategy, but I think 'viable' may be reasonable.

Oh, and I'd be happy to try SevenSpirit/Alexfrog's variant.

 
At 8:23 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I don't know about best space in the game. That clearly is not true. You definitely need an engineer type at minimum on the main ship and in many cases a pilot out in a viper can be useful. You could argue that the FTL space is the best space in the game because well timed use of that space more than anything else can turn the tides of the game.

I know as a cylon, if I could damage one single space as an action (and it wasn't a situation where it was likely useless like for instance loyal chief moving right after my turn) I would choose FTL in most cases.

But there are some huge pluses to being there (as a loyal human):

1. You aren't going to get hosed by Cylon reveal powers or damage to the ship. No easy sick bay or brig trips for you.

2. I think there are some crisis cards that only can hit people on the main ship.

3. Obviously the extra cards are big for skill checks as are the investigative committee cards.

But you can't send the entire team there.

Where have you seen discussion about this space?

 
At 9:10 PM, December 07, 2008, Blogger scott said...

I would be interested in trying their variant although to be honest my preference would still be for another few games vanilla and a few games just upping commodities first.

I don't think the draw 2 political is a silver bullet but I do think stationing one human there would not be a bad thing.

 
At 12:36 PM, December 08, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

The space I keep pondering about is the "Elect a new president" space. To my knowledge, in 10+ games, I've never seen it used. Never. Other groups write about switching the president, but in my experience, the President never creates enough suspicion prior to their reveal to warrant a new election. And I've never seen anyone go there saying, "ooo, i have to be president" because it would be a waste of time. Why bother claiming president--another human president is probably just as good, UNLESS YOU'RE A CYLON. To me, going after the Presidency is a very Cylony thing to do, and unless you're trying to take the Presidency away from someone who's obviously a Cylon, most people are probably going to look at the person calling for the election as a suspected Cylon themselves and not support that skill check.

 
At 9:26 PM, December 08, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

Chris... I was VERY close to getting the presidency transferred to me (a cylon) by the other cylon who was accusing the president of acting cyloni. I was close.... but it never happened.

I like the sound of the yellow card strategy.... humans saving cards? I think that's key.

 
At 9:27 PM, December 08, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

BTW, in case you guys were doing it wrong too, the FAQ states that only one XO card can be played per turn.

 

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