Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Public Service Announcement from SABG

#11: Your name is Michael or Dennis.

Brian, Dennis, and I started Monday gaming with a quick game of Glory to Rome in which Dennis picked up two early Legionnaire clients only to see Brian and me throw up Walls to block them. I was able to build a large vault and, using a building that let my Legionnaires take from opponents' clients directly into my vault, stock it with the dead corpses of Dennis' once loyal clients and earn a victory. Fun game that feels like a Race for the Galaxy rollercoaster careening wildly off the rails.

As we finished, Ted, Scott, and Jon showed up and we scratched our heads trying to figure out what game plays well with six. Since Michael wasn't around to help us answer that question, we brainstormed and came up with an answer he would have probably liked--Battlestar Galactica. Dennis took Helo, Scott took Roslyn, Brian grabbed Apollo, Jon took Adama, I played Baltar, and Ted in his first game (another SABGer introduced! The assimilation continues...) took Chief Tyrol. As luck would have it, no cylons were dealt out on the first deal, and the Good Ship Galactica sailed throughout the void with nary an interruption. Ted understandably asked more than once, "Is the game supposed to be this easy? I thought it was supposed to be hard."

Jon steered us to a planet that knocked fuel down into the red with the jump into the sleeper phase, turning me from a Cylon sympathizer into a brigged human sympathizer. With little hope of getting out of the brig (I still had two unrevealed loyalty cards), I used Baltar's once-a-game detector power from the brig to check Dennis' cards (I thought he was a Cylon from the get-go, but I was wrong; he's just a suspicious guy) and discovered that he was, indeed, a frakkin' toaster. As Brian pointed out, "Of course you're going to say he's a Cylon, no matter what he is!" So, even though Dennis was quickly arrested, I didn't earn anyone's trust with my discovery and stayed in the brig for most of the game. After Scott, Brian, and Jon all passed on opportunities to hose the humans after the sleeper phase, suspicion settled on Ted, who was likewise summarily arrested. Dennis revealed shortly thereafter, but Ted, unsure of who to trust, kept his identity secret until Galactica was well on its way to Kobol. Several Cylon base stars came out near the end, but the humans had gathered a full head of steam and could not be stopped, nuking one base star and waving at the other as we sailed on to our destination with a comfortable 5-5-5-5 human victory.

Asking a new player to play a Cylon on their first play of this game is a pretty tall order, especially when the entire game is one of "I don't trust you...or you...or you" and you just don't have a feel for what the right thing is to do in a given situation. Hopefully we haven't scared Ted off too much from BSG--it gets better when you've got a game or two under your belt and you know what to expect.

Still, it's an easy game when you know how to Spot The Cylon. Look for the guy named Michael. If he's not around, it's Dennis. We don't need no stinkin' spinner.

Jeff showed up toward the end, and we split 5-2, with Dennis and Scott going off to play Up Front, and the rest of us breaking out Ted's copy of Princes of Florence. Most of us started off leaving Jeff in the dust on the VP track with our early works. However, several bonus cards helped him start scoring exponentially, and at the end he managed to finish not-last, beating me by a few points as I overbid on several items and had to drop VPs to get enough gold to play my last work. Ted finished third, and Jon edged out Brian for the win with his "build lots of parks" strategy.

Scott, Jeff, and Ted departed, and Brian, Dennis, Jon and I finished with several rounds of Race for the Galaxy.

Good to see the turnout we had. Mondays have really picked up again the last month or two.

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At 8:17 AM, December 30, 2008, Blogger Brian said...

I particularly like in the first poster #10 "Does he seem unusually proficient around machines" the cylon is hugging a frakkin' toaster. Genius.

No. Super-Genius. Those posters were made by Wile E. Coyote.

I also really enjoyed Dennis' Exclamation on seeing my "Rule Summary" for Up Front.

At 9:36 AM, December 30, 2008, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

BSG seems like it might be fun game, but playing with folks at the grandmaster level is indeed tough. GMs just cannot remember what it was like to be a newbie.

I tried to ask what a card meant, and I was told it's illegal to discuss cards.

The rules summary concluded with "and if you're a cyclon there's some differences", which didn't allow for a lot of strategy on my part.

Later in the game I was castigated for poor cylon play. Obviously I should have countered the kingside pawn thrust by doubling my rooks on the open b-file to launch a queenside attack. Obviously.

For everyone's enjoyment you should just deal the newbie (anyone under, oh, 60 plays?) "you're a human" cards face up and be done with it. Having a bad cylon seemed to make the game too easy.

For all my complaining, however, the game was fun. A key aspect that makes this more fun the Shadows Over Camelot is that everyone participates in checks nearly every turn. This mitigates the downtime issue.

Princes of Florence went pretty well. Brian and Jon won by a good bit, but I managed to end the game in the thick of the other three. For my third game I consider that pretty good. This is a fun game.

At 11:24 AM, December 30, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

My BSG copy is now sleeved, and with the rules under my belt I'm going to try the solo game this evening. I wish I could find little baby sleeves for the skill cards.

At 5:22 PM, December 30, 2008, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

I played BSG with my other group today (their request, surprisingly) and got the -1 morale Cylon card off the deal.

After reading that poster, I'm beginning to question whether I really am a Cylon.

At 8:03 AM, December 31, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

BGG is back up! No, wait... its down again....

At 2:03 PM, December 31, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

dude, I need that poster. Where did you find this?

At 3:33 PM, December 31, 2008, Blogger seanp said...


or at Amazon - but no free shipping.


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