29 April 2011

You're a Sympathizer! [BSG]

Intended to post this yesterday - but returned home crazy late as this 6-player game of Battlestar Galactica went on for 5 hours!

And what a game it was, the players picked these characters:

Gaius Baltar - President [Me]
Tom Zarek
Chief Tyrell
William Adama - Admiral
Saul Tigh
Sharon Valeri

So we had two characters with increased likelihood of turning into a Cylon. Baltar receives 2 loyalty cards at the start of the game, while Sharon receives 2 cards in the Sleeper Agent phase mid-game.

The start of the game was quite calm, even with a couple of Cylon fleets attacking Galactica there really wasn't any sabotage during biddings during the first half of the game. It would seem that no one had been dealt a "You're a Cylon" loyalty card at the start of the game. I had 2 "You are NOT a Cylon" cards in my hand, and as the president I had a Quorum card that allowed me to release "Mug shots" meaning I could look at 1 loyalty card belonging to any player. This was great since Baltar also has the special rule built into his character card that allows him to to the exact same thing once per game. So I would be able to look at 2 loyalty cards.

My dilemma was that no one seemed to be a Cylon, and as we were nearing the halfway thru the game mark (fleet having traveled 4 / 8 distance) I hoped to use my ability and quorum card after the Sleeper Agent phase when people would be dealt the two You are a Cylon cards that had been shuffled into the Loyalty deck at the start of the game. Why waste my abilities to check someone who might not be a Cylon now but might turn out to be soon anyway, right?

Of course the good Dr Gaius Baltar - being a nutcase and all - was dealt the "You are a Cylon sympathizer" card during the Sleeper Agent phase!! All fleet resources were on "BLUE" meaning the players had the upper hand over the game at the moment. Thus the Sympathizer had to become a Cylon. Crap! And kinda true to the TV show. The fun thing now was, that unless someone had been dealt both Cylon cards up to this point - we would be 3 Cylons vs 3 Human players. The 2 other Cylons had yet to reveal themselves.

Leaving the fleet Baltar spent the rest of the game pulling strings at the Cylon locations of the board, controlling Cylon ships and drawing double Crisis Cards picking the least favorable for the humans each time. I also had my Super Crisis card - which was quite good - "Bomb on Colonial one". I waited a few turns until I saw that the others were low on skill cards before I played it - and they failed to win the bidding meaning the Colonial One was blown up and those locations could not be used for the remainder of the game! Excellent way to cripple the president office.

Things started to mess up for both Cylon and Human players at this turn. One of the Cylon players (William Adama and Sharon Valeri) revealed himself prematurely - and the other was rooted out. None of them had yet revealed themselves properly so they could not leave the human fleet. Instead they were both thrown into the brig - severely limiting their actions and impact on bidding situations...

The humans on the other hand were spending most of their  cards to keep those two Cylon players from getting out of jail. Humans resources started to dwindle - slowly. Morale being the most critical resource at the moment became the target resource for the Cylons. However the humans also managed to travel without losing too much resources and were close to their end destination - and victory.

The game became really tense as the humans managed to make their jump that brought them to 8/8 distance traveled and only had one single jump left to win the  game. Their resources were all 3 or below at this point. Population and Morale were the punching bags of the Cylons. Luckily the humans kept drawing cards that had no "jump preparation" symbol on them - and I kept drawing double Crisis Cards each time. The humans managed to beat the first one with their collective bidding - but  the second time I drew 2 Crisis cards and picked the "Forced Water mining" they failed and finally brought their population to a 0 - and a Cylon victory!

A crazy good but also crazy long game of Battlestar Galactica. It was over long because there was a lot of talk about stuff not related to the game, and ordering food in the middle of it. It was also the first time we got to play the maximum amount of players and 2 of them were completely new and one had forgotten the rules so we had to have a walkthrough at the start of the session before we began playing. If all 3 (or at least 2) Cylons would have left the human fleet the Cylons would have won much sooner though.


  1. Looks a cool game, I loved the TV series!

  2. The game is all about paranoia, and trying to root out the Cylon infiltrators. Honestly one of the best boardgames I've played. It's simple enough to learn, it doesn't take up too much space on the table either, number of components is not overwhelming - and it is damn fun if you can scrape together 4-6 players. At 3 players the game isn't working all that well, imo it really needs 4+.

  3. Sounds like a blast! And Baltar a sympathiser? Who could have guessed?!

  4. It's a great game to play and it often comes down to the wire.

  5. @Man Cave, yeah it was a funny coincidence. Except for Admiral Adama everything else was pretty much like the tv series with Sharon being one of the Cylons (and only becoming one after the Sleeper Agent phase!) :D

    @Ashley, indeed. I can't recall any other boardgame where the victory has been so close for both sides as often as in BSG. Much more exciting than just steamrolling the opponents.


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