08 November 2011

President Galen Tyrol [BSG]

We got around to play Battlestar Galactica the boardgame this weekend. Due to school we had not played any boardgames for a while and everyone was itching to play BSG again since it is one of our favorite boardgames.

We played a 4 player session, ideally this game is played with 5 people so that you have 2 Cylon player loyalty cards from the beginning - this really amps up the paranoid feelings towards the other players. With 4 players there is only 1 Cylon aboard Galactica, and the chance of having another Cylon midgame if all resources in the human fleet are still on "blue", though that does not happen too often.

Characters used in this session:

Admiral Adama
Gaius Baltar
Lee "Apollo" Adama
Chief Galen Tyrol [played by me]

In terms of action this session was far above average, I think we had Cylon Fleet deployments every 4 cards. This made for almost constant space battle, fighting off Cylon Raiders and Basestars, pulling away civilian ships out of harm’s way and blocking enemy fighters with Vyper creating dogfights. The situation got so crazy that we had to make emergency jumps twice to get away.

At one point the enemy Basestars had pounded Galactica perfectly way damaging every location in the front area including the FTL drive, luckily my Character could use his repair skills and fix it and use the special rule to activate again and jump away the very same turn.

Having Baltar as president is always a Gamble since he starts out with 2 loyalty cards, he did however lose his president title to admiral Adama quite early on due to a crisis card. I was not really comfortable with the admiral player having both power cards, and since the first two "jump destination" cards he flipped over only had a travel distance of 1 I thought it would be best to use the Colonial One ship location and vote for a new president - me. And thus the unlikely candidate of Chief Tyrol became president for the remainder of the game.

Apart from the constant attacks from Cylon fleets nothing really stood out. I think everyone behaved a bit weird - which could be explained partially by us not having played the game for 2 months or more. I was stockpiling Quorum cards hoping to draw one of those investigation cards so I could make sure the Admiral was human because being Admiral and Cylon is the best position you can get if you want to sabotage the human progress.

Baltar had played pretty straight up to this point so I did not really see him as a suspect.

Lee "Apollo" Adama was played by a player who had been a Cylon at least 5 times and we usually bust his balls calling him a Cylon no matter what for the fun of it. There certainly was something a little off about his behaviour. I thought he contributed very little whenever a crisis card was flipped, but then again the colors on those cards made my character pretty useless (Red and Purple too often). His lack of enthusiasm in adding to the bidding rounds could easily be explained by lack of high end cards.

As it turned out he was a Cylon, and he revealed himself in the middle of a Cylon fleet deployment with 2 Basestars. We had not even reached the midpoint of the game. He shot me so I had to discard 5 of my skill cards and ended up in the sickbay. I thought it was a weird move, no one really suspected him and the best way to sabotage the fleet is from the inside - not by revealing yourself as a Cylon.

The Admiral nuked the shit out of one of the Basestars and we managed to jump away from the mayhem to safety once again, much to the dismay of our revealed Cylon. At this point we also turned our attention to one of the expendable resources and made sure it reached Red before we hit midpoint so that the Sympathizer would not turn out to become a Cylon. We managed to prevent that but Baltar ended up in the brig for being a Sympathizer (no really?!).

Our main concern at the midpoint was the fuel situation. During one of the attacks against Galactica we had lost 1 unit of fuel from a Basestar hit, and another unit of fuel due to a destroyed civilian ship. We had also been forced to lose fuel due to failed crisis checks when we simply didn't have enough skill cards to discard to prevent loss of fuel.

As the game pretty much use the same amount of fuel as it allows travel distance we realized we would be going on fumes very soon. There is always a chance of finding additional fuel while jumping - and we actually managed to make one such discovery which bought us a little time. In the end however it ran down to the second last jump, the one made before you auto win the game, meaning if we only managed to find enough fuel to survive the jump we were about to make our chances of winning would be quite decent.

t all came down to a die roll, and even with increased chance of rolling the 50-50 chance of succeeding due to a skill card being played we failed the roll and the human fleet ended up stranded in space. We actually focused every effort on saving our skill cards towards the end and sacrificed all resources except Fuel in case of a Fuel related emergency so that we would pass the crisis check.

As always it was a great session, a little more low key due to the Cylon player for once playing it very well. I think we would have had a harder time if he had stayed with us because he did not really do anything particular after his betrayal.  He only managed to board Galactica with 2 Centurions at one point, but we handled those with a mix of firepower and presidential cards so they didn't really pose any real threat. His own explanation was that he thought it was the best time to reveal himself (during the attack of 2 Cylon Basestars) and thought crippling me would slow us down long enough for the Cylon attack to inflict maximum damage.

7 comments:

  1. I've never watched the show, but I would love to play this game. Unfortunately I don't think i could convince anyone in my crew to try it, so I've always passed on it.

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  2. The game is pretty much based on the first season of the show (imo 1st and 2nd seasons are great while 3rd and 4th sucks). The expansions add events from season 2 and later though I really love how the game plays and don't want to mess it up with additional features.

    There is very little that can beat this game if you play 5-6 people and have 2 Cylons working against you, the mistrust and paranoia created is just great. Especially since the game is written in a way so that pretty much everything has to be done in secret and sharing information directly isn't allowed.

    You can of course accuse someone of being a Cylon but that could as well be interpreted as a ruse by the other players which will just backfire against you.

    The Cylon players should just keep their cool as long as possible. In one game we played a while back I was a Cylon and one other player knew for sure I was a Cylon due to a special ability allowing him to look at my loyalty card. But I simply denied all accusations and threw them back at him which ended with him in the brig and the rest of the players completely confused and unsure as to who was playing them haha.

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  3. Love this game, we have the expansion but have not use it yet. A friend bought it and when we played it, was good enough for me to go out and get the DVDs so I understood everything next time!

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  4. Looks like a quality board game. Too bad there isn't many board gamers here. I hear about Cthulu board games cropping up but I keep missing them.

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  5. If you havent played the games with the expansions you really really really have to try it. There is some rules that arent as good as others but the game is SOOOO much better with expansions. Just like any other FFG-game (Game of Thrones, StarCraft, Arkham Horror, Runebound, Decent and so on) since they basically do games like that, they want them to be better with expansions so that peoples buy them.

    Was a long time ago that I actually played without the expansions now so cant really reember which rules are added and which are old, but I always had the feeling that revealed Cylons do so much more damage since its basically impossible to sabotage crisis checks if peoples in your playgroup aint stupid :)

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  6. (imo 1st and 2nd seasons are great while 3rd and 4th sucks)

    Duly noted... the local public library (!) has all the seasons so I'm working through the first now. Maybe I'll avoid the later ones.

    Looks like a fun game, and it does sound like it really captures the spirit of the show, which is important!

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