7 people this week as we saw Paul, Steve Perkins, Simon and Andy for the first time this year. As Andy turned up we just about to set up to try Battlestar Galactica with 6 players for the first time, so at this point we split 4 & 3, with Andy joining Mike & Paul to play San Marco, while the rest of us set up for yet another battle between humans and Cylons.
Both Simon and Steve P were new to the game, although Steve had seen the new series. Simon went first and he picked Starbuck, Steve H was next and went for Roslin, there seems to be some sort of pattern building up here as Steve has either started as or ended up as President in every game we've played, he seems to like the political leaders. Steve P took Chief Tyrol, which left me with a choice of one of the military leaders, another pattern building here as I have started every game at the club as Admiral, although I did play President Baltar at Dave's house. In this case I went with Helo as the only one of the 3 military leaders I had not played.
At the start of the game, the battle against the Cylon ships did not go well, with Starbuck heading out in a viper and ending up in sickbay, twice, having been executive ordered out of her bed only to get sent straight back on her turn only to have Roslin to use another EO to get her out, this president certainly didn't believe in allowing the pilot any time for recuperation. When I got back from Caprica, it was a case of immediately diving in a viper and going out to thin the horde of raiders, further cylons having arrived in the meantime, I destroyed a few with maximum firepower, but it wasn't very long before I was off to sickbay as well.
It would have been about this time that the fleet jumped for the first time, with all resources having taken a few points loss, including the loss of a civilian ship with 1 population. As Admiral I was presented with the choice of 2 3 distance destinations, one of which was a barren planet for the loss of 3 fuel, I didn't want to lose those (being human), so I went for the loss of 1 fuel and the fleet emerged in a Cylon ambush.
Despite the presence of the cylons, we reached the next jump without too many problems other than the loss of fuel when Galactica was damaged and population as another civilian ship was lost, but morale was good as president Roslin gave a rousing speech. There were a few off hand comments, such as when I had the fleet emerge in the ambush, but generally everyone seemed to trust each other.
The second jump had us emerge in deep space and all dials were still in the blue as we reached distance 5 and the sleeper phase. The second round of loyalty cards was dealt and Starbuck was revealed to be sympathising with the toasters, she took the first opportunity to head for Caprica and call in a squadron of Cylon ships. Things still seemed fairly good, but I felt the need to get a move on, there was certainly a skin job out there, although I knew I was human. When it came to my turn and the jump prep was on -3 pop, I decided we needed to get a move on, so I left sickbay where I had been sent by a crisis and headed to FTL control to jump the fleet. In retrospect this may have been a little premature as, although there were raiders out there, we seemed to have things in hand, but we were well off for population, so I went for it. We again emerged in Deep Space, now at a distance of 7, just 1 more to go before we could attempt the final jump.
This was when things started to go wrong. On his next turn Chief Tyrol headed to the Admiral's quarters and suggested I be sent to the brig, he said it was just to see what the space did, but I think I know better. Starbuck of course was going to play in favour, as would Tyrol, unfortunately I think I had made Roslin suspicious of me through my somewhat precipitous jump, so she went with the flow. Being a military type, I had no cards to help myself, so I was off to the brig and Tyrol became Admiral. When it came to my turn, I had no good cards to help so I didn't even attempt to get out, instead I launched a scout and left a Tylium planet on the top of the destination deck, a great card for the humans who only needed 1 distance and this only used 1 fuel with the possibility of gaining 2, it would be interesting, I thought to see what our new Admiral would do when he got the chance to choose a destination.
When we jumped again I was still in the brig, having attempted to get out but failed as the President still didn't trust me, it was at that point that I felt I had to point out that if I were a skin job, I would not be kicking my heels in the brig, but would have been over in the cylon area by now, taking direct action. Admiral Tyrol, did not choose the Tylium planet I had left, but instead an Icy moon, which was probably even better, especially as he used a raptor to gain us 1 food. I was starting to be sure that our president was the missing cylon.
So now we just needed the final jump, but the dials were all quite low in the red, and there were soon lots of cylon ships and civilian ships in space around Galactica, even worse the cylons were jamming our communications and we couldn't order the civilian ships. At this point, Roslin issued an executive order to Tyrol, but he used it to reveal that he was a cylon and headed to the resurrection ship, where he swapped his super crisis for a new one on his turn. The President (now also Admiral) now realised her error, and when it came round to her again, she executive ordered me, I got out of the brig with my first action (now having full presidential backing) and headed straight to Command, where I ordered Vipers into space to protect the civilian ships, there were also heavy raiders out there, but even if centurions got on board, things were going to be over one way or another, before they came near to taking over the ship.
The jump track advanced and we managed to survive the inbound nukes (courtesy of Tyrol's super crisis), mainly due to all the cards I had stacked up while in the brig. When it came to Roslin, the track was at -3, but population was on 2, so we couldn't jump, food and morale were on -1, if we could get a jump advance and we could survive Tyrol's machinations, then I could jump the fleet and we would be home. The president had a vision, but there was no choice but to risk a loss of morale. She chose to go with the loss of a friend, but destiny and the cylons were against us and we missed what we needed by 1. Morale hit zero and all humanity's hopes were snuffed out within sight of freedom.
Again a good time was had by all, I know Steve P enjoyed himself and he did a great job of not drawing suspicion on himself, I assume he became a cylon in the sleeper phase, but I didn't check.
Battlestar Galactica 160 mins
San Marco 100 mins
Dominion 30 mins