We started off with 5 this week and set up to play Battlestar Galactica, which has seen reduced play this year, I think possibly because of the larger numbers which have led (as I mentioned last week) to the possibility of getting other games to the table. In the case of this one, the sweet spot for the game falls around 5 or 6 mark and this number is currently not such a common combination.
With 5 players, we agreed to play without a cylon leader, which I don't think really works with that number owing to the possibility of ending up with what is essentially a 4-1 situation in favour of the humans. Then Donald (who we hadn't been expecting) turned up and we faced the choice of what to do with 6. In retrospect I think we should have incorporated a Cylon leader, but instead I inserted the sympathetic cylon option which replaces the base game sympathiser option. We included the New Caprica end game, which I would always want to (except with new players) since I believe it goes some way towards fixing the base game's only weakness (as I see it), which is its ending.
The character choice was Colin-Helo, Mike-Laura Roslin, Andrew-Kat, Donald-Cain, myself-Starbuck and Steve-Gaius Baltar. The game was one of those with relatively little going on in space and in the early part of the game all went fairly well for humanity with the possible exception of some morale loss and the tendency for Baltar(Steve) to use the FTL location resulting in some unnecessary population loss, despite my best advice. In retrospect Baltar should have gone out of the airlock without further ado which would have exposed him for the frakkin' toaster he was.
At the sleeper phase Cain was revealed as the Sympathetic cylon and drew the agenda "Prove their Worth" calling for a human victory and the loss/damage of at least 5 Vipers/Raptors, which was by that stage a very unlikely possibility due to the lack of space action, I seem to recall that a couple of Vipers had been damaged early on, but repaired quickly. This was the first use of this mechanic we've had and I'm not sure I'd want to use it again as if you're trying to achieve an agenda I think you should know it from the beginning of the game, so in future I'd definitely prefer a cylon leader with 6 players.
When Cain was revealed, Helo became Admiral and he held that position when we reached New Caprica. Now it is necessary to know you can trust your Admiral at this point, so as we could not know Helo's loyalty it was necessary to execute him, which Cain instigated revealing that Helo was indeed a cylon, so I became Admiral and with Baltar's also being revealed (I can't quite remember the circumstances of that) I was clearly human.
As it came to my last turn, Galactica had returned and all but one civilian ship had been evacuated from the ground, but population was down to one and 2 cylon turns to come would have meant the certain destruction of the civies in space due to cylon fleet activations. If it hadn't been for the 2 cylons sitting together it may have been possible to get the other ship off the ground and hope for a non raider activation on my crisis. As it was I was forced to order the jump away and hope that the ship on the ground has no population on board, but it did and that was the end for humanity in one of the closest finishes I've seen in a game that often produces close finishes (and the odd walk over).