I thought that I would write a bit about the game I played this week , breaking the habit that I have followed over the last month or two since I started just posting the results summary for the week.
The game was Battlestar Galactica, using the Pegasus expansion with no Cylon leaders and travelling to the Kobol destination. This is, I think, the combination that I would favour going forward, not really liking anything from Exodus, although I have asked Steve Perkins for comments on Daybreak, should he get the chance to play that, now that it has been released this week.
We has the ideal five players with Mark R and Steve new to the game, Mark W was new to Pegasus I think and it was a fair time since either Mike or myself had played with Pegasus, other than using the Cylon overlay and Investigative Committees. Conscious of the potential running time of the game, I was probably somewhat incomplete and incoherent in my run through of the rules. The initial line up of characters was as follows:
Mark R – Saul Tigh
Dave D – President Tom Zarek
Mark W – Boomer
Mike – Admiral Helena Cain
Steve W – Kat
The early part of the game went very well for humanity, although we were unaware that even at that stage there was a pair or skinjobs among us. The fleet advanced to 4 distance (and the sleeper phase) without much incident with all resources holding up well with the possible exception of food, although even that didn’t fall lower than 6 at this stage. We also had the good fortune to spend the entire second jump cycle without seeing a Cylon ship (apparently due to Boomer’s Recon ability).
All that is not to say that all was entirely uneventful, notable events including the Reuniting of the fleet crisis causing an increase of population to 13, which is not something we see very often and turned out to be crucial at the end of the game. Had I been a Cylon, I would have been tempted to try and sabotage this one, Purple was a negative colour which everyone was drawing and with everyone playing in plus destiny it would have been relatively easy to hide it, that said I don’t recall the mix of cards in the check so it may be that someone did attempt sabotage. Later we had A Verdict of Guilty giving Admiral Cain the opportunity to execute the current player (Kat), Mike made a show of considering his option and then it was out of the Airlock with Kat (just what Cain would have done). Kat was revealed to be a human and Steve picked Chief Tyrol as his new character, who could for now be relied on as a human.
Shortly afterward we had Prisoner Revolt and I didn’t fancy giving up the Presidency as I had a good hand of Quorum cards and was thinking these will be useful for the humans if I stay human and vice versa if I should turn out to be a Cylon. However nobody seemed keen to help pass the check so I was forced to try and pass it myself having played an Investigative Committee. Unfortunately destiny was against me and I passed the Presidency to Chief Tyrol, who I knew was on my side, at least for the time being.
While all this was happening the fleet advanced to 4 distance, first visiting a Binary Star, placing Civilian ships on the board, which it turned out were never threatened as no Cylons appeared before the next jump. The next jump was a Misjump, which was somewhat suspicious, but Admiral Cain claimed that the other card was worse, this was a possibility (but I suspect the real reason was otherwise as revealed later) the fleet then ending up at a barren planet, which was not too bad.
We had now arrived at the sleeper phase, so Boomer was sent to the brig as per her weakness and Loyalty cards were dealt out, suddenly thought I’d made up the Loyalty deck wrong because I had an extra card left over, but I’d forgotten that Boomer was due an extra card so all was well. Of course the Cylons were both already out there, so the extra cards made no difference.
Moving on, it did not take Cain long to reveal her true nature. I had reminded her about her blind jump ability on a couple of occasions, but she seemed disinclined to use it. I would guess we now knew the reason why. The Admiralcy now passed to Colonel Tigh, as did Cain’s other loyalty card. During the next jump cycle, Cylons appeared jamming communications and we had Cain’s super crisis, which was The Farm, which we managed to make a partial pass avoiding the loss of all the once per game abilities which turned out to be significant. The fleet was jumped early losing 1 population, but we were about to lose at least 2 civilian ships to raiders, so this was probably a worthwhile sacrifice. The destination was Asteroid field, losing another population, but with the advantage of being 3 distance so we needed only 1 from the final destination.
On to the penultimate jump cycle Boomer had tried to convince people to support her release from the brig, but we were not entirely sure she could be trusted, so she said why don’t you just execute me. President Tyrol obliged and Boomer was revealed to have been human, Mark taking Gaius Baltar as his new character, he was then able to use his once per game ability (having not used Boomer’s) to check my loyalty, showing my humanity, so the pair of use knew that either Tyrol or Tigh was the Cylon. I used Administration to propose the Presidency pass to Baltar and Tyrol did not oppose this. Once Baltar was President, he played an arrest order on Tigh sending him to the brig and passing the Admiralcy to Tyrol. Tigh was going to use his once per game to take the Presidency for himself, but as he had now lost the Admiralcy, this plan was no longer valid, so he revealed himself and went off to the Resurrection ship. So all the cylons were known and the game moved towards its end.
It was about this point that I moved to Pegasus and took up residence in the Engine Room to guarantee that we would get jump icons, some cylons showed up towards the end of the cycle, but were too late to do any damage. We went to 8 distance with a stop at a Tylium planet, using gathering fuel just to be on the safe side. All resources were now down in the red with Food and Morale looking particularly vulnerable, down at one or two, but as the jump track moved into the blue section, we were able to jump immediately as population was at four and the humans limped home despite losing another three to finish with one population. Possibly we would have been able to survive to jump at -1, rather than -3, but Tigh’s turn was coming up next and his super crisis might have done for us (I don’t actually know what that was though).
So it was a close run thing and the humans won, certainly it was one of the best games of BSG I can recall. Note that the account is subject to slight errors in the order of events due to my possible misremembering.
Summary of all the games played:
|Battlestar Galactica - 180 Mins.|
|Amun-Re - 120 Mins.|
|Heckmeck - 20 Mins.|
|Citadels - 70 Mins.|
|Carcassonne - 30 Mins.|
|Dominion - 30 Mins.|