Mark had requested BSG a couple of weeks ago and we played this week with 4 players. The game has only been played with this number twice before, going back to the 3rd and 4th games played at the club and I have tended to resist it, because of the need for either the use of the sympathiser or non sympathiser variant. Another possibility would have been to use a Pegasus style Cylon leader, but the way this was implemented was not I feel that exciting, so all in all, I felt that the game would always provide the best experience with 5 players and that is the number that the majority of games here have had.
With the appearance of the Daybreak expansion, which provided the Mutineer to replace the Sympathiser and also the revamped Cylon leaders, I had thought that the game would probably now work reasonably with only 4 players, but this was the first time we tried it with this number. I thought the game played very well.
The starting characters were as follows.
Admiral Helena Cain - Mark W
President Lee Adama - Steve W
Cylon Leader Leoben Connoy - Dave D
Sharon "Boomer" Valerii -Mike
The first jump cycle saw a number of Cylon attacks, but no damage was done to Civilian ships, Boomer was on patrol in an Assault Raptor and she was able to destroy any raiders that approached the civies initially. I meanwhile had infiltrated to Communications and moved a couple of them out or the way, wanting to make it look like I was helping, although also because one of the ships I moved would have resulted in a morale loss, which I didn't want to happen. Eventually, the fleet had to be jumped resulting in the loss of 3 population, a Centurion did get on board before that happened.
I was initially dealt 2 Cylon allegiance motive cards, requiring that morale must be 3 or more and food 2 or more at game end, unfortunately both these resources, morale in particular fell during this first part of the game and I was trying initially to keep them up. On my turns I tended to use my movement ability to draw 2 cards from destiny place 2 cards back on top, I tried initially to get some Treachery out of that deck and try to place low cards on top, so destiny would not have much effect in skill checks. Having done that I also took the opportunity to throw Personal Vices into a skill check or 2, that I wanted to fail, knowing first that Destiny could not be putting in 2 Treachery cards to out me and then putting Treachery cards into everybody's hands, so all who played in would be suspect if this type of card showed up in checks.
The first destination was an Asteroid Field taking the fleet 3 distance for 2 fuel,but losing a civilian ship, which cost population and morale (as I recall). This phase of the game was quiet with no cylon attacks, so once the President had got rid of the Centurion using Brutal Force attention turned to more mundane matters and a number of scouts were launched. Unfortunately the pilots were incompetent and only succeeded in crashing their raptors. Some odd combinations of cards were appearing in skill checks, part of this being due to me, but I was sure that there was a Cylon out there even at that point, I narrowed it down to the President or Boomer. I was also obviously helping in a couple of cases, using skill check abilities to add positive cards or remove negative after the cards were revealed. Because of the odd skill checks, people were reluctant to XO at this point.
The second jump was automatic and found a civilian convoy, costing 3 fuel, but gaining one population, this made me suspicious of the Admiral as well. So the sleeper phase was at distance 6, I drew 2 more motives, which were also both for the Cylons, one requiring distance 5 and no Centurions on board and the other requiring population to be 4 or more at the end. So now I knew what needed to happen and I had some leeway as to what resource to target. The brig also got busy at this point.
Boomer was brigged automatically because we had reached sleeper phase.Then I was able to brig the President by causing him to draw another Mutiny card. Admiral Cain had decided that the President was a Cylon and moved to the Airlock, passing the skill check, so Lee Adama was executed, proving to be human after all and losing more morale. Adama was replaced as President by Tom Zarek, who also became Admiral when it got round to my turn as I targeted Cain with the Admiral's Quarters, I was sure I couldn't pass the check, but I inserted "Exploit a Weakness" into the check and caused her to draw a second Mutiny card, so she was brigged anyway. On his turn Zarek hit me with an arrest order, so I was in the brig but on my turn I released myself using a Mutiny card and sent Zarek to the brig in my place.
While all this brig hopping was going on, there were fewer crises and the jump track didn't make much progress, I think if I had been Cain, that I would have risked a blind jump, but this didn't happen. Also amongst all this Boomer had revealed from the brig, so everyone knew where they stood. A few raiders and Civilian ships had appeared on the board due to skill check abilities on Treachery cards and by the time it came to Boomer on the Resurrection ship, a move to the Cylon fleet would have caused 2 to be destroyed. Instead of doing this however, she went to Caprica and blew up Colonial 1, dropping morale to zero and winning for the Cylons. I also won with 3 of my motives revealed.
I really enjoyed this game.
Also played were Caverna and Power Grid (it does get played without me sometimes) played on the Northern Europe board. Dave F mentioned something about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Full game details follow.
|Battlestar Galactica - 165 Mins.|
|Power Grid - 150 Mins.|
|Caverna: The Cave Farmers - 160 Mins.|
Full details for June 2014
Monthly list at BGG for June 2014