Sunday, March 27, 2011

On second thought, maybe we shouldn't go to Camelot. It is a silly place. PGWJ Session 2 BSG report

I should post this before I forget.

We had six players for a game of Battlestar Galactica at our second official gathering of Play Games With Josh.
Since one of them was a complete newbie to the game (albeit a fan of the series), we decided once again to forgo the alternate endings and take a trip to Kobol.
I stuck to my guns with the "no house rules" house rule, for what it was worth.

Our newbie Shaun chose first: Baltar
To his left: Kat (Tony), Cally (Matt), Tigh (Max), Josh (Boomer) and Kevin (Cain)

With no Cylon Leader, we played with the basic-game Sympathizer. This is very important to the story.

We had a few comical messups with the Loyalty Deck, which required 2 re-deals, but once that was over, we got started.

The pre-sleeper-phase was pretty typical. Nothing noteworthy that I can remember, until we were at Distance 3.

At Distance 3, the strangest thing happened:
CRISIS: Legendary Discovery
All of our resources "in the blue".

So the humans endeavored to cause this Crisis to fail, to avoid an evil Sympathizer. That's the first time I've ever seen the humans tank this must-pass Crisis.
(hence the title of this post, which I unfortunately didn't think of until a re-edit ;) )

Soon thereafter, our Morale was one tick in the red, and everything else was in the blue.
A "President Chooses" crisis came up which had a choice which included +1 Morale or -1 Morale, and a Jump Icon.
Our savvy unrevealed-Cylon President Baltar realized that he actually wanted to give us +1 Morale to have a Sympathizer Friend. So that's exactly what he did...

... but it backfired upon him, when our destination put Fuel into the red anyway.

So, Tigh was the (not-automatically-Cylon) Sympathizer, I (Boomer) went to the brig, and we carried on.

Sweet little Cally did what she tends to do: Chartered a shuttle to the President's Office and used her Once Per Game to blow away Baltar.
Sure enough, he was a Cylon, and he spent some time on the Basestar Bridge for most of the rest of the game.

Typical for Boomer, I was also dealt a You Are A Cylon card, along with a Final Five card (if you examine this, Cylon Ships are Activated).
I sat in the brig, Launching Scouts at the Destination Deck and Reconning the Crisis Deck, begging to be released but alas it would not happen.

Somewhere along the way, a Crisis gave a choice of executing a player, and Saul volunteered rather than waste resources in the brig. Along came Apollo...

... Eventually, the Humans were getting too close to a win, so I revealed (unfortunately before using my own OPG). My Super Crisis sucked, so I sat in the Basestar Bridge while Baltar went off to Caprica.

We had an Epic Battle, when the Pursuit Track popped and filled the main board with raiders.

But, alas, I didn't even get a chance to activate the "move the Jump Tracks around" Basestar Bridge location before the Humans made their final victorious jump.

It was almost not so victorious, down to a die roll.
Cally had a Personal Goal that would have cost 1 population, pop was at 4, and Apollo was activating FTL. Cally hinted that she should be XO'd to press FTL herself (because she could have revealed her goal as an action first), but that didn't happen.
The die roll succeeded, and the Galactica Crew safely reached Kobol with one Population and the rest of the dials in the red.

Overall this was a pretty great session of Galactica.
I can't wait to play again, and finally try Ionian Nebula!

Side Note: At 6 distance, Cain did use her OPG (without scouting), so any house-ruling of her wouldn't have mattered much anyway. And it didn't seem disruptively powerful in this case.


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  2. A few notes:

    On the first mis-dealt loyalty deal, I had Cally as a cylon at the start of the game. My plan was pretty much to execute Cain as early as possible, maybe even on the first turn. Of course, it turned out that Kevin had some questionable skills as admiral anyways. However, under most circumstances, I think that in general it's a good cylon strategy to execute Cain before the blind jump happens.

    While I do like the Personal Goals, it does make the endgame kind of weird. When the humans are about to win, typically the cylons are all revealed and there's no reason for humans to distrust each other. But when I was trying to tell my human teammates that I needed another action before Max pushed the FTL button, no one seemed to believe me.

    ... but there was a flip side to the Personal Goal story. In the end game, Max was still holding an unresolved Personal Goal that would hit morale, and morale was at 2. If Max pulled another crisis card that hit morale, or if Josh had managed to ding morale for 1, then it also would have cost the humans the game. That's why Max was hitting the button that turn, and put the whole game on one die roll.



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