Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Session Report - Battlestar Galatica - Where are the Cylons?

This game was played on Saturday, October 15th, 2011. Six players were present, no expansions and we decided to ignore the sympathizer rule. Two players had never played before.

Baltar (president)– Matt
Tigh – Me
Apollo – Johnroy
Adama (Admiral)– Brandon
Chief – Will
Boomer – Demetri

I am not a Cylon.

The game starts out a bit tense for me. I am sitting between Boomer and Baltar, the two most likely to be Cylons (with their extra loyalty cards).

The game starts out poorly, failing our first crisis, putting Baltar in sick bay and losing one morale. A Cylon boarder gets on the ship. The next few players spend their time trying to shoot down Cylons or kill the boarder. A few ships are shot down, but that stubborn boarder cannot be killed. During the round we lose a nuke, more morale and a civilian ship. By my turn there is not much to do. Baltar wants me to XO him so that he will get out of sick bay and start to collect his quorum cards. I am reluctant, as I figure he is most likely the Cylon and collecting quorum cards and then doing nothing with them is my usual MO when I an the president and a Cylon. Since I have nothing much else to do, I figure give him enough rope to hang himself, so I use my XO. The first round (everyone getting one turn) is over and we have barley moved on the jump track. The Cylons have stacked the deck with crisis after crisis that have with no jump track moves.

Baltar starts turn two, collects more quorum cards and pulls Sleep Deprivation for his crisis, sending him back to sick bay. More attempts to kill the boarder, all of which fail. The chief draws Boarding Parties for his crisis and then Apollo (next turn) draws Ambush. Two Cylon attacks in a row and the board is full of Cylon ships (see pic) with the jump track only at -3 population.

There is no choice. Boomer goes to FTL and jumps the ship. We get lucky and jump distance 3, but we lose 2 fuel and 1 population. Not a bad exchange considering all the Cylon ships. It is the longest first turn I have seen and way to many civilian ships on the board. A tough round but we make is relatively unscathed. No sign of a Cylon within the Fleet. Perhaps the humans have a chance.

Getting to our second jump takes almost as long as the first. We lose a few more food and morale and the Chief finally kills the Cylons on board the ship. Unfortunately, he immediately draws the Besieged crisis, the Cylons destroy one of our vipers and good natured calls of Cylon are sent towards the Chief . However, on Apollo's turn he kills 3 Cylon raiders, easing up the pressure. Boomer launches in a viper shoots a raider but draws Heavy Assault and the Basestars hit Galactica, damaging the Hanger Bay and the Armoury. Sticking with the alcoholic theme, Tigh XO's (third time in a row) the Chief who quickly repairs the damage to Galactica. The rest of the round passes uneventfully and we auto jump distance 1 and gain 2 fuel doing it.  

Sleeper Phase: 

Loyalty cards are handed out. I am not a Cylon. Boomer goes into the brig. At this point there has been no indication of any Cylons. However, there is doubt now, there must be 2 out there and I am still sandwiched between the two most likely Cylons. Baltar uses his turn to check the Chief and says he is not a Cylon. He draws the Admiral Grilled crisis, which we fail, losing another morale. Now a proven a loyal member of the human race (well almost), the Chief agrees to XO Baltar on his turn and Baltar checks Apollo, who is not a Cylon. However, Guilt by Collusion is drawn and although we pass, 3 yellows are in the deck. Only the Chief or Apollo could have spiked it. Apollo is thrown in the brig. He is next in the turn order and he revels as a Cylon. But who is the other? Is it Baltar, who said he was not a Cylon? But Baltar have been helping with Inspirational Speeches. Adama has been picking good distances and Boomer jumped us at a critical time. No one is acting suspiciously, and even until his revel, Apollo had done nothing to indicate he was a Cylon, except not contributing much (that is probably just his poor ability). I have no idea who to suspect.

Boomer is next and tries to get out of the brig. I am torn, but she has done nothing to make me suspicious. Although she has received 2 cards this turn and is most likely to be a cylon, I figure let he out and, if she is the cylon, maybe we can flush her out. We auto jump after Tigh's (my) turn, go a distance of one and gain 2 fuel. After 3 jumps we stand at 5 distance, 4 fuel, 4 food, 4 morale and 10 population.

Things start to get dicey right off the bat. Baltar fails his Inspirational Speech and draws Raiding Party. Cylon ships are on the board and we are at the start of the jump track. This is likely the best time for a cylon to revel and for Apollo to use his super crisis card. We fire at the Cylon raiders and use Brutal Force to kill a heavy raider.

Apollo's turn. He uses his Super Crisis card, but in a lucky break for us, it is Bomb on Colonial 1, probably the only card that cannot take advantage of the mess of Cylon ships. We barely pass the check. We try to keep the Cylon ships at bay.  Boomer's crisis costs us 1 fuel and I XO (again) and we destroy a few ships. I draw Informing the Public, which we pass. I am not sure who to check. My gut tells me the Chief, but he has had one check already and Apollo took the fall for the spiked skill check and did not deny it. No one has been acting suspiciously. I decide to check Baltar, hoping to get lucky. I reason that, if he were a Cylon at this stage and we do not suspect him, he could really screw us later. He is not a Cylon. Baltar goes next and continues to build up his quorum cards but draws Tactical Strike, putting a fair amount of Cylon ships on the board. We need to get out of here. Adama is next and goes to FTL to jump us a distance of 2. At the end of our fourth jump we stand at 7 distance, 3 fuel, 4 food, 4 morale, and 9 population. We might just be able to pull this off.

The next turn passes fairly quickly. Apollo (the reveled Cylon) picks a crisis card but makes a bit of a mistake by giving us Scouting for Water, which we pass (barely) and gain 1food. Unfortunately, Boomer loses us 2 population on her crisis and, while Baltar uses Inspirational Speech to gain 1 morale, he immediately loses it when he draws Terrorist Investigation which we fail.However, we jump on his turn a distance of 2 for a total of 9, losing 1 fuel and 1 morale. With one more jump to Kobol, we stand at 2 fuel, 5 food, 3 morale and 7 population.

The final round. All the humans have to do is get to -3 population on the jump track and they can win. Adama moves the jump track on his turn. The Chief revels that he is the second Cylon. Apollo (cylon) helps plays witch hunt which we pass and also moves the jump track. Tigh gets Water Shortage and moves the Fleet into the -3 population jump prep space. Baltar moves to FTL and jumps the fleet. Humans win.

Final tally: Fuel 1, Food 2, Morale 1, Population 4.

Post Game: The Chief revels that he was a Cylon from the start and Apollo got his during the sleeper phase. Throughout the game, there was only one indication of a Cylon, which was the 3 yellows on a skill check. We knew that one of them had to be a Cylon, but the truth was that both spiked the check with one yellow. A fun game but not a suspicious one due to the zeal with which the Cylon Chief repaired Galactica and Vipers during the game. The Chief reveled too late to be effective. Perhaps it was my fault, as I usually tell new players that their best bet is to wait as long as possible to revel so as to sow confusion and suspicion amongst the players. I should have made it clear that Cylons should revel before the last jump in order to get to use their super crisis card and cause maximum damage.

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