Its been a while since the gaming group got together for a game of Battlestar Galactic, but this past weekend I was celebrating my 40th birthday with my friends and we broke out the board game once more (along with a host of other activities).
Game #1 - What Cylons?
In the first game there was just four of us: myself, Chad, Dave, and Udit. The beginning started out eventful with the initial attack but then we jumped to safety and didn't much trouble after that. We got to the halfway point and new loyalty cards were distributed...
Since the humans were doing so well, the Cylon Sympathizer card came out and turned Chad into a Cylon, but without a super crisis or ability to control the Cylon ships. Plus it forced him to reveal immediately. It was really lame and I can see why some people don't like to play with that mechanic. The true Cylon was Udit but Dave and I were on to him right away and had him stripped of powers and brigged soon after. We stopped the game there as it was clear there was unlikely to be a challenge to the humans after that.
Game #2 - In Need Of A Gas Station
The second game was a lot more intense and exciting. There were five of us in this round: me, Chad, and Udit again along with Evan and Brian. Unbeknownst to each other, both Brian and I were Cylons right from the start and both decided to play the long game with few sabotages or obvious traitorous activities.
But the humans ran into trouble early anyways, losing fuel at a precipitous rate and having three Raptors out of four destroyed. Constant attacks and damages kept everyone busy along with the odd failed skill check to indicate Cylons were out and about.
At the halfway point, Chad decided that Evan and Udit (who were President and Admiral respectively) were suspicious and needed to be stripped of powers and sent to the brig. I was forced to pick a side and decided to work with Chad. This caused Evan to be suspicious of me and used his character's special ability to look at all three of my loyalty cards (I got an extra due to being Boomer) and declared me a Cylon. I of course claimed he was the Cylon and was trying to frame me. After a couple of exchanges we both ended up in the brig, with Evan and Udit saying I was a Cylon and Chad unsure but still wary of Evan. Meanwhile, Brian just tried to keep his head down and wait for the best chance to slit their throats.
Ultimately, the initial fuel troubles caught up with the humans and with two jumps left their fuel was near zero and there was very little hope of a reprieve. They surrendered to the Cylons.
I would definitely not play a game with the Cylon Sympathizer as is again. It took far too much control out of the player's hand when they went Cylon, forcing them to reveal and not giving them the fun Cylon tools. In fact, I don't know if I would play the game with fewer than five people again. While the second game was far more exciting and engaging, I'm a little sad that Brian and I didn't get to do major damage in the end, the course of events with the fuel shortage doing most of the work for us. Oh well, not every game can be the best game ever.