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oliverkinne
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Bots Up Board Game Review

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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× Talk about the latest and greatest AT, and the Classics.

Let's talk about Battlestar Galactica

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13 Jul 2020 20:58 #311995 by dysjunct
I played it to death and loved it. Each expansion made it worse and now, as San mentions, it’s not a show anyone cares about anymore. But man was it the right game for its time and place. I brought probably two dozen people into the hobby with this game.

Related topic: which show shit the bed worst as it wrapped up, BSG or GOT? My vote is for BSG. GOT’s last season kind of meandered; BSG got stupid in S3 and kept getting worse somehow. And then Baltar was an angel, the end.

Hidden traitor games used to be one of my favorite genres but they are so, so hard to do well. There has to be enough game to make it more than a flurry of groundless accusations. But then new people not only have to learn how to win the game, they have to internalize it enough to know how not to win it. The better the first one is, the worse the second one is.
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13 Jul 2020 21:31 #311996 by san il defanso
I am personally over the "traitor" genre, because I've never played one that ended up having legs long term. A lot of what I enjoyed about them, the interaction and social dynamics, are also present in games with heavy bluffing, and I think that's where my heart really lies anyway.
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13 Jul 2020 22:27 #312002 by Shellhead

southernman wrote:

Shellhead wrote: Eleven years ago, we played a game of BSG at Fortress: Ameritrash:

therewillbe.games/forum/30-pbem-pbforum/...lay-by-forum?start=0

Unfortunately, it wasn't play by forum, so you can't see the play-by-play action in the discussion thread.


That was a great game ! I had made images and a google doc to post updates as Kingput (I think) ran it for us - 11 years ago, bloody hell :ohmy: ... good times.


That really was one of the best plays of BSG that I ever experienced. I remember playing Apollo and going on a heroic shooting spree near the end, only to see us fall to treachery by a player that I had already determined was definitely not a Cylon. I think it was Drmabuse, or maybe SouthernMan.

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13 Jul 2020 22:42 #312005 by jay718

dysjunct wrote: Related topic: which show shit the bed worst as it wrapped up, BSG or GOT?


I'm gonna go with Lost.
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13 Jul 2020 23:06 #312006 by Msample

dysjunct wrote: I played it to death and loved it. Each expansion made it worse and now, as San mentions, it’s not a show anyone cares about anymore. But man was it the right game for its time and place. I brought probably two dozen people into the hobby with this game.

Related topic: which show shit the bed worst as it wrapped up, BSG or GOT? My vote is for BSG. GOT’s last season kind of meandered; BSG got stupid in S3 and kept getting worse somehow. And then Baltar was an angel, the end.
is.


BSG. The decline started earlier and lasted longer.
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14 Jul 2020 01:41 #312008 by Greg Aleknevicus

dysjunct wrote: Related topic: which show shit the bed worst as it wrapped up, BSG or GOT?


I enjoyed the final season of Game of Thrones -- only the final episode was disappointing. Battlestar Galactica though... never did a show that was so good get so bad. What was especially annoying was that every week the intro stated "... and they have plan" when the writers very clearly did not.

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14 Jul 2020 05:28 - 14 Jul 2020 05:28 #312010 by Erik Twice
The question is: Is there any hidden traitor game that does it better? As far as I've seen, there are two categories in the genre, neither of which is great:

Short fillers like Secret Hitler or The Resistance: These games tend to follow the same mold which is that you have to narrow down where the traitors are through logic and then try to find who is bluffing. Since these games are very simply and very short, there's not much strategy. If you are the bad guy, your only choice is to play the "bad card" and if you are the good guy you play the "good card". Then accussations fly and you try to blame others.

I enjoy these games, but I don't think there's much strategy to them.

Medium-weight coops with a traitor like Dead of Winter: These are coop games with a traitor bolted on. In fact, there might or might not be an actual traitor.

I've come to realize the traitor element in these games is a cheap shot. It's clear they are designed to be normal cooperative tgames and the traitor element is tacked on as a twist or band-aid. Several designers are on record about it, claiming they added the traitor element to reduce "quarterbacking" or the "alpha gamer problem". This results in very wonky balance or not much of a reason to, well, do anything against the group. In Dead of Winter, for example, the traitor is either useless or can just murder everyone by moving to the same hex and doing a lot of noise.

So I'm very thorn about Battlestar Galactica because it's clearly the best in its genre despite its flaws and awful editing.

san il defanso wrote: I think in general the game doesn't give much for Cylons to do besides to add uncertainty. But as you become more familiar with the design, it becomes harder for that uncertainty to be as effective. In the end it became just as prone to a quarterback problem as other co-ops, with the odd game where the cylons could throw the game now and then. I understand this could have just been our group, but it became a consistent issue. It just was never ambiguous enough as to who was the Cylon.

I don't think it's just your group, it seems inevitable from the way the game works.

I think the issue is that there's not a huge incentive to grab power or take risks as a human player. In my admittely short experience with the game, you don't want a Cylon to the President or Admiral but there's not much of a need to be in that role yourself. Most actions are also clearly positive for the humans, you can be less efficient but you can't be reckless or get things wrong very much. All this means there's not much you can do as a Cylon.

Also, it seems to me the best move is to push the Cyclon Fleet. I haven't seen people try to do anything else in my games with that expansion board on the table. (My friend recommends to play with: Cyclon Fleet, Demetrius, Pegasus). This is a flaw.

In that sense, I wish BSG were a bit more like The Republic of Rome which may not have hidden traitors but is otherwise the best semi-cooperative game I've ever played.

----

I've been reading the forums a bit and, apparently, someone has worked on an edited deck of 80 cards to restore the balance that was lost with expansions. Apparently, the ratio of resources was thrown out of the window by the expansion cards because FFG was careless. That might be worth looking into.

By ther way, if you guys want to play on Tabletop Simualtor it could be a lot of fun.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2020 05:28 by Erik Twice.
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14 Jul 2020 06:38 #312012 by san il defanso
One game that I do think has some serious quality to it, but I have not played as extensively, is Homeland. While I've never seen the original show it's based on, I do like a couple of big changes it makes.

- The game is like BSG if it was just skill checks, but with a couple of wrinkles thrown in. It's a good hour shorter as a result.
- It has a third "role," that of a political opportunist, who is motivated to be a thoroughly mediocre player.
- The end game actually has a single winner, meaning it is not really a team game.

My first game, which I played weeks before we moved internationally, was so positive that I went ahead about bought a copy cheap, replacing my copy of BSG that I'd already sold by that time. Since then I have played my copy once, a game that was kind of a bust because one player misunderstood a rule. It's too bad that it hasn't gotten played again since that, because I felt like it really worked well.
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14 Jul 2020 10:20 #312019 by OhBollox

Is there any hidden traitor game that does it better?


Homeland, and maybe Dark Moon (which was BSG Express, IIRC). Homeland is very under-appreciated, possibly it's the IP doing a disservice there, but the game is knife-edge stuff.

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14 Jul 2020 11:45 #312023 by Msample

OhBollox wrote:

Is there any hidden traitor game that does it better?


Homeland, and maybe Dark Moon (which was BSG Express, IIRC). Homeland is very under-appreciated, possibly it's the IP doing a disservice there, but the game is knife-edge stuff.


Dark Moon is utterly devoid of any flavor/theme based on my one play. It took longer to explain the rules than actually play the game.

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14 Jul 2020 11:59 #312025 by Shellhead

dysjunct wrote: Related topic: which show shit the bed worst as it wrapped up, BSG or GOT? My vote is for BSG. GOT’s last season kind of meandered; BSG got stupid in S3 and kept getting worse somehow. And then Baltar was an angel, the end.


BSG. The base game got me interested in the show. The pilot season was amazing, and the first full season was great. The second season was not as good, but still worth watching. The third season started out uneven, and got worse, to the point where I decided to skip the final season. I have still not seen the final season of BSG, and I have no regrets.

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14 Jul 2020 12:06 - 14 Jul 2020 12:12 #312027 by Josh Look
Dark Moon is pretty cool with the expansion, especially if you do a game with the company agent. I wish more hidden traitor games did 3 different alignments, Dark Moon and Homeland are the only two I know of. That extra layer of unknowing is fucking delicious.

The Thing: Infection At Outpost 31 is the one that ended up winning me over. It has a rough edge here and there, but they’re very minimal. The best part of BSG or any hidden traitor game is the paranoia around not know who you can trust or being found out, depending on which side you’re on. Many of them eventually become an open team game and just like that, that wonderful atmosphere that not many other genres can capture is gone and what’s left on the table might as well be any other game. Worst of all, this typically happens around the halfway point, definitely the case with BSG and I don’t think I need to remind anyone that we’re talking about a 2.5 to 3 hour game here. The Thing, once players have been through it at least once and are familiar enough with some of the games subtleties completely avoids that boring half. The traitor(s) are hidden right up to the very end. And mechanically, it’s just the stuff relevant to that experience. I could not give a fuck less about hopping in a spaceship and blowing up Cylons because the mechanics involved there give me no reason to care. It’s pedestrian level design and shallow surface level bullshit that only adds up to time spent not playing the FUN parts.

Any of these games are going to be dependent on player count and group and The Thing is no different.

PS- GOT went to bed and it was already covered in shit.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2020 12:12 by Josh Look.
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14 Jul 2020 12:23 - 14 Jul 2020 12:24 #312028 by Erik Twice
I actually played Dark Moon several times before I first played Galactica and found it very dull.

It's hard to say why. It has never grabbed me. Perhaps its simplicity makes it more obvious you are just spending resources in a blind skill test or lying about dice rolls isn't an engaging mechanic. Either way, it's one of those games that make me feel deflated.

I suspect the action economy in Dark Moon is very kind. I never feel like tackling a problem requires me to ignore another and being able to give two actions to another player every single turn without spending any resources is very strong. In practice, it allows you to double your number of actions as long as you know the role of another human at the table.

I suspect the cooperative game is just not engaing. When you think about it, Galactica isn't, but there's a game there: There are several problems that require different solutions. In Dark Moon the only problem are repairs.

The event cards don't promote discussion as much. Most of them are just a skill check. There are a couple that target other players, but I've found the decisions in BSG to be more gruelling. Send yourself to the infirmary or discard all of a player's cards is a tough choice.

That's just my guess, because I feel Galactica might not be a great game on a meat and potatoes level.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2020 12:24 by Erik Twice.

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14 Jul 2020 12:30 #312029 by OhBollox
The Thing seems to be outright broken at certain player counts, such that any Thing players should simply play it straight the entire game and win at the end by default. Who Goes There similarly has some design issues, including using dice for 50/50 results, making using dice pointless.

I'd much rather play The Thing from 2010: boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/75828/thing

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14 Jul 2020 12:39 #312030 by Gary Sax
^Charlie Theel had a similar critique.

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