Flashback Friday - Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It?

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07 Dec 2018 13:38 #287691 by Gary Sax
I maintain that this game is still one of the best of these types of traitor games. It has enough game meat around it to be interesting beyond the traitor element.

My biggest beef with the game is length, and it's so close to being perfect w/5 in the base game. The game really needs to be calibrated to be just *one* jump shorter imho.
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07 Dec 2018 16:45 #287695 by Michael Barnes
This is a prime example of a game that has a time, and that time passes.

It is a great game- a watershed title for FFG and still one of their best. It dominated the conversation for a long while. It was everywhere and everyone played it whether they liked the show or not.

I remember there was concern at the time that the license might go out of date...but the reality of it is that the themes- real themes, not just setting- are perennial. And it remains the best traitor game ever made.

But I never want to play it again.

I had lots of good times with it. Lots of fun memories, like when Richard Launius came to my table and lured players over to his, his booming voice declaring “folks, we’re playing a fully painted copy of this game over here”.

I just feel that I’ve moved on and design has moved on. I don’t even really feel nostalgia pulling me back to it. In retrospect, there are a lot of things that are really kind of klunky about it and I’m not sure it needs to be as long as it tends to be. The last time I played it, with a full table and all the expansions, I thought that session was just dreadful.

Regardless, a seminal, important game no doubt.
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07 Dec 2018 16:55 #287697 by southernman

Michael Barnes wrote: This is a prime example of a game that has a time, and that time passes.


Oh so wrong ... another disciple of 'The New' eh, or just listening to your GW overlords to clear the decks of competition ;-p
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07 Dec 2018 17:52 #287700 by WadeMonnig
*wakes up, stumbles out, reads this thread while chugging Mountain Dew*
*Has Eureka Moment*
Reservoir Dogs: The Board Game = Ultimate Traitor IP
(Someone has thought of this, right? Checks, yep, they have.)
*stumbles off to eat something*
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07 Dec 2018 20:21 #287717 by Bernie
Love this game. I really miss WBC because we have had some awesome games of it there. It does not always go great with a ton of drinking though.

I think parts of the expansions are great and add real life to the game. Mostly the parts that slot in with ease.
* I like the Cylon Leader for better player count optimization. If you have more than 5 it really helps.

* Treachery skill cards. They are great. Can clog p a hand, or let someone really do some devious stuff.

* More skill cards. I think these more than anything breath new life into the game. With only the base skill cards it became too obvious who the Cylon was depending on what skill cards were drawn. The extra cards helped fix this.

* More characters, really don't need to say more.

* The fleet board. This is the only thing I would argue has more value than the skill cards. This makes the game so much better and adds so much. It, while not diminish the importance of President and Admiral makes the pilots rock stars. Pilots can win and lose you games. The CAG title is great. The build up of the enemy fleet really livens the game up and makes being a reviled Cylon suck less.

* More crisis cards. Lots of goodness with little overhead, the variety here helps too.

* Pegasus Board. Great risk reward options. Not needed, but little overhead for the added value.

* The 0 Skill cards. Wow, these are great on so many levels. The bad things that can happen cause they were in a skill check. The great things they can do, or random ruin they can cause. Just a great thing. Little more overhead than the other additional skill cards.

Have not played the game for a bit, but I would in a heart beat. Really rewarding with a group of awesome players and repeated plays.
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07 Dec 2018 21:43 #287732 by Gary Sax
I will argue for the Pegasus board too, I think it's closer to what the strength of the base Galactica should have been to balance the game.
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08 Dec 2018 07:49 #287740 by san il defanso
This is a game that was very specifically tied to a time and place for me, and all attempts to recapture that time and place have mostly flopped. It reminds me very strongly of the early years of my marriage, when my wife and I frequently played games with other people. It reminds me of a time when I did not own a lot of other big thematic games, so there were no other 3-hour games vying for my attention. It reminds me of a time when I had a pretty steady group, and was able to play it a lot with the same basic matrix of people. It reminds me of a time when the show was still fresh, and I was enjoying it along with everyone else. It also reflects an age when a single game could really capture the zeitgeist in the hobby, before it became so fractured.

I don't think I am willing to say with certainty that the expansions sank it for me, as we started having kids around the time those were coming out. But the expansions, on balance, didn't help the scenario. The truth is that this is a pretty chromey design, and while I don't think that's a bad thing, it's easy to gum up when you add too much more mechanical grit. The Cylon Fleet board is a good example. It balances out the swingy nature of the Cylons, but at the expense of having to manage one more thing, and of dissipating a little bit of the atmosphere in the game. The expansions were full of stuff like that, though I do like what the Pegasus board added to the mix.

The truth is that I think with experience the game becomes too easy for the humans. I'm willing to admit that this could easily be a product of our group, but the Cylons need a few things to line up to really screw with everyone else. They need to have the opportunity for skill checks, they need to have a group of fairly inexperienced humans who aren't naturally tuned into the gamier parts of the designs. If those things don't pan out, failure rarely seems like something that wasn't dictated by bad luck, though the Cylons still have great potential to mess with certain people. That might not be a very good analysis since this game can be very group specific, but we became so familiar with the game that it almost didn't matter who the Cylons were. It just didn't hold up with extensive familiarity.

But for about two years it was easily my favorite game. I've played over 50 times I'm sure, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. It is one of the great thematic experiences I've had, and along with Cosmic Encounter it was formational for me in helping me not be afraid of big thematic, somewhat random games. It is also the game that got me posting here. Even though I am pretty much done with it, that's still a heck of a legacy.
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08 Dec 2018 12:10 - 08 Dec 2018 12:11 #287744 by Jexik
One Thursday night 9-10 years ago I found a game group on BGG randomly, just 10 minutes before they hosted their game night on a Thursday night.

That first night, I probably got the usual baptism of having to play Rairoad Tycoon with a group of regulars who would basically make all of your decisions for you, and "you" would often even win that first game! Yay!

On following nights, I usually sat with the table that was oscillating between Stone Age and BSG, depending on player count. I was the only sub-30 guy in the place, but I really wanted to get out and play some more board games that my normal friends were less excited about. A few months later a few more younger guys came, and we became friends. Going to one of their houses today to go play Smash, even though I'm not a Nintendo guy.

As far as BSG itself goes, we eventually got those 5-6 player games down to 2 hour plays because we'd pre-discuss whether crisis cards were even worth passing or not. It felt a bit samey after awhile, but I also didn't like bogging it down with much more than the Pegasus. I'll still play it now, but I don't own it and never did, since the people I'd play it with have it. I think I did gift it to a cousin who loved games and the show. His wife didn't like it because she never wanted to be a Cylon and have to betray people.
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09 Dec 2018 01:20 #287787 by Jarvis
Still one of my favorite games and play it a few times a year. In fact I played a great game last night with a bunch of friends that I don’t get to see very often.

The expansions are a bit of a mess, but we took a few pieces (characters, Pegasus board, cylindrical fleet board) but none of their endgame variants.

And also, I totally disagree that the new games have replaced it. All the ones I’ve tried are fine, but there’s nothing special about them (cool I can play Avalon/Resistance in a fraction of the time. What happened again???)

This is still my go to hidden traitor game when people want to play it.
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09 Dec 2018 10:13 #287792 by Msample
Haven't played it in a few years, but more due to lack of opportunity than lack of desire. The expansions are a mixed bag to be sure, but cherry picked properly, make for an even better game IMO. The game really conveys the theme well and really immerses you in the paranoia of the show. While I'll admit the game is perhaps balanced a bit against the Cylons, its still fun trying to spike the humans chance of runnning away. Its survived several game collection purges and I don't see getting rid of it.

If you don't like it and have a copy, sell it, you'll get decent money judging on recent sales history .

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09 Dec 2018 14:47 #287802 by mads b.
When it works as it's supposed to, it is one of the best games ever. But there are just so many things that can make it *not* work out in the optimal way, and while those things don't ruin the game, they tend to make it a bit less interesting which is just bad considering it's length.

Overall I think it's a bit too fragile. If you you don't draw any fleet cards early on, it tends to drag. If you don't have any cylons in the first half, it tends to be a bit easy. If the humans are strong in the second half, it just feels wrong.

What I especially like about the game thought - apart from when everything clicks - is that solving crises feels like an actual game. It's not just a way of sussing out who the traitors are, but you have to manage ressources and make actual decisions. Unfortunately that is also something that adds length.
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10 Dec 2018 05:36 #287834 by Matt Thrower
One of my top ten games. I never watched the show (I don't watch much TV) but it was still clear what the thematic direction of the game was and that it fulfilled it very well.

Most hidden traitor games are either quick social deduction affairs or they tend to bury the traitor aspect in layers of mechanical wool in an attempt to make them more strategic (see Dead of Winter). BSG is the only game that did a good job of balancing both halves of the game, not only rewarding both good deduction/poker face and good logic but tying both parts up neatly together.

In terms of still play it, though, it runs a bit long. That's partly why I never bothered with an expansion: it was unwieldy enough as it was. I don't think I've played a live game in some years. But I do still get involved in an annual play by forum game. It's not quite as good that way, but it's still easily good enough to merit the time.
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10 Dec 2018 07:56 - 10 Dec 2018 07:57 #287836 by Turek
I have many great memories.
PBF was super fun too (when playing without card counting fun murderers). I had EPIC sessions.

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10 Dec 2018 17:24 #287868 by NeonPeon
Good game, but like most good games I don't get to play it enough...

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