Missed my Wednesday post due to 13-hour marathon to beat my seminar deadline. In the end I managed to write something generic about the subject due to lack of sources I could citate and the restrictions to my own extrapolation to the matter. On the plus side, I played two games of Battlestar Galactica yesterday. I had recently acquired the Exodus-expansion, and was eager to find out whether or not the add-ons worked as I thought. The results were somewhat mixed.
The Conflicted Loyalties is an excellent addition to the game, as it forces the human players to do suspicious actions, masking the true Cylons more efficiently. In theory. The cards have some condition that must be fulfilled, usually quite hard, or the humans lose one resource indicated in the card at the end of the game. What I thought immidiately was that the resource loss was too insignificant to warrant the chaos and accusations that would follow. And based on the two games I played, I was right.
In the first game, which the humans won, two human players had human agendas, which incurred two food penalties. As humans had 6 food, both players never attempted to complete their objectives, making the cards irrelevant. I played a Cylon and completed my own objective in an attempt to mask my Cylonhood. In the end it was irrelevant, because one player playing Cally decided to randomly execute me because he wanted to use the character’s once-per-turn-ability.
I am not quite sure why the Final Five-loyalty cards were added. When another player looks at the Final Five-card, the card’s effect happens, which is always negative. While in theory they can dissuade someone from looking at the loyalty cards of a suspected Cylon, in reality the ability to look at someone’s card is extremely rare. Only Baltar has a reliable way of looking at loyalty cards, and the rest are either quorum cards, which would waste an important action from the President, or random crisis cards. I can recall about five times when a player has looked at someone’s loyalty cards.
Another way for the Final Five-card’s effect to take place is when a human character possessing the card is executed. But in that case the effect resolves on the executed player, rendering most of the effects useless. The card is extremely situational at best.
On a more positive note, the Cylon Fleet worked as advertised. The option makes pilots and unmanned vipers more important and gives the Cylon players additional weapons against the humans. Without the option Cylon attacks are either random and easy, or overwhelmingly deadly. With the option, Cylon attacks happen regularily, and will only get overwhelming if the humans neglect space defence. The only complaint I have is that the Pursuit Track activates as regularily as the Jump Preparation track, meaning that the Cylons tend to arrive when there is only one turn left to Auto-jump. But perhaps being Cylon in both games clouds my judgement at this matter.
Speaking of which, the last game marked the fourth time in a row when I have been a Cylon. The people I usually play with have ceased to joke when they say that no-one should believe anything I say.