Gameday First Play – Battlestar Galactica

Posted on by Jesta

This is one I’ve been wanting to play for a while.

I’d already picked my character… not based on skills, just the picture.

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is an exciting game of mistrust, intrigue, and the struggle for survival. Based on the epic and widely-acclaimed Sci Fi Channel series, Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game puts players in the role of one of ten of their favorite characters from the show. Each playable character has their own abilities and weaknesses, and must all work together in order for humanity to have any hope of survival. However, one or more players in every game secretly side with the Cylons. Players must attempt to expose the traitor while fuel shortages, food contaminations, and political unrest threatens to tear the fleet apart.

After the Cylon attack on the Colonies, the battered remnants of the human race are on the run, constantly searching for the next signpost on the road to Earth. They face the threat of Cylon attack from without, and treachery and crisis from within. Humanity must work together if they are to have any hope of survival…but how can they, when any of them may, in fact, be a Cylon agent?

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a semi-cooperative game for 3-6 players ages 10 and up that can be played in 2-3 hours.

So I picked ‘Boomer’ after being a bit of a fan of Grace Park on Hawaii 5-0. I haven’t seen Battlestar or played this game to judge characters on anything else to be fair.

Boomer Character Card

I was also hoping to be a Cylon and accidentally chose a character who is more likely to be a Cylon in the second half of the game, yay!

To win, the humans need to travel a distance of 8 using the FTL drive then jump once more. I’m not sure what ‘8’ was, assuming light years as it was an FTL drive.

The Cylons need to reduce the Food, Population, Morale or Fuel counters to 0. There are also a few other ways they can win but frankly I wasn’t having a strop ’cause I wasn’t a Cylon so didn’t care 🙂

Each turn consists of 4 things…

  • Draw Cards
  • Move
  • Perform an Action
  • Resolve a Crisis

You draw cards as stated on your Character card, so I drew 2 Tactics (Purple), 2 Piloting (Red) and 1 Engineering (Blue).

Then you are free to move anywhere on Galactica, or discard a card to move to Colonial One. It’s really good not being restricted on movement as you are in most games, it helps you make good choices on your turn.

For your action you either take the action based on the location you are in, or use a card from your hand and take the action on that. There’s loads to do so I won’t cover it all here but as Boomer with my Piloting cards I spent a lot of time outside in a Viper shooting down Cylon Raiders.

Battlestar Galactica Gameplay

Then at the end of each players turn, there’s a Crisis.

These include things like losing numbers on the counters I mentioned earlier to damaging Glactica, which is bad. Damage will affect one location, meaning you can’t use it and someone has to spend a turn repairing it.

There will be a pass/fail number on the Crisis card and the cards in your hand will have a number on them too. 2 cards are played face down from the Destiny deck, which is a shuffled deck of two random cards of each of the 5 types.

Each crisis will tell you which colour cards are ‘positive’, meaning a number on the cards of that colour count towards the goal. Other colours work as a negative.

As players play cards face down to contribute to this goal, the Cylon can do their best to mess it up without giving themselves away.

As there are also two cards from the destiny deck that could be anything, it’s just that little bit harder to root out the Cylons.

This is where you say “I don’t have any cards to contribute, sorry” and everyone hears “I’m a Cylon, I hope you fail”.

The cards used are shuffled and revealed and if you win you pass, if not you fail.

Generally a pass is bad and a fail is worse, after all, it is a Crisis.

This continues until the Sleeper stage where another round of Cyclon/You are not a Cylon cards are dealt out. I got two so surely I would be a Cylon now, right!

You are not a Cylon

Wrong 🙁

Ah well, better get on with winning the game a a human then

Except I don’t, As a Sleeper agent, Boomer is sent to the brig, Cylon or not and she was stuck there for quite some time…

The difficulty to pass the skill check to get out of the brig was 7 with Yellow and Purple cards giving positives. By this point the 2 cards from the destiny deck plus two cards from the now two revealed Cylons meant their 4 cards beat my 2 every time.

My fellow humans couldn’t help.

Boomer in the Brig

By the time she did get out of the brig the Humans were well on the way to winning and very shortly after, they did.

There loads of other stuff I didn’t get in to such as one player being the President and another the Admiral which is all good fun too.

Actually, I will briefly mention the Admiral. When you Jump the Admiral chooses 2 cards from a deck that I can’t remember the name of but it’s to do with flying Galactica.

They pick one and it’s usually a choice of travelling a short distance and saving fuel or travelling a long distance and burning fuel. Either way, you can argue for and against the Admiral being a Cylon.

It’s an OK game, it’s a bit slow and takes around 3 hours which is too long for a game like this. If it was 90 minutes or so I think this would be a must buy.

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