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Weekend Warrior: I Got Played

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Day 33 - President’s Log: Our situation is desperate. Endlessly pursued by our enemy, supplies are running low and I don’t know who I can trust. If anyone can get us through this crisis in one piece, it’s Bill Adama, so say we all!


Our annual Game Night tradition for my birthday has become playing Battlestar Galactica. I readily admit playing #BSG once a year is not a great way to play the game. The first two hours are spent relearning how the game mechanics function and no one really knows the optimal way to play because no one has played the game enough to memorize the composition of the various decks, token backs, potential abilities of Cylon players and the myriad of locations on the board.

At its core BSG is simple, almost too simple for its length. On your turn you might simply draw a card or roll a die before performing a bunch of upkeep required by the game and then you're waiting maybe 30 minutes before it's your turn again. It's not a design that would get made now, but its adherence to the subject matter and the amount of social interaction the game produces buys it a lot of leeway.

Anyway, despite our lack of overall familiarity with the game a few members of the group wanted to try adding Pegasus to the mix and I thought it could be fun to mix things up, after all I only get to play the game once a year. So I set up and explained a few things and we got underway.

I was playing Roslyn as I've yet to play as the president so wanted to try that role out. Right out of the gate we had a skill check go awry confirming the presence of a Cylon on board. My suspicions lay with Chief Tyrol and our next crisis card allowed me to look at a player's loyalty card. I chose the Chief and was proved correct.

At that moment I chose not to reveal what I knew. My reasoning was two fold, I could yet turn out to be a Cylon myself and secondly knowing that the Chief knew that I knew meant I could perhaps head off some of his sabotage attempts. This kind of worked. Important skill checks I forced the cards to be played face up preventing the Chief tanking the checks without it being obvious. In other checks where only the chief could have helped us succeed I pushed the group to take automatic fail results rather than waste skill cards on a test I was sure wouldn't get completed. Finally as Roslyn I had the power to choose between two crisis cards on my turn, using this skill I buried a lot of skill checks, prioritising "President Chooses" or "Admiral Chooses".

From very early on I had made the decision that Bob, who was playing Admiral Adama was human and between us we kept everything under control. There was a moment where we had every Cylon ship in play, half a dozen unprotected civilian ships and we needed to jump the fleet to safety. I could have done it but I decided to save cards and get Adama to do it by playing an executive order… If my judgement had been wrong Bob could have revealed himself in that moment, condemning the fleet to almost certain death and blowing up half of the Galactica in the process.

He didn't! Adama was human, I breathed a sigh of relief as we jumped away. Having singled out my ally, I started trying to work out who our other Cylon could be but both of our pilots only seemed to be playing to our benefit. I wanted the Chief off the ship and a round passed when I didn't need to throw in on many skill checks meaning I finally had a decent hand of skill cards. The time had come for an execution.

Adama was on my side, the pilots abstained, I just needed to out play the Chief. I picked up the skill cards and my hands were actually shaking. I knew the Chief was a Cylon, it wasn't suspicion I had seen his card and despite it only being a game I was still physically shaking. The cards fell heavily against me. I wished I'd seen how many cards the Chief and the Admiral had played into the check. The chief survived the execution and I knew that the admiral and I had given it our all… I never once questioned Adama's loyalty… but I should have. That should have been the moment. The check was two against one, it should have succeeded but it didn't and I should have known why but Bob had only ever played to our advantage… hadn't he…

The fleet was one jump from home, Kat had spooled up the engines, we could jump home on the next turn… the Chief's turn. He had to reveal, if he didn't Adama would jump the fleet anyway.

The Chief revealed, passing his excess loyalty card to me… I was mortified, I'd led us to within a turn of victory, our success was assured and the Chief had turned me to his team at the eleventh hour. I turned over the card… You are not a Cylon… I was confused. Everyone else had been too helpful for the Chief not to be holding both "You Are A Cylon" cards.

Adama started his turn, he would jump the fleet and we would win… Bob smiled. "I guess I reveal then…" I had been played. The Admiral had been a Cylon from the beginning. He pulled the ripcord on his explosive jacket and blew a gaping hole in the side of the Galactica. His reveal effect allowed him to draw 5 of Galactica's 7 remaining damage tokens and choose 2 to resolve.

The Cylons' singular hope of winning at this point was to blow up the FTL control. Without our engineer we would be unable to fix it and they could probably destroy our last fuel and win the game.

They didn't! My turn began and with no regard at all for the fleet I smashed the FTL button, leaving behind 3 of our remaining 5 population but getting us to Kobal and home, eeking out our first ever Battlestar Victory as the humans.

Of course our victory was underserved. Had our Cylons been more familiar with the game Bob could have certainly destroyed us. Until next year... Grab your gun and bring in the cat. So say we all!

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